Then one fine morning, she put on a New York station She couldn’t believe what she heard at all She started dancing to that fine-fine music Ahh, her life was saved by rock ’n’ roll – “Rock and Roll” Lou Reed Music can save you because the power of good music is that it can transcend. . . everything. Lou Reed wrote some good music. And six … Continue reading Lou Reed – Rocker, Poet, Artist . . . Educator?
While visiting my cousins’ years ago, in New York City, I got a broader exposure to music. In between, uh, “cigarettes”, I also got a brief history of the E Street Band. Including who Steven Van Zandt, Miami Steve and Little Steven was. Somehow Little Steven’s first solo album, Men Without Women, came out, made its way onto the turntable and one of my cousins … Continue reading Retro Review: Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul – Men Without Women (1982)
Even though I’ve called the East Coast my home for well over half my life now, I am a Midwestern boy through and through. One of the many traits we Midwesterners carry with us, no matter where we hang our hat, is our work ethic. It’s solid. It’s certainly something I’ve carried with me through the years and it’s definitely something I look for in … Continue reading Soul Asylum
One of the primary argument’s for globalization was that it would bring many aspects of the world closer. Be it political, economic or cultural, in essence, globalization would make the world “smaller”. And yet, as recently as 20 years ago, the world seemed so big. Especially in the search for good music. Perhaps I am waxing nostalgic, but it seemed you had to work for … Continue reading Globalization & Music — The World Got Smaller, But Better?
A few years ago I saw a glimmer of hope for future generations. I was perusing the stationary/book store, in the bowels of Rockefeller Plaza, on the prowl for unneeded reading material. I found nothing . . . came close, but decided against the Peter Criss autobiography. I settled on purchasing a few unneeded Moleskin booklets, a package of three for 8.95. As I went … Continue reading Why The Replacements (still) Matter
If you live in America, Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers are one of the better rock bands you’ve probably never heard of. As near as I can tell, it seems that 2010’s Postcards from A Young Man was the last album that had any physical distribution here in the United States. And streaming services are marginally better for what’s offered here in the states. Radio airplay has … Continue reading Manic Street Preachers
The musical landscape on which Van Halen released their self-titled debut album in February of 1978 was diverse. The Bee Gees were at their apogee and Peter Frampton was the guitar god of the moment. A Sisyphean task if ever there was one because Van Halen was equal parts Black Sabbath and Rick James (with just a flare of Elton John). Sure, now we can say … Continue reading Retro Review: Van Halen – Van Halen (1978)
Lone Justice came out of the LA Cowpunk scene that gave us X, Jason & the Scorchers and Social Distortion, to name a few. Fronted by whirling dervish Marie McKee (imagine a high energy Stevie Nicks in shorter dresses with a slight snarl) and backed by guitarist Ryan Hedgecock, bassist Marvin Etzioni and drummer Don Heffington, Lone Justice quickly made a name for themselves in … Continue reading Retro Review: Lone Justice – Lone Justice (1985)
Paul Rodgers (Bad Company), Freddie Mercury (Queen) and Steve Winwood are easily three of the most recognizable voices in classic rock. As a teen Winwood had hits with The Spencer Davis Group. After that, with Traffic, Blind Faith (with Eric Clapton) before returning to Traffic. Eventually, becoming a wildly successful solo artist. Suffice it to say, Steve Winwood casts a long shadow on classic rock. … Continue reading Retro Review: Steve Winwood – Back in the High Life (1986)
We could spend days splitting hairs about the origin of Alternative Country but it’s worth noting that NYC based The Silos, built around Walter Salas-Humara and Bob Rupe, released their first album, About Her Steps, in 1986, when Alt-Country godfathers, Uncle Tupelo, were still in high school playing covers as The Primitives. In 1987, The Silos released Cuba and that led to being voted Rolling Stone’s Best New Artist of … Continue reading Retro Review: The Silos – The Silos (1990)
I recently wrote about the awesome podcast The Session with Christian James Hand and I started to re-consider some older albums. I was curious to see if the albums, and the bands, have withstood the test of time. With the 1986 T-Bone Burnett produced Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams and being voted Best New American Band by the readers of Rolling Stone, Wisconsin’s … Continue reading Retro Review: BoDeans – Outside Looking In (1987)
If you’re a music nerd, of which I gleefully admit I am, a song isn’t just a song, it’s your sustenance. You want, need, to know everything about the song or the band. Names like George Martin, Robert John “Mutt” Lange, and Tom Dowd mean something to you. Before he was known as a headphone entrepreneur and billionaire, Jimmy Iovine was a producer. I would … Continue reading Podcast Review: The Session with Christian James Hand
So last Tuesday night (technically Wednesday morning) I woke up with a song firmly lodged in my head. Now this is not terribly unusual because I usually wake up with a song in my head (today it was The Sweet, “Fox on the Run”- not terribly pleased about that one, but I have had worse); what made this unusual was that I rolled over in … Continue reading Long Time Running
I just woke up for my midnight feeding and started thinking about Prince. Again. Of course, I then realized what kind of blogger, music nerd or writer would I be if I didn’t contribute to the outpouring of love and remembrance that is coming from everywhere to celebrate this man, Prince Rogers Nelson (it was his name)? Not a very good one. So I decided … Continue reading Prince 1958 – 2016
Dear Jann S. Wenner, et al, What. The. Fuck. I was an avid Rolling Stone reader for close to 20 years. I even collected the magazines. You try lugging around 15 years of wrapped magazines…this was a source of much consternation with an ex (who eventually took the liberty of throwing them out in my absence). So, I’m not a casual reader who just feels … Continue reading Open Letter to Rolling Stone Magazine
Sammy Hagar’s first album for Geffen Records, Standing Hampton, initially put the self-proclaimed “Red Rocker” on my musical radar. While not a huge fan, he was always on my radar. Frankly, if I am being honest, that’s really the only Sammy Hagar solo album I like. Sure, I like the Van Halen stuff a lot, but so much of his other solo stuff never stuck … Continue reading Sammy Hagar Could Use Some More…
I’m in San Francisco for three weeks (part of an eight week white-collar training boot camp) and when I lived here all those years ago one of the highlights for me was seeing a show at The Fillmore, easily one of the best concert venues in the country. When I discovered Bob Mould was playing at the Fillmore, I decided to go. Without a doubt … Continue reading Bob Mould Live in San Francisco 9.26.14
Is this officially a full-fledged reunion? Maybe. Will anyone give a shit this time around? I doubt it. After an alleged ban from the building The Replacements returned to 30 Rock on Tuesday to show how rock and roll is done proper. Whether it sticks or whether you give a shit, the world seems marginally better. This may be the only time I tip my … Continue reading The Replacements return to 30 Rock.
Last night was the season two premiere of FX’s The Bridge. And the show came flying out of the gate, introducing a cacophony of story lines. Which I am sensing is becoming a pattern with FX shows. Kurt Sutter did it last year in the premiere of his Sons of Anarchy: thankfully, Sutter was able to tie everything together by the end of the season. … Continue reading The Bridge – Until I’m One With You
Maybe rock music has gotten too cool. Maybe it’s taking itself too seriously. Maybe its been co-opted by the multinational conglomerates that own the majority of labels. Maybe it’s just dead. But then, maybe not. Recently, I started working with a guy named Kevin Clymer. Being a semi-retired (or semi-retarded) music snob, when someone told me he was in a band and, I was mildly … Continue reading Ula Ruth – Rock & Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution
Recently, I wrote about losing comedian Bill Hicks 20 years ago. Outside of comedians, and comedy nerds like myself, that loss flew pretty far under the radar. Two months after Hicks died, we lost yet another voice of our generation. Kurt Cobain. Yea, that was 20 years ago. I’ll let that sink in. On April 8th, 1994 Cobain’s body was discovered and according to the … Continue reading 20 Years Ago…Again
For the umpteenth time, I was watching Heart perform Led Zeppelin’s classic “Stairway to Heaven” from this years Kennedy Center Awards ceremony the other day. And again I was blown away, simply astounding. Apparently, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant thought it was pretty good too with all three at some point exchanging smiles and nods. At about 3:35 you even see Robert … Continue reading Our Shadows Taller Than Our Souls