Errols Weekly Music Update.

February 4, 2011

Weekly Update – 02/04/2011

The Rockstar (Energy Drink) Mayhem Festival will stop at Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Sun. July 24, PNC Bank Arts Center on Wed. July 27 and the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden NJ on Sun. July 31. This year’s line-up is stellar- Godsmack, Disturbed & Megadeth are the headliners and there are a whole bunch more bands included. Ticket info to follow.

Taylor Swift at the Prudential Center on Tues. & Wed. July 19 and July 20. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $37.95, $85.55 and $95.80.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra performing Beethoven’s Last Night at Mohegan Sun on Sun. Apr. 10. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $43.35.

Ricky Martin at Mohegan Sun on Sun. Apr. 17. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $59.20 and $69.40.

PJ Harvey at Terminal 5 on Wed. Apr. 20. Tickets on sale today at noon. $40 ($45 day of show).

Fleet Foxes at the United Palace Theater on Wed. May 18. Tickets on sale today at noon. $39.50

Thin Lizzy at Best Buy Theater on Fri. Mar. 25. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $30. (If you have an American Express card you can purchase “pre-sale” tickets up until 10:00 a.m. this morning).

Alter Bridge with Black Stone Cherry at Best Buy Theater on Thurs. May 19. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25. (If you have an American Express card you can purchase “pre-sale” tickets up until 10:00 a.m. this morning).

Lil Wayne at Nassau Coliseum on Sun. Mar. 27. Ticket on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $73.75 and $145.45.

Stone Sour with Theory of a Deadman, Skillet, Halestorm and Art of Dying at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Fri. Apr. 29. Pre-sale tickets on sale now until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Password is: Keys. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $57.70 and $77.10

Other items:

Shock and Sadness of the Week: Last night my oldest son called me over to his computer and showed me a story on the web that stated that the White Stripes had officially split up. Take a look at their website http://www.whitestripes.com/This is a real bummer because Jack and Meg White belong together and even though Jack has other projects, his best work has always been done with the White Stripes. For those of you who don’t know-Jack White is a legend and the White Stripes made some of the best music that has come out over the last ten years. Luckily I had the privilege of seeing The White Stripes twice-the first time was in Coney Island at the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones and then just a few years later, they were headlining Madison Square Garden-both great shows. Folks, this hasn’t sunk in yet-this is as big to me as when Soundgarden broke up in 1997, maybe even more of a shock and disappointment. This is really sad and I don’t know what else to say or do….I hope they get back together for a reunion, let’s say next week. Say it ain’t so Jack and Meg…

Rumor of the week: Slash and Usher will join the Black Eyed Peas this Sunday at the half-time show for Superbowl XLV. Apparently Slash has joined them on tour and has performed “Sweet Child of Mine” and supposedly that is what will happen this Sunday.Also performing at the Superbowl will be “Glee’s” Lea Michele, who will sing “America The Beautiful” before the game starts. Speaking of Lea, she and Mark Salling do an amazing cover of “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum-you have to hear it. Of course, after the game there will be a new Glee episode with the cast performing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in football uniforms.

Last night’s American Idol show was the worst I think that has ever been shown. A word of advice to the producers: you can’t do a one hour show and display the worst auditions that come through. The LA contingency was so horrible last night that if they ever broadcast another episode like that, I think I might be out. No need to show these horrible and stupid auditions that go on and on. And by the way, what’s up with all the judges cursing? I thought this was a family show? Even J Lo had to be bleeped off the air..and Randy too. Simon, with all his crudeness, never had to be bleeped.

Thanks to Sharif for pointing this one out:Ozzy canceled a show this past weekend in Reno for a “sudden illness.” Doctors recommended that Ozzy should not take the stage that night and the show has been rescheduled for April 23. No word on the illness.

Mick Jagger will perform on The Grammy’s for the first time ever on Feb. 13. He will pay tribute to the late Solomon Burke and be accompanied on the Grammy stage by soul singer Raphael Saadiq.

Elton John has called out his friend and long time touring partner, Billy Joel, to check himself into a “real rehab” in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. Elton said that when he went to get himself clean, he had to scrub the floors and work hard and every one that Billy has gone to is way too soft where they have TV’s and the such. When asked about what Elton said, Billy said that his friendship with Elton was too strong to let his words affect their relationship.

Alice Cooper has blasted Robert Plant for not wanting to do the reunion thing with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones for the Mighty Led Zeppelin. Alice doesn’t understand what is so hard. “Jimmy wants to do it, John is waiting to do it…why can’t he do it?” I’m right there with you Alice.

The Foo Fighters new yet untitled album will be released on April 12 and according to Dave it is “the heaviest work the Foo’s have ever done.” I say bring it on and I can’t wait for April 12.

Panic at the Disco has a new single-“The Ballad of Mona Lisa”- off of their upcoming album-“Vices & Virtues” with the new two man line-up. I have to tell you I really like the sound of this new song. Check it out. The album is slated for release on Mar. 29.

Lots of buzz surrounding the new release by The Decemberists with their new album-“The King is Dead.” Seems everywhere I turn I am reading very positive reviews about this album-I may just have to take the plunge. “Down By The Water” sounds just like R.E.M.

Nuggets

Back Into Your System

It took me some time to adapt to the “heavy-metal rap” genre, while it seemed everyone was diving in head first, I kind of sat on the sidelines-waiting for the coach to put me in the game. I am a big fan of Howard Stern and I can remember him having Limp Bizkit on his radio shows all the time but I still couldn’t get there. Don’t get me wrong I loved the Beastie Boys and what they did with the loud guitars and rap on their debut album (turns out I don’t think they were so happy about that album but I guess to put themselves on the map, they went with it). I think I would have to say that Rage Against the Machine was the band that finally brought me into the game, although I was not a big fan of their political rhetoric, so I would listen to their albums but never went to see them live. Then when I was at MBIA, a friend and colleague, Eric, lent me the debut album from a “Nu-Metal/Rap” band that had exploded on to the scene-Linkin’ Park- and even then I still wasn’t totally hooked. It wasn’t until “Meteroa” by Linkin’ Park that the “Nu Metal/Rap” finally gripped me and I was in (figures now Linkin’ doesn’t do that any more? Makes sense now that I am finally on board). Now once a “genre” starts to take off, the market gets overloaded with bands and acts that try to capitalize on that good feeling and then everyone gets sick of it. Before you know it, that genre is no longer “cool” and people are on to something else. (Now it’s “Indie,” right?). Anyway, one of the bands that I became attracted to during this period was a band from Memphis, TN called “Saliva.” For some reason (reasons unknown to me) this band has not reached “Superstar” status with more of the general public. Who knows maybe it has something to do with the name of their band. Maybe it’s because of what I just mentioned-that the “Nu-Metal/Rap” period is behind us-but if a band or artist is talented I will never understand why there can’t be a place for them in the genre that they love. (Like I have always said- “Disco” is still “Alive and Kicking” in the greatest borough there is-Brooklyn N.Y.-even though the rest of the nation dropped disco on 12/31/1979).

So with that in mind, I know there is still a fan base for Saliva and I am still included. Now I am not sure if my friend Sal is still a fan because we went to see them in a small club in New York City (I believe it was the “Best Buy” Theater) back in 2002 or so and to this day he maintains that he lost a part of his hearing because of this band. I was pumped to see them that night and we arrived early, so early that we secured a nice spot along the guard rail for which we thought we were high enough and away from the stage but that was not the case. When Saliva took the stage, I don’t know if it rose or if we didn’t realize how close we were but once the opening guitar licks started along with the bass and drums, I actually felt like the sound had completely ripped open my chest, took my heart, along with my ears and stomped on it so hard-just picture a pack of wild dogs converging on a piece of liver. Sal and I both looked at each other and said-“Should we go to another spot?”-For some reason (most likely “machismo”) we stayed and both loved the show but we paid dearly. There are only two shows that I can remember where I could not hear right the next day (Soundgarden and Saliva) but with Saliva, it lasted a full three days. I think for Sal it was like a week or maybe more, so needless to say –I won’t be able to drag him along to see these guys ever again.

Now the album that made me a fan was “Back Into Your System” and I can listen to the entire CD without blinking an eye but I realize that these guys are definitely an acquired taste but I believe once you let them sink in, you will really like this band. It is not only “rap/metal” there are some really solid rock songs (see “Holding On”) that I believe should have escalated them to a “superstar” status. Believe it or not, this band is melodic and despite the loud guitars and extensive cursing, I believe this album should have catapulted them into another stratosphere. I have followed these guys since then and am always pumped when they release new material. It doesn’t matter to me what label others put on them-this is a rock solid band and here are some golden nuggets to prove it: (in no particular order)

Pride – This was the song that I heard on my I-Pod shuffle that made me automatically say that this album needed to be highlighted in the “Nugget” section of the page this week. The opening guitar riff rips your face off and you don’t want to mess with the “pride of America.” Now this is just like when Metallica did “Don’t Tread on Me” from the Black album when the first Gulf War was being fought (1991) and then Saliva took a page out of this after the second Gulf War when they recorded this. For me, it is not about the lyrics, it is about the music and the arrangement on this track pumps me up and actually makes me want to start boxing-the kick boxing class that is. The “F” bomb is dropped throughout this song, so for the parents out there who still are concerned with what their kids are listening to-keep this away from them. I can’t help myself, I love this track. Head-banging at its best. \m/ \m/

Always – “Always…Always…I just can’t live without you…I breathe you…” C’mon folks this is a great song right here. For a band that can play as loud as these guys, they can turn on a dime and throughout some of their songs it’s like one can go fishing because the music is so quiet-but just like the statement-“the calm before the storm”-the momentum builds back up to a feverish pitch. This is what happens on this track and oh by the way you will not be able to stop singing the chorus all day long. This band has talent and songs like this are the proof.

Rest in Pieces – This is the “hit” of the album (and maybe their “most popular” song with the general public). The song was written with Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue and surprisingly is a “ballad” type of a song of which everyone in the family can enjoy-from grandma on down to the kiddies. I remember putting this on a CD I created for an afternoon Spin class at MBIA and my pal Rosie asked who was singing the song because she liked it. I believe she may have bought the song (probably not the album). The arrangement is stellar and again very melodic. This is one of my favorite songs on the album as Josey proves to the world that he has is a good singer. (Contrary to what Simon Cowell thought when both appeared on Howard Stern). I usually drift off to another world when I listen to this “classic”-Yes that’s right- a Classic!!!

Holding On This song will rock your socks off and the vocals are freaking phenomenal. If Lynyrd Skynyrd were a bit heavier, I could picture them covering this tune. This is “old school” stuff with a modern twist of heavy metal blues that should get your attention-it is arguably the best song on the album (and I would say one of the best songs they have ever recorded). The chorus vocals and the background vocals sound like they were all sung by Josey with the result being super solid. It is a slow head-banging groove with some awesome guitar riffs that will have you “air-guitaring” in no time. C’mon let’s all sing along- “Any one can see…what’s happening to me…I’m living in a dream…no one hears me scream…”-for some reason I feel like a cowboy when I hear this bad boy!!!

All Because of You – I think this song is one of the many reasons I love “guitar rock”-just listen to the beginning of this song and tell me this is not some good stuff right here? I put on my younger son’s headphones and squeezed with all my might so the sound would penetrate my ears and enter my system. Talk about melodic? These guys are good! I’m still scratching my head on why they haven’t garnered a bigger audience. If you like hard rock or metal, this is right up your alley. There is a nice guitar solo in the middle of the song and when that stops, Josey is waiting there to scream-“…All because of you…All because of you…”-this song rocks. “All I want is you and I don’t care!!!” Perfect arrangement.

Back Into Your System – The title track is stupendous and is a “sing-along” song for the entire family to engage in (yes there are no curses). I can picture a circle of family and friends, arms over each other shoulders-forming a huddle-slowly bopping back and forth waiting to scream-“I’M BACK IN YOUR SYSTEM!!!!… a way to get…BACK INTO YOUR SYSTEM…”- as the circle breaks up as each one of you makes believe you are screaming into a microphone in front of 10,000 or more rabid fans. How cool is this song? Is it loud? Yes. Is it heavy? Yes. But sometimes you need that, especially on a Friday. These guys can sing and play, please check them out.

“And 5, now this is most important, Rat…comes down to making out…whenever possible…put on side 1 of Led Zeppelin IV”

Shake It Up

Side 1 of “Shake It Up” by The Cars

It is the fall of 1981 and I just started my junior year at Brooklyn Tech High School and by this time I am well on my way into the world of rock. Anyone who knew me back then knew my favorite bands were Foreigner and The Cars. (remember I did not get into the heavier stuff until the mid to late 1980’s). I was 16 years old at this time and had “the world at my feet.” I was playing football for “The Outlaws” on every Sunday beginning in early September and lasting until the following spring just in time to start of softball with the “All-Out” (combination of Outlaws and All-Stars). Every Sunday morning we would meet on the corner of 48th street and 8th avenue in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn and jump into the cars of the guys who were old enough to drive and had their own wheels. The three main cars used were Joe C., Cheesy and Johnny-Boy (“Eugene!!”) and while we waited for them we would throw the football all across 8th avenue as there was little car traffic at that time for a Sunday morning. (“Izzies” Candy and Food Store was closed-man we had great times with him & Sonya). As soon as I jumped in to Johnny’s car I would have cassettes for him to throw in and listen to and for half the month of November and whole month of December-I had to listen to my most favorite band out of Boston-The Cars-who had just released-“Shake It Up.”

Now I will be perfectly honest with you and state that this would be the last studio album that I purchased by them because in my opinion they were getting “way too popular” and being 16-I couldn’t deal with that. (By the time “Heartbeat City” came out in 1984 with “Drive” and all those “pop” songs, I was gone…now of course being 45 today I love those songs but I had an image to uphold-hey I know the local neighborhood guys thought I listened to pop as they were knee deep into Sabbath and Nugent). Also remember I dropped the Police after “Ghost in the Machine”-so essentially looking back after 1981, I dropped both The Cars and The Police from my radar after experiencing four great albums from each from 1978-1981. Anyway back to “Shake It Up.” Now you all should know by now that I absolutely loved their third studio album-“Panorama”- as I thought they didn’t keep the same formula from the first two albums, they ventured out and I for one, loved it. But for some reason it did not sit well with the critics and the general public as most thought it was “weird” music, so with “Shake It Up” they went back to some of the basics but also added the twist of “pop” which in my opinion was a slippery slope and wouldn’t you know it-they became one of MTV’s golden bands with “You Might Think” and “Magic” as those videos were played at nausea to the point where they were like Madonna. (again nothing wrong with that-I am speaking like I am still 16). Anyway again back to “Shake”- I absolutely loved this album again but for the first time I could honestly say that there were some songs that I skipped over-only on the second side though-(obviously)- and to me that was a big deal because I NEVER skipped over any songs on the first three albums. The crack in the seal had begun and the water seeped in. But the first side is super stellar in my opinion and that’s why I am including this as a perfect album side.

Side one starts off with “Since You’re Gone” and I love the beginning with “chop-stick” sound effect as Ric Ocasek gets set to start it off with “Since You’re Gone…the nights are getting strange.” What I remember most about this song is Brooklyn College because between classes there was this “hangout” place where this tall dude would take “perfect album” side requests from the students and you know I was there all the time-especially to see the other student’s reaction. This dude absolutely loved this song and he would dance around in a circle like no one was around, meanwhile half the kids were listening to the album while watching him dance around and the other half were talking but still were watching him. Sometimes I gage the quality of a song to how it affects others (I already knew I loved it) and this sealed the deal for me with this song. The second song is the title track and I know what you are thinking-isn’t this pop? Why yes I did mention that this album was the beginning of the “pop” (and the end in my mind) but I still love this song. Elliot Easton’s guitar solo is electrifying and that totally makes the song a classic. Is it simple? Yes, but that seemed to be The Cars niche-simple but yet addictive. “Dance all night…dance all night…go all night…shake it up.” If you listen to this song really loud you will really like it. (That’s what my oldest son says when I listen to songs loud in my car they always sound better than in the house when we have to keep it down for my lovely bride). Track # 3-“I’m Not the One”- could arguably be the best song on the album, I love the slow groove and Ocasek’s vocals are so clear and clean. For some reason by this album Ocasek seemed to have total control in song-writing and singing as well-not that there was anything wrong with it. And this could be one of his best vocals as one can hear the heart-break in his vocals as it is another tale of a girl breaking a boy’s heart (sorry girls…I know it goes both ways). I love the way Greg Hawkes follows along with his phenomenal keyboard/synthesizer playing which highlights the track. Before you know it, four plus minutes have passed and I usually hit the rewind button. “Victim of Love” is my most favorite song on the album as well as the first side-now for some reason I can picture the early Joe Jackson doing a song like this. The obligatory hand claps are present throughout and I love the way Ocasek sings this tune. “…She’ll tell you things that you should not know…because you’re the victim…victim of love…framed by the night…touched by the glove…” Again the arrangement is “simple” but not Easton’s guitar solo-they always seem to be slick, short and tough to play but he makes it sound so easy. The last song on side one is “Cruiser” and this is probably the most “head-banging” song on the vinyl. In a weird way it sounds almost muted as I think they could have turned Elliot loose with some really loud guitar riffs. Benjamin Orr sings this bad boy and he was such a great rock and roll singer and it’s such a shame that he passed away at such an early age. As the song plays on, I can picture these guys playing this song in a tuxedo and I always waited for them to rip it off-in a way-Ben does it with his vocals but the arrangement is so tight with the keyboards, that it always felt like “controlled head-banging”-if that makes any sense?

So there you have it, that was my last review for The Cars as I had already written about their debut album, “Candy-O,” “Panorama” and now side one of “Shake It Up” as those are the only four albums that I bought from this band who will always have a soft spot. Supposedly there are in the studio (with Ocasek back) working on a brand new album, so who knows there just may be one more review about the Cars. Side one of “Shake It Up” is a perfect album side.

 

Top Ten

Lowdown Unauthorized

Sometimes there are bands in your life (pretty dramatic, huh?) that “come and go” but just like some real life relationships, there is a reunion of sorts and in some cases the relationship solidifies after splitting up, other times there may be more time needed to get back to that original feeling-which brings me to the Black Crowes. Now this band created a rush of good feelings for me when they put out their debut album-“Shake Your Money Maker”- and I was immediately struck with their sound- a modern day Rolling Stones if you will with a touch of the Allman Brothers in them as far as that “bluesy” sound. At the time they emerged, the MTV world was knee deep in “hair band” metal and this band was like a breath of fresh air for those fans clamoring for “pure” rock and roll. All of a sudden during the early 1990’s here was a band that didn’t quite fit in with any type of music that was out at that time-ironic isn’t it to say that “rock and roll” wasn’t really in the picture (or at least in the forefront as glam metal and Pop ruled the airwaves) but their sound brought them a whole new fan base, including myself. (I have always thought that my older rock and roll brethren fan base would and should love this band, as they have always been a “throwback” band to me). My feelings only became stronger when they put out their sophomoric effort-“The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion”- because at that time I thought “Remedy” was the greatest song that I had ever heard. That song for me was like being “plugged in” to an electrical outlet as I could feel the vibe of the song enter my body, my bloodstream and moved me in so many ways that I didn’t know was possible, sort of like the way Chris Robinson moves up on stage. So here it is, two albums and in my opinion they are “batting 1.000.”

Now when “Amorica” hit the scene, I was kind of shocked and surprised by the “nasty” album cover but I figured “it was the rock and roll thing to do”-(although I still don’t think it is an “appropriate” cover). Anyway getting over the artwork of the album, when I slipped in the disc I was thinking to myself-“wow what happened here?”-this was like a 360 degree turn from the first two albums and if I am being honest, at first I did not get it or like it. (It wasn’t until a few more years later that it became my most favorite Crowe disc). During this same time period I had married my beautiful bride and you know me- I always try to “encourage” the people around me to engage in the bands that I love (hey I have been doing it to all of you reading this each week for more than two years now, right?) and the Black Crowes were right there in the thick of our relationship, so I had to take her with me as I ventured to see them for the first time live at the Beacon Theater. (On a side note, this was the old and quickly deteriorating Beacon-not the beautiful remade model it is now).

When the Black Crowes hit the stage that night, they “exploded” with such energy and extreme “tightness” as the band could do no wrong with the first three songs being exactly as it sounded when it was recorded in the studio. And then it happened, every song from that point forward sort of became a “jam” and the “energy” seemingly disappeared right then and there. Thinking about it now, it really was the last time that they were the “Rolling Stones” with an edge and became the “Allman Brothers” in the sense that many of their songs lasted “well into the night.” Now there is nothing wrong with that-I have probably seen the Allman Brothers in concert more than any other band and am now taking my oldest son to see them this coming March 11. But when you are expecting the “Stones” approach and you get the “jam band” special, it turned into one long night as my lovely bride was drained, I could see it. She loved the beginning just as I did but the long drawn out songs were just too much for her to take and honestly for me, and from that point forward I had to “re-adjust” my relationship with the Black Crowes.

As the early 1990’s became the mid–to-late‘90’s, I started to drift away from The Crowes as the allure of grunge had finally wrapped its grip around me and I was into it full throttle. (And they were knee deep in touring and making music with the legendary Jimmy Page). Now I never stopped liking the Crowes, I knew that they had put out new albums (“Lions,” “Three Snakes and One Charm,” etc.) but at that time I never purchased them. And then it happened-the band broke up. Of course I was so upset as I couldn’t believe I wasn’t going to get a chance to see them live again-I know what you are thinking-I had “given up on them” and didn’t follow them during the mid to late 1990’s, so why would I be upset? My response would be-“You don’t know what you have until you lose it.” Those words rung so true.

Fast forward to the early 2000’s, while working at MBIA, I heard the great news that they were getting back together and I believe it was a return to Hammerstein Ballroom for a three or four night stint that was announced. I knew I was going and checked around to see if there was any interest and there was none, now you know that never has stopped me so I bought one ticket and trekked into New York City to witness their “triumphed” return. Of course this time I knew what to expect and went into the show the same way I do when I go see The Allman’s-with an open mind because I knew many of the songs to be performed were going to be at least 8-10 minutes long with a lot of jamming guitar solos, piano solos and long endings to the songs. As the show began I could feel the energy and intensity from the crowd and was pumped up. One and a half hours into the show I didn’t recognize one song-I didn’t realize how much I really missed with this band when I went away. But I was loving the show and was writing down song titles so once the show was over I could find out what albums they were from and purchase them. Slowly they started playing songs that I knew and I was blown away-this time I focused on how talented this band really is-the guitarists, the pianist, the drummer and especially the singer. Folks I know by now you are probably sick of me saying it but I wish I could morph into Chris Robinson for one tour (or at least a couple of nights when they play). He is, in my opinion, one of the all-time best “front-men” of any male bands. The music is in him-one can tell just by looking at him upon the stage-it’s like he turns into another being when he is up there. (I quickly think of Angus Young of AC/DC that transforms himself into another stratosphere just like Chris).

Fast forward to the late 2000’s and they release a new album-“Warpaint”- and this album quickly turns into my second favorite album (again I do not profess to know every song or thing about this band). I desperately wanted to see the concert where they performed this album in its entirety but had a conflict in my schedule and could not go. I heard the concert was phenomenal and the show was released as the live version of “War Paint.” They recently put out a double album which they recorded at Levon Helm’s place which was really low key. The rumors-which were confirmed-started again that they were going to take another “hiatus” so their tour at the end of 2010 was supposedly the last one for a while. Now I knew my buddy-Andy- was a huge fan of the Black Crowes and this time I knew I had someone to go with. We watched them tear the night up at the Blender Theater and we were both blown away on how tight they were. Their musicianship is really second to none and Chris did not miss any note, grunt, screech or any other sound-including his spectacular harmonica playing. I walked away that night thinking I had come full circle with this band-here I started in the early ‘90’s loving this band, then kind of “fell off” the bandwagon in the mid to late 1990’s, they split….they have a reunion in the mid 2000’s and I jumped back on the wagon and as the decade ends I see them at their very best. Maybe it’s because I knew it was their last show for a while or maybe they knew it to and put their “all” into it. (Think of a professional athlete in the last year of their contract-that it typically one of their best years’ statistically).

Now I am not going to sit here and tell you I am the biggest fan of the Black Crowes-I can’t because sometimes I jump on and off of their bandwagon but this band has had the skills and talent to keep my attention all these years. I believe in a couple of years they will be eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in my opinion; they will be a “first ballot” entrant without any doubt. Thank you Black Crowes for making so much great music throughout the years and being a constant in my life. Again I do not know their entire library, (it is so extensive) so I will go with what I know and give you my top ten songs if I were on an island and was told that this was the limit for Black Crowe’s songs-“These are Them:” (Not for anything folks but I had at least 18 songs that I needed to dwindle down to ten)

10.     God’s Got It– Now if you are a big Crowes fan you are probably scratching your head on why I would put a cover on my list of top ten songs with all the songs that these guys have written and composed but every time I tried to knock this tune out of the top ten, it kept winning out in my own personal “battle of the tunes.” The groove in this song is so infectious and you will immediately feel like you are in a gospel church somewhere in the south as the blues will over take you as the beat will have you clapping your hands together and screaming “Alleluia” in no time. This song will forever remind me of my youngest son because he actually put this song on his I-pod (he may have since taken it off) and the way he moved to this song is actually what the Black Crowes intended for people to do when they hear it. The music was in him and I wish I had made a You-Tube video of it because my son was feeling it. He felt it more than I did and believe you me, I am in a different planet when I hear this track. Friggin’ phenomenal.

9.     Cursed Diamond – Sometimes in life you feel like the vibe in this song-a serious tone filled with conviction, passion, pain but a righteousness that makes you feel good all over like you are singing in the pouring rain but you don’t care because you are in a place that you don’t visit to often. I think that this could be the best vocal performance that Chris Robinson has ever done on any recording-listen to this track and tell me he doesn’t put his all into this song? The guitar solo by his brother Rich is so freaking phenomenal and the drumming behind Chris’s vocals are almost too much too take. Right now I am looking up to the skies as the pouring rain has drenched me to the bone but I will continue to hold my heart and sing this powerful song. Awesome!!!

8.     Come On– Seeing them perform this song live is a real treat-especially if they stay close to the original recording-(if you don’t know they put a spin on all their songs in some way-it usually is never like the original recording). If you don’t know the Black Crowes too well you probably think they are always mellow but they always know how to rock with the best of them and this song proves it. There is no other way to listen to this song but LOUD!!! The funky fresh groove will have you dancing in circles in no time, dancing like it was the 1960’s-I don’t know why but I picture the old “Laugh In” show where all the people would be dancing with all those psychedelic colors. (You see what their songs do to you?). They sort of have a “rap” thing going on as they have a telephone ringing in the background as the percussion is making your body twist and turn like never before. “Come and get some…yeah come on and git some…” I say this all the time around the house and told my boys that this is the song that I took it from. When they heard it, they were laughing.

7.     Gone –If you remember when I did the review for “Amorica” a while back I stated that this song could have the best beginning of any song ever recorded-I still say that. Before Chris starts to sing-“Save Me…Save Me…”-I have to rewind the song and listen to it over and over again. This is like the best groove ever and I am moving my arms like I am coming out of a bottle-lie “Jeannie.” I really feel like the song is injected into my system and I let the music flow through my veins and I let it take me where it wants. I am still wailing my arms like I am holding snakes (I’m petrified of snakes…) or better yet-it is like I am an octopus who is dancing-yes that’s how I would describe this song-put a pair of headphones on an octopus and I guarantee every arm would move in different directions. This song is freaking phenomenal.

6.     Good Friday – For some reason I always think of the S&P men’s softball team because every “Good Friday” we used to hold our first practice of the season. Anyway you remember when I said that “Cursed Diamond” was the best vocal performance by Chris? Well this could be his second all-time best song while behind the microphone. I love the way he “accentuates” certain words throughout the song-for instance-“I know this will be awkward…cause soon you’ll have…”-with emphasis on “know” and “soon”-if you know this song then you know exactly what I am talking about. When they played this at the Best Buy Theater when Andy and I went to see them-I was in my glory because I wanted to hear it live because there have been so many times I sing this song aloud in my car and I wanted the opportunity to sing along with Chris and the rest of the audience. “I will not forget you…nor will I accept the blame…I will see you on Good Friday…on Good Friday..” Spectacular song.

5.     By Your Side – If someone were to ask me to name one song that would define the Black Crowes, this song just may have to be my answer. There is rock and roll, R&B and blues which are intertwined to create one of their best songs-in my opinion. The best and I mean the best part of this song for me is the background vocalists who do the lovely “Ooohhh’s” throughout the tune. The Black Crowes are infamous for having the R&B female singers on many of their songs and if you just focus on their part, well watch out. Now of course the boys do a great job as Chris is just plain out of sight with his vocal prowess and the heavy guitar riff towards the end of the song actually lifts me off the ground. “I’m gonna be right there for you baby!!” The song ends with the obligatory hand-claps so you know how I feel about them. Freaking awesome tune.

4.     Twice As Hard –“They had me on the opening guitar riff.” (“Jerry Maguire”). Whew how awesome is this song??!!! This song makes my lips scrunch towards my nose (my brother, who is one year younger than me, would always say that was the face I made when I really liked a song) and I immediately am psyched to a level “10.” Chris’s vocals are nothing short of spectacular and when they are elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, this is the song that should be played in the background as the members get out of their seat to head up stage to make their acceptance speech. In my opinion, this was their best song off of their debut and has stood the test of time. I’d put this song up to any rock and roll song as I think it can go “toe-to-toe” with the best of them. How can anyone not sing along to this song? “Twi…eye…eye…ice as hard as it was the first time I said goodbye…” I friggin’ love this song!!! \m/ \m/

3.      Wiser Time – I told you a while back that “Amorica” is my most favorite album by the Black Crowes and this is the “masterpiece” of that recording. I can’t put into words how phenomenal this song is. “And on a good day…I know it every day…and on a bad day…I know it ain’t every day…” Folks this was recorded in 1994 when the world was knee deep into “grunge” and if you do not know this song…well shame on you. This is a throw back to when “they used to write songs” like this. The organ solo is so righteous and when the guitar solo comes in, you will feel like you are flying and as it continues you can pick your own destination as you will fly high and far. Chris Robinson’s vocals are out of sight. They played this song at the Best Buy Theater a few months ago and I was in my glory. Songs like this are the reason I live for music, this is “first-rate” material.

2.   Remedy –As I mentioned above the first time I heard this song I was immediately hooked and forever thought that this would always be my most favorite Black Crowes songs of all time (until the next song was released a few years ago). The groove in this song has to rank up there in the history of rock and roll as one of the best ones ever created-it is impossible to not dance around to, not sing along to and to not like. Please don’t even try and say this song isn’t great-you will just get-“talk to the hand!!!” I feel like I am possessed when I hear this song as I imagine myself as Chris in the studio with the headphones over my ears as I sing upwards into the microphone and try to match his passion-“who killed that bird upon your window siiillll?…if I come on like a dream…oooh will you let it glide?” As the female background singers break in I completely am out of my mind dancing around in a circle with my lips scrunched up against my nose again. The guitar solo is virtuous and by this time I am on another planet and then when it turns towards the percussion sounds as Chris awaits to wail and screech I wonder why I couldn’t write a song like this. Only Chris can do the –“I need a remedy…re…remed…re…re…”- I can’t even write it, never mind trying to sing it-I don’t think anyone in the world can do that besides him. You can’t teach that-it’s the music in him that just pours out. I am completely awestruck. ‘Nuff said. 

1.     There’s Gold in Them Hills– Ok, so you’re asking how can this be my favorite Black Crowes song? I know my boys and my wife always ask the same question. This song always stops me in my tracks, I completely freeze and listen with such intent it really is polarizing for me. This is the most beautiful song I think I have ever heard, it is so tranquil and I picture snow falling lightly on a hill with someone walking a horse across the plain looking for gold in them hills. My younger brother once said-“who writes songs about gold in them hills in the 21st Century?”-and my answer will always be-“The Black Crowes.” I think I have listened to this song more now than any other Black Crowes song and this was released in 2009. (Think about how many times you have heard-“Hard to Handle” since 1990….well I have listened to this song more times than that). In my opinion, this is their ultimate masterpiece and nothing will ever change that. I can literally listen to this song all day long… all week long…all month long…all year long.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Dee Snider

2.     Jackson Browne

3.     Sheryl Crow

4.     Tommy Shaw

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     I passed away way too young but while I was around I made some really cool songs that some thought were irresistible. I was real popular before MTV and also when MTV was at the height of its popularity. My video with those tall women playing guitar is still talked about today. Who am I?

2.     I am in a band but I also have a very successful solo career. My band had a few albums out in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s but when I hooked up with Carlos Santana for a song it made me more popular, along with my band. Who am I?

3.     We had one of the most popular “one hit” wonders of all time and we made it in the 1960’s and were part of the “hippie” scene. Our song was made with sounds from our voices (like they did in the 1950’s) with “Uuuhhs” and “CChhh’s” You would most likely hear this song in the warm months of the year. Who are we?

4.     I replaced a legendary bass player in one of the most successful metal bands of all time after he was killed in a bus crash. I played with this band for years, begrudgingly through the “pop” years and for some reason I couldn’t do side projects while two of my bandmates couldn’t get along as we were headed for certain breakup. I left the band and later took part in a reality music show as we looked for a singer for our star studded band. Who am I?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week: (Nice Job Charlie)

1.     Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears

2.     London Calling – The Clash

3.     Jet City WomanQueensryche

4.     Rainy Days and Mondays – The Carpenters

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

1.     “…and maybe you can cry all night…but that’ll never change the way that I feel…the snow is really piling up outside…”

2.     “…say your prayers little one…don’t forget my son to include everyone…I tucked you in…”

3.     “…down in Jamaica they got…lots of pretty women…steal your money then they break your heart…”

4.     “…now you can tear a building down…but you can’t erase a memory…these houses may look all run down…”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1983, Karen Carpenter, died of a heart attack at the very young age of 32. As you should all by now she is my most favorite female singer, very sad day.

Back on this day in 1968, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were recording “Across the Universe” and decided they needed falsetto harmonies so they supposedly invited two women into the studio to sing with them.

Back on this day in 1977, Fleetwood Mac released the landmark album-“Rumors”- which went on to sell 19 million copies in the U.S. alone.

Back on this day in 1977, American Bandstand celebrated its 25th anniversary and Stevie Wonder, Chuck Berry, Gregg Allman and Bo Didley were some of the guests on that show.

Back on this day in 1989, Guns & Roses became the first band in more than 15 years to have two albums in the top 5 of the Billboard 200 with “Appetite” and “Lies.”

Back on this day in 2004, Art Garfunkel plead guilty for possession of marijuana in Hurley, NY after being pulled over for speeding the month before and was found in his jacket.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Alice Cooper, Phil Ehart (Kansas), Jerry Shirley (Humble Pie), and John Steel (The Animals).

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April 16, 2010

Weekly Update – 04/16/2010

Filed under: CD Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — ea0217 @ 5:30 am

Hot 97 Summer Jam at New Meadowlands Stadium on Sun. June 6. The is an “internet” pre-sale until midnight tonight. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $40, $65, $99.50, $125 and $250. This year’s full lineup will be announced on Hot 97 on the Angie Martinez show at 4:00 p.m. on Monday May 3.

Crosby, Stills & Nash at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel NY on Tues. Aug. 31. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $40.50 – $81.45.

Phil Collins at the Roseland Ballroom on Tues. June 22 and Fri. June 25. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders go on sale this Mon. Apr. 19 at 10:00 a.m. General public tickets on sale next Sat. Apr. 24 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event but further ticket info to follow).

The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem featuring Korn, Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch and others at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Wed. July 28. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $20, $39.50 and $49.50.

The Lilith Fair Tour returns this summer and will stop at the PNC Bank Arts Center in NJ on Saturday July 31 and the Comcast Theater in CT on Sun. Aug. 1. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event). Each tour date will feature 11 artists and the only mainstay at each show will be Sarah McLachlan (co-founder). Other artists include Mary J. Blige, Heart, Erykah Badu, Ingrid Michaelson, Loretta Lynn, Colbie Caillat and many others.

Sting with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at The Metroplitan Opera on Tues. July 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $20 – $350.

John Mayer at Jones Beach on Wed. July 21 and at PNC Bank Arts Center on Tues. Aug. 3. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders on until 10:00 p.m. tonight. General public on sale tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. Jones: $49.50 and $79.50; PNC: $36 and $79.50.

Rush at Jones Beach on Sat. July 24 and at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. Sept. 3. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Jones: $36.50, $61.50, $91.50 and $151.50; PNC: $35.75, $56.25, $96.25 and $156.25.

Pat Benatar at the Nokia Theater on Wed. Aug. 25. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders on until 10:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $45.

Cheap Trick and Squeeze at Radio City Music Hall on Tues. July 13. Further ticket information to follow.

Kings of Leon at the Borgota Event Center in Atlantic City, NJ on Sat. June 5. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Modest Mouse at Brooklyn Waterfront in Willaimsburg on Fri. July 23. Tickets on sale today at noon. $37. Also appearing at the Wellmont Theater on Thurs. July 22. Tickets on sale today at noon. $37

Lyle Lovett at the Wellmont Theater on Sun. Aug. 15. Tickets on sale today at noon. $40, $60 and $75.

Toby Keith with Trace Adkins and James Otto at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. June 19. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $39 and $74.

Lady Antebellum at Nokia Theater on Mon. May 10. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders on until 10:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $44.50.

The Black Crowes at the Theater in Westbury NY on Wed. June 2. Tickets on sale tomorrow afternoon at noon. $49.50

Billy Idol at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Wed. Sept. 15. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders on until 10:00 p.m. tonight. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $45 and $65.

The Michael Schenker Group at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Sat, July 31. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $29.50

Dave Mason at BB Kings on Thurs. Sept. 30. Tickets on sale next Fri. Apr. 23 at 10:00 a.m. $33.50 ($36 day of show).

Cyndi Lauper at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Wed. July 28. Tickets on sale now. $85 and $95.

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Peter Steele (front man for Type O Negative) who passed away on Wednesday at the young age of 48 and apparently it was from heart failure. This is a total shock and numbing, rest in peace Peter.   \m/ \m/     He was born in Brooklyn NY.

Bret Michaels had emergency appendectomy surgery this past week and is apparently doing fine now recovering in a hospital. He had severe abdominal pain and was rushed to a hospital in San Antonio TX and some of his shows for April have been rescheduled. Take it slow Bret and we’ll see you this summer.

Ok I have listened and digested Mary J. Blige’s version of the Mighty Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and “Whole Lotta Love.” I’ll start with “Stairway”- now I have read the many negative comments and some people have reacted with a feeling that it is “sac-religious” to even touch a Zep song. Now you all know that I have put down my feelings on some songs that should never be re-worked (“American Pie” by Mr. McLean quickly comes to mind) and of course you all know how I feel about the Mighty Led Zeppelin. My oldest son is all over me for actually being OK with someone covering the “Mighty Led Zeppelin” (as I put it) and he doesn’t understand why I have accepted it and said the only reason I’m OK with it because it is Mary J. Blige- he says if it were any one else, I wouldn’t even acknowledge it. He may be right but you all know I have a soft spot for Mary. But I have to tell you, Mary treats this song with the respect that it deserves and it is very close to the original rendition, so she didn’t try to change the meaning and the tradition of this landmark song. To me that is always the first rule when trying to cover an epic tune, Ok the second rule-my first rule is that it should never be re-recorded-so yes I can understand those people who feel that the remaining members of the Mighty Led Zeppelin should have never given Mary permission to record her spin on the song. Now is it as good as the original? No, but no one could ever do it like Plant, Page, Bonham or Jones. The ending of her song is a bit theatrical but overall I would say she does a very good interpretation. By the way, the Steve Vai guitar solo in the middle of the song is “off the hook” and electrifying.

Now with “Whole Lotta Love”-I would say for all of you “rockers” out there-don’t even attempt to listen to this-you might become very angry. Now for all of you out there who do not know this song (can’t imagine who but I have to assume there are) you may like her take on it as she definitely changes the entire mood of the song and brings you to a club with dancing beats. So what is my take you ask? Well admittedly the first go around I was making squinting faces like I just swallowed some rotten milk but after a few more turns, it not as bad as I thought. Love the way she does the “Way down inside.. you need it….Loooovvveee” Again if you love the original don’t even go near this but if you can keep an open mind, it’s not so bad.

If you are a fan of Soulja Boy, you can ask him questions either now or live today at 2:00 p.m. through Twitter by tweeting to @billboarddotcom using the hashtag #bblivechat. He is a fixture on Twitter as he has over 2 million followers as well as at @souljaboytellem. So start tweeting away your questions now or at 2:00 p.m. today.

No offense to Andrew Garcia but finally… whew if he wasn’t gone after Wednesday I probably would have stopped watching American Idol… I’m completely baffled on why Katie Stevens was voted off (and even more confused on why Michael Lynche was standing next to her in the bottom three) because out of the remaining women, Siobhan Magnus deserved to be booted after her lackluster performance on Tuesday. My prediction now is that Crystal Bowersox will be the winner in 2010. I know this years’ competition has fallen short when compared to prior years but I have to say that now that we are in the final few, the performances have really been better and for all of you out there who haven’t been following-now’s the time to turn it on as we head for a winner in a month or so. Most everyone’s performance on Tuesday night was really good, except for Andrew and Siobhan (in my opinion)-although Casey James has to take it up a notch again, he can’t rest on the solid performance of “Jealous Guy” from last week.

My favorite “80’s song” of the week belongs to Men at Work with one of their most popular songs-“Who Can it Be Now?” When is the last time you have heard this tune? Boy it has been a while for me and I forgot how catchy this song is and I love the saxophone solo. (That should have been me, oh well) Great tune check it out!!!

Sheryl Crow’s new album-“100 Miles from Memphis”-is due out on July 20 and it is “a bit of an experiment” as it is filled with R&B influences. She says she grew up with heavy influence of Carla Thomas and Curtis Mayfield so she decided to pay homage to these vintages artists with her take on R&B. I am very intrigued and can’t wait to hear it.

Ozzy will release his 10th studio solo album-“Scream”- on June 15th and if you are a fan of CSI you may have heard his new single-“Let Me Hear You Scream”-which debuted this past Wednesday night on CBS. You can listen to the entire version of the song right here: http://www.noisecreep.com/2010/04/15/ozzy-osbourne-let-me-hear-you-scream-new-song/It is blistering and loud. Metal fans rejoice-Ozzy still has it. A tour will follow, I’ll keep you posted on Ozzfest.

My other favorite “80’s song” of the week is “One Thing Leads to Another” by The Fixx. Remember that song? Man this was the “bomb” back in 1983 and was part of that “new wave” revolution that made their stamp on the music world. The early ‘80’s music was special in my opinion because it was a period of time where an individual or a band could have really made a splash as it was a time where the road was wide open as genres like disco was being left behind (still not in Brooklyn though), classic rock was there but nothing new, so bands like The Fixx (B-52’s etc.) had a chance to make some cool songs and this is definitely one of them.

Have I mentioned how great the solo Slash album is? I can’t stop listening to this phenomenal album and now am obsessed with “Back to Cali” with Myles Kennedy. What’s up with Blabbermouth? They can’t review this phenomenal album? Check out this performance on the George Lopez “Tonight” show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrNsgfAPhQM

By the way, just a second on the song with Iggy Pop-“We’re all Gonna Die” (from the same album) and please take what I’m about to say as not a knock on Iggy, just want to make a point on something. We all know Iggy has made his impact on Punk rock and the world of rock with his time with The Stooges but definitely is an acquired taste and probably is not something you’ll have at your next tea party (no not the maniac Republican “get-togthers”), I’m talking regular tea that you drink. I just have to point out that one of my favorite bands-Kiss- has been ridiculed for their last album-Sonic Boom- as far as the juvenile lyrics and how can it be that Simmons & Stanley at their age write about such things. OK let’s compare- here are some lyrics to “Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect):” “…flip a coin.. is it heads or tails tonight.. you can’t bring this boy to his knees..” –admittedly kind of “teenage-like” lyrics. Now let’s take a look at “Gonna Die:””…I’m in the mood…so let’s intrude…pee on the ground.. and jump around..” Ok did you see those last two lines-pee on the ground and jump around- do I need say any more? I believe Iggy and Gene are about the same age, why is it OK for Iggy but not Gene?

My favorite “new song” of the week (thanks to my youngest son as he is now “schooling” me on all the latest “pop/rap” stuff out there-he’s 12, so who better, right?) is “Nothing On You” by B.o.B. I had not heard this song until yesterday and I have to say that it is very impressive. “Nice beat, nice vocals… Mr. Clark I would give that a 9 as my score.”

Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) has released a two minute version of one of his new songs-“Shark Attack”- through his twitter account and of course it is laced with all the nice words that you’d expect from him. I don’t know but this sounds awfully similar to what he released back in 1999 on his most popular album-“Significant Other”- so if you like that sound it is right up your alley. Sounds a little stale to me

“And 5, now this is most important, Rat…comes down to making out… whenever possible.. put on side 1 of Led Zeppelin IV

Side One of “Tapestry” by Carole King

Tapestry

Ok I know what you are thinking- how can I ignore side two of this landmark album? I’m not, I will state that every song on this album could be considered as “perfect.” But for my taste, there are some songs on side two that are good but just not perfect which I will not disclose due to fear of retribution out there on the part of some of you. Please do not be upset with me, catch your breath and just know that I acknowledge the entire album as an American classic. I especially love “Smackwater Jack” from side two and that is probably my favorite song on the disc. I acknowledge that this album is akin to a “greatest hits” collection even though it is an actual studio album. Carole put her signature on the world of music with this album and it deserves to be in everyone’s music library, if you don’t have it… well.. you still have time. This album is like water- you need it to survive.

Anyway about side one… it starts off with the electrifying “I Feel the Earth Move” and this has to rank way up there as one of the greatest songs ever recorded in the 20th Century and any other Century you’d like to throw in there. The opening piano notes are legendary and you immediately recognize it. Now this was recorded in 1971 but to hear today it still sounds as fresh as it was back then. This brings me back to my early days when I was growing up on 46th street in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn, this song was everywhere during my childhood and for some reason I immediately picture me standing in front of the apartment building that we lived in with my mother, with her “beehive” hairdo on a nice spring day taking a walk down to 5th avenue to shop because that’s what my mother loved to do. I love the way the song ends with “tum bum bling down…” Track # 2-“So Far Away” could possibly be another “greatest song ever written” in the history of music. This song brings me to a standstill and I can’t even move when I hear it, it gives me chills down the back of my neck. Think about how many people know this song? Think about how it has affected the lives of millions? Can you imagine if you wrote this? I can’t even envision what it is like to be Carole King after writing this song, I wonder if she knew what kind of world renowned acceptance she would receive from people from every corner of the globe. There’s no way that anyone can not like this song, I have declared it-“unallowed.” Now talk about a “1-2-3” lineup- the third song is “It’s Too Late.” What makes her songs so great is the easiness to start singing along to the lyrics, there is a certain comfortable “homey” feeling to it-the same feeling you get around the holidays-do you know what I’m saying? The arrangement of this song is so spectacular it just has the coolest grooves ever created. “…And it’s too late baby.. though we really tried to make it..” If you get a chance-buy tickets to her tour with James Taylor just to hear this song. Incredible.

Track # 4-“Home Again” could be used as a tranquilizer because it has this immediate effect of soothing one’s entire body-think of it as a full body massage. This is an absolute stunner and you have to search long and hard to find someone who sings with the passion as Ms. King. If this doesn’t move you, you may be from another planet. “Beautiful” is all about inspiration. It says that you need to love yourself and “show the world” how beautiful you really are. These are powerful words and have such a special meaning-“maybe love can end the madness”-that I wish the entire world would adhere to these words so that we could all live in harmony. This songjust brings a smile to my face and I wish I could have been in the studio when she recorded it, I’m assuming everyone had “goosebumps.” Another absolute stunner. The last song on side one is “Way Over Yonder” is a blues laden track filled with one of the best vocals performances you will ever find. For me this conjures up images of Aretha because I could picture her taking on this track and when the saxophone solo comes into play well I’m floating off into “La La” land and don’t want to come down. This brings tears to my eyes; that’s how good it is. Well folks just like that there you have it, side one is done and again side two is also fantastic but for me side one is perfect.

Carole King’s “Tapestry” remains one of the most important albums of all time and represents the longest charting album by a solo female in the history of music. (Think “Dark Side of the Moon” on the men’s side). It has sold over 25 million copies worldwide with over 10 million sold alone in the U.S. and was ranked the 36th greatest album of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2003 when they named their top 500 ever. I have the vinyl and I love listening to this gem with all the “scratchiness”, timeless classic.

“TOP TEN”:

Image of Shinedown

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “Burning Bright” by Shinedown from their debut album-“Leave a Whisper” and it had me thinking that I needed to put down their top ten songs. Now I know I wrote so much about them last year that many of you were probably thinking this was the “Shinedown Weekly” instead of “Errols Weekly.” But more recently I have not “sung their praises” (I know I did a review of their sophomore effort-“Us and Them” a few months back but that was “months”) so I figured it was time to try and get more of you on their bandwagon. This band was formed in 2001 in Jacksonville FL with four guys who had dreams of grandeur as rock stars and more recently they have reached that upper echelon of stardom as more and more of their songs are reaching the masses with some pretty good success. “Second Chance” went on to be a powerful hit and now that I am older I love the fact that it reached the “general” audience. Why? Because it will draw more fans in to what the die-hard Shinedown loyal already knows-this band has some serious talent. Now I was drawn into this band back in 2004 while vacationing down in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee and back then their cover of the Skynyrd classic-“Simple Man”- was all over the air waves. I tried to get my brother-in-law to go see them at a local club in Tennessee but he had never heard of them and wasn’t as intrigued as I was, so I did not end up going because I did not know my way around the area. Then in 2005, when they released “Us and Them” it was almost like a potion as I became engulfed with that entire album and I “got” what the original fan was talking about. When that little girl starts off by reciting “Whisper in the yard, turn the trees all into toys, lay there on the ground and turn the dirt into your joy…” I know I will be off into a dream state for at least an hour while taking a fantastic musical journey as their music is pumped into my bloodstream and I know this is good for my heart because it makes me feel great. There is something different about the passion that resides within Brent Smith (and the rest of the band but its Brent I hear singing) that gets me going like no other band out there.

After “Us and Them” they started their work on “The Sound of Madness” and somewhere along the line, the original foursome had something go wrong and sadly the original guitarist (Jasin Todd) and bassist (Brad Stewart) left the group. To this day I still don’t know what really happened as all parties have taken a page out of the Bill Belichick playbook by not saying a word about it. The band Shinedown still shines on and again they appear to be primed for bigger things in the years to come. I am here to convince you to listen to their music as last year they released “deluxe” versions of both “Leave a Whisper” and “Us and Them” which include more unreleased material plus a cover of the infamous U2 song-“One.” I absolutely love their version and I won’t say it is better than U2’s version because my oldest son has threatened to never read my blog again if I state that on this page and I wouldn’t want to lose him as a reader (or disappoint him). So here it is, I am on an island and have been told that I can only have 10 songs-“These are Them:” (Of course if I was able to take eleven that would be “Some Day”or “Yer Majesty”)

10.     Fly From the Inside– What a way to start off their career with this powerful knockout that begins their very impressive debut-“Leave a Whisper”-(2003) “It’s the weight of the world on my shoulders…on my shoulders..” wails Brent as you can immediately feel a twitch in your own shoulders as his voice surrounds you just like when you sit in front of a fan that blows your face and hair. You can hear the heavy influence of Soundgarden in this song-think the “Badmotorfinger” Soundgarden. Yes this is the “post grunge” sound with a twinge of “heavy metal rap” (think Linkin’ Park-a little bit). There is a heavy guitar riff that dominates the song but they take it down at points with some acoustic vibes that gives it that extra kick when they storm back up. “I don’t wear a mask and I have no regrets!!!” and as Kara (American Idol judge) would say-“Brent makes you believe that this song is “relate-able” to the experiences in his life.” Shinedown is “real.”

9.     Devour– They had me on the opening “high school marching band drums” sound that slowly gets louder as the slick guitar work creeps in and all along the piano is working its way in there as you prepare for a tornado as the pace intensifies with crashing of the pounding drums and before you know it you are in a mash pit with yourself spinning in circles looking for something to crash into. Talk about intensity? I’m assuming this song has to be on many a football player’s I-pod playlist before the big game to get them totally psyched. Every time I hear this song I am immediately taken back to the High Line Ballroom where I saw them perform this song in the summer of 2008 and I can just picture Brent’s face highlighted by a light while the rest of him remained in a shadow as I was blown away by his intensity, it’s a moment I will never forget. This pumps me up like no other song and after the week I have had, this works perfectly, as it was my “release.”

8.     Burning Bright– Whew…I coming down from the ride of “Devour” to the calming influence of this great tune from their debut album. Folks listen to this song and tell me you don’t feel the passion in Brent’s vocals??!! Especially the “bridge” part where he exudes the furor of “There’s nothing ever wrong but nothing’s ever right.. such a cruel contradiction..” How anyone can not like this song is beyond me. This is always a fan favorite at their live shows, some quality stuff right here.

7.     Atmosphere– The guitar melody is outstanding and how much more can I praise the massive skills as Brent Smith as a singer? He is freaking phenomenal. I wish I could get up on stage when they come back to NY again and sing this song with him (there is no way I could match his zeal) because he is the only singer out there today with the “younger” bands that has moved me (keep in mind I’m 45) and I would just once want to experience what he does up there on stage in front of the faithful followers, it has to be magical. It’s hard to put into words what this song does to me, it’s like I’m possessed-this is some powerful stuff folks-please join in on the fun.

6.     Stranger Inside– You know how when you hear the opening notes of a song that you really love and you get that incredible urge to turn the sound up as loud as you can and just savor the moment? I can just picture myself in an abandoned parking lot surrounded by a chain link fence about 10 feet high in the night time with a street light shining a circle on the ground while the rain is pouring and I have a microphone trying to emulate the dedication that Brent applies to each and everyone of his songs. Love the beginning of the song where he accentuates the word “breath” as he says “I just won’t relax I can’t catch my bray-eee-ethhh” His intensity is unmatched and the heavy riffs from the guitar is too much for me to take, this is too good to be true. This is some of the best stuff that was released in the decade of 2000, hands down-so don’t even try to argue the point.

5.     Breaking Inside– If this song doesn’t hook you into this band then nothing will. This song has it all-softness, heaviness, inspiration and a passionate display to make one self better. Don’t say nothing about that it is a pop ballad or any other nonsense like that because this is straight from the heart and anything from the heart which displays the devotion as this song does-then you need to pay attention. I want to say that this is Brent’s best ever vocal effort but I’d be lying because he gives the same effort on each song he sings, some may mean more to him but the effort is always there. Folks, he is the best singer/front man out there today, I’m sorry you can’t make songs like these and not be considered one of the best in the business. Beautiful song.

4.     Fake– Oh my Lord when I hear the beginning of this song I just lose it. Please I beg of you- next time you are in one of those music stores (FYE or whatever-we went through this already) go to the Shinedown section (pray that they have “Us and Them”) and go to track # 12 press play and squeeze those headphones (Ok you should bring one of those Lysol swipes to clean the headphones, I understand) as tight against your ears and slowly bring up the volume and I don’t care what 30 second section of the song it will play because you will be blown away. Then you can put down the headphones, buy the disc from the teenager behind the counter who looks confused, then run to your car, try to rip open the package (use your car keys that usually works for me) slip it into your CD player and quickly fast forward to track #12 and listen to this masterpiece in its entirety. “Because I’m bleeding and my hands are bruised… from the grip that I once had on you…And I’m open for a new way because there’s not much more I can fake…” This is so good, it brings tears to my eyes. Music is supposed to move you, this moves me.

3.     If You Only Knew– For those who have been following me for the last few years you know when I did a review for “The Sound of Madness” I told you that this was going to be the biggest song on the album (OK it didn’t go as far as “Second Chance” but there is still time) and I told the casual fan that if you didn’t like the heaviness of the other songs you’d have to love this track. This song evokes so many memories-the first being at their live show at The Highline in 2008 when Brent introduced the song as one of his favorites because he wrote it for his wife- the second being I hooked my cousin Michele (and Jenny too) into Shinedown and last year she sent me a birthday card and at the bottom of the card she wrote “.. it’s 4:03 and I can’t sleep without you next to me I toss and turn like the sea..” The smile that came across my face when I read the words to the song was from ear to ear. So this past Wednesday I woke up and didn’t have a job to go to again, so I couldn’t stay in the house so I went to the mall and was just walking around aimlessly and guess what song was playing over the speakers around the entire mall- yes- you have it-“If You Only Knew”- I said this has to be a sign of some sort-their music will help me get through this bump in the road. Thank you boys!!!

2.     Save Me– Wow this is colossal… majestic…grandiose…folks these have to be some of the best songs written during the 21st Century… if you don’t feel the passion in this song then I just don’t know what to say… this song is a “Cry for Help” (which is on my youngest son’s top ten list) for the many who struggle with their demons. “.. my hardest question to answer is WHY…WHY!!!!” I can’t decide which version of this song I like better- the original or the acoustic- they both are so incredibly stupendous. Tears are rolling down my face as I listen to this song and think of my mother’s brother who struggled so long to get off those demons but couldn’t, you always ask “what might have been?” I think to Layne Staley the lead singer of Alice In Chains and of his mother speaking to those living addicts on the “Celebrity Rehab” show. “What could have been?” Man the passion rips your heart right out of your chest-how many singers can do this like Brent? “How did I get here and what went wrong?”

1.     I Dare You– After “Save Me” comes “I Dare You” and I swear I feel like I could fly. I want to run right outside my house now and run and dive into the air with the feeling that I can fly high above the trees. I really feel that I could “walk through fire” when I hear this song. I feel like I can do anything when I hear this song. Folks this is some kind of special and if you don’t know these songs you are truly missing out. Again both versions-original and acoustic- are out of this world. If you remember (I do) Daughtry covered this song on his run with American Idol a few years back and did an admiral job but this song should never be officially “covered” by anyone-no one will ever do it justice the way Brent Smith does. This is absolutely stunning.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Elton John

2.     David Bowie

3.     Waylon Jennings gave his seat up to the Big Bopper

4.     “Ain’t Wasting Time No More”

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     Who wrote the Manfred Mann popular song-“Blinded by the Light?”

2.     Who sings backup on Carly Simon’s single-“You’re So Vain?”

3.     What is Fleetwood Mac’s only number one single in the U.S.?

4.     Who is the only female credited with backing vocals on Pink Floyd’s “The Wall?” (Hint: she played along side a piano player-no not Richard Carpenter)

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Fly Like An Eagle”- Steve Miller Band

2.     “Fly Me to the Moon”- Frank Sinatra

3.     “Gonna Fly Now”-Bill Conti (theme from “Rocky”)

4.     “Fly By Night” –Rush

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

1.     “…So many times, it happens so fast…you change your passion for glory…don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past…you must fight just to keep them alive…”

2.     “…Now every morning just before breakfast…I don’t want no coffee or tea…Just me and my good buddy Weiser…That’s all I’ll ever need…”

3.     “…when I hold you in my arms… I know that I can’t do no wrong…and when I hold you in my arms…my love won’t do you no harm…”

4.     “…I got flowers in the spring…I got you to wear my ring…And when I’m sad… you’re a clown…and if I get scared you’re always around…”

Back on this Day

Back on this day in 1965, The Hollies had their first concert in the U.S. at the New York Paramount.

Back on this day in 1969, Elektra Records dropped MC5 from their label after MC5 took out an ad in a local Detroit paper blasting a record store that did not carry their album.

Back on this day in 1972, the Electric Light Orchestra made their live debut at the Fox and Greyhound Pub in Croydon U.K.

Back on this day in 1974, Queen made their first live appearance in the U.S. when they opened for Mott the Hoople in Denver CO. (What a cool show that must have been).

Back on this day in 1993, David Lee Roth was arrested at Washington Square Park in NYC for buying a $10 bag of marijuana from an undercover police officer.

Back on this day in 1996, Kiss made an announcement from the Intrepid that they were getting back together for a reunion tour with Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, leaving Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer in the cold. (Singer is now the drummer for Kiss). That tour went on to make $144 million.Can you imagine how much Gene and Paul are worth if that one tour made $144 million?

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with the late great Dusty Springfield, Bobby Vinton, Gerry Rafferty and John Bentley (Squeeze)

April 24, 2009

Weekly Update – 04/24/2009

The Moody Blues at Radio City Music Hall on Thurs. Aug. 20. American Express pre-sale is on now until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Live Nation Pre-sale begins today at 10:00 a.m. and continues until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Password is: singer. Another pre-sale password is HEBLUES. General public on-sale is tomorrow at noon. $39.50 – $89.50.

Incubus at Radio City Music Hall on Tues. & Wed. Aug. 4 & 5. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $43 – $70. Also appearing at the PNC Arts Center on Fri. Aug. 7. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $30.25 – $45.25 (PNC is a Live Nation Event)

Kings of Leon at the Izod Center (formerly “Meadowlands”) on Sat. Sept. 12. Tickets on sale today at noon. $37.50 – $46.50.

Beyonce at Madison Square Garden on Sun. June 21 and at Mohegan Sun on Thurs. July 23. Pre-sale starts this morning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight and password is HEIAM for the Garden show. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.$20.75 – $175.75  (MSG)   $95.75 – $145.75 (Mohegan)

Fleetwood Mac at Madison Square Garden on Thurs. June 11. Pre-sale for American Express cardholders only go on sale this Mon. Apr. 27 at 10:00 a.m. until next Thurs. Apr. 30 at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale next Fri. May 1 at 10:00 a.m. $49.50 – $149.50.

Aerosmith and ZZ Top at Jones Beach on Fri. June 26. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $41, $95.50, $155.50 and $207.50.(Oooh Faaa I’ll sit up stairs thank you very much).

Third Eye Blind at the Roseland Ballroom on Tues. June 16. Tickets on sale Sat. May 9 at 10:00 a.m. More info to follow (Live Nation Event).

PJ Harveyand John Parish at the Beacon Theater on Tues. June 9. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $37.50 – $75.

Foreigner at the Nokia Theater on Fri. Rocktober 2. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $40 – $150. (Are you kidding me? $150 to see Mick Jones?)

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival at the Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Sat. Aug. 8 @ 1:30 p.m. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m. $25 – $54.50. Acts include: Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Killswitch Engage, Bullet for My Valentine and more.

Brad Paisley with Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne at the Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Sat. June 13. Pre-sale on now for Citi card holders only. General public on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.$29.75 – $58.25.

Journey at Nassau Coliseum on Mon. Aug. 31 and Chevrolet Theater in Wallingford CT on Sun. Sept. 13. Ticket info to follow.

Wilco at Keyspan Park in Coney Island on Mon. July 13. Tickets on sale today at noon. $45

Jackson Browne at Ives Center in Danbury CT on Mon. July 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.  $35 – $75.

Other items:

Green Day has announced their tour to support their new album “21st Century Breakdown”- a three part concept album- and they will be in New York on Mon. July 27. Ticket info to follow. They will also be the musical guest on the final Saturday Night Live on May 16, the day after the album is released.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Josey Scott, lead singer of Saliva, who underwent ulcer surgery. Hopefully he’ll be able to do the New Jersey show this summer.

Timothy B. Schmit, bassist for the Eagles, will put out his first solo effort in eight years this fall and will get help from Kid Rock, Graham Nash, Garth Hudson (The Band) and Dwight Yoakam. Look for “Expando” later in the year.

Congratulations to Dave Grohl and his wife, Jordyn, on the birth of their second daughter. Harper Willow Grohl was born last Fri. Apr. 17 and weighed 7 lbs. 8 oz. Harper’s big sister, Violet Maye is three.

My favorite new song of the week is “Candy” by Paolo Nutini. This is a nice song, it has an “old school” sound to it, sort of “Eagle-ish” or early Rod Stewart. Take a listen and see if you like.

My other favorite new song of the week is “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan, a Somali-Canadian rapper whose third album “Troubador” was released in February. I saw the video for “ABC’s” and was immediately hooked to his sound. The chorus for “Waving Flag” is addicting and my guess is this song is only going to get bigger in the next few weeks or months. I’ll tell you what this album is worth the purchase of $7.99 from I-Tunes as it features Kirk Hammett (yes from Metallica), Adam Levine, Damian Marley and Mos Def. The song “ABC’s” is fantastic and he gets help from Chubb Rock. Check it out, this is hot!!

I didn’t think Anoop Desai was going to be the next American Idol but he didn’t deserve to be booted off this past week. I agree that Lil had hit her peak (a few weeks back) but I strongly disagree with the fact that Allison Iraheta was in the “bottom two” on Wednesday. America wake up!! Matt Giraud should not have been saved last week and definitely should have been voted off this week. Next to go are Matt, Danny and then Kris. Again it’s a no doubter that Adam wins hands down. (he won about 6 weeks ago). Allison deserves to finish second. It’s enough with Danny already he sounds like Taylor Hicks and to me has hit his peak.

Rob Thomas will release his second solo album, “Cradlesong”, on June 30. The first single- “Her Diamonds” is already out and sounds good. His solo tour will be announced this summer for later on this year. He will appear on the “Today” show on Fri. morning July 3 to promote the new album. Thomas also gave the NBA his song “Give Me The Meltdown”(from Cradlesong) which ABC and ESPN have been using in their commercials to promote the playoffs.

EP Review: “The Open Door”- Death Cab for Cutie released on Mar. 31, 2009

OK I have to admit this is the first piece of work that I have purchased from the boys from Bellingham, Washington. I know that they have been around since 1997 and I almost took the plunge for “Narrow Stairs” which was released about a year ago. But the great thing about discovering music is that one can go back and dig deeper into the bands’ library of work and this is something that I might just have to explore. Again this is only five songs (plus the video of “Grapevine Fires” off of “Narrow Stairs.”) but is worth the $4.99 on I-Tunes.

“Little Bribes” kicks off the EP and this is the song which made me “stand up & notice.” There is something about this song which makes me say “man this is good.” I don’t know if this makes sense, but it is clear and crisp. The man behind the voice, Benjamin Gibbard, has something different that makes you think that you have heard his style before but after searching you come back to the fact that it really is only him that sounds like that. This song is finger snapping with an infectious groove that keeps you coming back for more. “A Diamond and a Tether” is sort of melancholy but the whole sound and arrangement works, it sort of has a Beatles influence if you listen carefully. You know how you come across people and you feel like you’ve known them all your life, well I feel this way about this song. The first time I heard it, I felt like it was one of my all time favorites. “My Mirror Speaks” kicks it up a bit and spotlight’s Mr. Gibbard’s vocals. Nicholas Harmer’s work on bass really stands out and the “hand-clapping” adds the spice to this fun song. “I Was Once a Loyal Lover” is an upbeat song that I have to admit that I probably would not have listened to when I was much younger and not as open as I am now to new sounds. The keyboards and drums take this song over and again the vocals (including background) are top notch. “Talking Bird” really reminds me of something the Beatles would do. This is a soft song with what sounds like a ukulele and Ben’s voice is picture perfect as you will drift far away with this one.

The added “video” – “Grapevine Fires” is eerie but I can’t stop watching it and again I don’t know why. It’s an animated video, very “primitive” drawings but with a very sad tale that grips you; to watch the main character’s girlfriend burn is so disturbing to me and I can’t understand why they made her pass away. Why he couldn’t help her is beyond me- you see what it does to you? I’m talking about a cartoon video…. and why the story was told in a certain way- just like when you don’t like a character that an actor or actress portrays in a movie or series, you forget that it’s fake. Whew I’m back.. By the way, the song “Grapevine Fires” is very good.I have to say that this EP has lured me into their world and I believe I will be “looking back” to see what else I like of theirs. “The Open Door” has let me in and so far I like what I hear (and see).

“And 5, now this is most important, Rat…comes down to making out… whenever possible.. put on side 1 of Led Zeppelin IV

Side 2 of “Live at Budokan” by Cheap Trick which was recorded in Japan in April of 1978 and released in the U.S. in February 1979.

OK first off, I love this whole entire album…. But to be a “perfect” album side, there needs to be no “fillers” or “duds” and in this case-(even though it’s a live album- which some could consider a “greatest” hits..well so be it, I’m still recommending side 2 as a perfect album side)- side 2 contains some of their most popular songs ever. It starts off with their take on the song made popular by Fats Domino-“Ain’t That a Shame.” Before you put it on, make sure your volume is set on LOUD!!!! OK is it set on Loud? Well here comes one of the most under-rated drummers (in my opinion) in rock and roll, Mr. Bun E. Carlos, jamming through your speakers. (By the way Bun E. is now the drummer in the new band “Tinted Windows” and their debut was just released this past Tuesday). Mr. Carlos sets the tone for the entire album as he keeps the train rolling and on this song he is working the scales up and down. And as Sly Stone says “add a little guitar” to which Rick Nielsen obliges with his distinctive “wailing” to get the crowd out of their seat. (are you up yet?) If not, Bun E. will blast you out of your seat with some more of his drumming skills before Robin Zander takes over on vocals. “You made me cry when you said goodbye” totally different from the original as it clicks in your head that you have heard this song before. The boys from Rockford Illinois put their guitar driven spin on this classic. This song has it all- loud guitar, massive drums and great vocals. Of course the bass plays a huge role-especially during the last minute of the song as each non-singing member takes turns putting in their own little solo-switching from guitar-to bass- to drums ending with crowd going delirious. “I Want You to Want Me”- OK I know you have heard this song a “zillion” times but.. it’s SO GOOD.. that’s why you continue to listen to it again.. “Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you cryin’..”(I know they sold out and put this on a “Coke” commercial a few years back.. it took me a while to get over.. seems to be the way of the world). C’mon you know you have “air-guitared” to this song a million times and the chorus is so addicting that I know it will stay in my head the rest of the day and weekend. “This next one is the first song off our new album.. it just came out this week and the song is called Surrender.” “Mother told me yes she told me I’d meet girls like you”- do you need anymore? I love Bun E’s drumming in this song, can’t get enough. This is another song that I could do karaoke with my eyes closed. “We’re all right, we’re all alright!!” Then the blazing guitar strikes again as Robin’s cool rock and roll voice lets the crowd know that the show is coming to an end with “Goodnight” (same way they opened with “Hello There”). They sort of pull off the Who as they seem to be crashing the drums, smashing the guitar as the crowd awaits the encore. This classic album ends with my favorite track “Clock Strikes Ten.” This song friggin’ rocks!!! “Imagine what we’re doing tonight… clock strikes two.. not going home gonna stay out late..” You can not help but jam out and rock around your house (or in your car) because this song has to move you out of your seat. “On the drums.. Mr. Bun E. Carlos.” I’m head banging my way right until the end as the feedback from the guitar laying on the stage slowly fades away with the screams of the crowd.

Similar to Kiss, this live album catapulted them to stardom and they never looked back. I jumped on the band wagon with this album when I was 14 and have been a Trick faithful ever since. (Went to see them at Radio City Music and UFO was the opener-how cool is that?) These boys don’t get the respect that they deserve (again similar to Kiss). I don’t take any impoliteness directed towards Cheap Trick around me at any time, even when my own kids give me grief about them. (I hold them down and force them to listen to the nine minute live version of “Need Your Love” which is on side 1). Cheap Trick has cemented their place in rock and roll history- they have always done it their way with no regrets and they have always had FUN!! What else can one ask for? Sadly (but good for you) you can purchase this classic CD for $5.99 at Amazon. “Live at Budokan” is one of the greatest live albums ever and side 2 is a perfect album side. Run out and get this!!!

Tinted Windows (mentioned above) has released their debut album this past Tuesday. The band consists of the aforementioned Bun E. Carlos (drums), James Iha (guitarist) (Smashing Pumpkins), Adam Scheslinger (bass) (Fountains of Wayne) and Taylor Hanson (singer) (Yes the Hanson brothers of “MM Bop” fame). “Messing with my Head” seems to be the hit single along with “Kind of a Girl”, this seems to be right up all their alleys (except for Mr. Iha) as the theme is pop music.

Back on this day in 1961, Bob Dylan made his recording debut by playing harmonica for a Harry Belafonte album.

Back on this day in 1968, Apple records rejected David Bowie for their label.

Back on this day in 1977, The Talking Heads began their first tour ever by serving as openers for The Ramones. How cool is that?

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Barbara Streisand. She was born in Brooklyn!! (Like my uncle Gary!! Happy Birthday G!)

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