Errols Weekly Music Update.

August 28, 2009

Weekly Update – 08/28/2009

KISS at the Mohegan Sun, Nassau Coliseum and Madison Square Garden on Sat., Fri. & Sat. Rocktober 3, 9 and 10, respectively. Pre-sale tickets for Madison Square Garden begin this morning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: HEKISS. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Mohegan: $75 – $95; Nassau: $21.50 – $125; MSG: $25 – $150. This is the “Kiss Alive 35” Tour. Buckcherry will be the opener.

Lynyrd Skynyrd at The Beacon Theater on Thurs. Rocktober 1. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m. $39.50 – $99.50. Also appearing at the Borgota Event Center in Atlantic City N.J. on Sat. Rocktober 17. Tickets for this show on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Mars Volta at Roseland Ballroom on Thurs. Rocktober 8. Tickets on sale today at noon. $42.

The Used at Roseland Ballroom on Tues. Rocktober 27. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $29.50.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn on Tues. Sept. 29. Tickets on sale today at noon. $31.

The Zac Brown Band at Terminal 5 on Sat. Rocktober 24. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25 ($30 day of show).

Thursday at the Bowery Ballroom on Sun. Rocktober 25. Tickets on sale today at noon. $20.

Mika at the United Palace Theater on Fri. Rocktober 16. Pre-sale for American Express cardholders on now until 9:00 a.m. this morning. General public on sale at 10:00 a.m. this morning. $35.

Frankie Valli at the Music Box at the Borgota on Fri-Sun. Nov. 20-22. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Michael Bolton at The Bergen Performing Arts Center on Thurs. Mar. 11, 2010. Tickets on sale now. $29, $49, $65, $95 and $115.

Keith Sweat at the BB Kings on Sun. Nov. 29. Tickets on sale tomorrow this coming Tuesday Sept. 1 at 10:00 a.m.$35

Other items:

Jay-Z will be performing a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 11 for the New York Police and Fire Fighters Widow’s and Children Fund that is for its members killed in the line of duty. Ticket info is scarce but it looks like Sept. 8 may be a date to purchase. Fuse will be making an announcement shortly. Jay-Z’s new album-“The Blueprint 3”- will be released on Sept. 11.

The article in the current issue of Rolling Stone Magazine about the Beatles breakup is riveting and kept my interest for the entire 11 pages. The more I read about the Beatles, especially the last couple of years, it appears to me that John was especially unkind and hurtful in many instances and didn’t care if he hurt others. Now I’m not going to say that he was the sole cause of the breakup- as there are two sides of the story (or in this case-four sides) but it sounds like he was really stubborn and tough to deal with. It seems that Paul was labeled as the perfectionist and appeared to be running the Beatles (by the other three) when according to John, he was the one who created the band and should have been the one to remain running the band. (Meanwhile he was all engulfed with Yoko). The three probably let their emotions get the best of them when they decided to name Allen Klein as their manager (this was after Mick Jagger informed them to steer clear of Klein) instead of Paul’s father-in-law-Lee Eastman. In the end, the three ended up suing Klein and McCartney went on to become one of the biggest money making performers in the industry under the management team of the Eastman family. Sounds like Paul never wanted the Beatles to end. Anyway that was my takeaway from the article by Mikal Gilmore.

With all the recent “exclusive” outlets for recent albums by Journey, AC/DC, Kiss, etc. you knew it was a matter of time before I-Tunes got involved and now with the upcoming Pearl Jam album, issued through Target, I-Tunes will now have a “Target” section for the album and include “exclusive” songs on their site that will not be included on the Target edition. I’m exhausted, are you? Can I just buy the same CD everywhere? And we all know the “extra” songs are either an acoustic version or songs that the respective band did not think “cut the mustard” for the album- so it becomes an “extra.” Is everything about money? Ok yes I know the answer….

Weezer has a new album to be released on Rocktober 27 and it’s called “Raditude.” The first single- “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To”- (again I’m exhausted) is out on I-Tunes and I have to say I love it (inspite of the title). The song moves and is a perfect exercise song.

Yes I have purchased the new Collective Soul album-self titled- but will be known as the “Rabbit” album. I am giving it a couple of turns and it is getting a lot better. If you are a fan-it is a must. I’m still on the fence for the casual fan- you may have to give it a few more turns than the die-hard. I will say that this album has more “faster” songs on this disc than any that I can remember and a lots of guitar. As mentioned last week, their albums really do not have that much “filler.”

Smokey Robinson has released a new album- “Time Flies When You Are Having Fun” – and all I have read about this album states that it is a good one. He does a cover of The Jacksons “I Want You Back” as well.

Surprisingly Rolling Stone magazine has given only a two star rating for “Shaka Rock” by Jet. Rob Sheffield is quoted as saying “They’re back with another dull slog through the AC/DC catalog…” Ouch.

Artist ProfileRoy Orbison

It’s been a while since I have written an artist profile so I figured I would do one for the legendary Roy Orbison. I get on those kicks where I listen to an artist and soak them in for like a week or two, this week happened to be Roy Orbison. Now I would like to think that almost everyone out there reading this has to have a Roy Orbison song on their I-Pod or at least a “greatest hits” album in their music library. He was taken from us 21 years ago but his career spanned four decades. He was the one with “The Voice.” Elvis Presley stated that “Roy was the greatest singer in the world.” His compilation of records is so extensive that there is really no excuse for you not to explore the greatness of this man, from “Ooby Dooby” to “You Got It” and everything in-between. Now everyone clearly should recognize “Oh Pretty Woman” but the misconception about his career was that this was his last great hit. But that is totally false as he (and every other artist) ran into a buzz-saw called The Beatles. Roy left Monument Records in 1965 and signed a long term contract with MGM. What I love about Roy was that his records could stop you right in your tracks with his mesmerizing vocals (“Too Soon To Know”) but then rock and roll with the best of them. (“Claudette” or how about “Mean Little Mama?”). I put him in the same category for me as Patsy Cline with both of them having the ability to hypnotize any audience.

Now I will start off with the more popular songs that Mr. Orbison graced us with. Songs like “Ooby Dooby” and “Uptown” are pure “rock-abilly” that you’ll ever come across. “Uptown” is one of my favorites by the man from Vernon, Texas. “Candy Man” is a bluesy country song that has wonderful background vocals to flavor the most excellent vocals by Roy. The whole arrangement of this song from the harmonica to the what sounds like a bass guitar makes this song groove like gravy spreading over your mashed potatoes. How about the tune-“Dream Baby?”- Wow talk about a song that just captivates you? “I love you and I dreaming of you but that won’t do..” There is no way that this song will not make you move. Or how about the often covered “Mean Woman Blues?” I always like his version a little better than the Elvis version-dare I say? The guitar solo in Roy’s version is smoking and this song moves- you can use this in your next exercise class-Spin or Boot camp.

Then I’ll move on to such superior classics, that they need their own paragraph. “Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel)” is such a great song that I can listen to it over and over without ever getting tired of hearing it. “But that is the chance Yoooouuuuu got to take..” Phenomenal. One of my favorite all time songs from Roy is the impeccable “In Dreams.” This could rank up there as one of the greatest songs ever recorded, I would have love to been in the recording studio when they put the finishing touches on this baby, can you imagine? Everyone had to be awestruck, I can just picture everyone in the studio with “lock jaw” as they ponder if they could top this song-pretty much done, over and out-walk away because you’ll never be able to top it. The same feeling must have been present after “It’s Over” was recorded. As you listen to the arrangement and the quality of the song it really does sound like it was recorded last year or so. “All the rainbows in the sky start to weep and say goodbye… It’s Over… It’s Over… It’s OOOOOOvvvvveeerrr…” Ooops sorry I’m back. “Crying” is pure genius-Mr. Orbison makes you feel his pain and passion over losing that someone special. If you have had a recent breakup or loss, you won’t be able to listen to this song with crying-it’s that good.“Running Scared” is a gripping song that will have you wishing that you could sing like him-I know I do. As the song transitions with the violins making their entrance it just takes the song to another level as Roy belts out the ending, whew awesome!!!Of course “Pretty Woman” belongs in this paragraph “Mercy!!!” Talk about a timeless classic, even Diamond Dave and the boys from Van Halen covered this song almost 20 years after its release. Now I am going to throw another song into this paragraph and that is his holiday song “Pretty Paper” written by Willie Nelson. As I mentioned last December, this is my all time holiday classic and I NEVER grow tired of this song and NEVER will. This song always puts me in a good place even though it’s a sad tale and that is because of Roy’s voice. No one has ever replicated this song the way that Roy has performed it, no one ever will-period end of story!!

Moving on to some “lesser known” songs-but still unbelievably great in no particular order and they are: “Losing You” –it has that classic Roy feel to it with his passion bleeding through the speakers. “I don’t want to but I’m losing you..” He makes you feel every word he sings. “Too Soon To Know” could be one the best songs he has ever recorded-listen to his vocals and tell me you are not in a trance? Folks I’m telling you right now-his talent is something that we can never let die-pass it on down to your children’s children and so on. “A New Star”- here’s a suggestion- get your partner and tell them you want the next dance-put this song on and let it take you to a galaxy- yes far, far away. “Here Comes The Rain Baby”- all I can say if this doesn’t give you chills running down your back- you may want to squeeze your arm to see if you feel. I think just based on this song he deserved to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “Walk On”- his vocals sound so close to your ears, so crystal clear that you think that he is in the room with you singing this song. “Communication Breakdown”- you will want to learn how to play guitar and sing like him after hearing this fantastic tune, his voice “climbs the ladder” at points and in my opinion he did that better than any singer in the history of music. “I’m in a Blue, Blue Mood”- just like Patsy Cline, they both have a way of making you love sad songs, don’t they? “Crawling Back” sort of reminds me of the Elvis version of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” as the piano chords sound similar. Again the sadness of the song grips you as you float away, again hypnotized. I could go on and on about but I leave it up to you to explore.

Then in the 1980’s, The Traveling Wilbury’s were stoked to have the legend Roy Orbison join the band, “Lefty Wilbury” as he was known. “Handle With Care” was mostly known as Harrison’s song but when Roy chimed in with “I’m so tired of being lonely, I still have some love to give…” well what else can be said-that’s what everyone really remembers about the song-with no offense to George and the rest of the Wilbury’s. Or how about in the Jeff Lynn lead “Rattled”- the coolest part of the song is when Roy does his famous tremolo voice where he sounds like he’s singing under water. In “Last Night” Roy again shines brightly as he compliments Tom Petty with his “bridge” part before the main chorus. How cool was Roy Orbison in the Traveling Wilbury’s? He took the lead vocals in the song “Not Alone Anymore” and captivated a whole new audience in the 1980’s. (That could have been the best song on the album). He was so relevant that Jeff Lynn produced his last solo album-“Mystery Girl” and Roy collaborated with Bono and The Edge, Elvis Costello, Mike Campbell and Tom Petty. Listen to the song “Comedians”-written by Elvis Costello (produced by T. Bone Burnett) and tell me you are not blown away? He had this way of putting his own classic sound into a 1988 tune and make it so contemporary. The song will leave you breathless. And what about the classic “You Got It?” This is my wife’s favorite song by Roy Orbison, every time I hear it, I think of her and how she really gets into it. This is another song that I never get tired of.

Whew that took a while right? But it is worth it. Folks I beg of you- you need to own something by Mr. Roy Orbison. There is so much out there for you to explore and you will not be disappointed. This man ranks up there in the top ten male vocalists of all time (and his fans would probably say he was the best that ever lived). Rolling Stone Magazine listed him the # 13 best singer of all time (we all know that list was flawed). He was initiated in the second class of the Hall of Fame and the presenter was Bruce Springsteen. He was also voted the 37th greatest artist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. Sadly he died of a heart attack on Dec. 6, 1988 at the young age of 52, just as his resurgence was sky-rocketing. I am a big fan of Roy Orbison, he has much to offer-go out and discover his music, you won’t be disappointed. Nobody sings like him.

Heavy dosage of Mr. Dean Martin this week as well and here is another example of an artist where it is necessary for everyone who listens to his music to pass it on down to their family and friends, so that his music will live on forever. (If I could put eleven songs-then number eleven would be “Memories Are Made Of This.”)

10.     Door Is Still Open (To My Heart)– “You’re as close to me as two is to three..” I love that part of the song the most but the whole song is great.I sway from side to side as I wonder what it was like to have a voice like Mr. Dean Martin.

9.     In The Misty Moonlight– His effortlessness is something that always stands out with Dean and with this song he seems so relaxed, so natural that it flows beautifully. His distinctive style of singing is something that has never been replicated, in my opinion and he does this song to perfection.

8.     Money Burns A Hole in My Pocket Talk about a perfect song for your someone special, a candlelight dinner for two, put this song on and drift away. “They” truly do not make songs like these any more.

7.     Houston– How can this song not be on a Dean Martin top ten list? Talk about cool, he exudes coolness on this classic. You know that you try to match the deepness of his voice as I always try to replicate the “I’m going back to Houston” part.

6.     Baby It’s Cold Outside– I love all Dino’s Christmas songs and this 1959 version- I believe with one of the Andrew Sisters- is my favorite version. The whole arrangement of this song is spectacular and Dean’s part is the icing on the cake. I can listen to this song any time of the year.

5.     Let It Snow-One of the best holiday songs ever recorded. This makes me feel at home all the time, it always puts a smile on my face as I constantly hit the “rewind” button and listen to it over and over. Does it get any better?

4.     Somewhere There’s a Someone– Love the piano in the beginning and then the sweeping string section that kicks the song into gear. It’s impossible not to sing along to this song and the lyrics are true, right? Put this song as a “cool down” song on your next Spin class and just pedal away into the clouds

3.     Ain’t That a Kick in the Head– Could be the coolest song he has ever recorded. How can anyone not like this song? Dean performed it in “Oceans Eleven”-the original movie (which is better) and no one has ever come close to doing it better. Fantastic song, period end of story.

2.     Everybody Loves Somebody– I can listen to this song all day long, just a phenomenal tune that can never be replicated. “If I had in my power I’d arrange for every girl…” This tune has to rank up there in the top 100 songs ever recorded in music history.

1.     You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You– This song was written in 1944 and covered by countless artists, including “The Chariman of the Board” but in my opinion no version even comes close to Dean’s rendition. I’ve played this song so many times over the years that even my youngest son, who is 12, knows the lyrics as well as my oldest. I’m doing my part of passing it down to the younger generation, are you?

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Richie Havens and Jimi Hendrix

2.     The Doors and Led Zeppelin

3.     False; Bethel N.Y.

4.     False; but John Sebastian played solo

This week’s trivia (Roy Orbison)

1.     Why did Roy always dress in black?

2.     Which act covered “Claudette” a song written by Roy?

3.     Who does Roy say saved his career with a cover of one of his songs in 1977? Name the song as well.

4.     Who did Roy win a Grammy with in 1980 for a duet of one of his original songs? Name the song as well.

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Enjoy Yourself”- Jackson 5

2.     “A World Without Love”-Peter and Gordon

3.      “All I Want to Do”-Sugarland

4.     “No More Drama”- Mary J. Blige

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

1.     “You keep lying when you oughta be truthin’…”

2.     “I stop to see a weeping willow, crying on his pillow”

3.     “You’re the apple of my eye, you’re cherry pie, and oh you you’re cake and ice cream…”

4.     “So come on baby get in, get in, just get in look at the trouble we’re in..”

Back on this day in 1988, Charlie Daniels escaped safely as his motor home caught fire on California’s Ventura Highway.

Back on this day in 1960, Barry White was released from prison after serving three months for stealing 300 car tires.

Back on this day in 1994, James Brown hit a bicyclist with his car in Augusta, Georgia and is ticketed for reckless driving.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with David Soul (“Don’t Give Up on Us Baby” or better known as “Hutch” from the dynamic duo Starsky and Hutch).

August 21, 2009

Weekly Update – 08/21/2009

Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley at Mohegan Sun on Sat. Rocktober 24. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday Rocktober 6. Tickets on sale now. $55 – $75.

Bowling for Soup with Flavored by Coke at The Gramercy Theater (or Blender) on Tues. Sept. 22. Tickets on sale today at noon. (Live Nation Event).

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Music Box at the Borgota in Atlantic City on Sat. Sept. 26. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Kenny Rogers at the Capital One Theater in Westbury NY on Wed. Dec. 23. Pre-sale tickets for Citicard holders on now. General public on sale is this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. $51.50 and $65.

R. Kelly at the WAMU Theater in Madison Square Garden on Fri. Rocktober 16. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $59.50, $79.50 and $89.50.

Ray Lamontagne at The Beacon Theater on Thurs. Nov. 5. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $34.50, $44.50, $60 and $70.

Roger Daltrey at the Wellmont Theater on Wed. Nov. 11. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $57, $72 and $97.

For Parents: Jonas Brothers at Mohegan Sun on Sat. Rocktober 10 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets for these shows go on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.

Boys Like Girls at Nokia Theater on Tues. Nov. 24. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $28

ZZ Top at The Beacon Theater on Fri. Sept. 18. Tickets on sale now. $39.50, $59.50 and $79.50.

50 Cent at The Beach at Governor’s Island on Sat. Rocktober 3. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $45

Other items:

Daughtry has lined up a fall tour that will go until December. So far the only places listed in the Tri-state area is a spot at The Trump Taj Mahal in N.J. on Fri. Nov. 6 and the Harbor Yard in Bridgeport CT on Tues. Nov. 17. More information to follow.

Bon Jovi has stated that their next album-“The Circle”-due out on Nov. 10- is a return to rock and roll. The first single-“We Weren’t Born to Follow” was released this past Wednesday. It sounds pretty good-not sure about the rock and roll part- but it will probably grow on me. Check it out for yourself at http://www.islanddefjam.com/artist/news_single.aspx?nid=4878&artistID=7323.

The latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine has a cover story on “Why the Beatles Broke Up: Behind the Story” – if you are a Beatles fan it is a must. Pick it up at newsstands now.

It is now official- Walmart will be the only entity that will be selling the new Kiss album-“Sonic Boom” which will be released on Rocktober 6. What I didn’t know and am kind of disappointed is that this new album will be part of a three disc set that will include a “re-recording” of some of their greatest hits (with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer obviously) and a DVD from their live shows in Buenos Aires. “The world’s largest retailer had better get ready for the hottest band in the world and hire more cashiers” was the quote from Gene when interviewed. The new single “Modern Day Delilah” can be heard in it’s entirety at Kissonline.com. I have to admit, not just because I’m a fan- that it is a good song. Even Ace has admitted that it sounds like Kiss of the 1980’s.

My favorite “new” song (Ok I’m a little late on this one but it has finally grown on me) of the week is “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas. I have to hand it to this band they are really making some of the best songs during this decade and are probably going to get even better as the years go on.

My favorite “old school” song of the week belongs to Lulu with her “To Sir With Love.” How great is this song? Pure perfection, period end of story!!!

“And 5, now this is most important, Rat…comes down to making out… whenever possible.. put on side 1 of Led Zeppelin IV

Side 1 of “American Woman” by The Guess Who– released January 1970.

The Guess Who is another band that has had many different members come and go. (They are still going strong today). The focus here today is the Guess Who with Burton Cummings along with Randy Bachman (who left after this album in 1970 after disagreements with the band members, mainly Cummings, and ultimately went on to form Bachman Turner Overdrive). First off is that everyone should own this album, it is super solid and in my opinion the first side is a “perfect” album side. This band has been under-appreciated as well as underrated. (They remind me of Thin Lizzy who often doesn’t get the respect they deserve as well). Three out of the four songs on side one are rock and roll royalty and will live on forever as some of the greatest songs ever recorded.

The album kicks off with the title track and to this day remains the only number 1 song for The Guess Who. It also marked for the first time that a Canadian band had a number one song in the U.S. The song is not about a woman but about the U.S. militaristic ways and societal problems. Ignoring that fact, the song is great. (and yes Mr. Kravitz does a smoking cover of this song but the focus is on them). The song on the album starts off with a bluesy twist as Burton spells out the letters to the title of the song (The “radio” version totally skips this part and some of you out there may have not even heard the original because the song usually starts off with the guitar riff). This song has to be one of the most recognizable songs in the rock and roll history. This song rocks!! Put a pair of headphones on, squeeze them as tight as you can to your head and listen with pleasure. I love as the song ends Burton drags out the words “leave” and “Go.” “You know I’m gonna leeaavveee.. you know I’m gonna goooooo.” Track # 2 is the phenomenal “No Time.” Listen to this song and tell me this isn’t one of the best arranged songs ever. Listen to the vocals, background vocals-sort of reminds me of CSN&Y, right? The guitar work is fabulous, the beat is infectious and the bridge to the chorus is one of the most melodic in this epic composition. (Yes that’s right I said epic). The song peaked at number 5, still scratching my head on why it never made it to the top.

“Talisman” is a stunning song where I can’t help but hang on every word that is sung. To me, the song surrounds you like a fog and before you know it you can’t move because you are totally engulfed in the song. ‘Talisman, Talisman grace my hand, Talisman grace my hand.” Love the guitar work and love the way the piano works its way into the song towards the end and takes the song to its end. OK the last song on side 1 is my all time favorite song by The Guess Who and the song is “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature.” I think the arrangement on this composition ranks up there in the top ten songs ever recorded. Yes that’s right I said-ever recorded. The way the song smoothly shifts into “New Mother Nature” and then back to combining both “New Mother” and “No Sugar” is pure genius. “In the silence of her mind Quiet moments well I can find..” Does it get any better? Again the transition to “New” just kills me all the time-it is so good. This is the ultimate song for a set of headphones, this song had to be recorded with headphones in mind because as you listen you feel the shift from left to right and then right to left. I’m sorry I have to listen to it again. If I were to form a band this would be the first song that I would try to cover, the drumming keeps the song moving along so perfectly. And just like I said this is a Perfect album side!! “American Woman,” “No Time,” and “No Sugar” are three of the best songs you will ever hear on an album side. This is about 18 minutes of mastery, what are you waiting for? You need to have this in your music library, period end of story!!!

Ever since seeing Collective Soul this past Monday, I haven’t stopped listening to their CDs this whole week and decided to name my favorite top 10 songs from this band from Atlanta Georgia. Folks I have to be totally honest- this is brutally tough for me as there are not too many songs that I skip over on their albums. It bums me out sometimes that these guys don’t seem to be as popular as they are talented but I can’t worry about it-they don’t- they just play their music and have a great time making it. These guys fought hard for what they wanted and not many bands would persevere the way that they have. Anyways here goes:

10.     Never Here Alone– Totally cool song from “Afterwords.” Of course it has that “catchy hook” that they are infamous for. You will be snapping your fingers and dancing around the room in no time. Love the “percussion” section as they add some bongos which will keep your feet moving. “Three four” as it heads into “Bearing Witness” – another great song but I’m just mentioning it-not on the top 10 list. (slick, ain’t I?)

9.     Perfect Day– Love the groove in this song as Mr. Elton John helps out on vocals as well as piano. If Elton is involved you know the song has to be good, right? Elton’s piano solo is smoking and the rhythm section supplied by the boys from Collective Soul make this one of the best collaborations of the year 2000. After this song, it slides into “After All”- OK I’ll stop!!

8.     Run “Are these times contagious?” Just like in the movie where it’s said “You had me at hello”- this song had me at “Are these times contagious.” As you all know I have a softer side in my music taste and as I mentioned Collective Soul can rock with the best of them but then makes some real nice tunes, this is one of them. It’s from my favorite album by them- “Dosage.” I love the ending of the song as the drums “scat” and makes you slide across the floor.

7.     Why, Pt. 2– As mentioned in my concert review, the guitar riff gets me all the time. Nothing big, nothing that complicated but it gets me so psyched that I have to crank up the volume every time!!! “Forgive me dear for my misdirection…” Of course there is the very tasty guitar solo that leads into the “headbanging” riff. Play it LOUD!!!

6.     The World I Know– This is the one song I look forward to every time that I go to see Collective Soul. The whole arrangement of this song is top notch. “Are we listening? To hymns of offering.” The chorus is one of the most addicting words and it will remain in your head for the rest of the day. “So I walk upon high….” Friggin’ phenomenal song.

5.     Where The River Flows– Love the opening guitar riffs and the way Ed sings this song. “Find yourself another soul to hold. You think, I thought, I know!!!” Again not the most complicated arrangement but the driving beat will have you head banging in no time- as well as “air-guitaring.” Listen with a pair of headphones and squeeze your hands as tight as you can into your ears and listen to this classic.

4.     Needs– I can remember the first time I heard this song, I stopped in my tracks and was awestruck. When I use to live in N.J. and commuted to lower Manhattan I traveled a lot with a good friend and asked her to put on the headphones to listen to this song. Usually she’d listen to the songs I suggested for about 10 seconds and hand me back the headphones-Not this time. I think she was just as captivated as I was- and still am. I had this song on in the car yesterday and my oldest son even said that it is a good song- he’s not a big fan of them-Yes I’m working on that.

3.     How Do You Love?– Back when their album “Youth” came out in 2004, I boldly predicted that this would be one of their biggest songs ever. Well it never happened and I still don’t know why. Put this song on and tell me it’s not good, I defy you. They even work in violins, isn’t that a prerequisite for a good song? I thought that was an “automatic?” Seriously, this is a great composition and at least I can feel Ed’s passion and am still waiting for this song to hit it big. You wait…..

2.     Compliment– Never forget when I heard them do this live at the Ives Concert Park in Aug. 2005, I was “in the zone” and sang every word trying to match the passion of Mr. Roland. Someone tapped my wife on the shoulders and said to her- “Man he really likes this band-he knows all the words to this song and all the other ones.” I also remember Ed telling the crowd that they should know this song, most didn’t. I think this could be the best song they have ever recorded.

1.     Crown– I know what you’re probably thinking (besides that you never heard of it)- it’s too slow, how can you like it? “Of all the songs by Collective Soul, how can this be your favorite song?” There I asked it for you- well here is my response: do you know how a song relates to something in your life and it brings you right back to that moment? Well this song is that type of song for me. But besides that I love the music and Ed’s passion bleeds through the speakers. I usually lay right in front of the speakers (ask my brother) when I listen to music and this song takes me to another world, every time.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Ted Nugent

2.     War

3.     Ian Gillian

4.     Todd Rundgren

This week’s trivia (Woodstock)

1.     Who opened Woodstock and who closed out Woodstock?

2.     Name at least two huge acts that declined to play at Woodstock?

3.     True or False: The event was held in Woodstock New York?

4.     True or False: The Lovin’ Spoonful played at Woodstock

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”- Aerosmith

2.     “Tired of Being Alone”-Al Green

3.     “Car Wash”-Rose Royce

4.     “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You”- Dean Martin (Yes and Frankie)

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

1.     “Let’s have some fun.. Let’s have a good time you and me”

2.     “So I wait and in a while, I will see my true love smile”

3.     “Lets just lay here and be lazy, baby drive me crazy…”

4.     “Better know your friends or else you will get burned..”

Back on this day in 1972, Grace Slick was maced on stage by police following a scuffle with them.

Back on this day in 1996, Rick James was released from prison after serving two years for assault.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Jackie DeShannon (“What the World Needs Now is Love” and “Put a little Love in your Heart”-both top quality classic songs) and Kenny Rogers.

August 18, 2009

Concert Review: Collective Soul at Ives Concert Park on Aug. 17, 2009

Concert Review: Collective Soul at Ives Concert Park in Danbury, CT on Monday Aug. 17, 2009.

“Collective Soul Turns Up the Heat in Connecticut”

Collective Soul passed through my neck of the woods last night as they continue their summer tour with Ryan Star and Safetysuit. (Black Stone Cherry has also been on the bill in some places). As many of you know Collective Soul has been one of my favorite bands for some time now and in my eyes, they never disappoint. Last night was no different as they rocked and rolled their way through some of the new songs accompanied with many of their classics which had the crowd dancing, singing and sweating a whole lot more with their sizzling set. Make no mistake, they will surprise many, if you see them live, as they can explode at a moments notice with some of the most “rockin’ hooks” since The Cars-of whom which they dedicated the song “Hollywood” to last night. I’m telling you now folks, go see them as they turn the corner and head for PA, New York and New Jersey in the next week, you will not be disappointed. The one thing about this band, as I have seen them many times over the years, is that they seem to be having fun on the stage every time and appear to be doing it just for the music-and that is what the attraction is. Their eighth studio piece of work, self titled again but will probably be known as the “Rabbit” album is out next Tuesday Aug. 25, the same night they play the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza.

It was almost four years to the day that they played again at the Ives Concert Park and just like in 2005, the weather was hot. (Although I have to admit it was much more unbearable heat in 2005). Ed Roland, the lead singer, at one point during the show mentioned that the band felt like they were home in Atlanta as the heat and humidity from the sun wasn’t wearing off too quickly as the night progressed-their set made it hotter. This time around, it was myself with Sal and his wife, Maria, who came back to see them again. (As a matter of fact, we seem to be the same three who follow them around the Tri-State area each year). And as an added bonus, they took their son with them as this was his first time seeing Collective Soul. No offense to Ryan Star and Safetysuit but we were there to see the band from Atlanta and I didn’t pay much attention to either. (I have to give it to Star’s people though, they were everywhere around the park-including Ryan himself- hawking Star paraphernalia). The stage was a simple setting with an elevated smaller stage that seated the drums which had three plexi-glass windows situated in front of the drum set. Will Turpin, the bassist with the cool Mohawk, stayed up there next to the drum set where he, Cheney Brannon (drums) and Ed’s younger brother-Dean Roland controlled the night with their “totally-tight” rhythm section which had to get you out of your seat. Near the front of the stage was an opening with water, this was the closest that I have ever been at the Ives and I was unaware that the stage is actually set on a small lake. We were in the sixth row on the left side of the stage. Right around 9:35, from our vantage point we could see the band walking to the stage, the new guitarist, Joel Kosche (OK he’s been with them since 2001, so we can remove the “new” label) put the guitar around his neck and was seemingly within arms reach as they launched into one of their new singles “Welcome All Again.” The song takes about a minute to really get started and then they erupted, the guitar work by Mr. Kosche was top notch as well as Mr. Brannon on the drums. As I was watching Cheney he reminded me “Animal” the Muppet drummer, as his arms was flailing widely banging the beats into the hot summer night. The opening riffs to “Heavy” hit the air and I knew it was going to be their night. They were so tight with Ed hitting the cover off the ball with his vocals. People in front of us, behind us and to the side of us were jumping up and down while doing their best air-guitar competition poses as the solo by Joel was smoking. And to make matters that much better, half of the first six songs were from my personal favorite-“Dosage.” They performed my ultimate song- “Needs” to pure perfection as Ed took the acoustic guitar and basically had the crowd in the palm of his hand. Before this beautiful song, they rocked out with another of my preferred songs from “Blender” with “Why Part 2?” Put this song on and tell me it’s not heavy? I love the guitar riff on this song probably better than any that they have ever recorded. The only way to listen to this song is LOUD and we were right next to the speakers and I wanted it LOUDER!!! “So tell me why it don’t feel the same.. tell me why I’ve got to feel this way…” Whew, five songs in and I’m flying. The middle of the show featured two new songs, one which was totally rocking and the other “You” which is the first song that they have recorded together as a band- sounded real nice.

The first highlight, in my opinion, was “December” which had the whole audience singing along word for word. Ed really was having fun up there as he was strumming the acoustic guitar and singing with fervor, egging the crowd along as Cheney was hitting every note on the drums like on the original recording. As the song progressed, I was in that zone where I didn’t care who was around me, I was floating away and the guitar solo accompanied by the feverous drum playing took me over the edge. As I was falling, they kept me wailing in outer space with their first hit- “Shine.” I don’t care how many times you have heard this song at their shows, they need to keep it in their set list for the rest of their career as I never grow tired of the classic guitar riff followed by the infamous “YEAH” \m/ \m/. Then we all blasted off as the speed of the song increased to make the it that much better- at that point I was wishing I was Joel as he wailed. After the song ended, Ed informed the crowd that their influence came from the 1980’s bands such as The Police, U2, INXS and one of my favorites-The Cars. I couldn’t believe it, they liked the Cars-another reason why I’m probably so connected with this band. As they started to play “Hollywood” I noticed for the first time last night that it sort of sounds like a faster version of “Magic” and both contain the word “summer” in the beginning of each tune. The next highlight was “The World I Know”- how can anyone not like this song? It’s next to impossible. The crowd was swaying back and forth as the bridge to the chorus was coming and let’s all sing out loud as we hold our hands next to our hearts- “So I walk upon high and I step to the edge, to see my world below.. And I laugh at myself, while the tears roll down.. cause it’s the world I know, it’s the world I know..” Folks what are you waiting for?- buy the tickets to see them already-just for this song!!!

Ed introduced the band members to the crowd and handed off the next song to Joel, who wrote a track for the album “Afterwords”-“I Don’t Need Anymore Friends”- which is a rocking tune and will exude images of Squeeze for the Squeeze fans out there. Joel hit a homer with this one with his vocals and of course his solo. They launched into “Gel” a song they recorded for the movie –“The Jerky Boys”- remember those guys? Yes that’s how long Collective Soul has been rocking their faithful followers. (“Gel” was a boot camp classic for us at MBIA-perfect song for any exercise class). Can it get any better? Well yes it did- as the last song of the night was “Better Now” from the impressive “Youth” CD. This has become a staple at their shows as there is lots of crowd interaction. For a perfect example of this song, check out their DVD (or CD) “Home” and watch this absolutely fun song. During the middle of the song, Ed and Joel were doing their best imitation of Plant and Page as Roland sang notes while Mr. Kosche matched those notes with his guitar. The crowd was singing and dancing as Ed let them serenade him with “The world’s done shaking, the world’s done shaking, the world’s done shaking me down.”As the band disappeared off the stage, the crowd wanted more and was wondering which encores they would play-as their library is pretty extensive now. When they came out, there was a keyboard in the middle of the stage-and since I had already seen the video (and have the single already) I knew it was going to be –“Staring Down.” What a perfect song, have you heard it yet? The great thing about Collective Soul is their ability to take it down with beautiful melodies such as “Staring Down” and then they can turn on a dime and hit you right between the eyes with “Where The River Flows”-which is what they did. I hold the speakers as tight as I can to my head when I listen to “Where the River Flows” and last night there was no need to as the volume cranked up as high as my emotions. Pure perfection!!! Then just like that, they came back to earth with the ever popular-“Run.” I absolutely love this song and felt like my feet were lifting off the ground. One by one the members bowed and walked behind stage as Ed strummed the acoustic guitar, strolling back and forth across the stage as the crowd was singing “Have I got a long way to run…” as Ed exited quietly-still playing- out the back of the stage, it was another satisfying experience with the band called Collective Soul. Thank you Ed, Dean, Will, Joel and Cheney for a great time. Thanks for sticking it out and continuing to make such good music.

Set List:

1.       Welcome All Again

2.       Heavy

3.       Listen

4.       Tremble for my Beloved

5.       Why, Pt. 2

6.       Needs

7.       Dig

8.       You

9.       December

10.     Shine

11.     Hollywood

12.     The World I know

13.     I Don’t Need Anymore Friends

14.     Gel

15.     Better Now

16.     Staring Down (Encore)

17.     Where The River Flows (Encore)

18.     Run (Encore)

August 14, 2009

Weekly Update – 08/14/2009

Blink 182 with Fall Out Boy and All American Rejects at Madison Square Garden on Sun. Rocktober 4. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $20 – $75.50.

Van Morrison at the WAMU Theater at Madison Square Garden on Sun. Rocktober 25. Pre-sale tickets begin this morning at 11:00 a.m until 9:00 p.m. on Sunday and the password is: HEVAN. General public tickets on sale this Monday Aug. 17 at 10:00 a.m. $90 – $350.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Radio City Music Hall on Wed. Rocktober 23. Pre-sale tickets on sale now for American Express cardholders only until 11:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $29.50 – $39.50

Maxwell with Common and Chrisette Michele at Madison Square Garden on Mon. Sept. 28. Tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m. $20 – $254.50

Moby at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wed. Sept. 23. Tickets on sale today at noon. $32.50 ($35 day of show).

Peter, Bjorn and John at Terminal 5 on Tues. Nov. 10. Tickets on sale today at noon. $27.50 ($30 day of show)

The Big Pink at The Bowery Ballroom on Thurs. Dec. 3 and at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Fri. Dec. 4. Tickets on sale today at noon. $15

The Neville Brothers with Dr. John at the Wellmont Theater on Sat. Feb. 13, 2010. Tickets on sale today at noon. $40 and $55.

Elvis Perkins in Dearland at Bowery Ballroom on Fri. Dec. 4 and at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sat. Dec. 5. Tickets on sale today at noon. $16 ($18 day of show).

The Bravery at Terminal 5 on Thurs. Rocktober 8. Tickets on sale today at noon. $26 ($31 day of show).

Paramore at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Wed. Rocktober 23. Tickets on sale next Fri. Aug. 21 at 10:00 a.m. $32.50.

Straight No Chaser at Nokia Theater on Thurs. Dec. 17. Pre-sale tickets on now for American Express cardholders until noon today. General public tickets on sale at noon. $23, $28 and $33. If you want to go to a nice holiday show, this would be a great one.

The Pixies at Hammerstein Ballroom on Mon. –Wed. Nov. 23-25. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m $48 – $61.

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Mr. Les Paul who passed away yesterday at the age of 94. He was an inventor who changed the course of rock and roll with his distinctive guitar. In 1952, Gibson Guitars began production on their Les Paul guitars and they have been used by such legendary folks as Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend, Steve Howe and many others. Mr. Paul performed almost every Monday night at the Iridium Jazz club in NYC at 1650 Broadway for the past 12 years.

Update: Steven Tyler has a broken shoulder and there is no word yet on when the tour will resume. Shoulder injuries are tough to recover from, I had a bone spur removed in 2005 and it took a few years before it was back to normal. I’m assuming Tyler will get the best treatment there is to get him back on his feet.

Update: The fourth edition of “Guitar Hero” which mainly has Van Halen songs will be released on Dec. 28. The interesting part on all 28 songs that were picked is that Wolfgang is the bass guitarist depicted on the game. He wasn’t even alive when most of the songs were recorded. It’s a total slap in the face to Michael Anthony and it is just wrong. But I guess Eddie is in charge. It’s weird after all these years that Michael would be the one who seems to be vilified after all those years where Eddie said he would never work with Diamond Dave again.

My favorite “old school” song of the week is “I’m Your Puppet” by James & Bobby Purify. When is the last time you heard this classic from 1966? I was in my car listening to an oldies station here in CT when this song came on and started blasting it so loud. “They don’t make songs like this anymore.” On a side note, Patterson Hood’s (review of his album below) dad-Mr. David Hood-played the trombone part on this song.

My other favorite “old school” song of the week is “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. This song knocks me right out. Can it get any better than this song? Talk about pouring out your heart, soul and passion-that’s what makes it such a great song.

Bono’s wife, Ali Hewson, is suing Sir Paul McCartney’s daughter, Stella, for copyright infringement as Stella has released a new line of perfume called “Stella Nude.” Hewson owns a company called “Nude Skincare.”

Have you heard the new single by Train– “Hey Soul Sister”- You can check it out on Billboard.com (or any place you get music). I listened to it and I have to say I like it. It has a catchy hook. Their new album-“Save Me San Francisco” is due out on Rocktober 27.

LL Cool J has released a new single utilizing Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and calling it “Billie Jean Dream.” He raps over the song and I guess it’s OK. It will have to grow on me.

New album just out this past Tuesday by a guy named Gary Go, the album has the same title. I haven’t made the plunge but yet agin the 30 second samples sound real good. You may want to check this guy out. He also did a cover of The Cars “Drive” so you know he’s good in my book. The song “Wonderful” is the free I-Tunes song of the week and it is the first one in a long time that I have down loaded.

Megadeth has released a new single- “Head Crusher” in anticipation of its new album release- “End Game” which will hit on Sept. 15. You can listen to the single on their website. It is heavy, thrashing and crashing. If you are a Megadeth fan you will love it. I like it. \m/ \m/

Jet’s lead singer Nic Cester collapsed on stage this past Monday in London from dehydration and extremely low blood pressure. Nic take all the time you need to come back. Their new album “Shaka Rock” will be released on the 25th of this month. I listened to the previews on I-Tunes and this album sounds real good. I think “She’s A Genius” is one of the best songs released in 2009 so far.

The Foo Fighters will release a new single “Wheels” on Sept. 28 in front of a new album that is supposedly going to be issued in November. Can’t wait!!!

Alice In Chains and Elton John have collaborated (yes you are reading it correctly) on the title track of AIC’s new album “Black Gives Way to Blue” where Elton plays the piano. Jerry Cantrell sent Sir Elton an e-mail explaining that the song was a heartfelt tribute to Layne Staley and Elton loved the track and decided to be the guest pianist.

EP Review: “Tribute To: ” by Yim Yames (also known as Jim James) released on Aug. 4, 2009.

This is a tribute album for George Harrison performed by Jim James, the front man for My Morning Jacket, which was recorded a very short time after Harrison’s death in November 2001. Since MMJ has been on hiatus, James has gone down the folk path and changed his name to Yim Yames for this album-not sure why he did this but anyway. If you are a fan of Harrison’s music I think you will like it, I love all six songs that he has recorded. The songs are totally stripped down and to some may seem too slow or a bit of a downer but if you “get it”- you won’t be disappointed. He pours his heart and soul into it and the results are excellent.

“Long, Long, Long”- The original appears as the last song on side three of The White Album and Mr. James hits a homerun with this cover as his singing is so spot on, you’ll find yourself listening to this track over and over. He grabs the essence of George for this track as his softness and his high notes blend perfectly to make you drift off. It sounds like he was sitting on the edge of his bed after hearing of George’s death and decided to take his acoustic guitar and record this beautiful track. You can feel his passion as the guitar gets louder and he wails “So many tears I was searching..” For some, this will make you realize what a wonderful artist George was and how his influence on Mr. James bleeds through this song.

“Behind that Locked Door”- The first word that comes to my mind is “Wow.” Jim’s vocals are crystal clear and with a good set of headphones it will sound as if he is in the room with his guitar singing the song to you. This beautiful song appeared on George’s solo masterpiece-“All Things Must Pass” and Mr. James plays the guitar with sweet precision and makes me wish that George was around today so that both he and Jim could perform a duet to this song. I know George approves of all the songs Jim has covered but I think he might smile a little more with this track.

“Love You To”- Jim takes it down a notch from the original recording which appeared on “Revolver” but captures the spirit of the song with his guitar playing as he makes the acoustic sound something like the sitar that George learned from his days spent with Ravi Shankar. Mr. James has this way of making you mesmerized with his vocal style as you can not help but listen intently and personally I find myself hanging on every note played and sung by him.

“My Sweet Lord”- Talk about stripped down, this is another track that will knock you out as you will be awestruck from the opening chords. I’m not a record producer and don’t pretend to be but this sounds like it was recorded on the first take. When I hear this version I immediately think of George, especially highlights from his days as a Beatle- I can see the image of him getting off the plane way back in the 1960’s to come to the U.S. –images of him on the Ed Sullivan show and then I flash to his days with the Traveling Wilbury’s. Don’t ask me why but these are the images that come to me and I forget that Mr. James is doing the song. Pure perfection.

“Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)”- Again a slower version than the original but it doesn’t seem to matter because once more you will be enthralled by Jim’s vocals. For Jim to pick this lesser known classic from “All Things Must Pass” tells me how much he enjoyed George’s work and he puts all of himself into the song. Fabulous version.

“All Things Must Pass”- As many of you know from my top ten songs by George this one landed as number three and it is hard for me to believe that someone other than George could perform this song. Now I’m not going to get crazy and tell you that it is better than the original (none of them are) but that doesn’t mean that his version isn’t phenomenal-it is. I am completely blown away by this version, again fascinated by his closeness to the original ingredient(s) of what George was all about. This is always a tough song for me to listen to as I usually think of things that has changed in my life with losing my mother being at the top of that list. Jim takes me to the same place as George did with this song; sometimes you need that softness even though it’s painful.

Folks if you are a fan of Mr. James and/or George Harrison, this is a must. For those of you who follow Jim, this may introduce you to the world of George and for those of you who have followed George, this will open the door to the significant talent that Jim James possesses. Isn’t that what music is all about?

Album Review: “Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs)” by Patterson Hood released on June 23, 2009.

A few weeks back I did a review of the new album by The Dead Weather and a new reader to the blog by the name of Gary recommended that I check out a few new albums, which included this solo effort (his second) by Mr. Patterson Hood, who in his spare time co-heads the Drive-By Truckers band. I immediately went to I-Tunes to check out the thirty-second samples and liked what I heard but for some reason did not pull the trigger. As the weeks went on I kept going back to the album and really liked the 30 second samples but again didn’t take the plunge. But this past week it hit me that I should heed his advice and I’m here to tell you folks that I am a big fan of this album. Now I’m not sure if I will become a full fledged fan of the Drive-By Truckers just yet but that is what the great thing about discovering music- you can go at your own pace. There is something very appealing about this album that makes it stand out from the rest of the releases in 2009 and I think it is the “singer/song writer” aspect that hasn’t appeared that often since the good old days of Bob Dylan. The music world is filled with that “quick fix” or “instant gratification” as the need to have a “hit” can make or break most artists trying to make it big. Mr. Hood doesn’t seem to be worried about having that pressure as his talents take over and this will make you gravitate towards him. He is letting you know that he is out there if you are willing to give it a chance, as I did (thanks to Gary). This album is very pleasing to the ears and will make you appreciate the simpler things in life- I don’t know why I feel like that but I’m pretty sure it’s his music.

The title track kicks off the album with a slow trudging guitar riff that sort of reminds me of an even more pissed off Don Henley-if you can imagine that. Patterson wrote this song in 1994 so maybe he had a lot on his plate because the lyrics are very angry filled with vengeance. This is one of the heavier songs on the disc. “Pollyanna” quickly clears the air with an upbeat tune that has a nice groove along with an addictive chorus. The piano effort fills in nicely with the guitar playing. This is a perfect song if you are planning a road trip, traveling down the highway on a summer day with the dog sticking its head out the back window, which is rolled down just enough that the dog’s head fit. The kids in the back seat will watch the earth flash by them as they become enthralled with the song-it grows on you. “Pride of the Yankees” takes it down a notch but the music will have you swaying back and forth as you intently listen to the story of this song. “Now you I’m holding you here in my arms trying my best to shelter you from harm…” Patterson piano playing is top notch on this song as it sort of reminds me of an edgier song that “America” would make if they started out recording in 2009. “I Understand Now” is a rocking song that conjures up a John Mellencamp/Bryan Adams feeling for me as I am “air-guitaring” my way around the room as well as dancing. If you are looking for a “hit” this could very well be the song. Frank MacDonnell does a nice job on lead guitar. Track # 5 – “Screwtopia” – has a “Soundgarden” feel to it and the lyrics are very wacky. (Again it was written in 1994). It has a nice slow jam that will have you tapping your feet to the beat as you make believe you are drumming for the song. Patterson’s southern drawl really stands out on this song.“Granddaddy” has that “get around the campfire” and sing songs while roasting marshmallows. His songs have a way of sounding so nice and sweet and then the vinegar lyrics take you by surprise, sort of like when you have a drink that you think is sweet but the alcohol is clear and present. “Belvedere” is another head shaking song-again mostly mellow but we all have our favorite mellow albums (or songs) and this collection can be added to your list. I can’t really explain it but he keeps you interested in his songs and before you know it-four to five minutes have flown by.

“The Range War” is a cover of Todd Rundgren’s obscure classic and I could picture Neil Young helping out Patterson on this track, the whole tone of the song fits Neil like a glove. It’s a little slower than the original version but Patterson keeps the essence of the song intact. (He does another version of this song- a capella- at the end of the album which is fantastic). “She’s a Little Randy” is a finger snapping tune that was actually written for the movie “Randy and the Mob.” His songs tell a story in every one and this track has a definite Country feel to it. “Foolish Young Bastard” is a song that will have you singing along in no time and then you realize he’s cursing but for some reason it doesn’t seem like it because it sounds so nice. As I mentioned, his lyrics seem to cut to the bone and his southern twang reappears for this tune as well. “Heavy and Hanging” gets back to that edgier guitar sound-like the first track- and picks up the tempo about one minute into the song. There is a nice guitar solo enhanced by the piano in the background as Patterson’s vocals are top notch in this track. “Walking Around Sense” will definitely remind you of Neil Young as you will sway slowly back and forth as Mr. Hood starts to sing “They caught your mama underneath the Jaguar, she was acting so mad, I never seen her so sad..” This song takes me to a cornfield as I lay down with a blade of grass in my teeth underneath the warm blazing sun. Again there is another nice guitar solo on this track as they jam with the piano and drums as well. Track # 13- (CD version) “Back of a Bible” is my favorite track on the album. The first time I heard the song, it just grabbed me in a headlock and did not let go. I was mesmerized by the melody, his voice and the incredible guitar solo that he takes until the end of the song. The last song as previously mentioned-“The Range War” is just Patterson and a microphone-like the way they use to do it in the 1950’s.

“Murdering Oscar” is a solid album and very different for me, especially the last couple of weeks as I have been on an AC/DC kick (as well as Billy Squier). This is not a high energy album that will have you wailing and kicking around the room. It is an album that could be used for a long car ride, a house party or if you are listening to music by yourself-which is what I do a lot and have been doing for a very long time. Give it a chance and I bet you’ll be surprised at the results- I was. I am a fan of this album and will probably look to more from the man named Patterson Hood.

Staying with the mellow mood, I also have been listening to a heavy dosage of the Mamas & Papa’s this past week and as many of you know, this is one of my all time favorite harmonizing band. The funny thing is I know that my Aunt Gayle doesn’t like this band at all and I know she’ll be skipping right over this section. I guess maybe that is what this band does to people-either you love or “dislike” a lot. For me, the arrow shoots towards the love. So here are my favorite top ten songs from Mama Cass as well as John and Michele Phillips and Denny. (Michele is the only living member if you don’t count Jill Gibson, who filled in after Michele was ousted briefly from the band).

10.     Straight Shooter– Sort of has that “Monkees” feel to it but again the harmonization (is that a real word?) is awesome. This song to me depicts the folk, psychedelic and pop world that the Mama’s and Papa’s lived in during the mid to late 1960’s. I also think of “Laugh In” when I hear this song.

9.     California Dreaming– From the first note of this song, I am totally absorbed for the next two minutes and forty seconds as I think this is one of the most popular songs ever recorded, especially during the 1960’s. What I like to do is focus on one of the four singers in the song and follow them the whole way through and then listen again for the others.

8.     I Saw Her Again– This song reminds me of WCBS FM radio station in NY as they would play this tune many times, especially during the summer. (Maybe it should have been on my list of summer songs). It’s one of their most upbeat songs they have ever recorded. It’s a perfect song for your next Spin class.

7.     Go Where You Wanna Go– The part where Cass sings “You don’t understand that a girl like me can love just one man three thousand miles…” could very well be one of the best chorus’s ever recorded. It gets me every time, I drift away. Fantastic song.

6.     Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)– How awesome is this song? The arrangement is spectacular and again if you focus maybe on the women’s vocals only, then the men’s, it really is perfect harmonies. Makes me want to attend a reunion of Woodstock right now. Peace and love!!!

5.     Words of Love– Listen to this song and tell me Mama Cass was a fabulous singer. John Phillips wrote it but it is Ms. Cass’ song all the way. Listen to her passion and range, freaking phenomenal!!! A little over two minutes of pure perfection.

4.     Creeque Alley– Ok maybe this is the song that represents what the flower power era was all about. It narrates how the band formed with references to McGuinn, McGuire and Sebastian- all major forces during the psychedelic ‘60’s. “Greasin’ on our American Express cards” was a reference for when they lived in the Virgin Islands off of their credit cards.

3.     Dedicated to the One I Love– song that was covered by the Mamas & Papas and was the only song where Michele Phillips took the lead over Mama Cass. She does an outstanding job and their version of the song (which has been covered many times) is my favorite out of them all. It’s hard not to float away with Michele’s voice.

2.     Dream a Little Dream of Me– Technically a single for Cass as a solo artist, this classic written in the 1930’s and recorded by many artists but none better than the one recorded by Ms. Elliot. It has sold over a million copies since its release in 1968. I can’t even move when I hear her rendition, this could be one of the best recordings ever in music history-I’m serious. Listen to her voice and tell me you are not moved? You can’t-it’s impossible. Even the whistle at the end is great.

1.     I Call Your Name– Song written by John Lennon but McCartney was given credit as a writer but it was mainly John. This “rocker” song was turned into a ballad by the Mamas & Papas and dare I say that I like this version better than the Beatles version? I love the piano beginning and that groovy twist as I am gripped by their harmonies and this is by far my most favorite song by this band. Cass even whispers out loud “John” a few times to credit him with the song. The “Yeah” part that ends the song with all their vocals could be the best ending to a song ever. (I know I say that a lot but you get what I mean, right?!!)

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Chevy Chase

2.     Ramblin’ Man

3.     Quincy Jones

4.     Buffalo Springfield

This week’s trivia (Random)

1.     Who was the lead guitarist for the Amboy Dukes?

2.     After leaving The Animals, which band did Eric Burdon serve as its frontman?

3.     Which singer has been with Black Sabbath and Deep Purple?

4.     Who produced the number # 1 single –“We’re An American Band” by Grand Funk?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Release Me”- Englebert Humperdinck

2.     “I Have a Dream”-ABBA

3.     “Lose Yourself”-Eminem

4.     “T.N.T.”- AC/DC

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

1.     “Well, every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure”

2.     “Won’t you help me girl.. As soon as you can”

3.     “There ain’t no telling who you might meet, a movie star or maybe…”

4.     “But gold won’t bring you happiness when you are growing old..”

Sadly back on this day in 1958, Elvis Presley’s motherGladys, passed away at the young age of 46.

Back on this day in 1971, Diana Ross gave birth to her first child, Rhonda, and it turns out that Berry Gordy was the father.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with David Crosby (everyone talks about Keith Richards having nine lives but David is right up there as well), Dash Crofts and Steve Martin. (yes that Steve Martin of “King Tut” fame).

August 7, 2009

Weekly Update – 08/07/09

Regina Spektor at Radio City Music Hall on Wed. Rocktober 14. Pre-sale tickets on sale now until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: HEREGINA. General public tickets on sale Mon. Aug. 10 at 10:00 a.m. $39.50 – $49.50

Dethklok with Mastodon and Converge at Hammerstein Ballroom on Fri. Rocktober 30. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $34.50

Lucinda Williams at The New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Sat., Sun. & Mon. Rocktober 3, 4 & 5. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders on now. General public tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $39.50.

Killswitch Engage with All That Remains and Vision of Disorder at the Baystage at Jones Beach on Sat. Aug. 29. Tickets on sale today at noon. (Live Nation Event).

August Burns Red with The Acacia Strain and Impending Doom at The New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Sun. Rocktober 18. Tickets on sale today at noon. (Live Nation Event)

Kid Rock: A Benefit for the Institute of Music and Neurologic Function at Terminal 5 on Wed. Sept. 2. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only on now through 10:00 p.m. tonight. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $100.

Ray LaMontagne at the Beacon Theater on Wed. Nov. 11. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only now thru tonight at 6:00 p.m. Pre-sale tickets available this morning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: HERAY. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.. $34.50, $44.50, $60 & $70.

Ziggy Marley at the Wellmont Theater on Wed. Sept. 16. Tickets on sale today at noon. $26 ($31 day of show).

The Gaslight Anthem at Terminal 5 on Thurs. Rocktober 15. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $22.

Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Capital One Theater in Westbury NY on Sun. Rocktober 18. Tickets on sale today at 12:30 p.m. $59 and $69.

Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers with the Wood Brothers at the Town Hall on Sat. Sept. 26. Pre-sale tickets available this morning starting at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: metro. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $35 – $55.

Cypress Hill at Nokia Theater on Fri. Rocktober 30. Pre-sale for American Express cardholders only on now through noon today. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $36.

Roger Daltrey at Nokia Theater on Fri. Nov. 20. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $59.50. If you are part of The Who fan club you are eligible for pre-sale tickets on sale now.

Other items:

Steven Tyler fell off the stage Wednesday night during a performance in Sturgis South Dakota. He began dancing around the stage to entertain the audience after the sound system failed during “Love in an Elevator.” He was taken to the hospital where he suffered minor head and neck injuries. The injury bug has plagued Aerosmith during this tour as both Tom Hamilton and Joe Perry have had recent surgical procedures.

A new super group featuring John Paul Jones (don’t ask, you should know), Dave Grohl and Josh Homme are supposedly going to play a post Lollapalooza show this Sunday night in Chicago IL. The name of the new super group is Them Crooked Vultures. An album –“Never Deserved The Future” will supposedly be released on Friday Rocktober 23. Everyone associated with the project is “tight lipped” and very secretive.

Jack White will release a new single, as a solo artist, this coming Tuesday through I-Tunes and the song is titled “Fly Farm Blues.” I’m in for most anything he does.

Guitar Hero will release a mainly Van Halen game on Dec. 22 and the song titles were released. The songs are all with Diamond Dave on the mike and some really hard songs like “Loss of Control”, “Mean Street” and “Hot For Teacher” are included. The entire list of songs are phenomenal. Look for it right around the holidays.

Eddie Van Halen will have a cameo role this fall when “Two and a Half Men” returns to prime time TV on Sept. 21. Eddie is reportedly a big fan of the comedy series.

Kiss now has a “Bingo” game out and this coming Rocktober their faces will appear on M&M candies for a limited time only. I have to give it to Gene, this guy just makes money. Trent Reznor was way out of line by saying that Gene & the boys were “clowns who put on make-up at an old age.” Trent: grow up man. You think Kiss was the only band that put make up on? What about New York Dolls, Alice Cooper and Motley Crue? You’re just jealous that Gene is still making some major coin because he never stops working. And your freak of a band wouldn’t have had the success if Kiss didn’t pave the road for many bands out there. (And of course there were other bands that paved the way for Kiss).

A few weeks back, I received very positive feedback from readers when my oldest son, 14, gave a review of the sophomore record by Rob Thomas. I asked him to review any artist he wanted with a respective album and he chose John Mayer, “Where The Light Is.” He has actually made me discover Mayer and I have to admit some of his music is growing on me. So the review below was written by my oldest son. (My younger son has also jumped into the fray below).

Album Review: “Where The Light Is” by John Mayer released on July 1, 2008.

Many people might laugh at this but “Where the Light Is” by John Mayer is probably one of my favorite albums of all time. It came out in 2008, right around the time when I was really starting to get more interested in music, and was the first album I ever bought. I bought the album for one reason, because I liked John’s cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.”I liked it so much I decided to give the album a chance and I bought it. Over time I became addicted to the album. I just couldn’t stop listening to it; every time I listened to it I found another reason why I love it so much. The album is divided into three sets, the first being acoustic, the second being the John Mayer Trio, and the third being the full band set. Mayer seems to be a different person in every set; it is amazing how one man can be a calm acoustic singer, a jamming blues singer, and a hit recording artist. This live album truly shows why John is not a “Dave Matthews Wanna Be” he is the real deal.

Acoustic Set:

The album starts off with the acoustic set which is my favorite set out of the whole CD. John comes out with his acoustic guitar and starts playing “Neon”, which is from his first album “Room for Squares.” Out of all the songs on the album this is the one that took me the longest to like. One day it came on IPod shuffle and I was like “Wow this is actually a good song!!”So this is a great song to kick off a great album. Then John goes into playing “Stop This Train” from his latest album “Continuum.” This is a fantastic acoustic version of the song and blows away the studio version. What amazes me about John Mayer is that he puts so much passion into his live songs especially the acoustic ones. The next song is my favorite John Mayer song called “In Your Atmosphere.”Although this song is not on any of his studio albums this song quickly became my favorite. From the opening guitar chords to the incredible ending verse this song puts me in a trance. The vocals are perfect and the whole performance is full of heart. John then starts to play the opening chords of his Grammy Awarded song “Daughters.”Arguably his most popular song, he plays a nice acoustic rendition of it. This song shows off John’s songwriting skills. After this John starts playing “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty. Before you say anything I admit that this version is not better than the original, but it comes pretty close. One of the main reasons this album was criticized for was this cover of a classic song. As I already said this amazing cover made my purchase this album and I’m glad I did. John really blew me away with this song and it is simply amazing. This ends the acoustic set and John leaves the acoustic part of himself behind as he transforms into what seems is a different person.

Trio Set:

The next set has John come out with Pino Palladino on bass and Steve Jordan on drums. Together they are the John Mayer Trio. They come out playing “Everyday I Have The Blues” and John immediately switches into “guitar mode.” From this song on there are guitar solos galore. He proves that he can really play blues music and that he is one of the leading guitarists of our time. Next The Trio plays a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Wait Until Tomorrow.” They do an excellent job with this making almost equivalent to the original. One thing that I noticed in this song is the quality of Steve Jordan’s drum playing. He really is an excellent blues drummer. After that they prove that they have good songs of their own by playing their hit song “Who Did You Think I Was.” This song shows how tight the Trio is, they play with an energy that can’t be duplicated in a studio. There’s a part in the song when the drums kick in and all of the sudden John plays a nice rock solo, it’s very cool. The next song is my favorite Trio song “Come When I Call.”It’s actually a B-Side from their only album “Try!”I’ve listened to this song so many times I can hum the guitar solo without even listening to the song, it’s such an amazing song. “Good Love Is On The Way” is the next track which has more of a rock n roll feel to it than most of the other songs.After than John quickly launches into a slow blues jam which is “Out Of My Mind.” This 10 minute 10 second song is the perfect example of their ability to perform as a “jam band.” This also shows off John’s guitar chops as he plays a solo that lasts well over than 5 minutes. The Trio cools down after than performance and plays a lighter song called “Vultures.” This is also one of my favorite songs on the Trio Set.The last song of the set is “Bold As Love”, another Jimi Hendrix cover, in which Mayer gives a speech in the middle of the song. Then he goes into the solo one more time and the curtains close on the John Mayer Trio Set.

Band Set:

In the Band Set John Mayer proves that he can make great radio worthy songs. He plays songs that everyone can sing along.He starts it by playing his hit song “Waiting On The World To Change.” The great thing about John is that is sounds so much better live than on studio albums. He is freer on stage and just has more energy than the studio recordings. The next three songs are personal favorites of mine.“Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” is the next song and is my favorite song in the Band Set. You can tell John is pouring his heart and soul into his songs and I think this is the best example of it. After the guitar solo at the end of the song John plays a lighter song from his first album “Room for Squares.”The song is “Why Georgia” and it sounds so much better than the studio version. The audience even sings a verse without John because every fan knows every word to it; this song is like his anthem. The next track is “The Heart of Life” from “Continuum” and is done beautifully. Vocals are suburb on this song.Mayer then pumps up the volume with a cover Ray Charles’s “I Don’t Need No Doctor.”This song has an excellent guitar solo and an even better saxophone solo in it.

Next is the Grammy Award winning song “Gravity.” This is hands down one of Mayer best songs ever written and this live performance is pure magic. Clocking at almost 10 minutes He pours his heart into this beautiful song from the vocals to the two breathtaking guitar solos, this is certainly one of his masterpieces. After the last solo John slows it down with another long song “I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)” which is another fantastic song. The song is great until the end where the guitar solo gets a little loud for my taste. After the solo John plays the opening to another Grammy Nominated winning song “Belief.” What is interesting about this song is the lyrics which are about how you can never get everyone to believe the same thing.“We’re never gonna win the world, we’re never gonna stop the war if belief is what we’re fighting for.” This is a great up tempo song with fantastic guitar too. Then John sings “It’s really over you made your stand…” which is the opening to “I’m Gonna Find Another You” the last track on the album. Another personal favorite of mine John plays the song with much more feeling than the studio version and is a perfect show closer for a spectacular live album.

Overall Opinion:

This is one of best live albums out there today, if you like John Mayer there is no doubt that you will enjoy this album if you don’t already have it (which you should). If you are not a fan of Mr. Mayer’s three studio albums “Room For Squares”, “Heavier Things”, and “Continuum” then I can assure you, you will like this album because it has so much more energy and shows off John’s real guitar skills. This is without a doubt my favorite John Mayer album and it will pretty hard for him to ever top an album like this.

Key Tracks:

Acoustic Set – Neon, In Your Atmosphere, Free Fallin’

Trio Set – Come When I Call, Wait Until Tomorrow, Vultures, Bold As Love

Band Set – Slow Dancing In A Burning Room, Gravity, I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You), I’m Gonna Find Another You

OK my youngest son, 11, wanted to give his review of the AC/DC show at Giants Stadium, so without further adieu, here is his opinion on the concert:

AC/DC at Giants Stadium

A week ago today my dad and I had gone to see AC/DC at Giant Stadium. AC/DC is the band that basically started me down the path of rock and roll. AC/DC is one of my favorite bands. My dad always said they’d throw a heck of a concert and he was absolutely right. This was an excellent concert. A couple of days before, I went to see Green Day at Madison Square Garden. Green Day was good, but AC/DC was so much better.

Giant Stadium was excited for AC/DC, but had to wait as there were two other opening acts. First was The Answer, a new Irish rock and roll band, well new to some people. They played some of their latest songs. I could not catch the names of the songs because of his accent, but their new album “Every Day Demons” is on iTunes. The next band was terrible and they are supposedly popular. There name was Anvil and they stank!!!!! The lead singer sounded like a dying horse who smoked all of his life. Speaking of smoking, he said that he and his band-mates were big marijuana smokers in front of the police and security of Giants Stadium. I wouldn’t be surprised if the were arrested after their performance. Finally Anvil finished and a cartoon of Angus Young jumping off a train came upon a huge screen, then a big train on the stage exploded as the band jumped out of the “wreckage” to play “Rock n’ Roll Train”- one of my favorite songs.

When they started to play “Rock n’ Roll Train,” my dad yelled-“Get up, no sitting at an AC/DC concert”. It felt so great to see that AC/DC still has that rock n’ roll spirit in them. After “Rock n’ Roll Train” they played “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Live.” I didn’t really know that song so I decided to sit down. The song was pretty good, but during the song I realized that all three bands that played last Friday, started with the letter “A”. Next was one of their most popular songs- “Back in Black.” This song is great because it proves that even after the death of a great singer, AC/DC can still bounce back and rock hard. Then they played one of their new songs “Big Jack.” It was really good. Next was another favorite of mine “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” My dad and I rocked out to that song. It’s one of the great classics of AC/DC. “Shot Down in Flames” was new to me as well. Then they played “Black Ice.” I have played that song on my iPod so many times since the album came out last October. Next was their most popular song “Thunderstruck.” This was also a great song and I love it. The show became funny when they played “The Jack” because Angus took his pants off. I love it how Angus feels like he’s so young spirited. The performance of “Hells Bells” was superb; the way the bell came down on the stage and Brian swung on the string of the bell. “Shoot to Thrill” was new song to me and it was awesome! Next was “War Machine.” There was a cool cartoon of planes dropping long necked guitars on the enemies. “Dog Eat Dog” was another great classic that they played. They played “Anything Goes” from there new album and went right into “You Shook Me All Night Long.” This song was actually played at my mom and dad’s wedding.

Next was the ultimate AC/DC song everyone knew the words. “TNT” rocked the stadium when everyone was screaming “Oi, Oi, Oi.” After one rockin’ song they went on to an even bigger rockin’ song, “Whole Lotta Rosie.” This part was the greatest part of the show for me when they played “Let There Be Rock” and Angus Young went into a 45 minute guitar solo. In the Bryan Adams song-“Summer of ‘69” he says “I played until my fingers bled,” well that is what Angus did. In my opinion, Angus Young is the greatest guitar player ever! He even went on this platform that raised him up high the air. He was on the floor going crazy. Once I saw that I said to myself: I’m looking at greatness right now and this greatness was amazing.

The first encore was “Highway to Hell.” That was pretty cool. Then they played the famous “For Those About to Rock.” My uncle told me that my chest was going to pop out when I heard the cannons. “Fire!”…..KABOOM!!!!!

My uncle was right, my chest actually hurt for a while after the 21 gun salute. I was speechless because I was so amazed on how great that concert was. They even had a giant fireworks display. The only thing I said to my dad is- “Dad, I can’t sleep.”

AC/DC FOREVER!!!!!!

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     False

2.     Alternating Current/Direct Current

3.     Brian May.

4.     Rock Me Tonite

This week’s trivia (Random)

1.     What famous comedian played the drums for Donald Fagen and Walter Becker in their first band?

2.     What was the only Top 10 hit for the Allman Brothers?

3.     Which artist has been nominated for the most Grammy’s of all-time?

4.     Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fame played for what band before CSN&Y?

 

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Bust A Move”- Young MC

2.     “Always On My Mind”-Willie Nelson

3.     “Land of 1000 Dances”-Wilson Pickett

4.     “Roundabout”- Yes

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

1.     “You’d be a fool to cling to me.. to live a life to bring us pain”

2.     “And my destination makes it worth the while.. pushing through the darkness…”

3.     “He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready.. To drop bombs…”

4.     “So lock up your daughter.. and lock up your wife..”

Back on this day in 1970, Christie McVie joined Fleetwood Mac.

Back on this day in 1974, Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band married actress Faye Dunaway. (The marriage lasted 5 years).

Back on this day in 2002,  Yes was saluted with a day in their honor in the city of Philadelphia.

Back on this day in 2003, The Osmonds received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Herb Reed (“The Platters”) and B.J. Thomas.

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