Errols Weekly Music Update.

September 25, 2009

Weekly Update – 09/25/09

Them Crooked Vultures at Roseland Ballroom on Thurs. Rocktober 15. Pre-sale tickets on sale now for Citi card holders only. General public ticket on sale is tomorrow at noon. $45.

Snoop Dogg at Nokia Theater on Thurs. Rocktober 29. Tickets on sale today at noon. $49.99

“Powerhouse 105.1” featuring Chris Brown, Keri Hilson, Fabolous and many more at the Izod Center on Tues. Rocktober 27. Pre-sale tickets on sale today at 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. and the password is: Access. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $48, $60.50, $78 and $203.

Kayne West and Lady GaGa on their “Fame Kills” tour stopping at the Izod Center and Nassau Coliseum on Tues. Dec. 22 and Sun. Jan. 3, 2010, respectively. Pre-sale for Citi card holders only begins next Thurs. Rocktober 1 at 10:00 a.m. General public tickets on sale next Sat. Rocktober 3 at 10:00 a.m.

Twisted Sister at Nokia Theater on Sun. Dec. 6 for “Christmas on Broadway.” Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only until noon today. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $39.99

The Cranberries at Nokia Theater on Wed. Nov. 18. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only go on sale next Wed. Sept. 30 at 10:00 a.m. and goes until noon on Fri. Rocktober 2. General public tickets on sale next Fri. Rocktober 2 at noon. $35.

Govt. Mule at the Beacon Theater on Thurs. Dec. 31. Tickets on sale next Fri. Rocktober 2 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Vince Neil at The Capital One Theater in Westbury NY on Wed. Nov. 25. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. $39 and $49.

Elefant at the New York Fillmore on Sun. Nov. 15. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $18 ($20 day of show).

311 at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Fri. Nov. 27. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders only on sale now through next Thurs. Rocktober 1 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale next Fri. Rocktober 2 at 10:00 a.m. $49.50.

Slightly Stoopid at Terminal 5 on Thurs. Nov. 19. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders up until 11:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon.$29.50.

Longwave at the Bowery Ballroom on Sat. Nov. 14. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders up until 11:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $13.

Kenny Rogers at Mohegan Sun on Sat. Dec. 5. Tickets on sale Mon. Rocktober 5 at 10:00 a.m. $35.

DMX at BB Kings on Sun. Nov. 22. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $30.

Other items:

The nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2010 were announced this week and for the first time, KISS has been selected despite being eligible for the past ten years or so. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were chosen on their first year of eligibility as well as LL Cool J. Other nominations include Genesis, The Stooges, The Hollies (how they are not in the Hall already is a travesty), Darlene Love, Donna Summer, ABBA, The Chantels (some great songs- “Maybe” “The Plea” and “I Love You So”-They are in), Laura Nyro and Jimmy Cliff. This is the most diverse set of artists that has ever been nominated.

I would have to say that even though I love Kiss, I’m not sure if they will get voted in this year-although that may be doubtful because now that they have put their name in the hat as they begin their 35th anniversary tour- so why nominate them now after all these years and not put them in? (see Black Sabbath). And to be quite honest, I really have to think about putting these guys in the same Hall that houses the King, The Beatles and The Mighty Led Zeppelin as well as many others which are “no brainers.” I will equate Kiss to the late Gil Hodges (not that I ever saw him play) who never went into the Baseball Hall of Fame even though there have been many, especially from Brooklyn, who have stated that he deserves to be in the Hall. Kiss will have their “section” of fans that will strongly feel that they deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and just like many who point to Bill Mazeroski, who made the Baseball Hall, even though his stats are-in the opinion of many- not Hall of Fame “worthy”-the Kiss fan will point to the “non-rock” Hall of Famers and say that they should be in just on that fact alone. I would say that is not a real argument and if you look who has been voted into the Hall in the same genre as Kiss, I would say that the bands that are in there already are better than Kiss, again in my opinion. Please “Kiss Army” don’t hate me, I love Kiss but again I’m on the fence- I can see the arguments from both sides. If Rush and Deep Purple can be ignored for so long, it makes you wonder about this nomination.

Again, no offense to the Chili Peppers but I don’t see them as a first time ballot Hall of Fame band. These guys deserve to get in but I’m not sure they should go in on their first year of eligibility. Think The Who, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and obviously the Beatles.. these are all first time, no doubt about it Hall of Famers… now when I think RHCP I’m not there on the first ballot. Same goes for LL Cool J- the man was a pioneer and made an impact on the genre known as “Rap” but do you think of him the same way as you would Run DMC? Probably not, there are even some fans who would say that Public Enemy made more of an impact than LL but again I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve to be in there-just not in his first year.

When I think about The Hollies and The Stooges not being in the Hall of Fame it’s like I’m in a dream state, can this be true? The Hollies, not in the Hall? With all their great songs?Are you kidding me? The Stooges need to be in based on the impact they made on their genre of punk. The Hollies need to be in based on the beauty of their songs. Darlene Love has put in her dues and time so she as well deserves to be voted in. She was on the ground floor of females who made music that will last forever. She made timeless classics and if there was no Darlene Love, there would not be the many who followed her. If the cement basement is the foundation, she’s the earth underneath that cement. The same goes for the Chantels, they were there in the beginning and blasted down the doors which made it possible for women bands to be taken seriously. They made some great songs and I clearly remember my dad playing their songs many times in our house growing up. The song “The Plea” was always a party favorite at the house and I heard that song “many a times.”

I would have to say that Donna Summer and ABBA will have to wait at least another year before they get in, I think both eventually will get in but it will be close. I was never a big fan of Genesis- I know there is a huge division of the fan base as the original fans will say that Peter Gabriel made Genesis and they were never the same after he left. But on the other hand, The Phil Collins era put them on the road to “commercial” success. In my opinion, this band deserves to be in.

I have to hand it to the advertising team for Visa because the latest TV commercial depicting a cross section of people dancing to Rick James “Super Freak” is the best commercial out there right now. How cool is this commercial? I love it.

Pearl Jam has released its ninth studio album-“Backspacer”- and Rolling Stone Magazine gave it a four star rating. Brendan O’Brien is back at the controls and it’s the first time since he did “Yield” with them back in 1998. RS points out that this new album is their best effort since “Yield.” The entire album is only 37 minutes long- a definite “throw-back” time like those of the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Eminem and Apple Inc. are going to trial as talks have broken down between the two entities. M has accused I-Tunes of having used 93 of his songs in a downloadable format without his permission. His management team has stated that they want part of the $16M profit that Apple has made off of the 93 songs and $4M from “Aftermath Records” who supposedly approved the digital downloads.

Alice In Chains new album- “Black Gives Way to Blue” –which will be released this Tues. Sept. 29 did not receive a favorable rating from Rolling Stone as it only muscled out a 2.5 star rating. We’ll see what the fan base of Alice has to say on AIC’s first album with new singer Will DuVall. I do like their new single “Check Your Brain” sounds like the classic AIC we’re all use to.

Harry Connick Jr. has released an album of “covers” called “Your Songs” and according to I-Tune listeners it’s not so good. Many are asking where the real Harry has gone. He covers Sinatra, The Beatles and The Carpenters among many others. Check it out.

Children of Bodom, a heavy metal band, has put out a “covers” album themselves and actually do a Britney Spears song “Oops I Did It Again” and I’ll tell you what- I love it. They do a fast moving version of the CCR classic- “Looking Out My Back Door”- hold on tight!!! They cover Poison, Pat Benatar as well as Judas Priest and others. Check it out, I think you’ll like it. This is the pick of the week.

Carrie Underwood has released a new single called “Cowboy Casanova.” Is there anything that this woman can’t do? She can sing softly, “country” and rock out when she wants to-this is a country/rock song that will rattle your boots. Check it out.

Janet Jackson has released a new single called “Make Me” and man this is a fast moving song. This will be at the clubs this weekend, if it hasn’t been already. Get ready to dance your butt off. I like it.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley will be on the Howard Stern show on Tues. Rocktober 6 to promote their new album “Sonic Boom.” Less than 11 days to its release and less than 15 days to their show at Madison Square Garden. Did you get tickets? Don’t be shut out.

Album Review: “The Monsters of Folk” by The Monsters of Folk released on September 22, 2009.

I have to tell you that Jim James (otherwise know as “Yim Yames” on this album) has really grown on me and there is something about the music that is in him that draws me in. He has hooked up with Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of “Bright Eyes” Fame as well as M. Ward (the other half of “She & Him”) and created such a pleasant album that should put a smile on your face. There really isn’t a bad track on the disc and this is the perfect CD for just hanging out with friends on the back deck or inside the house for a dinner party. I was never a really big fan of the Grateful Dead but my gut tells me that their followers would be attracted to this album. If you looking for a piece of work to just “chill out” and enjoy, then look no further than to this recording, you will not be disappointed.

The album starts off with the soul like “Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)” and conjures up images of Marvin Gaye singing while George Harrison plays the sitar for me. The harmonization of the voices is stunning and it sounds like each of them takes a turn singing parts of the song which adds to the enhancement of the track as each has their own distinctive style. ‘Say Please” believe it or not makes me think of Soundgarden, I could picture Cornell digging this tune and playing it with his old band mates. There is a nice electric (yes electric) guitar solo in the middle that will catch your ears and make you stand at attention. This song will be on the radio very soon, if it is not already-very catchy tune. “Whole Lotta Losin’” is an upbeat song and after you hear it for the first time, you’ll be saying “Man that is a good song.” A great musical arrangement utilizing the piano with the guitar and just might remind you of a “RockPile” tune. “Temazcal” is a “down to the bone” very raw sounding tune which will quickly have you close your eyes and sway your head back and forth. This will also take you back to the early days of CSN&Y as you wonder where the music of that generation has gone, well it is right here and it’s downright enchanting. The “Right Place” is one of my favorite tracks on the album and it clearly has “My Morning Jacket” influence written all over it and that’s because of Mr. James. I’m telling you know folks, this album will flow so nice and quickly, that is a tell tale sign that an album is good. Sing this song around the fire on you next camping trip, this is nice. ‘Baby Boomer” definitely sounds like something that CSN could have recorded back in the 1960’s. It almost has that “Simon & Garfunkle” feel to it as well. The song is a finger snapping tune as you lie in a field of grass on a hot summer day. “Man Named Truth” reminds me of a song that Pete Seeger would perform; it has a nice melody with a twinge of banjo that accentuates the tune. This is folk music at its best. “Goodway” is a short sweet song that sounds like something that the Everly Brothers would record today if they were still around. It has that country feel to it, a knee slapping good time.

Track # 9 – “Ahead of the Curve” could be the best track on the disc and it will make you either listen to it so many times that you know the lyrics or you look up the lyrics (sorry I bought from I-Tunes) to sing along. I’m real impressed by this quartet, vocally as well as their talents musically. “Slo Down Jo” is a raw song that sounds like Yim on his tribute to George Harrison, this is the most laid back tune on the disc. I would even recommend this song for new parents to sing to your baby to help them fall asleep. It’s that soft… “Losing Yo Head” is the perfect song for a barn dance and is the most upbeat song on the album but still has that “folk” feel to it. Again the harmonies are top notch as Yim takes the lead vocals. This is up there as one of the best tracks on the disc, it is pure fun. “Magic Marker” takes it back down with that clear hollow sound (do you know what I’m talking about?). This song resonates in Elvis Costello’s corner as I could definitely see him singing along with the boys-or Monsters as they are known-to this tune. Very nice, calm and soothing song. “Map of the World” starts off real low and quickly ascends into a finger snapping “Simon & Garfunkle” like tune. I’m not sure who is singing the lead but he really sounds a lot like Mr. Simon, I bet Paul would like this tune as well. It takes a little too long to end but other than that, no complaints. “The Sandman, The Brakeman and Me” (weird title I know but that’s what’s in) is a story for many commuters who can relate to being on a long train ride home after a lenghty tough day at work. Warning, if you listen to this song you might become so relaxed that you may fall asleep and miss your station stop. (You know how annoying that can be, right?). This song will calm the children right as they head for bed. The last track on the disc –“His Master’s Voice”- is a wonderful tune that is very spiritual and you will be hooked on the lyrics. As the track ended I was splendidly surprised on how much I like this album. After only one reason, I’d venture to say that for its genre, this could be the best one made this year and would definitely crack my top 20 albums of 2009. If you are looking for something very laid back, with a sprinkle here and there of some spice, then this is the album for you. This has excellent musicianship as well as fantastic vocals. Buy it now.


This past week while “channel surfing” I came across a show on VH1 and at that particular moment was a duo performing a “knock-out” song and I immediately dropped the clicker. It was Kelly Clarkson teaming up with the phenomenally talented Melissa Etheridge performing one of Melissa’s classics- “Bring Me Some Water.” (The show was some kind of “Diva” special with Paula Abdul as the host and I caught the tail end of the special-it appeared there were more than a couple of past American Idol female contestants). Their performance blew me away and set me on the path of pulling out some of Melissa’s albums to determine what I think are her ten best songs. Again this is hard because her catalog is full of so many quality songs. I defy you to find a singer with more passion than Melissa Etheridge. She gets me so psyched when she just…well does… what she does. She can flat out rock with the best of them and then pour her heart out on the next tune and bring tears to your eyes. I remember the first time I saw her with my wife; we went to NYC when they use to hold out door concerts on the West Side, as she opened for Little Feat. There was a real buzz about the opening singer that night and everyone milling around told their neighbor not to wander away because we were all about to witness the next big artist on the music scene. Needless to say they were right, both my wife and I were blown away by her performance. The next time she came around to NYC she sold out the Beacon Theater for three straight nights and the rest they say is history. She has overcome so much in her career but the one thing that has remained constant is her enthusiasm to create the best music that bleeds out of her. There are moments in music history which people will never forget and for me, her performance on the 2005 Grammy Awards show will forever be etched in my memory bank as she respectfully and fervently covered Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” Melissa:your music is a part of my life (and many others) and for that I thank you. With that said, here are my picks for her top ten songs: (If I were allowed eleven songs, number eleven would be “Angels Will Fall” from her 1999 release “Breakdown”).

10.     Occasionally– The first time I heard this song was when she opened for Little Feat- it was just her voice, her guitar and her hand using the guitar as a bongo to create one of the most unbelievable raw songs that I have ever heard. I can clearly remember being around so many people but this song had a way of lifting me off the ground and I felt like it was just Melissa singing to me.

9.     2001– This could be one of the coolest songs she has ever recorded and if you listen closely you would think that U2 was the backing band on this tune. This is the hidden classic on her super solid “Never Enough” album which was released in 1992. “Meet me in two, zero, zero one” and then she jams away on the guitar. Put this song on with a good set of headphones and believe me you will be blown away on how great this song is.

8.     Skin Deep Every time I put this song on, I squint my eyes and try to match the avid way that she sings her songs. This song has a funky grove that will have you shaking your shoulders while your feet try to keep up with the beat. It’s a “stop & go” type song and when she wails on the acoustic guitar in the middle of the tune.. well I’m speechless.

7.     Breathe– I was trying to stay away from “covers” (obviously the aforementioned “Piece of My Heart” is pure greatness) but her spin on this 1992 “Greenwheel” single is something that can not be ignored, dare I say it is better than the original? In my opinion, most times covers are not as good as the originals but as usual there are always exceptions to the rules and in this case I would state that this version is stellar.

6.     Let Me Go –“Am I the snake inside your Garden?” is the very cool opening lyrics to this friggin’ powerful song from her second album “Brave and Crazy.” Put this song on and tell me this is not great rock and roll or just plain great music, no need to put a label on it, right? Love the bass lines that climb up and down while Melissa keeps the train moving with her acoustic guitar playing.

5.     I Run for Life– Obviously we all know what it was written for and again the first time I heard it, I wanted to climb up the same steps that Rocky does in Philly. “They will never get a piece of my soul..” That what this woman has- SOUL!!!I can remember riding the bike in Spin class as this song blared from the speakers and we were in “standing” position, pushing ourselves all the way to the make believe yellow finish line, brings a tear to the eye.

4.     This Is Not Goodbye– This is one of those songs that when I put it on, I know I am going to cry. (like “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. or “Calling All Angels” by Lenny Kravitz). It is a very painful song to listen to but for some reason I can not tear myself away from it, I try, believe me I try, but her voice is so spectacular that it keeps me hanging on every word that she sings. Pure masterpiece.

3.     I’m The Only One – Melissa has this very distinct style of the blues/rockabilly and I think this song solidifies my theory. When is the last time you have heard this song? Do yourself a favor, this weekend while you are cleaning the house, open all the windows and make sure the walls shake as you keep putting up the volume. The chorus is addictive and you will be singing “But I’m the only one…” all day long.

2.     Bring Me Some Water– As mentioned above when I saw Kelly and Melissa performing this classic it really took me back to the early days when she was just bursting on to the music scene. This song will rock your socks off. It has it all- rhythm, blues, rock, roll and just about anything else that makes you get out of your seat and most of all- the passion. You will be acoustic air-guitaring as you bounce around the room and try to match the spirit and soul of Ms. Etheridge- No- you’re going to have to try harder. C’mon with some more heart!!! OK you are getting close. This is what she does to you.

1.     Like The Way I Do –Ok you’re probably saying- “finally he has picked a number one song that I know”- and I know she has made so many great songs after this appeared on her first album but there is something about this song that psyches me up in a way that no other song does. She “had me on the very first notes of the song.” This is the ultimate song for passion. I’d say that this is the most passionate song ever recorded. Melissa puts everything into this song- her heart, soul, muscle, sweat and tears. When she rips into the microphone towards the end of the song and belts out “electrify and roooccckkk yoooouuu” you have to ask yourself- does it get any better? Well the answer is no. This is a top 100 rock and roll song of all-time, period end of story.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Rick Wills

2.     Jason Bonham

3.     Tramontane

4.     Three. “Debut,” “Double Vision” and “Head Games”

This week’s trivia (Random)

1.     True or False? Steven Tyler of Aerosmith does not like to be called Steve?

2.     Who was a staff song writer for “Happy Days” and “Joanie Love Chachi” before joining KISS in 1982?

3.     Jimmy Page is regarded as one of the best guitarists ever with his work with Led Zeppelin. Who did he play with before Led Zeppelin?

4.     For whom did the Eagles serve as a back-up band?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Free Will”- Rush

2.     “Rock and Roll Band”-Boston

3.     “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen”-Neil Sedaka

4.     “Love Train”- The O’Jays

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

1.     “I have a mansion, forget the price.. ain’t never been there, they tell me it’s nice..”

2.     “If you want to live your life, live it all the way and don’t waste it..”

3.     “Just say you will, say you will, say you will…”

4.     “You love her, but she loves him and he loves somebody else..”

Sadly back on this day in 1980, and one of the saddest days in music history, John Bonham– the greatest rock drummer of all time in my opinion, passed away. Obviously later that year, the nation was shocked when Lennon was killed. But if you were old enough to remember, this was as much a shock to the system as Lennon was. Led Zeppelin was never the same again and nor could they be.

Sadly back on this day in 1975, Jackie Wilson suffered a heart attack during a performance in Cherry Hill NJ. He lapsed into a coma and then passed away eight years later.

Back on this day in 1970, The Patridge Family TV show made its debut on ABC. The show lasted four seasons.

Back on this day in 1993, the Postal Service released a commemorative stamp of Patsy Cline.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Gary Alexander (The Association who did the classic “Cherish”).


September 18, 2009

Weekly Update – 09/18/09

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band at Madison Square Garden on Sun. Nov. 8. Tickets on sale today at noon. $69.50 – $102.50.

Stevie Wonder at the Borgota Event Center in Atlantic City on Sat. Rocktober 31. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Lenny Kravitz at the Wellmont Theater (Montclair NJ) on Fri. Rocktober 23. Tickets on sale today at noon. $59.50

The Cult at the Wellmont Theater (Montclair NJ) on Tues. Nov. 10. Tickets on sale now. $35.

R. Kelly has added a second show at the WAMU Theater at Madison Square Garden on Sat. Rocktober 17. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $59.50 – $89.50.

Rob Zombie at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Tues. Dec. 1. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $37 and $59.50. Also appearing at The Mohegan Sun on Thurs. Dec. 3. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $35.

Daughtry at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport CT on Tues. Nov. 17. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $29.75 and $39.75. (On sale “wrist band” between 8:00 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. Number will be drawn at 9:15 a.m. Anyone arriving after 9:15 a.m. goes to the back of the line).

Dashboard Confessional at the Nokia Theater from Mon. – Wed. Dec. 7 – 9. Tickets on sale now. $32. (Starting time for the show says 5:30 p.m.)

Devo at the New York Fillmore on Fri. & Sat. Nov. 20 & 21. Pre-sale tickets on sale now for Citi card holders only. General public tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $55.50 ($58 day of show).

Wolfmother at Terminal 5 on Sun. Nov. 8. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders up until 11:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon.$27.50.

Mark Knopfler at the United Palace Theater on Thurs. May 6, 2010. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Flyleaf at Gramercy Theater on Wed. Nov. 18. Tickets on sale today at noon. (Live Nation Event).

Jonny Lang at the Capital One Bank Theater in Westbury NY on Fri. Nov. 6. Pre-sale tickets for Citicard holders only on now. General public tickets on sale today at 12:30 p.m. $49.

George Benson at the Capital One Bank Theater in Westbury NY on Thurs. Rocktober 22. Pre-sale tickets for Citicard holders only on now. General public tickets on sale today at 12:30 p.m. $51.50 and $61.50.

Johnny Winter at the Stone Pony on Fri. Jan. 8, 2010. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Type O Negative at Starland Ballroom in Sayerville NJ on Fri. Rocktober 16. At the Webster Theater in Hartford CT on Tues. Rocktober 20. Also at the Nokia Theater in NYC on Thurs. Rocktober 22. And at “Metro” in Chicago IL on Fri. Rocktober 30 (For you Monica!) Ticket info to follow but should be soon. If you’re a fan check early and often.

For Parents: Jonas Brothers at Mohegan Sun on Fri. Rocktober 9. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $82 – $92.

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and band mates of Mary Travers, who passed away this past Wednesday Sept. 16, from the side effects of chemotherapy after successfully recovering from leukemia. Mary was part of the infamous trio- “Peter, Paul & Mary”- (“PP&M”) who are forever etched into the fabric of this country. They performed their music so gracefully but their message was way more important. They were right in the thick of the turbulence of the 1960’s and had this way of “calming the choppy waters.” PP&M were still going strong and sadly their last performance together was May 20, 2009. (There’s that date again for me, May 20, my mom passed away on that date in 2004). Can you think of another band that made you sing along to their songs faster than any other artist(s) out there? Take “Leaving on a Jet Plane” for example- this causes any crowd to immediately put their arms around the person next to them, start swaying and singing “So kiss me and smile for me.” Instinct quickly takes over and you don’t even realize it. (By the way this song-along with “If I Had a Hammer” have become a tradition at our annual New Year’s Eve party and everyone sings along-you just can’t help it). Or how about the enchanting “Wedding Song (There is Love)?” Can you imagine how many couples had this song as their first dance? Their catalog is extensive and you really should own at least a few songs in your music library. (Of course “Puff The Magic Dragon” has to be mentioned and they have many more) “Baseball, apple pie and Peter, Paul & Mary…” Mary: Thank you for your beautiful voice and for making that voice heard in so many different ways. You will be missed. For a beautiful tribute to Mary, go to the PP&M website, click here

Ok by now everyone has had their opinion on Kayne West, even the President chimed in. I was not watching the MTV awards when Sal called my house and informed me of what Kayne had done, he could not believe it. (I stopped watching the MTV awards a few years back because it’s too painful to watch; it never seems organized and once I saw the same host this year I immediately changed the channel as quick as I could. Why can’t MTV go back to what it once was?, which was good). Since then I have seen the replays I think every hour on the hour. My two cents is that Mr. West should be banned from attending the next few award shows, including the Grammy’s. It’s enough already, he’s done this more than a few times and it is really getting old. His arrogance shines brighter than his talent, which is tremendous.

The buzz this week belongs to Megadeth as their new album release –“Endgame”- is getting rave reviews across the board, including the always tough to satisfy- the “” website. Blabber has given the album an 8.5 (out of 10) rating as well as the readers-which is a miracle because if it’s not “death metal” then “it ain’t no good.” Apparently Mustaine has a lot left in the tank and has put together a lineup that has produced a venomous piece of work that the thrash fans have been waiting for a long time. I will most likely make the plunge as I have been purchasing their latest albums before this one. \m/ \m/

Joe Satriani and Coldplay have settled their copyright lawsuit. Coldplay will not have to admit any wrongdoing for their song “Viva La Vida” which Satchamo claimed sounded an awful lot like his “If I Could Fly.” No details have been released as neither side is allowed to discuss the outcome but the lawsuit filed by Joe is now over.

Ace Frehley’s first album in 20 years- “Anomaly” was released this past Tuesday and according to I-Tune listener’s the wait was worth it as it scored a 4.5 star rating out of five. “Foxy & Free” kicks off the disc and I have to say it rocks baby!! “It’s a Great Life” is a “freaking nice tune.” “Space Bear” kicks… well you know. If you are an Ace fan it sounds like you won’t be disappointed.

Mark Knopfler has released a new album called “Get Lucky” and I have to say I like the title track very much. Fans of his will flock to this album and it is receiving solid reviews as well.

If you are looking for some really good “pop” music look no further than Marie Digbys “Breathing Underwater” album which was released this week. Songs like “Daybreak,” “Avalanche” and “Breathing Underwater” will definitely put a smile on your face.

Mariah Carey has covered Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is.” Now I know what you’re thinking about that song… well save it. Anything that can attract attention to one of my favorite all-time bands is something I will take. There’s no denying that song is one of the most popular pop songs ever recorded but yet at the same time was probably their downfall (ask Warrant about “Cherry Pie”). Anyways, she does a beautiful version and who knows this may catapult more interest in her new album coming out on Sept. 29-“Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” and at the same time, make people explore the huge talent of Foreigner. (see below my favorite ten songs from them).

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

Side one of Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood released on Sept. 1, 1989.

I can not believe it is the 20th anniversary since the release of Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood.” Now everyone has their own “secret indulgences” and I have to admit that Motley Crue is one of them. Now don’t get me wrong when I was in my “single early 20’s,” I was a huge fan and would always jump at the chance to see them live. I am still a fan and went to their reunion tour back in 2005 with my younger brother and a buddy, the show was great. But if you remember back earlier this summer when I wrote about “The Offspring” on this page and admitted that I liked their songs but made it clear that I listen to them by myself as some of the song titles, along with the content were sometimes juvenile as well as raunchy. I guess the same would apply for Motley Crue, I love their sound as well as their intensity and consider Tommy Lee one of the best rock and roll drummers out there. But fast forward twenty years later, as I approach the second half of the “forties” with two children now, I cringe a bit when I look at the song titles, as well as the content, and clearly have to listen to these songs by myself, either when I have the house to myself or in my car. But don’t get me wrong, I love the album (and all of you should know by now that it is all about the music) and am not ashamed to admit it but again it is a secret indulgence, but obviously if I am nominating side one as a perfect album side, it’s not too much of a secret, huh? Oh well I digressed, back to the music.

Side one kicks off with a 42 second intro called “T.N.T.” (Terror in Tinseltown) that begins with sort of an “ending” to a song as Tommy, Mick & Nikki jam and quickly fade out (it might remind you of “Eruption” by VH a little) as you hear voices coming over a CB channel and then BOOM!!! the title track is in your face with one of the best beginning hooks of any rock song made during the 1980’s. There is no other way to listen to this song but LOUD!!! Call it “hair rock” or “fake metal” or call it what you want, I don’t care- it gets me psyched and that is one of my criterions for music. Mick Mars, the guitarist, always looks like he’s sleeping but has a “lights out” guitar solo that will wake up most neighbors. One of the best memories I have of this song is when the health care trainer at MBIA asked me to make a CD together with some “fast moving” songs so as to use them in the “boot camp” class, so of course I obliged and put this track on the disc. Now most of the CD was rock and/or metal so when it came to this song towards the end of class, I guess some of the non-class gym members were getting a headache because as this song was blaring out of the speakers inside the group exercise room, a woman came running in the room holding her ears and demanding that Dave shut the song (and the rest of the CD) off because it was “horrible.” I have to be honest and say that I had a smile on my face because that is the same reaction I would get from my parents when I was younger and would blast off to this song. (I was hoping that Dave would play it again). Track # 3 –“Slice of Your Pie”- Ok yes you guessed it one of the topics I don’t like to discuss but again the music is what grabs my ears instead of the lyrics-yes I know it’s unavoidable. I do have to say that their background vocals are well harmonized (with a little help from Mr. Steven Tyler) and the guitar solo reminds me of Kiss. Then believe it or not, the song takes a twist and sounds a lot like The Beatles “She’s So Heavy” from Abbey Road. If I were Paul and Ringo I would sue The Crue for copying this song. Listen and tell me it’s not exactly like ‘She’s So Heavy” for most of the ending of the song. Oh well, it still rocks.

“Rattlesnake Shake” is a rocking tune that actually utilizes some horns throughout the song. Tommy really shines on this track as his drumming is crystal clear. You can actually do the “twist” to this song. I forgot how much I like this tune. Then it’s on to one of the most “kick ass” (sorry for my language, you see what the Crue does?) rock songs ever recorded by The Crue, “Kickstart My Heart” is a true story about Nikki Sixx overdosing from drugs, dying and coming back to life after an injection to his heart. If you are a New York Jet season ticket holder and have walked through the parking lot before a game starts you will no doubt hear this song blaring from someone’s car, it’s inevitable and it is usually cranked to the highest volume level the stereo system can provide. Love the ending where the guitar says “Kick Start My Heart.” Side One ends with the nice ballad – “Without You”- and yes call it a cheesy power ballad but it is still good. The bridge to the chorus gives it that extra nice touch and I’d have to say that this could be one of the best “power ballads” ever recorded. My arms are swaying back and forth just like the audience on American Idol, I can’t help it. OK quick turn over to side two to start rocking out again with “Same Old Situation.”

Now there are lots of folks out there that point to “Dr. Feelgood” as the Crue’s best album and I really couldn’t argue too much but I still say their debut album is their most excellent album. Now side two has some “fillers” in my opinion but side one of Dr. Feelgood is a perfect album side. Go ahead- it still is the summer time- go out and indulge just like I have this past week-you won’t be disappointed.


Going with the theme of how hard it is for me to pick my favorite ten songs from some of my favorite bands, I decided to do it again this week and go with Foreigner. Now as many know, as I have repeated this many times on this page, I wanted to be Lou Gramm while growing up as a teenager. At that time, he was my favorite rock and roll singer and no one could touch him, in my opinion. I don’t know who the new singer is and honestly don’t want to know-Lou Gramm made Foreigner, with my apologies and no offense meant for Mick Jones-who founded the band. So obviously the songs picked are from “Gramm-only” albums. I make no qualms that I am a huge fan of Foreigner- no matter what label you may apply to them- “Corporate Rock Band,” or “Pop” band- Say what you will but Foreigner for a large portion of the 1980’s was one of the best rock bands of that era. Period… end of story!!!

10.     Women– The first time I heard this song I didn’t think it was Foreigner. It was totally different from anything that they had ever done, I didn’t recognize Lou’s voice until the part where his says “Ahhh Women wanting sympathy..” This song rocks the cover right off the ball. There is no other way to listen to this but as LOUD as you can. My wife is screaming for me to turn it down… I can’t hear her.

9.     Starrider– One of the most dynamic songs Foreigner has ever recorded as Jones and Gramm share the vocals in this powerful passionate masterpiece. The arrangement of this song could be their best ever. Love the part where Gramm bleeds “Speed increasing” and when Jones has his guitar solo-well that’s just the icing on the cake.

8.     Blue Morning, Blue Day I love the story that Lou tells in this song. ‘You hear me talking, you don’t hear what I say..” Lou Gramm was all about passion and he gave his all in every song he ever recorded for Foreigner. This definitely ranks up there in the best vocal recording he’s ever done. The musicianship of the entire band really stands out on this track, I know I focus a lot on Lou and Mick but the other band members were the bread and butter for their success.

7.     At War With The World– “Never had no need for any military aid and I never took charge of the light brigade..” This is one of their best songs as well, it will rock your socks off. Love the tempo changes as the songs kicks off with a bang but then grooves slowly with Jones guitar carrying the load as Dennis Elliot (original drummer) smashes through one of his best efforts on the skins. And of course, Gramm’s vocals are top notch. A hidden classic from their debut album.

6.     Dirty White Boy –Man does this song rock or what? I love it from top to bottom and I think I hear my wife again..“Don’t drive no big black car..” I can do this song with my eyes closed on vocals and if it appears on Rock Band I will get 100% on every level, including master. Sounds like Roger Daltrey when the song ends, right? I remember Carol Miller from WNEW-FM radio back when 102.7 was 102.7 would always say that the ending reminded her of the Who. Perfect song for working out!!

5.     Long, Long Way From Home– I would put this song up to any rock song in the history of rock music and it can hold its own without one iota of a doubt. This is the perfect song for the best pair of headphones that you can find because you will hear the song switch from ear to ear. I can listen to this song all day long, all month long, … you get the picture, right?

4.     You’re All I Am– Every time I hear this song I look for my wife’s hand and ask her to dance. I can clearly remember my boys watching us (while we didn’t know) as I serenaded my wife with the passionate lyrics as we waltzed around our living room. I love this song!!! I can listen to this all day long, all month long……love the drumming again from Dennis Elliot. (who by the way is now a professional sculptor). Listen to Gramm’s vocals and tell me he wasn’t the best?

3.     I Don’t Want To Live Without You – This was our wedding song, yes I picked it but my wife grew to love it as well. I knew when this song came out that this was going to be my wedding song. When I hear this it takes me back to the GJOA club in Brooklyn NY as we floated to our first dance together as husband and wife. I remember it like it was yesterday. Again I was singing in her ear and didn’t care who was in the room; that is what Lou Gramm does to me.

2.     Love Has Taken It’s Toll– I always wanted to perform this song at a Karaoke night because this is another song I can nail. (Of course I won’t have the voice but we can play Lou lower in the background so I sound like him). Love the buildup at the beginning and then wham-“Some girls you meet seem so complete..” This song friggin’ rocks, rolls and makes you move. It’s the last song on side 1 of “Double Vision.” Again, Play it LOUD!!!! Or get a “backhand across my face…”

1.     Seventeen –I know people are asking: what song is he talking about? I know I am the king of obscure songs and this one probably takes the cake but if you are a true blue, die hard Foreigner fan like me, you know this song. Oh yes you do and again it’s the last song on a side one, this time from the under-rated “Head Games.” In my opinion, this is the heaviest song they ever recorded and if you are a garage band just starting out- pick this track to cover and see why this is my favorite tune from this band. Mick Jones has a blazing guitar solo that will flatten you as the song begins its ending. I can remember lying on the floor in my bedroom on 53rd street in Brooklyn with this song just blasting out the speakers (of course no one was home) and I knew my surrounding neighbor’s were probably screaming for me to turn it down but like now, I can’t hear anything but this great song.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Tom Petty

2.     5

3.     “The Pretender” at 18 weeks

4.     “Best of You”

This week’s trivia (Foreigner)

1.     Who played with both Foreigner and Peter Frampton’s band?

2.     He played with Foreigner in the “later years” (after Gramm) and his dad was a legendary drummer, name him.

3.     Name Foreigner’s only instrumental tune.

4.     How many albums did the original six band members make together?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Sunshine on My Shoulders”- John Denver

2.     “Pink Houses”-John Mellencamp

3.      “See You in My Nightmare”-Kayne West

4.     “Get Down Tonight”- KC & The Sunshine Band

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

1.     “There are those who think that life has nothing left to chance..”

2.     “Dancing in the streets of Hyannis we were getting pretty good at the game..”

3.     “Tonight’s the night.. I’ve waited for.. because you’re not a baby anymore…”

4.     “Tell all the folks in Russia and China too don’t you know it’s time..”

Sadly back on this day in 1970, Jimi Hendrix passed away at the young age of 27 from a drug overdose.

Back on this day in 1983, Kiss appeared on MTV without their makeup for the first time ever. Now that was huge!!

Last year on this date, the Village People received their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with the late Dee Dee Ramone, Frankie Avalon (“Venus”) andJimmie Rodgers (‘Kisses Sweeter Than Wine”).

September 11, 2009

Weekly Update – 09/11/09

Lenny Kravitz at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Sun., Mon., Wed., Thurs. & Sun. Rocktober 11, 12, 14, 15 & 18th. Pre-sale tickets now available through Twitter and if you are a Citi-card holder. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $62.50 ($65 day of show). He puts a fantastic show, you need to catch one of these nights. Also performing at the Borgota in Atlantic City on Sat. Rocktober 24. Tickets for this show on sale at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning (Live Nation Event). Isn’t Rocktober the best? Kravitz five nights, KISS three nights!!!

Sean Kingston at The Gramercy Theater (Blender) on Wed. Nov. 4. Tickets on sale today at noon. (Live Nation Event).

Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley at Madison Square Garden on Wed. Rocktober 21. Pre-sale tickets begin this morning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: HEBRAD. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. $39.50 – $59.50.

Mannheim Steamroller brings their Christmas show to The Beacon Theater on Thurs. Dec. 3. Pre-sale tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: HEHOLIDAY. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $54.50 – $129.50.

Metalocalypse featuring Mastodon & Dethklok at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Thurs. Rocktober 29. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.$34.50.

Echo & The Bunnymen at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Sun. Nov. 22. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.$46.50 and $79.70.

Jonny Lang & Robert Cray at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood NJ on Wed. Nov. 11. Tickets on sale now. $29, $42, $54, $69 and $99. Nice duo show!!!

Train at Webster Hall (125 East 11st in NYC) on Tues. Nov. 10. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35.

Dark Star Orchestraat Nokia Theater on Fri. Nov. 27. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only on sale now until noon today. General public on sale today at noon. $29.50

A.F.I. at Roseland Ballroom on Fri. Nov. 13. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $29.50 ($31 day of show).

Steve Miller Band at the Capital One Bank Theater in Westbury NY on Wed. Nov. 11. Pre-sale tickets on sale now if you are a Citi card holder. General public tickets on sale this Sun. Sept. 13 at 12:30 p.m. $71.50 and $86.50.

The Meat Puppets at Bowery Ballroom on Wed. Nov. 25. Tickets on sale today at noon. $16 ($18 day of show).

Deer Tick at Bowery Ballroom on Thurs. Rocktober 22. Tickets on sale today at noon. $15.

Lynyrd Skynyrd at Wellmont Theater in Montclair N.J. on Wed. Nov. 18. (This is N.J.’s radio station WDHA 30th Anniversary show) Tickets on sale today at noon. $45, $85 and $125.

Hatebreed at Nokia Theater on Fri. Dec. 18. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only begin next Wed. Sept. 16 at 10:00 a.m. through Fri. Sept. 18 at noon. General public tickets on sale next Fri. Sept. 18 at noon. $26.

Canadian Brass Christmas Special at the Town Hall in NYC on Sun. Dec. 13. Tickets on sale next Fri. Sept 18 at noon. $35 – $60.

Taking Back Sunday & The All-American Rejects at the Mohegan Sun on Fri. Nov. 6. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $25.

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of the victims of that terrible tragedy which occurred eight years ago today. It’s always a tough day on 9/11 and today is no different.

Matt Sorum, drummer for Velvet Revolver (also prior drummer for Guns ‘N Roses and before that The Cult), will be filling in for Motorhead as their drummer-Mikkey Dee signed a contract to do the Swedish version of the TV reality show “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.” Sorum has not had too much time to practice, he’s only had one rehearsal prior to this past Wednesday night show at the New York Fillmore. He’s been learning the songs by watching live performances via DVD’s. Lemmy doesn’t seem to be too worried about it- “He’s a good drummer, he’s a professional” is what Mr. Kilmister said. Sorum will be filling in for part of the North American Tour. Pretty cool, huh? That’s a nice gig for any drummer, who wouldn’t want to play for Motorhead? I’m surprised Dave Grohl didn’t jump at the chance.

Kind of a shock that American Idol has named Ellen DeGeneres as one of its judges-of course to replace the recently departed Paula Abdul. A confessed freak of a fan for the show, I’m not sure her credentials really serve as someone who has an ear for talent, but I could be wrong. I know one thing, she sure is entertaining and my guess is she will make everyone laugh. It will be interesting to see her go up against Simon.

There are no specifics as of yet but it appears that Diamond Dave & the boys from Van Halen will be touring again in 2010. Eddie is recovering from hand sugery but has been reportedly jamming with his son and brother on some rarified Van Halen songs that haven’t been played live in over 25 years. Without a doubt, I’m in again.

Anvil, the Canadian band that has been getting national attention after all these years as a result of a recent movie about them, (and they opened for AC/DC at Giants Stadium) will sit down with Conan O’Brien on Tuesday Rocktober 6. They will also perform their “anthem”- “Metal on Metal” which is a bonus track on the re-issue of their new album “This is Thirteen.” I know my youngest son will not be watching them.

Godsmack frontman, Sully Erna, fresh off of their tour with Motley Crue- “The Crue Fest 2” said it was good for them to get out there and squash the rumors that they were breaking up but also stated that it was their worst tour because Motley Crue put up this ego competition. Sully lamented that they just wanted to play music and hang out with the other bands but the Crue would flaunt them by letting them know that they were going to have a “kick ass” show so they had better be ready. This made for an uncomfortable summer tour and Sully let the Crue have it by saying “I’m going to go out there every night and **** crush you on stage-make sure that you look old and fat, and go home with a nice big paycheck.” Ouch!!!

Rob Halford (again don’t ask you should know) will release his first solo album in more than seven years and get this- it is a collection of holiday songs. “Halford III-Winter Songs” will be released on Rocktober 26 and will include “What Child Is This,” “O Holy Night” and “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” The first single “Get Into The Spirit” will be released on Sept. 29.

Album Review: “Baptism” by Lenny Kravitz released on May 17, 2004.

Since Lenny Kravitz has just announced a five night concert appearance in New York I figured I would review my favorite album from this very talented musician and songwriter. This album was originally intended to be a “funk” album but he changed his mind, picked up an acoustic song and poured his heart out in many of these songs. I will always remember this album because it came out three days before my mother passed away and as previously mentioned many times on this page, the song “Calling All Angels” rips my heart out as it was written about Lenny’s mother (Roxy Roker who appeared as “Helen Willis” on the TV show “The Jeffersons”) who passed away in December of 1995 from breast cancer. From top to bottom, I love every song on this disc, so here goes:

The album starts off with the very cool, psychedelic groove of “Minister of Rock ‘N Roll.” If you don’t know, Lenny plays all the instruments on his albums and has his own band when he tours. I love the way he screams “What are you waiting for Noooooowwwww!!!” This has the Beatles and Rolling Stones influence written all over this bad boy. He can rock with the best of them and then take it way down. “I Don’t Want to Be A Star” takes it down a bit but not that much and the lyrics in this song speak volumes on how he really is only in for this because of his passion of music and to spread the words of peace and love. The chorus is addictive and you will be singing all day long “I don’t want to be a star..” There is an awesome guitar solo towards the very end of the song that makes you stand up and take notice. “Lady” is a head-bopping song that will have you “air-guitaring” in no time. I believe this was one of the songs that a friend of mine who was married about six years ago put on a CD mix that was one of the gifts that everyone received as they exited the reception. I remember things like that because I’m a huge fan of Lenny. Then it’s on to one of the most heart-breaking songs I have ever heard in my entire life, the aforementioned “Calling All Angels” and how apropos especially for today as we remember all the angels that were killed eight years ago on that terrible day that no one can ever forget. Every time I hear this song, I get the chills and most times the tears just start streaming down my face. The whole arrangement of this song is staggeringly beautiful especially with all the string instruments. This could be the best song that he has ever written, very sad but at the same time so beautiful. I guess Lenny didn’t want to stay low because the next song-“California” blazes out of the gate and has that familiar “Lenny” sound, if you know what I mean. I love the lyrics as he tells you that he was a New Yorker but his heart belongs in California. This song moves and grooves with the best of them, especially when it comes to the “bridge” of the song- play this LOUD and dance around the room!!! Perfect work-out song!!

Then it’s on to the “Funk-a-delic” sounds of “Sistamamlover.” I love the “Jimmy Page” type sounding guitar behind his vocals, freaking awesome baby!!! Listen to Lenny’s passion as it bleeds through your headphones and dance into oblivion. The “giddy-up” is back in effect with the smashing “Where Are We Running?” Do you know how certain songs remind you of a person, place or thing? Well this song reminds me of my wife because she absolutely loves this song (as well as Lenny-especially when he takes his shirt off at his shows). I can picture her trying to play the guitar and drums in the air while she dances around the room as we all try to keep up with her. I love the piano part at the very end of the song. “Baptized” takes it back down again and the thing that stands out to me is Lenny’s voice. This could be one of the best vocal efforts he’s had on any song he has ever recorded. Every time I hear it, I feel like I’m at the top of a mountain while a light rain falls as I look up to the sky and sing my heart out. Talk about passion? This song exudes it and the nice touch is the female back-up singers that give it that extra special kick. The straight-forward rock is back with the blazing “Flash” and the saxophone work is phenomenal. This song is perfect for your car on a nice day, roll your windows down and think back to your younger days while blasting this song because some days it really feels like life goes by in a “flash.”

“What Did I Do With My Life” is another song that just flat out grabs a hold of me and doesn’t let go. (I kind of get that “John Lennon solo material feel” with this song). It makes me wonder what I did with my life, this song is real deep. As you take a deep breathe, all of a sudden you are dancing to the hip hop groove of “Storm” where Lenny gets help from the one and only Jay-Z. This is one of my favorite songs on the album, I love the beat and when Jay-Z breaks in with his rap, it gets that much better. This song deserved more exposure than it received back in 2004, so if you don’t know it-make it a point to get familiar with. “The Other Side” is another poignant tune that tugs at the heart, perfect song for that nice quiet night with your significant other as you raise a toast to this great song. The last song on the album-“Destiny” is so raw that I feel like I am in the recording studio with him. I can picture just being in the sound room listening to his emotions as they pour out, an unbelievable gripping song. “No one can see the things I see.. no one can tell me how to feel.. it’s my destiny.” This is another song where I defy you to tell me that you don’t like it, impossible.

Lenny Kravitz will be voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in my opinion and it will be in large part from this body of work that he called “Baptism.” This album is fantastic, period end of story!!!

Last week when I found out that there would be a Foo Fighters greatest hits disc out on Nov. 3, I started to go through their catalog and decided to put down their top ten songs, of course in my opinion. Now I know I say this about all the bands that I cover but I think picking my favorite ten songs from this band was the hardest for me out of any other band I have done so far, including the Beatles. As I went through their library I had forgotten how much I loved their “The Colour and The Shape” album which came out in 1997. I also remember when “There is Nothing Left to Lose” album was released in 1999, I was trying to get everyone that I worked with at the time to buy this album. I listen to that album in its entirety every time I put it in rotation in my car. Then during the summer of 2005, I couldn’t stop listening to “In Your Honor I & II. I think I stopped listening that year in November. In addition, my oldest son is a huge fan of the Foo’s and I asked him to try and list his ten favorite songs by them. He stated that this was a difficult task because “they have so many good songs.” So here are both my favorite Foo songs and my oldest son’s top ten Foo Fighter songs: His songs are highlighted in dark red. (If I was given 11 songs, then I’d have to say that “Wattershed” from their debut album would be number 11):

10.     My Poor Brain– I can remember the first time I heard this song, the beginning was real weird, distorted and I was thinking “what is this?” Then it calmed down and I was like “Ok this is getting good.” It was a real soft Dave Grohl voice and then 47 seconds into the song, it was like I was hit over the head with a hammer- I loved it. Then it went soft again and then back to the bashing of the drums. (How good is Dave on drums?). “This is a Black out..” That’s what it feels like. Most excellent song.

10.     Walking After You (Live) – One of my favorite Foo Fighters albums is their live album “Skin and Bones” and personally I think that the live versions of most of their songs are better than the studio versions.“Walking After You” is a perfect example, it’s a calm song and I just love the acoustic guitar and vocals.

9.     End Over End– The last song on disc 1 of “In Your Honor.” There is something about this song that gets me every time. In the beginning when I was listening to this album I would sometimes skip over this song (hey I’m being honest) but when I put my I-Pod on “shuffle” this song would come up again and again. I fell in love with it. Whenever we go to Cape Cod, I make sure I hear this song at least once as I stroll the beach for a week in the summer. There is nothing better than walking the beach with a good set of headphones with this song on a beautiful summer day.

9.     Learn to Fly – This song holds a special place in my heart, whenever I hear it I think of when my dad, my brother, and I used to dance around in the living room to this song when I was little.When my mom got the album “There Is Nothing Left to Loose” for my dad for his birthday and this was the only song my brother and I wanted to hear.We played it over and over and over and over again and never got sick of the song.

8.     Resolve Another song from disc 1 of “In Your Honor.” The groove in this song is so smooth and the chorus is so addictive. (Love the video as well). When I hear this song I think of how far Dave Grohl has come as an artist, it’s really unbelievable.

8.     Best of You (Live) – This is such an awesome song and the live version is the best!!Dave Grohl does a spectacular live version of this song.The best part is the when the audience kicks in and start singing “Ohhh Oh Oh, Ohh Oh Oh.” I wish I could have been in the crowd!

7.     Stranger Things Have Happened– Now if you remember my review of the Foo’s last album-Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace” I wasn’t so keen on many of the tracks, including this one. However the more I listened to the album over the past few years, this is one song that is a standout. Dave puts all of his passion into this one as this could have been on the second disc of “In Your Honor.” Love the acoustic guitar and Grohl’s vocals.

7.     Razor – As the closing track for disc two of the album “In Your Honor” this song is flawless.Everything is perfect from the guitar to the vocals.I could listen to the guitar intro all day, it’s so awesome.I remember the first time I heard this song was during vacation in Cape Cod and one day my dad had this song playing so loud you could hear it throughout the whole house, and when it finished he said something along the lines of “that is a great song” and I agree 100%.

6.     Tired of You –Very simple song and my oldest son stated that I pick the most obscure songs that no one else would put on their top ten list but what can I say? I love this friggin’ song. Did you know that Brian May is the guest guitarist on this song? Again a very simple song but addictive for me.

6.     In Your Honor – This is my pump up song!I used to listen to this during track practice; this song is just plain amazing.Everything is great the guitars, the drums, the vocals, and the screaming.This is definitely one of their best heavy songs.

5.     See You-This almost like a jazz song. Most people who have not heard this track would not believe it is The Foo Fighters but that is what makes Dave Grohl so special, he can play it rough, loud, soft, jazzy and just plain good all around. You know a song is cool when guys are credited with “handclaps” on the album. How could I not put it on the list?

5.     Let It Die – This is one of the best songs on the Foo’s latest album “Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace.” It was #1 for four weeks on the rock charts. The song transforms from a slow acoustic song into an awesome heavy song.The best part is the heavy chorus it is so cool!

4.     Gimme Stitches– Love the funky groove in this song. Every time I go into a music store (FYE mainly) I run over to the shelf pick this album, flick it under the set of headphones just waiting to be used, click on this song and squeeze the headphones as tight as I can take to my ears as I let the song infiltrate my whole body-runs to the top of my head down to my toes. Awesome song!!

4.     Virginia Moon – This is probably one of the most beautiful songs Dave Grohl has ever recorded.His voice singing in harmony with Norah Jones is just pure magic.It reminds me of nice cool summer nights.Along with a great acoustic guitar solo this song is probably one of the most underrated Foo Fighters songs ever.

3.     Breakout – Have to admit the main reason for this song being here at number three is due to both of my boys. Back in 1999, my oldest was 5 and my youngest was 2 and I would put this song on the stereo (as well as “Learning to Fly” as we all pretended we were planes circling the table in the living room) and we would jump, bounce and dance all over the room like we were being electrocuted. My wife would hold her ears as Grohl would screech “Breeeeaaakkk Oooouuuutttttt.” Great memories that I will never forget. This went on to be a boot camp classic as well. Hold your ears.

3.     My Hero – How could anyone not like this song?One of the things that stand out in the song is the drums.Dave pounds on those drums with all his might and it’s fantastic.This combing with great guitars, lyrics, and vocals make this one of my favorite songs.

2.     The Pretender– This probably is the best Foo Fighter song that they have ever recorded. Nothing gets me more pumped than this song. I love the way Taylor bangs on the drums and how the song moves. The video is freaking awesome, I wish I was Grohl in this video: the hair, the guitar, the voice-There is no other way to listen to this song but LOUD!!!! This is absolute excellence, magnificence, brilliance and just plain superior to anything out there.

2.     All My Life – Talk about a great pump up song!Everything about this song is fantastic; it’s so cool when the song goes from soft to very loud.This is a perfect song to play really loud from speakers, the best part is the end chorus when Dave starts screaming “Done, done on to the next one done, I’m done and I’m on to the next!”

1.     What If I Do? –The great thing about disc 2 “In Your Honor” was the fact that Dave Grohl could make beautiful music and not care what anyone thought. This song lands in my top ten songs of my entire life, so far. It just may be the number one song. If I was on an desert island (you know you’ve played this game) this would be one of the songs I would pick and to be honest disc # 2 of “In Your Honor” would also be a desert island disc. This song gives me chills every time I hear it. I love the way it changes gears with “Carolina” and it comes back with “What if I do…”

1.     What If I Do? – Like my father, my favorite Foo Fighters song is “What If I Do?” from the second disc of “In Your Honor.”I don’t know what it is about this song but there is something special about it.It gives me peace of mind.Everything about it is just magnificent; I could listen to it all day long. Most people don’t know this song, but it truly is a hidden gem.

The cool thing about this list is that we both have the same number one song but better yet we have given you eighteen different songs to pick and choose from. (or to scream at your computer to tell us we’re crazy) Now I know there are probably many of you out there yelling for “Everlong,” “Monkey Wrench,” “Times Like These” and “Long Road to Ruin.” Those are also great songs- you see it is tough. But that is what is so great about “top” lists, everyone has their own opinion and I was blown away on how different my list was to that of my son.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Rick Wakeman who went on to the band “Yes.”

2.     Phil Collins at the age of 19.

3.     The Eagles “Greatest Hits”-29 Million and counting. MJ’s “Thriller” is best selling album worldwide of all-time (110 million) and since his death “Thriller” album sales in the U.S. is up again, so he may have over-taken the Eagles already. He was at 28 million but will probably be over 30 million by year end.

4.     Carmine Appice (his brother Vinny plays with “Heaven and Hell”)

This week’s trivia (Foo Fighters- these questions were done by my oldest son as he has read the biography of Dave Grohl)

1.     After Nirvana disbanded due to Kurt Cobain’s death what famous rock singer offered Dave Grohl the position of drummer in his band?

2.     Nirvana went through how many drummers before finally sticking with Dave Grohl?”

3.     The Foo Fighters hold the record for the longest running #1 song on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks.What song made this record and how long did it stay at number one?

4.     What is the only Foo’s only song to go platinum?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Revival”- The Allman Brothers

2.     “Tighter and Tighter”-Alive ‘N Kickin’

3.     “A Horse with No Name”-America

4.     “Respect”- Aretha Franklin

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

1.     “If I had a day that I could give you..I’d give you a day just like today..”

2.     “Cause the simple man baby pays for the thrills, the bills and the pills that kill..”

3.     “Tell everyone that you know that I don’t love you no more …”

4.     “Baby babe I’ll meet you same place same time where can get together..”

Back on this day in 1967, Frank Sinatra was denied credit at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas and breaks two teeth resulting from the ensuing brawl.

Back on this day in 1971, The Jackson 5 cartoon debuted on ABC’s Saturday morning television.

Back on this day in 1977, David Bowie appeared with Bing Crosby for his last Christmas show taping as they performed a melody of the “Little Drummer Boy” and “Peace on Earth.” Bing died shortly thereafter.

Back on this day in 1962, Neil Sedaka married his wife Luba and are still together as they celebrate their 47th anniversary, Congrats Neil!!!

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Tommy Shaw (Do I really need to put down Styx?) and Dennis Tufano (The Buckinghams- “Kind of a Drag” or “Don’t You Care-remember those songs?)

September 4, 2009

Weekly Update – 09/04/09

Jay-Z at Madison Square Garden on Fri. Sept. 11. Pre-sale tickets for Citi-card holders go on sale next Tues. Sept. 8 at 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. (Password is the first six digits of your Citi card without the dashes). General public on sale is Tues. Sept. 8 at noon. $54.50.

Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley at Madison Square Garden on Wed. Rocktober 21. Tickets on sale next Sat. Sept. 12 at 9:00 a.m. $39.50 – $59.50.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra at The XL Center in Hartford CT on Sat. Nov. 14 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets on sale Sat. Sept. 19 at 10:00 a.m. $25 – $57. Also appearing at the Izod Center in NJ on Sat. Dec. 12 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets for this show go on sale Fri. Sept. 18 at 10:00 a.m. $21 – $68.

Roger Daltrey at Music Box at the Borgota in Atlantic City on Fri. & Sat. Nov. 13 & 14. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

GWAR at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Sun. Dec. 13. Tickets on sale next Fri. Sept. 11 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Train at Webster Hall (125 East 11st in NYC) on Tues. Nov. 10. Ticket information to follow.

Jackson Browne at the Bardavon Opera House at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie NY on Fri. Nov. 6. Tickets on sale Mon. Sept. 14 at 11:00 a.m. $60.

Other items:

The Rolling Stones are denying reports that Charlie Watts has left the band. This news sent shock waves through the music industry as the Stones are approaching their 50th year together, but Stones management has stated that it is a false rumor. Whew…

The Foo Fighters will release their first “greatest hits” on Nov. 3. The disc reportedly will include “My Hero” “The Pretender” “Times Like These” and “Best of You.” It will also contain two new tracks, one which is “Wheels.” I thought it was going to be a whole new album but it’s two new songs along with their best. I’m kind of surprised that they would release it already but everyone seems to be doing it. (except for AC/DC!!!!)

Kiss has joined the Loud & Proud/Roadrunner Record label (just like Collective Soul-see below) for their new release-“Sonic Boom”- which will be part of a 3 disc release exclusively through Walmart on Rocktober 5. The disc will be $12.99 which is not a bad price for three discs, so I feel better now.

Amazon is offering an exclusive EP from Straight No Chaser– a 10 man a capella group that put out a fantastic holiday CD last year- is back with a six pack of non-holiday songs including covers of songs done by Jason Mraz, Amy Whinehouse, Stevie Wonder, Frankie Valli and the legendary Sam Cooke. I listened to the 30 second samples and I have to say I really like what I hear. For $6 you can’t go wrong, buy it now!!! They will also be releasing a new holiday CD on Rocktober 27.

Big rumor going around that Lars is trying to put together a Metallica tour with Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax sometime in the near future. Metallica and Megadeth last shared the same stage in 1993.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Van Halen reportedly made an extra $1 million from their last tour in 2007 by taking tickets from Ticketmaster and letting scalpers sell them for much higher price. The scalper made 30% and the remaining 70% was split between Van Halen and Ticketmaster (including Live Nation). If the story is true, that really bums me out. Very sad situation.

The Scorpions are back in the studio and should have a new disc out by the spring of 2010. Looking forward to it, their last album-“Humanity Hour 1” was most excellent.

Album Review: “Collective Soul (Rabbit)” by Collective Soul released on Aug. 25, 2009.

Collective Soul released its eighth studio album, another self-titled but known as the “Rabbit” on their new record label- “Loud & Proud/Roadrunner Records.” This label mostly has “heavy metal” bands but now has added Collective Soul and they know what all fans of this band know: it has always been about the music and when you make good music you will attract fans as well as record labels. Maybe it’s a coincidence with being on a “heavy metal” label but this new album “Rabbit” is filled with lots of energy and is laden with guitar riffs throughout. Now of course there are a few softer songs that are sprinkled in but you will be surprised on how this album seems to continuously groove with some of their best guitar riffs/hooks since their last self titled album. This album is a must for the “die-hard” fan of the boys from Atlanta and I would say that after a couple of turns, the casual fan of this band will not be disappointed with this purchase.

The album blasts off with “Welcome All Again” which will hook you in and after Ed sings “the worlds now starting” about 1:12 into the song you will be “air-guitaring” to Joel’s cool riffs as Mr. Roland uses the phrase “yeah” a few times coinciding with Mr. Kosche’s riffs as Cheney Brannon prepares to break in with his slick drum part. Within two minutes you will find yourself completely engulfed with this song and waiting with baited anticipation for the rest of the album. “Oooohhhh welcome all my friends” as hopefully this will result in more people becoming fans of Collective Soul. Now when you first hear track # 2-“Fuzzy” – you might be thinking “what the heck just happened here?” I was all pumped up and now I hear somebody whistling? (I know only when Otis Redding whistles at the end of “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” is whistling acceptable or when John Lennon whistles on “Jealous Guy”). However, please give this song a chance as it will definitely grow on you and before long you will be singing the chorus “Not Tonight Not Tonight…Oh No Oh No OK so let’s go.”Then towards the end of the song as Ed sings “We’re all just pissed here tho” it will conjure up images of David Bowie as it sounds like his influence all over this song. “Dig” is a heavy straight-forward rock song that deserves to be played very loudly. This song has some “giddy-up” to it especially when it transitions to the part where Ed is singing “We say we’re up then we say we’re down..” and Joel has a nice guitar solo. Track # 4-“You” was written by the whole band together, a first for them, and this song will be one of the “hits” from this album. It has a nice groove with the acoustic guitar and Ed’s vocals really stand out on this track as he accentuates the word “you” throughout the song. It’s a perfect song for you and your someone special.

“My Days” is my favorite track on the album as it has a crystal clear sound and Joel’s guitar really takes over this exceptional song. The arrangement is really good as the song changes gears a few times while the “rhythm” section shines brightly throughout. If you want to talk about a song changing gears, look no further than “Understanding.” It is like a song within a song. When I first heard it, I was blown away on how different the time changes are and how they make the two parts come back together to make it all work cohesively. The beginning will have you “air-guitaring” as your head and feet jam together at a nice pace, then BAM!!! The song shifts into fourth gear as the head-banging becomes apparent, then just as you are use to the fast pace, it drops back to that nice acoustic guitar pace. The song ends on a real slow pace-just picture the crowd swaying back and forth with their arms extended over their heads- as Ed laments “Do we understand, do we understand all the words we’ve said.” The toned down ending leads right into what could possibly be the best song on the album-“Staring Down”- the more and more you listen to this song will make you realize how good this band is, as this song is flawless. As the song heads to the bridge: “Long days, long nights” it gets that much better. The more I listen makes me realize that I may have to re-adjust my top ten favorite songs from these guys and put this song in there, it’s that good!!

“She Does” is another tight Collective Soul tune that will have you rocking out in no time as the catchy hook and chorus will have you singing you this song all day long. The crispness to this song adds to the perfect melody as the musicianship in this song really stands out. “Lighten Up” is as probably as rough as Collective Soul gets and it works, there is an “edgy-ness” to this song that really catches your attention. This song has a phenomenal driving beat that has to get you out of your seat. This would be a perfect song to anyone’s workout. Again the bridge to the chorus really kicks the song into gear as the volume has to increase as Joel wails on his guitar. I have to say the drumming on the song is the highlight of the tune. The rocking continues with the super cool “Love.” This song sounds like they recorded it when they first started out. The more I listen, I think this may become my most favorite song on the album but for now it is a close second. If I had to pick a song for people to listen if they have never heard a Collective Soul (again not likely but indulge me) “Love” is the song that I would play for them. If it did not move them, shake their head up and down or bring a smile to their face, then… I give up. Then as you hear the piano for one of the most beautiful songs they have ever recorded “Hymn for My Father” you realize that the album is over and you want more. (so if you do you can head to I-Tunes for three additional songs). Ed and Dean Roland lost their father four years ago and they dedicated this song to his memory-it is a poignant masterful song that will give you chills if you have lost someone close to you.

So there it is folks, another solid effort by the band called Collective Soul. As mentioned, the “die-hards” should already own this but if you are on the fence about this band, I’m telling you right now-buy it and you won’t be disappointed. I will acknowledge that it took more than a few turns to come to this suggestion but the more I listened the more I realized how fast the songs flew by and in my mind that is the number one test when listening to a new album. If it goes by quick, then you know that you like it. Now when I listen, I feel like the opening piano notes to “Hymn” comes so quickly and that is after ten songs. As I have mentioned in the past, there is a certain passion that this band possesses that draws me to them. To me, they do this for the music because of their passion for music. They have survived a rogue manager earlier on in their career which could have derailed them but they persevered and continue to make some of the best music out there today. And for that I am thankful and grateful. Play on boys!!!

Heavy dosage of Def Leppard for me this week, I was a big, big fan in their “hey day” and absolutely loved “Pyromania” and “Hysteria.” I wore out both album sleeves and remember when I first started working I would listen to Hysteria on the way to 25 Broadway and back home to Sunset Park Brooklyn. Now of course these are the more popular albums but I also love their debut album-“On Through The Night” as well as their follow-up “High ‘N’ Dry.” There are lots of good tunes on both albums and could automatically fill up ten songs on their own. Now just because it’s popular doesn’t mean that is not good (it took me getting older to understand this but anyway…) so I have to include some songs from Hysteria. Ok this is also tough but here goes my top 10 songs from Def Leppard:

10.     Animal– I can’t get enough of this song. I love it from start to beginning. “And I wantand I need…” The melody in this tune is so addictive and can be enjoyed by every member of the family, including Grandma. Play this on your next road trip and I guarantee you someone will ask to hit the rewind button and play it again.

9.     Wasted– This has Thin Lizzy written all over it as the song rocks out from the opening note on their debut album. This was Def Leppard before they were Def Leppard (if you know what I mean). The guitar work is addictive and this is a perfect song for those garage bands just starting out. Learn how to play this and you will go far. You can hear the raw energy on this track as the boys from England were trying to make it big and they did with this classic tune.

8.     Die Hard The Hunter Sort of reminds me of Metallica’s “One” in the beginning. This is the “sleeper” hit song on “Pyromania” and could be the best vocals from Joe Elliot on any Def Leppard song recorded. This song flat out rocks!! Put a set of good headphones on and tell me this isn’t a great recording??!!

7.     Mirror, Mirror– The next to last track on side two of “High ‘N’ Dry” the guitar work from their former great guitarist, Steve Clark, who unfortunately passed away in 1991, really stands out to me out of all the songs that he ever took part in. “Take a look into my eyes tell me what do you see?” Awesome song!!!

6.     High ‘N’ Dry-This song should be on “Rock Band” and/or “Guitar Hero.” This song has it all, the blazing guitars, the screeching vocals and the pounding of the drums-again perfect for Rock Band. Play this LOUD!!! \m/ \m/

5.     Two Steps Behind-OK yes I know it’s sappy but I need sappy in between the hard stuff. I love this song and it always takes me back to my friend’s wedding, Sal & Maria, where Maria danced to this song with her brother. This song can be used at special events and will definitely tug at the heart if it is something that means a lot to you. This song was also part of the “Last Action Hero” soundtrack.

4.     Hysteria– I try to listen to this song with no other distractions in the room, car or train as I never want to miss a note. I know it’s “poppy” or a “sell out” (to the die-hards) but I friggin’ love it. Every time I hear it, I really drift off to a better place.

3.     Bringing on the Heartache– How cool is this song? When is the last time you have heard this classic? Do yourself a favor, if you have it-listen now; if you don’t, run out and buy it. I remember being in Brooklyn “Under the L” on 86st street with this song blasting from my friends car as we disturbed the “disco” songs that were flaring from all the other cars. We got weird looks with scrunched faces as that neighborhood wasn’t use to rock songs but we were trying to enlighten.

2.     Too Late for Love– Love Joe Elliot’s voice as the tune starts out.. “Some where in the distance”.. this could be the best beginning to a song in the history of rock music and then as the song takes off a minute into it you can not help but bang your head slowly to this masterpiece. “But when it comes to playing life, she always plays the fool…” ‘nuff said!!! Play it LOUD!!!

1.     Women– I know what you’re probably thinking- “Out of all the songs Def Leppard has, you picked this one?”I don’t know what it is but when I hear this song I get so amped up. It’s not fast or that heavy but it has “it.” Do you know what I’m talking about? Sometimes you can’t explain it but all you know is that you FEEL it and it MOVES you. This song does it for me. I love the way Rick trails with his drumming. Again put on a good set of “Bose” headphones and take off.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     He was tired of the comparisons to Elvis, so he decided to dress in black.

2.     Everly Brothers

3.     Linda Ronstadt- “Blue Bayou”

4.     Emmy lou Harris- “That Loving You Feeling Again”

This week’s trivia (Random)

1.     Who played with David Bowie on “Hunky Dory” and went on to one of the most successful “progressive” rock bands?

2.     Who played percussion on George Harrison’s “Art of Dying” from his epic album “All Things Must Pass?”

3.     What is the highest selling album ever in the U.S.?

4.     Who co-wrote “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” and also has played drums for numerous acts such as Ozzy and Paul Stanley?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Boots Were Made for Walking”- Nancy Sinatra

2.     “Walking After Midnight”-Patsy Cline

3.      “Nothing Can Change This Love”-Sam Cooke

4.     “Animals”- Nickelback

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

1.     “People can you feel this.. Love is everywhere.. People can you hear it..”

2.     “Baby you touched-a my soul now.. Woman don’t let go now”

3.     “The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz and a sky with no clouds…”

4.     “Ooo your kisses… sweeter than honey guess what?. so is my money..”

Back on this day in 1972, John Lennon & Yoko Ono appeared on the Jerry Lewis Telethon.

Back on this day in 1969, The Youngbloods walked off the set of the Tonight Show on NBC due to poor sound quality.

Back on this day in 1971, the last episode of the Tom Jones show appeared on ABC TV.

Create a free website or blog at