Phish at Madison Square Garden on Wed. Dec. 28. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $73.90
Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds at United Palace theater on Fri. Nov. 18. tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $148.25 (Wow that is a lot of money)
The Cure at the Beacon Theater from Fri. – Sun. Nov. 25-27. Tickets on sale Rocktober 31 at 10:00 a.m. $65 – $105.
Erykah Badu at the Best Buy Theater on Sun. Dec. 4. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $59.50 – $65.
Cyndi Lauper at the Beacon Theater on Sun. Dec. 4 for “Home for The Holidays” Tour. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $48.25; $63.65; $170.05; $530.60
Devo at Irving Plaza on Tues. Dec. 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $79.75.
Cheap Trick at the Paramount Theater in Huntington NY on Thurs. Dec. 8. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $62.50 and $116.
Barry Manilow at Radio City Music Hall on Tues. Feb. 14, 2011. Pre-sale tickets on sale now if you have an American Express card until this Sunday night Rocktober 30 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale Mon. Rocktober 31 at 10:00 a.m. $63.90 and $326. (Again it is shameful that ticket prices are now like this with this huge gap in-between low and high).
Mavis Staples at the Beacon Theater on Mon. Dec. 5 for the 7th annual “Holiday Cheer for FUV.” Tickets on sale today at noon. $68.25, $93.85 and $174.70.
David Cook at Irving Plaza on Fri. Dec. 9. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $38.50
Rumor of the week: Tony Iommi and the boys have been reportedly rehearsing together-and they are actually speaking to each other again- and the spark has been struck-there might be a Black Sabbath reunion with the four original members. Great news to take the month of Rocktober out-keep your fingers crossed.
Michael Buble has released a full length Christmas album which just came out this past Tuesday and even though it is many of the same songs you have heard in the past-it is an absolute stunner. I’m already listening to it and Halloween is not even here yet. Folks, run-don’t walk- to wherever it is you go to get your music-you will not be disappointed, especially if you love that “classic” sound. This is the 2000 version of Bing Crosby. Wait until you hear-“Jingle Bells”- with the Puppini Sisters-you will think it is 1940 all over again and it’s Bing with the Andrew Sisters. The duet with Shaina Twain is “off the hook.” You just need to own it. This is an “instant classic” that you will be listening to for decades.
My favorite country band-Little Big Town– has put their spin on the Maroon 5 song with Christina Aguilera-“Move Like Jagger”- and I have to say they do a solid job on it. It is raw, it looks like they are in a hallway of a grammar school scrunched comfortably with an acoustic flavor. This band can sing and sing they do-if this doesn’t move you-then I give up. Go here to view: http://littlebigtown.com/home
Sad news to hear about the official cause of death for Amy Winehouse and I hope now her family and friends can be finally be at peace. Rest in peace Amy.
Here’s to a speedy recovery for Stephen Tyler who had a violent fall in the bathroom at his hotel in Paraguay last weekend. He appeared on the ‘Today’ show earlier this week to explain that it was his second show in South America and explained it was food poisoning. He passed out in the shower after he felt nauseous. He denies that drugs or alcohol was involved.
Best wishes for another speedy recovery as Paul Stanley of KISS had surgery on his vocal chords earlier this week but don’t fret, his publicist says that he will be back in no time. Yes a new album in 2012 and another tour!!!
Slash is back in the studio recording his next solo album and this time it is with the band that he took out with him to tour to support his first solo album last year. Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) will handle the vocals which I think is an excellent move on Slash’s part- I can’t wait to hear what’s next.
Rocktober Juke-box: 1979
Since it is “Rocktober” (my most favorite month of the year) I decided to bring back the rock and roll juke-box and the theme this week is the music from 1979. As I think back to that year, I can remember buying so many quality albums, in my opinion, and spending endless hours lying in front of my stereo listening to them while expanding my tastes, just a bit. If I wasn’t playing baseball during every season but the winter (football took its place in the winter) or studying for tests during the school year, then every other free moment I had was discovering new music. I was 14-years old and my world was opening up just like when a small stream rolls into a huge body of lake water and eventually the ocean. This was the beginning of my journey, which I am still on, and it will never end because music is in my blood stream-a necessity for me to breathe.
I really can’t remember a better year of music –for my taste in music- than 1979. (I often wonder if the Smashing Pumpkin song-“1979”- was written because of all the great music that came out that year). Quickly off the top of my head there was The Cars “Candy-O”-pound-for-pound arguably their best album ever; The Police’s-“Regatta De Blanc”- a super solid follow-up to their debut; “Head Games” by Foreigner-such an under-rated album by all the critics (fans know better); “Look Sharp” and “I’m The Man” by Joe Jackson (yes boys and girls two albums in one year); “Fear of Music” by Talking Heads (the one and only album I own of theirs-besides the “greatest hits”); The B-52’s debut (yes it deserves to be mentioned); “Live at Budokan” by Cheap Trick (yes this has to be here despite the fact there are no new songs); “Freedom at Point Zero” by Jefferson Starship (when Mickey Thomas joined in on vocals-great album in my opinion); “VHII”by Van Halen; “Breakfast in America” by Supertramp; “Cornerstone” by Styx (again my taste); “Flirtin’ With Disaster” by Molly Hatchett and ‘The Long Run” by The Eagles. Now I know I am missing more but this is what I quickly think of. And also in 1979, there was arguably the greatest “one hit wonder”-“My Sharona”- by The Knack off of their debut-“Get The Knack.” So here it is folks the last week of Rocktober and I want to go out with a bang, so throw a few quarters in the juke-box and make the following selections, in no particular order:
“On Any Other Day” – The Police – This is when The Police were The Police-you know that expression-“scary good”-this is immediately what comes to mind whenever I hear this song. Their first two albums are incredible and even “goofy” songs like this grab your attention because this trio is so talented. Sting was a beast on bass and vocals; Andy kept the train rolling with his complete guitar playing and Stuart still has to be considered amongst the greatest drummers still alive today
“Since I Held You” – The Cars – I know what you’re thinking-the Cars again?- why yes…why not? This band deserves its spot in the Hall of Fame and songs like this are “exhibit A.” From the opening lick by Elliot Easton to the last drum beats by Greg Robinson it is something different from the normal rock you were used to listening to-was it-“new wave”-Ok call it what you want but Ocasek’s vocals are stunning and the arrangement of this song (and the entire album) are beyond words in my opinion. “I really love the way you talk…I don’t mind saying so…and ooh I love it when you dance…so silky slow…oh baby please don’t go.”-love it!!!
“Borrowed Time” – Styx – “Don’t look now but here comes the ‘80’s”- boy do I remember that, the 1970’s was coming to an end and who knew what to expect in the upcoming decade. “I had my car and made the scene and didn’t give a damn about no gasoline”-funny how the theme still applies today with gas prices seemingly stuck near the $4 per gallon mark. (Imagine if that were the price back in 1979?) Styx is a good band and again-“Cornerstone”- is my most favorite album by these guys and this song takes me back to my bedroom and I put the speakers up in the window so the rest of my neighbors could hear this awesome song.-yes there is a big guitar hook-did you expect anything else?
“Outta Love Again” – Van Halen – This is also “scary good”- C’mon folks some 32 years later, this song still sounds fresh as it did back then. Eddie was a young buck solidifying his legend while defining that legendary sound which many were influenced by and if I sang like Diamond Dave while possessing the skills he had, I may have been just as cocky. Alex and Michael are also scary good as you can feel the bass and drums all over this track. This groove is so “funk-a-fied” with the stop and go movements and once Eddie blasts in with the solo, well you can just start to bow to the Masters. The “young” Van Halen were so hungry, so raw that in my opinion-VH II- is their best album ever.
“Brand New Cadillac” – The Clash – 1979 was also the year that The Clash released-“London Calling”- and I bet there weren’t too many teenagers back then who did not own it-this is by far my most favorite song on that album. This song rocks Rocktober like no other- it is a short power blast of a song that will knock your socks off-so friggin’ good. “Baby, baby…won’t you hear my plea…” I bet you Billie Armstrong heard this song as a kid and set him on his way to one day form Green Day. This is raucous rock and roll at its best. \m/ \m/
“I’ll Get Even With You” – Foreigner – Listen to Lou Gramm’s vocals and tell me he wasn’t the best? Again “Head Games” is so under-rated in my opinion and I can listen to it from top to bottom. This is the fourth song on side one and is a stellar song in my opinion-it’s not too heavy but not too soft. You can feel Lou’s passion and if I was the intended person that this song was written about, I’d be nervous because one can tell by Lou’s voice that the hunt is on. This is the last album with all six members as the record company kind of forced their hand and eventually they would become four. Enjoy the mastery of all six on this tune.
“Tusk” – Fleetwood Mac – After “Rumours” the whole world awaited with bated breath on what Fleetwood Mac’s next album was going to sound like and to be quite honest with you, I did not like this song when it was first released in 1979 (Steve and I said the same thing this week). It was only years later that I finally “got it” and it has become one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs (just not in my top 5). There is a lot going on in this song and it does make for a good party song-I could see some sort of line dancing forming. Ok, nerdy-well that’s me.
“Freedom At Point Zero” – Jefferson Starship – I wore out the album sleeve on this album, so many great songs including the title track which will rock you out. I know every word to this song (and there are a lot of words) and could do it at a karaoke party and completely nail it. I say what a perfect way to end an album as this was the last song on side two-it has everything that you want in a song-fast moving and loud but then the pitch and tone comes down at other moments while all along you can’t help but sing along. “steady as steel I want to take the wheel and drive you like a rock and roller…freedom at point zero and rock and roll isn’t over”- that’s right rock and roll will never die. This song is so good I can’t explain it, I have always loved it and always will. I threw this on a Spin CD for Megan way back when and she loved it-perfect exercise song.
“Heaven” – Talking Heads –Thanks to my uncle who turned me on to the “new” music of the late 1970’s and it included the Talking Heads and B-52’s and at the time, their music was “weird” and it took me a few turns of the “Fear of Music” for me to get it. This song is a good time to grab your partner at the party and go to the dance floor to dance cheek to cheek. It’s a “psychedelic power ballad” –if there is such a thing- David Byrne’s vocals are powerful. This is a super solid tune-check it out.
“Dance This Mess Around” – B-52’s – Talk about weird? I can’t decide which album is more strange-“Fear of Music” by the Talking Heads or The B-52’s debut. Now this is by far the strangest song on this list and I will understand if some of you out there will feel like you have wasted a quarter but if you can get by her screaming into the microphone, the song is actually very good. Believe me, it took me a while to get used to this whole album, never mind this song but once I “got it” I was hooked. “yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” C’mon “Do the Aqua velva!!!”- Doesn’t that make you feel much better-some weird stuff here folks but its only a quarter, right?
“Throw It Away” – Joe Jackson – Yes this song is what 1979 was all about- a mixture of “new wave” and “punk” but with rock and roll at its core. Joe Jackson was the man in 1979 and it was because of songs like this. This is raw, raucous rock and roll-don’t you just love the piano work? Boy how I wish he would stop ignoring the beginning of his career and get the boys back together to let their hair down-Ok maybe the hair is gone but you know what I mean. Please Joe, don’t “throw it away!!!”
“Good Rockin’” – Molly Hatchett – I love the album “Flirtin’” and it’s because of songs like this. Folks this is some good stuff right here-it’s like walking into the kitchen of someone you know who really can cook during the holiday season and you get that warm feelin’- do you feel it? Do you smell it? That’s how good this song is- you can smell it. Molly Hatchett was the real deal back in 1979- get your south home jukin’ fix right here. This totally rocks!!! \m/ \m/
“A Gallon of Gas” – The Kinks – I absolutely love the Kinks-“Low Budget”- album and also wore out the album sleeve on this bad boy. In my opinion, this is the most rocking album the Kinks ever made. And again even though this was made 32 years ago, the song is still relevant because we are paying through the nose for a gallon of gas. “Who needs a car and a 747 when you can’t buy a gallon of gas?” –couldn’t have said it better myself
“Do Anything You Want to Do” – Thin Lizzy – The opening track on what many consider their best album ever-“Black Rose: A Rock Legend”- (I know my friend John thinks so, he has a huge picture of the album hanging in his house). Again for those of you who think they are a one-hit wonder-boy you are so wrong- Thin Lizzy belongs in the Hall-it’s enough already. How can Phil Lynott be in the Hall of Fame? Listen to his bass line on “Waiting for An Alibi” which is also on Black Rose and talk about singing- he had one of the greatest rock voices in history-it’s enough already.
“Run Like Hell” – Pink Floyd – Even though I am not the biggest Floyd fan, I do own “The Wall” and besides the B-52’s and Talking Heads, this was also the strangest album I had ever come across. I understood the “concept” album but this “double” blast of work was too “psychedelic” for me if you get my drift. However, there are some quality songs from this work and I can’t deny that I do not change the dial when I hear this song. Have to give credit where credit is due.
“Shot Down In Flames ” – AC/DC – How freaking good is Bon Scott? A sad day indeed when the world lost this incredibly talented singer. I will never understand how anyone can not like AC/DC-especially if they love rock and roll- it’s damn near impossible and in my opinion is worthy of a fine-not jail time-but yes a fine. Angus’s solo is righteous and “Highway to Hell” is arguably their finest work during the Scott era.
“Cars” – Gary Numan – This arguably could be the best song to come out of 1979-how many times was this played on the radio and like I said 1979 was the year of “new wave” with all of this psychedelic music. I know I instantly loved it and still listen with the same curiosity that I did when I was a kid. Maybe a one hit wonder but worth the price of admission.
It was the late 1980’s and my taste in music was starting to get “heavy” and it was only a few years before I dove head-first into “The Black album” by Metallica and I was then on my way. Now I guess the early fans of Metallica can blame Bob Rock and Motley Crue for Metallica going down the “pop” highway in their minds (I don’t care what anyone says- The Black album is heavy) because once Lars heard the 1989 release of “Dr. Feelgood”-he wanted that sound and despite relinquishing much of the control of making their own music, the black album came to fruition. And much to the dismay of the early Metallica fans, the world of metal spread to more of the general public, including me. Now by the time “Dr. Feelgood” came out I was entrenched into the world of Motley Crue and a big reason for it was due to a friend of mine-Audrey- who lent me their first album-“Too Fast For Love.” I thought that I loved “Shout Out The Devil” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” but when I put this album on, it struck a chord and to this day I think that this is their best work that they have ever done. So then why is it in the golden “nuggets” section of the page you ask? Because…there are songs that I skip over…yes again I said it- I know it is “sac-religious” to say that but if I am not honest, then what? Anyway, I was a huge fan of The Crue back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and went to see them a few times in their hey-day including the “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Dr. Feelgood” tours.
After grunge took over in the 1990’s and the band broke-up, I lost contact but when they did their 2005 reunion tour I went with my younger brother to see them and it was a solid overall performance (but not like the “old” days like the 1980’s and 1990’s). I was never really a fanatic of a fan for the band and was always kind of turned-off by Vince Neil, especially after seeing the “Behind The Music” documentary on the band where he came off as a spoiled rocker, in my opinion. Then when one of my new favorite bands-Godsmack- had written a song about him after Smack had toured with them on one of those “tent” summer tours, the lyrics depicted the same kind of “star” that he had been before their break-up. You’d figure that after their time away, he’d be a little more humble but…(I know there are two sides to the story but I am leaning with Sully on this one). I wouldn’t say he is as bad as Axl Rose but he has that “Axl” in him where if things don’t go his way, he seemingly pouts. Anyway, I digress-I can say that all these years later I am still a fan of The Crue, especially their debut-“Too Fast For Love”- which is solid and worthy of your attention. Here are some of the golden “nuggets” from this album, in no particular order:
Take Me To The Top – This is raw hard-rock head-banging at its best-you can feel their hunger throughout this entire debut album. Tommy Lee is one of the best drummers in the hard-rock/metal scene and most people nowadays seem to forget that because he has so much more going on around him but this album takes you back to the basics-he is all over this track. Now obviously this is a much younger Vince on vocals as the pitch throughout the album could be used to “break-glass” and is higher than a young Brian Johnson from AC/DC if you can believe that. It’s an ironic song title considering they did get there and remained in that position for a long-time but along with the fame came the fortune and misfortune. This is quality hard-rock right here folks and Nikki and Mick keep the engine flowing with a righteous groove, Mick has a nasty solo in the middle.
On With The Show – If one had to pick a song that defined the “sound” of Motley Crue-many might point to this song as it was a prelude to the types of songs that were to come in their future albums. It is not too “heavy”, has a “anthem” type melody that would get a rile out of a huge crowd and my guess if they pulled this one out in their future shows, the audience would freak. “Going on the show…oh my, my, my…no, no, no.” Mick Mars has always been and always will be the perfect lead-guitarist for this band, no “ifs,” “ands” and “buts” about it.
Come On and Dance – This could be my most favorite song on the album and I recently put it on a mix that I used for a long car ride and haven’t been able to stop singing it for the past two weeks. My youngest son knew right away who it was (my oldest was stumped) and I exhaled because I thought I had failed in my ability to spread the work of good hard rock. I love the guitar riff by Mars and I have to hand it to Vince as his vocal prowess is perfect for the genre called hard-rock/metal. If you “search” the meaning of that phrase-you just might see a reference to this song. It has the “cow-bell” so how can it not be good? Vince’s screams are primal.
Too Fast For Love – I don’t know folks, the title track just may be the best song on the album. This is perfect for your next work-out whether it is Spin, boot camp, kick-boxing or a run. You will not be able to stop singing-“too fast…too fast…too fast for love”- as you pick up the pace of your work-out-it will come naturally as the groove in this track has to get the juices flowing. Again Tommy makes you move with his smashing beats-you can feel his energy bleeding through the speakers. Vince is raw-as the rest of the band is-and you have to appreciate the feel of this song because I bet they couldn’t wait to record this (or perform it live) for everyone to hear because they knew they had something good. This is some good stuff right here folks. \m/ \m/
Public Enemy #1 – “You and me we’re gonna escape tonight… on the run under the moonlight…” Rebellious and defying, right? These guys had that raucous ways about them (just like Guns & Roses but they came before Guns) and this song exemplifies that sentiment with the music as well as the lyrics. They lived the life of being the public enemy #1-maybe this is the song that defines them, right? Perfect jam!!! \m/ \m/
Merry-Go-Round – I will caution you before you listen to this song-if you do NOT want to repeat the same phrase all day long and you will not be able to get it out of your head- do not listen to this track because you will not be able to stop singing- “merry-go-round…merry-go-round…merry-go-round and round…merry-go-round and round.” On the other hand if you like singing along to seemingly only three words in this track-then this song is for you. Mick has a sweet guitar solo in the middle and again Tommy is all over this song.
Piece of Your Action – Many would argue that this is the best song on the album and for the most part I wouldn’t disagree with that sentiment. As most of you know the focus for me is typically on the music and not so much the lyrics, so you know I am pretty uncomfortable talking about the meaning of this track, especially with the “youngin’s” in the room, so I will say that I love this song and only from the musical standpoint, especially when Tommy is hitting the “high-hat” throughout most-this is hard-rocking head-banging at its best.
Top Ten (By Artists You Are Scared To Admit You Like)
Sadly the month of Rocktober is coming to its end but it usually goes out with a bang because of Halloween and since it is next Monday-what better way to celebrate than with two of the “scariest” artists to have ever hit the rock scene in the last forty years or so- Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson. Now for those of you who were born in the 1980’s or later- you are probably making a face about Mr. Cooper. “Wasn’t that guy just voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?”-why yes, that is a correct statement. Could the same happen to Marilyn Manson? Betting money screams no way. But stranger things have happened and if they vote on Halloween night in the future, he just may have a chance. But I get the feeling Manson wouldn’t want to be voted in. With respect to Alice Cooper I can’t sit here and tell you that first off that I am his biggest fan-far from it-there are way more fanatical fans that could do a much better top ten list (or in this case top five) because my focus will be on the low hanging fruit. Secondly, I was a youngster myself when he “hit it big” and I never really followed his career, like I said- he is an artist I am familiar with and have some knowledge and overall I like his sound. But what I do know is that he was “scary” and at the time he was pushing the envelope like no one else of his generation. He may be the guy now that you share a round of golf with but back then he’d have the 10-foot long snake hanging around his neck spit the golf ball out of its mouth to you for the next hole. He had the make-up, the blood and whatever else it took to scare any sponsors away from him-the ultimate “devil” rebel who loved rock and roll.
Fast-forward about 25 – 30 years after Alice’s ground breaking presence and in walks someone who decided to take his band name from a selection of two categories- a) beautiful models and b) serial killers. Ok “part b” is all you need to know that he is so far off the ranch that I bet many people don’t want to listen to anything he has to say just because of the fact that he took a name of a “psycho-killer.” I acknowledge that even mentioning his name in a conversation is taking a risk (or writing about him on a blog) and I want to make abundantly clear that I do not share in any of his beliefs or agree with what he spouts off about but I will admit that I have a fair share of his songs on my I-pod. He is by far the “scariest” rock star in our modern history and I’m not just talking about his physical appearance. I have always maintained that it has been about the music for me and in this case it really is but I recognize that it is super-hard to ignore most of his lyrics. Now being a father, I have to thank Tipper, because the “warning” label was invented with him in mind and I encourage all you parents out there to keep a close eye (ear) on what your children are listening to, especially Marilyn, it could have an effect, especially if they are not mature enough. But I will get off my soap-box and this is the reaction that Marilyn wants, right? He succeeded again I guess.
Like I said, admitting to like Marilyn Manson in a public setting is something that can’t be good for you, right? People will automatically make assumptions about you- “I thought I knew him…what the hell?” (You see even your reaction causes a “cuss” word). Well it was back in 1998 or so that his album-“Mechanical Animals”- had come out and most of his die-hard fans thought the album was “soft.” That was my cue- I typically jump in once I know everyone is out of the water- and even though I was scared I bought the album. And the more I listened, the more I liked- yes I know he lured me in to his crazy world but maybe it was that album but I actually found his music melodic-for all the “heaviness,” “zany-ness” and “crazy-ness”- I was impressed with the overall musicianship of the band. I even lent the CD to one of my colleagues at the time (I will leave his name out to protect the innocent, if you get my drift) and he even admitted he liked it but he said had a wife and two children. Believe me, I understood and wondered why I couldn’t walk away.
As I followed his career, I changed jobs and went to work at MBIA, where if you wore a red tie people would look at you like you broke a rule, never mind admitting that you listened to Marilyn Manson. So I kept it to myself but then had another friend who listened to lots of rock and he mentioned that he was intrigued by MM and would definitely be interested in seeing him in concert. (again I am withholding names to protect the innocent). My other friend was totally out and the two of us headed to Hammerstein Ballroom to see him live and to our surprise the concert “go-ers” were not as outrageous as we thought were going to be. Actually there were more people dressed like us than not. And to boot, Marilyn did not take his soap box that night and just played straight-up rock, with an edge and I was thoroughly impressed. Then my friend made the unbelievable gaffe, in my opinion, by letting our boss know who we had gone to see. Hey, I have a wife and two children, are you crazy letting anyone in the “normal” society that I went to a Marilyn Manson concert. People may never look at you the same again, right? As I became a gym rat and made work-out CD’s for the classes I put Marilyn’s music in there and you had to see the people’s reaction- priceless. But you know what, by the time I left MBIA, there were women who were singing “Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag.”
I hung on for more than a couple of years but his work became too dark for me and eventually I purchased his‘greatest hits’ collection but never really dove into his work like I have with other bands or artists. So I guess you could say that I am in the ‘novice’ category when it comes to know what he is all about. Is it all an act? I can’t really see it as an act, especially when you read his lyrics. I like ‘dark’ music but he takes it to another level but the funny thing is like I said I have a fair share of his songs on my I-Pod. As we celebrate the ending of Rocktober and with Halloween on the horizon, what better way to celebrate with some spooky fellows, who have pushed the envelope to an unbelievable level. I am on an island and have been informed that I can only have five songs each from Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson. “These Are Them:”
5. Feed My Frankenstein-Funny thing is I can picture a few different artists/bands covering this tune-Motley Crue and Rob Zombie- immediately come to mind and this tells you what an influence Alice has been to the world of hard-rock and heavy metal. There is a sweet guitar solo in the middle that will get your Frankenstein moving. What better way to celebrate Halloween than with Frankenstein. Love the lyrics-“I’m a hungry man but I don’t want pizza…I’ll blow down your house…and then I’m gonna eat ya…bring you to a simmer…”This song rocks. \m/ \m/
4. School’s Out – Even though this song has become a “seasonal” song (sort of like the holiday songs) and it is always played on the radio during the month of June than any other time of the year, I can still turn up the volume whenever I hear it. When it comes on my I-Pod shuffle I have an immediate smile. “No more pencils…no more books…no more teacher’s dirty looks…school’s out forever” – you see what I am talking about? Love the children singing in the background-perfect touch for perfect song.
3. Under My Wheels – If one looked up the phrase “rock and roll” in the dictionary-this song just might be included as a reference point. C’mon it even has a horn in the tune. The guitar solo is righteous and this “throw-back” of a song gives you a glimpse of the influences that Alice had while growing up and I would venture to say that Chuck Berry is almost certain to be one of them. This is sweet rock and roll right here folks-no need to be scared of this-jump in and join the fun.
2. Stolen Prayers – Wow who would have ever thought that Alice Cooper would make a power-ballad that knocks you off your feet? I recently discovered this song and was blown away on how good it was and not only because Chris Cornell helps out on the tune as well as those “children” again. You know how singers/actors from England are able to sing in “American English” but when they talk, their accent is so present that you scratch your head? I get the same effect here because when I think of Alice Cooper I think of heavy, outrageous and raucous rock and roll but then this song comes on and part of my perception is wiped away and to my surprise it is one of my favorites from him.
1. No More Mr. Nice Guy – This song by far is my most favorite song by Alice Cooper and I could listen to this tune 24 hours a day, it is that good and has to be considered one of the best rock and roll songs ever recorded, in my opinion. I will never forget the last time I went to see Tesla, the “pre-game” festivities included this song in the set-list and as I looked around the room most everyone was singing the track word-for-word. I love that, I love when a whole bunch of people get psyched up and that certain “energy” overtakes their system when a song like this comes on and takes them to that special place that has no distractions and serves as a “release” from the everyday worries. How many great lines are in this tune-“I opened doors for little old ladies…I helped the blind to see,” or “my dog bit me on the leg today… my cat clawed my eyes,” or “The Reverend Smitty, he recognized me and punched me in the nose.” I love to sing along to this song-“Mr. Clee-hee-hee-eeen” or “your ob-see-hee-hee-een.” You have to own this song, no?
5. Disposable Teens – Trying to narrow it down to five songs was actually hard for me to do, I could have done ten songs but I will stick to the program. This song actually rocks so freaking good that once I hear the beginning riffs I am polarized and waiting for his message (I’m teasing), no really folks when I talk about the musicianship this is one of the songs I would point to-this band is super tight and this is great head-banging “nu-metal”-or whatever label you want to put on it. Now keep this song (and almost everyone of his) away from the kids because the lyrics, as usual, are very pointed and “blunt.” (And of course there is typically an “F” bomb in his songs and it is in this one-just a point of reference-he uses the word s**t in his songs, like others would use the word “love”-that word is in a lot of his songs as well). In the middle of the song, the drums sound like “Beautiful People.” This is an aggressive fast paced song that I would definitely include on a set-list prior to any band coming out to perform a concert. If you never heard this song before you might think that it was the work of Trent Reznor with his band- Nine Inch Nails.
4. Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag – I will never forget the first time that the rest of the gym rats at MBIA’s boot class heard this song when I put it on one of my CD’s for the class. Just picture this- it’s about 6:00 a.m. and after a few songs this power-house of a song comes on and I know that I am the only person at the whole company that has heard this song (never mind the six or seven members of the boot camp class)-I couldn’t wait for the reaction of those in the class room but for also those who were “out on the floor”. If I to pick one word for the reaction it was –“fear”- and I just went about my business like I didn’t even know what was going on. Hey you know that didn’t last-I started to laugh like crazy and screamed at the class to have an open mind. The song was perfect for boot-camp because it has a lot of “giddy-up.” After a few months, the girls (or should I say “Ladies”) in the class actually started to like the song. Not that anyone could sing the words because who knows what he is saying-the song flat out rocks. “go…go…go…you lolli-gaggers…you’re one of us!!!” \m/ \m/
3. Mobscene – Another song that rips the cover right off the ball-a total knock-out that rips just like a hot knife slicing a cold piece of butter (don’t you just hate cold sticks of butter but you can’t leave it out like my mother did while I was growing up because it does affect you… take my word). It is songs like these that keeps me a little hooked in to see if he would make songs like this in the future, I would sign up again if he would make songs like this. Folks, the groove in this track is so infectious-if you like it heavy-and the best part are the background vocals being sung by some ladies and the funniest sight you will ever come across is if you go to see him perform live and plays this tune, it’s like Tony Orlando & Dawn-only the “Nightmare on Elm Street” version. It was so weird to see these women up on stage on both sides of him singing back-ground vocals so nicely to this demonic song-but I love it!!!!
2. Coma White – There is something about this song that grips me-remember those old ‘Bugs Bunny’ cartoons where he would become hypnotized by the aroma of the carrot? Well this is exactly what happens to me. I remember many a train ride home on NJ Transit (when I lived in Ringwood) where the world was swiftly rushing beneath me as I drifted off looking at the window and I felt like I was in another world. Can this be Marilyn Manson I thought? I’m not supposed to like this-remember I have a wife and two kids-but I was completely drawn in and to this day it remains one of my favorite tunes. “A pill to make you numb… a pill to make you dumb…a pill to make you anybody else.” Good stuff right here folks.
1. Beautiful People– I know, I know- putting this song at this spot was too predictable and it could be one of those tracks that could be on the list of tunes banned from radio for next ten years because of constant airplay- but when you think about it-how many radio stations really play this? I know the best rock radio station in America does-WCCC 106.9 on your FM dial out of Hartford CT (or www.wccc.com for those unfortunate ones who live outside the CT area). I had to put this song here because I think that this is his most ground-breaking song, a tune that “put him on the map” so to speak. It crossed into the main-stream and I know my brother-in-law loves this track and he is not the biggest “rock” fan going and especially not in MM’s fan club, but there is an electrifying quality to this song that grabs you by the neck and slams you to the ground. And sometimes we all need that. The funny thing is that most of you out there probably resist the urge to like it because of him-there’s no way you could like this, right? Try it. See if you are just as polarized by this song like I am. This is some good stuff right here folks- beware of the “MF” bombs though.
Answers from last week:
1. False- Tom Petty asked him
2. What’s Love Got To Do With It
3. Robert Palmer
This week’s trivia (Random)-
1. I started out in a singing and dancing group back in the 1990’s and slowly emerged as one of the guys who could make it on their own. I exploded on the scene as a solo artist and everyone wanted to work with me. My singing career appears to be secondary now as I have now become an actor, appearing in some “big-time” movies. Who am I?
2. We are a two person outfit that many consider the best two person band to have come out in the past ten years. Our music is eclectic mixed with a fusion of rock and blues. Many consider our band-“old school.” Who are we?
3. Our band has been around since the late 1960’s and we are still going strong today touring throughout most of the year, albeit with some change in personnel over the years. For some reason, the doors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have remained closed for our entrance, which many consider should have a long time ago. Our band had so many hits, too numerous to count and we are searchin’ so long for the keys to the door to let us in the hall of fame. Who are we?
4. During the late 1970’s our band hit its stride and became one of the biggest acts in the world, selling out major concert venues with ease. One of our members wanted to bring “theatrics” to the forefront of our being while the rest of us wanted to rock on. Who are we and who is the member now on the outside?
Name That Tune
Answers from last week:
1. Iron Man – Black Sabbath
2. All I Do Is Dream of You – Michael Buble
3. Nobody Knows – Billy Squier
4. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?
1. “…the trouble with the maples…and they’re quite convinced they’re right…they say the oaks are just too lofty…”
2. “…people say I’m crazy…doing what I’m doing…well they give me all kinds of warnings…”
3. “…tell me what you want…I want a brand new house on an episode of Cribs and a bathroom I can play baseball in…”
4. “…how can I just let you walk away…just let you leave without a trace …”
Back on this Day
Back on this day in 1958, Buddy Holly made his final TV appearance when he appeared on ‘American Bandstand’ and lip synced –‘It’s So Easy’- and- ‘Heartbeat.’
Back on this day in 1967, Buffalo Springfield appeared as guests on TV’s “Mannix.”
Back on this day in 1972, The Who’s -“Join Together”- became the official song for the U.S. Council for World Affairs.
Back on this day in 1975, Elton John’s “Island Girl” hit number one on the Billboard charts.
Back on this day in 1977, Steve Perry made his debut as lead singer for Journey as he came out and performed the encore on the last night of a three-night gig in San Francisco.
Back on this day in 1978, Queen kicked off national tour in support of “Jazz” in Dallas, Texas at the Convention Center.
Back on this day in 1989, Don Henley made his first appearance on ‘Saturday Night Live’ performing-“The Boys of Summer” and “Last Worthless Evening.”
Back on this day in 2003, Chris Cornell jumped up on stage to perform with Pearl Jam in Santa Barbara, CA to perform a couple of “Temple of the Dog” hits-“Hunger Strike” and “Reach Down.” Now how cool must have that been?
If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Ben Harper, Telma Hopkins (Tony Orlando & Dawn) and Charlie Daniels.