Errols Weekly Music Update.

January 15, 2010

Weekly Update – 01/15/2010

Jay-Z and Young Jeezy will be at Madison Square Garden on Tues. Mar. 2 and at Mohegan Sun on Fri. Mar. 5. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. MSG: $39.50 – $139.50; Mohegan: $80 – $120.

James Taylor and Carole King at Madison Square Garden on Tues. June 15. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders go on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. until Fri. Jan. 22 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale next Sat. Jan. 23 at 10:00 a.m. $39.50 – $154.50.

Three Days Grace with Breaking Benjamin and Flyleaf at the Prudential Center (The “Rock”) on Fri. Feb. 19. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  $39.50.

Spoon at Radio City Music Hall on Fri. Mar. 26. Pre-sale tickets begin this morning at 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is HESPOON. General public on sale is tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.$39.50

Rodrigo and Gabriela at Radio City Music Hall on Thurs. Apr. 29. Tickets on sale today at noon. $34.50 – $49.50.

Train at Theater in Westbury NY on Fri. Mar. 19. Tickets on sale this Sunday Jan. 17 at 12:30 p.m. (Live Nation Event) $39.50.

Keith Emerson and Greg Lake at Theater in Westbury NY on Fri. Apr. 4. Tickets on sale this Sunday Jan. 17 at 12:30 p.m. (Live Nation Event)

Unearth at the Gramercy Theater (formerly “Blender”) on Sat. Apr. 3. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. (Live Nation Event).

Killing Joke at the New York Fillmore on Fri. May 21. Tickets on sale next Fri. Jan. 22 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Ringo Starr at Bethel Woods Center in Bethel NY on Sat. June 26. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.  $35 – $90. 

Ricki Lee Jones at the Concert Hall (2 West 64th street NY) on Thurs. Feb. 25. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $45 – $75.

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Mr. Teddy Pendergrass who passed away on January 13 at the young age of 59. Recently, he battled cancer and almost 30 years ago he was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He is considered by many to be the best R&B singer of all time. Teddy started out his career in the group “Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes” and sang lead on the landmark song-“If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” He went on to do so many great songs including the classics- “Love T.K.O.” “Close the Door” and his masterpiece in my opinion- “Wake Up Everybody”- whereby he really tries to wake up everyone with his poignant words. He had an unbelievable career and his legacy will carry on forever. Rest in peace Mr. Pendergrass.

I know I am way late on this one but I actually heard a Slipknot song where I understood the words and it was melodic. Of course I heard it on the best rock radio station in all of the U.S.- 106.9 WCCC- out of Hartford CT (by far the best station I have ever heard in my life) and the song is called “Snuff.” It is off of their “All Hope is Gone” album which was released in Aug. 2008. I actually enjoyed that song. Now of course all the die-hard Knot fans will be pissed off because they went “commercial.”

My favorite “old school” song of the week is-This Guy’s in Love With You” by Herb Albert & the Tijuana Brass. How great is this song? It puts me at such ease. If you are stressed out and need to unwind-put this song on and you should be calm in no time. The arrangement of this tune is phenomenal and has to be considered one of the best songs of the 1970’s. Pure perfection.

Rob Zombie will get behind the director’s camera for the CBS show “C.S.I.-Miami” and his episode will be broadcast on Tues. Mar. 1. Look for it.

My favorite “R&B” song of the week belongs to Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up, Part I”- when is the last time you have heard this groove? Forget about it.. this song is right up there with the best songs he has ever recorded. I don’t even know how to dance but when I hear this song I have to get out of my seat and try to dance around the room. Classic.

My other favorite “old school” song of the week is “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher” by Rita Coolidge. Boy does this song really take me back- actually so far back to the 6th grade when I went to P.S. 169 on 44th and 7th Avenue in Brooklyn. This song is pleasing to the ear.

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

Precious Time

Side 1 of “Precious Time” by Pat Benatar released in July 1981.

Ahhh don’t you wish you were 16 again? Well for this review I am going to put myself back in my “Chuck Taylor Converse” sneakers (“canvas” style, of course not like the leather sneakers out there today, we felt every pebble and rock when I was a kid) and become sixteen. I can remember being shifted into 4th gear (Ok maybe 3rd gear) by the time I was sixteen in the music scene. It was not all brand new but it really still was the beginning of my journey into the world of rock music. [Just think of a small child at around the age of 7 when they really start to realize that Santa Claus is coming for cookies and milk at their home on Christmas Eve-(I still believe so don’t ruin it).. now do you know where I am?]. Now in the world of rock back in the 1970’s it was really dominated by the male persuasion-now of course I know there were many great female rockers- but for me-most of the bands that I was starting to get into (Kiss, Van Halen, Mighty Zep, Beatles, etc.) and there are people who know me personally for a long time, who know that I was/am very competitive and definitely contained the attitude of not “losing to a girl.” (I’m trying to paint a picture here). So now again youth does make you do stupid things and yes I was dumb for thinking and behaving this way. (By the way this carried into my college years until I had my booty whooped by my good friend-Roseann- who destroyed me in paddleball after I was talking too much smack). So how could I listen to a girl rocker when I was a teenager? Well Ms. Pat Benatar changed all that and knocked me right out. A “TKO” in the first round. Deservedly so. The first time I heard “Heartbreaker”-a few years before “Precious Time”- I was floored. I needed to know who this woman behind the microphone was. I don’t care what anyone says-“Heartbreaker” is one of the best head-banging, hard-rock songs in the history of rock. Did back then, still feel that way. Pat Benatar became my first female rocker that I followed and I had to make sure I knew when she was coming to town and when her next album was to come out. Now back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s a music fan did not have to wait that long for an artist to put out new albums (except for “Boston”- we have been through that) and she put out some raw, totally rockin’ tunes from 1979-1985. It was a new album for every year and she cemented her status as one of the best female rockers-No- you know what- one of the best Rockers-(forget the female crap)- of all time and she is still going strong today. (although her shows at BB Kings can cost a pretty penny)

But getting back to her status as one of the best rock stars in the 1980’s, she had some monster albums including her debut-“In the Heat of the Night” and “Crimes of Passion.” But for me, this album put her in a different stratosphere, especially the first side-which is “undeniably a perfect album side (yes even though one of the songs is a cover of the Paul Revere & the Raiders-if it’s great then you have to include it- as it is a perfect side). Side one starts off with the unbelievable track-“Promises in the Dark”-I love the intro with the piano and her passionate vocals which immediately grab you by the throat but wait she will squeeze a little harder as the song progresses. I can just picture a grimy alley way as she leans up against the side of a building as her head is resting on her right arm as she struggles between the balance of having enough of this relationship but yet keeps “coming back for more.” (How many of us have been there?) “Just when you think you’ve got it down.. your heart securely tied down.. they whisper…” BOOM.. she takes off the gloves and comes right at you. No more feeling sorry, she is now a bit ticked off and her vocals tell you how much she means business. I love it. Her husband, Neil Geraldo, is a much under appreciated guitarist in my opinion and his riffs in this song are unforgettable. Folks this is rock music at its best, I would not lie.

The second track is a song that I think most people seem to forget (or maybe just haven’t heard in a while) was a smash hit-“Fire and Ice.” I love the bass guitar part in the beginning that hooks you right in and then Benatar takes over with her slick vocals. When she gets to the bridge where she wails “You’re an expert in the field without a doubt” well, I just love it. And she knows your methods inside out… so do not mess with her. This is a cool song to use for your next Spin class. Then it’s on to her excellent cover of the aforementioned Paul Revere & the Raiders song-“Just Like Me”- Now you all know my feelings on performing covers (some are never to be touched) and one of the most important prerequisites is that the artist doing the covering exemplifies the respect that is needed when taking on this task-admittedly some are much harder than others. Now Benatar completely nails the passion required and keeps the body of the song, close to the original. (That is not to say that I am opposed to a completely different “take” on a song, as long as it is good). Her version of the song is lively and full of her own brand of energy, her special touch. She can be aggressive and to me that is one of her strong points. Anyways a long lost classic covered to perfection. The last song on side one is the title track of the album. This song is very slick, when it starts off I can picture a snake crawling its way through some grass and it sneaks up on its prey. The groove has a bluesy twist (which also is another one of her strengths) and then switches gears as it begins to rock out but then it settles down to that slow moving pace. The fun never stops in this song as it heads back up the hill with her exclaiming “Life is too short, so why waste precious time?” (Well said huh? Think about some of the situations currently going on in your life and I’ll bet this line hits home, no?). One of her best songs, in my opinion.

So there you have it folks, a perfect album side that is not up for debate. Pat Benatar has to be considered a force in rock history and specifically has been (and still is) one of the best female vocalists in the history of music. How many hits does she have? It’s eye opening and if I had a vote for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame- she gets in on the first ballot. Again for the people out there who were around when “Heartbreaker” first came out you know how what a shot in the arm it was for the world of rock. (Remember disco had seized the moment back in the late 1970’s and had a nice grip on the world for a while-never let go of Brooklyn by the way). From that moment onwards, she was a force to reckon with and proved that she could compete with the “big boys.” To me, this was her signature album and will always be considered a perfect album side. You should have her music in your music library and if you don’t have anything (hard to believe) then start with this album and work your way back and ahead to her great body of work- you won’t be disappointed.

“TOP TEN”:

This week I came across two infamous “Bill’s” – Mr. Bill Withers and Mr. Billy Preston– on my I-Pod shuffle and decided to name my top 5 songs from these gentlemen to equal my top ten for this edition. Both of these gentlemen are legends-(sadly Mr. Preston passed away a few years ago) and their impact on the world of music is priceless and should be enjoyed for generations to come. Mr. Withers has written some of the most insightful songs in the history of music and Mr. Preston just “had the music in him.” We all know that he played with the Beatles and Rolling Stones but he also engaged himself with so many artists and bands that his influence from the 1950’s until his death, could have possibly reached, (while also making an impact), on more people across this world-just as much as any other artist in the last century. (By the way he does an unbelievable cover of the Beatles-“Blackbird”). I just saw a piece on Mr. Withers last month on “SportsCenter” where he was invited by Pete Carroll to come to USC and spread his knowledge and music to the members of his team (yes I know he has left to go to the Seattle Seahawks). I was in awe watching this great singer. Folks I can’t stress enough on how great these two men are and you need to perform your diligence to know their library. And if their die-hard fans have any suggestions for more albums and songs, please let me know. So here goes my top ten for this week-again I am on an island and can only choose five songs from each artist- “these are them”:

Image of Bill Withers

Bill Withers

5.     “Grandma’s Hands”– Bill has this way of turning every song that he performs into the coolest sounding tunes-he just has “it.”-That something special. And everyone can relate to his songs in some way shape or form. Now with this particular track it is evident that his Grandmother was an integral part of his life-now how many people can relate to that? The beat is so simple but yet so addicting. “Grandma’s hands use to issue out a warning.. she’d say Billy don’t you run so fast.. might fall on a piece of glass..” You will close your eyes while you sing this song and think of your grandma, I know that’s what I do. “If I get to heaven I’ll reach for grandma’s hands..” Amen.

4.     “I Don’t Want You On My Mind”– Talk about an addicting song? Put this track on and tell me you are not immediately hooked? I love the blues laden riff drenched with that classic R&B sound. Can you get a better mixture? The groove in this song will knock you out. I can picture him doing this song in a smoky (Ok no longer smoky but you know what I mean) club with the lights turned down real low while the crowd is just moving their heads up and down while slowly going into a dream like state. This song is unreal.

3.     “Ain’t No Sunshine”-Talk about a timeless classic. Wow this song makes you stand up and take notice-it’s that good. Tell me this doesn’t put you in a good place? No one makes songs like this anymore. His voice is gripping and you can feel the passion bleed through your speakers-that is what music is supposed to do-it is meant to move you in some way shape or form. This song knocks me out every time I hear it.

2.     “Lean on Me”– This could be one of the greatest songs ever written in the history of music and there is no one who can sing it like Mr. Withers. This song should never be re-recorded by anyone else (in the same category as “The Day the Music Died” by Don McLean). He had me on the opening piano notes-are you kidding me? This song gives me the chills and think of how many people know this song? Feel this song? Relate to this song? Have helped their friends and/or perfect strangers at one point in their life? (And of course it has the always gratifying “hand claps”).

1.     “Use Me”– I remember a few years back a good friend of mine Erik, came by my desk and asked me if I knew this song, he said that he had heard it on the radio and was blown away by the groove in this track. Now I knew the song but I hadn’t heard it in many years, so you know I immediately went out and did some exploring of this man’s music. This song quickly skyrocketed to the top of my list and I can say that I have probably listened to this tune more than any other since about three years ago. I turned my youngest son on to this a number of years back and he too enjoyed it. And of course it has three hand claps, can it get any better? Thanks Erik for making me stand up and take notice. Now it’s your turn people.

Image of Billy Preston

Billy Preston

5.     “That’s the Way God Planned It (Live)”– “Why can’t we be humble? Like the good Lord says…” What an inspirational song, this has to bring a smile to your face. You when it’s a cold day (like the many frigid days we have been having in the Tri-state area for the last 4 weeks) and you have a nice bowl of hot soup and that feeling when it goes down your throat-that’s the same feeling I get when I hear this song. Talk about a genius on the keyboards, this man was definitely at the forefront of creating that special sound with his extraordinary skills on piano, organ and synthesizer.

4.     “You Are So Beautiful”– Even though most people recognize the Joe Cocker version-as he did put his mark on it- Billy actually co-wrote this song and not for nothing- sings it just as wonderfully as Mr. Cocker. Think about this song for a minute…. Think of how many weddings have had this song.. think of how many dads have danced with their daughters at that wedding.. think of how many requests DJ’s have received over the past 40 years to have this song played at a party so someone could dance with that very special person in their life. This song is incredible, so real, so heartfelt-it really is a tune for the ages.

3.     “Outa-Space”-Watching the video (Ok not an “MTV video” per say but the clip of him playing this song back in the day) is really something to behold. Billy was riding high at the time and to see him play the organ/keyboards in the prime of his career is equivalent to watching Hendrix or Clapton or whomever you want to add here, playing guitar in their prime. Simply an amazing composition and yes the “hand-claps” are included in this psychedelic treasure, so this has to be included in your music library or on your I-Pod.

2.     “Nothing from Nothing”-He had me on the first few notes. It’s impossible not to like this song. Tell me it doesn’t put a smile on your face and make you think about times gone past? This brings me back to Otisville N.Y. where I spent my summers with my Grandparents and my uncle. My uncle took me everywhere and played ball all the time with me. That is something I will never forget and will always treasure. This song makes me think of those wonderful days. Thanks Ma, Pop and Gary!!!

1.     “Will It Go Round in Circles”-I’d say about 4 or 5 years ago I remember my youngest son loved this song and I couldn’t believe that a child of 6 or 7 would love this track. (Hopefully he still loves it like his dad). I use to play this song so many times on the road trips that we’d take up to Cape Cod and watched him groove through my rearview mirror. How great is this song? Billy’s vocals just blow the cover right off the ball and there is no way that you don’t move when you hear this song. You can feel the passion, you can feel the beat as it enters every oracle of your body as you wish you could have been the one to write this song. Timeless classic.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     False, original drummer was John Rutsey

2.     Huckleberry Hound

3.     Roll The Bones

4.     Jeff Jones

This week’s trivia (Benatar, Preston, Withers)-

1.     What John Cougar song did Pat Benatar cover on her first album?

2.     Name one pair of a male/female duo who went on to perform a cover of the smash hit “With You I’m Born Again” made famous first by Billy Preston & Syreeta Wright?.

3.     Who played guitar on Bill Wither’s popular “Grandma’s Hands?”

4.     Name the second video ever played on MTV (after the Buggles-“Video Killed the Radio Star”) Hint-Ms. Benatar

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Monday, Monday”- The Mamas and Papas

2.     “Tuesday Afternoon”-Moody Blues

3.      “Everybody’s Working for The Weekend”-Loverboy

4.     “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)”- Elton John

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

1.     “Do you need some time..on your own.. do you need some time.. all alone.. everybody needs some time…”

2.     “Remember how the stars stole the night away..Ba de da say do you remember.. Ba de da..…”

3.     “Don’t scream about.. don’t think aloud…turn your head now, baby, just spit me out..don’t scream about..don’t speak of doubt…”

4.     “Oh maybe the time is right.. Oh, maybe tonight..I will be with you again.. I will be with you again….”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1992, Dee Murray, bass guitarist for Elton John, died in Nashville from a stroke. He was only 45. What a shame.

Sadly back on this day in 1994, Harry Nilsson, died in his sleep from heart failure in Agoura Hills, CA. He was only 52. Another shame.

Sadly back on this day in 1998, Junior Wells, a famous harmonica player who recorded with The Stones, Buddy Guy & Van Morrison dies from lymphoma. He was just 63. Very sad.

Back on this day in 1967, the Rolling Stones appeared on the Ed Sullivan show and chaged the lyrics from “Let’s Spend the Night Together” to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together.”

Back on this day in 1974, Brownsville Station had their only gold record with “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” which peaked at number three on the Billboard charts. Motley Crue covered it years later and that song became their first top 40 song.

Back on this day in 1982, the Police kicked off their national tour for “Ghost in the Machine” at the Boston Garden. The opening act was the Go-Go’s. I was at that show when it came to Madison Square Garden in NY.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with the late great Ronnie Van Zant, (singer for Lynyrd Skynyrd) and Melvyn Gale (ELO, cellist).

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1 Comment »

  1. This week’s Trivia..here goes:

    1. “I Need a Lover”

    2. Vanessa Williams & George Benson

    3. Bernoce Blackmon

    4. “You Better Run” video

    Comment by Cathy — January 19, 2010 @ 12:15 am


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