Errols Weekly Music Update.

April 23, 2010

Weekly Update – 04/23/2010

Filed under: CD Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — ea0217 @ 4:15 am

Roger Waters at Madison Square Garden on Tues. Rocktober 5, Nassau Coliseum on Tues. Rocktober 12 and the Izod Center on Wed. Nov. 3. (performing “The Wall”). Pre-sale tickets available for American Express cardholders beginning on Mon. May 3 at 10:00 a.m. until Sun. May 9 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale Mon. May 10 at 10:00 a.m. No ticket info on MSG yet; $55 – $250 for the other two venues.

Pearl Jam at the Prudential Center on Tues. May 18. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Jackson Browne at The Beacon Theater on Tues. Sept. 14. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $46 – $155. Also performing at Borgota Event Center in Atlantic City NJ on Sat. & Sun. Sept. 4 & 5. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Phil Collins at the Roseland Ballroom on Tues. June 22 through Fri. June 25. (4 nights) Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders available now. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $77

Carrie Underwood at the Nassau Coliseum on Fri. Nov. 5 and at the Prudential Center (the “Rock”) on Mon. Nov. 15. Pre-sale tickets available at 10:00 a.m. this morning until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: Temporary. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Nassau: $32, $42 and $52; Rock: $35.50, $45.50 and $55.50

Melissa Etheridge at the United Palace Theater on Wed. July 14. Pre-sale tickets on sale now with the caveat that you have to purchase her new album in addition to the rip off charges that Ticketmaster will force on you (sorry I had to get that out) and that will last until Wed. Apr. 28 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale Mon. May 3 at noon. $39, $59, $79 and $104.

Faith No More (reunited) at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg (North 8th street and Kent Avenue) on Fri. July 2. Tickets on sale today at noon. $44

Sting with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at PNC Bank Arts Center on Wed. July 7 and at Jones Beach on Tues. July 27. Pre-sale tickets available now until 10:00 p.m. tonight for American Express cardholders. General public on sale Mon. Apr. 26 at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $32.25, $76.25, $106.25 – $232.25;Jones: $43.50-$73.50, $107.50 and $233.50.

Erykah Badu at Roseland Ballroom on Tues. May 25. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $51 – $76.

Santana and Steve Winwood at Jones Beach on Sun. July 18 and at PNC Bank Arts Center on Tues. July 20. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders will begin next Wed. Apr. 28 at 10:00 a.m until next Fri. Apr. 30 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale next Sat. May 1 at 10:00 a.m. $25 – $125 for both venues.

Rihanna at Jones Beach on Sun. Aug. 15. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders will begin next Wed. Apr. 28 at 10:00 a.m until next Fri. Apr. 30 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale next Sat. May 1 at 10:00 a.m. $32.25 – $107.50.

O.A.R. at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. Aug. 6. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $23.75 and $33. 75; Also appearing at the Bethel Woods Center on Sat. Aug. 7. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $27.80 and $46.15.

Creed at PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. Aug. 21 and at Jones Beach on Tues. Aug. 24. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders on until 10:00 p.m. tonight. General public on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $16.25 and $26.25; Jones: $16 and $26.

Tears for Fears at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Thurs. Aug. 19. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $41.50, $55, $65 and $75.

Cheap Trick and Squeeze at Radio City Music Hall on Tues. July 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m. $39.50 – $99.50. Also appearing at the State Theater in New Brunswick NJ (15 Livingston Avenue) on Sun. July 18. Tickets on sale at 9:00 a.m. this morning. $35, $58, $68 and $75.

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

Air Supply at the Theater in Westbury NY on Thurs. July 22. Tickets on sale Sun. Apr. 25 at 12:30 p.m. $49-$59

Little Feat with New Riders of the Purple Sage at the Theater in Westbury NY on Fri. July 30. Tickets on sale Sun. Apr. 25 at 12:30 p.m. $44.50.

Johnny Mathis at the Theater in Westbury NY on Thurs. Aug. 26. Tickets on sale Sun. Apr. 25 at 12:30 p.m. $61.50 – $71.50

Clay Aiken & Ruben Studdard at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Wed. Aug. 11. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders available now until next Thurs. Apr. 29 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale next Fri. Apr. 30 at 10:00 a.m. $42.50 – $72.50

Silversun Pickups at the Wellmont Theater on Thurs. June 24. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35 ($40 day of show). Also appearing at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg on Fri. June 25. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $35

Hole at the Wellmont Theater on Fri. June 25. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35 ($40 day of show).

Foreigner at the Wellmont Theater on Thurs. Aug. 26. Tickets on sale today at noon. $40, $55 and $70.

Ween at the Rumsey Playfield (Central Park) on Fri. Sept. 17. Tickets on sale today at noon. $39.50

Jason Derulo at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Wed. June 9. Tickets on sale today at noon. $26.50 (SRO- No seating)

Other items:

I am totally shocked and saddened by the recent news that Bret Michaels is in critical condition after suffering an apparent brain hemorrhage. I pray that Bret recovers and my thoughts and prayers are with his family & friends. I am at a loss for words. Stunned.

Ratt’s new album-“Infestation”- was released this past Tuesday and the fan’s opinion on I-Tunes are very favorable and the line so far is a 4.5 star out of 5 star rating. The album kicks off with the raucous “Eat Me Up Alive” which sounds like it could have been recorded back in the late 1980’s. Nice sound. “Last Call” has some “giddy-up” to it and of course the single-“Best of Me”- is exploding across the country. I feel like it’s 1987 all over again and that is a great thing!! \m/ \m/

“Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage” will be televised on VH1 and VH1 Classic on Sat. June 26. This documentary on the legendary band known as Rush (a sin that they are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) will include interviews with Gene Simmons, Kirk Hammett, Billy Corgan and other musicians.

Rumor of the week: Alice In Chains will tour this fall with the Deftones and Mastodon. More info supposedly out on Mon. May 3.

Another Rumor of the week: After their tour-“Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys”- the Black Crowes will supposedly take a long break or hiatus according to Rolling Stone magazine. The tour ends up in December and Rich Robinson was quoted as saying-“It would be good to have a 30th anniversary but we should walk away from this while everyone is in a good mood.” My guess is that the hiatus will not last as long as their last one.

Metallica has been able to keep their European tour going despite the Volcanic Ash that has totally shut down airplane destinations to almost everywhere around the globe. The boys are taking Tour Buses despite the fact that they hadn’t done so since the tragic death of Cliff Burton back in 1986 which was the result of a bus crash while they toured Europe. The band reportedly traveled 28 hours by bus from Oslo to Latvian capital of Riga in what should have been a two hour plane ride. Kirk was quoted as saying that the show must go on but stated that he still fears traveling by bus since the horrible accident 24 years ago.

Bon Jovi fans take notice, the band will reissue the first ten studio albums with some live tracks (recorded during the time the albums were out) and probably some “never before released cuts” on Tues. May 10. I believe Bon Jovi has the same manager as Kiss- are you starting to see a pattern between the two bands as far as making more money from its fans? I know I am.

I can’t figure out why either Rolling Stone Magazine or Blabbermouth (on line) did not review Slash’s solo album. Both of them totally ignored this super solid debut and I can’t for the life of me understand the reason why? There was not one staff member available to review it? Both of them waited more than a decade for Axl to release his solo album –“Chinese Democracy”-(albeit under the guise of “Guns & Roses”) and painstakingly went through it and if I’m not mistaken Rolling Stone gave it at least 3 stars. I did not want to do this-(meaning the comparison-if you noticed I did not once compare it to Axl when I did my review) but this slight to Slash will not go unnoticed in my book and his solo debut is light years ahead of Axl’s-so much better it ain’t even close. (and they probably used the same amount of musicians to record it even though Slash does not sing). I’m totally confused.

I actually watched the show “Glee” for the first time this past week (not for youngsters at all even though it is targeted to them) and I have to tell you I really liked the episode because it focused on the work of Madonna. The entire show was dedicated to the “power” of Madonna and their “re-takes” on her songs were actually very good. Their version of “Express Yourself” is most excellent and I loved the way they performed “4 Minutes”- a total thumbs up and all the cover songs are now available on I-Tunes, check it out.

The “American Idol Gives Back” show was solid as always and every one of the cases profiled were heart- breaking to watch and if you can donate what you can afford, it has to help. Here is the link to donate- http://www.americanidol.com/idolgivesback/Personally, I thought Alicia Keys was a bit off, she sounded like she had a cold or something but no disrespect intended because she is a phenomenal talent. The Black Eyed Peas are arguably the hottest act on the planet, they can’t seem to do no wrong. I loved the fact that a legend like Jeff Beck played along side a current star in Josh Stone-she has a spectacular voice. And what else can one say about Carrie Underwood? It is so unbelievable that just a few years ago she was a contestant on the show and now is the biggest star in Country music as she made history last Sunday night by becoming the first female to win “Entertainer of The Year” for the second year in a row. Second year in a row??!! Can you believe that? She is an unbelievable talent who basically freezes me every time she sings and she seems genuine in her respect for the American Idol show. And did I tell you last week that Mary J. Blige did a respectable cover of the Mighty Led Zeppelin song-“Stairway to Heaven”- you saw it for yourself on Wednesday night, she is just way too cool. Again I will stick to the thought that Crystal Bowersox will be this year’s winner. I was not surprised that Tim Urban was voted off this week, he definitely had performed better the last few weeks but he had to go based on who is left. Siobhan Magnus has to be next (to be voted off) but her fans are keeping her alive.

BOTTOM FEEDERS”:

Ok so this week I wanted to do something different, I wanted to throw all of you out there for a loop and change up the format somewhat, at least for this week. So no I do not have an album to review or a perfect album side but I wanted to do a piece on songs that I love for which my assumption is that either (a) these songs are unknown to most of you or (b) even if you know these songs you’d probably think they are the worst songs for that particular artist. Now my sons wanted me to do the “bottom ten” songs from an artist and they wanted me to start with the Beatles-(don’t worry my immediate stare into their eyes backed them off a bit) because they feel that the Beatles have made some of the “weirdest” songs ever. So it had me thinking that I could just name some songs that I think that most of you out there probably do not like but I can’t get enough of it. I won’t “rank” them in any particular order but I came up with the term-“Bottom Feeders”- to mean that these are songs from various artists that may not be considered some of their best work and may just land at the bottom of your list of songs (or should I say just recordings because some may not be considered songs) by these artists. Now again- I love these songs but you may not. So here goes in no particular order:

No Anchovies Please”- J. Geils Band– OK so this is really not a song-it’s a narration- one of the strangest stories ever told but I hang on every word and can not turn it off. It is a story of a young couple in Portland Maine where the wife takes out a can of anchovies and as she opens it the weirdness begins. Love the part “…he betrays her to the hands of three scientists who are engaged in diabolical, avant-garde experiments previously performed only on insects and other small, meaningless creatures…Then it comes to the end where the husband Don screams “Oh my God.. that bowling ball, it’s my wife..” Classic stuff from the“Love Stinks” album.

Be My Girl- -Sally”- The Police– Ok folks you know I do not like to write about such things but there is something about this song that just gets me every time. This is not for the younger ears in your family and to be quite honest I am a little embarrassed to be writing about this track but again there is something very fascinating about it. It’s like the Marx Brothers being very coy as I could picture Groucho and Chico writing about such things, albeit with an “R” rating. I don’t know how this song was approved by the producers or owners of the record company as again it’s really a narration of a very naughty topic.

She Hates Me”- Puddle of Mudd– Again I can’t believe I’m writing about this song as the “F” bombs are present throughout the entire song, along with some other word that describes “crap.” But you know what?-the chorus is so addictive that once you start singing it, you will be singing it all day long. It almost sounds like a country and western song gone bad with the guitar riff that parallel Wes’s “twangy” vocals.This is definitely not for the kiddies, keep them away and please only listen to it in your car by yourself. Yes of course I know the entire song word for word, again embarrassed to say.

Piggies”- The Beatles (well really George Harrison)- I remember the first time my boys (and my wife) heard this song, they all just “squished their eyes” like a bolt of sun had just been “laser-ed” upon them and all of them at the same time said “What is this?” Now admittedly it is obviously a weird topic to write about but the arrangement of this song is actually very good. It actually gets a little “rock and roll” with the part where George sings “…in the lives there is something lacking… what they need is a damn good whacking…” I love the ending when the other join in to help George sing the song and of course the pig noises at the end.

Rocky Racoon”- The Beatles– Staying with the same album and the very next song this is one of my favorite Beatle songs (Ok it did not make my top ten but it is up there). My wife and kids again made faces like they swallowed sour milk and asked about the lyric-“…her name was Magil and she called herself Lil but everyone knew her as Nancy…”- which they said made absolutely no sense. Maybe but that’s what it is. I will never forget I was out with a bunch of fellow “MBIA-er’s” at a local pub in Armonk NY more than a few years back and there was a guy with an acoustic guitar that was taking requests and I asked him to do this song and he obliged. Melissa and her husband Corey both looked at me like I was from a different planet as they had never heard of this song before (what??!!!) while complaining that I had killed the vibe of the night. I couldn’t stop laughing as I sang along word for word.

Hooked on a Feeling”-Blue Swede-I like this version better than the original by B.J. Thomas- don’t ask me why but I even love the “Ouga Chaka Ouga” part which everybody else seems to hate. This song was featured in Quentin Tarantino’s film- “Reservoir Dogs.”Such a great sing along song.

Billy Don’t Be a Hero”- Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods– I am not ashamed to admit that I use to love this song while I was growing up, this was played endlessly on WABC AM radio-yes so the first thing to note is that it was played on AM radio and could I have placed a bigger “L” on my head but you know what- even today I know every word to this song and feel sad at the end of the song when Billy died. Bubble gum music at its best!!!

I Was Made for Loving You”- Kiss-Ok now you all know what a huge KISS fan I was and am so when this song came out of course I had to go along with every body else and say “yeah I hate the fact that KISS went disco” but inwardly I actually liked the song but had to keep it quiet. I knew it was a “phase” just like Queen had with “Another One Bites the Dust” or The Stones with “Miss You.” Anywaythis song made my I-Pod library when I could have easily “unchecked” the box to have it downloaded. Check out this funny video at someone’s wedding choreographed to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1TVLEcBnwY&feature=pyv&ad=4652317421&kw=wedding

Until It Sleeps”- Metallica– I know, I know all the original fans of Metallica just passed out and may have crashed their head through their computer right now, so if you know of any you may want to see if they are conscious. Believe me, I know this is not their best work but I did not have such a huge problem with the direction that they took in the late 1990’s. To most of the die-hards this is “pop” and is not even recognized by many of the Tallica brethren. Admittedly I don’t go back to listen to “Load” or “Reload” as often as I do with their earlier albums but every once in a while I pop this open and it still sounds good to me.

Highly Suspicious”- My Morning Jacket– This song polarizes people into two separate groups- the folks that “hate” it and the folks that “love” it-there is no in-between. (talk about that fine line of love/hate, huh?). It sounds like Prince had been stepped on the foot by an elephant because the vocals coming out of the throat of Jim James are really high pitched. Again I will never forget this song on our road trip up to Cape Cod and I threw this CD in and immediately went to this track- at first my boys along with our good friend Angelina did not like the song but it slowly grew on them and became the “song” of the summer that year for us.

 “TOP TEN”:

 

Image of Pearl Jam

My younger son was upset with me that he didn’t get in on the “top ten” list for Shinedown songs, he said there were “a couple” (nice, huh?) of songs on my list that would have made his list. And I know he is a huge fan and knows the words to almost every one of their songs better than I do but the one thing that gets in the way is school. I want them to concentrate on school work as opposed to doing this kind of stuff (he said I should have waited until the summer so he could have done it with me-maybe a future segment of this page will be their top ten songs from artists that I might have already covered). Anyway, both of them are on spring break this week and since there is no school, my oldest son wanted us to pick a band or artists that we all could agree upon, so we went through my I-Tunes library and even though I have many different artists/genres, it was slim pickings. For example, we could have picked Billy Joel but my youngest son just rolled his eyes. Then we could have picked AC/DC (could have done pre and post Bon) but my oldest looked like he swallowed some spoiled milk. They finally both like the Beatles but I had done that already (you might see on this page in the future their favorite 10 Beatle songs). Black Sabbath-my oldest was out. Bryan Adams-my youngest was out. (you see a trend here??) Then I came across Green Day and since we all went to see them last year I figured it would be a slam dunk-nope, my oldest son was not in a “Green Day” mood this week (I know exactly what he’s talking about, sometimes you don’t want to listen to your most favorite bands or artists-happens to me). I have it- Maroon 5- thought this was perfect until I turned and saw this look of puzzlement on my youngest sons’ face. “I don’t like these guys Dad??!!” I said you used to but he made believe that he never did (he did folks). As we rummaged around the listings of bands in alphabetical order, all of a sudden when we arrived upon the letter “P”- we all said “Pearl Jam!!!”

Now admittedly I am not the biggest Pearl Jam fan there is- that honor belongs to Lisa and her husband, Carmine, as they are the experts on this band and have been part of the fan club for years. My other friend Scott is also a huge PJ fan and he has seen them live many times as well. In addition, it took me some time to get on their band wagon as at first I was resistant to the “Seattle grunge” era that was about to take over the world back in 1991, I was still holding out hope that Poison, Warrant and all those other “hair” bands were going to come out with something that was going to knock everyone’s socks off. Well I couldn’t stop the tidal wave, so I decided to grab a surf board and ride the wave of euphoria known as Pearl Jam.(but I never turned my back on the “hair” bands). For those who know me a long time, you know that I usually resist change, so I was one of the last ones to jump aboard on this whole idea of a CD player and listening to music from a little “flying saucer.” I loved the whole vinyl thing, especially with the big album folders/covers but I had to move along with the rest of the pack, so I finally purchased a CD player and the first CD that I ever bought was “Ten” by Pearl Jam. Another disclosure is that it did take me some time to get use to “Ten”-I know, I know- that is “sac-religious” to say but I have to be honest. Of course I knew “Jeremy” because MTV was playing the video about 25 times a day and slowly but surely I started to get all the hype. And just like when you were a kid at the beach trying to ride the waves in, I finally caught that one wave that took me all the way into the dry sand as the water washed upon the shore. It was easy to get the “hits” like “Evenflow” and “Alive” but I wanted the mysterious sounding songs like “Garden” and “Deep” to sink in so that I could listen to the whole album and it finally clicked. Then I couldn’t wait for “Vs.” to come out and when it hit, I was in “hook, line and sinker.” Eddie and the boys were at one point the band for me, I was absorbed into this band and again couldn’t wait for the next album. And then something happened… I know “Vitalolgy” is loved by many of their die hard fans (and my oldest son absolutely loves this album) but for me, it just didn’t cut it like the first two albums (except for a couple of cuts) and to be quite honest I may have had an overload of Pearl Jam and actually rolled over to Soundgarden. I did not purchase “No Code” and then like 5 years later I was back on board with “Yield” and have followed them since, although again, not the biggest fan out there.

Now as for seeing Pearl Jam live, they are right up there as one the “premier” bands in all the land and is an experience every rock fan needs to enjoy at least one time in their life. I have seen them a few times and each time was a mind altering occurrence. The first time I seen them it was at Madison Square Garden and I was a guest in the MBIA Corporate box (when they use to have it) along with about 25 other people, it was the most crowded concert I have ever attended for that “box” (and I have been to many a show in that corporate living room). Everyone was blown away at the show and it was something I’ll never forget. Pearl Jam is still going strong and Mr. Vedder has really become one of the best “front men” in all of rock history, it’s weird saying that now but honestly it’s true. I like some of Eddie’s solo stuff as well as “covers” and this list will include his solo stuff (yes covers are allowed) as well as his work with Pearl Jam, so here goes our list of the best ten Pearl Jam (Vedder) songs:

10.

Younger-     OnceThis song is one of the most played Pearl Jam songs by any grunge fans. It’s a great song and the drumming in this song is so amazing “I could lose myself”.

Older-           JeremyYes, I know this is probably the most overplayed Pearl Jam song of all time but for some reason I am always in the mood to hear it.The lyrics are very powerful and they get to me every time I hear the song.Most people don’t know the story behind this song, it’s about a boy named Jeremy who ended his life in front of a class (hence the line “Jeremy spoke in class today”) and if you read the whole story behind this boy its extremely sad.Eddie wrote this song for him and I read somewhere that Mr. Vedder said every time he sings this song he thinks about the child Jeremy, and when I read that I was really touched

Me-              Unemployable– Reminds me of something that the Beatles would do in the 2000 decade. The one constant with Vedder’s lyrics is that they cut to the bone and if you squint from things like that then it’s probably best that you don’t listen to his songs. There are parts of this song that hits home, I’ve been in and out of a job for the past few years and it’s not that I don’t feel unemployable but there are many people out there in this economy that have to relate to this song. “Well his wife and kids asleep but he’s still awake”- I know that has happened to me a few times. Anyway back to the music, this is the “grown up” sound by Pearl Jam that would have never appeared on their earlier albums, whenever this pops up on my I-Pod shuffle I forget how cool this song is and have to rewind it at least once.

9.

Younger-     Rearviewmirror-the upbeat guitar and Eddie’s vocals make this song on my top ten because it’s not such a “crazy” song. You can listen to this song with ease.

Older-           Why Go Another track from the classic album “Ten” this is probably one of the most aggressive songs on the album.You can just feel Eddie’s pain and anger in his voice that is sometimes more powerful than any instruments playing.I love when Eddie is on the verge of screaming, his voice is so powerful and it’s so thrilling to listen to.My favorite parts are when he yells “Mother! Mother!” throughout the song.It’s awesome!

Me-                 Brain of J.– Now I know that when I did my review of “Yield” (my personal favorite album) I stated that my favorite song on the album was “No Way” but as I went through the 60+ songs in my library, this one kept pushing its way to the top ten. So what gives you ask? Well sometimes my mood changes and the only explanation that I can think of is when I wrote the review for Yield (a year ago today) I was addicted to “No Way.” I still love “No Way” but a year later, “Brain of J.” has jumped a few notches and lands here at number nine for me. These guys had a way of kicking off their albums with explosive songs that get the heart pumping and this one is no different. This is “head-banging” grunge (usually metal, right?) at its best and of course PJ is great at bringing it down and slamming it up again. This is a perfect song for your next Spin class.

8.

Younger-     Rats- the opening bass and drums make this song great. What’s even better is its awesome guitar solo. You have to give these guys credit for making such good music.

Older-           My City of Ruins (Eddie Vedder) This solo cover of a Bruce Springsteen song is done so flawlessly by Mr. Vedder.This song just came out this year and the profits went to Haiti.Sometimes Pearl Jam’s finest moments are when the band lets Eddie take the stage alone with a guitar and his magnificent voice.Vedder sings this song with so much passion when you listen to it you will understand what I’m talking about.This is probably one of Eddie’s best solo performances ever.

Me-                Yellow Ledbetter– Remember when this song first hit the radio airwaves? It was like the biggest secret because most of the general population couldn’t get their hands on this as it did not make its way onto “Ten.” Now I know folks like Lisa and her husband and also Scott probably had this song because they were “in” with the band-they must have known someone in the band. Supposedly this song is one of the first written by the band members all together and the result is nothing short of spectacular. The bluesy rift is something to behold and you can feel Eddie’s passion bleed through your speakers. The guitar solo is righteous, you can’t go wrong with this track.

7.

Younger-     Glorified G-Like “Rearviewmirror,” Glorified G is an “easy-listening” rock song. Both of these songs are on the same album- “Vs.”-which is a great album even though the cover scared me when I was younger, but not as scary as the Collective Soul album-“Dosage.”

Older-           Immortality This is off the experimental album “Vitalogy” and is one of its most powerful tracks.Many people will tell you this song is about the late Kurt Cobain and although Vedder has never said it is or isn’t about him some of the lines are obviously about him and his tragic death.This has one of the only guitar solos on the whole album and I’m glad it was used for this song.It gets me every time I hear Eddie whisper “Immortality…” and when he sings the last line, which is obviously about Cobain, “some die just to live.”

Me-               Parachutes– There is something about the “slower” Pearl Jam songs that really tug at the heart and the first time I heard this song, I knew it was going to be one of my favorites. The next time you and that someone special in your life are having a nice quiet candle light dinner (just do it) take the time out to ask for their hand and share a nice dance-so it would be a dinner and dancing night out. Hold that person tight and learn the words to this special song so that you can sing in their ear- especially the part-“…and love…what a different life… had I not found this love with you…”

6.

Younger-     Evenflow-Ah one of the greatest grunge songs ever played-“Even Flow.” Next to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit, Even Flow is the next best thing. This song has traveled with me my whole life. What I mean by that is that I’ve listened to this song since I can remember and it never gets old, so all those people who think it’s over played, it’s not.

Older-          Spin the Black Circle If you ever want to put on a mindlessly crazy song that makes you jump around just put on this song.This song is just crazy whenever I hear it, it gets me pumped up!“Spin, spin, spin, the black circle!!” Put this in the stereo, blast it, and then just go crazy!

Me-               Alive-When I saw this performed live at Madison Square Garden in front of like 17,000 fans it was very special and something that I will never forget. Everyone in the whole place was singing it word for word and when I experience things like that I feel very lucky because that feeling doesn’t come along too often. People from all walks of life were smiling, singing and air-guitaring and when Eddie gets to the part where he says “Is something wrong she says.. of course there is… do I deserve to be.. and if so.. who Answered???!!!” well I thought the roof was coming off at the Garden. Of course the guitar solo that takes the song to its end was blazing and everyone at that point was making believe they were playing guitar, a sight to behold. Again if you have never seen them live, you have to see them just to hear this song-unbelievable experience you will feel like you could do anything- yes even fly.

5.

Younger-     Animal-This song is…is…well it can’t be described how awesome the guitar riff is in this song sometimes I can just listen to the opening guitar lick and that’s it.

Older-           04/20/02This is probably one of the most personal songs Eddie Vedder wrote.It’s about Layne Staley’s death and 4/20 is the day Eddie found out he was dead (Layne had died on April 5th, about two weeks before this day but no one knew).Once again Eddie’s voice is fantastic in this aggressive ballad.Eddie’s voice is sad but the guitar is aggressive and it’s an odd combination but very effective.Every time I hear the opening chords I just stop and listen to this powerful song.The lyrics are phenomenal and the last verse always gets me.Anyone who is lucky enough to find this hidden gem on the “Lost Dogs” album knows what I am talking about.

Me-              Why Go– Love the way the drums start off this song and no matter what you want to call it-grunge, whatever-this is straight up rock and roll (in my book). The guitar work is flawless (next time you listen to it just follow the guitar and nothing else) and the funky groove is too much for me to take as I have to turn up the volume and repeat this song as many times as I can take it. The musicianship really shines brightly in this track as these guys are super talented and songs like this put them immediately on the map when they first came up through the minors. And what else can you say about Vedder? If I had to pick one song to display his “rock and roll” voice to someone who was unfamiliar with them (can there be someone out there?) then this is the song I would choose. Freaking phenomenal.

4.

Younger-     Spin the Black Circle-this song is just crazy and out of control. I just wanna take a broom and air guitar to this song and jump all around my room. One word-EPIC.

Older-            Yellow Ledbetter I love the intro and outro to this song, I could listen to it all day long.The guitar work in this song is great especially the solo. This is one of their most ambitious songs and it sounds nothing like your average Pearl Jam song which makes it a winner!I love when Eddie says “make me cry” and the guitar solo kicks in.This song shows a much blues influenced side of the band that frankly I like even more than the grunge stuff.

Me-               Glorified G-First let’s go to the music-how great is the bass line in this song by Mr. Ament? (again just follow his part) The drumming in this song is so “on the mark” and makes me picture kids ripping open their presents on Christmas morning as the paper wrap is flying every where. I think this is one of their best songs where the background vocals really stands out-“…Life comes…I can feel your heart…”Second I love the fact that Eddie takes on the “gun enthusiasts” with his sarcastic lyrics such as “…don’t think… dumb is strength..” or “…feels so manly, when armed…” But of course with me, it is the music and I can listen to the groove in this song all day long, the lyrics are just the icing on the cake.

3.

Younger-     Go-Just listening to the bass gives you the chills. After I’m done mastering the guitar- I’m going straight to the bass because of this song. Not just the bass, every instrument in this song is perfect and the best way to start an album.

Older-            Black This is probably one of the first Pearl Jam songs I really liked.When I first started playing guitar I played the simple chords to this song all the time pretending I was Eddie Vedder.Since I have played this song so many times I know every lyric by heart.I love the bluesy guitar in the background and once again Vedder’s voice towers over everything else.The lyrics are great and when Vedder yells “Why can’t it be me?” I get chills.This is just classic Pearl Jam.

Me-                 Wishlist-For some reason when I hear this song I feel like I am on a boat with an acoustic guitar. Now for those of you who know me you know I have been fishing just once in my life (yes I know I’m “Nordic” and it should be in my blood but it’s not) and that was because I felt guilty that I was the only son that did not spend a day fishing with my dad, so I went and on the calmest day ever-I was immediately sick and spent the whole day in the “bunker” with no hope of seeing land until at least 8 hours. Anyway this song strikes me right at the heart because sometimes I “wish” that I could make an impact on the lives of so many- “I wish I was the evidence, I wish I was the grounds… for 50 million hands upraised and open toward the sky..” The melody is very pleasing to the ear and Eddie’s soft voice can light up a room. The only complaint I have is that the song is over before you know it.

2.

Younger-     Why Go-probably one of the best Pearl Jam songs ever made. I have most of the Ten album on Rock Band 2. Singing this song is the best felling you’ve ever had, except when you turn around and you see your brother just standing there jumping of the walls. It’s still one of the best and it will be remembered as one of their greatest songs.

Older-           Better Man Yes this is a pop song.So what!Although Pearl Jam is famous for their grunge/hard rock sound it is songs like this that I love best.I have played this song a million times and never get tired of it.I also learned the chords to this song and sing it all the time.I love when Eddie screams “She loves him!”I also love the solo performance of this song that’s available on iTunes.This is one of the best songs by Pearl Jam as it shows off their softer side and was so close to being my number one.

Me-               You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away-(Vedder solo cover of the Beatles classic)-Ok I know this is a cover and yes I know it’s a cover of the legendary Beatles but his version brings me to a standstill. This song is from one of my all time favorite movies-“I Am Sam”- (with Sean Penn and Michele Pfeiffer) and I remember the first time I heard it while watching the movie-of course I knew it was immediately the voice of Mr. Vedder and dare I say that I like his version better? Can it be true? I’m trying so hard not to say that but his version is pure excellence and again my only complaint is that the song is over before you know it. If this doesn’t move you, then I give up.

1.

Younger-     Black-This song is the best. There is nothing else that can beat it. This song speaks to me so much. After listening to this song it helped me live and let go. This song has influenced me so much it literally helped me start a new life of mine where I could love myself and do the best that I could do. I know that there is a meaning in life where all of us can share love with everyone we meet- That’s what this song says to me.

Older-           Nothingman The first time I heard this song was on a car ride somewhere.I had my iPod on shuffle and was starting to fall asleep but then I this song came up and it was one of those songs that was on my iPod but was never listened to.I sat up and listened very carefully to Eddie Vedder’s flawless vocals.His voice is so perfect for this song you won’t even want to sing along because you want to hear him so badly.As Eddie sings “now into the sun, and into the sun!” while I was looking out the car window I got a special feeling that I’ll always remember.This really is a special song that affected me a lot.

Me-                 Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town– Sometimes it is hard to put into words on how you feel about something and with this song I don’t know if I can do it justice (meaning expressing how I feel). When the opening note is sung by Eddie I am immediately put into a trance as I follow along the story line of a couple that once may have dated years ago and the “woman” stayed behind in this little town as he moved on and then revisited one day. Now for me, this brings me back to Brooklyn-so “Brooklyn” is the prior love in this story for me and I moved away back in 1990 and every time I re-visit, the ache in my heart sometimes is overwhelming as I go back in time when I was a child and every thing was seemingly so perfect. Long summer days where we would play stick ball on the streets (“three sewers” was an automatic homerun) totally ignoring the maniacal drivers speeding down the side streets just to get to the next avenue. (are you kidding me? I am so “soft” now due to living in the burbs that when I visit and see kids in the street I have to turn away and go into whomever friends house I am visiting because I can’t take it). Or how about playing “tackle” football on a main avenue (usually “7th Avenue” with traffic going in opposite directions) whenever the first big snowfall would cover the city streets? We “killed” each other and everyone wanted to be on Jay’s side (or Eddie’s side) because we didn’t want to have to tackle him. Or I think back to the days when I worked in “Dan’s Supermarket” and loved every minute of it as I think back to those special friends I had, that I don’t see too often these days. I remember all the girls would run back to their cash register when the local firefighters would come in to shop with each hoping that their line was empty so they could ring them up. Or I am taken back to playing baseball with the Flynn Celtics and I am telling you I played along side some of the best players in the borough-Frankie, Sean, Steve, Ron, Mike, Henry- the list goes on. Or how about the Outlaws football games- “c’mon Cheesy can you throw to someone that has our jersey on??!!!” Running back the kickoff’s with Eddie who was about the same size as me but has the heart of a lion and was totally fearless- he inspired me everyday I played with him. You see what this song does to me? In just a little over three minutes it takes me back to a lifetime of memories- this goes right to the heart. Flawless tune.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Bruce Springsteen

2.     Mick Jagger (still to this day Carly has never said who the song was about).

3.     “Dreams”

4.     Toni Tenille

This week’s trivia (Pearl Jam)-

1.     What was Pearl Jam’s original name, who was also the inspiration for their first album “Ten.” (Hint- that was his number)

2.     True or False: Matt Cameron the current drummer use to drum for Soundgarden

3.     Has Nirvana sold more records than Pearl Jam?

4.     What Who song does Pearl Jam cover masterfully? (Hint: It was my number one “scream” song)

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Eye of the Tiger”- Survivor

2.     “I Drink Alone”- George Thorogood

3.     “I Got You (I Feel Good)”-James Brown

4.     “I Got You Babe” –Sonny & Cher

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

1.     “…make no sound…tip toe across the floor…if he hears, he will knock all day…I’ll be trapped and here I’ll have to stay…”

2.     “…too many teardrops for one heart to be crying…too many teardrops for one heart to carry on… you’re way on top now since you left me…you’re always laughing way down at me…”

3.     “…what’s the use in crying…in a little while you’ll see Rose Marie you must keep on trying…I guess you’re lonely now, loves coming to an end…”

4.     “…stop calling… stop calling… I don’t wanna think anymore…I got my head and heart on the dance floor… stop callin’… stop callin’…”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1975, Peter Ham of Badfinger committed suicide at the young age of 27. He co-wrote the song –“Without You”- which has been covered by many including Mariah Carey.

Sadly back on this day in 1991, Johnny Thunders-guitarist for the New York Dolls- passed away at the young age of 38 in New Orleans, foul play was rumored.

Back on this day in 1988, while performing in Los Angeles Bruce Springsteen had the entire audience sing Happy Birthday to someone attending his show that night, it was the legendary Roy Orbison.

Back on this day in 2003, Pearl Jam purchased a 1,400 square mile of rain forest in Madagascar to offset all the green house gas emissions that came along with their tour that year. Now that is going green before going green set in.

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with the late great Roy Orbison, and the late Steve Clark (Def Leppard)

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March 19, 2010

Weekly Update – 03/19/2010

Filed under: CD Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — ea0217 @ 4:48 am

The legendary Diana Ross at Radio City Music Hall on Wed. May 19. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders on sale on Sun. Mar. 21 at 10:00 a.m until next Sun. Mar. 28 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale Mon. Mar. 29 at 10:00 a.m. $54.50 – $114.50

Lady Gaga at Madison Square Garden on Tues. July 6. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.$54, $79.50, 89.50 – $179.50.

The Eagles with the Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Thurs. June 10. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders begins this Mon. Mar. 22 at 10:00 a.m until Sun. Mar. 28 at midnight. General public tickets on sale Mon. Mar. 29 at 10:00 a.m. $50 – $225.

Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden on Thurs. & Fri. May 20 & 21. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. $79. Also appearing the XL Center (Hartford, CT) on Sat. May 15. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.$66.

Iron Maiden and Dream Theater at Madison Square Garden on Mon. July 12. Pre-sale tickets begins this morning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: HEMAIDEN. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $64.50, $74.50 and $84.50. The “Final Frontier Tour.”

REO Speedwagon and Pat Benatar at the Mohegan Sun on Thurs. June 24. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $35 (that has to be a misprint).

Sting with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Mohegan Sun on Tues. July 6. Tickets on sale this Mon. Mar. 22 at 10:00 a.m. $86-$116

Kings of Leon at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Sun. June 6. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $35.50 – $55.50. Also appearing in Atlantic City on Sat. June 5. They are doing a summer tour mostly in outdoor amphitheaters. Tickets on sale tomorrow for all shows across the States.

Jethro Tull at PNC Bank Arts Center on Sun. June 13. Tickets on sale now. $25.25 (lawn) $65.25 and $85.25

Bamboozle Festival at the Meadowlands Sports Complex on Sat. and Sun. May 1 & 2. Two day pass tickets on sale now. $110. 

Sugarland with Jake Owen and Danny Gokey at the Comcast Theater(Hartford, CT) on Sun. May 23. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $30.75, $41.50 and $55.50.

Jack Johnson at PNC Bank Arts Center on Tues. July 13 and at Madison Square Garden on Wed. July 14. Tickets on sale Sat. Apr. 10 at 10:00 a.m. More info to follow.

Chris Botti at Carnegie Hall on Sat. June 19. Tickets on sale on Mon. Mar. 22 at 11:00 a.m. $40, $60, $75 and $90.

Jordin Sparks at the Theater in Westbury NY on Tues. May 4. Tickets on sale Sun. Mar. 28 at 12:30 p.m. $39.50 and $49.50. (Note: Her performance will be played in the Half Round, the stage WILL NOT revolve. Played to sections B through G with sections B & G are partial side view).

Weezer at the Borgota Event Center on Sat. May 1. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Psychedelic Furs with She Wants Revenge at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Fri. June 4. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $35.

Passion Pit at Colonels’ Row on Governors Island on Wed. June 30. Tickets on sale today at noon. $32.50 ($35 day of show) Note: The ferry ride is $5 roundtrip.

Snoop Dogg at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Tues. Apr. 20. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 4:20 p.m. $51.50.Also appearing at the Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Avenue-11211) on Mon. April 19. Tickets on sale today at noon. $50.

The Beach Boys at the Theater in Westbury NY on Fri. July 23. Tickets on sale this Sunday at 12:30. $66.50

Boyz to Men at BB Kings on Sat. June 26. Tickets on sale today at noon. $39.50.

For Parents: Justin Bieber at the XL Center (Hartford CT) on Wed. June 23; at the Prudential Center (NJ) on Sat. Aug. 28 and Madison Square Garden on Tues. Aug. 31. Tickets on sale next Sat. Mar. 27 at 10:00 a.m. XL-$29.50-$49.50; “The Rock”-$32.50-$52.50 and MSG-$29.50-$69.50.

Other items:

Green Day will tour this summer and the opener will be AFI. The first show will be at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden NJ on Tues. Aug. 3. More information to follow.

Have to hand it to David Cook with his blistering performance of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” on Wednesday night on American Idol, I was actually very impressed with they way he and his band sounded. That Stones song is a hard one to cover but I have to admit that he nailed it. Not that I am the biggest Lacey Brown fan but America should not have voted her off this week, I am still baffled how Tim Urban was “safe” after that horrible rendition of “Under My Thumb.” Another “scratch my head on why this contestant is still around” goes to Andrew Garcia, he was so out of tune on “Gimme Shelter.” And I’m still not getting what the big fuss is all about with Siobhan Magnus, she is heading down the Adam Lambert path where screaming takes precedent over singing and everyone seems to buy into it, the theatrics are way over the top-just as with Adam. “Big Mike” was good but he too needs to step back on the theatrics, move around when it’s needed.

My favorite “old school” song of the week is “In My Room” by The Beach Boys. Now my father says these guys “ruined rock and roll” when they first hit the scene but I do like many of their songs and if I had to pick I’d probably say that this is my favorite song they ever recorded. Top notch recording.

My favorite new song of the week is “More” by Usher. Using Randy Jackson’s terminology- this song is “hot.” It has a great dance beat supplemented by some awesome vocals. This will be a hit in no time and my assumption is it must be playing at the clubs already. Check it out.

My other favorite song of the week is “According to You” by Orianthi. Yes it’s total pop with some pretty good guitar work. Did you see her on American Idol? She opened some eyes with that guitar solo. This song moves, it is very fast paced and is perfect for your next workout.

The Scorpions last studio album-“Sting in the Tail” – is out next Tuesday and not for nothing just listening to the 30 second previews on I-Tunes, the songs are smokin’ with a lot of heavy guitar riffs all over the place (think AC/DC). I think they are going out with a bang and ending their studio career on a high note. Don’t “pre-order” it from I-Tunes (I ALWAYS run into trouble with that)-just wait until Tuesday to get it. Can you believe if I actually want the CD (without ordering from Amazon) I can only get it a bookstore like Borders? Imagine that? Picking up The Scorpions next to Shakespeare, what is this world coming to?

I actually downloaded the free song on I-Tunes this week (been like a year or so) and the song is “Animal” by a band called Neon Trees. If you like The Killers then this song is right up your alley. Finally, a decent free song; I-Tunes doesn’t offer too many “buy backs” if you get my drift.

Vince Neil’s solo album-“Tattoos and Tequila” will be out on May 25. The title track has been out for a few weeks now and seems to be picking up steam. I’m not sure who is playing in his solo band but for this track it sure would appear that Mick Mars is playing lead because it has that classic Mars sound with the “microphone in the mouth” while playing lead guitar. There is a blistering solo in the middle of the track-this song rocks. \m/ \m/ Neil’s new album will feature a cover of CCR’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain.”

The Stone Temple Pilots first single off of their upcoming album (which is self-titled) will be released on Monday. The song-“Between the Lines” can be heard the band’s official twitter page at 11:00 a.m.

Thanks to the biggest Ratt fan I know-Monica- who sent me a link to Road Runner Record, you can now view the tracks from their new upcoming album-“Infestation”-which is due out April 20. Check out the list of songs here: http://store.roadrunnerrecords.com/RATT-Infestation

Album Review: “Pump” by Aerosmith released on Sept. 8, 1989

Pump

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on the super cool song-“Don’t Get Mad, Get Even”- by one of the greatest American band’s in the history of music- Aerosmith– and I had to go back and listen to the whole entire album for which this song comes from- the unbelievable “Pump” which is aptly named because if this album doesn’t pump you up then I don’t know what will. (I will focus on the positive and try to forget all about the nonsense of trying to replace Steven Tyler as the singer). And as for Mr. Tyler I’m not sure if there is a better album that he has ever done- he is so raw, so completely unbelievable on this body of work that its hard to put into words- Ok here is a word- he’s “possessed”- he’s everywhere on this album and puts all his sweat, blood, tears, guts and so much passion along with that never ending energy he seems to “possess” which resulted in the best album of 1989 to take out the 1980’s on a high note. Now I know there are many folks who will agree with me on that statement and I personally know of a bigger Aerosmith fan than myself, her name is Lori and we both worked in the same department in Standard & Poor’s back then, we would compare notes on how freaking great this album is. She loves Aerosmith, especially Tyler, and it was always fun to have other people appreciate the albums that are special to you. Now in my opinion, this was the album that catapulted them toward their “second” career. Now with no disrespect towards “Permanent Vacation” (which was the beginning)”Pump” is an explosion of music that was bottled up in them (think of the reaction when you shake a bottle of soda and then open it right away) for many years (as they battled their demons) and put them back on the map (yeah I know Run DMC gets some credit too but this is an entire album) and they have never looked back (except for this recent “blip”). There is an “energy” on this album that is unmatched and the results came through as more than 7 million purchases have been made since its release. In my opinion, this is their best work for their “second” career (“Rocks” during their “first” career) as Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford, Joey Kramer, Joe Perry and Steven Tyler put that something special into this effort that puts this album into another stratosphere as there is not one “filler” on this incredible masterpiece.

Side one (yes boys and girls this was an album) starts off with the electrifying “Young Lust”- now of course the “engine”-Whitford and Hamilton-keep the train running with their undeniable skills as Mr. Perry nicely waits “in the wings” for his chance to shine (he is always on his game by the way) while in my opinion Mr. Kramer and Mr. Tyler steal the show on this track, especially in the beginning, as Joey is all over the place smashing and thrashing his drums while Steven is already screeching at a high pitch and it’s only the first song. What a way to start off an album-so much energy you can’t help but wail around in a complete frenzy trying to match the pace of this unreal rock song and when Joe comes in with his guitar solo-already I’m thinking this is the best album and I haven’t even reached the second song. This is perfect workout music-if you don’t move to this then just go to the couch and reach for the clicker. As this song ends there’s like this crazy stuff going on- hiccups and all- as “F.I.N.E.” begins. Wow that is the best flow into another song that there is in the history of music-period end of story. (You can e-mail me all the other songs which you think can match this but I will delete every last one of them). Wait -\m/ \m/- I can’t stop dancing all around the room. Excuse me while I get up from writing about this… I’m back.. my kids are telling me to turn it down as they are trying to do their homework (yes my wife is not home, how did you guess?) I love when Steven says “Ahh Joe Perry says I’m…” Now of course I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about the content of the songs (but you can guess by the song titles) and some of the language is not meant for younger ears but the music is phenomenal. We used this song all the time for our boot camp workout class at MBIA for many years; this has to get you out of your seat. Track #3 is the ever popular “Love in an Elevator.” Love the intro, right as well as the video, right? Even though it’s “mainstream” there is no denying how good this song is especially Joe’s work on guitar. How great was it for them to be back in popularity and to ride the wave of MTV? (when MTV was MTV). This video was played endlessly and as a guitar player for the world’s most popular band at the time, it had to be cool to be Joe (or Brad) as he was prominently featured in the video. And what about the horn section? A horn section for Aerosmith and the way the song ends in harmonizing vocals just completely nails it as one of their best songs. “Monkey on My Back” is one of my favorites on this album (as well as “Don’t Get Mad”) and it confronts the problems that had been plaguing the band for so long. Love it when Steven says “The fortune teller looked into my eye balls.. the wrinkles on her face ‘bout to crack.. she said you best believe that you ain’t going no where.. unless you get that monkey off your back!!!”This is rock and roll at its best folks and the message is powerful for those who are trying to stop doing drugs (again back to that “Celebrity Rehab” thing) whether they are illegal or prescription. These guys lived the life but were able to come back and hopefully this latest escapade with Tyler is quickly over, they have to like this life better, no? This is four minutes of pure energy and all four songs so far have rocked your socks off. Side one ends with the socially disturbing issue of incest as “Janie’s Got a Gun” portraits a young woman’s struggle which results in murder. Talk about a song that remained on the radio (as well as MTV) for a long time? This song actually won a Grammy in 1990. The arrangement of this song is nothing short of spectacular as all the members of this band shine brightly with all of their respective parts. There is some heavy messages between “Monkey” and “Janie” which I don’t think a “younger” Aerosmith probably would have dealt with and to me this showed their growth as a band as well as cemented their legacy as one of the greatest bands in American music.

Side two starts off with the fast moving “The Other Side” which is preceded by the super cool “tribe” like sound of “Dulicmer Stomp.” There is no other way to listen to this song but LOUD. When I’m in my car (Ok so its not a cool car) but when I roll down the windows to my Civic and blast this song as the neighbor kids give me this funny look like “what is that old man doing? What is he listening to?” I just shake my head and say “What do you know??” This is the stuff boys and girls that legends are made of and how much fun is this track? These guys sound like they had a ball recording this one, I love how the piano just plays along side the blasting guitars and drums but adds the flavor. “My Girl” is a foot-stomping, finger snapping, hand clapping song that makes me dance all around the room while I play air-guitar. Perfect exercise song, can beat it. This is the modern day Chuck Berry style and Perry’s guitar solo is on the money while Kramer is an animal on drums (on this song as well as the entire album-remember I met him on the streets of New York City by the Waldorfin 2008). Then its on to the aforementioned “Don’t Get Mad” this is my co-favorite. Love the blues laden funky groove as Tyler hums over the harmonica and as Joey breaks in with the drums it just makes the song that much better. Everyone joins the fray and creates this wall of sound as the harmonica seems to stick out amongst all the blaring sound. I love when it sounds like Steven is smacking someone as you can hear a “slap” as he says “just wait and see what I got in store for you.” The slow head banging sound is too much for me as I have to start the song all over again because I can’t get enough of this beautiful sound. My neck is hurt from moving my head up & down in a controlled motion to the beat of the drums… woo got a little dizzy.. this strolls right into “Voodoo/ Voodoo Medicine Man” and you feel like there are Cowboys and Indians running past you-this is especially cool when you have the headphones on-as Steven & Joey crash this party with the huge pounding of the drums as Tyler is lights out with his vocals on this stellar song. (This is my second favorite). Mr. Perry is all over this track as the “over-dubbed” sound makes this song “larger than life.” Man this is head banging music at its best. The album ends with the “power ballad”-“What It Takes” and yes this kind of song would never be on “Rocks” but…. But… who cares? Like I have always maintained-some things are good even it comes in a bubble gum wrapper. Think of how many “bazooka” bubble gums (the “square” ones, like when you were a kid) you have eaten in your life-some of the best tasting gum, right? So take a piece out and sing along to this song and recognize that Steven’s vocals are up to the task and he proves that it might be his best vocal ever. Now if you listen to the entire song Aerosmith comes back on and plays an instrumental, something like you’d hear at a carnival.

“Pump” is the perfect title to this album because that’s what it does to me every time I listen to it. Folks, even the most die-hard Aerosmith fan will admit that “Pump” is a great album (unlike the die-hard Metallica fan that doesn’t recognize anything beyond “Kill ‘Em All”). Is it mainstream- Ok yes-does it have a power ballad-Ok yes-but it does not in any way diminish the extraordinary efforts of putting this album together. This classic was a statement to the world that Aerosmith was back, that they were a force to be reckoned with and they set out to prove it in their live shows. Now I will find it hard to believe if you –as a “rock” fan- have not ever seen Aerosmith in concert because you my friend are totally missing out on a special event. Now you will have a chance to redeem yourself as it was announced recently that Tyler is in the band again and they will be touring soon at a city near you. Chances are real good that you will hear more than a few songs from this magnificent album. Oh by the way, you also need to have this in your music library.

“TOP TEN”:

Image of Elvis Presley

In honor of today being my father’s birthday I decided to make the top ten this week to be the one and only- The King- Mr. Elvis Presley. Now I would be remiss if I did not get my Dad’s favorite top ten songs because if there is anybody on this planet who knows more about Elvis, they are probably living at Graceland. As a child and teenager growing up in his household, I probably listened to approximately 98% of his entire catalog of songs. It was a ritual every Sunday morning in our home for my Dad to play his Elvis records for at least 20 years in a row. Now he thinks that I don’t like Elvis (or much of his genre of music-The 1950’s and early 1960’s) but it’s the total opposite, I love Elvis’ music (as well of lots of the “Doo Wop” era) but you know how it is, you want to listen to your music as well. If my boys think that I force feed them the music I listen to, then they have no clue to what was fed to me during my upbringing. And it’s no complaint, if anything I am completely amazed on how true my Dad has stayed with his love of Elvis music (as well as many artists in that era) and if it were not for him (and my mom) who have a undying affection for music, I would not be writing a page about music every week. My dad made me appreciate music to not only like it but to know the artist and their influence on every day life. Elvis will always have a special place in my heart because of my Dad and my Mom. My mother loved the music of Elvis just as much as my Dad and I can picture her singing many of his songs while closing her eyes and singing with the passion that his music invoked within many people. Now my wife and oldest son are also big fans of Elvis, so I have asked them for their top ten songs and each one said that the task was very difficult as he has so many songs to choose from. I informed them that they were on an island and have been notified that they can only have ten songs by Elvis, so they narrowed down their choices. So here goes a long list of ten Elvis songs selected by my Dad, (and notes I took from him) my wife, my oldest son (and his comments) and myself with my observations:

10.

Dad-     Love Me

Wife–     Love Me Tender

Son–     A Mess of Blues – When I had first discovered Elvis’ music a few years ago I would spear up and down that this would always be my favorite Elvis song. Unfortunately as you can see it did not make number one, still I have such a love for this song. I love the vocals in this song so much I used to sing this song all day long pretending I was Elvis. The piano is infatuating; it’s just a great song.

Me–     Good Luck Charm– Of course this song was played zillions of times on those Sunday mornings and this one has always been a favorite of mine. When most people try to emulate Elvis they use that “deep” voice (think “Thank You Very Much”) and this song perfectly depicts that saying because throughout the song you hear-“Uh-huh, huh”- in a deep voice but then again in an even lower octave. Love the part- “Don’t want a silver dollar.. rabbits foot on a string..’ (C’mon now this man had some voice) The “rock-abilly” groove makes this song go and it’s almost impossible not to move your hips.

9.

Dad-     I Need You So– (The “B” side of “Loving You”)

Wife–     Jailhouse Rock

Son–     Love Me – This is such a great ballad, I love the combination of Elvis’ voice and the background vocals. My favorite part of the song is when he sings “I want your heart beating close to mine…” What a voice he had.

Me–     Too Much– Wow does this song have a rocking groove or what? The guitar riff stands out on this song but its Elvis’ vocals that put it over the top. This is the way rock and roll was meant to be-a fun song that gets you rocking out in not time. Actually you can “air-guitar” on this track as well during the middle when one the Jordanaires has a solo in the middle. No one sings these types of songs like the way Elvis did. There’s a swagger to it that is unmatched.

8.

Dad-     I Was The One

Wife–     Can’t Help Falling in Love

Son–     Always On My Mind – Although many people will argue that Willie Nelson’s version of this song is better (my dad says this constantly) I will swear that Elvis’ version is better. I just feel the passion in his voice when this song is being played. Especially the part “let me keep you satisfied”, I love that line. Again no offense toward Mr. Nelson as I like his version of the song as well, but as for the best version I’ll stand by Elvis all the way.

Me–     Little Sister– I can remember my mother singing this song when it came on and she would move her arm above her head (an indication that she loved a song) while her and my Dad would sing together-“Well I dated your big sister and I took her to the show…little sister don’t you..” The drumming in this song is simple but yet so addicting and the guitar playing in the background makes it easy to sway your feet across the floor. This song sounds so fresh today like it was recorded a few weeks ago, it’s hard to explain but he was meant to sing rock and roll, he is so natural-listen to this track and you’ll know why. Awesome tune.

7.

Dad-     Playing for Keeps

Wife–     Suspicious Minds

Son–     In The Ghetto – This could easily be one of the saddest songs ever made. This was my first Elvis song and it holds a very special place in my heart. I would sing this song over and over and I’ll probably never forget the words to it as long as I live.

Me–     Memories– Yes there are many versions of this song, but in my opinion, no one sings it the way Elvis does. This is my wife’s favorite song by Elvis and is one of the two shared songs that we have on our lists. As I have previously mentioned on this page, this song took on a whole new meaning at my younger brother’s wedding in February 2009 when he danced with our Aunt during the part of weddings where the bride dances with dad, while the groom dances with Mom. I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down my face- a memory that will remain with me forever.

6.

Dad-     Old Schep (My dad said my mom use to cry when she heard this song)

Wife–     Amazing Grace

Son–     Don’t Cry Daddy – Sometimes this is a difficult song to listen to, it’s a very sad yet touching song. It’s so powerful to listen to sometimes I imagine what it would be like to have a life like the children in the song. Then I thank God that I’m lucky enough to have a mom unlike the family in the song. This is definitely one of the most touching songs ever.

Me–     Don’t Cry Daddy– I always loved this song while growing up because I knew why it was written but it took on a much bigger meaning when my mom passed away in 2004. Even though it is now one of the toughest songs for me to listen to because I too was telling my Dad not to cry, it brings me to a place where I am back in the kitchen eating Sunday breakfast while listening to the King. Thanks Mom and Dad for all that you have done for me. Very touching song.

5.

Dad-     Take My Hand Precious Lord (The “gospel” side of Elvis)

Wife–     A Little Less Conversation

Son–     If I Can Dream – Talk about inspiration! The lyrics combined with Elvis’ flawless voice make this song fantastic. “Why can’t my dream come true?” If only everyone listened to the great message in this one of a kind song.

Me–     (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame– Every time I said to myself-“How could this song be in my top ten?” but the more I thought about it I knew I had made the right choice. This song is so addicting, especially the acoustic guitar and it is such a great song to sing along to. “Though I smiled, the tears inside were a burning…” as the pace picks up, then come back to that acoustic guitar riff. Only bad part about this song is that it is too short.

4.

Dad-     Peace in the Valley (Gospel)

Wife–     In the Ghetto

Son–     Memories – This song means a lot to probably every member of my family and it has a special meaning to me as well. This song reminds me of my mother, my grandmother, and of course takes me back to my uncles wedding when he played this song. That was a really powerful moment for everyone at the wedding when this song was on. I’ll never forget that feeling.

Me–     Are You Lonesome Tonight-This will always remind me of my mother (as well as my Dad), I can just picture her sitting at the kitchen table and feeling the emotion coming out of her as she would intently hang on to every word sung by Elvis. My Dad always took the part where Elvis would start talking-“I wonder if… you’re lonesome tonight.. you know someone said the world is a stage…” and my Mom especially loved the part- “Honey you lied when you said you loved me and I had no cause to doubt you…” (On a separate note-I never liked when Elvis “toyed” around with this song on a live album when he references a foot and kind of laughs). Anyway this is such an exquisite song and the original recording as well as the arrangement is spectacular. The connection that my Mom and Dad shared with Elvis was very unique and in my opinion, very rare- not too many times-that I have seen- where a couple shares a deep passion for the same artist. Elvis “moved” generations of people across this world and I personally know how much he affected both of my parents.

3.

Dad-     American Trilogy

Wife–     If I Can Dream

Son–     Are You Lonesome Tonight – This is a pure classic.It’s physically impossible to dislike this beautiful song. I can’t even count how many times I used to sing this; I even know the whole speech in the middle of the song. Every time I hear this song I can’t help but show off and say each line before Elvis sings it. This could be the ultimate heartbreak/love song.

Me–     Can’t Help Falling in Love-This is an absolutely stunning song that will last for generations to come. It is a perfect song to dance with that someone special in your life. A friend of mine just asked me this week for a list of wedding songs to have the first dance with his bride and I put this right at the top of the heap; it’s hard to think of a better tune for this occasion. In my opinion, this could be the best song he has ever recorded; his voice is majestic as ever.

2.

Dad-     I Want You, I Need You, I Love You

Wife–     American Trilogy

Son–     Pocketful of Rainbows – Most people will not know this song (true Elvis fans know it).Usually I don’t like any ‘movie songs’ by Elvis but this is the one exception.I feel like I’m floating on a cloud when I listen to this song!I absolutely love the part when Elvis sing “on a lonely night”, he sings it so perfectly.I lose myself in this song whenever I hear it.

Me–     If Every Day Was Like Christmas-Yes it’s a holiday song but honestly any time it comes up on my I-Pod shuffle during the calendar year, I will listen to it because it stops me right in my tracks and I can’t get enough of the beauty of this tune. Obviously during the holiday’s, it is more special and this song helps me to move into the spirit of the season at a much quicker pace. His vocal performance is majestic and I won’t even listen to another version of it-add this one to the list of songs that should never be re-recorded by anyone. Not only can Elvis sing rock and roll with the best of ‘em (he is at the top of the heap in my opinion) but he has this unbelievable knack for taking it down to a level where you will “Ssshh” anyone who makes noise around you as you listen to songs like this. Remember when I told you that sometimes when things are so good that it brings tears to my eyes, well this song falls into this category. I am absolutely mesmerized when I hear this magnificent song.

1.

Dad-     Don’t (this song is leaps and bounds ahead of all the others)

Wife–     Memories

Son–     Crying in the Chapel – This song gets me every time I hear it.I don’t think I know another song as powerful as this one.The lyrics are so inspiring and as always Elvis sings this with passion.I don’t know why I love this song so much but it just as such a powerful effect on me I can’t explain.I hope one day I “surely find that way.”

Me–     Stuck on You– When I told my wife and my oldest son that this was my favorite Elvis song of all time, they both made faces like they had just drank some spoiled milk. I guess that’s why I love doing the top ten lists because it evokes a reaction and in my case I bet there have been plenty of times where all of you have said-“What?? Are you kidding me? How could you pick that one as your best song?”- Am I right? That is why I loved doing this week’s top ten because everyone has their own favorites and reasons why the songs fall where they do. I love the beat of this track and could listen to this song all day. The chorus is infectious and it’s just an all around great song to sing along to. I recommend putting this song as the first “cool down” tune for your next Spin class and I guarantee you will get smiles from the Spinners as they come back to earth. There’s no one like Elvis-thanks Dad-Happy Birthday!!!

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     The Drew Carey Show and King of Queens.

2.     True (he doesn’t play guitar)

3.     Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

4.     Wolfman Jack (Brooklyn’s own Robert Weston Smith)

This week’s trivia (Elvis, Aerosmith)-

1.     How many Grammy’s did Elvis win?

2.     What was Elvis’ first number one hit?

3.     What is Aerosmith’s only #1 single, which was written by someone else?

4.     What is Aerosmith’s best selling album to date?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “On the Road Again”- Willie Nelson

2.     “The Old Man Down the Road”-John Fogerty

3.      “Roadhouse Blues”-The Doors

4.     “The Long and Winding Road”- The Beatles

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

1.     “..what makes you think love will end.. when you know that my whole life depends on you.. on you…”

2.      “..every time I think I’ve had enough.. I start heading for the door.. there’s a very strange vibration.. piercing me right to the core…”

3.      “..don’t ask me.. what you know is true.. don’t have to tell you.. I love your precious heart.. I.. I was standing.. you were there.. two worlds collided…”

4.     “..yeah my Durango number 95..take me to the home kick boots..and ultra live.. see heaven flash a horror show.. knock it nice and smooth…”

 

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day, Free guitarist-Paul Kossoff-passed away during a flight from CA to NY. He was only 25.

Sadly back on this day in 1982, Randy Rhodes, guitarist for Ozzy’s band, died in a plane crash. Three people including Randy died when the plane crashed into Ozzy’s tour bus.

Back on this day in 1957, Elvis purchased Graceland in Memphis for $100,000. It is now a national historic landmark.

Back on this day in 1970, David Bowie married his first wife-Angela Barnett in the U.K.

Back on this day in 1971, Jethro Tull released “Aqualung” which became their best selling album in the U.S.

Back on this day in 1974, Jefferson Airplane officially changed their name to Jefferson Starship.

Back on this day in 1975, Kiss recorded a concert in Detroit’s Cobo Hall which was included on the album “Kiss Alive!” (Rush was the opener that night)

Back on this day in 2001, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Aerosmith, Queen and Steely Dan were some of the acts inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Kid Rock did the speech for Aerosmith while Dave Grohl did the honors for Queen.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with “Diamond” David Lee Roth, Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big as well as DLR-it’s funny how all three of these guys played in the same band and all celebrate their birthday on the same date) and the late Ricky Wilson (The B-52’s).

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