Errols Weekly Music Update.

March 26, 2010

Weekly Update – 03/26/2010

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

Green Day with AFI at PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. Aug. 14. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m.$20, $35, $59.50, $69.50 and $85.

Phish at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga NY on Sat. & Sun. June 20 & 21. Tickets on sale next Fri. Apr. 2 at 10:00 a.m. $50

Kings of Leon at Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Tues. Aug. 3. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $30.50 – $55.50

Cobra Starship and 3OH!3 at the Bay Stage at Jones Beach on Sat. June 12. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $25. Also appearing at the Stone Pony in NJ on Sun. June 13. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.$23.

Korn at Roseland Ballroom on Mon. May 10. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m.$47.50

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Tour III featuring Rob Zombie and Korn at PNC Bank Arts Center on Wed. July 28. Pre-sale tickets begin next Fri. Apr. 2. General public tickets on sale Fri. Apr. 16. More info to follow

Thirty Seconds to Mars at The Wellmont Theater on Thurs. Apr. 22. Tickets on sale today at noon. $29.50 ($30 day of show).

Darius Rucker at The Wellmont Theater on Sun. May 2. Tickets on sale today at noon. $30, $55 & $65.

Lynyrd Skynyrd with .38 Special and Bret Michaels at Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Sat. July 10. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $25 – $59.50.

Styx with Foreigner and Kansas at the Mohegan Sun on Fri. June 18. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Paramore at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford CT on Tues. July 27. Pre-sale tickets on sale now for Citi card holders. General public on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.$35

Apocalyptica at the Nokia Theater on Wed. May 26. Pre-sale tickets on now for American Express cardholders until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. General public on sale tomorrow at noon. $22.50

The Outlaws at BB Kings on Fri. July 9. Tickets on sale next Sat. Apr. 3 at 10:00 a.m. $35 ($40 day of show)

Nils Lofgren and friends (acoustic) at BB Kings on Thurs. Sept. 9. Tickets on sale next Thurs. Apr. 1 at 10:00 a.m. $25 ($30 day of show)

Huey Lewis & The News at the Theater in Westbury NY on Thurs. July 15. Tickets on sale this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. $59.50

Cascada at Webster Hall (first ever full live show in NY) on Wed. April 14. Tickets on sale now. $30 ($35 day of show).

Vampire Weekend at Radio City Music Hall on Fri. Sept. 17. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $39.50

Miike Snow at Terminal 5 on Wed. Rocktober 5. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25

M.I.A. at South Island Field on Governor’s Island on Sat. July 24 at 4:00 p.m. Pre-sale tickets on now for American Express cardholders until 11:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $40, $45 and $55.

Celtic Thunder (I saw these guys on PBS and they were good) at Radio City Music Hall on Fri. Rocktober 1. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $50 – $80.

Other items:

Recently I have been on a kick for purchasing “CD’s” as opposed to buying songs straight from I-Tunes and as you all know, trying to find a place that sells them is problematic. I know, I use “Amazon” but it’s just not the same. I love roaming the old record stores for hours just to see if something catches my eye and then I buy it and rush home to listen to it. Luckily I have passed this trait on down to my children and last weekend my oldest ask to go to “FYE” in Danbury CT, now this entity use to reside in the Danbury Mall but the rent was too expensive for them, so they bought up the old “Strawberries” (another former place to buy music) which is right in the vicinity of the mall-just not in it. So we walk in and the place always seems empty-that was not the case when it was located inside the mall (they actually had two stores-one on the upper level and one on the lower level-for a couple of years or so) and it still has the appearance of being unsettled-like when you first move into a new house or apartment-do you know what I mean? Anyway, I make a bee line for the “metal” section to look for Black Sabbath’s “Sabotage” and…nothing. How can a record store not have Sabotage by Black Sabbath? They have 65 copies of “Symptom of the Universe”-(a greatest hits collection) and little else. I make my way around the store and I notice the same trend-they don’t stock the most important albums from some of the biggest names in music. Very sad, I said to my son that I needed to open a store and run it the right way. Then the prices were really outrageous-I understand that they need to compete with I-Tunes and Amazon type places so they need to raise their prices but to the average price of $18.99? That is almost doubled what I-Tunes would charge? I am willing to pay some extra to get the case and liner notes (I can’t believe I just said that…) but not double the amount. We all know it doesn’t cost that much to make the CD and the case, so what gives? We ended up in the “used” section-which was even more depressing-but my son managed to pull two CD’s out and purchased them for less than $17. Boy do I long for the days of “The Record Store” on 86th street in Brooklyn NY between 4th and 5th avenues? In the immortal words of Simon and Garfunkle-“Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio… our nation turns its lonely eyes to you..”

Then this past Tuesday I wanted to acquire the last album by The Scorpions-“Sting in the Tail” so I know there is a chance that I could get it at “Borders” in lower Manhattan on Broadway. Borders-are you kidding me? Of course I can’t get anyone to help even though workers are actually walking around on the floor seemingly everywhere (helping “others”). So I go upstairs, then downstairs and back upstairs for one last look. Nothing… So I went to I-Tunes later that night and retrieved it (but with no case, liner notes, etc..) I just realized I could have gone to J&R. Oh well… anyone in on opening the coolest record store on the east coast? I know I was in one on Cape Cod a few years back, I forget which town though. Oh by the way, in my angst to get the Scorpions new CD at Borders I saw a “greatest hits” collection by Saliva-which I did not know existed-so for the casual fan of this group-this may be the way to go. (I had most every song already).

I like to keep it positive on this page when talking about artists, bands, music shows, etc. but this past week’s American Idol show had some real clunkers and I have to say that I think we have been spoiled the last few years when there seemed to be at least 4-7 really good contestants; but this year.. not so good. I totally agree with Randy’s assessment on Paige Miles, who was eliminated Wednesday night, where he said it was the worst he’s probably ever seen on the show. I felt bad for her but there was no way she could not have been voted off or saved by the judges. Tim Urban has to be next to get the axe (how could he turn such a good Queen song into a lounge act but then slide across the stage like he was in the middle of a mash pit? What was he thinking?) and then Andrew Garcia after that. I’m sorry but Siobhan Magnus can not win this year-please we already had a screamer to win it last season. (oops sorry, it was Kris Allen but you know who I meant). I turn the channel on her performances because I know the screams and squeals are coming. Crystal Bowersox is the leading candidate in my opinion. By the way, both Kara and Simon have totally confused the contestants as well as the audience with their constant “flip-flopping” back and forth on song choice and sounding “contemporary.” They are continuously advising the contestants to “make the song your own” and when they do that-they tell them that it makes them appear old fashioned or not contemporary. There was nothing wrong with “The Letter” as a song choice-you are there to judge them on how it is sung Simon, it’s enough already. Bring back Paula, please.

The Stone Temple Pilots are back out on the road again and according to many people they flat out rocked the house down in Austin Texas last week and brought out a special guest-Robby Krieger- and played The Door’s –“Roadhouse Blues”- as well as the STP hit-“Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart.” And just like the Thin Lizzy songs states-“The Boys are Back!!”

The Scorpions will be honored on Tues. Apr. 6 when they are inducted into the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame. It is the only sidewalk gallery dedicated to artists who have shaped the world of music. Well deserved boys!! Congrats!!

Speaking of the Scorpions, if you want to head “back to the future” to the late 1980’s then do yourself a favor and get their final studio album-“Sting in the Tail.” The loud and heavy guitar riffs are everywhere on this knock out of their final punch. Take a listen to “Slave Me” and let your “hair” down as you will immediately think of mullets while watching MTV when it was good. This is perfect “air-guitar” material and I wonder if Tawny will be available for the video. (Just think in a couple more weeks we can do it all over again with the release of Ratt’s new album-“Infestation.”) “Rock Zone” will have your head shaking up and down at break-neck speed. (Oh by the way these guys took a page out of AC/DC’s naming songs as the word “Rock” is 4 out of the 12 tracks) “Let’s Rock” is a slow head bang that get the juices flowing. And as usual they know how to take it down and in my opinion-“Sly”-ranks up there as the best track on the album. The last track recorded for this momentous band is the awe inspiring “The Best is Yet to Come” and it has already become the most popular download on I-Tunes already. Again Thank you Scorpions for providing your fans decades of music and we wish you nothing but the best on your next venture but we will definitely come out to see you on your final tour. Rock on my friends. \m/ \m/

The Bird and the Bee have put out a cover album of some of Hall & Oates greatest hits and it’s called Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1 and I have to tell you that I am pleasantly surprised, there are some excellent remakes here folks. Check out-“Rich Girl”-or –“Sara Smile”-this is some good stuff right here.

Christina Aguilera will release “Bionic” on June 8. This will be her fourth studio album and first since 2006 when she released “Back to the Basics.” You can check out her first single-“Not Myself Tonight”- which will premiere on her website tonight at 6:00 p.m. This song will come to radio the week of April 5 and make it to I-Tunes on April 13. For more info see http://www.christinaaguilera.com/

Ben Harper has received some help on one of his new songs for a new album with the Relentless7 gang with no other than legendary Beatle-Ringo Starr. How cool is that? He also received some help from Jackson Browne who sings background vocals on a song.

Neil Young is setting up a new tour-acoustic- with Bert Jansch– who Neil credits as being a major influence and you can see a picture of Jansch on the back of Buffalo Springfield’s second album. Neil states that Bert is on the “same level as Jimi Hendrix.” Only five dates have been set with none in the Tri State area just yet.

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

She's So Unusual

Side 1 of “She’s So Unusual” by Cyndi Lauper. Released Rocktober 14, 1983.

Now for many of you out there you may know Cyndi Lauper as one of the celebrities on this month’s version of the Donald Trump show- “Celebrity Apprentice” – and may not know that for some time, she was at the top of the music scene in the early to mid 1980’s. I would say that she was most popular right after Pat Benatar and right before Madonna hit it big and she could rock out like Benatar (think “Money Changes Everything”) while churning out the “pop” standards a la Madonna. (think.. so many songs). “She’s so Unusual” was Cyndi’s debut album and it was released in Rocktober 1983; I had just graduated from Brooklyn Tech and was heavily into Van Halen at that time as well as The Cars and Foreigner. Now you know that I loved the music of Pat Benatar and Heart so it wasn’t like I didn’t listen to female music stars but at that time my friends were really getting into Sabbath, Nugent and the Crue. I wasn’t much for peer pressure and when this album came out I was drawn to it (and is the only album that I own from Lauper-again “Greatest Hits” doesn’t count as an album) and was not ashamed to admit. To me, it was a matter of diversity and I loved those other bands like my friends but also listened to other types of music that my metal militia would scowl at the very thought of even being around the sound of anything “pop.” Now I admit that Lauper was a bit of a stretch for me as I wasn’t into the “pop” world and as a matter of fact dropped The Police with their release of “Synchronicity” and my beloved Cars, when they released “Heartbeat City.” So it was a weird dichotomy, on one hand I was walking away from my favorite bands like The Police and The Cars (whom I followed for years) because in my mind they had become too “commercial” but on the other hand gravitated to artists like Lauper and to a certain extent Madonna, although I never admitted that I liked Madonna songs back in the 1980’s. (and never bought her stuff until the 2000’s). The song that lured me in for Lauper was “Money Changes Everything” and this was and always will be my favorite song by her. Now the entire album is super solid but side one is perfect.

Side one starts off with the aforementioned “Money” and the beginning sort of has that Springsteen feel to it until obviously when Cyndi starts singing. Her voice is raw and edgy which solidifies the fact that she can sing rock and roll when she wants to. If there is one thing that stands out to me for any Lauper song is her uncanny knack for getting you to sing along to her songs and I for one can sing this song all day long. “Ya think you know what you’re doing.. you don’t know a thing… money changes everything!!”- words so true right? Money ain’t everything but it certainly changes things. Now for 1983, this song had a little bit of a “new wave” sound but it clearly has a rock and roll feel to it and that is why I think the song will always having staying power. Which brings me to track # 2-“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”- talk about staying power? This song, in my opinion, has become sort of a “national anthem” for girls across the world. Think about it- this song is almost 30 years old and still sounds as fresh when it came out and exudes the same reaction for generations of women. Now this song brings me back to “Omaha Beef” which was located near Brooklyn Tech (no longer there as the “mall” has replaced it) and I worked with my uncle in this meat warehouse and this song was played endlessly on the radio during the summer of 1984. Now the other workers and I use to have a battle for the radio stations as they use to guard the door as WBLS always played but once they let their guard down I’d run inside and change the station. Now I knew I couldn’t change it to WNEW because everyone would immediately know it was me who changed the radio to that “rock crap,” so I’d put on WPLJ (they had already gone “pop”) because I knew there was a good chance that they’d play songs that were “radio friendly” and this track was played at least 3-4 times in an eight hour period. (sometimes the other workers would just give up and leave the “neutral” station on). By the way, who can forget the video with Lou Albano? Track # 3-“When You Were Mine”- is a cover of Prince’s song off his 1980 album-“Dirty Mind”- and in my opinion is totally different from Prince’s version. Now I will say that I do like both versions and Cyndi’s take definitely puts a lot more of a “pop” punch to it than Prince’s, which leans to the R&B style. Now some of you may be asking –“how can a cover be counted on a perfect album side?”- well if it is a good cover and adds to the perfection, then I am all for it. I like the way Cyndi passionately sings at the end-“I love you more.. I love you more..” One of the keys to a song being good is that it flies by and the five minutes ends very quickly, so you know it has to be good.

“Time After Time” is a classic tune that has been covered over 120 artists across a broad spectrum of music genres since its release. Artists such as Willie Nelson, Eddie Money and Matchbox 20 have covered it. Is this a great song or what? This track highlights Cyndi’s ability to sing the soft songs so well and this is another tune that has stood the test of time as this sounds as creative today as it did back in 1983. Do you remember last year on American Idol when Allison Iraheta actually sang with Cyndi, forming a duet that in my opinion was spectacular? If you need a nice slow mix when you are on your work on Monday mornings, this is the perfect song to have on that list. The last song on side one is “She Bop” and gives Madonna a run for her money as Cyndi shows that she can “take it to the club” with a dance song that is infectious. Now you know that I can’t dance but I can’t help but move when I hear this song. And I bet this is not one of the first songs that you think of when someone asks-“What songs have a whistle in it?” [most will think “(Sitting On) the Dock of the Bay” by Redding or “Jealous Guy” by Lennon]. Now the “whistle” is prevalent throughout but especially in the middle of the song where it almost serves as a “guitar solo”- do you know what I mean? I like the laugh that Cyndi does towards the end of the song, a sign of deference as she made her mark on the world of music and she was here to stay. It’s hard not to sing along to this track.

“She’s So Unusual” is a great album and the proof is in the fact that Rolling Stone magazine placed this as number 494 out of the top 500 albums of all-time. Now go ahead and shrug it off if you will but someone has to be number 494 and to secure a spot on the all-time list is not something to easily dismiss. Side one is perfect in my opinion and is something that should be in your music library. The album has sold more than 9 million copies worldwide so you know it has to be good. Nice job Cyndi.

“TOP TEN”:

The Essential Cheap Trick

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “Voices” by Cheap Trick so I decided to make my top ten list reflect my favorite songs by the boys from Rockford, IL. And since next Thursday is April 1 and the people of Illinois get to celebrate “Cheap Trick Day” every April 1st (the Illinois Senate passed this resolution back in 1997-Monica- I know you are so happy about that now that you live there) I propose that we all celebrate Cheap Trick Day next week as well as any other time you want to listen to this long lasting rock band. And just last Friday the band announced that “Mr. Bun E. Carlos” will not be playing with them on their upcoming/current tour (could it be because of his other band-“Tinted Windows?”)-But he is still a member of Cheap Trick as Rick Nielson’s son-Daxx Nielson- is filling in for Carlos. Now I have been a fan of these guys for a long time-I am not going to sit here and tell you I know every song that they have ever recorded (like I do with Van Halen-minus the Gary Cherone year or two)- but I have more than a few albums. My first introduction to them was based on their “live” album-“At Budokan” back in 1979 when I was in my second year of being a teenager. (similar to my intro to Kiss with “Alive”). Yes it was most likely the song-“I Want You to Want Me”- that lured me in and I never looked back. Say what you will about that song-I know you have heard it a zillion times-but you know what?- it still gets me pumped when I hear it, especially the live version. I remember the first time I saw the “Coke” TV commercial a few years ago-again I was torn-on one hand I was upset that they had “sold out” (in my eyes) but on the other hand, I was so excited to see (hear) a song from a band that I have followed for years was being used for a nationally known product make its way into millions of living rooms across the United States. And to boot I could brag to my kids that this was a band that I grew up with (yes, so OK I’m old-on a separate note I am still trying to get my boys to open up their minds to Trick and they actually did buy one of their songs for “Rock Band.”).

The first time I saw Cheap Trick I think it was back in the early 1980’s (1982?) when they were the headliners at Radio City Music Hall (UFO was the opener-talk about a double bill?) and the one take away that stayed with me that night was how much they seemed to enjoy themselves up on the stage-just playing their brand of music and not that they didn’t appreciate the huge crowd but I had the feeling that if they played to a couple of hundred people, it wouldn’t have mattered to them because they would have put the same effort into their performance due to their love of music. My point was proven because years later when I saw them again, they were the “openers” for one of Robert Plant’s solo tours at Madison Square Garden and how many bands could withstand the enigma of being the “stars” but “suddenly” losing that status and then be placed in a position of seemingly starting over again? Why were they able to do it and why are they still going strong today? Because they love what they do!!!

Cheap Trick are fast approaching their fortieth anniversary of being a band and just like Kiss (“I got my Kiss records out”) they possess one of the most loyal fan base out there and they show no signs of slowing down, so their fan base will have ample opportunities to see them perform live again as well as introduce family or friends to one of the hardest working groups in the history of rock and roll. Cheap Trick: I thank and salute you and picking just 10 songs is no easy task but again I am on an island where I have been informed I can only have that amount so “these are them:”

10.     This Time You Got It– This was the first track that I heard from “Rockford” and I was immediately struck on how good this band has remained after all these years. (And I have to admit to those who know what a Howard Stern freak I am that I actually saw them perform this song on Don Imus’s cable show when the album was released in 2006-I know-“Traitor”-but when it comes to Cheap Trick I will always make the exception). This is straight up rock and roll with Mr. Robin Zander proving that he still has his vocals and has to be considered one of the best singers for the past four decades in the arena we call “rock.” These guys exude fun and this song is right up there in that department-it just puts a smile on my face.

9.     Auf Wiedersehen– Don’t ask me about the title, I have no clue but in any language this is pure rock and roll. This also could be considered the “punk rock” version of Cheap Trick because the sound is raw with repetitive guitar licks backed by the pounding drums of Mr. Carlos. And Zander squeals and shouts out in defiance-isn’t that the definition of punk rock?I love the part with about a minute left in the song when Robin screeches out-“Bye Bye.. So Long.. Farewell!!!” This is head-banging stuff right here folks-yes from the band you think only makes “pop” songs.

8.     Voices– This has the Beatles influence all over it beginning with the whispering of voices as the groove is “McCartney-like” but he seems to sing it like John. Now it’s funny with Cheap Trick because on some songs (like above) you can bang your head until you get a headache and then you get a song like this and I picture immediately the crowd in “American Idol” swaying their arms side to side over their heads. But that is exactly what happens at their live shows when they play this track. I can remember a number of years ago a bunch of us MBIA guys (at the time) went to see them at The Town Hall in New York and of course we couldn’t sway our arms side to side because we’re men but you know we all felt like doing it. Love the chorus and this song is very addictive- I bet you can’t listen to it just once. Oh by the way, I have to give some props to Mr. Nielsen as his guitar solo is nice and smooth.

7.     I Can’t Take It– This is “pop” rock at its best. Is this band diverse or what? Punk, heavy, rock & roll and pop all mixed into their repertoire. It is straight to the point- an upbeat song that packs a nice punch with a message of defiance as Robin tells her to stay away but does he really mean it? The only complaint I have about this song is that it is way too short. Perfect sing along song. (as many of their songs are).

6.     I Want You to Want Me (Live)– I know what you are thinking? I usually leave off a band’s most popular songs but in this case even though I have heard it as much as I have listened to “Rock and Roll All Night” by Kiss (yes every version including the acoustic), I can’t leave this off the top ten-I have to remain true to myself and I absolutely know that I would need this song by them if I were really on an island. Now I need the live version though because of all the excitement in the background as the Japanese fans are out of their minds, almost like when The Beatles arrived here in the States. This song represents something in your life that you treasure, I think back to the days that I spent my summers in Otisville NY as a “tween-ager”-that is something that I will never forget and hold dear to my heart. This song is one of those reminders of “days gone by” of which you will always treasure and sometimes wish those things would never change. You can’t tell me you haven’t sung the chorus in this song just once in your life? Really?

5.     Everything Works If You Let It– I can’t get enough of this song- don’t let the beginning of the song fool you-this is not another ballad-give it a little time and then it takes off. Robin’s vocals on this track could be the best he’s ever recorded. Love the part when he sings “Good Times.. Bad Times… don’t know what to do…” I can picture going down the legendary Route 66 on a nice summer day with the top down in a nice car listening to this super cool song. Perfect sing along song.

4.     Love Comes A Tumbing Down– Now I know this is the most obscure song I have ever put down on any of my top ten lists but this truly is one of my favorites by Cheap Trick- Again I have to say true to myself and this is one of the first songs that popped into my head when I started thinking about what tracks to put down. I don’t expect many to know this song (but I know at least one of the readers does) because it comes off of the very under-appreciated album-“All Shook Up.” Now I have read comments about this album-knocking it left and right-such as “it sounds like an experimental Led Zeppelin on speed” but everyone has that album (or albums) they love while others scratch their heads and wonder what you are on. [I’ll give you another example of an album that I love and maybe six other people on the planet own (or who will admit to owning)-“Draw The Line”-by Aerosmith. That album is panned by almost everyone but yet I seem to listen to that more than any other album by Aerosmith and no I don’t do drugs…] Anyway back to this song- it is very fast moving and highlights the great drumming of Bun E and features a blazing guitar solo by Mr. Nielsen. This is a perfect song for a “sprint” or “breakaway” in your next Spin class.

3.     Surrender– Now go figure with this song I actually prefer the “studio” version-not that I do not like the live version (“…it just came out this week and the song is called Surrender..”) but for some reason, the “buttoned up” version on “Heaven Tonight” is more appealing to me. This is a song I can perform karaoke to and I wouldn’t need the “TV screen” that supplies you with the words. I like to drum with my hands on the table as Mr. Carlos has that “Wipe Out” effect before the beginning of every new verse. I can remember when I was a kid I used to sing “Mommy’s alright.. Daddy’s alright.. they just seem a little weird..” and now I’m on the receiving end of this lyric. Go figure? I know I have to seem a little weird to my kids but hey, we all do as parents, right? Go back and listen to the original recording and listen to when Robin sings “.. got my Kiss records out..” with focus on the word “records”-love it!!!

2.     Stop This Game– “Well I can’t stop the music… I could stop it before… now I don’t want to hear it… don’t want to hear it no more…no more…” How great is this song? C’mon it is even included on some of their “greatest hits” collection, you can’t say you never heard this one, can you? Yes it is from “All Shook Up” and starts off side one of which I named as a perfect album side a few months back. Again Bun E is at the forefront on this track (as he is on many of their songs) banging away on his drum set. (Have you ever seen them live? The drum set is very basic but he gets the most out of it-he’s very talented on those skins). And what about Zander’s vocals? Passionate all the way!! He puts so much into the recording and to me it’s pure perfection, you can “feel it” and that my friends is what music is all about-feeling it to the point where it moves you.

1.     Lookout (Live)– If you listen to this song LOUD there is no way that it does not pump you up. (“We are here to pump you up!!”-remember that saying by Ackroyd and Martin?). The song is straight up rock and roll with no chaser as it goes down fast and smooth leaving no bad “after-taste.” I have loved it since the first time I heard it in 1979 and when I go back and listen to it now, I get that same feeling-awesome!!!

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Three

2.     Heartbreak Hotel

3.     “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”-Dianne Warren

4.     Toys in The Attic

This week’s trivia (Cheap Trick, Cyndi Lauper)-

1.     How was the original singer for Cheap Trick? (Hint it was not Zander)

2.     The Beatles were a huge influence on Cheap Trick, name the producer who has worked with both The Beatles and Cheap Trick.

3.     True or False: Cyndi Lauper was born in Brooklyn NY

4.     True or False: Cyndi was part of the original “We Are the World” recording in 1985.

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “ Never My Love”- The Association

2.     “Never Can Say Goodbye”-Jackson 5 (written by Clifton Davis) Gloria Gaynor also performed it

3.     “Never Tear Us Apart”-INXS

4.     “Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy)” – Rob Zombie

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

1.     “… All I need is a TV show.. that and the radio… down on my luck again…down on my luck again… I can show you… I can show you.. some of the people in my life…”

2.     “…Out there in the spotlight.. you’re a million miles away.. every ounce of energy you try to give away… as the sweat pours out your body like the music that you play …”

3.     “…The city streets are empty now… (the lights don’t shine no more)… and so the songs are way down low.. turning.. turning… turning …”

4.      “…Makes me want to move my body.. yeah, yeah, yeah… and when the drummer starts beating that beat.. he nails that beat with the syncopated rhythm with the rat, tat, tat …”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 2002, Randy Castillo-drummer for Ozzy and Lita Ford- passed away at the young age of 51.

Back on this day in 1964, Barabara Streisand premiered on Broadway with “Funny Girl.”

Back on this day in 1965, Bill Wyman was knocked unconscious during a concert in Denmark by an electrical shock from a microphone.

Back on this day in 1976, Genesis kicked off their first American tour with Phil Collins as their lead singer.

Back on this day in 1994, Soundgarden hit the number one spot on the Billboard 200 album chart with their landmark-“Superunknown.” It was the only time they hit number one and it spent one week there.

Back on this day in 2000, Phil Collins won an Oscar for the Best Original Song with “You’ll Be in My Heart” from the animated Tarzan movie. (that was the song we told our kids would be our wedding song when we “re-marry.”)

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with Diana Ross, the late Teddy Pendergrass, Fred Paris (Five Satins), Steven Tyler, Fran Sheehan (Boston), Richard Tandy (ELO) and James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins).

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May 2, 2008

Weekly Update – 05/02/08

The following acts will be at Jones Beach and pre-sale are already on, so check the internet for your favorite acts to see how to get pre-sale tickets (usually made available for AMEX or Citi card members). Public on sale tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

James TaylorSun. June 22$26$79.50

Chicago/Doobie Bros.Fri. June 27$39-$135

Donna SummerSat. July 19$26-$109

Martina McBrideFri. July 25$26-$76

Poison/Dokken/BachWed. July 30$25-$77.50

Boston/SpeedwagonTues. Aug. 12$26-$79

Heart/Journey/TrickThurs. Aug. 14$31-$131

KTU’s BeatstockSat. Aug. 23$26-$149

The following acts will be at PNC Arts Center and pre-sale are already on, so check the internet for your favorite acts to see how to get pre-sale tickets (usually made available for AMEX or Citi card members). Public on sale tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

Frankie ValliSat. June 17$49.25-$99.25

Chicago/Doobie Bros.Wed. July 2$20.25-$125

MellencampFri. July 11$20.25-$80.25

3 Doors DownWed. July 16$20.25-$70.25

Donna SummerFri. July 18$20.25-$109.25

Boston/StyxSun. Aug. 10$20.25-$71.25

Poison/Dokken/BachTues. Aug. 12$20.25-$71.25

Heart/Journey/TrickThurs. Aug. 21No info.

Toby KeithFri. Aug. 22$34.75-$69.75

KTU’s BeatstockSun. Aug. 24$24.25-$149

Bloc Party at Webster Hall on Wed. & Thurs. Aug. 6 and Aug. 7. Tickets on sale today at noon. $26.

ButtHole Surfers at Webster Hall Tuesday July 29. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35.

Wolf Parade at Terminal 5 on Thurs. July 31. Tickets on sale today at noon. $20 ($22 day of show).

Neil Diamond at the Garden (third show added after first two sold out) on Fri. Aug. 15.Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $55-$120.

Echo & The Bunnymen at Radio City on Wed. Rocktober 1. Pre-sale on now through fan club. General public on sale next Sat. May 10 at 10:00 a.m. $39.50-$59.50.

Stevie Wonder at Jones Beach on Wed. June 18. Pre-sale tickets start tomorrow. General public on sale next Sat. May 10.

New Kids on the Block at Izod Center and Nassau Coliseum on Tues. &Wed. Sept. 23 & 24. Pre-sale starts this Monday at 10:00 am and goes to Sun. May 11 at 10:00 pm. General public on sale Mon. May 12 at 10:00 am. $36-$74.

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival at Nassau Coliseum on Wed. Aug. 6 at 2:00 p.m. featuring Slipknot, Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch, others and Black Tide. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 am $49.75. (If you have a Citi preferred card you can get tickets now)

Other items:

Coldplay will be playing a free show at MSG on Monday June 23. Check their web-site for further details.www.coldplay.com

Metallica is thinking of giving away their music for free. After seeing what Radiohead and NIN have done, Lars has stated that they might just do it.

This past week I had one of those “I love that song” moments and that song is “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” by Johnny Rivers, a huge star who still going strong today. Go back and listen to the groove on this tune, I love the piano and his vocals. Grab a set of headphones and listen or crank it up in the house, whatever. Most will know Rivers from the ever- popular “Secret Agent Man.” He really has some solid hits such as “Summer Rain.” Check him out on I-Tunes or his web site www.johnnyrivers.com.

My favorite “old school” song of the week is “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” by The Spinners. This is another band that had memorable hits. The aforementioned song takes me back to the carefree summer days of the 1970’s when these songs were heard on 77 WABC AM radio.

CD Review: Mudcrutch by Mudcrutch, released April 29, 2008. This is a band that Tom Petty had formed back in the early 1970’s. In 1975, they released a single “Depot Street” which failed to hit the charts. Soon there after, Petty along with Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench formed the Heartbreakers. This past year they decided to get back together with Tom Leadon on lead guitar (and some good vocals) with Campbell. (Petty plays bass as mentioned last week). Back behind the skins is Randall Marsh. The album starts off with the traditional “Shady Grove.” The sound of this band is not that far off from what we all know as the Tom Petty sound. It is different from the Heartbreakers and thinking about it may be the country cousin to the Traveling Wilbury’s. Shady Grove kind of reminds me of something off Springteen’s “We Shall Overcome” CD.The single from the album “Scare Easy” is something that Petty would have done as a solo artist, a head shaking slow groove that would be good for your summer BBQ.

If you like the Byrds, there is a heavy influence throughout this CD. “Orphan of the Storm” is a country song that sort of sounds like something Roger McGuinn would do today.Track # 4 “Six Days on the Road” kicks it up a bit with a rocking twist that will get you dancing the “do-see-do.” Then what I love about Petty (and other such as the Black Crowes) is that the 5th song is over 9 minutes long.“Crystal River” is a jam song that other bands would never dare to put on their album; if they did it would probably be the last song. I have to admit it’s a bit slow but it kept me hanging on. The second half of the CD gets progressively better with the highlights being “The Wrong Thing to Do,” “Lover of the Bayou,” “Topanga Cowgirl” and “House of Stone.”

This album will probably not get much airplay but who cares? True music fans will find what they like and if you are a fan of Tom Petty- you will not be disappointed with the purchase of this CD.

Def Leppard has released their first new album in a long time and its called Songs from the Sparkle Lounge. I-Tunes reviewers give it 4.5 stars on average.

Steve Winwood’s “Nine Lives” CD was released this past Tuesday. Check it out; this man is a living legend.

OK this weeks I-Tunes shuffle landed on a song by Led Zeppelin off of their double album “Physical Graffiti” and that song was “The Rover.” Boy, I had forgotten how much I love that song- so of course I had to go back and listen to the whole 4 sides (or now 2 discs). Just recently I have heard people make comments like “I never really got the whole Led Zeppelin thing.” Now I completely understand if Zeppelin is not your cup of tea. However, the can be no denial of their impact on the music world. You have to recognize their contribution and realize that these four guys are one of the most influential groups in music history. And talk about talent? To this day there has never been an equal to John Bonham behind the drums. He always had this way of playing that even just listening to him, you would say, “how can he do that so easily?” Go back and listen to “In My Time of Dying” and you’ll see what I mean. The drumming is phenomenal through out and you just can’t get enough of it. If I ever became a drummer this is the song that I would want to play. And this is just one song; there are so many more songs. I could go on a long time about Mr. Bonham but I will try to move on.

Getting back to Graffitti, I forgot to mention that my uncle was the one who turned me on to this back in the late 70’s. He really turned me on to some good bands when I was a kid. And I am trying to return the favor by passing it on. I remember while listening to the album as a teenager I would love to look through the cover and the inside sleeves for this classic disc. This has to be my favorite album design; I love the whole apartment building effect. Well enough about the cover, side 2 starts off with “Houses of the Holy” and most casual fans forget that this song is on this album. Then it kicks into “Trampled Under Foot.” There is no way you cannot crank up the volume on this song. This may have been one of the first “headbanging” songs to get things rolling. John Paul Jones organ solo flat out rocks. And again Bonham’s drums will have you bobbin and weavin’. And of course the incredible axe man- Jimmy Page. What can you say about this man that hasn’t already been said? Freaking phenomenal is what I’ll say. These guys were in a zone for this album and this is my favorite Zeppelin album. The ever lasting “Kashmir” ends side 2 and I know you have heard this song a million times but I’m telling you when you have not heard it in a while and then you put it on. Wow it’s like magic you just seem to drift away from everything for 8 and half minutes. I love Plant’s “Oooooooohhhh” or “Loooooow Yeah” “All I see turns to brown.” And was there a better front man than Robert Plant? How cool was he back in the day? It is really hard to come up with a better one.

Side three starts off with the incomparable “In the Light”- now I know for some of you out there you are scratching your heads and saying that it takes too long to begin and the song is way too long overall. However, just remember you were already drifting away with “Kashmir”- You are still there, so keep it going. You’re on that cloud so don’t jump off because you have “Bron-Yr-Aur” coming up and this instrumental will keep you in that groove. You are now totally relaxed and the beautiful “Down by the Seaside” will have you swaying your arms back and forth like all those kids in the front row of American Idol are doing to every song. Side three ends with another classic “Ten Years Gone.” One thing I will say there are not too many other bands that switch gears mid stream, start another groove within the song like Zep can do. This song is a perfect example of that.

Then it’s on to my favorite side of the album- side 4. It kicks off with “Night Flight”- “I received a message from my brother…” Again you have to listen to this LOUD!!! This is a family sing a long song. I would love to have millions of people listening to this song at the same time. It puts such a smile on my face when I hear this song- I get so psyched. Keeping the loud theme, it strolls right into “The Wanton Song”- Bonham’s skills shine brightly here. OK track’s #3 and #4 on side four are without a doubt my favorite Led Zeppelin songs EVER!! Now for most Zeppelin fans these songs probably don’t crack their top 10 favorite Zep songs, OK their top 50 favorite songs but that’s what is great about music- you can pick your favorite. “Boogie With Stu” starts off with such a cool groove with the piano and the drumming is spectacular. And Plant’s voice is spot on. Talk about being on a cloud? I am dancing right now as I listen and type. I am also “air-piano-ing.” Track 4 “Black Country Woman” could be the coolest song Zep ever made. “What’s the matter with you mama?” I love when the drums kick in and really ignite the tune. These two songs were my mother’s favorite as well. Whenever I would be in my room, as a teenager, with the door closed listening for hours to my music, she would always open the door for these two songs. I can see her now sitting at the dining room table shaking her head to the beat of Country Woman and squinting her eyes as she tried to emulate Plant’s vocals. I would have to play these two songs over and over for her as we both sat there and sung and danced our way through these tunes. I will never grow tired to listening to these songs. The classic disc ends with the blues/rockin’ “Sick Again.”

Now as I mentioned at the beginning you don’t have to like Led Zeppelin (I find it hard to believe that there are not at least a few songs that you could like but…) but you cannot dispute their place in music history. They are right up there as one of the greatest bands ever and their music is so diverse that you can’t label them into one category. So if you don’t own Graffiti- give it a shot- you won’t be disappointed. Thanks Gary!!

Back on this day in 2003, Barry White suffered a stroke. Two months later he passed away. Today is Engelbert Humperdinck’s birthday, he is 72. “Please release, let me go… for I don’t love you anymore…”

January 18, 2008

Weekly Update – 01/18/08

Sheryl Crow at the Fillmore New York on Wed. & Thurs. Feb. 6 and 7. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 am. (Standing room only) $43.50.

Black Crowes at the Fillmore New York on Tues. Mar. 4. Tickets on sale today at noon. $43.50. Crowes new disc, War Paint hits stores on Mar. 4th. Received a good write-up (not review) from this week’s Rolling Stone.

Megadeth…\m/ \m/….at Hammerstein Ballroom as part of the Gigantour on Tues. April 22 at 5:00 p.m. Other acts include Children of Bodum, High on Fire, In Flames and Job for a Cowboy. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 am. $41.50.

Babyface at the Music Box at Borgota in Atlantic City on Fri. Feb. 29 and Sat. Mar. 1. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 am. $30.

Michael Buble at Borgota Event Center on Fri. & Sat. Mar. 21 & 22. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 am. $45-$75.

Yellow Card with MXPX and Play Radio Play at Fillmore New York on Sat. Mar. 15. Tickets on sale Sat. Feb. 2.

Styx at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill NY next Wed. Sponsored by WPDH FM. Tickets on sale now $75- $110. (No Dennis DeYoung).

Rush at PNC Arts Center on Sat. July 12. Tickets on sale Sat. Feb. 2.

Other items:

A conversation with Chuck Klosterman, promoting his new book- The Fiction of Criticism and Vice Versa- will take place at the Highline Ballroom on Tues. Mar. 6th. Tickets are on sale now. $12. ($10 minimum at table).

Congrats to Madonna, John Mellencamp and The Dave Clark Five Band (finally!!… “And I’m feeling…Glad all Over Yes I’m glad all over”) have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2008.

Live Nation, the worlds biggest concert promoter, will replace Ticketmaster early next year with its own ticket service!! (“Ding Dong the witch is dead”… but I guess another one grows).

Stephen Stills underwent a successful operation for prostate cancer on Jan. 3 in L.A. He’s expected to make a complete recovery and launch a tour this spring. Very cool.

Ringo Starr’s new CD “Liverpool 8” received a rating of three and a half stars from Rolling Stone this week.  Also interviewed in same edition and said the worst session ever was “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and called it the worst track that they ever had to record. When asked if “Sgt. Pepper” to be the greatest album of all time- he said no- White Album is what he picked- one of my desert island discs.

New Yes 2-Disc DVD just released which depicts their definitive fully authorized story. Includes original music, rare and unseen photographs, new interviews and more!!

I-Tunes finally had a cool free new song this week and you need to pick it up now!! Song called “Shockwave” from a band named Black Tide. Check out the song on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw4aqN0XlRc. The band is all younger than 21 and supposedly the singer is 15. They played at Ozzfest last year. Sounds good!! \m/ \m/

Today David Ruffin would have been 67. Lead singer for the Temptations, he was one of the all time original R&B singer and original member of MoTown. He led the Temptations with his distinctive voice and stage presence. He died back in 1991.

Back on this day in 1964, Gene Pitneys “The Girl Belongs to Yesterday” made its way into America’s top 100. The song was written by Jagger/Richards– their first song to crack American charts. Back on this day in 1985, the city of Cleveland was picked in a poll by fans as the place for the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. “Cleveland Rocks..Cleveland Rocks”

January 11, 2008

Weekly Update – 01/11/08

Joe Jackson at the Apollo Theater and The Town Hall on Tues. & Wed. April 15 and 16. Pre-sale on now and password is: Davidian (there is an 8 ticket limit). General public on sale next Friday at 10:00 am. $50-$75. Joe has a new CD coming out on the 29th- Rain. His original band members- Graham Maby on bass and vocals and Dave Houghton on drums and vocals- will be on tour with him. Joe Jackson was my first concert ever. Saw him in Central Park many moons ago.

Black Crowes at the Fillmore New York on Tues. March 4. Ticket information to follow.

Def Leppard, Styx and REO Speedwagon at Music Box at Borgota in NJ on Friday, April 4 and at Mohegan Sun on Tues. April 8. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $45-$70.

Santana at the Mohegan Sun on Saturday, April 5, The Garden on Tues. April 8 and the Borgota in Atlantic City on Fri. and Sat. April 11 and 12. Tickets for Mohegan go on sale next Sat. at 10:00 a.m. $48-$68. (most likely for the Garden and Borgota as well but nothing public yet).

Other items:

John Paul Jones has just fueled the speculation of the BIGGEST REUNION TOUR EVER with acknowledgment that he, Plant and Page are getting together later this month for a “band meeting.” 2007 was for Van Halen and I can feel it-Zeppelin will be back in 2008!!! “Holy crap”- how hard is it going to be to get tickets for this one?

OK remember when I said I was going to purchase Blake Lewis‘ Audio Day Dream as a stocking stuffer for my youngest son for Christmas after listening to the 30 second previews for each song on I-Tunes sounded pretty good. Well, I was wrong- I did purchase the CD for my son and am looking for the highest bid for whomever wants to buy it from us. You know I like most everything but I give this CD a big thumbs down. I know the “be-bop skeet scatchin” is what ignited him on American Idol but does it have to be on every song? The pop (and I mean bubble gum pop) world will eat this CD up but I listened to it once and I’m done. Though I will say that it appears that the song “How Many Words” has a chance to be a hit. My review is totally opposite of what is seen on I-Tunes-most everyone gave it 5 stars. Oh well maybe I don’t get it.

Radiohead has announced a tour later this year. The band will hit 22 North American destinations in two tour segments, one prior to the group’s scheduled summer tour of the UK and Europe, and one following that trek. I will provide more info as it comes in.

Marilyn Manson and estranged bassist Twiggy Ramirez have buried the hatchet and will travel together on the shock rocker’s upcoming “Rape of the World Tour.” Bassist/ multi-instrumentalist Tim Skold has amicably split with Manson but future collaborations aren’t being ruled out. Manson’s touring band will be rounded out by keyboardist Chris Vrenna, guitarist Rob Holliday and drummer Ginger Fish.

Panic at The Disco has been chosen to headline the 8th Honda Civic Tour which will run March thru June. There next album will be released on March 25 which will be titled “Pretty Odd.” The album’s first single, “Nine in the Afternoon,” is due on radio airwaves later this month.

Wow I was asleep at the wheel on this one–back in November I-Tunes released a 7 song EP from Tesla, one of my favorites, called “Peace of Time.” (They are also kicking off another tour in Feb.- No NY dates as of yet). They must have recorded a whole bunch of covers because this has 3 (these are not on Real to Reel) and then its 3 stripped down songs of theirs and the last is an acoustic version of Silent Night (no vocals). The 3 covers are “I Love You”- by the Climax Blues Band, “Everything I Own” by Bread and “I’d Love to Change the World” by Ten Years After. Again I know these are covers but they again knock the cover off of the ball. Awesome. The acoustic version of their song “The Way It Is” is…well all I can say is just please listen. Give these guys a chance. Buy the songs for $6.98 you won’t be disappointed.

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