Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vinyl Exam: Face to Face "One Big Day"

Face to Face were a Boston based band in the 80's (not to be confused with the punk band of the same name in the 90's).

Monday, December 24, 2012

5 good Christmas albums to play at your gatherings

There are a lot of good individual Christmas songs, but I started thinking about what are some decent full Christmas albums. Ones you can have on in the background at your gatherings.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pat Benatar "Suffer the little Children"

Sweet Melissa, I often pray for you
I hope your suffering was brief
I hope the angels that watch over all little children
Came for you and took you someplace beautiful and sweet

Suffer The Little Children

Dear Melissa, I often think of you
Everytime I hold my baby in my arms
I say a prayer for your mama and daddy too
I know they miss you, miss you since you're gone

Suffer The Little Children
At the hands of evil men
No baby dolls, no teddy bears
No lullabies for them
Every mother's nightmare
Will it ever end
Suffer The Little Children
At the hands of evil men

You who done the deed better do some prayin' too
Better hope that God's forgivin' like they say
Cause somewhere, somebody keeps a list
Of the evils that men do
An' your name's right up there
I heard `em say

Suffer The Little Children
At the hands of evil men
No baby dolls, no teddy bears
No lullabies for them
Every mother's nightmare
Will it ever end
Suffer The Little Children
At the hands of evil men

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Don Felder-Rams Head OnStage. Annapolis,Md

Ex- Eagles guitarist Don Felder brought his current tour to the Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis, Md. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Vinyl Exam- Big Bam Boo "Fun Faith and Fairplay"

One of the benefits of working at a record store or a record distributor was getting free albums (or in this case , cassettes).

Big Bam Boo's "Fun Faith and Fairplay" was one such item I procured.

Released in 1989, an era when Crowded House had just hit it big; & The Proclaimers were starting to make some noise. These two guys are in that vein. They probably deserved a better fate...

                                        "Fell off a Mountain"

                                       "Shooting From My Heart"

                                                  "if You Could See Me Now"

                               This one reminds me of Adrian Belew (and the Bears)
                                   "what's bigger than Life"

The guys appear to be still be involved with music

"Shark" does an interesting, cool version of
 Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up"

Looks like he's stayed busy :

Simon Tedd is now "Simon Scardanelli" (his given name maybe?)

I plan to try and catch up on the work of these guys.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

2 Very good new Classic Hard Rock albums: Black Country Communion and Steve Harris

If you are a fan of Classic Hard Rock like, Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Free, Bad Company, etc.

I would recommend two new albums: 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

5 good Roger Daltrey solo songs

Roger always seemed the most aggressive and macho member of the WHO, so it would seem a little strange that his early solo career started with him covering Leo Sayer songs..
 Having said that, Roger has done some underrated solo albums over the years.

Here's 5 good tunes from him

5 tunes: BOC, Novo Combo, THE WHO...

5 tunes I really like. Hope you do too..

Thursday, November 8, 2012

5 lost 80's AOR tunes

AOR was a radio format in the late 70's/early 80's. It stood for "Album oriented Rock". (often mistake for Arena oriented rock), Stations used to played more than the latest single. They would play album tracks. You could alway get a good sampling of an album this way before you went and spent your birthday or Christmas money on an album. 
A lot of the bands were "arena rock" bands, Styx, REO ,Foreigner, Journey, etc. Melodic enough for the girls with enough guitars for the boys...

Since there really aren't anymore AOR stations anymore, it is often referred to as melodic rock these days.
While some of it was corny, It is fun to still hear or go see a lot of these old bands. Reminds me of simpler fun times.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Some Mid Atlantic/Baltimore bands of the 80's...

Attending a reunion last night of some local Baltimore bands from the 80's triggered some memories of the music of these bands....

unsung heroes of Rock n'Roll- Gary Tibbs

 Gary Tibbs played with some of the pioneers of the New Romantic/new wave movement. First with Roxy Music and then with Adam Ant. He went on to tour with Little Steven in 1984. In the 2000's he was a member of the Fixx until 2008.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quality hard rock and the influence of Free/Paul Rodgers

Free were one of the greatest hard rock bands of all-time. Everyone knows "All Right Now", but they have a lot of great songs. 
If that was not enenough ,upon their demise, lead singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke went on to form the even more successful Bad Company. 
How Free and at least Bad Company are not in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame I will never understand...

Monday, October 29, 2012

5 rootsy tunes

some hurricane/storm related tunes

more random tunes, new and old...

Great story about how Pete had to call up Dave Wakeling to ask him what the tuning was for this song. When Wakeling tells it, he couldn't believe Pete called him! He was in shock. 
A real cool version on Pete's "Deep End Live" cd and Video

Pete Townshend "Save it for Later"

Lowell George was really part of that 70's California sound with Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon, etc.
As the leader of Little Feat, they achieved some success but were never quite as popular as some of those other folks. 
This is from his only solo album. I believe he had left Little Feat and was touring on his own when this came out and he unfortunately passed away at 34.

            Lowell George "Twenty Million Things"

Neil Young and Crazy Horse have just released their SECOND album of this year (they released "Americana" in June) . This one is of original material and the songs fit in well with the Neil and Crazy Horse catalog.

    Neil Young and Crazy Horse "Walk Like a Giant"

Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora has just released his third solo album. This one is pretty eclectic. i hear the influence of Jimi hendrix, Stephen Stills, and on this track more modern groups like the Foo Fighters. The music is less calculated than a lot of Bon Jovi's stuff. Shame this album won't really get a chance. I think it had only sol about 5K copies in it's first week or two.

                            Richie Sambora "Nowdays"

Some of the Aerosmith ballads are not bad. Overtime they seem to grow old, but I usually kinda like em intially. (except (I don't wanna miss a Thing"). Anybody who's ever had a breakup can usually relate to ballads like this. regrets, lost opportuniteies, etc....

I could easily see the Eagles, Poco or some other country rock outfit performing this.

               Aerosmith "What Could Have Been Love"

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vinyl Exams: David and David "Boomtown" (1986)

I recently picked up another used copy of David & David’s only release, 1986’s “Boomtown” .I’ve owned the cd before and must have sold on Ebay. I also owned the LP when it was first out. The store had a “buy 1 used get the 2nd half off “ deal. I was in the mood to hear it and the sticker said $3.99. 

The title track “Welcome to the Boomtown”, was a hit on AOR stations when it was released. The follow-up feature track, “Swallowed by the Cracks” was a minor success.

Monday, October 15, 2012

jennie abrahamson and Linnea Olson (Peter Gabriel's backing singers)

These ladies opened for Peter Gabriel last night and then were his backing singers. Very talented.
I believe they are Swedish.
They performed Jeannie's music. They played just enough and didn't wear out their welcome. It was sparse but catchy and had some dynamics.

They both sound very influenced by Kate Bush

                           jennie abrahamson- Hard to Come By

                Linnea Olsson - Dinosaur

Linnea sang harmony and played her cello backing Jeannie.

Monday, October 1, 2012

5 songs: the theme of disappointment...

If I had to pick the overall prevailing emotion of my life, I would probably say "disappointment". I confess I'm not the man I hoped I'd be personally, professionally, physically (pause to take a breath...) financially, emotionally...

We've all had our disappointments. The loss of a job, the disintegration of a romance, the fading of a friendship, etc. But "disappointment" isn't fatal. You can live with it...

Chances are you've already worked your way thru the stages of sadness, anger, denial, etc. to reach "disappointment". The good thing about it is a certain state of "acceptance". Hopefully you've done the best you could at the time and learned from the experience. Can you move on and let go? The key becomes being grateful for what you do have and not let the disappointments's a battle...

 Here's 5 songs on the theme:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

RUSH- Jiffy Lube Live 9-9-12

Last Sunday was such a beautiful day, weatherwise.  I knew Rush were playing at Jiffy Lube Live in Northern Virginia. I had recently checked to see if there were any good seats left to tempt me to buy one. Well, on Sunday they did release some excellent Orchestra seats. I was able to snag one about 12 rows back and made the commitment to make the drive.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

new venue- Maryland Live Casino "Rams Head Center Stage"

In 2010 I had to do a speech for class taking a side on an issue. I chose to do legalized gambling in Maryland, the "for" position. I did well and got an 'A'. The teacher thought it was so good told me he wished he had video taped it to show to other classes!

Part of my argument was the entertainment value of casinos. I spoke of how the Rams Head Group was going to open a new venue in the soon to be open Maryland Live Casino at Arundel Mills. I spoke of how I am a big music fan and I look forward to any new venue that is relatively close home that may be booking national acts. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

my morning random five....

the random mix in my head....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Family return as "FDeluxe"

Sometimes people tend to romanticize things that disappear and never return. ..
                "The Family" might be one such case.

     Formed/organized by Prince in 1985 after the break up of the Time, the band revolved around the vocals "St. Paul" Peterson and Prince's then-girlfriend Susannah Melvoin ( twin sister of Revolution guitarist Wendy Melvoin). Sax player Eric Leeds and former Time members Jellybean Johnson and Jerome Benton rounded out the group.

Monday, August 27, 2012

my little red car: the day I found out life can suck

I think I was 2 years old. My brother wasnt born yet so I was an only child. We lived on the outskirts of Baltimore City, not far from the county, in an old, working class neighborhood. Not bad, but on a busy enough street that you really didn't go out to find other kids to play with. I was obsessed with cars. I loved my Hot Wheels and especially my Matchbox. cars. There were so many cool American cars all with different designs. Fords were distinctly different from Chevys or Pontiacs. I could recognize them all by their shapes. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

buying physical cd's vs. streaming & downloads...

It is obvious that not as many physical cds are sold as even 10 years ago. No young people are buying stereos and cd players. The PC (or laptop) is the stereo of today.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

a closer look: Paul Butterfield Blues Band "East-West"

The great thing about having SiriusXM is I get to discover older music that even I am not familiar with. I'd certainly heard of Paul Butterfield and remember he was one of the guest for the Band's "Last Waltz" concert, but I had never listened to any of his albums.

The FIXX on Jimmy Kimmel

great job by the Fixx on Jimmy Kimmel.
Still sound great. Makes me want to go see them live!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Can You Dig it?: 15 songs that would be great to hear on the Monkees2012 Tour

Amazingly , the 3 surviving Monkees have announced a 12-date late Fall Tour of the US. This is the first time Michael Nesmith has toured the US with the band since 1969!

I thought it would be fun to examine some possibilities for the setlist. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Some upcoming shows of interest...

I'm always on the lookout for a good concert to go to. I prefer the smaller shows. Catching a band maybe considered past their commercial prime but still performing well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Original vs Cover- "Come Back and Stay"

Time for another edition of "Original vs. Cover". The challenge of picking which version is the superior. 

Tonight we will look at the song "Come Back and Stay" written by Jack Lee; a hit for British singer Paul Young in 1983. Young also covered two other Lee songs for his debut, "Sex" and "Oh Women"

Cheap trick and Styx restore my faith in Rock n Roll-Delaware stateFair 7-22-12

This past Sunday night I was energized by a positive powerful injection of classic Rock n Roll!
An excellent double-bill of Cheap Trick and Styx at a good price ($44 +$6 fair admission).

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Saturday, June 30, 2012

new music roundup...

As bad as pop radio is and even a lot of the "rock" music that comes out these days is not very good, there has been some good music coming out lately. I'm in my 40's and am happy to see many musicians I liked when I was a teen are still active and creative, still trying to release quality music.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Joe Walsh and Friends on CMT Crossroads

"Rocky Mountain Way" with Brad Paisley

with Hunter Hayes "In the City" Not bad but the kid is a little hyper.

with Kenny Chesney "Lucky that Way" Perfect for Chesney. When I first heard the song it made me think of modern country guys like Chesney.

"Best of My Love" with Sara Evans Wonder if Don Henley minds him doing this one? Joe was not on the original.

"Life's Been Good" with Luke Bryan I don't know who Luke is but his low baritone doesn't really work on this song

"Life in the Fast Lane" with Billy Gibbons. Would have been nice if Billy learned the main riff to play in unison with Joe. He only seems to play some occasional fills.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

7 New albums coming this summer from older acts...

I admit most of my musical taste were formed by the time I was 21. I do occasionally like a new band, but I can't get too excited about a new album by say, Jack White or whoever the latest critics darling is, ie: Alabama Shakes, etc....
I am still interested when a
"heritage" act actually makes the attempt to release "new" material.

I know a lot of people do not feel the same especially if the band in question already has enough "hits". I think Van Halen is a successful example of an older band releasing new music. Their latest cd was a success and I actually was excited to hear some of the new songs in concert. Ok so recent Rolling Stones albums have been extremely spotty. I still at least want to hear what these bands put out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

When Rockers went "Disco"- 5 respectable examples

Since we just lost two legends of the disco era recently, Disco is kind of back in the news. That made me remember when even rock bands tried to get in on the action and crossover.
 Sometimes it was embarrassing (Rod Stewart "Do you think I'm Sexy", etc.) but sometimes it worked out pretty good. Here are five successful disco songs by rockers tunes that are "good" to even "great".

The Disco beat featured the bass drum playing on all four beats of a measure with the snare drum on the 2 & 4 beats with some opening and closing of the hi-hat cymbal.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

5 "Sick of it All' songs!

Every just get fed up with everything? bored, tired, numb...

Here's five songs for when you've just "had it"

5 Good Bee Gees songs

 Of course the passing of Robin Gibb has brought the music of the Bee Gees back in the spotlight.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mick Jagger on SNL-musical performances

I thought Mick did a good job on SNL

I like his performance with the Foo Fighters better than the one with Arcade Fire. Still would have liked to see the Stones involved.

Was the political blues with Jeff Beck considered a "bit"?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

a quick Five

"You're asking Me?" -5 "I Don't Know!" songs

I always like people who admit they don't know all the answers. I hate arrogance. Sometimes you can feel like you know nothing!

Here's five tunes of humbleness and throwing your hands up in the air saying "I don't know!"

Ray Davies says it well. -Don't look to me. Figure it out yourself..                        
                    "You're Asking Me?"

Always loved this riff and Ozzy telling it like it is. 

                  Ozzy- "I Don't Know"!

From 1985, Saga with a moody piece. The confusion you can feel at the end of a love affair. You thought you had it all in control and you end up feeling like you know nothing...

                       Saga-" What Do I Know"

 One from the great melodic hard rock band 
                          King's X
                        "I Don't Know"

               The Replacements used their sloppiness and underachiever attitude as a bit of a defense mechanism. 
They still had some success in spite of themselves!

      The Replacements "I Don't Know"

        I Don't Know by The Replacements on Grooveshark

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Album Spotlight- Michael White Self-titled 1987

In 1987 I  was working in a sweltering hellhole in Baltimore City that was a Record Warehouse/distributor. If it sounds like a cool job, It wasn't!. There was no air conditioning, many of the employees belonged in a psych ward (hell, at that point I probably did too!). The customers were often annoying record store owners of some foreign decent,  buying the latest rap 12"s.
The only perk? Free records. One of them I got that some was on Atlantic Records by a guy named Michael White.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Unsung Heroes of Rock: Russ Ballard

 I would bet you've heard many of the hits Englishman Russ Ballard has written and may even have a couple on your IPod. 
His specialty was writing in a genre that became known as "melodic rock" or "AOR" (album oriented rock). Some also call it "Arena Rock". Very catchy melodies often blending keyboards with hard rock guitar. Oddly enough, it was a genre dominated by Americans
When I was young, I just liked these songs, I didn't realize he wrote them. I thought he had a real gift for writing in this genre.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Unsung Heroes of rock-Randy Jackson and Zebra

I like to try and spotlight some talented, maybe not as well known people, "The Unsung Heroes"
 of rock n Roll.

What do you get when you have a guy who can sing like Robert Plant and play guitar like Jimmy Page? You get Randy Jackson. No not THAT Randy Jackson ,dawg (although believe or not he is an unsung hero of rock as well..)

Mick Taylor on Jimmy Fallon

Mick Taylor on Fallon

The Go-Go's-Rams Head Live 5/8/12 Baltimore

I was fortunate enough to win free tickets to the show. Figured it would be a nice chance to see some 80's icons and I like all kinds of music.I'm not completely familiar with their catalog but always appreciated their spunky energy and melodic charm.  Many think of the Go-s Go's as being a pure pop band but they started as a punk band and evolved from there. I hear the influence of surf music in aspects of their music like the guitar solo on "We Got the Beat". They were signed to IRS records, considered an eclectic and hip label ,that also had the likes of REM, Wall of Voodoo, Oingo Boingo, the English Beat and Let's Active on their roster. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

5 "Closer" songs

 Everyday day is an effort to refine your life. Get the "hang" of this life, if you will. "One step forward, two steps back?"

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster- gear deals

The Best Buy near me is closing. They had a nice little instrument section. I paid a visit there yesterday. They had a cool Korg synth there last week on clearance but that was gone. Actually everything was (and is, they close May 12th) on clearance. 

I started looking at guitars and basses. The best deals seemed to be on the Squier line. The "Classic Vibe" series came out a couple of years ago to much acclaim. I tried out a  Stratocaster a couple of years ago and was impressed. The street price then was $279. I've noticed the street price has gone up to $379
Apparently the retail price is $579!

review : 

 The 50's style Strat reminds me of the 1956 Strat Eric Clapton started playing on his first solo album and the Derek and the Dominos album. I think he called it "Brownie" 


Of course, this is some of my favorite music so it's right in my wheelhouse. Best Buy had the $379 tag on it. It was a floor model that I had seen there before. I always thought if it got down in the $250 range I might consider getting it.

I asked the guy if there was anything off. He said it was down to $190! I wanted to play it first so I plugged to a nice Fender amp, dialed in a little reverb and it sounded great. It's got some dings from being a floor model and I notice a slight bit of fret buzz on the high E string but it sounds cool.  The guitar is lightweight (Gibson's are too heavy) and I love lacquered necks. I was sold.

Six months, no financing and I'm out the door. I've got my own "Brownie". lol

They also had the Telecaster model for the same price. Tempting but 1 is good for now. They had some decent Acoustics on sale too. There were some Epiphone's and I was surprised they had a Fender acoustic for $99 that sounded quite good.

Some "Brownie" tracks that I love

                                                   "Blues Power"


"I Looked Away"


                                                               "It's Too Late"

Saturday, May 5, 2012

5 Reggae tunes

So I just watched the "Marley" documentary. It was long but pretty good. There wasn't much interview footage with him in the 2 1/2 hrs. What was used was mostly from audio interviews and was good. Lots of interviews with friends, family and bandmates. Worth checking out to remind you that he was more than a "brand" . It gets nauseating seeing the constant overkill of the sale of Marley T-shirts, etc. It has overshadowed the music. And the music itself is often overplayed and reduced in stature.

RIP Adam Yauch

I have never been a fan of rap. In fact I hate it. To me when the Beastie Boys came out they seemed like spoiled Jewish kids goofing off on their parents dime. That may have been why they became a big hit in 1987 with the college crowd doing the same thing; sort of a phony, protected rebellion...
 I hate trends and in 1987 the Beastie Boys were very trendy ...

Then something happened. Kids did as they always do, they moved on to something else. When "Paul's Boutique" came out in 1989 the kids did not come out in droves. It was a collaboration with producers The Dust Brothers and veered away from their work with Rick Rubin. No guitars from Slayer this time...
I worked at a local chain record store during that period and believe me, it did not sell to the kids of suburbia. One of those kids worked with me an he played it. I admit I did lol when I heard the line  "I got more hits than Sadaharu Oh". To name drop the Japanese all-time home run leader was a scream...