Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Everything about this video is awesome.
In every town there is a band like this with a fan like this who leaves her 4 kids with a sitter( her mom, of course, who had to drag them all to the bingo hall with her) while she checks out her latest boyfriend's band Crimson Testicle, rock out off key to a Wed. night blow out at his boss's house (he's a machine shop foreman who lives out in the country..just follow the combined smell of cattle dung, motor oil and meth lab/trailer and you'll find this party.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Led Zep's Celebration Day SANS VOCAL

The Metal Den  website somehow unearthed this track from 1970, during the sessions for Zeppelin III

Robert must have been roaming the halls asking if anyone remembered laughter, while getting blown by the studio receptionist who had just told him that the two white doves that he asked for to improve the studio vibe had been delivered.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dedicated to A Brother Whom We Hope will Fully Recover

As part of his continued recovery from Hepatitis C, rock and roll icon GREGG ALLMAN recently underwent a successful liver transplant operation at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.  The singer, keyboardist, songwriter and guitarist had been on a waiting list for the transplant and is looking forward to a speedy recovery.
“I feel pretty good, considering everything that’s happened,” says ALLMAN, who co-founded the Allman Brothers Band in 1969.  “Everybody involved here, my doctors and nurses in the hospital and all the Allman Brothers fans, they’ve just all been great.”  The surgery took place this morning (June 23) after ALLMAN was notified that an appropriate liver had been donated.  “All I can really say is ‘thanks,’” the singer says with gratitude. 
The transplant comes as a result of the artist’s previous battle with Hepatitis C, a liver disease. In late 2007, Allman began a series of treatments for his Hepatitis C, but chronic damage of his liver led to doctors recommending a transplant. “I changed my ways years ago,” Allman says, “but we can’t turn back time. Every day is a gift, and I can’t wait to get back on the road making music with my friends.”
 I had no idea that Greg's hepatitis was that bad. I was able to shake his hand backstage at one of the famous Beacon Theatre shows in 2001. He was nothing but gracious even though he didn't need to be. Here's hoping he gets back behind the  Hammond soon.  Greg, don't do what Papa John Phillips did and go out and get shitfaced for days after his liver transplant, famously exclaiming when asked about the escapades "Its brand new, what the hell."


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sweatin' to The Way Back Machine

its 2:15 in the morning..its been going like this after the third consecutive 90 plus degree day...Shower, Swim, Sweat, Iced Tea, Wine, Iced Tea, Happy Pills, Prop myself under a ceiling fan until a vein bursts or inspiration comes, hit the Youtubes to see what I can get......I got these:


They just don't make 'em like they used to.  If I'm gonna sweat, I'm sweatin' to the Oldies.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Best Albums of 2010 (so far)

The word "best" is a positive one, unless one uses it to describe "best terrorist plot", "best oil spill" or "best dumpster stench". I have not been "up with people" lately, so I thought I would do something positive with my first post after a week burrowing out of the soul searching trenches. I'm gonna kick start my sorry ass back into the world of semi-music journalism by stealing a page from two of my favorite critics, Jim Derogatis and Greg Kot from Chicago Public Radio's Sound Opinions.

They do TWO best albums of the year lists and one falls in June to celebrate the heralded releases up to the halfway point. The December version may or may not stay the same...lots of time left in the year(hell, yes there is...I'm absolutely positive some years are longer than others...2001, 2008 and this one for example.)

Their lists went like this:

LCD Soundsystem- This Is Happening
Gorillaz- Plastic Beach
Broken Bells- self titled
Yeasayer-Odd Blood

V.V. Brown- Traveling Like the Light
Dessa- A Badly Broken Code
The Besnard Lakes-The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night
Janelle Monae-The Arch Android

I love these guys, but I think they forgot that guitars have been around for centuries. Too much chill, not enough thrill. YAWWWNNNN. At least they didn't include that horrible XX record..maybe that was the biggest overhyped mess from last year.
Hey Greg, are you finally getting in touch with your inner R and B? That Janelle Monae record is so overhyped. I'll take a pass, shake my fist instead of my ass. And Jim- you actually said on the show that the Gorillaz record became more relevant to you because of the oil spill....must be the black, thick greasy substance blocking your hearing cuz that record wakes up dead people just to put them back to sleep again.

My list has a few titles I've never even mentioned here before. What gives? I'll tell you what. Sometimes my research takes me underground to shady libraries, or my listening space(usually the car) is full of 4 year old distractions and I forget shit.

Here goes:

1) The Black Keys- Brothers: I didn't think they could top Attack and Release, but "Next Girl", "I'm Not the One" and "Sinister Kid" are slick greasy blues genius.

2) High On Fire- Snakes For the Divine- So beautifully, crushingly loud and Matt Pike has never sounded, not his 9 string wizardry..the dude can sort of sing now. I'm feelin' his pain. "Bastard Samurai" and the immense "Fire, Flood and Plague" have taken me there. Makes me feel like grabbing my rusty mace and saying "Hey bloodthirsty demigod, you wanna take this outside?"

3)Blitzen Trapper-Destroyer of the Void. The bizarre title really belongs in the Surf/Skate/Gamer/80s metal category...but this second release from the Oregon boys really taps into the blissful laid back rhythms of a hike into the wilderness of a wandering soul.

4) Ted Leo- The Brutalist Bricks- Ted's taut set of unglossy but brainy power pop is tasty aerobics for lazy hipsters.

5) Dillinger Escape Plan- Option Paralysis : Aggressive lessons from Jersey Mathcore masters. Vocalist Greg Puciato is unstoppable in delivery and range.

6) Deftones- Diamond Eyes- blasting back from oblivion after the near death of their bass player Chi Cheng, the Sacramento quintet deliver a stunning array of dreamy beauty and a maelstrom of massive riffage to let anybody know that what didn't kill them made them stronger.

My other Favs so far:

7)Midlake- The Courage of Others: into the woods we go.
8)Howl-Full of Hell: deep dungeon breaths of brutal truths so heavy they could knock the sun down.
9)Stone Temple Pilots: These guys still make perfect radio rock songs, without the cheese covering.
10) Iwrestledabearonce- indescribable "_____core" with one of a kind vocalist Krysta Cameron channeling Bjork from the depths of hell.

So its almost July, and I'm glad these albums were introduced to me at a tough time in my soothes the savage beast in all of us..I'm really looking forward to new releases from The Sword, Early Man, Danzig, Night Horse and Dead Confederate coming real soon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tunnel Light Found

Been digging out of dank darkness with a dull plastic spork....see some light. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Ever have so much to say you end up saying nothing at all? I've been staring at this empty post window for two days now through a steel sharp net of emotion..every time my tongue comes out to talk, it darts forward and brushes against it, and bleeds.  Is it protective, or is it reflective. I use this blog primarily to say what I want when I want, and it just so happens that I mostly talk about music anyway. So I put the two together and try to reach out and touch somebody with wit laughter or venom. Sometimes I inspire someone to talk back to me, but usually not. Blogging is lonely activity for lonely people. I've got my blogging friends who I am thankful for, but to tell you the truth, after two years of writing, sometimes more for you than me, networking to the best of my ability given my glowing lack of a grasp on social networks....shit.

Its become just a constant neverending plateau of lack of proper dedication to the craft, lack of any musical inspiration on most days. (Hell, I'll give you an example...I just went to see Pearl Jam,took pictures from the front of the front at Madison Square Garden....WHO gets to do that for free and write about it? Guess what , the high from that experience lasted until the ride home, it took me 7 days to care about reviewing the show, while I danced around the murky puddles from the shit storm of my life right now.) and the rewards ad up to about 6 comments a month. Shit, my best friends hardly read this thing. Maybe its because they know what to expect. The experiences and throwaway opinions of an angry man who has always thrown his grenades in a rubber room.

This place is like the room in the basement I never built for so many reasons. Not rubber, but close. Sometimes I just wanted go down there and blast music from real speakers until the paint peeled and then scream and punch the wall like a fucking teenager until the emotion dissipates...but its not never became I started to come here more often to be the man child that I am, who can't balance a checkbook but can muse about sharpie guitars until the hair ain't high, boost morale and throw a few smiles your way. Right now, I'm dodging mental uppercuts and most days energy just drains out of my pores. Right now...i feel I can only complain out into the ether for so long, especially if its about something I am far more passionate about than most everyone I know. Right now, I can't force it.....when I'm inspired and not tired, I'll write.

  I'll just say boy turns 4 tomorrow, and some things are more important than a rant or a rave about anything except the wonder of childhood, and what a saviour of joy that feeling is.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Pearl Jam live at Madison Square Garden May 20

Pearl Jam has been on the road for almost twenty years now, yet not a hint of rust or wear and tear was showing as they began their two-night stay at the Garden. Their super fans have been in on the secret for a while now and are as rabid and loyal as any known to man. But to the occasional concert goer, albeit one lucky enough to score a ticket to either of these sold out shows, witnessing this band from opener to encore is like joining hands with the forces of nature of a musical kind .

 The band opened the May 20th show brazenly with three deep cuts: the low-key but passionate “Sometimes” from the 1998 album No Code, the abrasive rush of " Breakerfall” from Binaural, and the push/pull of Vitology’s “Last Exit.” This triad gave one the sense that the band could cull songs from any album, any era, and the extreme fans would devour them just as lustfully and in tandem with the rest of the crowd, who finally settled in with the band's youthful take on 90s FM playlist favorite “Animal.”

But if you still listen to the radio, you would know that Pearl Jam aren’t just some dinosaur grunge holdover who continue to tour and bring out old chestnuts for a spit shine in every city. They continue to write popular rock songs. They’ve had two hits from each of their last two albums. Who knew, right? “The Fixer” and “Just Breathe”( for which they even rolled out a string section) were in the set list, and from the looks on the faces of the faithful and the frat boys, people knew every word.

Lead singer Eddie Vedder has a perfect combination of chops, charisma, and compassion. He’s as serious about his dedications as he is about making sure everyone has a good time. He will fawn over sons getting their sick fathers to the show and give shout outs to veterans before blazing into “Army Reserve.” When he chugs from his obligatory bottle of red wine, and hangs back while guitarist Mike McCready explores a sprawling solo during “Evenflow,” you feel like you could be the next guy he passes that bottle to while you scream out the chorus slightly off key. The stage is a bare bones affair and is lit economically, which makes the crowd focus even more intensely on any back story or stumping he may let loose with.

The songs never suffer. In fact, according to their fan club, this and the following night’s show (also at MSG) were heralded as two of the best ever seen by many. This band easily traverses the energy and the dispersion of emotion needed to seamlessly roam through a 35 song set, night after night, year after year.
To say Pearl Jam are at “the top of their game” or “have never been better” might give someone a hint as to why they’ve been around so long. But it is much simpler than that. With passion, dedication to their fans, and a very non- grunge, diverse songwriting palate of great rock songs sung with conviction and entwined with a virtuosity that was on full display for the evening, they continue to amaze as they entertain, which can only help to germinate new allegiance even twenty years on.

This review first appeared at

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

When The Levy Broke/ Bonzo on the BBC

My friend Johnathan Carman , drummer extraordinaire from the band Leslie turned me on to this BBC radio special on John Bonham that aired in the UK on his birthday, May 31. Here's the link:

 Its a great one, and is narrated by superfan Dave Grohl.  It's hard to believe that its been 30 years, not Ten, Years Gone. Nostalgia creeps in and allows me to remember exactly where I was when I heard the news. In Senora Mandelson's Seventh grade Spanish class. A  kid named Bill Yembrick who was seated next to me on that September day,  had his head down, and was crying and sniffling into the folded arms of his black Levi's corduroy jacket.  I asked him what was wrong en espanol.  "Que pasa, Guillermo?" You see, if we used any words that were not Spanish words in class, we had to put a nickel in a jar on Sra. Mandelson's desk.  Even in a moment of crisis, I was a wimpy little rule follower. Anyway, Bill, told me he had bought tickets to go see Led Zeppelin  in Buffalo, NY  that November..( Yeah, he was 12, and yes, LZ was scheduled to play the Buffalo Auditorium on November 1, 1980) and from that moment, the moment we lost Bonzo, he (and I) knew it was over. We knew the band was no more.

Happy 62nd Birthday John Henry Bonham, wherever you are.