Errols Weekly Music Update.

May 7, 2010

Weekly Update – 05/07/2010

Filed under: CD Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — ea0217 @ 5:34 am

Ozzfest will return this summer and it will be more than one date this year. Ozzfest 2010 will stop at the Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Sat. Aug. 21 and then the Susquehanna Theater in Camden NJ on Sun. Aug. 22. (They will also do shows in CA, Chicago, Pittsburg and Boston). The main stage will of course feature Ozzy as well as Motley Crue and Rob Halford. Black Label Society (I guess Ozzy and Zakk must have ironed things out) along with Drowning Pool, Kingdom of Sorrow, Goatwhore, Skeletonwitch, Saviours and Kataklysm will be the featured acts on the second stage. Tickets will go on sale Sat. May 22 at 10:00 a.m. (more information to follow)

Roger Waters at Madison Square Garden on Tues. Rocktober 5, Nassau Coliseum on Tues. Rocktober 12 and the Izod Center on Wed. Nov. 3. (performing “The Wall”). Pre-sale tickets available for American Express cardholders until Sun. May 9 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale Mon. May 10 at 10:00 a.m. MSG: $79.50 – $129.50 & $254.50; (ouch) $55 – $250 for the other two venues

The Go-Go’s farewell NY concert at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Tues. July 20. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $65.

Straight No Chaser at the Beacon Theater on Tues. Nov. 30. Tickets on sale today at noon. $29.50 – $49.50.

Shakira at Madison Square Garden on Tues. Sept. 21. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $9.50 (can this be right?), $39.50, $69.50, $99.50 and $149.50.

Lilith Fair at the Comcast Theater on Sun. Aug. 1. Pre-sale tickets available now for Citi card holders. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $33 – $107.

Weezer at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg (North 8th street and Kent Avenue) on Fri. July 16. Pre-sale tickets on sale tomorrow morning beginning at 10:00 a.m. until Thurs. May 13 at 10:00 p.m. for American Express cardholders only. General public tickets on sale next Fri. May 14 at 11:00 a.m. $54.

John Mayer at Bethel Woods Center on Wed. Aug. 4. Pre-sale tickets available now until 9:00 p.m. tonight for Citi card holders. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Lawn: $42.15; Rear Orchestra: $49.75; Middle Orchestra: $59.50 – $80.90; Front Orchestra: $80.90

MGMT at Radio City Music Hall on Tues. Aug. 17. Tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m. $39.50.

The Dead Weather at the Prospect Park Bandshell (in Brooklyn) on Wed. Aug. 3. Tickets on sale today at noon. $37.50.

Limp Bizkit at PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. July 3. Tickets on sale next Sat. May 15 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Natalie Merchant at the Town Hall (acoustic only) on Thurs. July 15. Pre-sale tickets available for American Express card holders until 11:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $51.50 and $64.

Stevie Nicks at the Mark. G. Etess Theater in Atlantic City N.J. on Fri. Aug. 27. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Rufus Wainwright at the Prospect Park Bandshell (in Brooklyn) on Tues. July 20. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $36 and $56.

Widespread Panic at Radio City Music Hall on Thurs. July 22. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $44.50 – $59.50.

Barenaked Ladies at Radio City Music Hall on Fri. Aug. 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m. $38 – $78.

Counting Crows at the MAC at Monmouth University on Tues. July 20 and at the Westbury Theater on Wed. Aug. 4. Tickets for the Monmouth show on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $48 and $53. Tickets for the Westbury show on sale tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. $60.50 and $80.50. Also appearing at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair NJ on Tues. & Wed. Aug. 17 & 18. Tickets on sale today at noon. $64.

Primus and Gogol Bordello at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg (North 8th street and Kent Avenue) on Fri. July 30. Tickets on sale today at noon. $36.50.

Ok Go at Terminal 5 on Fri. Rocktober 29. Pre-sale tickets available for American Express card holders until 11:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $25.

Ani DiFranco at the Town Hall on Fri. Nov. 19. Tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m.$46.

Taking Back Sunday at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Wed. June 23. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.$25.

Paramore at Jones Beach on Fri. Aug. 6. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $16, $28.50 and $38.50.

Lil Kim at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Thurs. June 3. Tickets on sale now. $34.50.

50 Cent at The Hammerstein Theater on Tues. June 22. Tickets on sale today at noon. $55 and $75.

Gov’t Mule at the Central Park Summerstage on Wed. Aug. 11. Tickets on sale today at noon. $40.

Bachman Turner (reunited) at the Ives Center in Danbury CT on Sat. Aug. 28. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.

Willie Nelson at the Ives Center in Danbury CT on Sat. July 31. Ticket info to follow.

Other items:

Bret Michaels continues to recover and has done an interview with “People” magazine where he stated that he asked the doctor if he was going to die after the doctor had informed him that he should have his children come down to the hospital. He said if he was going to die, then yes he decided to bring them down but if the doctor thought he had a chance to live, then he decided against it because he didn’t want he children to see him in that condition. Luckily the doctor said he had a chance to live and he continues to improve and is expected to make a 100% recovery. Nothing short of a miracle. \m/ \m/

This week’s Rolling Stone issue (with Robert Downey Jr. on cover) finally posted a review for Slash’s debut album a full month after it was released. What is that? I thought reviews were usually done before the album is released or coincides with the week it is released? The review is like 6 sentences long, a complete and utter joke. You would think with all the time they had to review, there would be more to the write-up. And to boot they gave it just three stars. In my opinion, this has been the best release of 2010 so far. This burns me to no end. At least “Blabbermouth” continues to ignore it, I’d rather that than 6 sentences of nothing. (Sorry I can’t seem to let this go….)

OK so I have really taken a liking to the offspring of two of the “Dixie Chicks” who have formed their own duo called “Court Yard Hounds.” Sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire were getting a little “antsy” and needed to make music and decided to take matters in their own hands (and voices) while Natalie Maines (the lead singer of Dixie) continues to utilize the freedom of staying home. The trio are not done; Emily and Martie will welcome back Natalie with open arms once she is ready to come back and make music but for now they have recorded their “debut.” I have to say that I have listened to more than a few songs in their entirety (their web site) and I have purchased the album. So far the songs I really like are “The Coast,” “Fairytale,” “Gracefully” and “Fear of Wasted Time.” Emily wrote many of the songs after her divorce from singer-songwriter Charlie Robison.

My favorite “new” song of the week is “Chasm” by the band Flyleaf. I think I saw this band at one point open for someone but can’t remember. I heard this song the other day on the best rock station in the U.S.A.-“WCCC”-out of Hartford CT and I was really impressed and immediately downloaded it. It is off their latest album-“Memento Mori.” Check it out.

Of course you know I jumped all over the new Godsmack album-“The Oracle”- and I like what I have heard. I will give it a few more turns and may just come up with an album review. Now the formula has not changed-so if you are looking for something “new” or “different”-then don’t pick it up but if you love their sound (like I do) then this is right up your alley. AC/DC have not changed their recipe and have been revered for doing so, but for some reason the haters out there give these guys a lot of grief. Yeah I have read the comments that they should just fork over their proceeds to the “Alice In Chains” trust fund. These guys loved and respected Layne and the rest of the members of AIC and yes they are a heavy influence but so what? If you are a fan of ‘Smack you will love the heavy bass lines, they are everywhere. Check out the song –“War and Peace.”

Ok so Aaron Kelly was voted off this past Wednesday night from American Idol and I am still scratching my head because I can’t understand how he and Michael Lynche ended up in the bottom two after Tuesday night’s performance. Both Crystal Bowersox and Casey James had less than average presentations (and I like both of them and have predicted that Crystal will win it all) and deserved to be in the bottom of the votes. I really have to tip my hat to Aaron Kelly as he was most respectful as he said his goodbye. I don’t think he would have ended up winning the whole thing but I honestly have changed my earlier opinion that I would not remember his name after his exodus and now predict that he will land a contract with someone. All the judges loved Michael’s rendition of “The way You Look Tonight” so I don’t understand why America keeps putting him near the bottom almost every week. Obviously now with only 4 contestants left, being at the bottom is not so bad. The sleeper in this has been Lee DeWyze as he has a real chance of being crowned the 2010 American Idol.

By the way, what was American Idol thinking (and FOX) by having Lady GaGa perform on their show? I guess they want to try and stay “current” but her routine on Wednesday night was offensive. Ok yes maybe that is the “old person” coming out in me because I was dying as my 12 year old son watched in “horror.” Lady- We get it.. you are always “pushing the envelope” but there will come a time when your talent will have to overtake all the ridiculous outfits and stage props. I was embarrassed for her as well as myself for actually watching it. Thank goodness for Harry Connick Jr.’s solo performance as well as when all five contestants sang his songs. Now that is music and something I have been pounding away on this page- it is our civil duty to keep the classics going.

My older son has informed me that the Zac Brown Band is an act that I really should follow. I have heard this guy is good but now I know he must be because my older son is usually on the mark. Funny thing is that he is not so hip to Country (that will eventually come, I was the same way when I was his age) music but he is drawn to the Zac Brown Band. They have released a massive live album-“Pass the Jar”- with 24 songs and they include some smoking covers, especially “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels band. Check it out. Kid Rock also does a song with them.

Has anyone been listening to the New York radio station “Lite FM” (at 106.7) lately? They say they are “lite” but especially the last few weeks, the station seems more like Z-100 or WPLJ than the normal Lite FM that I have been use to. It’s been weird.

My favorite “nu-metal” or “new-rock” song is “Take it to the Limit” by Hinder (with Mick Mars). Now I know lots of you out there have been telling me about this band (along with Breaking Benjamin and the such) and just to let you know, I’m getting there-just give me a chance. I like Hinder’s sound- loud, crisp and tight. This song rocks. \m/ \m/

Album Review: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel released on January 26, 1970

Bridge Over Troubled Water

A few weeks ago, “The Graduate” was on one of those classic movie channels and I knew that the entire soundtrack was done by Simon & Garfunkel and as I watched the movie while listening to their great songs, I couldn’t believe how much I loved their songs, so it made me explore. Now I “cheated” with this group in the sense that I had purchased their “greatest hits” which I know is sac-religious but I have “seen the light” and now own albums two through five. I am pouring through these albums and who knows I just may do an album review for each for the next four weeks. I decided to start with their last album together because of the significance that I think it represented. The 1960’s were one of the most explosive decades in our history filled with great achievements but also marked by some very violent turbulent times in the U.S. which included the Vietnam War and the tail end of this decade could have the furthest we have ever been from peace abroad as well as in our own backyard. Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I experienced this because when this album was released I was only 4 years old but from what I have read (and have now heard) this album represented a “bed of hope.” Our Country needed something and supposedly this album was sort of a security blanket that calmed our fears-at least for a little bit-from all the monsters in our room that kept us up at night. Folks I’m telling you I don’t think there has ever been a duo that has ever moved me the way that Simon & Garfunkel have done. This album is like an outer body experience. And the sad and most ironic part is that this masterpiece was created as they both knew that their existence together was coming to an end. Isn’t it weird to think that these unbelievable songs were made at a time of duress for both of these men? The first analogy that pops into my head is the same thing happened with The Beatles in the sense, in my opinion, that some of their best material was created while they knew they were breaking up. From the White album to Let It Be, so many phenomenal songs made at a time where they couldn’t even stand to be in the same room with each other. My recommendation for this Country right now is for everyone who has this album to take it out and listen to it. Listen to it with your whole family. For those of you who do not own it, please I beg of you-run out and buy this now and listen with all your heart. Pass this on down to everyone you know and also perfect strangers. This has to make you feel better about things. I always knew that Simon & Garfunkel were one of the best-if not the best-artists to ever record music in this U.S. of A but now that I am digesting this album (as well as their other fantastic albums) I have to say that they have catapulted their way to the top of my all time list of my favorite artists/bands.

On a separate note, when I think of Simon & Garfunkel the first thing I think of is the song-“The Sound of Silence”- as this was the first song I heard after my mother passed away-don’t ask me how I know that or remember that-I just do- the opening line gets me every time-“Hello darkness my old friend”- as the tears well up. How great is that song? The second thing I remember about Simon & Garfunkel is when I was out of work last year I met this gentleman, Mr. Pendleton, who passed my name along to more than a few potential job opportunities (I thank him as well as the many other family and friends who did/do the same for me) and you remember how many times I have told you that music is a “connection?” The conversation of music is universal and the one take away for me was when he mentioned that S&G were his favorite artists of all time. You see for me it is music that feeds the soul and those two things are something that I will never forget for the rest of my life.

Side one of this classic album starts off with the title track and the first thing that I think of is that I believe many of us out there take Mr. Art Garfunkel for granted and consider Mr. Paul Simon as the only power in this duo. Not for nothing but this song could arguably be their best song ever recorded and guess who sings it? Now yes I know that Paul wrote the song and it could also arguably be one of the best songs ever written. Whenever I hear this song I become perfectly still and can not move, nor do I want any other noise or distractions to disrupt this masterpiece. “When you’re weary, feeling small…when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all…I’m on your side when times get rough..” In any era those are words to live by but especially now. This song has to grip you; it is completely and utterly stunning. And who can forget the legendary lyrics-“…Sail on silvergirl, sail on by…your time has come to shine…all your dreams are on their way…” the song ends with such a majestic feel to it, it is numbing. Track # 2-“El Condor Pasa (If I Could)”- is my favorite song on the album. It gives me the chills and again I can’t even move when I hear this song. The arrangement is spectacular and whoever is playing the flute does a spectacular job. “… I’d rather be a hammer than a nail… yes I would… if I could… I surely would…” I guess all of us would probably choose the hammer right?…but the nail is also needed. Makes you think. Paul’s vocals are stunning and I just can’t get enough of this song. The ever popular “Cecilia” is the third track and I can’t imagine anyone not liking this song. It is the perfect sing along song for your first BBQ this year or while at a dinner party-this is for the entire family, so enjoy. Lots of percussion in this tune and sort of a sign of things to come for Mr. Simon as years later he would take part in so many different genres of music which included performing with South African musicians and groups. The next song-“Keep the Customer Satisfied”- conjures up images of The Everly Brothers (who were part of their inspiration) as the upbeat sound with the acoustic guitar feels like Don & Phil could have written & performed this track. Love the horn arrangements and the finger snapping groove. The last song on side one-“So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright”-is supposedly Paul’s goodbye song to Art. It is a touching soft song that seems to portray their career together as Paul says-“…never change your point of view… when I run dry I stop awhile and think of you…” The last words of the song are “So long, So Long.” Like I mentioned above, it is unbelievable to me that these kind of songs were made while they were apparently having a hard time agreeing on issues.

Side two starts off with another song that could be argued is their best song ever-“The Boxer.” As I read the lyrics it hits me that since I am older the words have more meaning than when I was younger. Life is something that keeps coming at you and only experience at it can make you understand what it can do to you. The words are poignant:-“… In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade…and he carries the reminders of ev’ry glove that laid him down… or cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame… I am leaving, I am leaving… but the fighter still remains…” The words are powerful and take on so many different meanings for every person in this world, in its own way. The tears are flowing as I take in this beautiful song with my entire heart and soul-this is earth shattering stuff right here. “Baby Driver” takes up the feel of the album to a nice hand and knee slapping song that reminds me of something that the Beatles would do. It’s funny but when they turn it up a notch it feels right and the saxophone solo puts the icing on the cake for this one. This could a good song to shout out to the man/ woman or band with that acoustic guitar(s) as a request the next time you are at your local pub. Track # 3-“The Only Living Boy in New York”- is another soothing song that just makes you feel like you’re laying down on a nice grassy hill during a nice summer day with nothing but blue skies in your vision. It seems every song they do, there is so much effort put into the lyrics as well as the overall arrangement of the track. “…Hey, I’ve got nothing to do today but smile……half of the time we’re gone but we don’t know where, and we don’t know where…” Do these words get you to think about life or what? Fantastic song which can bring tears to your eyes. “Why Don’t You Write Me”-brings the pace back up again and sort of has this “calypso” feeling to it. This song is almost actually “heavy” as the musicianship is pretty tight and “jamming” and dare I say a little “loud” for a S&G song. This song is different from any on the album. The boys pay homage to the Everly Brothers by putting a live version of “Bye Bye Love” and this crowd claps their hands together way better than the American Idol audience as they hold the beat of this classic song for the entire version. Is this a perfect sing along song or what? Awesome cover of this American standard. This classic album ends with “Song for the Asking” which is a marvelous song that spotlights Paul’s vocals as well as the acoustic guitar. It really is amazing the songs that these guys had in them, seemed like almost every thing they touched turn into gold or touched your heart. The song ends with the wonderful lyrics-“…Ask me and I will play… All the love that I hold inside…” Seems they did that for generations to come.

Folks discovering music-old or new- is what it is all about and my discovery this week is the magic of Mr. Paul Simon and Mr. Art Garfunkel. I knew and respected their impact on American music but until I really sat down and listened to their albums, I never knew what I was missing. Their work together should be held with such deep regard and massive amount of appreciation that we should thank them every chance we get because it doesn’t get more special than Simon & Garfunkel. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is a pure masterpiece and I can’t wait until I can review the other albums.


Image of The Police

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “Next to You” by The Police [by the way The Offspring do a nice cover of this classic on their greatest hits.. it sits at the end of (Can’t Get My) Head Around You)-one of those “secret” songs] and it jumped started me to list my favorite ten songs by one of my favorite bands early on in my formidable years of learning the trade of listening to rock and roll or in this case-“New wave”- yes boys and girls when the Police first hit the scene they were classified in this genre. Now I think I have said this more than a few times on this page that I was very upset with Mr. Gordon Sumner, otherwise known as “Sting” when, in my eyes, he left his fellow band mates flat in the prime of their existence to make it all about him. (And Springsteen fans you can blame Sting for convincing Bruce to run out on the E-Street band way back when he implored Bruce that he could make it without them). OK so they both did very well with their solo careers, begrudgingly I have to admit it, still doesn’t take away the pain/anger. But in a strange way I guess The Police had to go their separate ways because by the time “Synchronicity” was released in 1983 they were way to “popular” for me and I had jumped off their band wagon while everyone else on the planet seemed to be jumping on. (Remember I was 13 when their first album came out and in my eyes they were “underground” for a while, so being a teenager clouded my vision a bit because I would drop bands the moment-in my eyes- that they hit the “masses”). Obviously now that I am older I want the bands that I listen to become huge, like the Police were back in 1983. (By the way there will be no songs from “Synchronicity” on this list, sorry there is still that part in me…)

In my opinion the first two Police albums should be considered some of the best albums ever to be released in the history of music. They had this vibe which included punk rock, rock and roll mixed in with reggae which was so different than anyone out at that time-(think back to the late 1970’s with bands like Boston, Foreigner and disco-there was no one like The Police). Stewart Copeland is one of the world’s best drummers and he is prevalent in every Police song. Sting is a phenomenal bass player (listen to the first two albums and you’ll be blown away) while Andy Summers, in my opinion, has always been a very under-rated guitarist. He really opened eyes on their last tour with his very skillful solos as well as keeping that train going. Yes I did attend their farewell tour at Madison Square Garden back in the summer of 2007 and I liked the show but wasn’t so crazy about changing the melodies of some of the early songs. I wanted the “reggae” sounding songs to stay that way and wanted the “punk” songs to also stay the same way… but the “punk” songs were changed, almost “jazzed” up, which didn’t cut it for me. Oh well at least I have the albums to fall back on. Now folks there has to be some Police in your library as it is almost impossible to not like one of their songs-from “Roxanne” to “Wrapped Around Your Finger.” Yes, even “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” which my oldest son says has to be one of the worst songs ever written or recorded. I don’t know but I have always liked that song. Oh well, I am on an island and have been told that I can only have ten songs by The Police, “these are them:” Again these are my favorites (because I already know that if you are not a “fan” of the Police you will not know many of these songs)

10.     Does Everyone StareThe “early” Police were so phenomenal you could feel the energy and edge they had that catapulted them into the stratosphere. Even the lyrics were all over the place, for instance-“I never noticed the size of my feet, until I kicked you in the shins..” –I don’t know why but those are the first lyrics to come to mind when I hear this song. Now this song seems simple enough but when you listen to the collaboration between the three, it’s unbelievable how tight they are. Sting’s bass line feels like it’s coming right through the speakers. Stewart’s drumming feels like he is banging right on your head and how cool is his piano playing on this tune-he wrote this song and he sings the first verse of this fun tune.

9.     Deathwish All three of them wrote this song and again you can feel the electricity between the three as every instrument played is so crystal clear but I have to admit that I love Stewart’s drumming the best as I wish I could play the drums because I would blast away with this song. Sting’s bass hits you right in the chest while Andy keeps the groove going with his guitar work. I feel like I have stuck my fingers in an electric socket as I am hoping up and down all over the room, especially when the beat picks up-again listen to the phenomenal drumming by Mr. Copeland. Awesome tune.

8.     Voices Inside My HeadThis reggae “funk-a-fied” song is almost too much for me to take, Sting’s bass work has to get you out of your seat and on to the dance floor, whether it be your living room or whatever. Stewart’s drumming makes it that much easier to move your feet and especially your body. (listen to his unbelievable skills throughout this song). And then with about a minute and ten seconds left in the song, I can just picture that line that use to be formed on Soul Train when two people would come down from the back of the line and do their thing and once they reached the front another couple would start from the back again. How great is this song? Not too many lyrics but the chorus is addicting and their musicianship is out of this world.

7.     Invisible SunThere is something about this song that intrigues me so much, even today when I listen to it. The song has always grabbed my attention like no other Police song. Now this is off “Ghost in the Machine” and by that time Sting had taken over the band as the input from Stewart and Andy was minimal and in my opinion this is when they went “pop.” Now you know I love all kinds of pop but you can sense that something missing from this album forward and what that was, were Andy and Stewart. Like I said, I love this song but in a weird way, it signaled the end.

6.     The Bed’s Too Big Without YouTalk about a bass? Sting is all over this song with his voice and especially the bass line. Take a listen to this song again and listen to the entire arrangement and production-it really is spectacular- may seem a bit simple but it really is pure perfection. The bass line puts me in a trance and this song makes me want to dance by myself in a circle in the fields of Woodstock. I can remember lying on the hard wood floor in my bedroom of my parent’s place as a teenager with a pillow very close to the base of the speakers and playing this as loud as I could take (or whenever my parents said to turn it down-which ever came first) and every part of my body would move, even my toes. If this reggae twisted tune doesn’t get you moving well I just give up.

5.     No Time This TimeThis is one of the fastest songs in the history of music and I do the “Wayne’s World” bow to all three musicians as this is a jaw dropping display of musicianship that you will ever hear. I had to rewind this song three times already as I try to write about it, that’s how addicting it is. And when Stewart does the blazing drum parts at the end of the tune, I am beside myself. I’m thinking this should have been my number one song. If you dare use this song for your next Spin class be prepared for people to scream out in pain as they try to keep up with the pace of the song as they try to sprint for the entire three minutes, it’s impossible to spin as fast as they are playing. Mr. Summer’s guitar solo throws me over the edge and I feel like Macaulay Culkin who was running around like crazy in “Home Alone.” This is the perfect exercise song, could be the best ever.

4.     Born In The 50’sThis is the “rock and roll” Police and does it get any better than this song? Sting’s vocals are the best and his bass work even better. “…They screamed… when the Beatles sang…and they laughed when the King fell down the stairs…” I can sing this song all day long. “Born in the 50’s…Born in the 50’s…” Copeland is the man.

3.     It’s Alright For YouAnother song that Copeland help write along with Sting that appears on “Reggatta de Blanc” and this is straight up rock and roll. They had the formula nailed down as this three minute song features all their talents, especially Mr. Summers as his blazing guitar solo will make you stand up and take notice at his mad skills. And I don’t know about you but after listening to Stewart Copeland on drums, I want to start taking lessons, he is all over the place with his superior skills. This is short but packs a powerful punch- this is when the Police were the Police.

2.     Truth Hits EverybodyYou want “head-banging” punk rock? Look no further than this unbelievable tune, if you can’t bang your head to this one, well then you might have a headache. Oh man I love this freaking song, I can’t get enough of it. This is even shorter than three minutes but it packs a wallop of a punch. This was a staple in our boot camp classes at MBIA from 2002-2005, I can picture all of us at our separate stations-(everyone stayed at least two stations away from me because of my unusual propensity to sweat more than any other human being alive)- and I would always hope that I had the “running” part so that I could bounce up & down while dancing, making believe I was playing air-guitar-while running of course. Or we would take a small football and Dave and I would pass it to each other whenever head-banging songs like these would come on. Thanks Tricia, Dave, CIC, Doreen and Nick for making those years so special.

1.     Can’t Stand Losing YouThis was one of the first two singles released from Outlandos d’Amour (obviously “Roxanne” was the other) and from the first moment that I heard this back in the late 1970’s, I knew this was going to be one of my all time favorite songs. You know what I’m talking about right? Sometimes it’s your mate-the first time you meet them, you know. Or when my wife and I saw our first house, we knew instantly that we wanted to live there. Now of course it is about the music because the topic deals with suicide as a result of losing someone. The Police had this way of constantly repeating the same lyrics (think “Message in a Bottle”- sending out an S.O.S…) and I love the way Sting persistently sings “I Can’t .. I Can’t.. I Can’t Stand Losing…” Also love the part where he says “…And your brother’s gonna kill me… and he’s six feet ten…” This is an all-time classic.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     They asked Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and George Harrison before Neil Young said yes.

2.     Jerry Garcia

3.     Ronnie Van Zant, he died at the young age of 29 along with two other members of Lynyrd Skynyrd in a plane crash.

4.     ZZ Top

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     What Beatles song lasted on the charts the longest, at 19 weeks?

2.     What jazz musician is known as “The Prince of Darkness?”

3.     What self proclaimed “architect of rock and roll” helped cut the ribbon for the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland?

4.     Whose memorial service marked for the first time in 30 years that the three surviving members of the Beatles appeared together in public?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week: (Nice job Tricia)

1.     “If”- Bread

2.     “We’ve Only Just Begun”- The Carpenters

3.     “This Guys In Love With You”-Herb Albert & the Tijuana Brass

4.     “Garden Party” –Ricky Nelson

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

1.     “…I love all the things you say and do…and it’s so nice to hear you say…you’re gonna please me in every way…”

2.     “…I remember I cried when my father died…never wishing to have cried the tears…and at sixty-five years old…My mother, God rest her soul…”

3.     “…I feel fine…I’m talking bout peace of mind…I’m gonna take my time…I’m getting the good sign…”

4.     “…they arrested me and put me in jail…and called my pappy to throw my bail…And he said Son you are going to drive me to drinkin’ if you don’t stop…”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1998, Eddie Rabbitt, died from lung cancer at the young age of 56. I always loved the song-“I Love a Rainy Night.”

Back on this day in 1968, Reginald Dwight decided to change his name to Elton John.

Back on this day in 1991, Wilson Pickett was arrested for drunk driving in Englewood NJ and also for threatening his neighbor, who happened to be the mayor of Englewood.

Back on this day in 1998, Steve Perry decided to leave the band Journey, leaving them with no frontman.

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with the late great Johnny Maestro,(who unfortunately just passed away on Mar. 24 from cancer at the age of 70-he should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) Jimmy Ruffin (“What Becomes of the Broken Hearted”) and Bill Danoff (The Starland Vocal Band)


April 23, 2010

Weekly Update – 04/23/2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other items:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Image of Pearl Jam

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Bruce Springsteen

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

3.     “Dreams”

4.     Toni Tenille

This week’s trivia (Pearl Jam)-

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

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

3.     Has Nirvana sold more records than Pearl Jam?

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

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Eye of the Tiger”- Survivor

2.     “I Drink Alone”- George Thorogood

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

4.     “I Got You Babe” –Sonny & Cher

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

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

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

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

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

Back on this Day

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

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

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

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

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

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