Errols Weekly Music Update.

November 20, 2009

Weekly Update – 11/20/2009

Jay Z at the Izod Center on Sat. Mar. 6, 2010. The opener will be Young Jeezy. Pre-sale tickets on this morning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight. The password is: Access. General public on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $36.50, $66.50, $96.50 and $136.50. Also appearing at the Nassau Coliseum on Fri. Mar. 12. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $36, $66, $96, $126 and $247.

Shinedown at Nokia Theater on Sat. Jan. 23, 2010. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $33.

Alicia Keys at Nokia Theater on Tues. Dec. 1. American Express cardholders on sale now. $25. (2 ticket per person limit).

Megadeth and Slayer at the Izod Center on Thurs. Feb. 11. They have toured together since 1991 and know the tough economic times out there today so they have gone back to 1991 ticket prices. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $10, $39, $49 and $59. Also appearing in Wallingford CT at the Oakdale Theater on Tues. Feb. 9. Tickets also on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $10, $39.50 and $59.50.

Lady Gaga has added two additional shows (the first two are completely sold out) at Radio City Music Hall on Sat. & Sun. Jan. 23 and 24, 2010. Tickets on sale today at 10:00 a.m. $49.50 – $69.50.

John Mayer with Michael Franti & Spearhead at Mohegan Sun on Fri. Feb. 19. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Jethro Tull at Jones Beach and PNC Arts Center on Fri. June 11 and Sun. June 13, 2010. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Cheap Trick at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Mon. Jan. 25. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $49.50 ($55 day of show).

Tony Bennett at the St. George Theater in Staten Island N.Y. on Sat. Jan. 23. Tickets on sale next Tues. Nov. 24 at 9:30 a.m. $59 – $239.

Rascal Flatts at the Mohegan Sun on Fri. Jan. 15.(another date) Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $85 – $115. (Darius Rucker is the opener).

Rufus Wainwright at Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie NY on Fri. Feb. 12. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35, $45 and $55.

Levon Helm at the Wellmont Theater on Fri. Feb. 26. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35, $50 and $75.

Dropkick Murphys at the Wellmont Theater on Wed. Feb. 24. Tickets on sale today at noon. $29.50.

Blue Oyster Cult at BB Kings on Sat. Mar. 13, 2010. Tickets on sale Mon. morning Mar. 23 at 10:00 a.m. $27.50 ($32 day of show).

Jerry Lee Lewis at BB Kings on Sat. Feb. 27. Tickets on sale next Tues. Nov. 24 at 10:00 a.m. $125 ($130 day of show).

Jay & The Americans at BB Kings on Fri. Mar. 5, 2010. Tickets on sale next Sat. Nov. 28 at 10:00 a.m. $30 ($35 day of show).

Other items:

I purchased the debut album by “Them Crooked Vultures” featuring the legendary John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl and Josh Homme. I really have to give it a chance so I will refrain from giving an opinion either way. Suffice to say if I’m telling you I am withholding judgment, my initial reaction is not that favorable. But please keep in mind that I detested “The Super Unknown” by Soundgarden when it was first released and it honestly took me over a year later to realize the beauty of that album and I still say that is the best album of the 1990’s, so you never know with Them Crooked Vultures. I was never a huge fan of the vocals of Mr. Homme.

This year’s American Idol winner-Kris Allen– released his debut album this past Tuesday and I have to admit that the album sounds pretty good-albeit from the 30 second samples from I-Tunes. His fans absolutely love it as it received a 4.5 star rating from I-Tune listeners (out of 5). The songs, which he wrote or co-wrote, sound mellow but upbeat seems to be perfect for a long road trip in your car. One of the songs that I think will be big is “Can’t Stay Away.”

John Mayer’s new album-“Battle Studies”- was released this week and initial reviews I have read have it “mediocre” at best. Although I will trust my oldest sons view as he has picked it up and he is saying that it is right up there in 2009 as one of the best, if not the best, albums of the year. I’m assuming a review from him will be coming soon. I will keep you posted.

One Republic’s “Waking Up” was also released this week and according to I-Tune listeners this album is just as good or better than their first album. Again listening to the 30 second samples on I-Tunes, I have to say I like the sound. (They kind of remind me of the newer version of “Tears for Fears.”)

Janet Jackson has released “Number Ones” and I have to say the best deal has to be on I-Tunes as you can get 35 songs for $14.99. That is a nice price and if you are a casual fan-this album is for you-if you are a die-hard fan you probably have most. She looks beautiful on the cover.

I purchased the “Country for Christmas” EP which features six songs from Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Little Big Town, Rodney Carington, Trace Adkins and Luke Bryan. I tell you this country genre fits Mr. Rucker like a glove, I love his version of “Winter Wonderland.” In addition, he has released a new Christmas single (not on this EP) called “Candy Cane Christmas” and it is “old school” Christmas music, this will get you in the holiday spirit in no time. And by now you should know that I love anything that Little Big Town does and there song “Go Tell It on the Mountain” is not really new-I-Tunes seems to have taken some of their stuff off of their catalog and releasing it again. This band has the best vocalizing harmonies out today by far-freakin’ awesome.

Album Review: “Bat Out of Hell” by Meatloaf; released on Rocktober 21, 1977.

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on the title track of Mr. Loaf’s Masterpiece, so I listened to the entire album over and over. Folks, I’m not even going to ask if this album is in your music library, you need this album like you need food or water to survive-it’s that essential. So do yourself a favor- if you don’t have this album- stop reading this now and log on to Amazon or wherever you get your music (I-Tunes) and order this album- then come back to continue reading. OK I’m back. Now this album conjures up so many memories of my childhood growing up on 46th street in Sunset Park Brooklyn. I was 12 years old when this album was released and is definitely part of my foundation of learning to love rock and roll. If one is building a house, this is the concrete that is poured into the ground. If I go from the bottom up, the “concrete” from this album is in my feet and toes and then the rest kept getting poured into my body over the years. Now I have to give credit where credit is due and the person responsible for introducing this album to me was and still is, my good friend Cathy. Boy do I remember how much she loved this album (as well as “Loves Life Bleeding” by Elton John), she played it endlessly when we were in junior high school. I bought the album and over the years I may have caught up to how many times she has played it in her lifetime. I can remember sleeping over my Great Aunt’s –Sarah- (who by the way is a young 96 years old today) apartment on “Senator” street in Brooklyn (also known as 69th street to the Brooklyn-nites) one weekend in 1977 and playing this album the whole time on her old time record player. (remember those? They were like an entire furniture piece). The one thing I find very interesting today is that Todd Rundgren was the producer of this album and I have to say at that time I didn’t connect the dots but this man has created some great music in his time and this album, in my opinion, cemented his place in music history (Of course Meatloaf as well but you know what I’m saying). He also played lead guitar in most of the songs.

Side 1 starts off with the title track and all I have to say is-“Has there ever been a more passionate song sung by anyone in any genre of music?” If it is not the most passionate piece ever done- it definitely has to land in the top 10. And the intro with the piano also ranks up there as one of the best piano pieces ever done- how freaking psyched am I already? The song just really begins and I’m already in third gear. As the blazing guitar work creeps in, I start to kick into 4th gear but then just like that, Mr. Loaf drops it down to 1st gear with the slow piano work but don’t worry you’re going to heat up again. This song is like a roller coaster, there are so many dips and then explosions back to the top with break-neck twists & turns. “Oh baby you’re the only thing in this whole world that’s pure and good and right..” I love the way Mr. Loaf’s voice can screech at such high octane levels then drop down to that baritone level-not too many singers can achieve this. What hooked me into this song-as the rest of the album- is the frantic passionate vocals that pour out of every orifice of his being. “Well I can see myself.. tearing up the road.. faster.. than any other boy…” Love the crashing part where he is at the bottom of the pit in the blazing sun, where he is torn and twisted. I try to match his fervor by placing my left hand on my heart and make believe I have a microphone in my right hand, crunching low then explode into the air and come down while lip synching “Like a bat out of heeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllll…..” Phew, I am sweating big time. Track # 2- “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night”- has that 1960’s feel to it. One of Rundgren’s idols was Phil Spector and this arrangement reeks of everything that Spector would have put into a song. The female background singers remind me of the Ronettes- next time you listen to this song-try to focus just on their part and you’ll see what I’m talking about. I remember the first time I played this song for my boys and they were wondering why the introduction had these two people talking about wolves. This is a classic “catchy” pop song that you can not get out of your head as the chorus is so addictive and of course you know I love the hand claps at the end of the song. “Heaven Can Wait” is a beautiful ballad that was featured in the movie. Mr. Loaf’s voice basically stays at the same place the entire song and really shines a light on his singing ability. This is a perfect dinner song for you and that someone special. The last track on side 1 is my favorite song on the album-“All Revved Up, with No Place to Go”-one of the reasons for that was due to the saxophone part in the song. During my early years I use to play the alto sax and loved it, I use to try and play the sax part for this tune and yes for a short time I had it, but never could nail the “really high” part of the song. Love the quick bluesy part where they cruise up and down the main track. “Ooh I got to draw first blood…sax solo.. and then after the chorus-bam-the best part of the song as the tempo kicks into 5th gear-love the drums, piano, sax and guitars as Mr. Loaf screams out what sometimes many of us go through- “All revved up with no place to go!!!”

Side two begins with arguably his most popular song- “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad”- every time I hear this song I have to stop what I’m doing and I am immediately polarized. This song gets me every time as I can imagine the pain that both he and the woman he is letting know that he doesn’t love, are experiencing. His voice is righteous in this song as he pours his heart out. This song moves me, I feel it and again that is the connection. Another thing is these songs are pretty long but they seem to fly by. “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is the epic masterpiece of his career. In my opinion, this song ranks up in the top ten songs ever created in the history of music. This track is pure fun-can you think of a better “party” song where everyone-from your grandparents-down to the grand kids- have an absolute blast singing and dancing along with taking the female and male parts. Oh and the best part is if you are a baseball song- this is your tune. It took me many years but I have completely nailed down Phil Rizzuto’s part although I may be a little rusty. Then the best part of the song comes –“STOP RIGHT THERE..” I can picture the women on one side of the dance floor as they plead to the guys –“do you love and will you love me forever.” And par for the course, you know the guy is going to hedge by asking to “sleep on it.” But she ain’t having none of that- she wants to know right now-she’s not going any further. He still hems and haws as they both plead with each as the harmonization is out of this stratosphere. Well he just explodes-“I couldn’t take it any longer… I’ll love you till the end of time!!!” But just like a guy he then prays for the end of time-go figure? I can clearly recall one time in our MBIA spin class I put this song on one of the CD’s that our instructor-Chris- was nice enough to play. Obviously it is a long song and Chris felt like the class was “dogging it” so after the song ended he jumped off the bike and hit the replay button. The whole class objected and I went along with it but I was happy that I was going to hear it again. We all were “dying” as he implored us to give it our all and work harder. It was great!!! Thanks Chris. The last track “For Crying Out Loud” is another beautiful song that really takes it down but again you hear that passion from him and this song kind of reminds me of an Opera as the symphony creates this majestic feel to it.

Bat Out of Hell is the pinnacle of Meatloaf’s career and he hit a grand slam right out of the gate with this album. I believe it still sells like 200,000 copies every year and remains third on the all time list of albums sold ever in the world and the ticker is over 43 million. (The only two above this is AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and of course MJ’s “Thriller”). And not for anything, the cover of this album has to rank in the top ten of the best album covers ever, right? Again you should consider this album like water- vital to your existence.

“TOP TEN” :

Ever since the Metallica show last weekend I have been looking to rock out this week, so I decided to think of a band that has been rockin’ for the past 25 years or so and that band is Van Halen. Now keep in mind I was a fan of both lead singers (we really can’t count Gary Cherone, can we?) but as you all know by now, my preference are the years spent with Diamond Dave and hopefully some new material with Roth is going to follow in 2010. Obviously it was much harder to come up with my top ten songs with DLR than it was with Sammy Hagar. So hard in fact that I like to throw out the fact that Van Halen’s first five albums are all “desert island” discs for me. (Yes I know “1984” had all the “hits,” but remember when I was younger I stayed away from the “hits.”)Now with Hagar my favorite album was the one whose initials spelled out a bad word. (C’mon you know it??!!) Anyways here are my favorite ten songs by Van Halen-first with Diamond Dave and then my ten favorite with Sammy Hagar:

With Diamond David Lee Roth:

10.     Atomic Punk– Hunger. That is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear this song, this is when Van Halen was hungry and ready to show the world that they were a force to be reckoned with. This song is a 98 mile Nolan Ryan fastball under your chin. This is a young Mike Tyson knock out punch delivered in the first round. You get the point? Do you need a song to get you pumped up for your next work-out (whatever it is) look no further than this track.

9.     Loss of Control– Every time I went to take this song out my top ten songs I couldn’t do it. (Believe me I started out with 20 songs and I had to be honest with myself on what 10 songs I would want on a desert island). I can’t get enough of this 2:39 song. I run around in circles like a mad man. This song also reminds me of my good friend Slats.

8.     Could This Be Magic– I absolutely love this song, I love the way Diamond Dave sings so many cool parts- “but you don’t got to hurry take your tie-mmm…” “but you got womens on your mind..” “Better safe women and children first… Edward… Thank ya…” This song brings me back to my days growing up on 46th street and my friend Mr. Graham loved this track. He would mimic Diamond Dave to a “T.”

7.     In a Simple Rhyme– As you can tell from this list, I have a lot of favorites from “Women & Children First” and get totally pissed when I see it on sale for like $4.99 in Sears or something like that. This track is one of the best songs that Van Halen has ever recorded, the arrangement of this track is so phenomenal it’s hard to put into words. Alex’s drumming is spectacular and what else can you say about Eddie. And by the way, Michael Anthony’s bass line will rip your chest open. This is an “ultimate” Van Halen song.

6.     Hear About It Later– You know how when you hear a certain song it brings you back to a particular place & time? I can remember when “Fair Warning” was released and I wanted everyone in the entire universe to own it. Anyway one day I walked out of Brooklyn Tech and was heading home when I heard this song blasting from a parked car across the street from Tech near the park. I immediately stopped dead in my tracks and had to listen to the end and was trying to get everyone else to hear the greatness of the band called Van Halen. Spectacular song.

5.     The Full Bug– There’s a reason I picked this song for the “Rocktober Jukebox” featuring the greatest American Bands. Listen to Eddie play the guitar in this song and you’ll immediately want to pick up the guitar and take some lessons. (But another ingredient you’ll need is to FEEL IT). If you feel it maybe you’ll play like Eddie-Ok we all know that is not true but you can always fall back on air-guitaring like I do.

4.     Mean Street– Could be the best opening guitar lick in the history of rock. Eddie’s playing is so not from this planet. I have to put this song on so LOUD every time I hear it. My wife is screaming for me to turn it down but I can’t help it. This is rock the way it was intended to be. Every part of this song-drums, vocals, bass and of course the spectacular guitar playing by Mr. Van Halen- it top notch in my book. Remember this past summer I grabbed my little guy when I heard this song being played at a “Fair” and we ran over to the speaker and I jammed like I was at a Van Halen show. I’m in when they come back, have I mentioned that?

3.     Romeo Delight– Could be one of the greatest rock songs ever written, recorded or performed. Alex’s drumming is simply stellar. I get so psyched, so amped whenever I hear this song that I have to run around or shadow box or air-guitar around the whole house. “Feel my heart beat… Feel my heart beat.. SAVE IT PLEASE I CAN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE!!!” Blast this in your car, your ears or in your house- you will not be disappointed.

2.     I’m the One– I perform the “Waynes World Bow” every time I hear this track. How blistering is Eddie’s guitar work? In my opinion this is his best work ever on guitar. I remember putting this song on a track list for the boot camp days at MBIA back in 2003-2005 and just totally flipping out in the class whenever it came on. This is my blast of cappuccino, or expresso or whatever gets you ready. Love Diamond Dave’s howl towards the end of the song. Simply amazing.

1.     Feel Your Love Tonight– From the opening lyrics “We’re getting funny in the back of my car..” I was hooked. Van Halen always had great background vocals and they shine brightly on this track. Eddie’s guitar solo just floors me while Alex is so solid behind the skins on every song, he is a top notch drummer. Diamond Dave has got it going on for this track.

With Sammy “The Red Rocker” Hagar:

10.     Cabo Wabo– This song brings me back to Texas with my second family- Ron, Robert, Richie, Tommy and Jimmy. The first year we went down to the Fort Worth area this album- “OU812” had just come out- and I drove their mother nuts by constantly playing this song. She would just shake her head and say “anything but Errol’s music!!” Music is supposed to “take you back”- music is the connection to so many things including the soul. This song does it for me in so many memorable ways. ‘Nuff said.

9.     Love Walks InLesser known classic from 5150. Hagar’s vocals shine brightly here and could be the best out of any song he did with Van Halen. “Sleep & dream, that’s all I pray.. I travel far across the milky way..” Very good ballad.

8.     Black and Blue– The first time I saw Van Hagar in concert I clearly remember this song being the highlight of the show. I can recall how Michael, Sammy and Eddie all walked in unison behind each other- stepping out to the right, then the left and then repeat for the whole length of the stage-very cool. These guys made some rockin’ tunes, there’s no denying that.

7.     Dreams– My friend Johnny Boy loves this song and when we were in our early 20’s we’d ride around in his car with this song blasting out of his speakers. Back in those days he really wouldn’t play rock songs in his car, except when I was traveling with him and even then it was only a certain selection of rock songs. I’m glad this one made the cut, how could it not?

6.     Finish What Ya Started– I remember reading an article once when Van Halen was touring with the Scorpions back in the day. Sammy said they sampled this song for the Scorpion boys and their faces scrunched and they kind of said “Oh yeah this is good.. is this really you?” It doesn’t always have to be heavy to be good in my book- as you should already know that by now. Love the groove in this song, can’t get enough of it.

5.     The Dream is Over– Love the beginning where Sammy whispers “Pssst” and Eddie’s electrifying guitar work surrounds you and gets you in a head-lock with no intention of letting go. In my opinion, this is Eddie’s best guitar song in his time with Hagar. “Cause it’s a rip-off…. Dream another dream, this dream is over…”

4.     When It’s Love– This could be the best song that Sammy wrote with Eddie, Alex and Michael. This song can match up to Diamond Dave’s catalog. The chorus is so addicting and this song is so much fun to sing along to. “You look at every face in the crowd…”

3.     Why Can’t This Be Love– Could be the pinnacle song for their time together. I wore out the inside album sleeve from this album-“5150”- and thinking about it now I should have added this song to my “summer song” list back in July as I can clearly remember this song being the song of the summer in 1986. The whole arrangement of this song is perfect-the beginning, the bridge and of course the chorus. You know you have sung this song to yourself many times.

2.     Right Now– Have to admit the video definitely aided my decision for this song to be in my top ten list for the Hagar-era. Actually love the piano work by Eddie as well as the driving guitar sound that is the right combination which sets this Van Halen song apart from anything they ever recorded. Love the “signs” that are displayed throughout the video that really depict the everyday life of everyone. There was something in that video that had to affect you in some way, no? Love the bridge to the guitar solo which gets a push from Alex’s drumming. “Right Now..it’s what’s happening” What’s happening with you?

1.     Poundcake-Again love the beginning of the tune with the drill sound with the brothers taking over between the great drumming and the incredible riffs which send sparks out of Eddie’s guitar. I use to bring down my house downstairs in Ringwood N.J. with this song. I imagined being Sammy up on stage and know every nook and cranny of this song, I think I would win a karaoke contest. This song pumps me up like none other. (I know I say that about every song, right?)

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Jacob Dylan –The Wallflowers

2.     Butch Trucks-The Allman Brothers

3.     Gerry Lewis & The Pace Makers

4.     Michele Phillips

This week’s trivia (Rock Star Couples)

1.     I was married to Axl Rose for a brief time and my dad was a forefather of rock and roll, Who am I?

2.     She was a lead singer for her own rock band in the 1990’s and was married to a pioneer of grunge music Who is she?

3.     She was married to someone in Motley Crue and someone in Bon Jovi?

4.     She worked as an actress and model, married one of the most famous rock stars on the planet when she was 19 and was married to him from 1970 until 1980. Who is she?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Candy Man ”- Sammy Davis Jr.

2.     “Casey Jones”-Grateful Dead

3.     “Locomotion”-Little Eva or Grand Funk

4.     “Rhinestone Cowboy”- Glen Campbell

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

1.     “When a man’s an empty kettle..He should be on his mettle.. and yet I’m torn apart…”

2.     “I don’t know why I did the things I did..I don’t why I said the things that I said…”

3.     “And when my love for life is running dry.. You come and pour yourself on me…”

4.     “I’d sing out danger.. I’d sing out a warning.. I’d sing out love….”

Back on this day in 1955, Bo Diddley played his one and only performance on the Ed Sullivan show. Sullivan wanted Bo to play the song-“Sixteen Tons”- but Diddley played “Bo Diddley.” Sullivan had him black-balled in the industry and he never again appeared on his show.

Back on this day in 1973 during a concert in San Francisco a young man by the name of Scott Halpin replaced The Who’s legendary drummer, Keith Moon, on stage after Moon collapsed on stage after someone put a horse tranquilizer in his drink. Halpin played the last three songs.

Back on this day in 1976, George Harrison performed on Saturday Night Live and was joined by Paul Simon for Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun.”

Back on this day in 1994, David Crosby received a liver transplant. The operation took 7 hours.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Norman Greenbaum, the late Duane Allman, Joe Walsh and Frank Marino (Mahogany Rush).

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