Errols Weekly Music Update.

July 18, 2008

Weekly Update – 07/18/08

The Who at the Mohegan Sun on Tues. Rocktober 28th and the Borgota Event Center in Atlantic City on Fri. Rocktober 31st. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.$75- $175. They will also be at the Izod Center on Wed. Rocktober 29- No ticket info on this venue yet.

Willie Nelson with Jakob Dylan at Radio City Music Hall on Thurs. Sept. 25th. Also at the House of Blues in Atlantic City on Sat. Sept. 27. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.  $44.50 – $80.50.

Coheed & Cambria at Terminal 5 from Wed. Rocktober 22 thru Sat. Rocktober 25. Tickets on sale today at 11:00 a.m. $120 for 4 day pass. (I’m assuming $30 for each night on a single basis).

Todd Rundgren at the Music Box at the Borgota in Atlantic City on Sat. Aug. 2. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

Jordin Sparks with Jesse McCartney at Nokia Theater on Tues. Aug. 19. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $39.50

Other items:

Did you remember to watch the VH1 Honors show for The Who last night? Could there have been a better group to open the show than the Foo Fighters? I think not. How friggin’ good were they? Their energy is electric and their version of “Young Man Blues” was incredible. I jumped out of my seat while watching and called friends just to make sure they were watching (you can catch a repeat of this show over the weekend). Then Gaz Coombes from Supergrass joined the Foo’s to cover “Bargain” and I was blown away. The Foo’s look like they have so much fun out there and I can’t say enough about these guys. The highlights for the show were the following: Pearl Jam. It’s amazing how grandiose this band has become as they now are no longer the new guys on the block. Dare I say that their version of “Love Reign O’er Me” is better than the original? If not, it’s pretty close. And they did an awesome job recreating one of my favorite Who songs- “Real Me.”

Wayne Coyne in that inflatable space ball was real cool and his band, The Flaming Lips, did a nice job on the medley from Tommy. I’ll throw in Incubus as well (I thought they were done) with their cover of “I Can See for Miles” and “I Can’t Explain.” And of course The Who (obviously not the same without Entwistle and Moon). I thought their set was top notch as well and my favorite performance from them was “My Generation.” The coolest clips they showed last night was one where John Entwistle was shown playing the bass so fluently and effortlessly. He could really play- check out his work on all the Who songs and one in particular- “Boris The Spider.”

John Mellencamp released his “Life, Death, Love & Freedom” album this past Tuesday. Very different from what you’d expect. If you are a Mellencamp fan just remember that Mr. T. Bone Burnett produced this project and it has his “sound” all over it. Definitely no songs like “R-O-C-K in The USA” here. Average rating on I-Tunes is 3.5 stars.The comments range from “brilliant” to “I thought he was dead.”“My Sweet Love” sounds like something that was left off of the Plant & Krauss album “Raising Sand.” Mellencamp has stated that he needed to do this album and doesn’t care if he sells five copies.

Bruce Springsteen has released a four song EP along with the accompanying video through I-Tunes and it is his “Magic Tour Highlights.” I have to admit this is very cool and I like it. Alejandro Escovedo joins Bruce & the E-Street Band for his new single “Always A Friend” (which is my new favorite song of the week). Tom Morello joins them for a rendition of “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” The legendary Roger McGuinn joins them for a version of “Turn, Turn, Turn.” (Tell me he doesn’t sound like Tom Petty or should it be Petty sounds like McGuinn?) And the video for “4th of July, Asbury Park” has the last performance of one of the original E-Street members, Danny Fedrici, who passed away this past April from melanoma. Everyone involved is waiving their royalties and all the money from the sale of this CD/DVD will go to the Danny Federici Melanoma Fund. A nice touch!!

Go out and purchase the Randy Travis song “Faith in You” from his latest album “Around the Bend.” Great song period!!

Remember a few months ago I told you about the song “Addicted” from Ace Young, well his new CD is finally out and I will now change my stance and say that his other single “You Redeem Me” will be the song of the summer. This is pop music at its best.

My favorite old school song of the week is “Teacher” from Jethro Tull. I know, I’m still pissed that they beat out Metaliica for the first heavy metal Grammy but these boys had some good tunes and I recognize that.

Another old school favorite this week is The Who’s “The Punk and the Godfather” from Quadrophenia. This is the Who’s week by far.

I have to tell you that I am thisclose to buying the seemingly great collaboration between Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis “Two Men with the Blues.” This is a recording of their performance in January 2007 at Lincoln Center in NY City. This sounds terrific. I am going out on the ledge (just from the 30 second samples) and say that this is a must buy.

Received an e-mail this week from my friend Chris and it was a clip from You Tube featuring an 11 year old, Sungha Jung, playing acoustic guitar. You have to take a look and a listen: Go to :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uG_y8_FiKM&feature=related and you will also see many other tracks he has performed. Awesome.

Miracle happening this coming Tuesday, from the pages of Mr. Axl Rose, Zach De La Rocha is appearing from the ashes and will put out a new CD with his band- One Day As A Lion. He’s not in Axl’s category but he is number two when promising to put out new material and taking more than 7 years to do it.

This weeks I-Tune shuffle landed on “Carry On” by Crosby, Stills Nash & Young from their 2nd album but first with Neil Young. Of course I had to go back and listen to the classic album “Déjà vu.” I love the guitar work on Carry On and their vocals together rank up as one of the all-time greatest harmonizing team ever. This album lands on #147 on Rollingstone’s magazines list of the top 500 albums. “One morning I woke up and knew you were really gone.” I love the bridge in this song as they break to “where are you going now my love, where will you be tomorrow… questions of…” This song was penned by Stephen Stills and cracks my top 50 songs ever. Track # 2 is the great “Teach Your Children” written by Graham Nash. Did you know he was part of The Hollies? Everyone knows this song and you can’t say it’s not good. Track # 3 belongs to David Crosby with “Almost Cut My Hair.” Now this song puts me back at Woodstock (if I was old enough). Then its on to Mr. Young with “Helpless”- now no offense to Young’s fans but this doesn’t fit the album. I understand each one of them were taking turns writing tracks but it kills the flow. And I love this song.

Track # 5 is my favorite of this album, a song written by Joni Mitchell but this version is by far the best: “Woodstock.” Now I know you are all going to tell me you have heard this song a million times but how can you not love the intro to this song? Once you hear it- you’re hooked- you have to listen to the whole song again. The walls are bleeding right now. This is the perfect summer song!! Blast it at your next BBQ. “By the time we got to Woodstock…” I can listen over and over and over. How cool is the title track? Oh man just pure greatness with their harmonizing vocals at the beginning? “If I had I ever been here before I would probably know just what to do… Don’t you?” It then morphs into a psychedelic tune where you find yourself playing air bass guitar and wondering what kind of stuff Crosby was on when he wrote it. Track #7 is another Nash popular tune- “Our House.” Years ago I was embarrassed to admit that I love this song but can no longer deny it. (even the “La, La, La” part). (On another note it was the ending song on last night’s show on CBS- Swingtown).

I guess if I was old enough back in the early 70’s I would have been a big fan of Stephen Stills because I seem to gravitate to the songs that he wrote and this is especially true with track # 8: “4 + 20.” It’s a beautiful song but with some powerful ending lyrics. Track #9 belongs to Mr. Young and this is probably one of the best songs he has ever written: “Whisky Boot Hill/ Down, Down, Down/ Country Girl (I think you’re pretty).” I especially like when all four are singing “If I could stand to see her crying.. I would tell her not to care…” The last track was actually written by Young and Stills (I guess when they weren’t all fighting). “Everybody I Love You” is the song that has the most “kick” on this album. I can’t say enough about the harmonizing vocals, excellent here again.

Déjà Vu was released in March 1970 and it still stands the test of time. This is a “must have” in your music library. I always told my parents that I was born too late because I wish I could have been in my late teenage years when all this great music was at its height. I’m always drilling my father on why he was stuck in the 1950’s with the “doo wop” music. He was 26 in 1969 and could have gone to Woodstock and rode the wave of all the great music in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. Oh well I digress… Now I have read that this album is “overrated” by the non-baby boomer generation and my response is that is “crazy talk” (sorry Monica I had to use your term). This is a very special album; you all need to run out and purchase it- if you don’t have it. If you do, listen to it again and feel the greatness.

Today is Dion’s birthday. He turns 69. His biggest hit “Runaround Sue” was number 1 for two weeks in 1961.

Birthday wishes today also for Martha Reeves. She was born in Alabama in 1941. Her band had six top ten songs.

Back on this day in 1977 Barry Manilow had the number 1 hit with “Looks Like We Made It.” And on this day in 1988, Richard Marx had the number one hit with “Hold On to The Night.”

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February 29, 2008

Weekly Update – 02/29/08

Ray Davies at the Beacon on Tuesday April 8. Pre-sale tickets today at 10:00 am. till next Friday at 5:00 pm. Password is HEDAVIES.  General public on sale Sat. Mar. 2 at 10:00 am. $59-$99.

Alicia Keys with Jordin Sparks at the Rock and the Garden on Tues. & Wed. June 17 and 18. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $39.50-$129.50.

My Chemical Romance with Taking Back Sunday and Drive By at the Garden on Friday May 9. Pre-sale until tonight at 9:00 p.m. and pass word is HEMCR. General public on sale tomorrow at noon. $26.50 -$37.50.

The Verve at the WAMU Theater inside the Garden on Mon. & Tues. Apr. 28 and 29th. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 11:00.

James Taylor at PNC and Jones Beach on Fri. June 20 and 21st. Pre-sale starts this morning at 10:00 for Citi card holders only until next Sunday at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale is Mon. March 3 at 10:00 a.m. $20-$70.75.

Other items:

Concert Review: Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton at the Garden in Thursday Feb. 28, 2008. A warm feeling on a cold winter’s night. It truly was blind faith that brought 18,000 fans to the Garden last night to witness one of the most historic nights in music. If you were in attendance to any one of the three shows this week at the Garden, you will be able to tell your grandchildren “I was there the night that blind faith blew me away.” Being the sentimental guy that I am, I have to tell you the best part of the night for me was to see Clapton and Winwood embrace each other at the end of the show. Two musical giants, showing a genuine respect for each other. Again I am at a loss for words but I will attempt to tell you how great the show was. I will say that I have seen Clapton more than a few times but last night was the best he ever was. Blistering guitar solos one after the other. His bluesy, rhythmic and lead work was something that will have people talking for years about this past week shows. His vocals were spot on as well. My theory on why he was so good last night- Mr. Steve Winwood.

Why do I say this? Well, I’ll go back to sports again, my feeling my whole life is that you play up to your competition (as well as down), meaning if you are playing with or against somebody good- you will play better. It’s an instinct. Steve Winwood is an amazing musician and does not get all the accolades that Mr. Clapton does, but you know what, he can more than hold his own. I’m talking guitar playing here, as many just think of Winwood as a keyboardist. Clapton had to be beyond his game in my mind because he knew what Winwood was bringing to the table. I am not saying that there was a competition between them because you could see they enjoyed being on the stage with each other. Again just my theory.

Winwood’s vocals are just like they are on any of his Traffic albums or solo efforts. Unbelievable is what comes to mind. He did a wonderful job with a cover of Ray Charles’ “Georgia on my Mind.” A favorite part of the show for me was when they would both sing together, their harmony was sensational.

The night started off for Chris, Tricia and I thinking we were going to have bad seats because we were all the way up in the nose bleed seats in section 403. But we had the first row and the seats turned out to be very good. The stage setup was very basic, couple of amps and small drum set. There was a “hippie” type circular rug that Clapton was standing on most of the night. There was a “TV like” screen that was huge with HD quality shots of all the band members, high above the band to the left. Over their heads were rectangular lights that changed colors throughout the night, almost like the space ship from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Show started off with “Had To Cry Today” off of the only Blind Faith album and it was spot on in every aspect. The next song was “Low Down,” a song that I was not familiar with but rocked. The fourth song in was a song dedicated to Buddy Miles, drummer for the Jimi Hendrix band who just passed away this past Tuesday at the age of 60, “Them Changes.” Then the song that I had been waiting for and never thought I would get to hear live- “Presence of the Lord” a song that Chris turned me onto more than a few years ago at his Spin class. At that point, if the show had ended right there, I would have been satisfied. Then they went into Traffic’s “Glad” with Clapton showcasing his talents and then went right into “Well All right.” The highlights of the show for me were “Pearly Queen,” “Tell the Truth” “Cocaine” and of course- the ever popular “Dear Mr. Fantasy”-which was the encore. During Cocaine, Winwood had a terrific guitar solo. There were bluesy songs throughout the night that had me just bopping and weaving my head up and down like I was on a cloud, at one point when they were performing Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” I found myself not wanting the show to end. The quality of the music was so great that I wish all of you could have been there. If I had my way, I would force everyone to see these guys. It was great to see all the white and gray haired guys air guitaring through out the Garden.  For those of you who didn’t see it, I’m saddened, but take notice- there is a new DVD featuring Clapton and Winwood at a music festival last year in Chicago. Or maybe there will be a DVD out on the Garden shows down the line. (there was camera men filming the whole show). Again, simply a phenomenal show and definitely cracks my top 5 shows of all time.                  

Think about this for a second, Clapton and Winwood haven’t played in nearly 40 years, have not put out any new material (although Clapton is on one of Winwood’s new song- but you know what I’m talking about) in the same time period and yet SOLD OUT the Garden for three nights this week. Now that is blind faith.

Steve Winwood’s “Nine Lives” CD slated for release through Columbia on April 29 featuring the single with Clapton (mentioned above) “Dirty City” which hit the airwaves this past Monday.

The new Black Crowes “Warpaint” album received 3.5 stars this week from Rolling Stone magazine. The magazine “Maxim” issued an apology to the Crowes after giving a mediocre review but the author never listened to the album. The Crowes are still furious.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has announced who will be delivering the induction speeches at this year’s ceremony. Justin Timberlake will be doing the honors for Madonna. Lou Reed will be inducting Leonard Cohen, Billy Joel will do the honors for John Mellencamp, John Fogerty will sing the praises of The Ventures, and Ben Harper will give the speech for Little Walter. Actor Tom Hanks has been tapped to induct The Dave Clark Five. Ceremony takes place on March 10.

Back on this date in 1968, Aretha Franklin won her first Grammy with the hit “Respect”

February 22, 2008

Weekly Update – 02/22/08

Kayne West and friends at the Garden on Tues. May 13. Pre-sale on now until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Password is HEGLOW. General public on sale tomorrow at noon. $49.50 -$129.50.

Robert Plant & Allison Krauss at the WAMU Theater inside MSG on Tues. June 10. Pre-sale begins this Monday at 10:00 am until Sun. Mar. 2 with American Express cardholders. No price info.

Santana & Derek Trucks at MSG on Tues. April 8. Pre-sale begins this Monday at 10:00 am to Sunday Mar. 2. General public on sale Mon. Mar. 3 at 10:00 am $39.50 – $89.50.

Sara Bareilles at New York Fillmore on Wed. Apr. 23. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $20.

Katt Williams at Radio City on Thurs. April 10. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $54- $84.

Alicia Keys and Jordin Sparks at the Rock & the Garden on Tues. & Wed. June 17 & 18. Ticket info to follow.

Other items:

Concert review: Foo Fighters at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday Feb. 19, 2008: Growing up, we are all required to go to school for 12 years and then maybe on to college. You put in your dues to get to that “higher” place. The Foo Fighters have been putting in their dues for the past 12 or so years. I started out seeing these guys in a college gymnasium in N.J. a long time ago. They worked their way up to the local clubs and then onto smaller theaters. This past Tuesday, they “graduated” and had their first ever visit to the “Mecca” of which all bands strive for- Madison Square Garden. So how did they do you ask? They passed their audition and the buzz as we left the show was that it was a “kick butt” performance. My opinion is that they were solid and there were great moments during the show. The Foos will now be able to continue to have their shows at “Garden” type arenas. In one way this stinks because it will be that much harder to get tickets to their smaller venue appearances and you lose the intimacy. But when you graduate, this comes with the territory.

First off, the second opener, Serj Tankian, was absolutely horrible, enough said. And the music piped in before the Foo’s came out was also horrible. So I knew before the Foos took the stage that they were going to be solid. (good planning on the part of their management team)? The Garden was completely sold out and the Foos started off with the first two songs from their latest CD but in reverse order- “Let it Die” and “The Pretender”- (my all-time favorite Foo song). Good way to start off the evening as Mr. Grohl was trying to get the kinks out of his voice (it has to be grinding on his vocal cords as he tends to scream a lot). Playing the part like they had been there before, the stage was set up with a long ramp to another small stage set up in the middle of the Garden. Just picture a really long walk way that fashion models utilize. (or a from a birds eye view I’m thinking a huge Gene Simmons bass guitar). So they had the setup for crowd interaction.

They blasted their way through their hits (and these are legitimate hits) such as “Times Like These” and “Learn to Fly.” At times it was hard to see the band on stage-as there were headlights facing the stage-that blared light similar to the ones you squint to when someone has their high beams on when you’re driving. The highlights for the first part of the show for me were “The One” and “Stacked Actors,” (song he wrote about Courtney Love). Then the band members walked down this ramp to a “new” stage that fell from the sky and all of a sudden we had great seats. The band was in the middle of the Garden on a stage setting similar to the old Flip Wilson shows where he and his guests would perform their skits. (for those of you who are younger and do not know who Flip Wilson is- tune into TV Land). They went into an acoustic set and the “intimacy factor” was actually felt by the whole place.

This is where they shined bright. You could actually hear very clearly Dave’s voice (he can sing) as they jammed to “Marigold” and “My Hero”- which was a crowd sing along song. Then Taylor Hawkins took the vocal spotlight with the song he wrote from In Your Honor- “Cold Day in the Sun.” The acoustic set ended with “Everlong”-which arguably could be their best know song (actually made famous by their Howard Stern appearance a number of years ago). Then the show ended with the “great” moments previously mentioned with “Monkey Wrench” (a boot camp classic) and “All My Life”- which was the best song performed by far. As I was watching the crowd and when Mr. Grohl announced to the audience “Everybody Dance!!”- just then the spot light hit the crowd and what a sight-thousands of fans jumping and head banging at the same time. I decided then and there that is one of the best sights for me to see (and not just at their show, anyone’s show) and that sight is for so many people to be enjoying themselves at the same time. You don’t get that too often and at that moment I just felt a rush of the “wow factor.” I felt good for Dave and the boys.

They came back for 3 encores which included my new favorite song of the week “Long Road to Ruin” and ended with a fantastic version of “Best of You.” Overall a very good show and I love the fact that they are getting more popular-another sign that I’m getting old. When I was younger as soon as a band that I followed from the beginning became popular I dropped them like a hot potato. The Foos are at the top of their game right now and deservedly so.

Again I came across a song on my I-POD shuffle which made me go back and listen to the entire album and this time it was from The Cars. For those of you who know me a long time, you know quite well that one of my all time favorite bands is The Cars. They were one of the first bands that sucked me into this whole music thing going on here. For me, Ric, Ben, Elliot, Greg and David were synonymous with John, Paul… well you get the picture. Now I know you’ll be scratching your head on this one but I have to tell you I love their 3rd album “Panorama” released in 1980. Now I know their debut album and Candy-O are more popular and I’ll admit those two are better than Panorama but again this album is no slouch. (now keep in mind The Cars can do no wrong in my eyes). This disc gets panned by critics all the time but hey even Zep had their “III”- which we all know is not as bad as all the critics state. The Cars had two main singers, Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr. Mr. Orr passed away many years ago unfortunately. (now if you don’t know their voices,their classic pop hit “Who’s going to drive you home” is Ben Orr and “My Best Friend’s Girl” is Ocasek). Check out Mr. Orr’s vocals on the “Down Boys”- side 2, track 2 of Panorama. Awesome song. The one and only hit from this album is “Touch and Go” but after listening to this again I absolutely love “Getting Through,” “Gimme Some Slack” and “Don’t Tell Me Know.” My favorite track is “Misfit Kid”- just a totally cool song. One of the great things about the Cars were their harmonizing background vocals and you hear them throughout. The album ends with “Running to You” and “Up and Down” which are two solid solid tracks. I wanted to be in the Cars when I was a kid, I use to pretend I could air guitar lefty, as Elliot Easton is a lefty guitarist. These guys don’t get the respect they rightfully deserve. Buy any one of their first three albums- you won’t be disappointed. With Panorama you’ll have to buy the CD as I-Tunes only carries “Touch and Go” from this album. Sometimes I-Tunes screws up and in this case they have, its just not right.

AC DC back in the studio after an 8 year absence. New CD to follow and most likely a tour. \m/ \m/

Gene Simmons is in hot water with his live in girlfriend Shannon Tweed, apparently Gene has been caught on tape with another woman and its now on the internet.

Back on this day Florence Ballard of The Supremes died in 1976 of heart attack, at the age of 32. She had left The Supremes nine years earlier after her constant fights with Diana Ross. Ballard was replaced by Cindy Birdsong, and by the time of her death, Ballard had separated from her husband and was on welfare, having lost a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Motown Records. Ross attended the funeral, surrounded by several bodyguards.

Back on this day in 1989, the 31st Grammy awards for the first time featured a heavy metal category and remember when Jethro Tull beat out the boys from Metallica for best metal group? Still pissed about that. This fact was actually one of the million dollar question on Who Wants to a Millionaire back when Regis was the host.

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