Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Over the years I've developed an appreciation for some his music. He started off heavily influenced by The Band, Leon Russell and The Beach Boys. He went off in other directions as well, with mixed results, but Elton is still here and made it to 65 today.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
http://www.paulmccartney.com press release
They went on to do a nice job filling in as members of the reunited Big Star.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
What is "normal".
Saturday, March 17, 2012
-from "Rock Me Easy"-the Michael Stanley Band 1986
These lyrics kind of sum up what the Michael Stanley Band were about. Working hard, living in the "heartland", and trying to find some love as a refuge from the daily grind.
The music wasn't really about changing "the" world, it was more about changing "your" world.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
This track is from their final major label release "Red Moon". A lively, "wake up and smell the coffee" type song. This is your only shot, "carpe Diem" ,etc. Live life to it's fullest...
Unfortunately, lead singer Michael Been passed away a couple of years ago, but he left us some inspirational tunes.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The track itself is nothing spectacular. Henley's version of a "heavy metal" song. The music bed written by his producer and collaborator Danny Kortchmar sounds a little like something Joe Walsh might come up with. With programmed drums and synths it's actually kinda stiff. Throw in the unlikely participation of Henley's Geffen label-mate Axl Rose and you've got an anomaly in the Henley catalog. "Best of My Love" it ain't!
Rose is brought in to add power to the lyrics of defiance and determination. It is to Henley's credit that a lyric of vulnerability is stuck in there as well. It is no accident. The guy is a master lyricist who combs over every word and cadence before he releases it to us.
I love the sentiment "strong enough to be weak". It is so true. You have to be a strong person really in touch with your real self to allow yourself to be weak at times. Their are times when you need help. It can be a physical illness, an emotional problem, a struggle with a substance. It is that concept of surrender. "I can't do it alone. I need some help". It takes courage to allow yourself to ask for help, love, guidance...
Women don't seem to have as big a problem with the concept. They are raised that it is ok to weep, mourn, ask for help and love. Men? We are raised to be tough. Don't get me wrong, no one wants to see men openly weeping over trivial everyday things, but to try to uphold some kind of macho facade is physically and emotionally unhealthy. You need to allow yourself to be open and vulnerable in order to experience and grow in life, other wise you just stay stuck in a rut. Being shut-down and walking around like a zombie sucks, so be "strong enough to be weak" sometimes. You will feel better in the long run.....
Monday, March 12, 2012
It's somewhat of a duet with folkie/jazzy singer Rickie Lee Jones.
I always thought the lyrics were really good .
The lyric that comes to mind a lot for me is
"I know there's a balance, I see it when I swing past..."
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Sometimes it's not a word you like. Someone you are interested in romantically may tell you they just want to be "friends". Or someone may breakup with you and say they "still want to be friends"
Regardless, here are 10 "Friend" songs....
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Really people aren't that fond of change. We like the known.
Even when we are in bad situations (jobs, relationships, etc.) we can be fearful of the unknown so we stick with what we know. Hence the "Better the devil you know" phrase...
Other people are content with their lives and really don't want change. they're "good". Does that make them bad people for not wanting to change? I don't think so...
These days I see people expecting others and even society as a whole to "change" for them. I think that is a lot to ask!
If you are part of a small group of people who want a larger group of people to change for you, I think you are asking too much...sorry...
We can all try and change ourselves...
We are the only ones we can really can control anyway, remember the world really don't owe ya nothin....
Good luck to ya...
It flies, it can drag on... All depends on what you are doing. your perspective at the time.
As you get older, 5 years go by like 1 used to. When you are young every school year feels like three years!
Don't forget to reset the clocks tonight!
Friday, March 9, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
here are 5 "Goodbye" songs for all the parties involved.
Well, as they sing in their new song “China Town”, “It’s all happening downtown” and in Philly last night it was. The Van Halen show was the place to be. I was lucky enough to secure 8th row floor seats during the presale.
It was a chance for us 40-somethings (and 50-somethings) to let loose and remember our youth. The sound of Van Halen is eternal summer, blasting music from a Camaro at a parking lot party....
Sunday, March 4, 2012
They pioneered the sounds of folk-rock and country-rock.
Roger McGuinn said his goal was to put a folk sound to a rock beat.
After seeing the Beatles "Hard Day's Night" movie Jim McGuinn (he later changed his name to Roger) bought the instrument that would define the Byrds sound; the Rickenbacker 12-String electric guitar. He saw George Harrison playing one and knew he had to have one!
Here are 10 great covers of Byrds songs
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Of course many artists have covered Jimi Hendrix songs , with mixed results.
Here are 10 good ones.
Chrissie Hynde is a huge Hendrix fan. She has covered a couple of his songs. I think this one is my favorite Hendrix cover ever.
The original always sounded unfinished (I guess it was. it didn't come out until after his death) and I had trouble telling whether it was supposed to be in major or minor key!! I've got a decent ear, but Hendrix's version never sounded quite right or special to me.
Chrissie and the boys took it and really made it something. Robbie McIntosh is a tour-de-force on slide guitar and Martin Chambers propels the song along on drums (before Chrissie kicked him out of the band!)
The Pretenders "Room Full of Mirrors"
Eric Clapton was a contemporary and friend of Hendrix . Here he covers one from "Electric Ladyland"
"Burning of the Midnight Lamp"
Eric Johnson is a disciple of the Clapton/Beck/Hendrix school of guitar playing. He does some excellent Hendrix covers.
This one is a little less known from "Are You Experienced"
"Love or Confusion"
Paul Rodgers is one of the greatest singers in the history of rock. He was the lead singer of Free, Bad Company, The Firm and in recent years even worked with Queen as their lead singer. The man is a legend. Here he teams up with Slash to cover:
"I Don't Live Today"
Doyle Bramhall II has lived an interesting life.
His dad was Stevie Ray Vaughn's best friend.
By 18 he was in the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
He formed the Arc Angels with Charlie Sexton to record a successful album before rumored drug problems derailed him.
He got back on his feet and toured with Roger Waters and Eric Clapton.
He was married to Prince's former muse Susannah Melvoin for a time.
He recently produced Sheryl Crow (and is rumored to be dating her).
Here he digs in on Hendrix's wonderful song "Angel"
Emmylou Harris seems an unlikely candidate to cover Jimi Hendrix but her "Wrecking Ball" cd was produced by the great Daniel Lanois and he is a huge Hendrix fan.
This is a nice cover of
"May this Be Love"
Dave Mason was a singer/guitarist in the group Traffic. He was also a friend of Jimi Hendrix. Apparently he played bass on some of the takes of "All Along the Watchtower" and he played the acoustic guitar on other takes?
Ok, I know this is a Dylan song, but Hendrix basically reinvented it and made it his own.
"All Along the Watchtower"
Well you gotta have some SRV in here! Stevie was a Hendrix freak and was the most exciting blues based guitarist to hit the scene since Hendrix's death. Stevie covered a number of Jimi's tunes.
He didn't just cover them he inhabited them!
Stevie Ray Vaughn "Voodoo Chile" (Slight Return)
Here's another from Eric Johnson
The title track of Hendrix's 1967 debut LP
"Are You Experienced"
I'm going to go out the way I came in, with one from
Chrissie and The Pretenders
One of my favorites, maybe my favorite Jimi Hendrix song ever.
"Bold as Love"
Tommy Shaw from Styx and Jack Blades from Night Ranger put out a great cd of covers in 2007
Here's "Dirty Work"
Brian Setzer might seem unlikely to cover Steely Dan, but this one works
Local Baltimore band ,Hectic Red, do a great job covering SD.
Another one from "Me Myself and Irene" soundtrack
Wilco "Any Major Dude will tell You"
I must admit ,I don't know this one, but Joe Jackson covering Steely Dan makes sense to me
"King of the World"
Here's a weird one. Apparently this band covered the entire "Aja" album! Quite a different take on it...
The Darcys "Peg"
Here's one you have to stream,
Butch Walker & Marvelous 3 "Reelin in the Years"
Marvelous 3 -Reelin in the Years
If you are in the Baltimore/DC/Annapolis area, this tribute band plays around
Technicolor Motor home "My Old School"
another one from Technicolor Motor Home
"Don't take me Alive"
The guys will be playing live in Annapolis on May 25th:
Rams Head Live Tickets
Now I am no expert on Bon Jovi and cannot claim to big a big fan. There are some of his albums I could not name you one song but I was surprised how many of their songs I do like. Thinking about it, while I would never call them "innovative" or "original", I would rather see Bon Jovi in concert than, say, Pearl Jam or Green day.
"Have a Nice Day" is the album I liked best by them.
My friend Greg once won a contest and took a couple of us to see them in concert and meet them before the show. I kinda of wish I had saved my signed ticket to sell on Ebay!
I know "Bon Jovi" is a household name, but pre-1986 they were no more famous than their contemporaries like Dokken, Ratt, Honeymoon Suite.
Long before the days where you could record an album on your laptop, John Bongiovi had an advantage. His cousin Tony ran the noted NYC studio "The Power Station" (yup that's where that group got their name...). He got John a job there being a gofer, sweeping up etc. John was able to record demos a night. "Runaway" features great session men like Roy Bittan, Tim Pierce and Frankie La Rocka. It got local airplay and John Bongiovi became "Jon Bon Jovi" and got a deal....
I know Jon now tries to act like his influences are all Bruce and Southside Johnny types, but this is revisionism. He was all hair spray an spandex for a looong time.
I barely remember their 2nd album coming out . I was working at a record store at the time and remember thinking the single "In and Out of Love" was lame crap that dirtbags that reeked of cigarettes made out to.
I'd be surprised if our store even sold 10 copies but Billboard says it went Gold!
Long before Poison was cranking out power ballads Bon Jovi was doing it...
Here's one were the band tries to "act" They must cringe. But musically, it wasn't bad 80's AOR
So what changed in 1986 to shoot them to stardom?
Well Jon Bon Jovi really liked the album "The Big Prize" by Canadian AOR band Honeymoon Suite. The album didn't do much here (if you like 80's AOR, it is very good, probably better that "Slippery").
It was produced by Bruce Fairbairn, who had worked with Loverboy, Prism, and Blue Oyster Cult as well. So Bon Jovi enlisted Fairbairn and engineer Bob Rock (who went on to big success with Motley Crue, Metallica, and the Cult) The record company also brought in an outside writer, a "song doctor" if you will, Desmond Child. Child helped them craft "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin on a Prayer" into the big hits... and the rest is history.
This album probably saved their career.
Again, Jon is a revisionist. Their image was as often stupid and immature as bands like Motley Crue.
Original cover for the album:
The album is a fun representation of 80's hair metal/rock.
You put on "You give love a bad name" in a bar a everyone from the sheet-metal worker, to the housewife, to the yuppie are signing along.
maybe Jon really was kinda the Hair Metal Springsteen. This one had the good "everyman" feel to it..
a spandex "Glory Days"? kinda
"Wild in the Streets"
I wasn't a fan of songs that came next like "Bad Medicine" , but I thought Jon turned a corner when he went solo for "Young Guns Soundtrack". He asked Danny Kortchmar to produce. Danny worked with James Taylor Jackson Browne and Don Henley.
He was no hard rock producer. Jon also brought in Jeff Beck, Aldo Nova, and long before he was on "American Idol" calling everyone "dawg", Randy Jackson, to play on the album
"Bang a Drum"
A funny thing happened, they got better the longer they lasted! I think the chorus to "It's my Life" is great. Might be their best song.
"It's my Life"
they even channeled Bowie, Mott, T-Rex for
"Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen"
I think "Have a Nice Day " is their best album. I give them credit for changing their sound to adapt to the times. You can definitely hear the influence touring with a newer band like SR-71 had on them.
They teamed up with John Shanks who was and is one of the hottest producers in music. Smart move. Shanks is great at getting good tones.
They branched out further into "new country" territory with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.
"Who Says You Can't go home"
"Last Man Standing"
this one really has that punky power pop sound. I think it's a good one
more good power pop. I think this is my favorite by them
more in that vein
"Story of My Life"
I haven't heard too much of their stuff since then. The went more in the "new country" direction with "Lost Highway" A lot of it all sounds the same? Not bad, but nothing that brings me back...but they aren't offensive.
The only cringe moments when they try to come off as hip or sincere." Bon Jovi" is a business man, an image , a brand.
That is not a criticism. They are supposed to be "light" fun rock n roll.
Missteps are when they and cover songs like "Rockin in the Free World", "I Don't like Mondays", Little Steven's "I am Patriot", and the ubiquitous "Hallelujah" (although Leonard Cohen said he really likes their version!)
Sincerity doesn't fit ya guys. Leave it to Bruce, Jackson Browne, Neil Young and the like.
I was surprised that Bon Jovi is not in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame yet. I think their is something to be said for longevity, reinventing yourself and selling a hell of a lot of records!
I do think bands that came before them like Bad Company, Foreigner, Journey, Styx, etc. should get a shot at getting in first...
I recently heard the Director of the Rock Roll Hall of Fame say the number one factor weighed when electing someone to the RRHOF is "influence". Bon Jovi is more of a "product of their influences" rather than being an influence. Time will tell....
Til then don't be ashamed to turn it up sing along with Bon Jovi ......