Errols Weekly Music Update.

August 13, 2010

Weekly Update – 08/13/2010

Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper (the Gruesome Twosome Halloween Hootenanny Tour) at the Mohegan Sun on Fri. Rocktober 15. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $45. (How cool is this show going to be? And in Rocktober on a Friday and a few weeks before Halloween-I’m in!!!)

Vince Neil at Irving Plaza on Fri. Sept. 24. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $32.50

Jimmy Eat World at Terminal 5 on Wed. Rocktober 13. Tickets on sale today at noon. $32 ($37 day of show).

Mumford & Sons at Terminal 5 on Mon. Nov. 15. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25 ($30 day of show).

Wolf Parade at Wellmont Theater on Wed. Nov. 3. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25 ($28 day of show)

Justin Townes Earl at Webster Hall on Tues. Rocktober 19. Tickets on sale today at noon. $17 ($20 day of show).

Serj Tankian at Hammerstein Ballroom on Sun. Rocktober 3. Tickets on sale now $75 and $85.

Massive Attack and Thievery Corporation at Beacon Theater on Thurs. & Fri. Rocktober 21 & 22. Tickets on sale at 11:00 a.m. this morning. $49.50 – $89.50

Moe. at the Beacon Theater on Fri. Rocktober 8. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $35.

Ingrid Michaelson at Nokia Theater on Wed. Rocktober 13. Pre-sale for American Express cardholders on now until 10:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $25

Sufjan Stevens at the Beacon Theater on Sun. & Mon. Nov. 14 & 15. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $35.

Other items:

Best news of the week: Van Halen has announced that they are now working on new material with the dynamic Diamond David Lee Roth and it will be released sometime in 2011 followed by another tour. Oh man!!! How great is this? Another chance to see the legends live in concert. I am so in, I can already taste it. It has been 27 years since they recorded “1984” and now some new material. I am so curious to hear what they are going to do. I’m assuming this break has refilled their tank and I expect some great songs!!! \m/ \m/

Remember last year when all the world was a buzz about a possible Mighty Led Zeppelin reunion? And many of us were all disappointed when Mr. Plant decided to forgo that possibility to tour with Alison Krauss. Well it turns out in a recent interview that Robert stated that the pressure of “keeping with it” was too much for him to take. After performing with the original members (plus Bonham’s son, Jason) at the special night for the late Ahmet Etergun, Plant said he left 20 minutes after the show and went to a bar and drank a whole bottle of vodka along with many beers. “Because I had to get away from it…I’d done it. I had to go…it was too heavy.” Disappointed but I can totally understand his reasoning. I can’t imagine the pressure to be the MIGHTY LED ZEPPELIN.

Yoko Ono is telling everyone not to hold their breath waiting for the Beatles catalog to be available on I-Tunes or any other digital download system. Apparently Apple and the original Apple can not agree on terms so the Beatle’s albums will continue to see the old fashion way-albums (now CD’s) only. I actually like the fact that they have not made the catalog available on I-Tunes.

Slash has released the official video for –“Back to Cali”- featuring Myles Kennedy (Alter-Bridge) on vocals. This song will definitely land in my year end review of the top 10 songs of 2010. It rocks. \m/\m/ Check it out here

My new favorite “country” song of the week is “Country Done Come to Town” by John Rich. It has a rocking beat and it almost sounds like rock and roll and I love it. The video is a bit “racy” but none the less a very good song. Check it out.

Christina Aguilera has done an awesome cover of Etta James’ –“Something’s Got a Hold on Me”- for her upcoming movie with Cher called “Burlesque” which is slated to be released in November. When she sings like this there really is no denying that she is by far the best female singer out there today-please no arguments. Listen for yourself-

Jimmy Eat World has released its first single-“My Best Theory”- from their upcoming Sept. 28th release of-“Invented” and the song sounds good. First thing I thought of when I heard it was I thought it sounded a lot like Linkin’ Park-not sure why but just did for me. Check it out.

My favorite “old school doo wop” song of the week is “Donna the Prima Donna” by none other than the legendary Dion. Wow this song brings back memories for me. As you know I grew up on Doo Wop and this is totally my Dad loves this stuff and I do too. Check out Dion’s catalog. Massively impressive.

Album Review: “In Your Honor” by the Foo Fighters released on June 14, 2005

In Your Honor

Dave Grohl. Kurt Cobain. When I think of these two gentlemen I often wonder what would have transpired if Kurt had not left us all at such an early age. Kurt was already a living legend and his legacy has been elevated in status to the tenth degree (maybe more) since his unfortunate death. To be quite honest, I did not know the names of the “two other guys” in Nirvana, it was Kurt and really only Kurt (no offense to Krist or Dave). After the tragedy, Dave quietly started up the band he called the “Foo Fighters” but there was something strange as the news filtered out that “the drummer for Nirvana is now playing guitar for his new band.” What?? How can that be? Even though I didn’t know his name at the time, I knew that the drumming on “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was phenomenal, along with so many other Nirvana songs. And get this; he is also the lead vocalist. Talk about stepping into the spotlight? The Foo Fighters debut album had a few hit singles that made its way to the radio and enjoyed good commercial success. I bought into it early and was curious to see what was to come. Enter “The Colour and The Shape” and I was engulfed-“hook, line and sinker.” I could not stop listening to this album from the first song to the last one and from that point onward I knew that anything that Mr. Grohl would do from that point forward would absolutely be music that I would love. Fast forward to 2005, The Foo’s decided that for their fifth studio experience they would release of a double album- “In Your Honor”- and the second disc would be purely acoustic. I for one could not wait for this to enter the market because I was very curious to see if Dave could actually put out an acoustic album since many of his songs have him screaming and screeching at decibels so loud, sometimes you go to put the ear plugs in-I know, I know-not the rock and roll thing to do but you know what I’m talking about. I know there were many out there who berated the fact that the Foo’s were putting out an acoustic side but I say-what do they know? A band or artist sometimes has to go towards another path of their music abilities, to venture out but stay true to who they are and Mr. Grohl did just that with this stellar body of work. It rocks out on the first disc for all the fans who don’t want him to change a thing but on the second album there is a side of Dave exposed that elevated him to another stratosphere in my opinion. (This is after his side release of “Probot” where he paid homage to all his heavy metal idols while growing up and putting out one of the fiercest metal albums of the 2000 decade). Here is this drummer-who is part of the greatest grunge band of all time now singing for arguably one of the best bands-if not the best band- for the past 13 years or so but also collaborating with everyone under the sun while making so many diverse genres of music, it is really hard to keep up with him. After Kurt’s death, he has exploded into the category of being a legend himself with ample opportunity to solidify this status to the tenth degree (or more).

Disc One

Disc one starts off with the title track and you just hear one note from a guitar that just sits out there with a build up that lasts about 30 seconds, then the riffs begin and in a far away voice Dave enters with “Can you hear me…hear me screaming…” –of course Dave we all know that distinctive scream. About 1:40 into the song, Mr. Hawkins breaks in with his mad drumming skills as Dave’s wails become louder-“…can you feel me…feel me breathing…”- the bedlam begins as it seems like everyone is doing their own thing-especially Mr. Hawkins-but it all comes together to make this beautiful wall of music. Yes it is loud and yes there is a lot of screaming but there is that certain “something” that they have which defines their legacy. (This is one of my oldest sons’ favorite Foo songs). The pace kicks into fifth gear with the electrifying –“No Way Back”- as Taylor blistering work on the skins gives this song that extra “giddy-up.” This song takes me back to a big change in my career (and life) as I had decided to leave MBIA and head back to S&P and my last day at MBIA was June 10-this album came out on the 14th. Our family had a planned vacation for early in July and every morning I would take a long walk on the beach with this album in my I-Pod and would continue to listen to it over and over. I can remember looking up into the clear blue skies and then over to the clear blue water and thinking-“it doesn’t get any better than this”- I have the beautiful weather and this rockin’ tune in my headphones as I knew my life was going to change (and boy did it ever, especially three years later) but for me, if music inspires you-like this band does- then it puts a feeling into you like you can conquer the upcoming obstacles that life will throw at you. Track # 3-“Best of You”- is arguably the best song on the album(s) and this is sort of confirmed since the Foo Fighter’s greatest hits CD only contains one song from “In Your Honor” and this is it. (I still say this is their “ultimate” album). They had me from the opening lyrics-“I got another confession to make…I’m your fool…everyone’s got their chains to break…holdin’ you…” and this is such a quality song with fantastic vocals from Grohl. I remember when I went to see them on their “Skin and Bones” tour at the Beacon Theater and when he performed this song it was one of those “A Ha” moments which I will never forget. I was witnessing pure greatness and knew it and when I have that feeling, I get the “chills down my back side” (like on the last out of the 1986 when the NY Mets won the World Series-can you imagine if the NY Jets ever win a Superbowl? I’ll probably faint). I was in complete awe of Mr. Grohl and when the crowd started to sing-“Ohhh Ohhh Ohhhh” (my favorite part of the song) that was the icing on the cake. (This is also one of my oldest sons’ favorite Foo Fighters song). “DOA” is another upbeat song which is perfect for your next Spin class- it has a fast pace which could be used for breakaways. This is the “prototypical” Foo Fighter’s song in my opinion because it has the very cool verses to sing along to punctuated with the addictive chorus that will have you singing all day long. “No one’s getting out of here alive…this time”- The song gets even better when it crosses the bridge to the “DOA” part as the musicianship is something to standup and pay attention to-how does he do it? Go from being a drummer to making melodies like these? “Hell” is a real short tune with a lot of screaming, screeching complete with a hard driving beat whereby Taylor accentuates Grohl’s screaming with each pounding of the drums. Before you know it, the song is over.

Track # 6-“The Last Song” starts off with Hawkins playing a consistent head-banging beat while Dave starts to sing and then the rest of the band joins in the fray and again it sounds like organized chaos. The bass lines vibrate throughout the track and when the bridge comes in, the song shifts a little to the right-just picture yourself on one of those summer rides where you are holding on so as to not fall out. Hawkins is the highlight on this track as his fanatical way of drumming makes you want to take lessons tomorrow. He really reminds me of that muppet drummer-“Animal”-with his hair flailing all round, doesn’t he? “Free Me” is probably my least favorite on the album-I really have to be in the mood here to listen to this one. I like the verses as Dave sings and the groove is good as well but once you hit the chorus it really turns into a scream fest as he violently wails, especially towards the end, “FREE ME!!!!” I have to be in the mood to listen to this, although I hardly ever skip over it-go figure? Then it’s on to my favorite song on the disc-“Resolve”- I think this is the masterpiece on this album. It has an infectious groove and the vibe has been taken down from the previous two songs and the song is like when a heat wave breaks and you open the windows at night to let the nice cool breeze in. The song flows so nicely and yes Dave gets up there in his high octane vocals but he doesn’t stay there the whole time. I love the part where Dave sings-“…swinging from the chandeliers…hanging on your words…”-it presents a certain visual, very cool lyrics if I say so myself. I am back on the beach walking with the headphones blaring this tune and again wondering to myself-“Does it get any better than this?” “The Deepest Blues are Black” is a sing along song that during the verses people could be arm in arm swaying side to side but they might let go during the chorus and make believe they are grabbing their heart as they passionately try to match Dave’s fervor as his heartfelt bursts of the high octave vocals burst into your bloodstream. It’s amazing how soft he can get but then you know the volcanic energy is ready to explode, it’s a tried and true formula but for the past decade or so, there is no one better at utilizing this formula. The album ends with my second favorite track-“End Over End”- which I think he purposely put it there because he knew how good it was. “Burn all the candles out…make a wish but not aloud…” as your head starts to bop up & down as you patiently wait for Taylor’s entrance on the drums. The consistent groove in this song is so good and when the chorus kicks in-you will be singing-“End over End”- over and over. The arrangement is flawless as Dave really makes a push to bring this to a fantastic finish-just picture that last 100 yards or so in a 200 yard dash as the runner digs deep for that last burst of energy and puts their chest out to break the tape as they begin to slow down but not right away-there is a fade away just like the guitar sound that takes the song to its final end. Aahh pure beauty.

Disc Two

The first song of disc two-“Still”-will completely take you by surprise as the whole tone changes right away as the acoustic guitar will mesmerize you as well as Dave’s vocals. Is this really the Foo Fighter’s? No there has to be that burst of primal energy that will light up your headphones, right? Wrong-this song (as well as the rest of the album) can “soothe the savage beast.” The first time I heard this I was blown away-this is a side of Grohl that I knew he had it in him but wondered if he would succumb to the expected criticism from probably a large portion of the “rock” world as well as his own fans. But you know what? He brought it home and stayed true to himself, who is to say one has to listen (or perform) the same kind of music all the time? I love it. Track # 2-“What if I Do?” instantaneously became my favorite Foo Fighter song of all time (as well as my oldest son-probably the only number one song we shared together). He gets help from the legendary John Paul Jones on this tune (as well as the next one) and claimed it was the “second greatest thing that ever happened in his life.” (This collaboration would later turn into “Them Crooked Vultures” as Dave lived his dream of playing with Led Zeppelin on drums, albeit with one member). Again I am back on the sandy beach of Turks & Caicos, this time sitting in the sand looking at the clearest blue water I have ever seen (remember I grew up on Coney Island water) and wondering what my life was going to be like now that I was back in New York City, leaving the beautiful confines of Westchester NY behind. Did I do the right thing? If you have something going on in your life-put this song on and tell me you don’t drift off into another stratosphere? This song-in my opinion-is right up there with “One” by U2. I know many of you out there just squirmed and screamed an obscenity at me but it really is the way I feel. “Miracle” is flawless. Should I just go to the next song because it really is hard to describe how good this “Miracle” is. The title of the song makes me think of when my children were born and I had “my hands on a miracle.” The musical arrangement is spectacular and if you have children you have to own this song. I dedicate this to my brother and his wife who just had their first born a month ago. “Another Round” reminds me of something that the Beatles-that’s right I said the Beatles- would do, I could see either John, Paul or George performing this song. It sort of has that “Blackbird” feel to it whereby the vocals are the highlight as the acoustic guitars playing behind him makes it that much better. “We could just lay around…stare at the ceiling…want to forget about…one for the feeling…”- pure perfection folks, doesn’t get much better than this!!! “Can you go another round?” I know I have already hit the rewind button. “Friend of a Friend” is either written about Kurt (or was written with Kurt) and it definitely has that Nivana “MTV Unplugged” feel. The song is raw and the lyrics are powerful. It is just Dave and his acoustic guitar. This song will stop you right in your tracks, it cuts right to the bone-pure excellence.

“Over and Out” is another gem and was featured prominently on the “Skin and Bones” tour as you will be blown away on the singing talents of the one and only Dave Grohl. The vibe picks up a bit as Dave exclaims- “Are you there, do you read me? Are you there, I don’t feel you anymore”-but as soon as he finishes that sentence, it comes back down again-except after the second chorus prior to the bridge-it stays up there as Dave’s passion pleads to be recognized as a force, even in a soft tune. Again the word flawless comes to mind. The guitar work is impeccable and this could arguably be the best track on disc # 2. “On the Mend” sounds like the words to the title of the track-it will put you back on the mend if you need it; the exquisiteness is something you should examine throughout the entire song. If you don’t think this is great, then I give up. It sounds like Grohl has been making these songs his whole career-there are artists who make this kind of music their entire career that haven’t put out the quality of this disc, separately or the pool of songs together. “Virginia Moon” is a flat out masterpiece and he gets help from the beautiful vocals of Norah Jones. Can this really be Dave Grohl singing? C’mon folks you have to admit, this is as much an eye opener (his singing ability) as when everyone discovered that Kid Rock could sing as well. Norah shades Dave’s vocals throughout and gives it that sweet touch that shines brightly. He takes the lead but her background vocals are magnificent. I would say for all those folks with new borns, if your son or daughter is having trouble sleeping, put this song on and sing sweetly into their ear. Pure perfection. “Cold Day in the Sun” is the anomaly on the album but that is because Grohl handed over the singing and writing chores to Taylor Hawkins and what a pleasant surprise. This is a top notch song and who knew? I guess Taylor knew that he had this in him. The beat is a whole lot faster than the rest of the songs but the mood is still acoustic. I saw Taylor perform this live a few times and have to say that this tune deserves your attention. (and check out his solo stuff as well). The last song is “Razor” and when you hear it you will want to take acoustic guitar lessons right away. I love the way the guitar riffs go up and down throughout while Dave’s vocal prowess is back with excellent results again. If you listen intently (like I usually do) you will float off into another zone and feel like you are sitting on a cloud, especially when Dave gets to the part-“…day after day…cut and away…day after day…but anyway…” I’m speechless.

“In Your Honor”-in my opinion- is the Foo Fighters best work to date. (I will gladly wait to compare future compositions from the Foos in the future to compare to “Honor”). As a fan you can’t ask for anything more-the first disc rocks and rolls with sweet melodies but of course has the hot sauce in the form of Dave’s raging voice for those of us that like our buffalo wings super hot and then the second disc is a mind boggling display of impeccable tunes that everyone from grandma on down to the grandkids could listen to without any complaints. I will go out on the limb and state that disc # 2 is the best acoustic album made in the last 20 years or so. If you want to throw an album at me, go ahead because I am confident that disc # 2 can stand toe-to-toe, nose-to-nose with anything you have up your sleeve. Folks if you don’t have this double album in your record collection, you are sorely missing out on arguably the best album of the decade of 2000. Run-don’t walk- to buy it right now.


Sixteen Stone

Do you remember when Bush was one of the hottest bands in the country during the mid-to-late 1990’s?-they were Creed before Creed even knew they were Creed. And just like Creed, they seemed to just disappear-what’s the expression?-“fall off the face of the earth?” (Ironically both bands are back together now). This was the “alternative grunge” movement as the market was full with the stalwarts like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains. I’m not sure what ingredient was added to the recipe but Bush was able to squeeze into the soup called grunge as it added a little more zest that was needed before the soup started to get stale. And maybe they were the “flavor of the week” but they were able to make their mark in a short period of time as radio stations across the nation endlessly played some of the golden nuggets off of their most popular album-“Sixteen Stone.” Eddie and I went to see them at a sold out Madison Square Garden in 1999-that’s right folks-they sold out MSG and put on a solid show. Again, I mean no offense to the selected artists when I do this but here are some of the best songs off of “Sixteen Stone.” (In no particular order)

Machinehead – Even though they utilized the name of one of the best hard rock albums in the history of music (Deep Purple-if you didn’t “recognize”) I have to admit I love this song. The opening guitar riffs will make you automatically go and turn the volume up-“breathe in…breathe out…breathe in…breathe out…breathe in…”- remember this tune? It is awesome, no? This brand of grunge was a bit cleaner with noticeably clearer lyrics (or maybe it was the singer?). There is heavy guitar but it sticks to the grunge way because there is not really a guitar solo to speak about that you would normally find in the hard rock or metal genre. (I know, except for “St. Anger.”). This song moves along and would be perfect for your next Spin class.

Everything Zen – This was the first song that introduced me to this band and I have to be totally honest and state that it did take me some time for to come around on this tune. But once it clicked-watch out-I couldn’t get enough of it. And of course, they reference the legendary Bowie as they pay homage with the lyrics-“Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow”-so that says to me-these guys were “in the know” when it comes to music. (And of course-“I don’t believe that Elvis is dead”) The arrangement of this song is all over the place-there is chaos along with a calmness-that clearly makes this song stand out amongst all of them on Sixteen Song. This could arguably be their best song ever.

Comedown – They had me on the opening riffs; the groove from the bass is right in your face as the infectious melody lasts about a minute before the lyrics-“Love and hate..get it wrong…she cut me right back down to size…” And how addicting is the chorus? “I don’t want to come back down from this cloud…it’s taken me all this tiiimmmmeee!!!” The lyrics are ironic in the sense that what they feared actually came true as they were unable to meet the standards of “Sixteen” on subsequent releases. You know they didn’t want to come off that cloud.

Glycerine – This is probably their most “popular” song as it was endlessly played on the radio (and MTV-the video). Every band had their “ballad” type song and this was their staple. It has an addictive hook which makes you play a “slow hand” air-guitar while you do your best Gavin vocal impression-“Don’t let the days go by…could have been easier on you…glycerine” Sort of has that Nirvana feel to it as it is slow and “grungy.” Solid tune.


Image of Nirvana

Since my schedule was a bit hectic this week and since it is the summer time, I had to ask my boys to chip in and help write some stuff down so that I may “go to the well” when I need it-and this week I need it so my oldest was nice enough to write about his favorite Nirvana songs. Even though he was born in 1994 (same year Cobain left us all), my son knows this band inside and out-clearly way better than I do-so it is actually better that he pick his top ten songs. Here are his comments:

I was born 8 months after Kurt Cobain died.I never experienced the “grunge era”, never saw Nirvana, and yet it’s still my musical heritage. I was born in 1994, a year that grunge and alternative music dominated the entire country.  “Jar of Flies” by Alice In Chains became the first EP to hit #1 on the charts, Soundgarden put out their magnum opus “Superunknown”, Pearl Jam released the experimental “Vitalogy”, Green Day and The Offspring brought alternative music to the mainstream with “Dookie” and “Smash” respectively. Stone Temple Pilots had “Purple”, Nine Inch Nails released the critically acclaimed “The Downward Spiral”, Weezer put out their legendary debut album “The Blue Album”, and Nirvana would release “MTV Unplugged in New York” after Cobain’s death. This is the music that defined the year I was born. I think the reason I love these bands and albums from the “grunge era” so much is because they are etched into the decade that I was born into, they are my musical heritage.

Nirvana will always be my favorite grunge band; Alice In Chains has come very close to surpassing them in my mind but then I put on “MTV Unplugged in New York” and I’m back to my senses again. “Unplugged” in my opinion is their best work and definitely makes my “Top 10 Albums of All Time” list (Although my mom would disagree with me; she actually banned me from bringing this album into her car because she dislikes it that much). So I’m going to apologize in advance for the amount of “Unplugged” songs on my top ten. I recommend that any fan should get the “Unplugged” DVD that came out a few years ago. Watching the performance is such an amazing experience, it’s almost like being there. There are so many special moments throughout the show were you get choked up a little knowing the Kurt is no longer with us.

Kurt Cobain is a legendary figure in my eyes, no matter what people may say about him he defined an entire generation. He really is a musical icon to me, he may not be the most talented guitar player but he was a gifted lyricist and had an extraordinary voice. So much of his music I hold near to my heart and I thank him for giving the world the gift of his songs. So without further adieu here are my top ten songs from Nirvana.  Here are some songs that almost made the list: “Heart-Shaped Box”, “School”, “Stay Away”, and “Serve the Servants.”

10.     Negative Creep – This track is off their debut album “Bleach” and is without a doubt one of their heaviest songs. The guitar rift to this song is pretty awesome and yes as you can tell from the title this song is a negative song. This is one of those songs that you can let off steam listening to; Cobain’s vocals are very angry in this song as he screams “I’m and a negative creep!”  I go crazy when Kurt looses it in the middle of the song and starts using scream vocals. I know that this is an angst driven song and most people find it strange that I even like this song but every once in a while it’s good to put this song on and just rock out.

9.     Lake of Fire – The first time I heard this song I was blown away. I love Kurt’s vocals on this song especially when he sings “Where do the bad folks go when they die?  They don’t go to heaven where the angel’s fly.”  Another great thing about this song is the fantastic guitar solo by Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets. Curt may not have a great voice but he is an excellent guitar player. This song is a highlight of the legendary “MTV Unplugged” performance.

8.     You Know You’re Right – This is the last song Cobain ever recorded and what a way to go! This is one of Nirvana’s best songs it has such a great light/heavy contrast sound. The verses are very quiet then the chorus is just a blast! The best part is in the second chorus Kurt starts singing so loudly he gets on the brink of screaming but doesn’t take it too far. This is a great song to just rock out to. This song pulls the “All Apologies” type ending and even though it can get annoying sometimes it doesn’t take away from this grade “A” track. This song also makes you wonder what the future of Nirvana could have been; this track shows everyone that they could have made a lot more great songs.

7.      On A Plain (Unplugged) – “I’ll start this off without any words” After I hear this opening line I immediately start singing along. This song originally from “Nevermind” is one of Nirvana’s happiest sounding tunes, and I think it’s a great “sing along” song. Once I hear this song I’ll be singing “I’m on a plain, and I can’t complain” all day long. This is an extremely catchy song and I think the band does it a lot better acoustically than electrically.

6.     Plateau – I have no idea at all why I like this song (I played it for my mom and brother and they looked at me like I was crazy) but when I hear the opening lines I just stop doing whatever I’m doing and listen to Kurt sing this beautiful song. I just love the way Kurt sings this song; he sings it very low and calm like. Also the lyrics are just great I love the line “nothing on the top but a bucket and a mop, and an illustrated book about birds”, it just makes me smile. Even though this is a not an original song (it’s a Meat Puppet’s song) this is just one of my favorites on the “Unplugged” album, every time I hear it I can picture Kurt spinning on his chair singing it for everyone in that lucky audience.

5.     Dumb – One of my favorite lines from any Nirvana song is the opening lyrics to this song: “I’m not like them but I can pretend, the sun is gone but I have a light, the day is done but I’m having fun. I think I’m dumb or maybe just happy, I think I’m just happy.” Although Kurt used to say that his lyrics didn’t mean anything a lot of his songs have very personal lyrics and in fact do have a meaning. This song is a perfect example. This song also benefits from the cello that plays throughout the song; it makes the song that much better. My only complaint for this song is could have been a bit longer but other than that it’s one of the best songs on their final studio album “In Utero.”

4.     Pennyroyal Tea (Unplugged) – The performance of this song on MTV Unplugged is one of the most important moments in Nirvana’s history. During the show the band decides that Kurt should sing this song by himself (it’s the only song the entire show he does alone) so Kurt reluctantly agrees. The entire song you could see how afraid Kurt was, it was just him and an acoustic guitar on the stage in front of everyone. There is a part in the middle of the song when Kurt slows down and looks like he is going to break down and end the song right then and there, but then he courageously continues and finishes strong. That moment where he almost stopped the song is one of the most intimate moments Kurt ever showed and I get chills every time I watch it.

3.     Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam – Musically this song is very diverse compared to the usual Nirvana sound. Bassist Krist Novoselic pulls out an accordion, Dave Grohl plays drums and bass at the same time (that’s right he is that skilled) and besides playing guitar Kurt sings this song with so much passion. I don’t know what it is about this song but I feel at peace when I hear it. It has a very special place in my heart. I like this so much because it shows off the bands softer side, which most people thought they didn’t have, and that’s why I love their acoustic songs so much. Nirvana shines in the amazing song.

2.     All Apologies – “What else should I be? All apologies, what else should I write?  I don’t have the right.” After I hear those words I immediately turn the volume up as high as possible. This is Nirvana’s biggest accomplishment in my opinion. This song is the best work, everything about it is flawless the vocals, the guitar work, the drums, bass, lyrics, everything is perfect. The lyrics to this song may be a bit confusing to interpret but they mean something different to every person, which is what makes Kurt’s writing style great. Musically this song has an unusually happy sound to it and that’s probably why Kurt dedicated the song to his wife and daughter. Whenever I hear this song I immediately start singing it at the top of my lungs and begin to air drum like crazy. I’m not really sure what the meaning of the song is but all I know is that it makes me happy every single time I hear it. I picture bright sunny days when I listen to it and it makes me feel at complete peace. It is simply one of the greatest rock songs ever made. “All and all is all we are, all and all is all we are….”

1.     Where Did You Sleep Last Night – I freeze every time I hear or watch the video of this powerful song.  I think to get the full effect of this heart stopping song you need to watch the video of them performing it on MTV Unplugged. When I watch the video I go into a trance, I can’t even move because my eyes are fixed on Kurt the entire song. This is the song that ended the famous “Unplugged” concert and they truly do save the best for last. This rendition of the Lead Belly song has so much passion it’s unbelievable.When Kurt gets to the last verse and starts screaming the words I get goose bumps. I can’t even handle it I get the chills so badly; his passion goes right through me. His last scream is a cry for help, it’s full of pain and emotion and it so powerful that I can’t even describe the things I feel inside. In the video there is a moment (3:58 into the song to be exact) towards the end where Kurt pauses right before saying the last line, and in that moment he looks at the audience for the first time the whole song with his eyes wide open. That stare he gives the audience is so haunting every single time I see it I shiver, I can’t even describe how it affects me; the look he gives is one of the most powerful moments in the entire show. As you can see words can’t even begin to describe how much this song means to me, this song is simply one of the greatest performances in the history of music.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Freddie Mercury

2.     Chrissie Hynde

3.     Peter, Paul & Mary- Mary Travers

4.     Peter Frampton

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     I replaced the original drummer (who had recurring bouts of stage fright) and joined an established outfit at the forefront of “progressive” rock. The main singer left the band after some internal conflicts and I became the lead vocalist. I also went on to a very successful solo career. Who am I?

2.     I was one of the most popular “psychedelic” rock singers during the hippie movement and my songs have been covered by countless female artists who consider me their inspiration. Who am I?

3.     In 1966, Jimi Hendrix was quoted as saying that he wanted to do to with his guitar the way I do with my voice. Who am I?

4.     One of my earlier films-“the Owl and the Pussycat”-helped me on my destination of becoming one of the greatest singers of all time, along with being a movie star-again earlier in my career. Who am I?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     Magic – Pilot

2.     Comfortably Numb-Pink Floyd

3.     Hey There Delilah- Plain White T’s

4.     Crazy Love- Poco

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

1.     “…If you wake up and don’t want to smile…if it takes just a little while…open your eyes look at the day…you’ll see things in a different way…”

2.     “…And I found out a long time ago…what a woman can do to your soul…ahh but she can’t take you anyway…you don’t already know how to go…”

3.     “…The heat was on…rising to the top…everybody going strong…that is when my spark got hot…I heard somebody say…”

4.     “…I woke up in a Soho doorway…policeman knew my name…he said…you can go sleep at home tonight…if you can get up and walk away…”

Back on this Day .

Back on this day in 1952, the original recording of “Hound Dog” was made by Big Mama Thornton. This song was covered by the King-Elvis- as well as plenty of others but none like Elvis.

Back on this day in 1971, John Lennon left Heathrow Airport in London and never again stepped foot on his hometown soil of England.

Back on this day in 1975, Bruce Springsteen & the E street Band performed the first of five nights at New York’s Bottom Line club. “Born to Run” was released a short time afterward.

Back on this day in 1979, Cheap Trick had the one and only gold single with the live version of “I Want You to Want Me.”

Back on this day in 1980, Todd Rundgren’s house was robbed by four masked bandits and stole Hi-Fi equipment and paintings after tying up Todd.

Back on this day in 2007, Fats Domino is honored by the Record Industry Association of America as am “American Music Legend.”

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with the late Dan Fogelberg.


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