Errols Weekly Music Update.

November 25, 2009

Weekly Update – 11/25/2009

Chuck Berry –The Immortal-The Legend-The “Father” of Rock and Roll-at BB Kings on New Year’s Eve. Tickets on sale tis morning at 10:00 a.m.$98.

Aretha Franklin at Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood NJ on Sat. May 22, 2010. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m. $35 – $125.

eTown Live Radio Show featuring Tori Amos and Jesse Winchester at the Grand Ballroom (7th floor of the Manhattan Center). Tickets on sale now. $42.

Dinosaur Jr. at Bowery Ballroom on Sat. Jan. 16, 2010. And at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sun. Jan. 17. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25 ($30 day of show).

Alice In Chains at Terminal 5 on Mon. Mar. 8, 2010 and at the Borgota in Atlantic City on Sat. Mar. 12, 2010. Ticket info to follow. (Second half of their tour kicks off in Vancouver in Feb.)

Other items:

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone, may you have a warm holiday season.

Congratulations to Taylor Swift on winning what seemed like every award this past Sunday night on the American Music Awards show. This is her year without a doubt. She is a breath of fresh air. I don’t know about you but maybe I’m a prude but it drives me crazy that artists are allowed to curse during their songs on national TV. I guess we now live in a world where the “7 second delay” will be with us forever. Jay-Z’s performance with Alicia Keys for the song-“Empire State of Mind”- was very good but then here it comes- there were words coming out of his mouth-oh wait he’s cursing… bums me out. And then forget about Eminem’s performance-turned the channel, it’s ridiculous- is this all for “street cred?” I’ll take Susan Boyle any day of the week over that. It may be me but I don’t get Lady Gaga, do you? I’m at a loss for words to describe her performance.

As usual Mary J. Blige was the coolest female performer and is by far one of the coolest people on the planet. And what about Adam Lambert? I don’t even know what to say- his performance was terrible, I’m sorry I usually keep it positive on this page and if I have nothing good to say, I usually just don’t say anything but he has lost me as a fan. I can no longer take his screaming which seems to be done on every one of his performances, the last notes that he was screeching took out more than a few windows across the U.S. Adam- what has happened? I think all the “fame” has taken away your talent. And why all the stupid body gyrations and kisses, etc? Weren’t you just on American Idol? A place where a family can enjoy a show together and less than 6 months later, this is what you do? For shock value? And then to just blow it off like it is no big deal is an insult to all the kids out there who voted for you. It’s so obvious you have a lot of growing up to do. I will not put any money in his pockets by buying his album, his performance was not only a disgrace but he doesn’t sing anymore, he just screams and screeches. I’m done. His scheduled appearance on “Good Morning America” today deserved to be pulled from their programming.

I absolutely love Susan Boyle’s new album- “I Dreamed a Dream”-this is a perfect album for a dinner party or a holiday party. The first song, a remake of the Rolling Stone’s-“Wild Horses”- is in my opinion stunning beautiful. Then the song that made her who she is today-“I Dreamed a Dream” still gives me the chills as I can picture her up on stage that first time while Simon’s reaction was priceless. Now obviously this is a “sit-down” listening album in front of the fireplace, etc. as this could almost be considered a “classical” album. “Cry Me a River” is still absolutely phenomenal no matter how many times you hear it or view it on You Tube. Her version of “How Great That Art” is a chilling monumental feat that will blow you away. Where has this woman been all of our lives? She puts a very different spin on the Monkees classic “Day Dream Believer.” The rest of the album again is fantastic and could be considered in my top ten albums of the year. That’s how good this is folks, she probably could retire after this as I’m assuming this will break many, many records. Congrats Ms. Boyle, well deserved.

The “Very Special Christmas” has added another to its series- “7”- and it features songs from Carrie Underwood, Colbie Caillat, Miley Cyrus, Sean Kingston and Charice. I have to say that this one sounds good overall- there are a few songs that I’d pass over- but overall this is worth the purchase.

I purchased the song –“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”- from David Archuleta’s “Christmas From the Heart” album as it features Charice Pempengco and if you remember she had, in my opinion, a massive hit with “Note to God”- which will definitely be in my top ten songs for the year 2009. Listen to this track, Archuleta actually hangs in there with her which is hard to do.

Lite FM 106.7 the radio station in New York has been playing 24 hours of Christmas music since last weekend and it will continue until Dec. 26. I love it!!

Q-104.3– NY’s Classic Rock Radio station- will be playing their top 1,043 songs of all time, voted by you- the listener. The countdown begins today and ends up on this Sunday.

Album Review: “Battle Studies” by John Mayer; released on November 17, 2009.

Well folks like I told you last week, I knew my son was going to get Mayer’s new album. I’m not sure there is a bigger fan out there today than my oldest son and with no further adieu here is his review:

It’s been three years since singer/guitarist John Mayer has put out a studio album. Due to this I have been waiting for “Battle Studies” for a long, long time and with much anticipation. When I went to the store to buy the CD mixed feelings overcame me. I was so happy that I could finally listen to some new songs from my favorite artist, but I was also a little scared because the album had gotten “average” reviews. I played the album and then I played it again, and again and finally had an opinion about it. This is an album of details, every listen you can find something more interesting about it.

When “Heartbreak Warfare”, the first song on the album, started playing I immediately had a good feeling about it. The song is so calm and very peaceful although the lyrics are the opposite and speak of what most of the album revolves around: love and heartbreak. You can tell just from this song that John wasn’t lying when he said that he had changed his writing style, most of the songs use battles or wars as metaphors to explain how he feels. It’s an interesting change in style.“Heartbreak Warfare” is a great way to start the album and gives a hint toward the sound of the rest of the album. The second song is called “All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye” and once again some of the lyrics are really good! For some reason I think Mayer’s vocals stand more on this album than past records, it’s one of the notable aspects of the album. I love at the end of the song when Mayer sings the high and low verses at the same time, it just sounds amazing. Next a guitar rings out and “Half of My Heart” begins. Now I was a little skeptical because Taylor Swift is singing along with John and I’m not a big fan of Swift, but I have to give credit to her because she sings the song very well with Mayer. They had very good chemistry. This is one of the most enjoyable songs on the album.

Track four is the first single from the album “Who Says” and is not my favorite John Mayer song. First I disagree with this being released as the first single; the song is ok but not single material. I really don’t understand the lyrics but I’m not going to dwell on it. You really have to be in the mood for this song, it’s perfect for driving late at night. After this a great upbeat song comes on called “Perfectly Lonely.” It’s very refreshing after hearing “Who Says” and is one of the best songs on the album. Everything on this song sounds good the guitar, vocals, lyrics, and rhythms. It’s so cool when John goes from singing to a guitar solo, it just sounds right. “Assassin” is the next track and is another stand out song on “Battle Studies.” Again it shows John’s change in writing and is a really cool song. The chorus is addicting and the guitar solo is flashy and lively. Next Mayer returns to his blues roots and covers Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” with skill. I had this song playing in the car and my mom turned it up and said “Wow this is good!”The guitar work in the song is great (not that I expected anything different).

Track 8, “War of My Life”, is a personal favorite of mine. It is such a peaceful song where Mayer’s vocals are flawless. The part at the end of the song where Mayer sings “So fight on…fight on everyone” is magical. Battle Studies continues with “Edge of Desire.” This song gets better as it progresses, it is really good from the guitar solo on, and once again I feel that the vocals shine in this song.“Do You Know Me”, the 10th song, is the worst song on the album. There’s just nothing special about the song. My favorite song on the album happens to be the last one, “Friends, Lovers, or Nothing.” The lyrics speak such truth in this song; a person is either a friend, a lover, or nothing. There is no in between.I saw this song live when John performed at the Beacon Theater and that performance made me realize how great it is. The vocals and guitar sound great together. The guitar solo is spectacular, when John plays guitar it sends me to another world.It’s amazing how music can affect a person. The harmonies at the end of the song with the combination of vocals, background vocals, and guitar sound amazing. A great way to end an album that has impressed me even though it’s not the kind of music I had expected. This album will always be special to me; there is just something about it that really appeals to me.I feel like I can almost relate to the album and I think that John Mayer has made an excellent record once again.

Overall Opinion: It’s not a perfect album but it is pretty close! I give it about 4 stars. This is a very personal album from Mayer and I think he had to make it for himself. I find it very strange as to why this album is getting a lot of bad reviews and grief. We all knew that this record wasn’t going to top “Continuum” or resemble its sound at all. Mr. Mayer made the right choice by not trying to duplicate Continuum and instead create an album with a brand new sound and writing style. This is not a new thing for Mayer, he has changed his style and sound on every album he has made. None of them sound alike, “Room For Squares” was a great light acoustic album with pop hooks, “Heavier Things” started introducing more electric guitars and more mature lyrics, and “Continuum” was Mayer’s perfect record and had a blues feel to it. John Mayer knew he couldn’t recreate Continuum so he just introduced a new sound with “Battle Studies”. So for the people hating on the album just because it’s not like Continuum stop complaining, accept Mayer’s decision to try something new, and enjoy this record because it is a piece of work.

TOP TEN” :

As you know I go through kicks where I obsessively listen to a band for a period of a couple of weeks and of course consider that band one of the best bands either out today or “ever,” right? Well for the past few weeks on my rides into the city I have been listening a lot to the country band-Little Big Town– and you know what’s coming right? They are “hands down” (with no competition that I see) the best vocal band that is out today. (Forget that Rascal Flatts won that award- that was “fixed” because if you listen with your ears-and not by popularity- you will agree that this two man and two women band are the best singers since the Mamas and Papas). So here are my favorite ten songs from this band which formed in Tennessee in 1998:

10.     Fury– Love the groove in this song. This is not your mother or father’s Country band, they have expanded the meaning of Country (sort of like how the “Alt-A” mortgage market became watered down and turned into the “Alt B” market). But in this case, Little Big Town is expanding but in a great way. There harmonization is something to behold, my jaw just hits the floor. I can’t wait to see this band for the first time, it’s only a matter of time.

9.     Stay– This song is a “beaut.” The combination of the acoustic guitar and the girl’s voices is something that gives me the chills. It’s a heartfelt plea that will melt your heart. Whenever I hear this song, I have to stop what I’m doing and completely devote my attention to this exquisite song.

8.     Don’t Waste My Time– This is “music to my ears” and I love to lip-sync to this song as I try to match the passion of their phenomenal voices. The lyrics are perfect is you are trying to get someone to move in your direction. I like the way the woman sings a verse then the guys sing a verse. I can picture that someone dancing around by themselves at a concert (c’mon you all know that you have see that person) because they feel that particular song in them, this is that song.

7.     Everything Changes– Love the video for this song and have to admit it’s one of the reasons it lands on my top ten list. Obviously their harmonizing vocals are the main reason and I wish I could hold a tune like them. This is the perfect sing-along song where the chorus will stick in your head all day long.

6.     A Place to Land– This song had me on the opening lines-“I dip my toe in water before I know it I’m over my head.” This is a finger snapping, hand clapping song that will have you swaying your hands and arms back and forth above your head. I have a funny feeling that my mother-if she were still alive today- would absolutely love this band and especially this song, this is right up her alley-as well as mine. Pure perfection.

5.     Good As Gone– As soon as I hear this song, I can picture the video with one of the girls walking in on her boyfriend and seeing him with another woman. Ooops…and thus the title of this song. This song moves and the guitar playing is so much fun. Have I mentioned that this band is very talented? Listen to the guitar solo and tell me “they ain’t good?” I defy you. With that said, I’m as good as gone.

4.     Vapor– This is almost a head banging song.. maybe a “Country head-banging” tune? The reason I say that is cause every time I hear this song my head goes up and down while I air-guitar my way to the top. They rock out pretty good on this track but then slow it down and then take it back up with a fury that is unmatched. “Life is a Vapor… Fire and Paper..” Sort of like a Mellencamp tune, I could see him doing this song with them.

3.     Boondocks-This song makes me wish I was born in the boondocks because I would be so proud of the way that Little Big Town has represented my world to the rest of the world with this great tune. Again if this doesn’t move you, you may want to check for a pulse. “It’s where I learned about living.. It’s where I learned about love….This is who I am.” That’s what I’m talking ‘bout!!!

2.     Bring It On Home– This was my first introduction to this band. As soon as I heard this song I had to run out and buy it. I was completely blown away by the calmness and beauty of this song. My kids will always have a funny story to tell their children- I love to listen to music when I’m cleaning around the house and this one particular day I had my headphones on and this song came on the I-Tunes shuffle and I had to sing along. My kids stopped playing the Wii and laughed as they listened to me try to match their vocals- they said the dogs in the neighborhood were howlin’. What can I say? I love this song!!!

1.     Novocaine– If you remember I had this song in my top ten songs of 2007. I friggin’ love this song!!! It’s blasting so loud in my house-and no one is home except my oldest son-so you know I’m having a party. If this song doesn’t move you, then I give up. This is a perfect party song- hey maybe you can impress everyone at your New Year’s Eve house party by memorizing the words (you have time) and dance around your living room floor while everyone will ask- Who is this?- You can then tell them it is the best harmonizing band in the world today- Little Big Town!!!

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Erin Everly- daughter of Don Everly

2.     Courtney Love

3.     Heather Locklear

4.     Angie Bowie

This week’s trivia (Before I went solo)

1.     One of my first gigs, I use to play the drums for Smokey Robinson’s band. Who am I?

2.     I played for Little Richard’s band and also the Isley Brother’s before I exploded onto the music scene? Who am I?

3.     I was part of the “girl band” movement in the 1960’s, then went off on my own, had many hits in the 1970’s through the 1990’s and am still going strong today? Who am I?

4.     I use to sing lead for “The Baby’s” before I went and had a huge single on my own called “Missing You.” Who am I?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “If I Only Had a Heart ”- Jack Haley (from the “Wizard of Oz”)

2.     “If I Could Turn Back Time”-Cher

3.      “If”-Bread

4.     “If I Had a Hammer”- Peter, Paul & Mary

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

1.     “Why should I care? Why should I care?…………. Girls of Fifteen…”

2.     “I want somebody to speed it up for me.. then take it down slow.. there’s enough room for both…”

3.     “Waiting for the break of day.. searching for something to say…flashing lights…”

4.     “I was dreaming when I wrote this.. forgive me if it goes astray..but when I woke up….”

Back on this day in 1976, The Band filmed “The Last Waltz,” which was their last concert with the original line-up. Other guests included Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters.

Back on this day in 1984, Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Sting and U2 were among some of the artists that recorded the song-“Do They Know It’s Christmas”-produced by Bob Geldoff.

Back on this day in 1988, Ringo Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach completed their stay at a rehab for alcoholism.

Back on this day in 2000, a burglar broke into Alice Cooper’s house in CA and stole $6,000 worth of clothes and jewelry from his daughter and four of his gold records.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Percy Sledge.

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