Errols Weekly Music Update.

May 21, 2010

Weekly Update – 05/21/2010

Christina Aguilera with Leona Lewis at the Mohegan Sun on Thur. July 15; at Jones Beach on Wed. July 28; at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. July 30. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. Mohegan: $125 – $155; Jones Beach: $37 – $147; PNC: $29.75 – $156.25.

Ozzfest 2010 at the Comcast Theater on Sat. Aug. 21 and the Susquehanna Bank Center on Sun. Aug. 22.Pre-sale tickets available now until 10:00 p.m. tonight for Citi card holders. Pre-sale password for non Citi card holders: keyboard. General tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. Comcast: $39.50 – $160; Susquehanna: $39.50 – $155.

Lady Gaga at Madison Square Garden on Mon. Feb. 21, 2011. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $54, 79.50, $89.50 – $179.50.

Cyndi Lauper at the Town Hall (acoustic only) on Wed. July 21. Pre-sale tickets available now until 11:00 a.m. this morning for American Express cardholders. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $34, $54, $64 and $74.

Pavement at the Williamsburg Waterfront (North 8th street and Kent Avenue) on Sun. Sept. 19. Tickets on sale today at noon. $38.50.

The Script at Terminal 5 on Thurs. Nov. 4. Pre-sale tickets available now until 11:00 a.m. this morning for American Express cardholders. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $25.

Grizzly Bear at the Beach on Governor’s Island on Thurs. Aug. 12. Pre-sale tickets available now until 11:00 a.m. this morning for American Express cardholders. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $33.

Fear Factory at Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Sun. July 25. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $21.49.

Appalachian Voices featuring Yim Yames, Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Fri. July 30. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35

Macy Gray at the Music Box at the Borgota in Atlantic City on Fri. June 25. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Something Corporate at Roseland Ballroom on Fri. Aug. 13. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. $35

Alice In Chains with Mastodon and the Deftones at Mohegan Sun on Mon. Sept. 20 and at Madison Square Garden on Fri. Sept. 24. Pre-sale tickets for the Garden on sale now until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is HESKYE. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $39.50 – $75.

For Parents: The Jonas Brothers at PNC Bank Arts Center on Mon. Aug. 16; at the Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Fri. Aug. 17; and at Jones Beach on Sat. Aug. 21. Pre-sale for Citi card holders on now until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Pass-word for non Citi card holders: keyboard. General public tickets on sale Sat. May 22 at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $37.50 – $250; Comcast: $31.50, $61.50 and $91.50; Jones: $47.50 – $97.50.

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of thelegendary heavy metal vocalist, Ronny James Dio, for many years which included stints with Black Sabbath (later “Heaven & Hell”), Deep Purple, Rainbow and of course his band-Dio. Sadly he passed away on Sunday morning according to his wife, Wendy, who said that many family and friends were able to say their last goodbyes before he peacefully passed away. This is a sad day for rock and roll and the world of heavy metal but more importantly to his wife and family for the man that he was. I know he had a legion of fans who loved him in Sabbath and one has to admit that they made some great music together, even if you liked the Ozzy years better. I can remember the first time I heard “The Mob Rules”in 1981 and was blown away by their power and he had the perfect metal voice. Check out the tune-“Turn Up the Night”- and tell me this isn’t metal at its best. Or listen to the unheralded gem-“Falling off the edge of the World”- in one word-unbelievable. “Walk Away” from their first album-“Heaven and Hell” is pure rock and roll folks. And who can forget the ever popular classic-“Rainbow in the Dark” from probably his most popular solo album-“Holy Diver.” I could go on and on as his career spanned so many years and yet sadly it ended all too soon as his battle with cancer ended one of rock’s storied careers. Carmine Appice (his brother Vinnie played with Dio in Sabbath) called Mr. Dio the “greatest metal singer ever.” Rest in peace Mr. Dio. \m/

Believe it or not: Mr. Bret Michaels will return to the stage NEXT WEEK for a concert in Mississippi. This has to be some sort of miracle. I know that I am happy (as well as thousands of fans) that he is back doing what he loves best-rocking. Here is a small clip of his interview with Oprah Winfrey: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/bret-michaels-opens-brain-hemorrhage-bandana-oprah/story?id=10688572

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge (which I’m assuming everyone by now has heard) that the Rolling Stones reissued the classic “Exile on Main Street” with some “never before heard” songs and two videos this past Tuesday. The “deluxe” version contains 29 songs and two videos and can be had for $19.99 on I-Tunes. A “must-have” for the die-hard Stones fan, no?

For more than a few months now I have been trying to get my oldest son into the Black Keys but for some reason he wasn’t that into their album-“Attack & Release” but lo and behold he went out and purchased their latest CD-“Brothers”- and has stated that the “second half” of the album is excellent. I myself need to give it a whirl and who knows a review just may be coming. Rolling Stone has given it a four star rating. I do like “Everlasting Light.” Black Keys fans are stating that this is a “must buy.”

If you missed the Stone Temple Pilots on David Letterman this past Wednesday night, check them out here performing “Between the Lines”- (their new album is out next Tuesday baby!!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raM_67F432w

Lee DeWyze absolutely blew both Crytsal Bowersox and Casey James out of the water on Tuesday night during American Idol with his excellent cover of the Skynyrd classic-“Simple Man”- along with his unbelievable rendition of “Hallelujah” where he had one of those American Idol moments in which everything clicked, forever solidifying himself in the “folk-lore” of this competition whereby people everywhere years from now will say-“Do you remember when DeWyze performed Hallelujah?”

Casey was good with his two songs, but on a night when it’s down to the top three, one can not have songs that are not as known to the majority of the listening audience. As Simon correctly pointed out, one can not “introduce” a song to everyone (with no offense to Eric Hutchinson, as I like his songs).And I’m sorry but I think Cara had other thoughts when she picked out “Daughters” by John Mayer-again no offense to Mr. Mayer (and my oldest son) but that is not a “show-stopping” song. (Or again even familiar to many of the audience and the millions of television viewers).

“And for me…” (Using Randy’s common words) Crystal’s first song-“Come Through My Window”- by the fantastic Melissa Etheridge, did not cut in my opinion. There was way too much going on with the harmonica attached to the guitar-(this is a “singing” contest) – and her pitch was way off and at points it sounded like if she was screaming. I did not understand why all the judges said it was good, you could sense all the hesitation in each of them as I think they like her so much (so do I) to not give her any negative feedback. (Her one mulligan was already used up). However, she did redeem herself with the McCartney classic-“Maybe I’m Amazed”- where I was so glad not to see that guitar slung around her neck-it’s enough already-next week no guitar!!

Unfortunately the writing was on the wall for Casey as Mr. DeWyze has picked up many fans over the last month or so and Ms. Bowersox has her legion of fans. Mr. James did both songs very well but again nothing “spectacular.” On the flip side, Crystal, in my opinion, was not that good on the first song (and if were only one song that each was performing, then just based on performance she should have lost out-again she has already had a few “mulligans”). But she did just enough to redeem herself with “Amazed” and that is what probably saved her. So now it’s down to Crystal and Lee, since I have stated that Crystal will win, I will stick with that premonition but I will not be at all surprised if Lee wins it.

The Steve Miller Band released a single-“Hey Yeah”-off of their upcoming album (first in 17 years)-“Bingo”- set for release on June 15. The song is on I-Tunes and you can listen to the entire song on his website http://www.stevemillerband.com/bingo.html . I have to say that I like it, has that “SMB” feel to it-straight forward rock and roll. Supposedly his new album is being compared to his 1968 classic-“Sailor.” He will hit the Hilton Theater in Atlantic City NJ on Sat. June 12 and then Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket CT on Sun. June 13.

My favorite new song of the week is “Factory” by Band of Horses and I guess one of the reaons I like it is because it reminds me of My Morning Jacket or something that Yim Yames would sing. This is a very cool mellow song off of their new album-“Infinite Arms.” They have been opening for Pearl Jam in certain spots, including “The Rock” this past Tuesday, on their current tour. Check this out.

Still upset that “The Big Four”-Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax– are not performing in the U.S. (just not yet) well here is your chance to see the show through a movie theater. The show will be filmed the night of June 22 from Bulgaira and then it will be transmitted via sateliite to over 450 theaters in the U.S. Tickets are on sale now for more information go to http://www.thebigfourlive.com/

Artist Profile: Petula Clark

Essential

My I-Pod shuffle landed on “Downtown” by Petula Clark and it had me thinking that I need to acknowledge this woman’s amazing career and how just how great many of her songs really are. I don’t know about you but whenever I hear a song by her it just puts a smile on my face, whenever I hear her voice-I just smile. Her library of songs during the 1960’s is some of the most famous recordings in music history. (Actually the song -“Downtown”- was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003). Now her popularity hit the highest points during the 1960’s but her career started long before that. Born in England, she was performing on the legendary London’s Royal Albert Hall by the time she was 12 as an actress. Her first recording-“Put Your Shoes on Lucy”- was released when she was 17. By the time her “best known” songs were on the radio, she had already a “career” which included an extensive portfolio of songs as well as roles in movies (mostly “B”) and had been on television since she was 13.

When you think of Petula, you know that certain sound she has (aided by composer-producer Tony Hatch)- well I’m here to tell you to check out songs like-“Gonna Find Me a Bluebird”- and you will be amazed on how much she transformed to the “current” sounds of the 1960’s. This is a finger snapping song which highlights that “big band” sound with the classic background vocals. Or what about the beautiful “Who Needs You”-well just like she sings in the song- “I do.”Do you want to be taken back to when times were simpler-then listen to the fun loving song-“Fibbin’”-you won’t believe this is Petula, this is classic early rock and roll complete with a big saxophone throughout the tune. She puts her spin on the ever popular Dean Martin version of “Memories are Made of This” and I have to say that I didn’t think I would like any other version but the King of Cool but I have to tell you that this is now in my library of songs. Then there is the stunning vocal performance on “Devotion” where I stay perfectly still-dare I say it reminds me of the late great Patsy Cline-this is a beautiful song. Are you looking for that perfect song while sitting down for a nice dinner party- look no further than the tranquilizing- “Another Door Opens”-wow this is some good “stuff” right here. For those of you old enough to remember, it will conjure up memories of the classic “Andrew Sisters” sound. “Dear Daddy” has that “doo-wop” flavor to it for which I was completely blown away because I did not think she sang songs like these-you see the power of the discovery of music- yes even when it was recorded more than four decades ago. The song –“Suddenly”- is a tune that was a sign of things to come from Petula as this almost emulates like her “classic” 1960’s sound.

Now the 1960’s represented a shot to stardom that many of us dream about. Even though she had been an international star, I don’t think Petula (and Mr. Hatch) could have predicted what one song-“Downtown”-would forever change their lives. The song was released in four different languages. It sold three million copies by the time it reached #1 on the U.S. charts in January 1965. From that point forward, Petula had 15 straight songs that landed in the top 40. “Downtown” is such a phenomenal arrangement with those highs and lows which are highlighted by Ms. Clark’s crystal clear vocals. This song always reminds me of my mother, who passed away six years ago yesterday and even though it is a very sad event when I hear the song I have to smile because I know it made my mom smile. This is a song for everyone- your grandparents, your parents and your kids- you know when you first hear the piano in the beginning you are hooked. It’s an absolute legendary song that will live on forever. On a side note, (most likely due to the success of this song) Petula was invited by NBC to do her own special and while singing with guest Harry Belafonte she made television history inadvertently when she touched his arm. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? But Chrysler, who was a major sponsor, did not want that shown, especially to Southern viewers and insisted the song be done over. Petula stood her ground and refused to “re-shoot” the scene and when NBC showed the original song (with her touching his arm) it received very high ratings and critical acclaim. My all time favorite Petula song is-“My Love”-I can listen to this track all day long. I love the chorus-“My love is warmer than the warmest sunshine…my love is brighter than the brightest star that shines every night above…”- very addicting, no? How about-“It’s the Sign of the Times?”- c’mon folks you have to admit that these are some of the greatest songs ever recorded-not just the 1960’s. Very simple settings but yet done with pure perfection. When Petula breaks off into the bridge where she sings-“…maybe my lucky star at last decided to shine..” well it’s too much for me to take, I just turn it up a notch. “I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love” is another wonderful sing along song that seems to have a little bit of R&B and actually makes me think of The Supremes. Does she have “catchy” tunes or what? Actually while I’m listening to it, the song sort of reminds me of something that The Monkees could have recorded. Her vocals are flat out amazing on this tune and the horn section in the background is the icing on the cake. “I Know a Place” seems to have the same musical style of “Downtown” but it is still an enjoyable song. I picture a young Mary Tyler Moore for some reason and can picture her throwing her hat up in the air to this song. She had some streak there with all these hits, no? “Don’t Sleep in the Subway”- I bet you forgot about this song but when you hear it, you will remember how nice a voice this woman possesses. Her fans will also remember the elegant-“This is My Song”-which has some history as Charlie Chaplin wrote this song for his movie-“A Countess from Hong Kong”- and originally wanted Al Jolson to record it. Jolson did not and eventually Petula recorded it. A side note-Ms. Clark actually did not like this song as well as “My Love” which is information that fascinates me to no end because both are good songs and it turns out she didn’t even like it and she sung them.A lesser known song-“Kiss Me Goodbye”- is another beautiful track whereby this could be one of her best recordings ever. This is a perfect song to dance closely with that someone special.

As the decade turned into the 1970’s, Petula had some songs that hit the charts which included –“I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Melody Man,” and “Loving Arms.” For those of you out there who think of her as a one hit wonder-“Downtown” you are truly missing out. This woman has charted songs in French, German, Italian and Spanish, has appeared in countless films beginning in the 1940’s. The accolades that can go to describe her are endless and in 1998 she was honored by Queen Elizabeth II by becoming a “Commander of the Order of the British Empie.” According to her website she has sold over 68 million records spanning the decades of her career. She has two Grammy Awards (plus the aforementioned fact that “Downtown” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003) and I just don’t know what else to say about this legendary woman. Well I will say-“Thank you Petula Clark for your gift that you have shared with everyone around the world. You have made the world a better place with your soothing voice and legendary songs. Your impact will be felt for generations to come.”

“TOP TEN”:

Image of Christina Aguilera

My I-Pod shuffle came across “Makes Me Wanna Pray” by Christina Aguilera (with help from Steve Winwood on keyboards who allowed Ms. Aguilera to sample “Glad” from his days from Traffic) and it put me on the road of writing down my favorite ten songs of this “Diva” who in my opinion has worked so hard in her career which I believe this effort (and continuing resolve) will eventually put her in the stratosphere of an “Icon.” What separates Christina, in my opinion, from the rest of the pack is her amazingly stunning vocals, I’d have to say that she is right up there in the top 5 current female voices and dare I say into the top 20 of best female vocalists of all time. Now I know there is another side to her that likes to be risqué and it’s not something that I particularly care for because I think she doesn’t need to do that “stuff” to get where she needs to be or to hold down a particular portion of her fan base but I guess she feels she needs that “Madonna” edge so that she is not “painted by one brush”-who knows? (Kid Rock quickly comes to mind as I think he doesn’t need those juvenile songs with all the cussing to prove that he has “street cred;”- he is at the crossroads in his career and in my opinion needs to leave those songs behind him-I mean making newer ones, I’m not saying he shouldn’t perform some of those old hits on his tours). The one thing that I noticed from the very beginning of her career is her “fearlessness”- she exudes such a confidence but yet doesn’t come off as “cocky.” And what is more amazing is that she was born in 1980, so she is so very young but seems to have been around “forever.” C’mon everyone knows that she was the “force” and dominant attraction of the remake of Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade” for the film “Moulin Rouge” back in 2001. Displaying her “fearlessness” remember when she had that stunning rendition of the James Brown classic “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” at the Grammy Awards show a few years back? That has to go down as one of the Grammy’s best performances ever. She can hit that high note but doesn’t have to display this ability on every song that she does, one song that quickly comes to mind when she hits that “high octane” octave is “Candyman.” (Ask my wife and children how many times I have played that song around the house?) Her new album “Bionic” is due out on June 8. She is going to be in a movie with Cher that is scheduled for release in November. Christina Aguilera has sold over 43 million albums already and she isn’t even 30 years old yet. Rolling Stone magazine named her the 53rd best singer of all time (out of 100) and she is the youngest on that list, a truly amazing compliment, no? Ok so I am on an island and have been informed that I can only have 10 songs from the artist known as Christina Aguilera-“These are Them:”

10.     Ain’t No Other ManLove the groove and beat in this song, as you all know I can’t dance but in my seat typing the review of this song, I’m moving in many different directions. Obviously this is a song that I listen to in my house or in my car and will not admit in public that this is one of my favorite songs by Christina. By now you all probably know that Kara DioGuardi (yes the American Idol judge) was part author of this song (and a few others on “Stripped”).

9.     Make Over When I hear this song I just picture belly dancers-remember that “Odd Couple” episode where Oscar almost married that woman and she came out in the belly dancer outfit and danced around him in the restaurant? Ok so maybe you don’t but this song, in my opinion, is totally different from any song that Christina has ever made-which is what I like about her-again the “fearlessness” shines right through. Obviously the percussion in this song is the main attraction-along with her vocals of course- but it has this “off-kilter” feel to it that pulls me in. Do you know what I’m trying to say? Ok so again maybe you don’t but there is something about this song that I love, so let’s just leave it at that.

8.     Makes Me Wanna PrayOf course you know I am partial to this song because of Mr. Steve Winwood who offers up his skills on the keyboards while using the Traffic classic “Glad” as a sample throughout the song. But Christina adds her funk to it and a bounce that makes it easy to move. And when she does that sort of “growl-like” voice, it makes you feel “well alright.” I also love the fact that she can gravitate to all kinds of music, she does collaborations with rappers and rockers alike and makes it her own with a seamless ease. And the icing on the cake for me is the huge sounding chorus that provides the engulfing background vocals. Christina is all over this song with her high pitched vocals, great song!!

7.     I’m OK It is apparent from the lyrics of this song (and also on “Oh Mother” from “Back to Basics”) that her and her mother suffered from much pain apparently caused by her dad. To this day, Christina does not speak with him and has no plans for reconciliation. You can feel the pain, passion and honesty in her voice and it is hard to move when you listen to this emotional tribute to her mother. “…bruises fade father, but the pain remains the same…and I still remember how you kept me so, so afraid…strength is my mother for all the love she gave…every morning that I wake I look back to yesterday…” Powerful, real life words that probably hits home for many of us out there. Paralyzing song.

6.     The Voice WithinThere is something about the soft tranquil side of Ms. Aguilera that ropes me in and makes me pay attention to this current mega star in a different light from all of her competitors. This is a beautiful song to dance closely and hold that someone tight as you gaze into their eyes. “…Life is a journey…it can take you any where you choose to go…as long as you’re learning…you’ll find all you’ll ever need to know…” This puts tears in your eyes, that’s how good it is. Nice job Christina.

5.     HurtThis is a show stopper in my mind. I lift my arms towards the sky and close my eyes as I lip sync and try to match the genuineness that Christina exudes through the speaker’s right into your heart. This seems to be about someone who used to play a big part in her life and even though that person has made mistakes by her, it appears she wants that certain someone back in her life. This also affects lots of us out there but the one thing that separates Christina is that she can sing about it, no one sings like her when she gets into that “moment” and there are many moments in this song that send chills up and down my spine. Simply amazing vocals.

4.     MotherOk I know this is a “cover” (and an unbelievable one at that) of the masterful song written by John Lennon. I can see why Christina wanted to cover this song because it has to hit home because it seems that John wanted and needed his mother but she didn’t reciprocate. In Christina’s case it was her father who appears to have abandoned her and caused pain & suffering. Now it has to be a daunting task to try and cover one of the greatest artists ever in the history of music and yes she doesn’t pass my first rule (of not covering it) but she passes my second rule with flying colors as she stays close to the original while treating it with the respect that it truly deserves and her vocals on this track is nothing short of spectacular. Folks this is earth shattering stuff right here, you need to own this song.

3.     FighterThe first time I heard this I wanted to know who it was and after I found out it was Christina I couldn’t believe it- here she is with loud guitars with a rocking beat that totally knocked my socks off. This proves to me that she is well rounded and grew up with many influences besides dance music (I’m not saying that is a bad thing). I actually head-bang to this song and am not ashamed to admit it. For some reason this song brings me back to my days at MBIA, I remember driving to work with this CD blasting in my car pulling into the parking lot (of course looking around so nobody could hear it) and sitting in the car until this song finished. Awesome tune.

2.     BeautifulOK this song has to be one of the greatest recordings ever in the history of music. I can’t move when I hear it and wish that I had written and sang it. I’m just at a loss of words, again I can’t move when I hear it and never want any distractions as I soak all its beauty. I can clearly remember putting an “all girl singers” CD together for a spin class at MBIA and after an excruciating class(thank Chris) I made sure that this was the first cool down song. Now for all you spinners out there you know how great you feel when a massively beautiful song like this comes on while you try to catch your breath. I felt like the kids on the bicycles in the movie “E.T.” when they pedaled right up into the sky. This is what this song does for me, I feel like flying.

1.     CandymanHow can this not be my number one favorite song by Christina Aguilera, I really think I have listened to this song the most since I received my I-Pod or when I sit at the computer and put on my I-Pod library. Again ask my wife and kids, they will roll their eyes. I love the whole vibe, the “old school” song with the finger snapping beat that is so much fun, now of course the topic is not so nice to play around the kiddies and the video is a little taboo but I guess that is Christina being Christina. For some reason I think of Bette Midler I guess because she did “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” back in the 1970’s. It has that same flavor of fun-this is a perfect song for a house party because it has to get you out of your seat and on to the rug to dance your socks off. Fantastic song, period end of story.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     San Francisco

2.     Six

3.     Chelsea Dawn-by Joni Mitchell

4.     The Pendletones

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     What is the real name of former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley?

2.     Adam Horovitz, Michael Diamond, Adam Yauch performin what group?

3.     Before his solo career took off, Jackson Browne played in what band?

4.     Who was the young woman that Bruce Springsteen helps on-stage in his video-“Dancing in the Dark?”

Name That Tune

Answers from last week: (Nice job Tricia)

1.     “Sara Smile”- Hall & Oates

2.     “Lonely Teardrops”-Jackie Wilson

3.     “Please Mr. Postman”-The Marvelettes

4.     “Let’s Get It On” –Marvin Gaye

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

1.      “…you wake up late for school…man you don’t wanna go…you ask your Mom please…but she still says no…”

2.     “…Have you seen my wife Mr. Jones…do you know what’s it like on the outside…don’t go talking to loud you’ll cause a landslide Mr. Jones…”

3.     “…Now think of all the years you tried to… find someone to satisfy you…I might be as crazy as you say…if I’m crazy then its true …”

4.     “…well baby, listen baby, don’t treat me this way…cause I’ll be back on my feet some day…(don’t care if you do cause its understood…you ain’t got no money you just ain’t no good)…”

Back on this Day

Back on this day in 1970, Free announced that they were breaking up. They reunited by the end of 1970.

Back on this day in 1980, Joe Strummer was arrested in Germany after a Clash concert after he smased a fan in the head with his guitar.

Back on this day in 1983, the single-“Let’s Dance”- by David Bowie reached the number one spot (the second and last time for Bowie) on Billboard Hot 100 singles. The guitarist on that song was none other than the late great Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Back on this day in 1996, Soundgarden released their fifth and final studio album-“Down on the Upside.”

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with Leo Sayer, Stan Lynch (drummer for Tom Petty), Hilton Valentine, (The Animals) Ronald Isley (Isley Brothers).

Extras

I know this has always been a music page but I wanted to let everyone out there know that a good friend of mine-Mr. Bob Carlsen– has written a book on his experience on living in India. The book is called-“Sacred Dust on Crowded Streets…Conversations with India” and is “the inspirational memoir of Bob Carlsen, a corporate lawyer, volunteer, and adventurer who spent two years living and working in Bangalore, India.” Some times in life you come across people who amaze and Bob is definitely one of those people. I think you’ll find the book very enjoyable, it can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Dust-Crowded-Streets-Conversations/dp/1426923910/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274407113&sr=1-1

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May 14, 2010

Weekly Update – 05/14/2010

Jay-Z and Eminem will tour together this summer and hit their favorite town’s baseball park. They will play at New York Yankees Stadium on Mon. Sept. 12. (Detroit’s Comerica park on Thurs. Sept. 2). Ticket information to follow.

Maroon 5 at Mohegan Sun on Sun. Aug. 1; at Jones Beach on Wed. Aug. 11; at Susquehanna Theater in Camden NJ on Sat. Aug. 14; at PNC Bank Arts Center on Sun. Aug. 15. Mohegan Sun: on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $45-$65. Susquehanna: Pre-sale for Citi card holders available until 10:00 p.m. tonight. General public on sale on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. @25, $45 and $65. Jones and PNC: Pre-sale tickets for Citicard holders go on sale Wed. June 2 at 10:00 a.m. General public tickets on sale Sat. June 5 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event) Further ticket info to follow.

The Black Crowes at Nokia Theater on Sun. Rocktober 31, Tues. Nov. 2, Thurs. through Sat. Nov. 4-6. Tickets on sale today at noon. $49.50

Christina Aguilera at Jones Beach on Wed. July 28 and at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. July 30. Tickets on sale next Fri. May 21 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event) More information to follow.

Lady GaGa at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Sat. Feb. 19, 2011. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $54.50, $93.50 – $192.50.

Alice In Chains with Mastodon and the Deftones at Mohegan Sun on Mon. Sept. 20 and at Madison Square Garden on Fri. Sept. 24. Tickets on sale next Sat. May 22 at 10:00 a.m. Mohegan: $45; Update: Pre-sale tickets for the Garden on sale Thurs. May 20 at 10:00 a.m. until Fri. May 21 at 10:00 p.m. and the password is HESKYE. General public tickets on sale Sat. May 22 at 10:00 a.m. $39.50 – $75 

American Idols Live at Jones Beach on Wed. July 7; at the Mark Etess Theater in Atlantic City on Sat. July 10; at the Mohegan Sun on Tues. July 13; at the Prudential Center on Tues. July 20 and the Harbor Yard in Bridgeport CT on Mon. Sept. 10. Pre-sale through American Idol .com starts today at 10:00 a.m. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Jones Beach: $50. 50 – $70.50; Mark Etess: (Live Nation); Mohegan: $71 – $91; Prudential: $40.50 – $76; Harbor Yard: $40.50 – $70.50.

Robert Randolph & His Family Band at the Bowery Ballroom on Tues. June 29. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25. (This should be awesome).

Lilith Fair at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. July 31. Pre-sale tickets available now for Citi card holders. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Lawn: $37.75; Terrace: $47.75; Loge: $77.25 – $107.25; Orchestra: $133.25.

Keane with Ingrid Michaelson at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg (North 8th street and Kent Avenue) on Fri. Aug. 6. Tickets on sale today at noon. $39.50

Limp Bizkit at PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. July 3. Pre-sale tickets available now until 10:00 p.m. tonight for Citi card holders. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $26.25 – $55.75.

Natalie Merchant at the Wellmont Theater on Mon. July 12. Tickets on sale today at noon. $45 and $65.

Corrine Bailey Rae at the Beach at Governor’s Island on Fri. Aug. 6. Pre-sale tickets available now until 11:00 a.m. this morning for American Express cardholders only. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $40 (ticket price includes the roundtrip fare for the ferry)

The Cat Empire at the Webster Theater on Fri. July 30. Tickets on sale today at noon. $22 ($25 day of show).

For Parents: The Jonas Brothers at PNC Bank Arts Center on Mon. Aug. 16 and at Jones Beach on Sat. Aug. 21. Pre-sale for Citi card holders begins next Wed. May 19 at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Fri. May 21. General public tickets on sale Sat. May 22 at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $37.50 – $250;Jones: $47.50 – $97.50.

Leela James at Gramercy Theater on Wed. Aug. 4. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25

Danzig at the Nokia Theater on Fri. June 18. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders until 10:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $29.50

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Ms. Lena Horne who passed away earlier this week. I didn’t know too much about her but the first word that come to mind is “class” and she definitely possessed that quality. A legend who impacted many people’s lives, rest in peace Lena.

Ace Frehley is supposedly writing a book on his experiences with Kiss. He recently turned 59 and wants to write it down now before he forgets. It should be an interesting read as he was their in the beginning and again for the first “reunion” and I’m assuming he will give his side of the story on why Gene and Paul let him out his contract. (or kicked him out).

The Dead Weather have already put out a second album-“Sea of Cowards”-this past Tuesday and the average rating on I-Tune readers is 4.5 starts out of 5, so yes it seems they have another “hit” album on their hands. I love the first track on the album-“Blue Blood Blues”- “psychedelic awesomeness.” There seems to be a bit of hip hop influence on many of the songs-just like on the first album. Check out “Hustle and Cuss” if you don’t believe me. Early signs point to this as being in the immortal words of Randy Jackson-“This is Hot!!”

Meatloaf’s new album-“Hang Cool Teddy Bear”- came out this past Tuesday and after listening to the 30 second samples on I-Tunes the first thing I noticed was a lot of guitar sound coming from every angle. Some of the fan reviews on I-Tunes are not so favorable and the one funny one I saw was “Meat-E-Ocre at best.” Oh well if you are a fan, check it out for yourself.

I kind of knew that Michael Lynche was going to be voted off this week from American Idol, as I mentioned the last few weeks I didn’t understand why he kept landing at the bottom so I can’t say that I am surprised. Did I expect him to win? Probably not so it is not so bad for where he finished-fourth- he should be real proud of himself. His solo performance on Tuesday night was not that great but neither was the performance of Lee DeWyze but I guess Lee received a “mulligan” this week. Crystal Bowersox’s powerful rendition of “I’m Alright” was electrifying and has catapulted her back to the top of the fray in my opinion. Casey James’s performance of “Mrs. Robinson” by my new obsession-Simon & Garfunkel- was good but again nothing spectacular. But I will say both “duo’s” were fantastic and the song that Michael & Casey performed-“Have You Really Ever Loved a Woman”- could be a hit on the radio right now-that’s how good it was. And Lee & Crytsal’s song-“Falling Slowly”- was very good but for that was held up by Crystal in my opinion, as Lee seemed to be a little “off” the entire night.It’s anyone’s game right now but in the end I still think Crystal will win out. It’s going to be interesting to see who goes next.

By the way, the performance by Fantasia on Wednesday night was a little off key as well and I could just picture Simon critiquing it as it ended. I don’t know but for me Daughtry seems to have fallen into the “pop” zone too much for my liking (again I love pop) and he has become “like everyone else” on the radio. I thought his career was going to be a bit different, he’s good but something has slipped-who knows maybe it’s me. And the same goes for Bon Jovi– I hate to say it cause I love these guys but they have become so bland recently. It’s like they are playing but that “energy” is gone. Many of the newer songs really sound very similar to each other. Again who am I to say but both Daughtry and Bon Jovi need some “smelling salts” in my opinion. Again I like both artists, I usually keep it positive on this page but I have to be honest. Maybe both had an off night, who knows.

On June 8th there will be a box set release of nearly 60 songs by the legendary Steve Winwood. The package-“Revolutions” contain tracks that were personally selected by Mr. Winwood from his days with the Spencer Davis group, Traffic and Blind Faith.

Former Warrant front man, Jani Lane, was reportedly arrested again on the suspicion of drunk driving in Woodlands CA. Ironic part is that is was the same police officer that cuffed him again last week and he supposedly crashing into a parked car and failing a sobriety test at the scene.

Dee Snider has joined the ranks of Ozzy and Gene Simmons and will be a reality star as “Growing Up Twisted” will spotlight life in the Snider household with his wife and four children. The show will be on the cable channel “A&E.” No word on when the show will air but they are currently filming now.

Korn’s new single-“Oildale (Leave Me Alone)” is out now and is the opening track off of their ninth studio album-“Korn III-Remember Who You Are” to be released via Roadrunner Records on July 13. The song has that distinctive Korn sound and it turns out they tapped Ross Robinson to produce as he was behind the controls on “Life is Peachy”-one of their best albums.

The heavy metal site “Blabbermouth.net” has given a rating of 8 (out of ten) for Ratt’s latest album-“Infestation”- and unbelievably the listeners gave it an 8.1. Usually this site slams the “glam” bands but here you have it folks this says it all in my book. “Infestation” must be real good. \m/ \m/

Album Review: “The Oracle” by Godsmack released on May 4, 2010

The Oracle

As I mentioned in last week’s blog I had picked up the fifth studio album by the boys from Boston that go by the name of Godsmack. “The Oracle” is complete with bone crunching riffs, bass lines that will make your chest pulsate and wailing drums which will keep you “head-banging” throughout. And of course there is that distinctive vocal style of Mr. Sully Erna and in my opinion he has one of the best “metal” voices out there. As mentioned, if you are a fan of these guys, I believe this album represents their continued rise into becoming a potential metal icon. (Now I know many of the “haters” out there will scoff at this notion but I can’t understand why these guys, in my opinion, don’t receive the respect they deserve-they have put in their dues and should now reap the benefits) Have they reached their pinnacle with “The Oracle?” No I still believe they are still growing but I have to say that this is their most complete album to date. This is better than “IV” and you all know that I absolutely loved that album. What stands out to me on this album is a feeling of these guys finally feeling comfortable with who they are and what they play. They seem very relaxed (even though obviously their music is not something you can relax to-just the opposite) and the musicianship is tighter as their talents shine through in many different songs. I will also state that I really like the way they set up this album with the order of the songs-admittedly you have to be prepared for an onslaught of “heavy” music throughout but the flow gives you a chance to breath before you get hit with that next blow. Godsmack seems to fly under the radar but for their legion of fans this album was well worth the wait and I am already looking forward to the tour to hear these powerful songs.

The album starts off with the intense (this has to be the perfect way to describe this band, no?)-“Cryin’ Like a Bitch!!”- which immediately gets you in the “head-banging” zone as there is no build up. This is like going down that first hill on the Cyclone rollercoaster in Coney Island-hold on to the ride and don’t cry because this ride will not stop. Obviously when you have metal there is usually anger and Sully is pissed off at some one as he explains to them why they are so not welcomed. He also exclaims that he is tough and will *itch slap you, if you get out of line. This is not your 100 mph songs but it’s up there, I would say this is going at a pace near 75 mph. Perfect way to kick start your heart. Track #2-“Saints and Sinners” starts off with just the bass sort of like when one bee flies out of a nest but you know there are many to follow as the drums and guitar explode the song into a frenzy. Just picture disturbing a hanging bees nest as they all fly out to protect the Queen Bee. I guarantee that this song will be among the fan favorites at the shows as the mosh pits will break out everywhere and then everyone will stop and sing the chorus while raising their arms above their heads and sing in unison-“…I shake my fists up to the sky… just keeping my dreams alive… I’m one part saint and two parts sinners..” The guitar solos are crisp and clean and demonstrate their improved skills. “War and Peace” is a three minute explosion of thrash metal that should conjure up thoughts of Metallica or Megadeth. And they use that “metal” thing where they have a crowd in the background cheering as some guy is speaking through a bull horn. This is a complete knockout of a tune and just like that it is three-for-three.

As you catch your breath a little, track # 4-“Love-Hate-Sex-Pain”- takes the pace down a bit but not by much. But the cool thing about this song is that it is the perfect sing along song. I found myself singing out loud in my car as I was blasting it-“Love-Hate-Sex-Pain its complicating me sometimes.” There are not too many Godsmack songs where you can sing along to but this one could be their best. No doubt this will be another fan favorite and has to rank up there as one of the best songs on this album. They sort of do this “Faith No More” thing where they have a piano ending the song like the classic “Epic” tune. And then it keeps getting better with “What If?” and admittedly I had to give this song a couple of turns before the light bulb went on and this could be the finest track on the disc. The song has this almost “bongo” like vibe as the constant drum beat-think Santana but heavier-keeps you hooked in for the entire six minutes or so. And when the guitar riff surrounds your ears-(you have to listen with a great set of headphones)- you will hear what I am talking about-their maturity, their “relaxed” style but with explosive results. This song is “epic-like” and should make you stand up and pay attention. My hats off to you boys!!! \m/ \m/

“Devils Swing” has a funky groove almost bluesy heavy metal-if there is such a thing. This definitely reminds me of Metallica’s-“Devil’s Dance” but a bit faster. It’s weird the titles are almost the same and to me it they sound similar and Godsmack even throws in the harmonica, a la Steven Tyler. This track is different from the first six and you see what I’m talking about the flow? Track #8-“Good Day to Die” has Megadeth’s influence written all over this one. The beginning guitar riff sounds exactly like Mustaine helped them out with this one. The guitar has this way of making you feel like you have a blender that keeps spinning around in a circle as the milk shake you are making is spilling over the top but you lick up the vanilla that is falling down the side of the glass because it’s that good and you don’t want to waste any of it. “Forever Shamed” just may be the only “filler” on this album as you might think that you already heard this before. (Yes but many bands have similar sound so why knock these guys?). It is a fast paced song that again will knock your socks off, maybe it’s that I’m old and need that “breather” to come in to take me down a bit. By the way, the guitar solo is awesome on this track. Track #9 starts off real low and builds to a heavy fast paced song (there was that little break that I needed) and this time I was ready for it. As you listen to this track you can identify each of the four guys in the band as their parts clearly stand out when they are in the “verse” section of the arrangement. The bass is thumping your chest out, while the guitar again puts you into a frenzy as well at the drumming and Sully vocals are something that surrounds you, lifts you and knocks you out. I can picture “Nascar” using this song as the cars race around the track at 200 mph.

The title track of this album is an instrumental and I’d have to say that this is my favorite song. Now how can I say this after complimenting Sully on his vocals? This song in my opinion demonstrates how far this band has come and they have honed their skills to the point where people have to say that this is as good as a Metallica track-and I think these guys would tell you that Metallica was a band they idolized and I’m assuming that they would consider this a great compliment. This is worthy of your attention and will almost remind you of “Rush” as well because they are also one of the “masters” when it comes to instrumentals. Real impressive and worth the price of admission. “Whiskey Hangover” was released as a single late last year and appears near the end of the album. Now most people usually associate the songs at the end of the album as sort as not as good as the beginners but in this case it could have led off the album because of the intensity as well as the musicianship. This is “metal” in the old western movies where the swinging doors lead right to the bar where the whiskey waits for you. The last track (before the additional track)-“I Blame You”- is a three minute song that ends the album the same way it was started-with a blast full of metal mixture of deep bass lines, crashing cymbals, demonic vocals with a tantalizing guitar solo. Eat it up folks, it’s that good.

The “bonus” track is a “Sully”only song called-“The Departed” and features a female vocalist who fits in nicely with Mr. Erna as this psychedelic track will remind you a little of “Vodoo” off of their debut album. I picture myself on a magic carpet ride sort of like the movie- Aladdin. Again Sully vocals are real impressive and the woman is also very good. So there you have it folks, for those who don’t know Godsmack too well this just may be the album to get you started. For the fan, this is a “must have” as they really are starting to come into their own. Nice job gentlemen and we look forward to the tour. (By the way, this Godsmack album is their third to land at the number one spot on the top 200 albums on Billboard). \m/ \m/

“TOP TEN”:

Image of Stone Temple Pilots

Since the new Stone Temple Pilots album is due to come out on Tues. May 25 I figured that I might as well name their top ten best songs before the start of their second career. Not too many bands make a comeback after so many years but there are a few that quickly come to mind-obviously Aerosmith had a re-birth in the 1980’s after dismantling in the 1970’s. Tesla made a huge comeback (c’mon did you not think that I was not going to use the word-“huge?”) in the 21st Century after they too broke apart in the 20th Century. Now I know many people consider “STP” a cheap rip-off of Pearl Jam, especially when they first came on the scene in 1992 with their debut-“Core.” Yes I will admit that “Plush” sounded an awful lot like Mr. Vedder but I don’t see why that should matter because their entire library is a different sound than that of Pearl Jam. Yes I will admit again that their first album could easily be mistaken for Pearl Jam. But as their career progressed, their sound was very distinct and I always thought that these guys like to “rock and roll” a little more than the other grunge bands of that era.

Now my oldest son so easily dismisses them as a grunge band and won’t even listen to me when I put them in the same category as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Nirvana. He says those bands come are far superior to STP and that they shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath. Now I know there are lots of people who probably feel that way but I also know that STP has its legion of fans who would say that they are right up there with the big four. I absolutely love STP and have every album they have made and look forward to the new sound on the 25th. Another thing that kind of separates me from the rest of the STP pack is that my favorite album from them is “Shangri-La Dee Da” and I know most will point the finger to their debut album. Most people lambasted “Shangri” but I honestly can say that I listen to every song when I put that album on. I can’t say that for the rest of their albums, dare I say that I don’t even have every song on my I-Pod from their debut-I know-“Sac-religious.” People’s lives change as they grow older and singers/band members are also considered people, so when their sound changes, it’s not always bad. We all know Mr. Weiland has had a whirlwind of a life but he has managed to still remain relevant while adding a family. That has to change you and his song for his first born son-“A Song for Sleeping” is one of my favorites and I’m not ashamed to admit it, is it “STP” like? No but it is still part of what was inside of them at that moment. As a parent I can so relate to that song and it makes me think of my boys when they were in a high-chair eating their Gerber veggies. The brothers-Robert and Dean DeLeo are, in my opinion, the most over-looked double tandem of guitarists in this era who have created some of the best rhythm riffs in the history of “grunge” music or any music period. These guys know how to play and can rock out with the best of them. And Eric Kretz on drums keeps the train called STP moving along at a crisp pace and hasn’t been late to any station stop since they started. So I am on an island and have been told that I can only have ten songs by the Stone Temple Pilots, “These are Them:”

10.     Plush (Acoustic Version)I thought I use to like the original version but when the acoustic version was released on “Thank You” –greatest hits collection-I was blown away. Now for me this version does not sound like Pearl Jam-so there-no seriously this song has to be considered one of their best songs ever. It’s just Scott’s vocals with an acoustic guitar and it was astonishing for me when I first heard it, it gripped me like none other and immediately became the version of choice for me. Despite all the troubles that Mr. Weiland experiences every day, the man can sing and this could be his best vocals ever.

9.     Vasoline In my opinion this has one of the coolest openings of any song in the history of music, it rises up to an awesome crescendo highlighted by that amazingly seemingly simple guitar riff which is so addictive- the DeLeo Brothers own it on this track. I know I can completely nail this song at the next karaoke party and oh by the way I received a 100% on the vocals on Rock Band 2, OK it was on “medium” but the next time I play with my boys (they don’t like my singing so they ask me once in a while) I will be on expert and will predict that I will get at least a 95%.

8.     Heavens & Hot RodsThis blazing track appears on “4” and most people point to “Down”-which I also love but I only can fit ten here-but for me this is the “bomb.”Eric Kretz’s drumming hits you right over the head (and chest) and he keeps the head banging groove at a fever pitch while Robert’s bass will be thumping on your chest and of course Dean’s lead guitar “makes it easy to move your feet” –his solo is short but packs a punch. STP can turn up the pace and volume on many tracks, including this one but then can also flip on the dime to a nice soft song which is something I love. This song rocks folks, check it out. \m/ \m/

7.     Piece of PieNow I know everyone out there is looking for “Sex Type Thing” on my list but for me the lesser known tracks on their debut has always grabbed my attention more than the “hits” and I’ll point right to this song. This track will knock you right off your feet, it is so freaking good. It has a little bit of everything-the bridge before the amazing guitar solo will have you floating in the air but let’s get back to Dean’s guitar solo. How amazing is it? I’m doing the Wayne’s World bow right now as I write the review for this song. I love all the “stops & starts” throughout and if Scott’s singing doesn’t want to make you become a rock star, then I don’t know what will. “I broke the bread line…nobody knows…I walked the frontline…still got far to go..” This song is too cool.

6.     Dead & BloatedThis also could be one of the best beginnings to a song ever, when I hear Scott sounding like he is 100 miles away singing-“I am smelling like a rose that somebody gave me…” I just lose it. The volume has to be cranked up to a “1,000” and the walls need to shake. The groove is slow and trudging but there is something about it that keeps me coming back for more. For those who think this is a Pearl Jam rip-off, I just don’t see it (or hear it)-to me this does not sound like PJ. It has that “heavy” guitar that has to make you pound your head up and down but not at a “break-neck” speed, which is good on the “wear & tear” of your neck and head, right? Before you know it, the five minutes and ten seconds are over just like that and to me this is a sign of a great song.

5.     Days of the WeekGo ahead and laugh me out of the room or never read my blog again but I absolutely love this song. Call it “pop” or “bubble gum” music but like I have always said- you need bubble gum in your life every once in a while because life can’t be all vegetables and potatoes. I have to be honest with myself and I could not push this song off my top ten list, not only that but it has landed at number 5. As you know- “Shangri”- is my favorite STP album so I have to have songs from the album right? C’mon you know you love it but won’t admit it because it’s not “heavy” or “STP” like. I can listen to this song all day long. “…where can she be?Cause days of the week…”

4.     Sour GirlOk this is the “soft” side of the Stone Temple Pilots and these are also the songs that dragged me in and made me love this group. The one thing that I notice is that I have more than a few songs on my list that appears on “Thank You” which is a compilation of their greatest hits but I guess it is a testament that they (or the record company) know which songs are the best. I will state that this song has the best harmonizing vocals on any STP song and I get completely mesmerized by their great vocals together. This appears on “4”-which is a super solid album. This song makes me want to take singing lessons.

3.     A Song for SleepingAgain go ahead and make fun of me-bang your head on your computer in disgust but again for me I have to pick the ten songs that I would want and I have to be honest with myself and not be subject to peer pressure to pick “Sex Type Thing” or songs like that. (I love those songs, don’t get me wrong). But this song gives me the chills as well as puts a huge smile on my face. I think back to when my boys were babies as they sat in their “high-chairs” eating their baby food. Do you remember when your child “first smiled” at you? It has to be one of the greatest feelings ever in the world. This brings tears to my eyes as I now see my sons all grown up and now being teenagers, this song takes me back to the days when they were little and the lyrics in this song I believe is what every father wanted to write.

2.     CrackermanThis used to be my all time favorite by STP but it has slipped down one notch to number two. This is one of the best “mash-pit” songs and I remember the first time I saw STP live and Scott took out the megaphone while singing the words-“…Get away.. gotta get away…”- well I thought that was the coolest thing that I had ever seen at a show. (I know it’s not the first time it’s been used). This song rocks and Dean’s blistering solo is “head-banging” rock at its best. This is their best “heavy” song ever recorded.

1.     WonderfulI remember hearing this song for the first time and I instantly knew that this would forever be my favorite Stone Temple Pilots song. Call it sappy, call it melancholy but you have to admit to its greatness. The opening lyrics hit me like a ton of bricks-“…If I were to die this morning… would you tell me things that you wouldn’t have… would you be my navigator…would you take me to a place we could hide…”- it makes you think, no? I often wonder if we would tell our loved ones certain things… if we knew… well you know. It’s a somber topic but getting back to the music, the arrangement is the best they have ever had on a song and it is so “wonderful” to sing to. You can feel the passion in Mr. Weiland’s vocals and hands down this is by far the best song they have ever recorded. And there is no way I can just listen to it once, I immediately hit the replay button and wander off. I saw them perform this at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York and I will never forget it. They were close to breaking up and I had so desperately wanted to hear them perform this live and my wish was granted. I can’t wait for the new stuff.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Hey Jude

2.     Miles Davis

3.     Little Richard

4.     Sadly it was Linda McCartney’s memorial

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     In which city did the Beatles play their last live performance?

2.     From 1977 to 1979, the Bee Gees had how many consecutive number 1 hits?

3.     Bill and Hillary Clinto named their daughter Chelsea after what song?

4.     What were the Beach Boys originally called? What was their first band name?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week: (Nice job again Tricia)

1.     “It’s So Nice to Be With You”- Gallery

2.     “Alone Again Naturally”-Gilbert O’Sullivan

3.     “Dragging The Line”-Tommy James

4.     “Hot Rod Lincoln” –Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

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

1.     “…when I feel cold, you warm me…And when I feel like I can’t go on, you come and hold me…It’s you…and me forever…”

2.     “…Just say you will, say you will…(say you will)…Say you will (say you will)…Hey, Hey (Say you will)…my heart is fine, fine…”

3.     “…so many days you passed me by…see the tears standing in my eyes…you wouldn’t stop to make me feel better…by giving me a card or a letter …”

4.      “…I’ve been really trying, baby…trying to hold back this feelin’ for so long…and if you feel like I feel baby…then come on, oh come on…”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1998, Frank Sinatra passed away from a heart attack at the age of 82. This man was an American legend and his music and films will never be forgotten.

Sadly back on this day in 1976, Keith Relf, former lead singer of The Yardbirds, was killed at the young age of 33 while tuning his guitar in a bathtub and was electrocuted.

Back on this day in 1956, Buddy Holly decided to forgo contact lenses (he was fitted for them on this day) and stay with his trade-mark glasses look.

Back on this day in 1968, John Lennon and Paul McCartney appeared on the Tonight Show and announced the formation of Apple Records. This was just after they returned from India while meditating. They would start working on the White album shortly after. 

Back on this day in 1969, Neil Young released his second solo album-“Everybody Knows This is Nowhere”- and his first with his backing band-Crazy Horse.

Back on this day in 1970, Crosby, Stills Nash & Young released “Ohio,” ten days after the shooting of four students at Kent State which inspired the song.

Back on this day in 1988, the surviving members of the Mighty Led Zeppelin plus utilizing Jason Bonham (son of John) on drums, performed together at Madison Square Garden for the celebration of Atlantic Records making it to 40 years of existence.

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with the late great Bobby Darin, Jack Bruce (Cream, did I need to tell you that?), David Byrne (Talking Heads), Tom Cochrane, Mike Inez (bassist for Alice in Chains and Heart), C.C. DeVille (Poison) and Ian Astbury (The Cult).

May 7, 2010

Weekly Update – 05/07/2010

Filed under: CD Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — ea0217 @ 5:34 am

Ozzfest will return this summer and it will be more than one date this year. Ozzfest 2010 will stop at the Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Sat. Aug. 21 and then the Susquehanna Theater in Camden NJ on Sun. Aug. 22. (They will also do shows in CA, Chicago, Pittsburg and Boston). The main stage will of course feature Ozzy as well as Motley Crue and Rob Halford. Black Label Society (I guess Ozzy and Zakk must have ironed things out) along with Drowning Pool, Kingdom of Sorrow, Goatwhore, Skeletonwitch, Saviours and Kataklysm will be the featured acts on the second stage. Tickets will go on sale Sat. May 22 at 10:00 a.m. (more information to follow)

Roger Waters at Madison Square Garden on Tues. Rocktober 5, Nassau Coliseum on Tues. Rocktober 12 and the Izod Center on Wed. Nov. 3. (performing “The Wall”). Pre-sale tickets available for American Express cardholders until Sun. May 9 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale Mon. May 10 at 10:00 a.m. MSG: $79.50 – $129.50 & $254.50; (ouch) $55 – $250 for the other two venues

The Go-Go’s farewell NY concert at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Tues. July 20. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $65.

Straight No Chaser at the Beacon Theater on Tues. Nov. 30. Tickets on sale today at noon. $29.50 – $49.50.

Shakira at Madison Square Garden on Tues. Sept. 21. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $9.50 (can this be right?), $39.50, $69.50, $99.50 and $149.50.

Lilith Fair at the Comcast Theater on Sun. Aug. 1. Pre-sale tickets available now for Citi card holders. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $33 – $107.

Weezer at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg (North 8th street and Kent Avenue) on Fri. July 16. Pre-sale tickets on sale tomorrow morning beginning at 10:00 a.m. until Thurs. May 13 at 10:00 p.m. for American Express cardholders only. General public tickets on sale next Fri. May 14 at 11:00 a.m. $54.

John Mayer at Bethel Woods Center on Wed. Aug. 4. Pre-sale tickets available now until 9:00 p.m. tonight for Citi card holders. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Lawn: $42.15; Rear Orchestra: $49.75; Middle Orchestra: $59.50 – $80.90; Front Orchestra: $80.90

MGMT at Radio City Music Hall on Tues. Aug. 17. Tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m. $39.50.

The Dead Weather at the Prospect Park Bandshell (in Brooklyn) on Wed. Aug. 3. Tickets on sale today at noon. $37.50.

Limp Bizkit at PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. July 3. Tickets on sale next Sat. May 15 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Natalie Merchant at the Town Hall (acoustic only) on Thurs. July 15. Pre-sale tickets available for American Express card holders until 11:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $51.50 and $64.

Stevie Nicks at the Mark. G. Etess Theater in Atlantic City N.J. on Fri. Aug. 27. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Rufus Wainwright at the Prospect Park Bandshell (in Brooklyn) on Tues. July 20. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $36 and $56.

Widespread Panic at Radio City Music Hall on Thurs. July 22. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $44.50 – $59.50.

Barenaked Ladies at Radio City Music Hall on Fri. Aug. 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m. $38 – $78.

Counting Crows at the MAC at Monmouth University on Tues. July 20 and at the Westbury Theater on Wed. Aug. 4. Tickets for the Monmouth show on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $48 and $53. Tickets for the Westbury show on sale tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. $60.50 and $80.50. Also appearing at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair NJ on Tues. & Wed. Aug. 17 & 18. Tickets on sale today at noon. $64.

Primus and Gogol Bordello at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg (North 8th street and Kent Avenue) on Fri. July 30. Tickets on sale today at noon. $36.50.

Ok Go at Terminal 5 on Fri. Rocktober 29. Pre-sale tickets available for American Express card holders until 11:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $25.

Ani DiFranco at the Town Hall on Fri. Nov. 19. Tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m.$46.

Taking Back Sunday at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Wed. June 23. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.$25.

Paramore at Jones Beach on Fri. Aug. 6. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $16, $28.50 and $38.50.

Lil Kim at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Thurs. June 3. Tickets on sale now. $34.50.

50 Cent at The Hammerstein Theater on Tues. June 22. Tickets on sale today at noon. $55 and $75.

Gov’t Mule at the Central Park Summerstage on Wed. Aug. 11. Tickets on sale today at noon. $40.

Bachman Turner (reunited) at the Ives Center in Danbury CT on Sat. Aug. 28. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.

Willie Nelson at the Ives Center in Danbury CT on Sat. July 31. Ticket info to follow.

Other items:

Bret Michaels continues to recover and has done an interview with “People” magazine where he stated that he asked the doctor if he was going to die after the doctor had informed him that he should have his children come down to the hospital. He said if he was going to die, then yes he decided to bring them down but if the doctor thought he had a chance to live, then he decided against it because he didn’t want he children to see him in that condition. Luckily the doctor said he had a chance to live and he continues to improve and is expected to make a 100% recovery. Nothing short of a miracle. \m/ \m/

This week’s Rolling Stone issue (with Robert Downey Jr. on cover) finally posted a review for Slash’s debut album a full month after it was released. What is that? I thought reviews were usually done before the album is released or coincides with the week it is released? The review is like 6 sentences long, a complete and utter joke. You would think with all the time they had to review, there would be more to the write-up. And to boot they gave it just three stars. In my opinion, this has been the best release of 2010 so far. This burns me to no end. At least “Blabbermouth” continues to ignore it, I’d rather that than 6 sentences of nothing. (Sorry I can’t seem to let this go….)

OK so I have really taken a liking to the offspring of two of the “Dixie Chicks” who have formed their own duo called “Court Yard Hounds.” Sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire were getting a little “antsy” and needed to make music and decided to take matters in their own hands (and voices) while Natalie Maines (the lead singer of Dixie) continues to utilize the freedom of staying home. The trio are not done; Emily and Martie will welcome back Natalie with open arms once she is ready to come back and make music but for now they have recorded their “debut.” I have to say that I have listened to more than a few songs in their entirety (their web site) and I have purchased the album. So far the songs I really like are “The Coast,” “Fairytale,” “Gracefully” and “Fear of Wasted Time.” Emily wrote many of the songs after her divorce from singer-songwriter Charlie Robison.

My favorite “new” song of the week is “Chasm” by the band Flyleaf. I think I saw this band at one point open for someone but can’t remember. I heard this song the other day on the best rock station in the U.S.A.-“WCCC”-out of Hartford CT and I was really impressed and immediately downloaded it. It is off their latest album-“Memento Mori.” Check it out.

Of course you know I jumped all over the new Godsmack album-“The Oracle”- and I like what I have heard. I will give it a few more turns and may just come up with an album review. Now the formula has not changed-so if you are looking for something “new” or “different”-then don’t pick it up but if you love their sound (like I do) then this is right up your alley. AC/DC have not changed their recipe and have been revered for doing so, but for some reason the haters out there give these guys a lot of grief. Yeah I have read the comments that they should just fork over their proceeds to the “Alice In Chains” trust fund. These guys loved and respected Layne and the rest of the members of AIC and yes they are a heavy influence but so what? If you are a fan of ‘Smack you will love the heavy bass lines, they are everywhere. Check out the song –“War and Peace.”

Ok so Aaron Kelly was voted off this past Wednesday night from American Idol and I am still scratching my head because I can’t understand how he and Michael Lynche ended up in the bottom two after Tuesday night’s performance. Both Crystal Bowersox and Casey James had less than average presentations (and I like both of them and have predicted that Crystal will win it all) and deserved to be in the bottom of the votes. I really have to tip my hat to Aaron Kelly as he was most respectful as he said his goodbye. I don’t think he would have ended up winning the whole thing but I honestly have changed my earlier opinion that I would not remember his name after his exodus and now predict that he will land a contract with someone. All the judges loved Michael’s rendition of “The way You Look Tonight” so I don’t understand why America keeps putting him near the bottom almost every week. Obviously now with only 4 contestants left, being at the bottom is not so bad. The sleeper in this has been Lee DeWyze as he has a real chance of being crowned the 2010 American Idol.

By the way, what was American Idol thinking (and FOX) by having Lady GaGa perform on their show? I guess they want to try and stay “current” but her routine on Wednesday night was offensive. Ok yes maybe that is the “old person” coming out in me because I was dying as my 12 year old son watched in “horror.” Lady- We get it.. you are always “pushing the envelope” but there will come a time when your talent will have to overtake all the ridiculous outfits and stage props. I was embarrassed for her as well as myself for actually watching it. Thank goodness for Harry Connick Jr.’s solo performance as well as when all five contestants sang his songs. Now that is music and something I have been pounding away on this page- it is our civil duty to keep the classics going.

My older son has informed me that the Zac Brown Band is an act that I really should follow. I have heard this guy is good but now I know he must be because my older son is usually on the mark. Funny thing is that he is not so hip to Country (that will eventually come, I was the same way when I was his age) music but he is drawn to the Zac Brown Band. They have released a massive live album-“Pass the Jar”- with 24 songs and they include some smoking covers, especially “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels band. Check it out. Kid Rock also does a song with them.

Has anyone been listening to the New York radio station “Lite FM” (at 106.7) lately? They say they are “lite” but especially the last few weeks, the station seems more like Z-100 or WPLJ than the normal Lite FM that I have been use to. It’s been weird.

My favorite “nu-metal” or “new-rock” song is “Take it to the Limit” by Hinder (with Mick Mars). Now I know lots of you out there have been telling me about this band (along with Breaking Benjamin and the such) and just to let you know, I’m getting there-just give me a chance. I like Hinder’s sound- loud, crisp and tight. This song rocks. \m/ \m/

Album Review: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel released on January 26, 1970

Bridge Over Troubled Water

A few weeks ago, “The Graduate” was on one of those classic movie channels and I knew that the entire soundtrack was done by Simon & Garfunkel and as I watched the movie while listening to their great songs, I couldn’t believe how much I loved their songs, so it made me explore. Now I “cheated” with this group in the sense that I had purchased their “greatest hits” which I know is sac-religious but I have “seen the light” and now own albums two through five. I am pouring through these albums and who knows I just may do an album review for each for the next four weeks. I decided to start with their last album together because of the significance that I think it represented. The 1960’s were one of the most explosive decades in our history filled with great achievements but also marked by some very violent turbulent times in the U.S. which included the Vietnam War and the tail end of this decade could have the furthest we have ever been from peace abroad as well as in our own backyard. Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I experienced this because when this album was released I was only 4 years old but from what I have read (and have now heard) this album represented a “bed of hope.” Our Country needed something and supposedly this album was sort of a security blanket that calmed our fears-at least for a little bit-from all the monsters in our room that kept us up at night. Folks I’m telling you I don’t think there has ever been a duo that has ever moved me the way that Simon & Garfunkel have done. This album is like an outer body experience. And the sad and most ironic part is that this masterpiece was created as they both knew that their existence together was coming to an end. Isn’t it weird to think that these unbelievable songs were made at a time of duress for both of these men? The first analogy that pops into my head is the same thing happened with The Beatles in the sense, in my opinion, that some of their best material was created while they knew they were breaking up. From the White album to Let It Be, so many phenomenal songs made at a time where they couldn’t even stand to be in the same room with each other. My recommendation for this Country right now is for everyone who has this album to take it out and listen to it. Listen to it with your whole family. For those of you who do not own it, please I beg of you-run out and buy this now and listen with all your heart. Pass this on down to everyone you know and also perfect strangers. This has to make you feel better about things. I always knew that Simon & Garfunkel were one of the best-if not the best-artists to ever record music in this U.S. of A but now that I am digesting this album (as well as their other fantastic albums) I have to say that they have catapulted their way to the top of my all time list of my favorite artists/bands.

On a separate note, when I think of Simon & Garfunkel the first thing I think of is the song-“The Sound of Silence”- as this was the first song I heard after my mother passed away-don’t ask me how I know that or remember that-I just do- the opening line gets me every time-“Hello darkness my old friend”- as the tears well up. How great is that song? The second thing I remember about Simon & Garfunkel is when I was out of work last year I met this gentleman, Mr. Pendleton, who passed my name along to more than a few potential job opportunities (I thank him as well as the many other family and friends who did/do the same for me) and you remember how many times I have told you that music is a “connection?” The conversation of music is universal and the one take away for me was when he mentioned that S&G were his favorite artists of all time. You see for me it is music that feeds the soul and those two things are something that I will never forget for the rest of my life.

Side one of this classic album starts off with the title track and the first thing that I think of is that I believe many of us out there take Mr. Art Garfunkel for granted and consider Mr. Paul Simon as the only power in this duo. Not for nothing but this song could arguably be their best song ever recorded and guess who sings it? Now yes I know that Paul wrote the song and it could also arguably be one of the best songs ever written. Whenever I hear this song I become perfectly still and can not move, nor do I want any other noise or distractions to disrupt this masterpiece. “When you’re weary, feeling small…when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all…I’m on your side when times get rough..” In any era those are words to live by but especially now. This song has to grip you; it is completely and utterly stunning. And who can forget the legendary lyrics-“…Sail on silvergirl, sail on by…your time has come to shine…all your dreams are on their way…” the song ends with such a majestic feel to it, it is numbing. Track # 2-“El Condor Pasa (If I Could)”- is my favorite song on the album. It gives me the chills and again I can’t even move when I hear this song. The arrangement is spectacular and whoever is playing the flute does a spectacular job. “… I’d rather be a hammer than a nail… yes I would… if I could… I surely would…” I guess all of us would probably choose the hammer right?…but the nail is also needed. Makes you think. Paul’s vocals are stunning and I just can’t get enough of this song. The ever popular “Cecilia” is the third track and I can’t imagine anyone not liking this song. It is the perfect sing along song for your first BBQ this year or while at a dinner party-this is for the entire family, so enjoy. Lots of percussion in this tune and sort of a sign of things to come for Mr. Simon as years later he would take part in so many different genres of music which included performing with South African musicians and groups. The next song-“Keep the Customer Satisfied”- conjures up images of The Everly Brothers (who were part of their inspiration) as the upbeat sound with the acoustic guitar feels like Don & Phil could have written & performed this track. Love the horn arrangements and the finger snapping groove. The last song on side one-“So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright”-is supposedly Paul’s goodbye song to Art. It is a touching soft song that seems to portray their career together as Paul says-“…never change your point of view… when I run dry I stop awhile and think of you…” The last words of the song are “So long, So Long.” Like I mentioned above, it is unbelievable to me that these kind of songs were made while they were apparently having a hard time agreeing on issues.

Side two starts off with another song that could be argued is their best song ever-“The Boxer.” As I read the lyrics it hits me that since I am older the words have more meaning than when I was younger. Life is something that keeps coming at you and only experience at it can make you understand what it can do to you. The words are poignant:-“… In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade…and he carries the reminders of ev’ry glove that laid him down… or cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame… I am leaving, I am leaving… but the fighter still remains…” The words are powerful and take on so many different meanings for every person in this world, in its own way. The tears are flowing as I take in this beautiful song with my entire heart and soul-this is earth shattering stuff right here. “Baby Driver” takes up the feel of the album to a nice hand and knee slapping song that reminds me of something that the Beatles would do. It’s funny but when they turn it up a notch it feels right and the saxophone solo puts the icing on the cake for this one. This could a good song to shout out to the man/ woman or band with that acoustic guitar(s) as a request the next time you are at your local pub. Track # 3-“The Only Living Boy in New York”- is another soothing song that just makes you feel like you’re laying down on a nice grassy hill during a nice summer day with nothing but blue skies in your vision. It seems every song they do, there is so much effort put into the lyrics as well as the overall arrangement of the track. “…Hey, I’ve got nothing to do today but smile……half of the time we’re gone but we don’t know where, and we don’t know where…” Do these words get you to think about life or what? Fantastic song which can bring tears to your eyes. “Why Don’t You Write Me”-brings the pace back up again and sort of has this “calypso” feeling to it. This song is almost actually “heavy” as the musicianship is pretty tight and “jamming” and dare I say a little “loud” for a S&G song. This song is different from any on the album. The boys pay homage to the Everly Brothers by putting a live version of “Bye Bye Love” and this crowd claps their hands together way better than the American Idol audience as they hold the beat of this classic song for the entire version. Is this a perfect sing along song or what? Awesome cover of this American standard. This classic album ends with “Song for the Asking” which is a marvelous song that spotlights Paul’s vocals as well as the acoustic guitar. It really is amazing the songs that these guys had in them, seemed like almost every thing they touched turn into gold or touched your heart. The song ends with the wonderful lyrics-“…Ask me and I will play… All the love that I hold inside…” Seems they did that for generations to come.

Folks discovering music-old or new- is what it is all about and my discovery this week is the magic of Mr. Paul Simon and Mr. Art Garfunkel. I knew and respected their impact on American music but until I really sat down and listened to their albums, I never knew what I was missing. Their work together should be held with such deep regard and massive amount of appreciation that we should thank them every chance we get because it doesn’t get more special than Simon & Garfunkel. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is a pure masterpiece and I can’t wait until I can review the other albums.

“TOP TEN”:

Image of The Police

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “Next to You” by The Police [by the way The Offspring do a nice cover of this classic on their greatest hits.. it sits at the end of (Can’t Get My) Head Around You)-one of those “secret” songs] and it jumped started me to list my favorite ten songs by one of my favorite bands early on in my formidable years of learning the trade of listening to rock and roll or in this case-“New wave”- yes boys and girls when the Police first hit the scene they were classified in this genre. Now I think I have said this more than a few times on this page that I was very upset with Mr. Gordon Sumner, otherwise known as “Sting” when, in my eyes, he left his fellow band mates flat in the prime of their existence to make it all about him. (And Springsteen fans you can blame Sting for convincing Bruce to run out on the E-Street band way back when he implored Bruce that he could make it without them). OK so they both did very well with their solo careers, begrudgingly I have to admit it, still doesn’t take away the pain/anger. But in a strange way I guess The Police had to go their separate ways because by the time “Synchronicity” was released in 1983 they were way to “popular” for me and I had jumped off their band wagon while everyone else on the planet seemed to be jumping on. (Remember I was 13 when their first album came out and in my eyes they were “underground” for a while, so being a teenager clouded my vision a bit because I would drop bands the moment-in my eyes- that they hit the “masses”). Obviously now that I am older I want the bands that I listen to become huge, like the Police were back in 1983. (By the way there will be no songs from “Synchronicity” on this list, sorry there is still that part in me…)

In my opinion the first two Police albums should be considered some of the best albums ever to be released in the history of music. They had this vibe which included punk rock, rock and roll mixed in with reggae which was so different than anyone out at that time-(think back to the late 1970’s with bands like Boston, Foreigner and disco-there was no one like The Police). Stewart Copeland is one of the world’s best drummers and he is prevalent in every Police song. Sting is a phenomenal bass player (listen to the first two albums and you’ll be blown away) while Andy Summers, in my opinion, has always been a very under-rated guitarist. He really opened eyes on their last tour with his very skillful solos as well as keeping that train going. Yes I did attend their farewell tour at Madison Square Garden back in the summer of 2007 and I liked the show but wasn’t so crazy about changing the melodies of some of the early songs. I wanted the “reggae” sounding songs to stay that way and wanted the “punk” songs to also stay the same way… but the “punk” songs were changed, almost “jazzed” up, which didn’t cut it for me. Oh well at least I have the albums to fall back on. Now folks there has to be some Police in your library as it is almost impossible to not like one of their songs-from “Roxanne” to “Wrapped Around Your Finger.” Yes, even “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” which my oldest son says has to be one of the worst songs ever written or recorded. I don’t know but I have always liked that song. Oh well, I am on an island and have been told that I can only have ten songs by The Police, “these are them:” Again these are my favorites (because I already know that if you are not a “fan” of the Police you will not know many of these songs)

10.     Does Everyone StareThe “early” Police were so phenomenal you could feel the energy and edge they had that catapulted them into the stratosphere. Even the lyrics were all over the place, for instance-“I never noticed the size of my feet, until I kicked you in the shins..” –I don’t know why but those are the first lyrics to come to mind when I hear this song. Now this song seems simple enough but when you listen to the collaboration between the three, it’s unbelievable how tight they are. Sting’s bass line feels like it’s coming right through the speakers. Stewart’s drumming feels like he is banging right on your head and how cool is his piano playing on this tune-he wrote this song and he sings the first verse of this fun tune.

9.     Deathwish All three of them wrote this song and again you can feel the electricity between the three as every instrument played is so crystal clear but I have to admit that I love Stewart’s drumming the best as I wish I could play the drums because I would blast away with this song. Sting’s bass hits you right in the chest while Andy keeps the groove going with his guitar work. I feel like I have stuck my fingers in an electric socket as I am hoping up and down all over the room, especially when the beat picks up-again listen to the phenomenal drumming by Mr. Copeland. Awesome tune.

8.     Voices Inside My HeadThis reggae “funk-a-fied” song is almost too much for me to take, Sting’s bass work has to get you out of your seat and on to the dance floor, whether it be your living room or whatever. Stewart’s drumming makes it that much easier to move your feet and especially your body. (listen to his unbelievable skills throughout this song). And then with about a minute and ten seconds left in the song, I can just picture that line that use to be formed on Soul Train when two people would come down from the back of the line and do their thing and once they reached the front another couple would start from the back again. How great is this song? Not too many lyrics but the chorus is addicting and their musicianship is out of this world.

7.     Invisible SunThere is something about this song that intrigues me so much, even today when I listen to it. The song has always grabbed my attention like no other Police song. Now this is off “Ghost in the Machine” and by that time Sting had taken over the band as the input from Stewart and Andy was minimal and in my opinion this is when they went “pop.” Now you know I love all kinds of pop but you can sense that something missing from this album forward and what that was, were Andy and Stewart. Like I said, I love this song but in a weird way, it signaled the end.

6.     The Bed’s Too Big Without YouTalk about a bass? Sting is all over this song with his voice and especially the bass line. Take a listen to this song again and listen to the entire arrangement and production-it really is spectacular- may seem a bit simple but it really is pure perfection. The bass line puts me in a trance and this song makes me want to dance by myself in a circle in the fields of Woodstock. I can remember lying on the hard wood floor in my bedroom of my parent’s place as a teenager with a pillow very close to the base of the speakers and playing this as loud as I could take (or whenever my parents said to turn it down-which ever came first) and every part of my body would move, even my toes. If this reggae twisted tune doesn’t get you moving well I just give up.

5.     No Time This TimeThis is one of the fastest songs in the history of music and I do the “Wayne’s World” bow to all three musicians as this is a jaw dropping display of musicianship that you will ever hear. I had to rewind this song three times already as I try to write about it, that’s how addicting it is. And when Stewart does the blazing drum parts at the end of the tune, I am beside myself. I’m thinking this should have been my number one song. If you dare use this song for your next Spin class be prepared for people to scream out in pain as they try to keep up with the pace of the song as they try to sprint for the entire three minutes, it’s impossible to spin as fast as they are playing. Mr. Summer’s guitar solo throws me over the edge and I feel like Macaulay Culkin who was running around like crazy in “Home Alone.” This is the perfect exercise song, could be the best ever.

4.     Born In The 50’sThis is the “rock and roll” Police and does it get any better than this song? Sting’s vocals are the best and his bass work even better. “…They screamed… when the Beatles sang…and they laughed when the King fell down the stairs…” I can sing this song all day long. “Born in the 50’s…Born in the 50’s…” Copeland is the man.

3.     It’s Alright For YouAnother song that Copeland help write along with Sting that appears on “Reggatta de Blanc” and this is straight up rock and roll. They had the formula nailed down as this three minute song features all their talents, especially Mr. Summers as his blazing guitar solo will make you stand up and take notice at his mad skills. And I don’t know about you but after listening to Stewart Copeland on drums, I want to start taking lessons, he is all over the place with his superior skills. This is short but packs a powerful punch- this is when the Police were the Police.

2.     Truth Hits EverybodyYou want “head-banging” punk rock? Look no further than this unbelievable tune, if you can’t bang your head to this one, well then you might have a headache. Oh man I love this freaking song, I can’t get enough of it. This is even shorter than three minutes but it packs a wallop of a punch. This was a staple in our boot camp classes at MBIA from 2002-2005, I can picture all of us at our separate stations-(everyone stayed at least two stations away from me because of my unusual propensity to sweat more than any other human being alive)- and I would always hope that I had the “running” part so that I could bounce up & down while dancing, making believe I was playing air-guitar-while running of course. Or we would take a small football and Dave and I would pass it to each other whenever head-banging songs like these would come on. Thanks Tricia, Dave, CIC, Doreen and Nick for making those years so special.

1.     Can’t Stand Losing YouThis was one of the first two singles released from Outlandos d’Amour (obviously “Roxanne” was the other) and from the first moment that I heard this back in the late 1970’s, I knew this was going to be one of my all time favorite songs. You know what I’m talking about right? Sometimes it’s your mate-the first time you meet them, you know. Or when my wife and I saw our first house, we knew instantly that we wanted to live there. Now of course it is about the music because the topic deals with suicide as a result of losing someone. The Police had this way of constantly repeating the same lyrics (think “Message in a Bottle”- sending out an S.O.S…) and I love the way Sting persistently sings “I Can’t .. I Can’t.. I Can’t Stand Losing…” Also love the part where he says “…And your brother’s gonna kill me… and he’s six feet ten…” This is an all-time classic.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     They asked Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and George Harrison before Neil Young said yes.

2.     Jerry Garcia

3.     Ronnie Van Zant, he died at the young age of 29 along with two other members of Lynyrd Skynyrd in a plane crash.

4.     ZZ Top

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     What Beatles song lasted on the charts the longest, at 19 weeks?

2.     What jazz musician is known as “The Prince of Darkness?”

3.     What self proclaimed “architect of rock and roll” helped cut the ribbon for the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland?

4.     Whose memorial service marked for the first time in 30 years that the three surviving members of the Beatles appeared together in public?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week: (Nice job Tricia)

1.     “If”- Bread

2.     “We’ve Only Just Begun”- The Carpenters

3.     “This Guys In Love With You”-Herb Albert & the Tijuana Brass

4.     “Garden Party” –Ricky Nelson

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

1.     “…I love all the things you say and do…and it’s so nice to hear you say…you’re gonna please me in every way…”

2.     “…I remember I cried when my father died…never wishing to have cried the tears…and at sixty-five years old…My mother, God rest her soul…”

3.     “…I feel fine…I’m talking bout peace of mind…I’m gonna take my time…I’m getting the good sign…”

4.     “…they arrested me and put me in jail…and called my pappy to throw my bail…And he said Son you are going to drive me to drinkin’ if you don’t stop…”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1998, Eddie Rabbitt, died from lung cancer at the young age of 56. I always loved the song-“I Love a Rainy Night.”

Back on this day in 1968, Reginald Dwight decided to change his name to Elton John.

Back on this day in 1991, Wilson Pickett was arrested for drunk driving in Englewood NJ and also for threatening his neighbor, who happened to be the mayor of Englewood.

Back on this day in 1998, Steve Perry decided to leave the band Journey, leaving them with no frontman.

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with the late great Johnny Maestro,(who unfortunately just passed away on Mar. 24 from cancer at the age of 70-he should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) Jimmy Ruffin (“What Becomes of the Broken Hearted”) and Bill Danoff (The Starland Vocal Band)

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