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...