Errols Weekly Music Update.

January 7, 2010

Weekly Update – 01/08/2010

Allman Brothers at United Palace Theater on Thurs.-Sat. Mar. 11-13; Mon. & Tues. Mar. 15 & 16; and then Thurs.-Sat. Mar. 18-20. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders on sale now until 10:00 p.m. Thurs. Jan. 14. General public tickets will go on sale Sat. Jan. 15 at 10:00 a.m. $60.99, $109.99 & $150.99 (See below for more on this).

Trey Anastasio & Classic Tab at Terminal 5 on Tues. Feb. 16. Tickets on sale today at noon. $39.50

Wilco at the Wellmont Theater on Fri. & Sat. Apr. 4 & 5. Tickets on sale today at noon. $38

Eric Church at New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Wed. Feb. 10. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.  $22

Gladys Knight at Theater in Westbury NY on Sat. June 12. Tickets on sale this Sunday Jan. 10 at 12:30 p.m. (Live Nation Event).

Kenny Loggins at Theater in Westbury NY on Fri. May 14. Tickets on sale this Sunday Jan. 10 at 12:30 p.m. (Live Nation Event).

W.A.S.P. at the Gramercy Theater (formerly “Blender”) on Thurs. Mar. 11. Tickets on sale today at noon. (Live Nation Event).

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Tony Bellamy, (born Anthony Avila) singer and guitarist for the band “Redbone” who had a major hit in 1974 with “Come and Get Your Love,” (love that song) as he passed away from liver failure at the age of 69 on Christmas day. They also had some other hits such as “Maggie” and “The Witch Queen of New Orleans.” Redbone was at the forefront of Native American rock bands and was supposedly was formed by the encouragement of Jimi Hendrix. He also performed with Dobie Gray and Peter & the Wolves which those two bands merged and became Moby Grape.

Rumor of the week: Well I told you it was coming and now according to Chris Cornell’s twitter message on New Year’s Day: Soundgarden will reunite in 2010 and tour!!! Little details like letting Matt Cameron get out of his gigs with Pearl Jam- he joined them after Soundgarden broke up back in 1997. If they are taking requests- please play the entire “Superunknown” album live at the show. Without a doubt- I am SO IN!!! Welcome Home Chris. Now we get to experience the so underrated lead guitarist Kim Thayil in action again!!

The “Say It Ain’t So” Moment of the Week: In the year 2010, the Allman Brothers WILL NOT– I repeat-WILL NOT– be playing the Beacon Theater for their annual “March Madness” shows. Can you imagine? For the last 20 years (except in 2008 when Gregg was sick) they have been a mainstay in this great city. The reason: Cirque du Soleil-the Montreal circus troupe. No offense to the Cirque, but are you kidding me? I thought the Beacon was made for music shows? It’s perfect setting for an intimate show as it seats 2,800. This circus is booked through possibly into August…. August?… C’mon even Ringling Brothers don’t set up their tent for that long. So now the band will head uptown, way uptown to the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights-which seats about 3,300. (but concert goers have complained about the “echo-filled” acoustics in this place). MSG (Dolan again right?) executives offered up Radio City Music Hall but Gregg scoffed at that notion and was quoted as saying “That’s a place for Hannah Montana” but he quickly added “I think she’s great.” So the Allman’s will do 8 shows for now (if they sell out they will add more) and the dates are: (see above). You have to wonder if the Allman “faithful” will trek up to Washington Heights because they always had a “pre” and “post” party going on (some may not have even made it to actually see the Allman’s anyway as they continued to party-“pre” “during” and “post”) as you couldn’t have a better spot than the upper west side for restaurants, bars and pizza joints to congregate before and after the Beacon shows. How many years did we have to sit in the Beacon when it was falling apart and now that it is brand spanking new, they go ahead book a circus for more than a half a year? (I know-the almighty dollar). Between MSG and Cablevision-which Dolan owns- is there any aspect of our every day lives that he hasn’t upset? First the “Food Network” is off of Cablevision and now this- the Allman’s kept out of their home for a circus?   Using a “Faganism”-“I’m scratching my head so hard right now, it’s bleeding.”

Ozzy Osbourne will be signing his new book –“I am Ozzy”- at the Barnes & Noble book store on 46th street and 5th Avenue in New York City at 12:30 p.m. on Monday January 25. Then later that day at 6:00 p.m. he will be at the “Bookends” store located at 232 East Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood N.J. In addition, on Tuesday January 26th, he will sign copies at “Borders” located at 10 Columbus Circle in New York City at 7:00 p.m. More than a few opportunities to meet the Prince of Darkness himself. For my friend in Chicago, Ozzy will appear at the book store-“Barnes & Noble” located at 55 Old Orchard Center in Skokie, IL on Saturday January 30th at 1:00 p.m.

My favorite “old school R&B” song of the week belongs to Gladys Knight & The Pips with their excellent version of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” With no offense to Marvin Gaye and Creedence Clearwater Revival but Gladys’s version (along with the Pips) is the best version of the song ever. Put it on and tell me you don’t feel like moving, it can’t be done. Wow, songs like this are just not made any more. This is classic stuff folks, jump on it if you don’t have it.

My favorite “old school” song of the week is “If You Want to Get To Heaven” by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils (thanks Mike!!). This band was mostly known for their smash hit “Jackie Blue” but put this one on for size and you will be highly impressed. This is pure syrup, I mean rock and roll!!!

My other favorite “old school” song of the week is “Brandy” by Looking Glass. How cool is this song? This really takes me back. This song is as fresh today as when it was released in the 1970’s. This is “comfort” music.

Album Review: “Hotel Paper” by Michelle Branch; released June 24, 2003

Hotel Paper

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “Breathe” by Michelle Branch and I had not heard this song in a long while and I was pleasantly surprised on how much I enjoy this tune. In my opinion, this is a “monster hit” and deserves your attention. So I remembered that my oldest son-when he was younger- listened to this album incessantly and if I am correct, I actually bought this album as a gift for my wife-based on this song.Anyways, I went back and listened to the entire album and have to give it a total thumbs up. I am not sure of any of her prior (or post) work because this is the only album that I own from her catalog. (except for a single-“I’m Feeling You” which she did with Carlos Santana). I believe this has to be considered one of her best efforts-if not the best- but if her fan base has other opinions, please let me know and I will explore.

The album starts off with a real “old time” introduction that sounds like it’s from the 1920’s or 1930’s and then slips into the slick contemporary “Are You Happy Now?” It conjures up thoughts of Alanis Morrisette’s “You Oughta Know” it sort of sounds like Alanis is going to break through and help Michelle sing “Would you look me in the eye and say it to my face?” It is probably the roughest that Ms. Branch will get with you but it’s good to see (hear) that she has an edge.

“Find Your Way Back” is a nice grooving song that has an addictive chorus. Michelle has this hypnotic voice that lures you into her world as you will find yourself thinking-“I need to listen to more of her music.” This is a perfect song to shout out as a request if there is someone with an acoustic guitar around taking orders. If there is a relationship that you are involved with where you want the other person to come back and don’t know how to get them to return-sing them this song, it may just turn your luck around. “Empty Handed” is my favorite track on the album- it is a beautiful song with some kick to it. The background string section compliments the nice guitar work throughout the song and when she sings the “La da, la da… aaay.. ee.. yaa” part while the acoustic guitar plays along, well it is something to behold. I can picture singing this song in a high school auditorium and dancing around on that small stage trying to match her passion as she belts out “How it’s suppose to be.. How it’s suppose to be..” Track # 5- “Tuesday Morning”- is another perfect “pop” song as the blend of her voice with the arrangement of the track is a delicious treat, like all the egg-nog you try to avoid over the holiday season. “Please don’t drive me home tonight…” she belts out as she doesn’t want to go home, maybe a true experience for Michelle? Sounds like she is writing from the heart. On “One of These Days” her voice seems to be in a higher octave as the pace of the song slows down from the prior tracks with the piano being the most prevalent part of the tune. It has to be a good tune because before I knew it, the song was over. In the track “Love Me Like That” she gets some help from Sheryl Crow and the combination is pure magic. As Michelle sings the lead, Sheryl shadows her in the background and the result is real nice. It has an upbeat tempo as you will tap your foot as well as make believe you are playing acoustic guitar. This makes me want them to do more songs together as their vocals blend perfectly.

“Desperately” takes the tempo down a bit and could be considered a “filler” but I have to say I like it. I think there is a theme with this album and that is love-it definitely sounds like there was a real special person in her life that she wanted to be with. (maybe she is). The aforementioned “Breathe” is the ninth track and the “hit” of the album. It has a catchy chorus and you will be singing this song all day long. I wonder what it be like to have a song that so many people like, it has to be very rewarding (not saying her other songs or other artists songs are not rewarding but you know what I mean). I love the beginning of the song with the acoustic guitar lick as she comes in saying “I’ve been driving for an hour.. just talking to the rain….. and it’s keeping you away..” You could also scream out this song if that person with the acoustic guitar is still around. Track # 10-“Where Are You Now”- sounds eerily like Edie Brickell’s “What I Am” (remember that song? Whatever happened to her? She married Paul Simon and that was it) in both the beginning chords as well as Ms. Branch’s vocal style. This is another song that you can easily sing along to, she seems to have that knack. Her backing band has some real talent and I would assume they must have a good time when Michelle performs live, I would like to see her perform this song. “Hotel Paper”- the title track is one of the best songs on the album. It has this melancholy mood to it but also possesses the needed exquisiteness to draw you in. I can really picture her writing her lyrics to her songs on “Hotel Paper.” Actually it is probably one of the best places to write down your thoughts (instead of reading those bulky magazines that highlights the best places to visit for the city that you have landed in) and there is always that hotel paper sitting on the desk in the room. “Till I Get Over You” is a heartfelt cry of pain as a result of a breakup. When she sings I can picture her looking out a bay window in a home while the rain falls gently all while one rain drop slowly slivers down from the top of the window towards the base similar to the tear that is finding its way down her cheek. This is the most touching song on the album. The last song of the album-“It’s You”- keeps with that same solemn mood but again the splendor of her vocals keeps you listening very intently. This is a raw emotional song that grips you and whomever the person she has been singing about throughout the album must be (or must have been) a very special person. If there is that someone special in your life, you may want to learn the words to the song and sing it to them, this track has such an allure. As the song ends you again hear the “really old school” sound that harkens back to the 1920’s and 1930’s.

“Hotel Paper” is a special album and deserves your attention. It starts off with many good songs and admittedly there may be a few fillers in the middle-but not many- and the album ends on a very strong note beginning from “Breathe” to “It’s You.” My recommendation is to “buy” and then “hold” on to and listen to as many times as my oldest son has (and now maybe even me). This is a top notch effort and it will stand the test of time, would I steer you wrong?

“TOP TEN”:

Image of Rush

This past Tuesday night my youngest son called me into the living room and he sounded excited, so I ran into see what was catching his attention. He had the channel on VH1 classic and they were showing Rush in concert (I have seen it more than a few times in the past few months). What a smile that came across my face as he has been getting into these guys the last few months and I was thrilled that he was so wound up about them. At one point during the footage most of the crowd were giving them the “We Are Not Worthy” bow ( a la “Wayne’s World”) as this phenomenally talented three-some is something to behold. Neil Peart’s drum set was like an island as he was surrounded in a complete circle by so many drums, cow bells and cymbals. I’ll say it again- it’s a travesty that Rush is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They have to rank way up there as the most prolific three piece band in the history of rock music-period end of story. Seeing them perform “2112” is almost like an “out-of-body” experience and you are truly missing out if you have not seen them live.

Anyway I decided to make this week’s top ten list to be that of Rush. Now again since their history spans more than 30 years you know I am going to have songs that will have the “die-hards” smashing their heads into their computer as they read the list but again, if I am on an island and was told that I could only have ten songs by Rush, “these would be them:”

10.     “The Trees”– How friggin’ great is this song? C’mon just by the lyrics alone this song lands in my top ten. “And the Maples scream oppression and the Oaks just shake their heads” or “So the Maples formed a union and demanded equal rights. The Oaks are just too greedy..” And what about the dazzling guitar work by Alex Lifeson? A pure spectacle when you see this performed live it’s that much better.

9.     “Analog (For Mongo)”– Ok now I know even the most die-hard fan will shake their head “no” on this one. But I think that this is the cleverest song ever written- yes ever written. Take a look at the lyrics by Neil Peart and see if you agree.For example, “There’s a snake coming out of the darkness.. parade from paradise.. and the need for enden.. chase the dreams of merchandise.. there is “tic” “toc” in atomic..” C’mon you have to admit it’s ingenious and there are so many words within words throughout the song. I also love the melody of the track, especially the chorus. “Take your best stab at the beast.. the night is turning thin…” This is from my favorite album by these guys-“Presto”-I know, I know… another “sac-religious” thing to admit

8.     “Fly By Night”-There is something about this song that keeps me coming back for more. I was flip-flopping with so many other songs (as this list was also hard) but I kept coming back to this track. The groove is so infectious and I take turns playing “air-guitar” bass and “air-guitar” lead. Love when it slows down and it sounds like Geddy is singing under-water. This song is a timeless classic, ‘nuff said.

7.     “Nobody’s Hero”– Boy do I love this song, love the guitar work by Alex Lifeson and for those of you who say they can’t take Geddy Lee’s vocals, check him out in this song and tell me it’s not good? In my opinion this song is totally different from any other song that they have recorded. It’s not the typical Rush sound, a true ballad type song (I know what you are thinking- what about “Tears”- yes Ok that is a ballad also) and again the lyrics cut right to the bone. Not only is Neil one of the greatest drummers to have ever walked this planet but I consider him a better writer/lyricist.

6.     “2112: Overture/The Temples of Syrinx”– OK I know it’s “sac-reigious” to not put down the other sections of the song that make up the entire 20-plus minutes masterpiece but even Rush put this part of their song on their greatest hits collection, including “Chronicles.” I was at Madison Square Garden when they played the entire “2112” album about 5-7 years ago and I have to say it was one of the most hypnotizing moments in my life. I watched in complete awe and almost pulled a “Homer Simpson” whereby the drool was close to the surface. (I said almost). For those of you who do not know this song it is the equivalent to not ever seeing “The GodFather” movies. (Parts I and II of course) I’ll say it again-this song alone gets them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Are you kidding me? This is the fourth “r”- Reading, “Riting”, “Rithmatic” and Rock-that is required for graduation. I’ll let it go if you haven’t heard it but go back and get your “GED-dy!!” How do you like me now?

5.     “The Spirit of Radio”– If you look up the word-“progressive rock”- in the dictionary you may just see this song included as part of the definition. How many times did WNEW-FM radio (when it was cool back in the day) play this song? I’d venture to bet that this song was up there in the race for the song that was played the most during the time that they were a rock and roll station. And don’t even tell me you haven’t “air-drummed” to this song because if you do- you are lying. Makes you want to take drum lessons, doesn’t it? Geddy Lee is “the bomb” in this song, I’m sorry-he just nails it with his vocals. Again there are just three guys creating this wall of sound. Do you recognize that fact? One of the best “head-banging” songs of all-time. Timeless classic.

4.     “New World Man”– I remember when “Signals” came out and I just wore out the album sleeve on this bad boy. Listening to the .33 records is so much better than any other sound produced. By yourself a turntable and see what I’m talking about. Love the “outer-pace” beginning and just the whole arrangement where it “stops” and “goes.” “He’s old enough to know what’s right but young enough not to choose it”-sound familiar- Have I mentioned that Peart is a great writer? I can sing this song for days, love it.

3.     “Red Barchetta”– I always wanted to have an uncle “who had a country place that no one knows about” so that way I could bring this song to his place and sing it out loud. This is another masterpiece-and if the Hall is looking for another song to open the gates-well here it is, what are you waiting for-these guys have to be in. Well in my mind (as well as the thousands and thousands of Rush fans) they are rubbing elbows with every other act that has been voted in. We know better. Who doesn’t know all the words to this song? This is another unbelievable experience at their live shows. I always wished I could jump on stage with them and sing this song. “Well leathered leather hot metal and oil.. every nerve aware!!”

2.     “War Paint”– Talk about a one-two punch? I remember when “Presto” had just come out and I had to serve jury duty in Brooklyn at the time. I wore out my tape player (yes tape player-not even a CD player) playing this song (as well as “The Pass”) as I took the 8th Avenue bus- the B-64 I believe- to the 36st street train station on 4th avenue and continued to listen on the train and then the courtroom. “Boys and Girls together.. mistake conceit for pride.” I truly can listen to this song all day long, in my opinion the 2nd best song they ever wrote/recorded.

1.     “The Pass”– I offer no apologies for this being my favorite…ultimate….-whatever accolade that defines-“The Best”… Rush song of all-time. They had me on the first note-Geddy’s bass lick-and as the song progresses it becomes evidently clear that this could be the most passionate and sincere song-possibly ever recorded in the history of music. (a little strong yes but that’s me). Again the lyrics are flawless and I don’t know what it is but I feel like I am “growing as person” when I listen to this song. I feel like I can do anything that I set my mind to whenever I hear it (so you know I have been singing this song passionately for the NY Jets in their quest for their second Super Bowl win-hey I can dream and this song can take me to the “top of the mountain”). This song lands in my top ten songs of all time. I can’t express how much this song affects me, it really moves me in a way that few songs do. Thank you Rush for this gem, I treasure it like none other.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Farrokh Bulsara

2.     False, he decided to stay retired

3.     Under Pressure

4.     Crazy Little Thing Called Love

This week’s trivia (Rush)-

1.     True or False: Neil Peart played on their first album.

2.     From what cartoon was the title of their live album “Exit… stage left” taken from?.

3.     What Rush song has a little “hip-hop” mixed into it?

4.     Who was the original singer for Rush?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”- Jackie DeShannon

2.     “(Love Is) Thicker than Water”-Andy Gibb

3.      “Love is Like Oxygen”-Sweet

4.     “Love Me Tender”- Elvis Presley

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

1.     “Every other day.. every other day of the week is fine.. but whenever…”

2.     “I’m just beginning to see.. now I’m on my way..It doesn’t matter to me.. chasing clouds away…”

3.     “Everyone’s watching to see what you will do.. everyone is looking at you, oh.. everyone’s wondering…”

4.     “It’s seven o’clock and I wanna rock.. want to get a belly full of beer.. my old man’s drunker than….”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1991, Steve Clarke, guitarist for Def Leppard, was found dead in his apartment in Chelsea UK from a mixture of alcohol, painkillers and anti-depressant’s. He was only 30. What a shame, the man was so talented.

Back on this day in 1993, the Elvis stamp was released.

Back on this day in 1975, tickets went on sale for three Mighty Led Zeppelin shows at Madison Square Garden and 60,000 tickets were sold in four hours. You say so what, right? But think back to 1975, these people were lined up outside Madison Square Garden, the Garden officials had to call up other ticket outlets to help them out.

Back on this day in 1979, Canadian government named Rush official Ambassador’s of Music.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with the late great, the one and only Elvis, the living legend David Bowie, Robbie Krieger (The Doors), Mike Reno (Loverboy) and Terry Sylvester (the Hollies). Wow there are some big names here today!!

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