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.

“TOP TEN”:

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)

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April 30, 2010

Weekly Update – 04/30/2010

Filed under: CD Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — ea0217 @ 5:33 am

(Seems that the pre-sale password for all Summer Concerts at PNC Bank Arts Center and Jones Beach until 10:00 p.m. tonight is: Popstar)

American Idols Tour 2010 at Jones Beach on Wed. July 7 and at the Prudential Center (“The Rock”) on Tues. July 20. Tickets on sale Sat. May 15 at 10:00 a.m. (more info to follow)

Harry Connick Jr. at the Neil Simon Theater (250 West 52nd street NY) from Thurs. July 15 through Mon. July 19 and then again from Wed. July 21 through Mon. July 26. All shows at 8:00 p.m. (except Sundays which start at 7:00 p.m.) Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders available now until 11:59 p.m. Mon. May 3. General public tickets on sale Tues. May 4 at 12:01 a.m. (that’s what it says). $50 and $135.

Crosby, Stills & Nash at PNC Bank Arts Center on Thurs. Aug. 19 and at Jones Beach on Fri. Aug. 20. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $26.25 – $151.25; Jones: $20.75 – $151.

Rascal Flatts with Kellie Pickler and Chris Young at the Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Sat. July 31. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card members available now. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $19 – $71.50.

Tim McGraw with Lady Antebellum and Love & Theft at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Thurs. July 15. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $34.50 and $64.50.

Shinedown with Chevelle, Sevendust, Puddle of Mudd and 10 Years at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Thurs. Aug. 5. Pre-sale tickets available until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: Popstar.  General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $20, $32.50 and $42.50

Chicago and Doobie Brothers at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. July 9 and at Jones Beach on Sat. July 10. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $26.25, $45.25, $85.25 – $131. Jones: $39, $69, $89, $99 – $135.

KTU’s Beatstock at PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. Aug. 7 and at Jones Beach on Sun. Aug. 8. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $30.25 – $81.25;Jones: $19 – $79.

50 Cent at The Oakdale Theater (Wallingford CT) on Wed. June 23. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $30.50.

Meatloaf at Jones Beach on Wed. July 14 and at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. July 16. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Jones: $22 – $72; PNC: $18.25 & $72.25

Foreigner with Styx and Kansas at Jones Beach on Sat. June 19. Pre-sale tickets available now for Citi card members. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $19, $29, $49, $79-$99.

Lynyrd Skynyrd with .38 Special and Bret Michaels (?) at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. July 2. Pre-sale tickets available now for Citi card members. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $25, $45.50 and $65.50.

David Gray and Ray Lamontagne at Jones Beach on Thurs. Aug. 19. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $25 – $75.

Modest Mouse at The Oakdale Theater on Sat. July 24. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $32.00

Jackson Browne at The Oakdale Theater on Fri. Aug. 27. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Gov’t Mule at the Central Park Summerstage on Wed. Aug. 11. Tickets on sale next Fri. May 7 at noon. $40.

311 with The Offspring at Jones Beach on Fri. July 9 and PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. July 10. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Jones: $26, $40 and $50; PNC: $30.25 and $50.25.

Rob Thomas at the Music Box at the Borgota in Atlantic City, NJ on Fri. Aug. 20 and Sat. Aug. 21. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Tony Bennett at The Oakdale Theater on Fri. Aug. 20. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card members available starting at 10:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale Mon. May 3 at 10:00 a.m. $51.50 – $71.50.

Peter Wolf and Betty LaVette at the Highline Ballroom on Wed. May 26. Tickets on sale now. $50.

The Fab Faux at the Beacon Theater on Sat. Sept. 25. Tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m. $49.50 – $125.

Cake at the Rumsey Playfield (Central Park) on Thurs. Sept. 16. Pre-sale tickets available now until 11:00 a.m. this morning for American Express cardholders. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $39.50.

Muse at the Nassau Coliseum on Sat. Rocktober 23 and the Prudential Center on Sun. Rocktober 24. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. Nassau: $39 – $61.50;Prudential: $42.50 – $65.

Adam Lambert at Nokia Theater on Tues. June 22. Pre-sale tickets available for American Express cardholders until tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. Pre-sale password for non American Express cardholders is “Entertainment.” General public on sale is tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $35. Also appearing at the Borgota Event Center on Sat. June 26. Tickets for this show on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Band of Horses with Grizzly Bear at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg (North 8th street and Kent Avenue) on Sun. June 20. Pre-sale tickets available until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is Laredo. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.$30.

She & Him at Terminal 5 on Tues. July 6. Pre-sale tickets available now until 11:00 a.m. this morning for American Express cardholders. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $30. Also giving a free performance at Governor’s Island on Sun. July 4 at 1:00 p.m.

Widespread Panic at Radio City Music Hall on Thurs. July 22. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Celtic Woman at PNC Bank Arts Center on Thurs. July 29. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $59.50 – $85.

Goo Goo Dolls at PNC Bank Arts Center on Tues. July 27 and at Jones Beach on Mon. Aug. 2. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $31.25 – $53.25; Jones: $32.50 – $54.50. Also appearing at the Borgota Event Center on Sat. July 3. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Al Green at BB Kings on Thurs. Sept. 2. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $175 ($180 day of show). Oooouucchhh!!!

Jeffrey Osborne at BB Kings on Fri. Sept. 17. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $49.50 ($54 day of show).

Air Supply at BB Kings on Sat. July 24. (7:30 and 10:00 shows) Tickets on sale Mon. May 3 at noon. $35 ($40 day of show)

Other items:

According to his “MySpace” account, Bret Michaels is hoping to resume his tour by rescheduling his tour dates with May 26 as the targeted date to begin again. Wow I am amazed at that statement, (can this really be true?) it seemed really bleak over last weekend and now he is going to back on the road in less than a month and of course I am totally happy about this news as we need Bret doing what he likes best and that is to rock and roll. Other reports stated that he is lucky to be alive and is still not out of the woods. Take it slow Bret. \m/ \m/

Spin Magazine recently put out their list of the top 125 albums since 1985 (to celebrate their 25th anniversary) and you think I have some weird picks in my top ten? You ain’t seen nothing until you look at their list. Believe me there are some that definitely should be on the list and it just may be the way they have ranked them. According to them, the best album in the past 25 years is “Achtung Baby” by U2. Now recently I jumped back on their band wagon with their phenomenal “No Line on the Horizon” and in my opinion that is clearly better than Achtung but of course every U2 fan will point to the “Joshua Tree”- I could see an argument for Joshua before Achtung but again I like “No Line” better than either of those. The second best is “Sign O’ the Times” by Prince- again I am a fan of Prince but to be quite honest I never even heard of this album. (sorry to those Prince fans who want to strangle me right now). The list is filled with lots of “alternative”(in my mind) bands [The Smiths, Husker Du (who??!!!) Pavement, PJ Harvey, etc…] and of course Nirvana’s “Nevermind” made the fourth best since 1985. Now I completely understand the magnitude of this landmark album and get that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” changes the world forever back in 1991 but even the most die hard fan of Nirvana (including my oldest son and my brother Rich) have to admit that this is not their best work. I know there are some solid songs but is the entire album a classic? I really struggle with that, in my opinion there are some definite “fillers.” Oh well see for yourself, I was going to put their link down on my page but navigation around the site was nearly impossible for me, so I would not want to do that to you. You can just go to http://www.Spin . com.

OK remember last week when we (my boys and I) listed our favorite songs by Pearl Jam, well I received a list of 20 songs (in no particular order) from the “experts” on their music-Lisa and her husband Carmine. Lisa stated that there were many songs on her top ten list that were spread throughout my list and my two sons list. Here are the songs that Carmine listed: (The songs that are bolded are songs that made our lists as well) Release, Immortality, Hold On, Elderly Woman, The End, Rear View Mirror, No Way, Off He Goes, Inside Job, Footsteps, Crop Duster, Just Breathe, Faithful, Alone, W.M.A., Yellow Ledbetter, Dirty Frank, Crazy Mary, Black and Believe You Me.

Finally America voted the correct way on Wednesday night and Siobhan Magnus was the latest to say goodbye to being a contestant on American Idol. It’s not that I had something against her, she can sing (as long as it’s low key) but based on who is left in the competition, it had to be her to go. Folks, these last few weeks have made up for the lackluster year so far and the recent performances have been real good. Aaron Kelly really stepped it up this past week and maybe what Randy Jackson said is true- Country music may just be the avenue for him to pursue because he was real good with that Shania Twain song. Casey James worked his way back into the competition (even though he was part of the bottom two) and he will have to have another performance like he did this past Tuesday to remain in the fray. I don’t think Crytsal Bowersox’s performance was “bad” this past week, I just think it was the song itself seemed very bland (with no offense to Shania). The “sleeper” in this contest remains Lee DeWyze as he seems to be solidly cemented to make it to the final two. Can’t wait till next week when Harry Connick Jr. mentors the contestants on the songs of Frank Sinatra.

Apparently Slash is receiving a lot of heat from Guns & Roses “purists” who are very upset that he had the nerve to remake “Paradise City” with Cypress Hill and Fergie. I would consider myself a “purist” of Guns & Roses because as I have always said I have never experienced a “buzz” like they created when they first hit the scene in 1987 (yes even more than Nirvana) and I absolutely have no problem with this version. If you listen with a clear ear and mind you’d actually appreciate the nice job they all did with Slash’s guitar work being the focal point of this legendary song-his heavy riffs are flawless throughout. So what, they added a little “hip hop” flavor? (See Run DMC with Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”). Only bad thing is that the song is available only in Japan,(included as an extra cut from his debut album) of course you can go to You Tube and listen to the version and hear for yourself. By the way, the video for “By the Sword” is out and is way cool. That’s all I’m going to say, you need to find it and listen and look for yourself. (This time I’m going to make you work looking for it).

The Stone Temple Pilots have released their next song from their upcoming album to hit on May 25. The song is called “Hickory Dichotomy” and of course I’m loving it- you know I wanted these guys back together 6 years ago. Take a listen for yourself at http://www.amazon.com/Stone-Temple-Pilots/e/B000ARC4TI

Godsmack’s “The Oracle” will be released on Tues. May 4 and they will appear on the Jimmy Kimmel the next night May 5 (actually early Thurs. morning May 6). “Crying Like a Bitch” has really grown on me, I’m looking forward to this release. Love the heavy bass lines. If you are going to be in Los Angeles CA next week you can get tickets here http://www.1iota.com/events,4797,Jimmy-Kimmel-Live-GODSMACK-Outdoor-mini-concert.html

Peter Frampton’s new album-“Thank You Mr. Churchill”- has received very favorable ratings from the listeners on I-Tunes. He does a song with his son-Julian- on a song called “Road to the Sun” (Smoking Gun also helps out on this tune). “Invisible Man” has a big R&B feel to it as well as a “Traffic” flavor. The man is good. Check it out.

My favorite “’70’s old school” song of the week (I feel a top ten list coming) belongs to Daddy Dewdrop with the super cool-“Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It).” Do you remember this song? I heard the other day on the oldies station and I did an immediate search-forget I-Tunes (sometimes they really don’t work because they offer “re-recordings” of these original classics). I finally found it on CD from someone in the U.S.-Amazon didn’t even have it in stock- and now I can listen to this great song as much as I want. Yes bazooka bubble gum music but you know you love those little gum square pieces.

Album Review: “Crazy Love” by Michael Buble released on Rocktober 9, 2009

 

Crazy Love

Ok so now I have all of you scratching your heads, right? Michael Buble? Are you kidding me? I can’t be for real writing about all these heavy metal bands for the past two years and now I am going to review an album by Michael Buble? But for those of you who have really been following closely, you know that I have some range in my diversity and have become more open to other genres as I enter “the back nine holes” of my life. Now I would like to point out that one of the producers on this album is none other than Mr. Bob Rock who has produced albums by Aerosmith, Motley Crue and of course Metallica. (of course all the Tallica haters out there are saying-“it figures he made Metallica soft so it makes sense he helped Michael Buble with his pop”). So go ahead and take your shots but I have listened more than a few times to this album and I have to tell you, this is perfect for your next dinner party or any kind of get together with family or friends. By no means do I consider myself an expert on Mr. Buble and his other albums but of course the song that dragged me in was the single-“Haven’t Met You Yet”-so I decided to give the entire album a try and like I said, this is an impressive arrangement of “classic” songs that he has reworked and in some cases wrote on his own with help from his buddies- Alan Chang and Amy Foster.

The album starts off with “Cry Me a River” which Michael wrote the arrangement in the beginning to make it sound like you are sitting in a cinema with that thematic, majestic sound in the vain of a James Bond movie-where you are expecting something big to happen and you know what?-it totally works because that mysterious bold approach hooks you in and you start to compare his version to the endless amount of covers of this American classic with a favorable acceptance. His voice embarks that “old school” sound of yesteryear where things seemed simpler back then, it evokes a feeling of those old great singers-Sinatra, Charles, Martin, Bennett, Cole and so many others standing at the microphone but then you realize it is from someone who was born in 1975. I have always admired guys like Michael and Harry Connick Jr. for keeping the torch alive. (even though ten years ago I would have never had any of their music in my library-hey I’m being honest and hopefully evolving in front of your eyes). We need these gentlemen to pass this genre down to the younger generations because this kind of music is needed for blood stream. You know you hear this music at some of the biggest moments in your life-marriage- for one, so never mind all that nonsense that this is “old” and not “hip.” “All of Me” is another American classic which he covers to perfection. This is a finger snapping tune which will remind you of one of the members of the “Rat pack” singing in a tuxedo up on stage and yearning to be as cool as they were. Actually Willie Nelson (another more recent favorite of mine) does a great version as well. If you are a fan of TV Land (like me) and you watch re-runs of “Sanford & Son” there is an episode where Fred sings this song while Scatman Crothers is on guitar and it is great. Anyway back to Michael’s version- this is like opening a bottle of your favorite wine and sipping its smoothness as the arrangement again harkens back to the “big band” era. “Georgia on My Mind” is the third track and I can’t say that his version is not good, it’s that I am so used to Mr. Ray Charles rendition that it is hard for me to put it into perspective as I don’t think any one comes close to Ray, not just Michael-there have been so many artists to cover this song but again, no one comes close in my opinion. Admiral cover though I will say.

“Crazy Love”-the title track- is the cover of the classic of Van Morrison as it appeared on his 1970 blockbuster album-“Moondance.” I like the way that Mr. Buble puts his contemporary touch on this classic, I know there may be plenty who like Van’s version better (especially his duet with Ray Charles, later on) but Michael picked these songs because they are songs he loves and he’s paying homage. Again my number 2 rule when covering a song is to treat that song with respect and to perform it in the same vain of the original recording. Dare I say that I like this version the best? “Haven’t Met You Yet” has to make any one smile, no? Ok call it cheesy, call it what you want but the production and the arrangement of the song is something that makes you want more-it just feels good. It is romantic and is the perfect song to share a slow dance with that someone special in your life. C’mon you know this is just like that Barry Manilow song that you can never admit to liking or listen to. But I will. “All I Do Is Dream of You”-is a song written back in 1931 and for those of you who are Marx Brother fans (I totally am) you can catch Chico performing this classic tune on their fantastic movie-“A Night at the Opera.” (or the classic movie “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly)Mr. Buble does a phenomenal job on the vocals as you will snap your finger throughout this two minute and change song-the horn arrangement is pure perfection behind this man’s voice. “Hold On” is the other song written by Mr. Buble (again with help from Chang and Foster) and if you are looking for a song to dance to at your wedding (or renewing your vows) then look no further than this track. This is a heart retching song but is very inspirational, think of those movies where you are near tears and that feeling you get-this song could have been played in the background. Track # 8-“Heartache Tonight”- a cover of an Eagles song off of “The Long Run”will conjure up memories of Joe Piscopo doing his spoof on Frankie during his high popularity of the Saturday Night Live days. I have to admit that taking a “rock” song and making it a lounge act sort of song is a hard pill for me to swallow and I can’t say that I listen to this track as much as I listen to the other songs. But this is perfect for the older generation to actually like some of the music we use to listen to when we were kids. Mr. Buble gets back to what he does best with his take on “You’re Nobody Till You Love Somebody” and really does a 360 with this version as you will not recognize it as the rendition that Dean does. It’s completely different and he slows it down to almost a standstill as I can picture a smoky filled blues bar room where you run into to those performers where you say-“what are you doing here?” (Billy Joel). And that’s exactly what I did as I was blown away by this performance (and I totally love Dean’s version the best) and said “who is this guy?” Kara (from American Idol) would love the fact that he changed up the song and made it his, and in my opinion is a complete homerun.

“Baby (You’ve Got What it Takes)” -(done with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings) just may be the best song on the album. For those of you out there who are used to the Brooke Benton and Dinah Washington version which was recorded back in 1960, you will be pleasantly surprised on how good this rendition is. This has some kick to it and should get you out of your seat and dance like those cool cats used to do back in the 1960’s. This has some funk as well as the classic rhythm and blues sound that made it special way back when. I applaud Michael for picking some of the best songs to re-record because we as a generation can not forget where it all started. Keep passing on down the torch, nice touch Michael. “At This Moment” goes all the way back to 1981 for this song originally done by Billy Vera and the Beaters. Remember the “Family Ties” episode where Alex Keaton (Michael Fox) and Ellen Reed (Tracy Pollan-his wife in real life) dance to this song. This episode caused the song to get some real airplay and I for one heard this song during the summer of 1981 at least 5 times a day on the radio. Now Michael doesn’t hit the passion like Mr. Vera (it felt like he was singing for his life-which is a great thing) but he follows the pattern of the song to perfection. That’s not to say that you don’t hear passion in Michael’s voice, you do-it’s just not as forceful- and he may have done this purposefully, (which is something that I admire) and he goes another way with it that totally works. This is a nice re-work of this great song. The last song-“Stardust”-(with Naturally 7)- has to have Frank Sinatra smiling from the heavens above (and the many other famous acts that have covered this 1927 song) as Michael’s voice is spellbinding and you will think that it is the holiday season because you should get a wonderful feeling inside. You have to grab the hand of that someone special and ask for the next dance as this song is simply spectacular. The bonus track-“Whatever It Takes” (with Ron Sexsmith) is a nice duet from Ron’s 2004 album-“Retriever” which to be honest has opened my eyes to more acts like Mr. Buble, who are keeping and passing on down that “a capella” feeling to their music, where the voice is the main focal point of the music. Folks, this is some good stuff right here.

Mr. Buble’s album-“Crazy Love”- is a fantastic work where he takes songs from long, long ago but also some more recent tunes that evoke the passion of the way music was intended to be. Sometimes dramatic, sometimes playful, and of course mostly romantic and who doesn’t need romance in their life? He also paints a new story with two songs of his own which some singer will re-record some thirty years from now and we’ll all say- remember how great that Michael Buble is? Now did I have some reservations when I decided to select something different from my usual music menu? Of course, but I made the right decision. Folks you will not be disappointed in this selection, especially if you like the likes of Frankie, Tony, Ray and Dean. He creates a pleasurable trip down memory lane while creating some of his own as well.

“TOP TEN”:

Image of Marvin Gaye

Today marks the two year anniversary for me starting this blog (I did it via e-mail to friends at least one year before finally putting it on the web at the insistence of those friends) and the first album review I did two years ago was the legendary “What’s Going On” by the incomparable Marvin Gaye. So in honor of this great artist, I wanted to try and list my favorite ten songs from this man who contributed so significantly to the world of music as well as making a humane social impact on society. Besides Dylan, the next artist that comes to mind that made such an outstanding impact on the social aspect of music is Mr. Marvin Gaye. What can I say about Marvin that hasn’t already been stated? Again I know there are much bigger (and more knowledgeable) fans out there than myself. I was a young boy when Marvin made his mark on the world, so there are plenty others out there who know his music more intimately than I do but his music has made a mark on me as well. My personal favorites are when he performed duets with Ms. Tammy Terrell because in my opinion their songs are something that are “national treasures” and can never be touched or replicated by anyone else. Marvin was devastated when Tammi tragically passed away at the very young age of 24 from a brain tumor and after her funeral he went into seclusion for two years. He emerged by making some of the most important songs in the history of music. He created a psychedelic R&B sound along with the “concept” album for his genre that was second to none. As always, the question always remains-“What if?”- What if he were still around today? It makes me sad to think of the way he died and as a parent I don’t know if I could ever live with the guilt of killing my son. His dad had to be wrecked with unbelievable guilt as he survived for 14 more years after Marvin was killed in April 1984. Anyway, I’m on an island and have been told that I can only have 10 songs from the legend we all know as Marvin Gaye, “These are Them:”

10.     How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)He made so many great songs early on in his career that they can not be ignored and this is one of my favorites. He started out with The Moonglows and this song definitely has the “doo-wop” feel to it albeit with that classic R&B sound. This is a finger snapping feel good song that makes you sing along to every word. Written by the fantastic team of Holland-Dozier-Holland and the music is played by none other than the Funk Brothers. This is pure perfection, there have been others who have covered this classic (including James Taylor) but no one does it like Marvin.

9.     Keep on Loving Me Honey a lesser known song between the dynamic duo of Marvin and Tammi. Even with just your ears you could feel the magic between the two of them, they had that something special for which again I can not think for the life of me, who matches them. This is R&B at its best and their harmonies are very special together. Take a listen to this beauty.

8.     Right OnThis classic from “What’s Going On” puts me in a trance whenever I hear it. Marvin had this way of hypnotizing you with his talents which included very poignant messages about the human race. This tune makes me think that Steve Winwood and the rest of his band mates in Traffic are the backing band to this psychedelic tune which evokes that passion/turmoil of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. “…some of us are aware that it’s good for us to care…some of us feel the icy wind of poverty blowing in the air…”-these are some powerful words on the social struggles that existed in those days and arguably still exist today. Marvin set out to write about how he felt and isn’t that every artist dream? Instead of just listening to what the record company wanted you to perform, he had the command by that time to do what he wanted and the results were spectacular.

7.     God is Love (B-Side Version)Don’t get me wrong, I love the original version which appears on “What’s Going On” but I think the longer version seems more like a “single” as opposed to the flow of the original album-which again is fantastic. This version has to hit you right in the heart and is something to behold. Think about the times that plagued our country when he was writing this kind of song-the Vietnam War, racial tensions and poverty- and this was one of his responses-you can’t get any better than this folks. This is a beautiful song that will last an eternity.

6.     If I Should Die TonightAnother slow moving song but it’s something that just grips you and doesn’t let go. This could be the ultimate love song ever written. Marvin had a way with words which really go right to the heart of every matter that he discussed. When I hear this song it kind of reminds me of the Beatles classic “Happiness is a Warm Gun” where the irony that Lennon was killed by that warm gun and in this tune where Gaye writes-“if I should die tonight, love… darlin’ it would be far before my time”- it is that same kind of irony, as Marvin was taken from us far before his time. Another beautiful song.

5.     Come Get to ThisAgain you know I don’t like to write about such things but the groove in this song is too much to take and it has that old style “doo-wop” feel to it that Marvin injects into this song which has to pay homage to the artists that he looked up to. This is more upbeat than the others that I just mentioned and the “coolness” just exudes through your speakers. The flow is so smooth and the saxophone that follows Marvin in the background is the perfect touch that adds the flavor to this “comfort” food of a song. The current artist-“Joe”- covers this on his latest album-“Signature”- and does a nice job, he adds a little funk to the flavor.

4.     Can I Get a WitnessAgain another classic written by tandem of Holland-Dozier-Holland which takes you back to “Hitsville” where Motown began and if you listen carefully to the background vocals you will hear The Supremes lending a hand on the background vocals. Marvin plays a mean piano on this track and gets help again from the Funk Brothers on the other instrument as you can hear that gospel influence loud and clear along with a twist of boogie to go with the main course of rhythm and blues. This is a hand clapping and foot stomping song which makes me think of the “line” that use to be performed on Soul Train, I can picture the men and women dancing down the aisle to this great tune.

3.     What’s Going OnOk what can I say about this song that hasn’t already been said a million times over? This is arguably the greatest song ever written. And to think that Mr. Berry did not want to release this powerful song? What???!!! Thankfully Marvin stuck to his intuition and would not move forward until his music and words were respected by the powers that be. This made the number 4 song of all time according to the top 100 songs ever compiled by Rolling Stone magazine. An unbelievable masterpiece. ‘nuff said.

2.     Ain’t No Mountain High EnoughThey had me on the opening notes of this epic song. I love the little scat of the drums and when Marvin sings “Listen baby…” well I just drift off and listen to one of the most important songs ever recorded in the history of music. Forget about any other version recorded (no offense Ms. Ross) this is the best rendition and can you imagine that Ms. Terrell was nervous and intimated because she hadn’t rehearsed the lyrics? I have to give credit where credit is due and this masterpiece was written by the team of Ashford & Simpson. I would have loved to been in the recording studio when this was completed, there had to be a feeling of exhilaration. Isn’t life weird? No one knows or understands why things happen but one has to be thankful for songs like this. To be taken at the young age of 24 and then 44 is totally mind numbing but we will always have these recordings to be passed on to generation after generation. This brings tears to my eyes, that’s how phenomenal this song is.

1.     Your All I Need to Get ByWords can’t even express the joy that this song gives me when I hear it. Tears are streaming down my face as I think of my wife and how I can relate to this song with her. Again written by the tandem of Ashford & Simpson this song is as equally as important as the aforementioned “Mountain” song and how moving are their voices-again there is no one that even comes close to singing it like Tammi and Marvin, it’s beyond words that I could ever express. Pure perfection. I know this is going to sound weird but when I hear this song I remember an episode of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” where Will’s aunt and uncle- Viv and Phillip dance to this song and you could feel how the song resonated with them. Even when I heard this song on a TV show, it gave me the chills. I’m assuming everyone on earth has this song so don’t even tell me if you don’t have it.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Mookie Blaylock

2.     Yes and he will now continue drumming for the “re-union-ized” Soundgarden as well as PJ.

3.     No, Pearl Jam has sold about 10 million more than Nirvana.

4.     “Love Reign O’er Me”

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     Name one of the three people who was asked by Crosby, Stills & Nash to join their group before the fourth person who was asked and accepted (Neil Young).

2.     Which lead guitarist had his finger cut off while chopping wood with his brother?

3.     Which rocker stated that he would never reach the age of 30 and wanted to die with his boots on?

4.     Which rock band includes Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Who Can It Be Now”- Men at Work

2.     “96 Tears”- ? and The Mysterians

3.     “Smile a Little Smile for Me”-The Flying Machine

4.     “Telephone” –Lady GaGa & Beyonce

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

1.     “…and when the world was through…then one by one the stars would all go out…then you and I would simply fly away…”

2.     “…sharing horizons that are new to us…watching the signs along the way…talking it over just the two of us…working together day to day…together…”

3.     “…my hands are shaking don’t let my heart keep breaking cause…I need your love…I want your love…say you’re in love and you’ll be my guy…if not I’ll just die…”

4.     “…but it’s alright now…I learned my lesson well… you see ya can’t please everyone… so you got to please yourself…”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1983, the legendary Muddy Waters, died from a heart attack at the age of 68.

Sadly back on this day in 1999, Darrell Sweet, drummer for Nazareth, tragically died of a heart attack at the young age of 51 before a concert that Nazareth was going to perform in Indiana.

Back on this day in 1976, Keith Moon supposedly paid a few taxi cab drivers in NY $100 each to block off traffic on a city block so that he could empty the contents from his hotel room window on to the street below.

Back on this day in 1977, the Mighty Led Zeppelin set an outdoor concert attendance record-for a single act event-when more than 77,000 showed up at the Pontiac Silverdome.

Back on this day in 1983, “Beat It” by Michael Jackson became the number one hit (and would continue to do so for 3 weeks). Quincy Jones asked Eddie Van Halen to play guitar on the song and Eddie obliged and never accepted any payment for his services.

Back on this day in 1991, Nirvana signed a record deal with Geffen Records, they received an advance of $290,000.

Back on this day in 2001, a small plane carrying Sting and his manager skidded off a runway when landing in Italy, no one was injured.

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with Willie Nelson, Bobby Vee (“Take Good Care of My Baby”) and Wayne Kramer (MC5)

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