Errols Weekly Music Update.

July 2, 2010

Weekly Update – 07/02/2010

(I will be on vacation next week and will be back with a posting on Fri. July 16)

Chuck Berry at BB Kings on Friday Dec. 31 for two sets: 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. Tickets on sale on Wed. July 14 at noon. $120.

Marc Anthony at Madison Square Garden on Fri. Sept. 10. Tickets on sale now. $79.50, $104.50, $129.50, $154.50 and $179.50

Gary Numan at Nokia Theater on Sat. Rocktober 23. Tickets on sale now. $28.50

Hot Hot Heat at the Bowery Ballroom on Tues. Sept. 7. Tickets on sale now. $15.

Interpol at the United Palace Theater on Fri. Nov. 5. Tickets on sale now. $40.

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family & friends of Pete Quaife, one of the original founding members of The Kinks who passed away at the age of 66. He played on “You Really Got Me” in 1964 and then a car accident forced him to leave the band in 1966. He eventually came back but was replaced in 1969.

Gregg Allman underwent a successful liver transplant in Jacksonville FL this week. Allman who suffers from hepatitis C is expected to back with the band soon.

Sammy Hagar will release a memoir in 2011 about his life as a solo artist as well as his eleven years with Van Halen which will include some “behind the scene” stories about David Lee Roth and the break-up with Eddie and the boys. And then of course his break-up with Eddie. Should be an interesting read.

The Black Crowes will release-“Croweology”-on Tuesday Aug. 3 and it will feature 20 of their best known hits as well as songs picked by the band themselves that will be re-worked and performed acoustically. They will be on the Jay Leno show that night and then on Jimmy Kimmel the next night to promote the album. They then embark on their final tour for a while as they are taking a hiatus to spend time with their families. If you have never seen this band live you need to check them out on this tour, you never know how long it will be again to see them.

Stone Sour will release their first single-“Say You’ll Haunt Me”- on Tuesday from their upcoming album-“Audio Secrecy”-which is set to drop in September. There is much buzz building on this album as Corey Taylor says the day that he stops making people surprised is the day he retires. The album supposedly has some “pop” mixed in which we know would never enter his other day job-singer for Slipknot. I for one will be on the lookout for “Audio Secrecy.”

Head over to Amazon this week as they are offering most of the Van Halen catalog-mostly with Diamond Dave but some with the Red Rocker-for less than $8 per CD. Now that is a total score. I already have them all so now is your chance to load up on some of the best music ever created. \m/ \m/

My “new” favorite song of the week belongs to Sara Bareilles with her new pop piano driven song-“King of Anything”-this is a very cool song to listen to on a Saturday morning as you are having your cup of coffee (or tea) on the deck on a nice warm summer day. Check it out and I think you will like it very much-very upbeat!!

My other favorite “new” song of the week is-“Misery”- the new single released by Maroon 5 for their upcoming album-“Hands All Over”- which comes out in September. This song is so good and I’ve only listened to it twice and if this is any indication of what’s to come-I am so in. This band is so solid and with Mutt Lange at the controls for this album my gut feeling tells me this will be the best release of 2010.

With the fourth of July coming up this Sunday-I figured I would throw out the Woodstock video of Jimi Hendrix performing the Star Spangled Banner. This is more than 40 years old but still has to be considered one of the best-if not the best- instrumental version of our Country’s song. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCSS1Xy6kfE

Be sure to add some patriotic songs this weekend when you have your cookouts and also thank anyone you know who has served this great country. Last year I purchased a 2-CD collection of some of the best known songs created about our land of opportunity including “This is Our Country” “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and of course the unbelievable –“God Bless America.” These are all phenomenal songs that the whole family can sing along to. Happy Birthday America!!!

Album Review: Thunder and Lightning by Thin Lizzy released on March 3, 1983

Thunder & Lightning

About a month ago, I did a review for the new Stone Temple Pilots “debut” album who reunited after being separated from each other for nine years and I stated that this album should be viewed as the “gold standard” for bands that take a hiatus and then decide to make some new material. Well this week I am here to let you all know that the “benchmark” for all bands that release a “final” album will have a high bar to jump because Thin Lizzy “went out on top” with their masterpiece-“Thunder and Lightning.” Now I’m sure there are plenty of other bands who have released fantastic albums as their last hurrah (knowingly or unfortunate circumstances made it their last album) but I bet there aren’t too many people who would mention Thin Lizzy if asked about such a topic (except for those “in the know”). Folks, please get it out of your head that “The Boys are Back in Town” is the only song that this very under-rated band had ever recorded. Don’t get me wrong, I love that song but nothing riles me up more than when I hear things like this band was a “one hit wonder.” For their last album, Phil Lynott-their phenomenal lead singer and bassist, asked the then 23-year old John Sykes to join the band to bring back that heavy guitar driven sound that defined “Tin Lizzie.” (After Thin Lizzy disbanded, Sykes joined Whitesnake and co-wrote many songs on the self-titled release in 1987 which included one of my personal favorites-“Still of the Night”). Sykes obliged and the result is a staggering, hard-rocking melodic production of the heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears of Mr. Lynott and company that recorded this gem knowing that this would be the last stop on their journey to becoming one of the most influential bands to many in the “metal” scene, including the members of Metallica who often site Lizzy as one of their favorites. As I always maintain on this page, the biggest question seems to always be-“What if?” What if Phil were still around today? There are two artists (probably a lot more if I think about it) that quickly come to mind if I were asked the question-“Who would you love to have seen live before they passed away”- my response would be-“Phil Lynott and Bon Scott.” The more that I dig deep into the world of Thin Lizzy the more my eyes are opened to the incredible talent of this man (and of course the rest of his band mates). Folks, please take it from me, this man made some unbelievable songs in his very short life and you can feel his determination through your headphones. So please buy this blazing album and wander off for the next forty minutes as this is nothing short of spectacular.

Is there a better way to start off this album with the scorching title track? I think not. It really hits you “like a hammer.” The furious guitar work sizzles with satisfaction and right off the bat you are head banging at breakneck speed-“like thunder and lightning”-and to boot there is an intense psychedelic keyboard solo that will make you feel like you are on the fastest magic carpet ride ever. I can confirm that this is one of their best songs as Slash has it on his “celebrity” guest list of songs on I-Tunes this week. Folks, if you have never heard this track you are truly missing out, Phil’s vocals are light’s out. “This is the One” kind of reminds me a little bit of Gene Simmons as Lynott’s vocals are “devil like” and I could definitely see Gene putting his “spit” on this one. The songs rocks from start to finish with Brian Downey pounding away consistently on the drums to keep your head in constant motion and when the dueling guitar solos come into play-well you just have to do the Wayne’s World “We are not Worthy” bow as they have to get your attention on how great this band is (was). “The Sun goes Down” was technically their last single released and it is beautiful song that makes you drift off as Phil had this knack of making you realize that he could really sing as his vocals are spot on. Think of those metal bands who take it down and you wonder how they can make those songs, well this is the same thing. The more you listen to this track, the more it will engulf you and you won’t even realize that more than six minutes has passed. This is a “beauty.” The last song on side one is “The Holy War” and this was one of the songs co-written with Sykes as you could definitely hear that concrete Whitesnake sound in this track. The song starts off with a killer bass line by Lynott and also has that “1980’s type” guitar solo that seemed to define many of the MTV videos back in the days but this is before the “hair-bands” (like Whitesnake) made it big. This is heavy melodic rock that should be played on rock stations across the U.S. as many times as “The Boys are Back” because it is that good. “We are chosen… we are one…we are frightened… of no one.” And of course for good measure as many of a metal song has-that secret voice talking in the background as the band belts out the chorus-“We are chosen..” \m/ \m/

Side two starts off with a very cool guitar rift as the juices get flowing again as Mr. Lynott’s vocals rock out like no other song he has done-“Cold Sweat.” How these guys are not mentioned as often as one of the best hard-rocking bands ever is beyond me, except for “those in the know”, they know what I am talking about. I’m trying to spread the word to the general public-you. I’ll put up “Cold Sweat” to any song you want to throw at me and believe me; this will stand nose to nose with the best of them. “Cold Sweat” will make you sweat as you will be air-guitaring and head-banging all over the place. This is the perfect song for those garage bands just starting out-learn this and you will get noticed very fast. “Some Day She is Going to Hit Back” has that “traditional” Lizzy sound to it (for me anyway) as you will be singing this song all day once it gets into your blood stream. There is another phenomenal keyboard solo which of course leads into a roaring guitar solo as all along Phil’s vocals are singing “some day she is going hit back” in the background. Excellent composition. “Baby Please Don’t Go” starts off a bit slow but once you jump in the saddle, the song takes off and you will be off your seat in no time either dancing around or banging your head up and down making believe you are playing guitar to this fast moving melody. Again the guitar solo is out of this world. Do you want an album filled with unbelievable guitar work? Do you need it? Look no further than this bad boy. This is a finger snapping or knee snapping tune that will keep you yearning for more. Then it’s on to my favorite track on the album-“Bad Habits”-I absolutely can listen to this song all day long. This is rock and roll at its best. If you look up the phrase-“rock and roll”- in the dictionary you just might read the words-“See-Bad Habits- by Thin Lizzy.” Just picture a warm summer day-like this whole week has been in the NY area-when you were a kid and had so much free time before that ugly word-“work”-appeared before you knew it. Remember that? Puts a smile on your face, right? This is that song!!!! The last song on this terrific album is the fabulous-“Heart Attack”- which ends the album just the way it started off-in a “blaze of glory.” It’s a song that deals with the pain of losing a girlfriend and you know those songs are always good, right? (Just go with it) Anyway, Thin Lizzy had this way of mixing perfect background vocals with guitar licks and with the great drumming-these songs just “bounce” along and make you realize that this band is super talented. You will ask the famous question-“Where have they been all my life?” Just waiting for you and I am here to prod you along to give it a chance.

“Thunder and Lightning” was the last hurrah for the band named Thin Lizzy (they are still together today but obviously with different members but the name remains the same) and it was released with little fan fare as the lineup changes were too numerous to keep up with and Phil was having his share of issues but they grabbed the bull by the horns for this album. This is comparable to their earlier albums which defined their “double-lead” guitar sound and has to rank up as one of their finest efforts. Phil’s vocals are crisp and the musicianship is super tight throughout. Folks please take my word, if you are a fan of rock and roll, hard rock or metal- you will absolutely love this album. It’s been a long time since Phil left us but his music lives on forever. \m/ \m/

“TOP TEN”:

Image of Alice In Chains

Recently my schedule has been very hectic and I wasn’t able to do the page for the week ending on June 25 and I was almost not going to do the blog this week again because of my schedule but luckily my boys are now out of school and my oldest son offered to pitch in and help. Now I believe that I did my own top ten songs for Alice in Chains about a year or so ago but my son has really dived into their library and wanted to put down his top ten songs by Alice in Chains. Here are his thoughts on one of his favorite bands:

Alice In Chains is one of those bands that are like a necessity in my life. (Other bands or singers include John Mayer, Nirvana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and a few others) Sometimes I just need them to get through the day. Anyway there are a few reasons why AIC is one of my favorite bands from the 90’s (they are very close to surpassing Nirvana). Two of the biggest reasons are Layne Staley’s phenomenal vocal ability and the band’s songwriting skills. I don’t think there is a band out there that has written as personal and great songs as Alice In Chains has. Layne Staley was truly one of a kind and one of the greatest singers and writers in rock and roll history. Jerry Cantrell is one the most underrated guitarists in rock, he deserves a lot more credit as a guitarist, writer, and as a singer than he gets.AlC’s music means a lot to me personally. So many of their songs have spoken to me and have affected me deeply. It’s a shame Layne is no longer with us and he will never be forgotten because his songs have touched so many individuals including myself.

Now since Layne is no longer with us AIC is continuing its legacy with singer William Duvall. Although I know many fans disapprove of the band continuing without Layne I have to say that personally I’m okay with it. Even though Layne can never be replaced I give props to Duvall because he is an excellent vocalist and is doing really well as the band’s lead vocalist. AIC will never be as good as it was with Layne but I think all the band members know and accept this but this doesn’t mean that they have to stop making music. Because they are still making great music, the new album “Black Gives Way to Blue” is fantastic! Every song is just great; it’s their most consistent album since “Dirt.” Look at AC/DC they still carried on after Bon Scott’s death and recorded one of the greatest comeback albums of all time, “Back In Black.”So they are proof that AIC can go on continue their legacy as one of the greatest alternative rock bands of all time.

Picking only ten songs by Alice In Chains was quite a challenge and I had a lot of songs that I love that didn’t make the list. Even though their library of songs isn’t very big with only 4 albums (3 with Layne and 1 with Duvall) and 2 EP’s picking 10 songs was more difficult than expected. Two songs that I wanted to include but couldn’t simply because it’s not really AIC, it’s Layne in the side project “Mad Season”, were “Wake Up” and “River of Deceit.” Both of these songs are autobiographical, touching songs written by Layne. These would have been high on my list had they been by Alice In Chains. Any fan should own those songs because they are some of Layne’s most powerful songs ever. Here are some close cuts by AIC that almost made the list: “Sea of Sorrow”, “Brother”, “Angry Chair”, “We Die Young”, and “Them Bones.”

10.     Frogs – If you asked me about this song a few months ago I would tell you that it is one of Alice’s worst songs. I was never fond of their final studio album (with Layne) “Alice In Chains” but slowly its growing on me. It’s an extremely difficult record to listen to but eventually it will click and you will realize the beauty in it. Even so I do believe it’s their weakest record, it doesn’t compare well to “Dirt”, “Facelift”, or “Jar of Flies”, but despite this it is still a pretty good album that any fan should own. Frogs is one of those songs that hits you right in the heart. The lyrics are very powerful especially as Layne belts out “Why’s it have to be this way?” you can really feel his pain. The Unplugged performance might be slightly better because Layne does the spoken ending parts better but I love both the original and the Unplugged. This is definitely one of the most underrated AIC songs

9.     Black Gives Way to Blue – It was very difficult for me to add this song to my top ten list for the obvious reason that it is post Layne Staley AIC. For me Layne is what made the band great (although I do appreciate the other member’s contributions because they are fantastic musicians as well). So having an AIC song without Layne in the band on my top 10 was very conflicting but I had to stay true to myself and pick this as number nine because in all honesty I love this song a lot. The song is very beautiful and Jerry sings it himself along with Sir Elton John playing piano. The lyrics are so good and Jerry’s passion gets me every time. Jerry pours his heart out for his fallen comrade in this tribute to the great Layne Staley. “Tomorrow’s haunted by your ghost, lay down black gives way to blue, lay down I’ll remember you.”

8.     Would? – Talk about a cool bass line to start off such a great song. This is the perfect closer for the classic album “Dirt.” I love the concept of this song; the line “so I made a big mistake, try to see it once my way” is really powerful. One of the reasons I love this band so much is because of the great lyrics and that particular line has a lot of meaning. This song has the best ending when Layne yells “If I would? Could you?”

7.     I Stay Away – This is a different sound for the generally metal/grunge Alice In Chains music. What I love about this song is that AIC stretches its musical boundaries and boldly adds a string section to this song. This is why I love “Jar of Flies” so much, because AIC stretches itself making its music more diverse. Jar of Flies is clearly their best album because of this musical change and “I Stay Away” is a key song on that magnificent album.

6.     Rotten Apple – I always used to dislike this song and would often swear it’s the only filler on “Jar of Flies.”When I first started listening to the album I would just start it with “Nutshell” and skip this song all together.I now realize the beauty of this song. The lyrics are extremely powerful and I find myself humming this song all day long. I guess I just needed to let it grow on me, which is true for a lot of music. Aside from the lyrics and vocals I also love the guitar licks at the end of the song. The sound is so slick and smooth; it’s just so cool to listen to.

5.     Down in a Hole (Unplugged Version) – Although I love the original version on “Dirt” I think the MTV Unplugged version has a lot more passion in it. Layne, who was visibly weak and sick from his drug use, gave it his all in the eerily beautiful MTV performance. The is one of those songs that show how helpless Layne really was and hearing him sing this powerful song can be very saddening especially now that he is gone.

4.     Dirt – Ok here is my “sludging guitar song” that AIC is so famous for. Only true fans will know this hidden gem on the album with the same name.I don’t really know why I like this song so much; it’s one of the first few songs on “Dirt” that I listened to and immediately knew it would be one of my favorites. It was my favorite AIC song for a long time but things have changed obviously since its number four. What I love about this song is Layne’s raw emotion; I love the way he puts emphasis on just the right words throughout the song. Such a great raw song.

3.     Don’t Follow – This is without a doubt one of the most special AIC songs ever recorded. It is so different from their usual sound; it’s very refreshing to listen to. I love how it’s a little bluesy with the harmonica and with the bridge. Jerry Cantrell sings this so well and is probably one of his best vocals on any song. My favorite part is when Layne comes in for the bridge; it blows my mind every time I hear it. I love it when he suddenly screams “Scared to death!” it gives me chills every time. It’s definitely one of their best songs.

2.     Love, Hate, Love – I am completely blown away every single time I hear this magnificent song.I came across this song on YouTube when I was searching for AIC songs and gave it a listen. The video was a live performance and in the video Layne was so young and was in his prime as a singer. Layne was hitting high notes I didn’t think were even possible to hit. His voice was so magnificent, so flawless it left me staring at the scream in awe.I couldn’t help but think about what a shame it is that a man with so much talent died so young. Layne poured his soul out in this song and it gives me chills every time I hear it. Watch and understand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9jX1KAKp78

1.     Nutshell – It’s kind of hard to explain how much this song means to me. Whenever I play this song I’m completely mesmerized. Written solely by Layne this truly is his magnum opus as a writer, and it’s his most personal song in my opinion. Without a doubt I honestly believe it’s one of the greatest songs ever written and recorded. This is such an emotional song; Layne is just pouring his heart out for all to hear. All his pain and suffering is in this song and this emotional power is what makes the song so special. Sometimes everyone feels alone, like no one can help them and this is really what the song is about. It’s about those moments when you feel completely helpless as a person. Although later you will realize that you don’t “fight the battle all alone” and that there is always someone there for you. Unfortunately I don’t think that Layne ever realized this, if he did he would probably be with us today. This song means so much to me and it’s definitely one of my all time favorite songs. For me this song is Layne’s gift to everyone and I’m sure that it’s touched so many other people besides me. Although Layne is gone songs like these will stand the test of time and never be forgotten.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Collective Soul

2.     William Broad

3.     Robert Palmer

4.     Bad Company

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     David Coverdale is the lead singer of White Snake, what band did he front in the 1970’s?

2.     True or False: INXS is looking for a lead singer

3.     True or False: Donna Summer sang back up for Three Dog Night

4.     Who sings “Caribbean Queen?”

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Have You Really Ever Loved a Woman”- Bryan Adams

2.     “Nuthin’ But a G Thang”-Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg

3.     “She Talks to Angels”-Black Crowes

4.     “Stand By Me” –Ben E. King

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

1.     “…Then I knew (I knew…I knew…I knew…I knew)…she could make me happy (happy…happy)… (She could make me happy)…”

2.     “…Someone told me long ago…there’s a calm before the storm…I know…it’s been coming for some time…”

3.     “…In violent times you shouldn’t have to sell your soul…in black and white, they really, really ought to know…those one track minds that took you for a working boy…”

4.     “…I can’t have it all…now I’m dancing for my life…take your passion and make it happen…pictures come alive…you can dance right through your life…”

Back on this Day .

Back on this day in 1955, the Lawrence Welk show premiered on ABC TV.

Back on this day in 1962, Jimi Hendrix was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army due to medical reasons as he broke his ankle on a parachute jump.

Back on this day in 1991, Axl Rose incited a riot in St. Louis MO after he spotted a person illegally recording their Guns & Roses performance and jumped into the audience to get the guy; I guess you all know what happened next-the show was canceled and a riot ensued. It was part of what Axl did back then as this happened more than once (where the show was just be canceled because he was pissed about something).

Back on this day in 2001, Liverpool named its airport after one of its native sons’- Mr. John Lennon.

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with Roy Bittan (E-Street Band) and Johnny Colla (Huey Lewis & The News)

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