Monday, August 11, 2014

Great Rock Moments Captured On Video (6)

Listening to you, I get the music...The Who - Listening To You 

The Woodstock Festival took place on August 15, 16, 17 & 18, 1969.  It was held on a 600-acre dairy farm in the Catskills in up-state New York  The festival was billed as 3 days of peace and music (although it spilled over to a 4th day) and over 400,000 young people attended.  The festival was filmed and released as a movie that millions have seen.  The Woodstock Music Festival is one of the most important concert events in the history of rock.  It was the culmination of the music and youth explosion of the 60's. The festival included a who's who of the eras music, including: Jimi Hendrix, Credence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Band, Sly and the Family Stone, The Grateful Dead and many others including The Who.

The Who already stars in England.  With the release of their rock opera Tommy in May of 1969 and their performance at Woodstock, The Who established themselves as world rock stars in 1969.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Great Rock Moments Captured On Video (5)

Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged... The Beatles - Get Back 

On 30 January 1969, The Beatles played their final set together... in an unlikely place... on the rooftop of Apple Heaadquarter at 3 Savile Row.  The band along with keyboardist Billy Preston played 9 takes of 5 songs; Get Back, Don't Let Me Down, I've Got a Feeling, One After 909 and Dig a Pony.  The 42 minute set was broke up by the Metropolitan Police Service.  Footage from this event was later used in the 1970 "documentary-film" Let It Be.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Great Rock Moments Captured On Video (4)

I'm not trying to cause a b-big s-s-sensation (Talkin' 'bout my generation; I'm just talkin' 'bout my g-g-generation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)... The Who - My Generation 

In 1967 The Who was introduced to America via The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. The Who’s performance was wild, powerful and explosive (literally). The Who played their punk rock anthem My Generation with passion and with wreckless abandon… well just watch.     

Monday, July 28, 2014

Great Rock Moments Captured On Video (3)

I know a pretty little place in Southern California down San Diego way; There's a little cafĂ© where they play guitars all night and all day... Bruce Springsteen - Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) 

Bruce Springsteen was at the peak of his musical genius in the 1970's. The video below is from The Darkness on the Edge of Town Tour and filmed on July 8, 1978 at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona. The video captures the fun and power of these Springsteen shows.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Great Rock Moments Captured On Video (2)

If I could through myself set your spirit free; I'd lead your heart away; See you break, break away... Bad - U2

 It was July 13, 1985 and the world was united through music. Live Aid was the brain child of English muscicians Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. The idea of it spawned from the successful Christmas benefit single Do They Know It's Christmas? recorded by the who's who of the day's English artists from George Michael, Boy George,  Bono to Sting.  The USA answered with We Are the World and included an American star studded group that included Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen and many others.  Both singles were recorded to raise money and awareness for the famine going on in Africa.

Live Aid was the benefit concerts that took place in Wembley Stadium in London, England and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, PA.  The concerts were held simultaneously and connected via satellite and television.  The concert feature many of the day's popular artists such as Dire Straits, U2, The Pretenders, The Cars; The Who and Led Zeppelin reunited for the day; Bob Dylan suggest giving some of the money to the struggling farmers of America and later spawned Farm Aid; it was an amazing event, rivaling Woodstock as one of the most influential concert events of all time.

U2 stole the show and forever established themselves as major stars.  Bono's spontaneous and inspirational performance made this one of the great rock moments.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Great Rock Moments Captured On Video (1)

And when I touch you I feel happy inside - The Beatles - I Want To Hold Your Hand

It was February 9th, 1964 and I was 2 years old, but if I had to pick a video moment that has had a big influence on my musical taste, it was The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.  No I didn't watched it live, but I saw this clip many times in my teen years.  I love everything about it; the iconic background set; the way the 3 guitarists are lined up with the drums raised in the background; the way John Lennon stood and held his guitar; the way Paul McCartney sang with John; Ringo bopping his head to the beat; George's tapping his boot as he nails his guitar part; the energy and positive, happy vibe by all four members.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jeff Tweedy Sings It

Stare at your stereo, Put on your headphones before you explode... Wilco - Wilco (The Song)

2014 continues to be a great year for music and I am very excited for Jeff Tweedy's first solo album due September 16 entitled Sukierae.  Here is a tune from that forthcoming album to wet your whistle...

Jeff Tweedy - I'll Sing It     

Saturday, May 31, 2014

From Memphis To Mars

Love is a marathon, sometimes with puke... The Old 97's - Longer Than You've Been Alive

The Old 97's new album is aptly named Most Messed Up.  The first song released from it is the self biographical Longer Than You've Been Alive; a very funny tune with lines: "We’ve been in nightclubs and we’ve been in bars, honkytonks and theaters from Memphis to Mars; Most of our shows were a triumph of rock, although some nights I might have been checking the clock"

Rock and roll has been very, very good to me...

Monday, May 26, 2014

It's Decoration Day

It's Decoration Day... - The Drive-By Truckers

Jason Isbell was a member of The Drive-By Truckers for 3 albums. During this period the band really hit their stride with three excellent song writers; Isbell along with Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. On the album Decoration Day, the band was in top form, each writer putting his stamp on the album; Hood with Sink Hole and Heathens, Cooley with Marry Me and Isbell with Outfit and the epic title track Decoration Day. If you compare the Truckers to their heroes and fellow southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, then Decoration Day is their Freebird.

The song is a red-neck, modern day update of sorts of a Hatfields-McCoys type family feud.  This story is about the Lawsons and the Hills and told from the point of view of a son of the now deceased Hill patriarch.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Roger, Wilko, Over and Out

Wait a minute baby, what you going to do?  You can call me crazy, but I want you... Wilco Johnson, Roger Daltrey - I Keep It To Myself

It is exciting to hear THE VOICE, Roger Daltrey rocking out once again.  This time, the legendery singer of The Who is paired with another renowned British rocker, Wilko Johnson of Dr. Feelgood fame.

Dr. Feelgood represented the early 70's pub rock movement, with a punk spirit that was severeral years ahead of it's time.  During the era when British art rock was in vogue, the Feelgoods played rough and tough R&B music befitting of early Rolling Stones or Chuck Berry.

In early 2013, Johnson was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  He decided to spend his remaining days rocking out rather than fading away. Daltrey jumped at the chance to record the final record with Johnson and the album contains mostlsy gems from Dr. Feelgood’s past.

The story reminds you a bit of the making of Warren Zevon's final album The Wind.

For a guy who once sang "I hope I die before I get old", the 70 year old Daltrey sounds great to these ears.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Coldplay is in My Head

My mouth waters to be fed and you're always in my head... Coldplay - You're Always in My Head

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon continues to get great bands on the show.  Coldplay played a new tune entitled You're Always in My Head. Another song from the forthcoming Coldplay album Magic.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ringo Bells

Bright are the stars that shine, dark is the sky; I know this love of mine will never die and I love her... The Beatles - And I Love Her

The new Broken Bells record After the Disco is on par with their fine 2010 debut.  I love this band's unique sound which features The Shin's James Mercer's quirkiness  and soulful singing and Danger Mouse righteously modern beats and sounds.  Highlights of the new album include Holding On For Life, Perfect World and No Matter What You're Told.

On Letterman they covered The Beatles with Ringo (sort of).  Listen closely and you can hear a bit of I Am the Walrus.

Ringo rocks!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Flashback: Down in the Tube Station At Midnight

The distant echo of faraway voices boarding faraway trains... The Jam - Down in the Tube Station at Midnight

The Jam never quiet made it big in the US, but they were right there with The Clash in their home country of England.  Paul Weller and company were the next generation of mods in the royal line of The Who and The Kinks.  One of their songs that I always liked was the very English Down in the Tube Station at Midnight.

The song begins with the singer going down into England's version of the subway system at late at night.  He's heading home after a long shift of work.  It's cold, lonely world there as he sees a newspaper and it's depressing headlines..

The distant echo of far away voices boarding far away trains
To take them home to the ones that they love and who love them forever
The glazed, dirty steps, repeat my own and reflect my thoughts
Cold and uninviting, partially naked, except for toffee wrappers
And this morning's papers, Mr. Jones got run down
Headlines of death and sorrow, they tell of tomorrow
Madmen on the rampage, and I'm down in the tube station at midnight
He reaches for change in his pocket and pulls out a coin, perhaps an English shilling.  He puts the coin in the slot and pulls out a purple ticket.  Rough sounding men ask him for money and his thoughts immediately turn to his wife waiting for him at home.
I fumble for change, and pull out the Queen, smiling, beguiling
I put in the money and pull out a plum, behind me
Whispers in the shadows, gruff blazing voices, hating, waiting
Hey boy, they shout, have you got any money?
But I say, I've a little money and a take away curry
I'm on the way home to my wife, she'll be lining up the cutlery
And now she's expecting me
Polishing the glasses and pulling out the cork
And I'm down in the tube station at midnight
The men begin to beat him.  The men smell of English pubs and of Wormwood Scrubs, a prison in the London Burough of Hammersmith and Fulham. 
 I first felt a fist, and then a kick, I could now smell their breath
They smelt of pubs and Wormwood Scrubs
And too many right wing meetings, my life swam around me
It took a look and drowned me in its own existence
The smell of brown leather, it blended in with the weather
It filled my eyes, ears, nose and mouth
It blocked all my senses, couldn't see, hear, speak any longer
I'm down in the tube station at midnight

As he lays there beaten he sees graffiti and advertisement posters on the subway walls.  Then right before he loses consciousness he realizes that they have his home keys and he fears for his wife's safety.

I said, "I was down in the tube station at midnight" Hey
The last thing that I saw as I lay there on the floor
Was 'Jesus Saves' painted by an atheist nutter
And a British Rail poster read
'Have an away day, a cheap holiday, do it today'
I glanced back on my life and thought about my wife
'Cause they took the keys, and she'll think it's me
I'm down in the tube station at midnight
The wine will be flat and the curry's gone cold
I'm down in the tube station at midnight
Don't want to go down in a tube station at midnight
Don't want to go down in a tube station at midnight
Don't want to go down in a tube station at midnight
Don't want to go down in a tube station at midnight

Monday, April 14, 2014

Down on E Street

Sparks fly on E Street when the boy prophets walk it handsome and hot... Bruce Springsteen - The E Street Shuffle

Finally The E Street Band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the recipient for Musical Excellence this past week.  This was long overdue, but all is well now down on E Street.

The E Street past and present consists of Roy Bittan, Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici, Nils Lofgren, Vini Lopez, Patti Scialfa, David Sancious, Garry Tallent, Max Weinberg, and Steven Van Zandt.

This video caught my ear a few weeks ago.

Yes, all is well down on E Street...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Coldplay is Magical

Call it magic when I'm with you and I just got broken, broken into two; Still I call it magic when I'm next to you... Coldplay -Magic

Coldplay's will release their 6th album, Ghost Stories on May 19.  Their first single off the new album is Magic, a little tune about a relationship breaking apart.  The song may be personal to Chris Martin who recently split with his wife Gwyneth Paltrow.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jack White Returns

I was sitting there in a comfortable chair and that was all that I needed... The White Stripes - Take, Take, Take

The release information on Jack White's new album has been announced on his website:

"Jack White presents his new album Lazaretto, to be released June 9th/10th on Third Man Records. Lazaretto inhabits an exciting place in White’s expansive discography as the follow-up to 2012′s gold-certified international #1 Blunderbuss, and will be preceded by first single and title track “Lazaretto,” to be released later this month. While we await the debut of that first official single, listeners can experience a first taste of new music from the album and watch the video for new instrumental track “High Ball Stepper.”"

2014 is shaping up to be a really good year for music!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kentucky, I Will Be Coming Soon

Kentucky, you are the dearest land outside of Heaven to me... The Everly Brothers - Kentucky

I saw the Old Crow Medicine Show several years ago.  Towards the end of the show or maybe in the encore, they pulled out this Everly Brothers' chestnut from many years ago.  This tribute to my home state has been redone once again by Norah Jones and Billie Joe Armstrong on their terrific Everly Brothers tribute album Foreverly.

In honor of our beloved Wildcats...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Black Keys Gives Us Fever

You shook me like I never been; now show me how to love again... The Black Keys - Fever

The Black Keys recently announce the release of their next album Turn Blue on May 13.  Yesterday they gave us Fever.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Old 97s Arriving At the Station in April

And I may be leavin' myself open to a murder or a heart attack, but I'm leavin' the back door open 'Til you come back, 'til you come back... Old 97s - Murder (or a Heart Attack)

I am already excited about the April 29th release of the Old 97s latest platter of rock entitled Most Messed Up.  I have been re-listening to some of their older stuff including 1999's great album Fight Songs.  One of the songs that I have been recently playing a bunch, Murder (or a Heart Attack), I finally realized what it is about.  After repeated listens, the song that I thought was about a girl leaving was really about a cat running away.  I actually read this on their website...

"Charlie – The name of a cat belonging to a former roommate of Rhett Miller during his full-time stay in L.A. One day Charlie ran off, prompting a frantic, guilt-ridden search, and turmoil. And songwriting. And the Old 97’s first radio hit.

QUOTE:“And the whole damn complicated situation could’ve been avoided if I’d only shut the window…” – “Murder (Or A Heart Attack)”
P.S. – Charlie came home."

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mach Schau

You've got something that'll save us, Save us now... Paul McCartney - Save Us

When The Beatles were playing in Hamburg, Germany in the club The Indra which was owned by Bruno Koschmider, he would come to the front of the stage and shout “Mach schau, mach schau!” (which is make a show for the customers) and of course The Beatles would comply, as does Paul McCartney below on the live debut of Save Us.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Paul Plays Queenie Eye

Queenie eye, queenie eye who's got the ball; I haven't got it, it isn't in my pocket... Paul McCartney - Queenie Eye 

Queenie Eye is a catchy little ditty on Paul McCartney's 16th solo studio album New. The song according to the The Beatle's Bible is about a game.

"Now this song, Queenie Eye, is based on a game we used to play when I was kids. You got to remember that's a long time ago and basically in kind of a poor area I was from. What you did you entertain yourself was go out in the street and play street games. There wasn't that much traffic, so you were pretty safe. And one of the games was called Queenie Eye." Paul McCartney

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Not Ordinary

We can't fall any further If we can't feel ordinary love; We cannot reach any higher If we can't deal with ordinary love... U2 - Ordinary Love

U2 did a great impromptu version along with The Roots of Ordinary Love on The Tonight Show  this past monday night.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

U2: The Rooftop Singers

I'll show you a place high on a desert plain where the streets have no name... U2 - Where The Streets Have No Name

U2 continued a rock tradition last night on The Tonight Show of performing on the rooftop, in this case it was the top of 30 Rock in New York City.  It was classic U2; in 1987 U2 recorded the video  for Where The Streets Have No Name on top of a liquor store in Los Angeles.  However, the rooftop tradition began with The Beatle's 1969 final public performance on the roof of Apple's Headquarters.  Rooftops rock...

Monday, February 17, 2014

U2 Visible Again

I'm more than you know, A body in a soul; You don't see me but you will; I am not invisible... U2 - Invisible U2

U2 is the musical guest tonight on Jimmy Fallon's debut as host of The Tonight Show.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

It Was 50 Years Ago Today

Oh Yeah, I'll tell you something I think you'll understand;  When I say that something  I want to hold your hand... The Beatles - I Want To Hold Your Hand
It's hard to believe that it was 50 years ago that The Beatles made their way to America (left at Greenland) and to our televisions by way of The Ed Sullivan Show.  It was the most watched TV show up to that time and still on the list.  It was also the watershed moment for Rock and Roll; the possibilities of the music, the power, the influence, the mysteries... 

For 4 lads from Liverpool, England America was the place where they wanted to be.  After all America was the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll.  The home of many of their influences: Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, The Everly Brothers, Little Richard and others.  Well on that night The Beatles conquered America and established themselves as world wide stars and their influence was felt immediately.  Steve Van Zandt put it best: “Feb. 8, 1964, there was not one single rock ‘n’ roll band in the country. February 9, the Beatles played ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ Feb. 10, everyone had one.”  Also in their wake what followed was a tidal wave of British Artists from The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Herman's Hermits, Dave Clark 5, The Who, etc...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Broken Bells Are Holding On For Life

Oh, ain't nobody calling;  Ain't nobody home;  What a lovely day to be lonely; You're holding on for life... Broken Bells - Holding On For Life

I am enjoying the new Broken Bells disc After the Disco.  Song 3 (Holding On For Life) is a really nice tune and listen for those Bee Gee like harmonies in the chorus.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hopes Float

Einstein is scratchin' numbers on his napkin;  Shakespeare says, “Man, it’s just one and one makes three;  That’s why it’s poetry”... Bruce Springsteen - Frankie Fell in Love

Bruce Springsteen albums are really hard to review, because he set the bar so high in the 70's and 80's.  I think it's only fair to compare apples and apples and look at the albums from 2002's The Rising and forward.

I've always thought The Rising is a great record united by the 911 theme and a fairly recently reunited E Street Band, with both Little Steven and Nils Lofgren together.  The album sounded fresh with an emotional edge.  The songs were strong lyrically and musically.

Since then the releases have a been more spotty; for ever great song Girls in Their Summer Clothes, Long Walk Home, Life Itself and This Life; there were duds like Queen of the Supermarket or even Radio NowhereThere have also been some good songs, not great songs like Working on a Dream and We Take Care of Our Own; there have been some good ideas that didn't work so well like Outlaw Pete; and some ordinary songs like Land of Hope and Dreams.

On High Hopes Bruce has changed it up a bit; we get a little bit of everything from cover songs, songs that were previously released and re-recorded and a few new compositions to boot.  For the most part, I think the idea works well.

Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine fame) plays guitar on the majority of the tracks.  He and Bruce match vocals on a remake of the Springsteen solo song The Ghost of Tom Joad.  The track sounds remarkably fresh.  American Skin (41 Shots) and Dream Baby Dream both finally get polished studio versions.  The light hearted Frankie Fell in Love sounds as if it could have been on Tracks (Bruce's great unreleased music).  The Wall, a sequel of sorts to Born in the U.S.A., is quiet eulogy to a fallen war vet presumably at the Vietnam Memorial Wall.  Hunter of Invisible Game, Heaven's Wall and Down in the Hole are all winners.

It's early, but I think this may be Bruce's best since The Rising.  It's superbowl Sunday and we all have High Hopes.  Put this CD on and get excited (just avoid Harry's Place)...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gary Clark Jr. Can't Feel a Thing

Well, I'm numb, Yeah woman I can't feel a thing... Gary Clark Jr. - Numb

Gary Clark Jr. is a Texas blues-rock guitarist.  My daughter introduced me to him through his fine new album Black and Blu.  His bluesy/fuzzy guitar is reminiscent of The Black Keys.  This is exciting new music...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger: 1919-2014

One of these days I’m gonna lay this hammer down;  Leave my burden restin’ on the ground... Steve Earle - Steve's Hammer


Sunday, January 26, 2014

U2 Back on the Radar

The sea throws rock together, but time leaves us polished stones... U2 - Ordinary Love

It is great to hear U2 once again.  I think this could be a big year for the band.  We are expecting a new song, Invisible, to be released during the Super Bowl next weekend and a new album due possibly in April.  The band has been working with Danger Mouse, whose work with The Black Keys, Beck and his bands The Broken Bells and Gnarls Barkley are exceptional.

The new song, Ordinary Love from the Original Soundtrack to the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is terrific. The song strikes the right balance of inspiration and seriousness along the lines of Pride in the Name of Love.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I Was Like the Dead Sea

I headed West, I was a man on the move;  New York had lied to me, I needed the truth... The Lumineers - Dead Sea

The Lumineer's music is so catchy and sticks in your head (in a good way).  Bands like the Lumineers are why I am constantly seeking new music!

Monday, January 13, 2014

High Hopes For Tuesday

Give me help, give me strength, give a soul a night of fearless sleep; Give me love, give me peace; Don't you know these days you pay for everything; Got high hopes... Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes

Bruce Springsteen's new CD makes it's debut tomorrow; Bruce Springsteen is releasing his 18th studio album High Hopes.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Phil Everly: 1939-2014

Kentucky, you are the dearest land outside of Heaven to me;  Kentucky, I miss your laurels and your redbud trees;  When I die, I want to rest upon your graceful mountains so free for that is where God will look for me... The Everly Brothers - Kentucky

News has just came out that Phil Everly, one half of the brother vocal duo The Everly Brothers has died at age 74.  The Everly Brothers were huge in the late 50's/early 60's with their trademark high harmonies with hits like All I Have To Do is Dream, Wake Up Little Susie, Cathy's Clown and my personal favorite Bowling Green.  They were a big influence on many artists including The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Simon and Garfunkel.  Bye, Bye Love...

The Beatles - So How Come (No One Loves Me) (Everly Brothers Cover)

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Gone, Gone, Gone (Everly Brothers Cover)

Billie Joe Armstrong  & Norah Jones - Kentucky (Everly Brothers Cover)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013: Best Musical News

When the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band; From the coastline to the city all the little pretties raise their hands... Bruce Springsteen - Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

Back a few weeks ago The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officially announced 2014's inductees.  Nirvana, Kiss, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt. But the big news for me was that The E Street Band (finally) will be given the Award for Musical Excellence.  This is long overdue, but welcomed. 

The E Street Band have been around in some incarnation since Bruce Springsteen's beginnings.  Clarence Clemons and Gary Tallent played on Bruce's debut in early 1973 Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.  Danny Federici came on board later in that year on The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle.  In 1975 Steven Van ZandtRoy Bittan and Max Weinberg were added on the great Born to Run album.  Nils Lofgren and Patty Scialfa joined later.  We recently lost 2 of the original guys in Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons.  No other group of people deserve this award more than this outfit.  Way overdue, but well earned.

Additional The Beatles manager Brian Epstein and original Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham will both receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award for non-performers.