Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Alice In Chains: New Album and Tour

I don't post much music news on this site...because music news is everywhere out there in the digital online ether....but I stole this from the Blabbermouth site today. Its big news for grunge-oids like me....

ALICE IN CHAINS are giving fans a sneak preview of their highly anticipated upcoming album, "Black Gives Way To Blue" (Virgin/EMI) by posting a brand-new song online. The seven-minute-long track, titled "A Looking In View", can be heard on www.aliceinchains.com. A companion video for the song is forthcoming and its trailer is available on the band's site. "A Looking In View" will appear on "Black Gives Way To Blue", in stores September 29.

About "A Looking In View", ALICE IN CHAINS vocalist/guitarist Jerry Cantrell says, "The song basically speaks to any number of things that keep you balled up inside. A cell of our own making with an unlocked door that we choose to remain in. Focusing our attention inward instead of reaching out to a much larger world. I think this is common to us all. It's funny how hard we fight to hang on to a bone we can't pull through a hole in the fence, or how difficult it is to put down the bag of bricks and move on."

On July 18, ALICE IN CHAINS will be sharing the stage with KID ROCK at Comerica Park in Detroit, to be followed by festival shows with METALLICA overseas, including an August 1 date at Marlay Park in Dublin and an August 2 show at the Sonisphere festival at Knebworth. They'll wrap up the international trip with a string of headlining dates, set to kick off August 4 with a sold-out performance at London's Scala. On August 22, they'll join TOOL and LINKIN PARK for the first-ever Epicenter show at the Fairplex in Pomona, California, to be followed by a headlining tour set to kick off September 4 at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. Tickets for the U.S. shows will be available Friday, July 10.

"Black Gives Way To Blue" is the band’s first new studio release in more than 10 years. The quartet (guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell, drummer Sean Kinney, bassist Mike Inez and vocalist/guitarist William DuVall) recorded the album with producer Nick Raskulinecz (RUSH, FOO FIGHTERS) at Studio 606 in Northridge, California and Henson Studios in Hollywood.

Upcoming ALICE IN CHAINS shows:

July 18 - Detroit, MI - Comerica Park (with Kid Rock)
Aug. 01 - Dublin, IE - Marlay Park
Aug. 02 - Stevenage, GB -Knebworth House - Sonisphere
Aug. 04 - London, GB - Scala
Aug. 06 - Cologne, DE Essigfabrik
Aug. 08 - Berlin, DE - Columbia Club
Aug. 10 - Hamburg, DE - Grunspan
Aug. 12 - Amsterdam, NL - Melkweg
Aug. 22 - Pomona, CA - Epicenter
Sep. 04 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
Sep. 05 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
Sep. 07 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
Sep. 08 - New York, NY - The Fillmore
Sep. 15 - Toronto, ON - The Opera House
Sep. 16 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
Sep. 19 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues
Sep. 20 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave
Sep. 21 - Minneapolis, MN - First Ave
Sep. 26 - Portland, OR - Roseland Grill
Sep. 28 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore

William Duvall better not try to channel Layne Staley on this album. There is nobody who can channel, mimic, emulate or aspire to be the late Layne Staley. Not that spindly has-been goat bearded Sully from Godsmack, not Alterbridge, or Creed or Seven Mary Three or that piece of dangling dung from Linkin Park,not Staind or Days of the New or Tantric either.

A big hearty "FU" to all of you posers. There was only one Layne Staley. He may have died alone with rigor mortis hands gripping an xbox joystick after his last great speedball....but his voice was one of a kind.

Here is the new song from the upcoming album Black Gives Way To Blue

Let me know what you think...and put your Godsmack CD under your pint glass where it belongs.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I Read The News Today Oh Boy

Neil Young invites Sir Paul up on stage in Hyde Park the other night to sing the "Paul part" of A Day In The Life.....I post this tonight,and in the other room my wife is watching the BET awards for the first time in her life to see if any of the Jacksons show up, and to watch how poignant Justin Timberlake's tribute is.....lord help me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson RIP

We will miss your brilliance and talent, Michael. Sail On...

Block Rockin' Beats

I love the internet. I have never heard of either one of these gentlemen, but I'm sure they were born beatboxing and breastfeeding at the same time. Amazing.. Who's better? Does it matter? Beats are unlimited.


The third video is of the always phenomenal Meg White..................just kidding.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dream Memorabilia

I guess the LULL has passed for now...either that or the clouds decided to break after 27 days and the little one is dreaming and it's beer o'clock...speaking of dreaming...I may or may not have told you of my prized rock possessions somewhere on this blog:

1) a Tonight's the Night cd sleeve signed by N. Young
2) a pick personally handed to me by Dicky Betts during an Allman Bros. concert
3) a 1969 copy of Rolling Stone Magazine with Jim Morrison on the cover

Those are pretty cool....but if I were to dream up what I really want from the big Rock memorabilia flea market in the sky, it would go like this.

1) The perfectly preserved missing tip of Toni Iommi's finger..scooped off of the floor of that sheet metal factory by the forman all those years ago.

2)One of the shards of a glass Bud bottle that Iggy Pop carved up his chest with onstage in Peoria in 1973.

3) The acid(lsd) soaked headband that Jimi Hendrix wore during the tour he did with the Monkees in 1967......footnote: They played the Rochester War Memorial together that year (my Home town)

4) excrement left on a record company office meeting room table which was traumatically evacuated from the Dove who lost his head to Ozzy's bite.

5) Secret pictures taken by the hair transplant doctor documenting the removal of usable follicles from the back area of Gene Simmons to be implanted in problem areas of his head.

6) An archery paper target taken from the back yard of a young Theodore Nugent with not one mark on it.

7) One of the 43 shot glasses that John Bonham used on September 25, 1980.

8)Stray pieces of glitter from either the bathroom stall floor at Studio 54 circa 1978 or from the sweaty brow of Bowie on his 1972 tour.

9) Mud scraped from the sole of Pete Townshend's jack boot after he left the stage en route to the artist tent at Woodstock minutes after clocking Abbey Hoffman in the head with his Les Paul.

10) Collected tears in a jar from a throng of screaming girls in the front row of the Ed Sullivan Theater on the night of Feb 9, 1964.

Dream on.........

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dog Days

I'm in a blogging lull. I'm sure most bloggers get to this point at some time. But some days it can be as fulfilling as decoupling on a humid day. I read about new music emerging onto the spotlit world stage almost daily. I listen to samples, shake my head and then realize that the age gap between me and the people who write about/listen to music on places like brooklynvegan and pitchfork is affecting the way I DON'T write about music. it is affecting the way I care about what is going on.

For the most part, I DON'T.

I was on the very fringe of people you would call hipster during my New York years, I was older than most of my friends and came from that classic rock upbringing that so many suburban white kids come from while growing up in the northeast.I was raised on a steady diet of Led Zeppelin, The Doors and narrow playlists of FM. I never could bring myself to liking The Smiths or the Postal Service or Bjork. Mostly, I just hung out with artists/musicians in NYC and considered myself one of them.

I was influenced to the point of expanding my horizons during this time by two people who were in my band (The Ten Paces), Alex and Dave. Both of these guys liked everything from bluegrass to post punk to alt country to early new wave and I gravitated towards what they were listening to. I'm glad to have met those two, because since then, my horizon line has plateaued. I have caught on to several of the bands my wife likes as well, like Wilco and Allison Krauss...but from about 2004 on....nothing that the hipsters(most of which are 15 years younger than me at this point) like, has my keyboard jumping and my ears peeled.

The point I'm trying to make here is that so much of my research for this blog is web based..and the bands making the scene these days make me want to go all Pete Townshend on them and bust up the stage. Its either Grizzly Bear or The Black Eyed Peas...its either Phoenix or the Jonas Brothers. There is no real place for melodic hard/bluesy rock on the web....its either too metal, too bluesy, screamed out, dischordant, danceable, full of block rockin beats and club lingo or soaked in the dreaded hip hop. And the rock news is slim or retreaded...another Kiss update?

I don't want this blog to be music news and I don't want it to be a bitchfest from some old crotchety rocker either. I try to keep it sarcastic,funny..full of lists, stories, a little hype and reviews now and again.

I don't know who is out there besides the bloggers I hear from regularly (you know who you are) but I hear from no one. If you read...LET ME KNOW. I'm not doing this to be some famewhore...I do it because I love to write...and I love to rock. Period.
But why come by regularly and NEVER comment...NEVER disagree?! I don't get it.

Don't make me bored or boring. COMMENTS FUEL BLOGS! Any blogger will tell you that. Indulge me and stop shutting up.

And I will get back to what I do best as soon as this lull passes.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rain Songs

June is a Monsoon. Today is the solstice and there is no justice. It has been raining/drizzling /thundering/storming/misting and monsooning for 16 out of the first 21 days of June and the five dry days were all Mondays and Tuesdays. Yesterday we had to cancel the bouncy house we were going to rent for my son's B Day party because the owners were worried that it would float its way from our front yard to the Jersey Shore and be lost forever.. I want to find the happy chap who first said " A little rain never hurt anyone" and stone him...or put him in one of those carnival dunk tanks and hit the target until he's so bloated that he's peeing rain.

Anyhow, rain and music are on my mind and I'm doing a list of rain songs.Soaked to the bone ..Feel free to add your own even you up there in Belleville,Ontario.

1) The Rain Song- Led Zeppelin
2) Rain When I Die- Alice in Chains
3) South Central Rain(I'm Sorry)- REM
4) Rain- The Beatles
5) Wake of the Flood-Grateful Dead
6) Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35- Bob Dylan
7) Rainy Day, Dream Away- Jimi Hendrix
8) Rainy Night House-Joni Mitchell
9) An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down
10)And it Rained All Night- Thom Yorke
11) Riders On The Storm- The Doors
12) Box of Rain- Grateful Dead
13) Buckets of Rain- Bob Dylan
14) Stormbringer- Deep Purple
15) Rainbow in the Dark-Dio
16) Have You Ever Seen The Rain- CCR
17) Kingdoms of Rain- Mark Lanegan
18) Lousiana Rain- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
19) Naked in The Rain- Red Hot Chili Peppers
20) Making Rain- New York Dolls
21) Purple Rain- Prince
22) One Rainy Wish- Jimi Hendrix
23) See The Sky About To Rain- Neil Young
24) Red Horse Rainbow-Clutch
25) Raindrops Keep Fallin on My Head- BJ Thomas
26) Shadows in the Rain- The Police
27) Rain Dogs-Tom Waits
28) Sittin' On A Rainbow- Mountain
29) Still Raining, Still Dreaming-Jimi Hendrix
30) The Firing of the Midnight Rain- Howlin' Rain
31) Blame it on the Rain- Milli Vanilli
32) Who'll Stop the Rain- CCR
33) Sunshower-Chris Cornell
34) Raindrops and Sunshowers- Smashing Pumpkins
35) Standing in the Shower Thinking- Janes Addiction
36) Too Wet To Work-The Band
37) Weather Report Suite-Grateful Dead
38) Couldn't Stand the Weather- SRV
39) Heavy Weather-Weather Report
40) Ridin' The Storm Out- REO Speedwagon ("Last Song,People!")
41) Stormy Monday-Allman Bros. Band
42) Shelter From The Storm- Bob Dylan
43) Thunderstruck- ACDC
44) Stormy May Day-ACDC
45) Thunder Road- Bruce Springsteen
46) Thunderclap- Bang Camaro
47- Blood and Thunder-Mastodon
48) November Rain- GnR
49) Kentucky Rain-Elvis
50) Here Comes the Rain Again- Eurythmics
51) Laughter in the Rain-Neil Sedaka (bullshit,never happens)
52) Red Rain- Peter Gabriel
53) Rainy Days and Mondays- The Carpenters
54) Walk Between The Raindrops- Donald Fagen
55) The Sky is Crying- SRV
56) No Rain- Blind Melon
57) Ain't No Sunshine- Bill Withers
58) I Love a Rainy Night- Eddie Rabbit
59) Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again-The Fortunes
60) She's A Rainbow- The Rolling Stones
61) Cold Rain and Snow- Grateful dead
62) Crying in the Rain-Whitesnake
63) Fire and Rain- James Taylor
64) Ocean Rain-Echo and the Bunnymen
65) Fixing a Hole-The Beatles
66) Fool In The Rain- Led Zeppelin
67) Happy When It Rains- Garbage
68) Hold Back The Rain- Duran Duran
69) It Never Rains In Southern California- Albert Hammond
70) I Can See Clearly Now-Johnny Nash
71) Its Raining Again- Supertramp
72) Let It Rain- Eric Clapton
73) Looks Like Rain- Grateful Dead
74) Love Reign O'er Me-The Who
75) MacArthur Park-Richard Harris
76) Mandolin Rain-Bruce Hornsby
77) Rain- The Cult
78) Rain Is Falling- ELO
79) Rain on the Scarecrow-John Cougar Mellencamp
80) Rain King-Counting Blows(err, Crows)
81) Searchin' For A Rainbow- Marshall Tucker Band
82) When The Levee Breaks- Led Zeppelin
83) Burning Sky-Bad Co.
84) And MY PERSONAL FAV- Its Raining Men- The Weather Girls!

There are several songs that start out with the sound of thunder or rain....some on this list, some not.... can you guess which ones?

I'll be sitting here wringing out my soul waiting for your responses...happy Dad Day to all the Dads...those known and unknown!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Anticipating "It Might Get Loud"

I cannot remember the last time I was more amped to see a movie...no pun intended. I got a little bit goosefleshy when Pagey is in the Headley Grange House and says "This is where we recorded When the Levee Breaks!" Should I go stand in line now? August 14 is not that far away. Who should be in the sequel? It should be a mix of old/new school..rehabbed/fucked up...sordid past/blowhard...great soundbites/great stories...thoughts?

1) Eddie Van Halen
2) Jeff Beck
3) Toni Iommi
4) Pete Townshend
5) Johnny Greenwood
6) Derek Trucks
7) David Gilmour
8) Buckethead(dubbed,subtitled)
9) Richie Blackmore
10) Joe Perry
11) Justin Hawkins
12) Nels Cline
13) Lindsey Buckingham
14) Trey Anastasio
15) Gordie Johnson
16) Prince and maybe Slash..or Josh Homme..or Billy Corgan

Here's who should never be in a sequel because they are vastly overrated or a real freaking bore..

1) Eric Clapton
2) John Mayer
3) Carlos Santana
4) Kirk Hammett
5) Dave Navarro
6) BB King
7) Tom Morello
8) John Frusciante
9) Angus Young (legend, but really boring interview)
10) Mark Knopfler (ditto)


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Crosby, Stills and Nash Demos: Review

There's been mucho discussion of this long awaited release in the blogosphere. In most circles it has been universally praised, and really, how could it not be. There are twelve tracks here, and they are completely bare bones. One could imagine Graham Nash running through "Marrakesh Express" on a balcony overlooking Laurel Canyon while you and your buddy passed the bowl back and forth five feet away as the sun rose. You can almost smell the Zuma Beach campfire as Steven Stills adjusts his poncho and strums the bridge to Love the One You're With for the first time.

These demos are THE blueprint for CSN and Deja Vu. It is a snapshot of what was to be. This is what was forming BEFORE their debut at Woodstock(while a high and shy Neil Young stood back stage). The collection include several seldom or never heard tracks like Nash's Be Yourself, the great Music Is Love(w/Neil), and My Love Is A Gentle Thing...such a wondrous little song that really frames up the SoCal post Buffalo Springfield scene for me.

The highlight for yours truly is the David Crosby numbers, especially Deja Vu. This is a gentle journey through his mind's eye complete with a great scat sung section that may or may not have been what he wanted the solo to sound like. It is perfect as it is. David's voice is a wonder in itself. I always thought it was buried in the mix of CSN albums, almost undetermined at times. Here it is warm and strong and floating on the Santa Ana Wind.

My only problem with this cd is that it left me wondering, after 40 years of output...where is the box set of all of the other demos. Let me know what you've got there boys.

As far as demos go, these songs are finished as is...and perfect.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beatles Rock Band Video Intro!

Can you get goosebumps from a visual intro to a video game? I just did....koo koo ka joob!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Review: New York Dolls- Cause I Sez So

I have been watching my summer midriff expand..makes me feel down,makes me feel like committing to a lifestyle much more blues than rock and roll..maybe even goth(black is slimming!)...makes me feel like committing to a lifestyle of entering professional eating contests( I can down 30 milk soaked Oreos in mere moo moustacio-ed minutes)...

I look at the guys on the cover of this album...they all a couple decades older than me...string beaned, sinewy swimmer like (or strung out) rock star bods. These dudes are still able to fit into jeans older than anyone who went to Bonnaroo this past weekend. They are still writing songs that grip me, shake me and almost make me want to take that spin class with a song like "Cause I Sez So" or "Exorcism of Despair" pumping thru my cans. David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain are the only ones left from the original Dolls..and on this second effort from the revamped five-some..they string us joyfully along through genres.. the stripped down scarred up blues of This is Ridiculous and the Everly Bros./Orbison- like dreamy pop of "Temptation to Exist" are highlights.

David Johansen is one of the most underrated lyricists of this or any generation..there is a steely resolve and a confidence to his stories and his explorations on themes of resilience, indifference and intolerance.

Go get this album, be suprised like I was. The Dolls still rock. They are obviously bored with being remembered as one of the first punk bands and can hit you with a multitude of sounds these days...it all sticks. And they are thinner than you...

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Memo to Hambert: Crawl Back In

Memo to Adam Lambert and the editors of Rolling Stone: Listen, you mediocre broadway has- been poseur-tastic twit: You've got nothing on Fred Mercury, Rob Halford, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Iggy Pop, Robert Smith, Jim Morrison or any other groundbreaking, androgynous ambiguous super talented rock star.You've got nothing on any hard working invisible chorus member of any broadway show in history....

You're a Liberace wannabe(or just a faux glittery understudy) with great hair and make up skills and would be perfectly suited for being a choir member in a south Florida dinner theatre troupe. You're nada, nothing and why RS editor ROB Sheffield(WHO FAWNS OVER YOU) pushed to get you on the cover of RS with your glistening chest hair and perfectly placed snake, befuddles me. Maybe he wants your autograph with a lipstick stamp on it. Perfect bottom of the Bird Cage material. Ugh. Feh! Ewwww! Hurl!

You might see if anyone has interest in putting together a modern version of the Village People, or see if there's a meeting for Famewhores Anonymous near you. Or you could grow your hair out(or get extensions) and join a really off broadway version of Edward Scissorhands Live playing in Peoria or Davenport or Columbus.

Go tip toe through the tulips right into a wall. I hope you chip a tooth and cry about it to the hordes of limp lemmings who worship your hoots, shrills and pompous stage moaning.

I'm cranky today and I don't like you...go back to the glory hole from which you came.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Swallow The Music

I was breathing in lethal fumes as I worked in some snooty section of Philly the other day when "Freedom Rider" form Traffic came up on my ipod. As the loss of brain cells eclipsed my good judgement, I began headbanging to Chris Wood's faerie-ed blips of a flute solo. I came to the conclusion that I was high. Then I came to the conclusion that flutes can fucking rock. I could apply this to any song I heard for the remainder of the day...with or without that sexy silver tube whetting my newfound wind fetish. I would ask myself...WWJTD? What would Jethro Tull do before this bridge? How could a pan flute bring this solo home?

Today there were no fumes to be found. But I still had a hankerin' for some heavy breathin' foot stompin flautist to brighten my day...to become the soundtrack to the bird party outside my office window....so I came up with this playlist full o' flute, put on my clodhoppers, sprinkled some pixie dust along my path and head out to do some more gardening.....Ladies and Gents....Don't Break This Wind, don't fight the feeling. These are your flute songs

1) Freedom Rider- Traffic: the song that started this here thing.
2) Can't You See- The Marshall Tucker Band- Southern Fried Flute.
3) Cross Eyed Mary- I know its Tull, but its like the stairway to heaven for the flautist, that or Bouree)
4) Stairway To Heaven- Why the Hell not?
5) Goin' Up The Country- Canned Heat- makes me want to find a rucksack and a can of baked beans and hop a train to the middle of nowhere.
6) Solitude- Black Sabbath: That's right. Look it up. Right there on Master of Reality...and yes, thats Ozzy singing.
7) Can You Hear the Music- Rolling Stones- If I cross my legs and hum while I hear this, I can feel angels cleaning their wings in my ears.
8) You've Got To Hide Your Love Away- Beatles: Paul did not play the flute here, a lad named John Scott did.
9)Anyone For Tennis- Cream Its 40/Love baby and I neeed another serve of your best woodwind.
10) Spill The Wine-Eric Burdon and War: I was once out strolling one hot summer day and the flute in this show stopper hit me like a blunt object made from the Age of Aquarius. A drum circle appeared and the bongos were played by bearded lady leprechauns...an elephant descended from the sky dressed in crocs and a tutu and played the flute solos from his trunk. Drink That Pearl? Girl? Cmon, cmon....

Today I breathed in way more fumes and started thinking about songs that featured kazoo...then I opened a window and could see much clearer.

Whatever you do....Don't Leave a Comment....just lurk..like those from Oregon, Ontario and Oslo. My words are like trees falling in the forests you've never been to, I understand.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Tour Photos 2009

It occured to me that I should post some pictures from the Bang Camaro Spring Tour 2009 before I forget, and before you don't care. I took over 800 pictures so here goes......WHAT! Are You Batshite Insane, Seano? Are you breathing the same air as the rest of us? How about a select few, pops. Nobody has time for 800 of anything unless its the 800th pic of Amy Winehouse crack down in the sand of that island she's hiding out on, or the 800th reference to Jon and Kate and their aimless endless rugrat fetish.

here are a bunch of pictures that started out chronological and explained, but by the fifth adult beverage...I gave up...enjoy..

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Red Fang Revisited

I posted this video on Facebook but never here. If you saw it there and feel like I am repeating myself...Listen, its Sunday morning, I've got to go to a Bat Mitzphah in Staten Island and I need to mentally prepare myself for that. That's gonna take some time, some serious contemplation and breathing exercises to maintain a stress free mindset and a healthy heartrate.I've been told that I have to dance, and if so, I'll have to lube myself up with the domestic beer that is available. Therefore, I don't have any time to come up with anything that might be so mindshatteringly brilliant it could change your life or make you stop listening to Coldplay...so you get this video... It could be one of the most entertaining videos I have ever seen.

Ladies and gentlemen: Red Fang and their video for "Prehistoric Dog".

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Neil Young Finally Comes Through

Neil Young has seen the light at the end of the tunnel and released his Archives Vol.1 box set . This is what the fine writers at USA Today had to say...nobody gave me one to review so I have to rely on the big wigs for some perspective:

By Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The harvest is in. After more than 20 years of plots, plans, pursuits and promises, the first installment of Neil Young's multimedia library has arrived.
Neil Young Archives Vol. 1: 1963-1972, in stores today, compiles every song he wrote and recorded in that period, plus all significant performances, amplified by copious personal photos, documentary footage, studio notes, letters, film trailers, radio spots, diary entries, press clips and handwritten lyrics.

Wildly understating its breadth, Young says, "It's like a scrapbook."

The set is on Blu-ray, DVD, CD and as a download, the latter two considered least desirable by Young, notorious for his high-fidelity obsession and aversion to digital sound.

The 10-disc Blu-ray version ($300) is widely considered a game-changer in both tech and music realms. Rolling Stone calls Archives, the first in a series of five, "the high-water mark for box sets. ... It's built for fanatics, yet the goods could make a fanatic out of anyone." The interactive, endlessly updatable Blu-ray edition "sets the bar at a level even the keepers of the Fab Four's legacy will be challenged to match," the Los Angeles Times says.

"Talk about giving you bang for the buck," says Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Sun-Times pop music critic. "I don't know if everyone wants the postcards he sent to his mom in Canada, but, boy, he's giving you everything. The music sounds incredible, and it's not like he'll sell it to you again in three years. Contrast that to The Beatles and Elvis, who repackage the same product over and over."

Seated in manager Elliot Roberts' office, Young manipulates a PlayStation controller as he eagerly conducts a 90-minute demo.

"We keep giving you gifts," says the rock veteran, in jeans, a Fender T-shirt and sandals. He locates hidden tracks and downloadable updates along an interactive timeline. Hearing 1963 instrumental The Sultan, he says, "The world wasn't quite ready for my voice."

A collector of cars and toy trains, Young, 63, was meticulous about hoarding and cataloging his recordings and ephemera. Music and artifacts weren't the hurdles repeatedly delaying Archives' release.

"It was always the technology that stopped us," he says. "When we started in the '80s, we were waiting for DVD. We thought DVD was the ultimate. But we discovered you couldn't browse and listen at the same time.

"That's the beauty of Blu-ray. You can surf around while the music's playing. That's the way it used to be when you listened to an album and read the liner notes. Now it's deeper. You can easily get lost in this."

Young's reach initially exceeded Blu-ray's grasp. "We worked with Blu-ray's design group on the standards," he says. "We said, 'Why can't we do this?' They said, 'Maybe we can,' and they'd write it in the program."

Immersed in the second volume, which is expected in two or three years, Young also has mapped out the third and fourth and continues to mine sources for buried nuggets. He was dismayed to discover the BBC had destroyed several early Young performances. But his search for rare Buffalo Springfield concert footage turned up a Hollywood Bowl show, and a hi-res version of Mr. Soul soon will be available as a Blu-ray download.

"There are so many great artists I'd love to see fleshed out this way, like Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan or Kurt Cobain," he says. "You could do a Renaissance painter, the Civil War or the evolution of recorded sound. It's like a virtual encyclopedia."

What did graying Young learn about young Young during Archives' construction?

"I was surprised by some of my decisions," he says. "I moved away instead of exploring some things more. I write it off to moving so fast I couldn't see what was in front of me."

The set's illuminating timeline excludes personal matters, though there's plenty of career drama, he promises.

"The most depressing point is when CDs come along," he says. Blu-ray, which holds up to 60 times as much digital data as an MP3, "is the highest-resolution clarity available now. Ultimately, we'll go to something better. Analog and tubes and gas may seem like a step back, but I still believe it's more human."

All I'm going to say about this is Fathers Day is just around the corner and you are all my children...........

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Listen To This, Eddie!

This is a fairly good interview that Rolling Stone contributor David Wild did with mr. Eddie Van Halen recently. My comments will come after...

Backstage in the celebrity green room of Spike's Guys Choice Awards in a booth next to his fellow honoree Clint Eastwood sits Eddie Van Halen — rock's ultimate guitar slinger — with his fiancĂ© Janie Liszewski as he prepares to make an exceedingly rare public speaking engagement. In a star-studded night that will find Mel Gibson getting called "sugar tits" by Brad Pitt and Halle Berry making out with Jamie Foxx, Van Halen provides the clear emotional highlight when he receives Spike's first ever Guitar God Award from Robert Downey Jr. and is called "a rock & roll revolutionary" ( RS called him a Guitar Hero last year, too). Shortly before taking the stage at Sony Studios in Culver City, Van Halen spoke exclusively to Rolling Stone about his fears of accepting the honor: "I never go to anything. That's why I'm actually a little nervous to get up there," he says. "I don't even know what to say. Especially sober, shit."

Eddie, this is not the first time you've been called a god. But what did it feel like when you heard Spike wanted to give you the Guitar God Award — the first ever?
Well, it's a little overwhelming, I guess. I mean, who ever would have thought? I was seven years old when we came to America with my mom, my dad, my brother with 50 bucks and a piano. Who ever would have thought I would be a guitar god, you know? If I'm a guitar god, then my son would be Jesus, right? That means on the next tour, he'd have to walk on water.

The Van Halen tour was such a success. Were you pleasantly surprised?
You never know. But I do know this. Janie and I are getting married on the 27th of June, and then we'll go on a honeymoon. Then Dave, Wolfie, Alex and I are going into the studio and record some new music and go on tour about a year from now.

Did the Van Halen tour help fire up some new musical ideas?
No, I am always writing, you know. But we're a true band now. It wasn't just a reunion one-off thing. I've already gone to Dave's house four or five times over the last month. I've got so much music. It's just trying to figure out what Dave's into because we haven't written together in a long time. But it's great. It feels like we've always felt in the beginning. But I'm sober, so it's different. He's sober, so it's different. It's a wonderful feeling.

Does getting married again and being so happy these days help or hurt musically? Because some people write better tortured but you seem to be in a great place these days.
Tortured, no. I started drinking when I was 12 years old because I was nervous. And my dad gave me a shot of vodka and it was a wonder drug. It really worked for a lot of years. But I certainly didn't drink to make music or to write. It had nothing to do with it. I just get nervous. I'm nervous now. But I stopped drinking over a year ago, and I'm done with it. For 42 years, I drank. It just shows you anything is achievable. Just like coming here with 50 bucks and a piano.

When I saw you guys on tour, the thing I got from it was that in rock & roll there's the self-destruction myth that people like — the Kurt Cobain way to go. And this was the opposite. It was a statement about survival and growing up.
Thank God I caught it in time.

Have you heard Chickenfoot?
No, I haven't.

No particular interest?
Well, I don't listen to anything really, for one.

You make your own music?
Yeah, I'm too busy doing my own thing. I wish them well. The funny thing is that everyone who quits the band always claims they got fired by me. Hey, I'm not the bad guy here. When Hagar left the band, Mike went with him. Then when we get back together with Dave, and all of a sudden, he wants back in. It's like, "No, dude, you quit the band." So my son became the bass player. But we didn't give Mike the boot to have my son play. He was around. We didn't have a bass player. "Hey Wolfie, you want to play?"

It must be pretty mind-blowing to play with your kid.
He was only 15 years old. "You want to play bass?" "Sure." We did not have a bass player. That's the only thing really that bothers me about people acting like I'm the bad guy. I just sit in the studio and write music. I'm not some tyrant. I've got no beef with anybody. I wish them well. I hope they are ... I don't know what a "supergroup" means, but I hope they accomplish what they're setting out to do.

There was a time when people were writing the guitar off. What do you think of the fact that kids are playing guitar in all these games and guitar is being rediscovered by a new generation?
When was guitar written off?

Well, first there was the time when the synthesizer era...
Guitar is one thing you can't synthesize.

Eddie, I love you man, but you kicked Michael Anthony out for good after a reunion tour with S. Hagar. Those two gentlemen got sick and tired of waiting for you to crawl out of the wine vat beside the crypt in your basement and see the light. They went off and did something with the word "Wabo" in it and you and your yes man...err Alex Van Halen got good and pissed gave Mike the boot.

I still loved you when you had the audacity to remove all of Mike's pics from the official album photos on VH's website. That took balls, or 17 bottles of cabernet while woodshedding that Peavey to death.

I still loved you while you must have been hurting when Valerie shows up on People magazine in a bikini looking like MILF Numero Uno.

I still loved you when you took Cubby, sorry.. Wolfie on tour with you. How cute....and what the hell...anyone can play bass right?

I still love you Ed.

But I love this guy better......

I hope he's inside your sober little head somewhere along with all of those unreleased masterpieces.....

Big Star Box Set in September!

From the Rhino Website:
Big Star inspired a fevered allegiance among fans of power pop, giving rise to a cult of believers who spent decades spreading the gospel. Their enthusiasm turned this obscure Memphis pop band-one that got little airplay, sold few records, and only played a handful of times- into a remarkable rock and roll resurrection story. Big Star's trek from obscure Memphis band to standard bearers for an entire genre of music has never been fully mapped-until now. Rhino presents the definitive look at the definitive power-pop band with a four-disc boxed set divided between key cuts from Big Star's three studio albums and unreleased music. KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY will be available September 15 from Rhino Records at all retail outlets, including www.rhino.com, for a suggested list price of $69.98 (physical), it will also be available as a digital release the same day. A Deluxe Edition release of Chris Bell's solo album I Am The Cosmos is due September 14 from Rhino Handmade.

KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY spans 1968 to 1975 and shows the progression of Big Star through selections from such studio precursors as Rock City and Icewater; music from Big Star's acclaimed recordings (#1 Record, Radio City, and Third/Sister Lovers); and relevant solo work by group principals Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, who formed Big Star in 1971 with bassist Andy Hummel and drummer Jody Stephens. The collection also uncovers a trove of unreleased demos, unused mixes, alternate versions of songs, and a 1973 concert recorded in Memphis.

In these 98 tracks you can hear what turned artists as diverse as Cheap Trick, R.E.M., and The Replacements into Big Star fans. Spotlighting the band's roots, the boxed set opens with several songs recorded before Big Star formed, including “Try Again,” one of the first songs Bell and Chilton wrote together. Those early cuts are followed by Big Star's 1972 debut #1 Record, reimagined here using a mix of album tracks and unreleased alternate mixes of favorites like “Thirteen,” “When My Baby's Beside Me,” and more. Among the disc's rarities are “Country Morn'” (issued as a flexi-disc single by a Big Star fanzine), the demo for “I Got Kinda Lost,” and an unreleased acoustic demo of Chilton singing Loudon Wainwright's “Motel Blues.”

Ardent Records, the band's label, experienced problems with distribution that hindered any chances at success for #1 Record. Its failure was a major blow to Bell, who quit the band to go solo. In 1974, the Alex Chilton-led Big Star regrouped and released Radio City, an album more attuned to the band's live energy that featured the power-pop confections “September Gurls” and “Back Of A Car.” The second disc of KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY opens with a trio of unreleased demos: “There Was A Light,” “What's Going Ahn,” and “Life Is White.” The original song sequence for Radio City follows, combining album versions with unreleased alternate mixes (“Way Out West” and “You Get What You Deserve.”) The disc features unissued versions of “She A Mover” and “Mod Lang,” several unreleased demos for Big Star's third album, plus Bell's acclaimed 1978 single “I Am The Cosmos” and its B-side “You And Your Sister.” Sadly, Bell died in a car accident a few months after the single's release.

When Big Star reconvened in 1975 to record Third/Sister Lovers, only Chilton and Stephens remained (Hummel left shortly before Radio City's release). Famed Memphis maverick Jim Dickinson was enlisted to supervise the recording, which languished on the shelf for years before its release in 1978. Despite its bleak timbre, wild dynamics, and fragility, the music possesses a startling grace. KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY's third disc opens with seven demos (most previously unreleased) for songs that appear on Third/Sister Lovers, including “Jesus Christ,” “Take Care,” and “Holocaust.” Among the album's 19 songs collected here is “For You,” “Kizza Me,” and “Kanga Roo.” Also featured is “Lovely Day,” an early, unreleased version of “Stroke It Noel” with different lyrics; Chilton vamping with photographer Bill Eggleston at the piano for Nat King Cole's “Nature Boy” and a raucous cover of The Kinks' “Till The End Of The Day.”

The collection's final disc contains unreleased highlights from three sets Big Star performed at Lafayette's Music Room in Memphis in January 1973. It is the best live recording ever of the band. The show captures Chilton, Hummel, and Stephens playing many of the songs on #1 Record, which had just recently been released. The set list includes a retooled version of “ST 100/6” lengthened by both guitar and drum solos (with a middle eight heisted from the Rock City song “The Preacher.”) Also in the repertoire are “There Was A Light” and “I Got Kinda Lost.” In addition, the concert includes fully formed versions of several songs recorded later for Radio City: “Back Of A Car,” “Way Out West,” “O My Soul,” and a particularly rocking “She's A Mover.” Those originals are mixed with a selection of covers: Todd Rundgren's “Slut,” T. Rex's “Baby Strange,” The Kinks' “Come On Now,” and The Flying Burrito Brothers' “Hot Burrito #2.”

The lavish packaging for KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY includes extensive liner notes, rare and never-before-seen photos, and insightful essays about the cult of Big Star and the band's history. In the notes, Stephens reflects on the band's belated triumph. “Sure, it would've been nice to have been huge at the time. But, here we are, 30 years later, and Big Star is still playing, our music is turning up in movie soundtracks, and young people are still excited to discover the records. I mean, if that isn't success, I don't know what is.”

I cannot wait for this one. I came late to Big Star like everybody else. Such a phenomenal band..and a sad story of struggle and ultimately,the break up of the band and the death of Chris Bell.This is where power pop got its start! Alex Chilton is a reclusive legend. Maybe this will bring him out of his cave for a full tour with the surviving members.........

Monday, June 01, 2009

Buckethead Just Plain Rules

I went to see Buckethead last night. I've heard a lot about his shredding prowess..but am not that moved by just plain shred. But let me just say..he can play ANYTHING. He jumped from metal to fusion to classic rock to punk to blues..fingerpicking, fingertapping...anything one could think of and seems to have mastered them all. It was a stunning array of six string wizardry without an air of just plain noodlery. I'm now a fan. And will probably never touch a guitar again.