Roger Waters performing The Wall at Madison Square Garden on Sat. Nov. 6. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $79.50 – $129.50 – $254.50.
Dave Matthews Band at the Nassau Coliseum on Wed. Nov. 3 and Madison Square Garden on Fri. & Sat. Nov. 12 & 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. Nassau:$87.35 and $97.60; MSG: $75 – $85.
Michael Buble at Prudential Center on Fri. Nov. 26 and Madison Square Garden on Sun. Nov. 28. Tickets on sale Mon. Sept. 27 at 10:00 a.m.Prudential-$69.70 – $111.55; MSG-$74 – $94 – $129.50.
Devo at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Sat. Rocktober 30. Tickets on sale at 10:00 a.m. this morning. $55.35
Suicidal Tendencies at Terminal 5 on Sun. Nov. 14. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25 ($30 day of show)
Donavon Frankenreiter at Webster Hall on Wed. Dec. 1. Tickets on sale today at noon. $24 ($25 day of show)
Better Than Ezra at Webster Hall on Sat. Dec. 11. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25.
Halestorm at Wellmont Theater on Sat. Jan 1. Tickets on sale today at noon. $15 ($19 day of show).
BB King at Wellmont Theater on Thurs. Jan. 6. Tickets on sale today at noon. $45, $65 and $85.
Cee Lo at Hammerstein Ballroom on Thurs. Rocktober 7. Tickets on sale today at noon. $42.
Kenny Rogers Christmas show at NYCB Theater in Westbury NY on Wed. Dec. 22. Tickets on sale today at 12:30 p.m. $69.50 – $79.75
Thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends of Eddie Fisher who passed away Wednesday at the age of 82. He was one of the most popular singers in the world during the 1950’s selling millions of records. He mainly had success selling singles as opposed to albums. Of course many of us remember him when him and Debbie Reynolds divorced and he married Elizabeth Taylor. Rest in peace Mr. Fisher.
Bret Michaels can’t catch a break. He has to now have heart surgery in January. Doctors discovered a hole in his heart (had it since he was a kid) when he had the stroke back in April. He says he will be back on the road after this new surgery.
Is there anything more popular than “Glee” right now? I think not. Everything they touch seems to enhance their sales or the original artists’ sales. Their first season two songs have already been released on I-Tunes. This is a money making machine. Britany Spears will be on the show this year featuring her music. Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and now Coldplay (who turned them down last year) have all given Glee permission to do their songs. (yes of course they get paid for allowing Glee to use their songs).
Santana has released a record where he has covered his favorite “guitar driven” rock songs and he again has collaborated with many different artists. The album-“Guitar Heaven”-features Chris Cornell on the Mighty Zep classic-“Whole Lotta Love,” Scott Weiland on the Stones classic “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’” (Santana has an awesome guitar solo to take the song out to its sunset). Probably the best song on the album is “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” featuring India.Arie and Yo-Yo Ma. India is flat out amazing on her vocals, it was like she was born to sing this song. Santana has another amazing solo. “Photograph” with Daughtry is a little over the top but may be the first song to end up on pop radio. Santana works again with Rob Thomas and the result on “Sunshine of Your Love” is excellent-these two have the magic touch together. The weirdest collaboration is Nas on the AC/DC classic-“Back in Black” and you know I usually love when rock and rap mix together, the jury is still out for me on this track-it might grow on me. (But for you AC/DC purists-don’t even go near it you may break something). Chester Bennington actually does a nice job on vocals on the Door’s classic –“Riders on the Storm”- with Ray Manzarek helping out.
Maroon 5 has released-“Hands All Over”-this week, the highly anticipated third album with Robert “Mutt” Lange at the controls and I will come back with a full review at some point. According to Rolling Stone magazine, the “polished” Maroon 5 is even more polished on this album and the writer exclaims that they need to open up a bit more because they sound too “stiff.” He gave it 3.5 stars. “Stutter” sounds like their most pop song ever and is headed for WPLJ or Z-100. Again I will come back but I wanted to let you know it is out there.
What sounds like the coolest album to be released in a while is “Wake Up” by John Legend & The Roots. They have recorded some of the lesser known R&B classic hits and made it their own. I also think this will make my library. Legend sounds fantastic and we all know The Roots are a very talented instrumental band. What a perfect collaboration. Rolling Stone says this is a “must buy.” Sounds awesome, he brings back that classic R&B sound that has been missing for a while, in my opinion.
The growing in popularity band-The Zac Brown Band-has released a new album-“You Get What You Give”- and according to I-Tune listeners this is a stellar piece of work and the average rating is 4.5 stars (out of 5). If you are a fan I think you are going to love it. He gets help from Jimmy Buffet and Alan Jackson, each doing a song with the band.
Michael Franti & Spearhead have released a new album-“The Sound of Sunshine.” This guy makes some real fun music but with a very focused cause. This is a great fusion of rock, reggae and funk that you will find out there today. This guy has a blast at every one of his live shows. Check this album out.
Susan Boyle will release her second album-“The Gift”-on Nov. 9 and the first single released is “Perfect Day” – a cover of the Lou Reed song-yes Lou Reed. Susan makes everything sound enchanting, so if you are a fan you will love it. There are some Christmas tunes on this as well-just in time for the holiday season.
Kid Rock and his crew will have to fork over $40,000 for that huge fight they had at a waffle house back in 2007, remember that? The guy was seeking $2.5 million but the judge said that $40,000 should cover the damage. The Kid had plead guilty in 2008 and was sentenced to probation and anger management.
Congratulations to Eddie Vedder as he married his long time sweetheart-Jill McCormick-last Saturday at a ceremony in Hawaii. They have two daughters. Sean Penn was there and Tim Robbins was his best man. (interesting? Similar to the late Peter Boyle being the best man for John Lennon when he married Yoko)
“And 5, this is most important Rat…comes down to making out…whenever possible…put on side 1 of Led Zeppelin IV”
Side 1 of “Head Games” by Foreigner released on September 11, 1979.
The year is 1979 and I am 14-years old and the band Foreigner has fast become my favorite band, a close tie with “The Cars” and for those who remember me when I was younger, these were the two bands that I followed the most. Now as I have mentioned so many times on this page-I wanted to be Lou Gramm-he was my idol as a teenager and I thought (and still think) that he was one of the best singers in rock and roll. At this point in my life I was sitting and waiting for their next album to come out, couldn’t wait to listen to see what they had in store for their fan base. I knew that “Head Games” was going to be produced by Roy Thomas Baker (who produced The Cars-see a pattern here? As well as some Queen albums) so I was expected something raw and good. I love everything that Foreigner did (with Gramm only, I don’t acknowledge the “new” Foreigner) and love “Head Games.” Now I know that this album was panned by the critics and fans alike but again you know that means nothing to me right? It did produce two monster hits-“Dirty White Boy”- and-“Head Games”-but for the most part every other song is easily dismissed. Well I am here to let you know that side 1 is pure perfection. Admittedly, side two does not have the same vibe but that does not take away from the entire album. Remember back in the day, artists usually made 5 songs for each side of the album that they were putting out. So in my book if 7-8 of the songs are “listen-able” then I consider it a good album. In this case there are five songs in a row that make it a perfect album side and that again is side one. If you remember, my all time favorite Foreigner song is –“17”- and this appears as the last song on side one.
Side one starts off with the grimy “Dirty White Boy” and I say-how can anyone not like this song? (Ok maybe the title of the song is not PC but the music is great). “Hey baby if you’re feelin’ down…I know what’s good for you all day…” as Mick Jones is rifling through those great guitar riffs. This is a perfect song for “Guitar Hero” or “Rock Band”, no? I can do the singing and I guarantee that I can get a perfect 100 score on “expert” or if they had a higher level than that, I would still nail it. Lou Gramm is the best. Many people think at the end of the song, he sounds like Roger Daltrey as he screams to take the song out to its ending. This song rocks and should be a part of your workout regimen. Good for running, lifting or whatever floats your boat. “Love on the Telephone” sort of has that “Cold As Ice” feeling to it with the piano but with the blazing guitar and psychedelic keyboards surrounding it, not so much. Again I can get enough of Lou Gramm’s vocals, I especially like the part on the bridge where he exclaims-“…hello operator…you know that I’ve been waiting on this call…I’m going to tear this phone right off the wall…” The keyboard is stellar and is what was to be missed by Foreigner after they decided to shrink the band after this album. This is a great sing along song. The third track-“Women”- is the single most different song that Foreigner has ever recorded in my opinion. When I listen to it still today I can’t recognize Lou’s voice-it is so different from anything he has ever recorded. But this song rocks your socks off. This was a staple at the MBIA boot camp class almost every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6:15 to start our day. (Boy those were the days!!!) It has a simple smashing beat but it is so infectious that you can’t stop singing “Women” all day long. Now I hope women don’t get offended by the lyrics, I don’t think they are too bad but I am a man so what do I know? I guess the part-“Women who will stab you in the back with a switch blade knife”-is not so nice, huh? Sorry..but the song rocks and I love Dennis Elliot’s drumming on this song, he really keeps the frantic pace at a high energy level. There is no other way to listen to this song but LOUD!!!! “I’ll Get Even With You” is an underrated and underappreciated song in my opinion but I still love it. This album has some “rough” spots-musically and lyrically- and that may have been intentional with Mr. Baker at the helm, who knows. Even Lou Gramm stated that this album was “grainy” but again they tried to be a little different from the first two albums (same with The Cars when they released “Panorama”) and I don’t see anything wrong with it. Lots of keyboards on this song but Mick Jones is in every Foreigner song with his guitar so I don’t see anything wrong with it. Gramm is just the best rock and roll singer so his part is great. ‘Nuff said. Then it is on to my all time favorite Foreigner song-“17”- don’t ask me why, don’t tell me it shouldn’t be, don’t tell me it stinks-cause I don’t want to hear it. I can remember laying on my hard wood bedroom floor with a pillow under my head blasting this song from my “furniture” style record player with the glass door (I’d scrape my head endless times on the point of that door) and playing it over and over. My mom would say to keep the door closed on this song, she didn’t like the “heavier” stuff. “Late last night…I get a call from a so called friend…wouldn’t give his name…says he saw you with another man…”-how friggin’ great is that? It is a straight hard driving song that is supplemented by the pounding skins by Mr. Elliot. I remember when I went to see Lou Gramm by himself at BB Kings (this is after his voice was affected by his health) and I was screaming out for him to do this song. Only one other person in the place knew the song, he turned to me and said that the song was too obscure for the crowd and that there would be no way Lou would play it. I asked him nicely to keep watching the show. How great is Mick’s guitar solo at the end? It is the longest solo he has ever had on a Foreigner studio recording and he jams away with Dennis. This ends the perfect album side.
Now side two starts off with the huge “Head Games” which was played all over the place for a couple of years straight on classic rock radio format, so they did have a great hit on side two. Foreigner was a band to reckon with back in the day and maybe because the expectations were so high on every next album that caused the tensions which led to decisions to make some power ballads, then ultimately led to their break up as the power struggle between Gramm and Jones was noticeable. It was Jones band when they started out but without Gramm-there is no Foreigner-sorry Mick that is just the way it goes. So no I do not recognize the new Foreigner, never did and never will. Lou Gramm is the man and contrary to all the critics and alike-“Head Games” is a good album and side one is perfect. Go ahead and listen for yourself.
Aerosmith. Think about this band for a second. They have to be considered one of the all time greatest American bands, no? There are very few bands which have had a career like these boys from Boston, not many bands to come back after seemingly disbanding because of issues related to every single member of the group, not just the lead singer or lead guitarist-as it usually is. All the members had some sort of “dependency” concerns and there really was no other way to hold it together as a single unit, they each needed time away to get better. And then after a few years where they fell out of the limelight, they quietly made an album together-“Done With Mirrors”- but there wasn’t much fanfare. It wasn’t really until they collaborated with Run-DMC on their monster classic-“Walk This Way”-that their “second” career was catapulted by this unlikely pairing which probably is still being debated today with their legion of fans. On one side you have the fans that can’t stand the fact that Aerosmith “bludgeoned” one of their favorite songs with rapping and changing the vibe of the tune. On the other side (like me), fans loved the fact that a whole new generation of fans were going to be introduced to Aerosmith because of Run DMC and yes the changing of the arrangement was spectacular. (My two son’s state that the Run DMC version is much better than the original recording).
In my opinion, the “album” that put them back on the map (remember the Run DMC was “a song”) was “Pump.” Now I know many of the “original” fan base will most likely scoff at anything done after “Rocks” because they consider the “second” coming of Aerosmith to be filled with “bubble-gum” flavored ingredients that caught the attention of the general population, whom the original fan base consider a pop eating culture and want no part of that world. Again, I may be in the minority but I love both sides of Aerosmith and can listen to songs and albums that “everybody” loves but at the same time, my favorite album by these guys is “Draw the Line” which maybe 9 other people listen know about or have listened to. Yes they mastered the art of the “power ballad” (“Amazing’”) during the last couple of decades but have also shown that they can still rock out (“Honkin’ On Bobo”), especially when you see them live.
Now the last few years have been pretty tumultuous as the original tensions between the lead singer and lead guitarist (hey I didn’t say that they didn’t have that problem but it wasn’t the main reason for the first breakup) have been rearing its ugly head and now with the latest rumor that Mr. Steven Tyler will be potentially sitting next to Randy Jackson and “J. Lo” (another rumor) as a judge on the slipping “American Idol” reality series has apparently caused Mr. Joe Perry a headache because he doesn’t understand how they can function as a band if Tyler accepts this position. It was only a few months ago that Aerosmith was “auditioning” for a new lead singer and then Tyler mysteriously showed up at a solo Joe Perry concert to announce to the “You-Tube” world that there was no one else but him for the job as front man of the band they call “Aerosmith.” They seemed to patch things up, then recently at a concert together Tyler fell off the stage…or did he? Was he pushed by Joe? Well there appears to be some activity rising to the surface, sort of like when one sprays some repellant into a bee’s nest. One flies out but the others don’t and for a few seconds you figure you have them where you want and then boom the 95 others fly out seeking retribution. This is sort of the feeling I have…but I could be wrong. So before something happens I figured I would try to name my favorite top ten songs by this legendary band-boy talk about something that is hard to do-this is near impossible as their library is so extensive that I really could have done ten songs from their “first career” and then ten from their “second career” but this time I will combine and try to come up with the top ten songs that I would want have if I were on an island and told that I could only have ten. “These are Them:”
10. You Gotta Move– I know I am going to be abused for this top ten list but I am telling you no matter how many times I tried taking this song off the list, I could not. This is a smoking hot track off of “Honkin’ on Bobo” and this definitely proved that in the decade of 2000, Aerosmith could still rock and roll with the best of them- I know this is a “blues” album but “blues” falls into the category of rock and roll in my book. I can remember when I worked at MBIA I bought this album on the first day of its release on my lunch hour, threw it into the car and blasted off. I skipped to each song to see how it sounded and stopped here and was blown away by both Tyler and Perry. They are at their best on this song and this is easily, in my opinion, the best song on “Honkin’.” This funky rock blues fusion is too much for me to take-you have to own this song!!!
9. No More No More – Remember last Rocktober when I did the “juke-box” special for the entire month giving you some “lesser known” songs from great American bands- I gave you this song so you have had almost a year to listen and own this classic. How tight are these four musicians? Listen to this song and tell me they aren’t one of the most talented musicians? They blend together in perfect harmony and can jam with the best of them. When Perry has the long solo to close out the song, the band is so perfect that I always hit the rewind button to hear this masterpiece again. Very addicting chorus-“No more, no more…”- “You gotta love this!!!”
8. Back in the Saddle Again– Love the opening with the clacking of the horse shoes and the horse sounds. Does this song rock or what? This is off “Rocks” which many consider to be their best work ever (even Mr. Perry has been quoted more than a few times that this is their best work). I can remember as 16 year old working with my uncle John in a butcher shop in Fort Greene Brooklyn and one of the worker’s there was a huge fan of Aerosmith and wanted to know if I knew this song. At the time I was not familiar with the track and he kept imploring me to give it a listen-I did-and it has become one of my all time favorites. I love the driving drums of Mr. Joey Kramer (I met him in NYC a few years ago, remember?)-he keeps the motor running as well as Mr. Tom Hamilton and Mr. Brad Whitford. (The rhythm section). And what else can be said about Mr. Tyler on vocals, could be the best American front man ever-love his screams and squeals.
7. Living on the Edge-I friggin’ love this song and remember being awestruck from the first time I ever heard this song. The arrangement of this song ranks up there as one of the best ever in the history of music (yes I stick by this statement-now don’t go comparing it to Mozart or Beethevon). “There’s something wrong with the world today…I don’t know what it is…something’s wrong with our eyes…” Again love the way Steven accentuates the part –“Living on the edge.” (Can’t get enough of that part). How about the “bridge” where it breaks into the part where Steven sings-“Tell me what you think about the situation?”- and the pace picks up? Can it get any better? I can listen to this song all day long, this is a timeless classic.
6. Don’t Get Mad, Get Even – I think this is one of the coolest songs that Aerosmith has ever recorded. Love that feeling in the beginning of the song where you feel like you are near a swamp on a humid summer night and waiting for a mosquito to be electrified by the trick light to zap them. (sorry Monica). Steven Tyler is at the top of his game (when is he not?) on this track as you can feel every part of this song as he implores you to not get mad but get even. It is a bluesy type of song (could have appeared on “Honkin’”) that makes you slowly bang your head up and down. “Rollin’ dice get lucky…cause they roll you all the time…you’ve got nothing left to lose…if you only lose your mind…”- lyrics that make you think, right? I love the chorus and the groove that rolls along with it. Again Mr. Kramer’s drums sound larger than life. Awesome track.
5. Toys in the Attic – How great is this song? Man does this song move or what? This definitely has to be on your set list for your next workout. This is perfect for a boot camp class or a Spin class. This is hard rockin’ head banging at its best (not metal but hard rock). This was made during their first heyday and many consider their first go around the best-I wouldn’t argue that but I also love the later stuff. This song rocks and it deserves your attention.
4. Monkey on My Back – The beginning of this song is their best ever, I’m sorry. It starts off pretty slow and you’re thinking another slow one? Well folks hold on to your seat because Kramer’s drums are there to take you on a rocking journey supplemented by his buddies, Tom, Joe and Brad roaring rhythm section. I can’t get enough of this track- I listen to it over and over. I dance all around the room (with a waffle ball bat with a handkerchief tied to it as a make believe microphone) and wait to lip sync Tyler’s words-“The fortune teller looked into my EYEballs…the wrinkles on her face ABOUT to crack…”- freaking phenomenal. Of course this is a song for all the members and their struggle with their addictions and there would be no way to move forward unless they all got the monkey off of their back. Thank goodness they did and made a song like this. This song totally rocks. \m/ \m/
3. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Ok I know the Aerosmith purist just threw their computer on the floor (or blackberry or wherever you read this page from) and walked away in disgust. How the heck could I put this as their third best song ever? It is pure pop in the vein of Z100 (radio station in NY). Yes it may be but there is a reason why this was their one and only song to ever go to number 1 on the charts. This is a masterpiece, it is majestic, it is mesmerizing, it is jaw dropping-so if you want to call it bubble gum pop, so be it-I will continue to listen this with open ears and open heart. Speaking of the heart, I will forever remember this song as the wedding song of my cousin Devin. Last summer in Miami, the lights went out and these colorful strobe lights circled the dance floor and when Tyler’s voice breaks in, the spotlight centered on him and his lovely bride and it was a breathtaking, beautiful moment that I will never forget. What a perfect song for a wedding’s first dance. Could be the best pop song ever recorded.
2. Dream On – This has to rank up there in the top ten songs of the 1970’s decade, no? I don’t care how many times you have heard it since the 1970’s, it is still a song that freezes you in your steps. This is an epic and strangest thing is that it wasn’t even recognized when they first released it. The song became a “hit” once they released it for a second time. I often wonder how it feels to write a song that nearly everyone in the world knows. That must be a great feeling, something to be proud of. What else can I say about this song? It is timeless, it will last forever and yes I know many of you are saying that this is their best song so how can I have it at number two? Well again, I am weird and like what I like. And it made the list, right?
1. Critical Mass – Ok now I know you are really scratching your head on this pick, right? As I stated there are probably nine people or so who may know the album-“Draw the Line”-and this is one of the hidden gems on this “un-popular” album. But as you know, that never matters to me; I love the obscure stuff, right? Supposedly they were on some mysterious stuff while they recorded this album and this song is very different from anything they have ever done, so it may have been the trick-hey we all know the Beatles wrote some of their best songs…well let’s leave it at that. Anyway back to the song- this is hard rock at its best and right about the 2:00 minute mark-Kramer blasts away with the drums and leads into a nice piano solo which totally rocks. Steven plays the harmonica with such passion and the background vocals are stellar. The song sort of has the Beatles “Helter Skelter” feel to it as it slowly fades out…you think it’s over…and then you slowly hear it come back but without the dramatic-“I’ve got blisters…”- moment, it ends with Steven sort of hiccupping. I don’t understand all the negativity towards this album as there are some kick ass tunes on this underappreciated piece of work. “Critical Mass” is an awesome tune, check it out for yourself. “Celebrate, celebrate, celebreak it? We are critical mass…”
Answers from last week:
1. The late Dan Hartman (“Instant Replay”)
2. Mickey Thomas- “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.”
3. Stevie Ray Vaughn
4. Sting, Dire Straits (“Money for Nothing”)
This week’s trivia (Random)-
1. We are a band out of Boston and made are mark during the late 1970’s and most of the 1980’s. Unfortunately there can not be an “original lineup” reunion as one of the lead singers’ passed away and the other refuses to budge on getting back with the other original members. What is the name of this band?
2. Our first three albums consisted of three Americans and three guys from England. And then on our fourth album, we became a four member group. During our career we had some real juke box hits. Who are we?
3. I am in the “Bronx Hall of Fame”-that’s right, the “Bronx Hall of Fame” and played with one of the biggest bands in the world. Some people might think I’m out of this world as this was part of my identity for this band. Who am I?
4. I am a rapper who says what I like to say and do what I like to do and if people don’t like it, so be it. I was recently out of action to take care of myself but am now back with a new album. Who am I?
Name That Tune
Answers from last week:
1. Wedding Bell Blues – The 5th Dimension
2. Rockin’ into the Night-.38 Special
3. Tush- ZZ Top
4. Time of the Season– The Zombies
Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?
1. “…when times go bad…when times go rough…won’t you lay me down in tall grass…and let me do my stuff…”
2. “…I’m in the mood…the rhythm is right…move to the music…we can roll all night…”
3. “…there’s nothing to it…just say you want do it…open up your heart and let the loving start…”
4. “…don’t you know…oh don’t you know…that its wrong…to take what is given you…so far gone…”
Back on this Day
Back on this day in 1966, Jimmy Hendrix arrived in London from a flight from New York and his manager changed the spelling of his name to Jimi.
Back on this day in 1971, the Jackson 5 appeared on the cover of Life magazine.
Back on this day in 1988, James Brown was arrested and sentenced to six years in jail after a high speed car chase resulted in his capture and he had firearms and drugs.
Back on this day in 1991, the world forever changed in the world of music as “Nevermind” was released by Nirvana– some believe this should be a national holiday (I just made that up but I bet there are folks out there who believe this).
Back on this day in 1993, Steven Adler was awarded $2.5 million as a result of a lawsuit against his bandmates in Guns & Roses-who kicked Adler out of the band for his continued drug use. Adler claims that the band members told him to start using heroine. It’s a shame you wonder where that settlement money went to?
Back on this day in 2003, Gordon Lightfoot was inducted into the Canadian song writers hall of fame.
If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with the late Linda McCartney and Gerry Marsden (Gerry & The Pacemakers).