Monday, October 2, 2017

People come, people go... some grow young, some grow cold...

     2008, one of the best Superbowl halftime shows ever. Tom Petty opening with American Girl as he often did (given I have only seen him twice and a few videos of him.) Let's flash forward to five months later. Nisan Pavilion (now Jiffy Lube live.) We were on the lawn, Steve Winwood finished his set (unfortunately he only played his new album.) Steve left the stage and you can bet we were all excited. The first notes of you wreck me came on, and I got goosebumps. Throughout the night, we were excited as the set got better and better. He even played a song by Bo Diddley, in honer of his passing early that year. Bo is another favorite of mine. You can tell he adapted a lot of his sound from Bo, anyway I digress. Steve came back out and rocked "Gimmie Some Lovin' " and they even played "End of the Line." We saw him again with Crosby, Stills and Nash. Again, he started with American Girl.

     Regressing in thought, I remember growing up with Petty's music. Erik saw him once around 2001 when I went to Disney after I graduated. I have not seen him beam from a concert until he saw Metallica later on. I remember when we recorded music off out CDs to tapes, he would always put Tom on his tapes. When WBIG 100.3 here in Rockville, MD started playing newer music, I would always say I would never get tired of them playing Tom Petty. It was true, in fact I got excited when they played "You Don't know How it Feels." In fact when I moved out at 23, I bought Erik a Tom Petty Rolling Stones magazine, and he mentioned he was going to tour less, because his knees were toast from jumping everywhere.

    Recently (3 days ago,) I was listening to Spencer Davis Group, and the first song is "Gimmie Some Lovin' " and I thought how I would like to see another concert like Tom. At least when Glen Campbell passed, I could prepare myself, but not this one. This sprung up randomly when I looked at the news feed, I was floored. I mean I never knew him, but Tom was a huge influence on my charity. So all I have to say is say hi to Bo, Del Shannon, Roy and George! R.I.P Tom. This one personally hurts. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Bigger Than Lennon

                                  Hi everyone! I just got my new computer, so expect more updates!

     Last night on Netflix, I saw there was a George Harrison documentary, so of course I watched it. It was more of a "things that happened to George, while focusing on Paul" film, and it jumped around a lot. I only suggest it if you have a severe case of Beatles-itis. It's not for the casual fan. I like they mention Stuart Sutcliffe, but not much is said about Pete Best. Anyway, they had a lot of Yoko Ono in there (do not let that persuade you from watching it,) and she had a lot of good words to say. It's amazing what you can learn on a documentary. The footage they got back then... could you imagine if it had been now? They even got him gargling a concoction that he said Clapton used, and said "your throat will never bother you again."

     My favorite Beatles member was Ringo, but I did like George. I remember when I was still a pup, I would watch all the documentaries I could on music, and one of my favorites was The Beatles first U.S tour. The jokes on that and hard days night, and everything in between and after were great. George was wearing a conductor's hat asking for tickets, and he took it off for the camera saying "it's me!" Also during the ride, he was laying on the luggage rack (due to his smaller stature.) Also, one of my favorite John jokes was asking if Ringo was the best drummer in the world, and he replied "Ringo isn't even the best drummer in the Beatles."

     So I would recommend it, also I would recommend the new SOiL essentials CD. They are missing a few songs, but it is nice to have it all on one CD.

Peace, Love and keep hitting the HIGH NOTES!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The long and winding road...

   Sorry it's been a while. Crazy things going on... anyway, if I could have taken anyone along for the ride, it would have been you! (This excludes Erik, because he was there for most of it.) Anyway, there are some bands I have gotten into in the past year, some concerts I went to, albums I bought. Ready? Let's go!

    So it's been a year since I wrote here, so I will try to sum it up as best as I can. I have gotten into some bands (Volbeat, Haim, Sixx A.M, etc.) that I never knew existed, or were new. I have also gotten more into bands I loved for a long time, like I saw SOiL twice (more on that in just a second.) I also went to Mayhem fest where I got to see Mushroomhead again, Ill Nino (from afar) Trivium, yet again... not complaining. Though I did not like the 2 headliners much the first time I have seen them (though one I saw again and liked) KoRn really impressed me, this time they brought it. Now the first time I saw Avenged Sevenfold, I was no where near impressed (though they had just followed Adema, who I was a big fan of at the time.) Well this time they didn't have to lead in for Ozzy and whoever was before him (I wanna say System of a Down, who I do not care for.) They were headliner, they had their own set. It was a huge castle with pyro, and LCD screens in the back and a giant "king" on a throne of skulls. It was an amazing show, and they dedicated a song to Rev, it started pouring rain, and of course we were on the lawn.

    When I went to see SOiL the first time they seemed mad, and later we found out why. Well the first time was a chilli cook-off with no chilli, no beer, barely any food, and 2 stages that you had to shift back and forth to get to. Well apparently some of the bands were talked to about not getting paid. We found this out because at the second concert, we actually talked to the band! I got to meet them. I got a picture with Ryan McCombs, and an autographed set list. Later on they sold an autographed vinyl record on their website for $12, I had to snatch that up. It was just nice to actually talk with them and they seemed to be genuinely happy to talk to the fans, and I got to tell Ryan I talked to him on Facebook, he said "on purpose?"

As for new music, I bought both Slipknot, and Bob Seiger's new album. I was so excited about Seiger, but when I listened to it the excitement kind of dropped. His notes are still well done and his lyrics aren't what you would think coming from him. Though his voice has aged, still not as scary as John Fogerty when he sang with the Foo Fighters. The new Slipknot, however is full throttle smash faces in with baseball fun for all Slipknot fans. Corey really brings it, and doesn't quit until the end.

So it has been an interesting year. I will try to keep up with this now that things are less hectic and I can focus, so until then, keep hitting the HIGH NOTES!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Special Edition: Crazy on You

     As much as I love concerts, I have not been able to go to all that I wanted to. I got tickets to Heart and Jason Bonham's Zepplin experience, and was so excited. $15 to see an interesting concept AND a band I loved as a kid? Why not? Unfortunately, Erik got sick and decided it was best not to go, and as the planets aligned, as they sometimes do, and I got to take a date to the concert. Now she knows music, but is a Country fan. I thought this would be perfect, a way to show what I like.

      So as the Led Zepplin experience took the stage, they were playing, and I thought "not only did we arrive JUST in time, but they sound pretty damn good!" I'm sure if I closed my eyes, it would have been what I would have imagined what Zepplin sounded like back in the day. Though they only played 30 minutes, I thought it was an amazing venture into rock history, hearing Jason's story, listening to the official backing drum track his dad laid down years ago, and getting to experience what it was like, I think the only thing that was more classic than this was seeing Black Sabbath with Bill Ward, ya know, before the screw job contract.

     As the opening band left the stage, the mood was set, it was getting dark,and it was exciting. Then all of a sudden, Nancy comes on and plays the riff to Barracuda... I think that was a gutsy move. Usually bands save their most popular or best work for later. As the concert went on, going on the recordings and word I have heard from people, I have heard Heart sucks live. Well the recording studio must have messed with the sound, and people must be hard critics. Nothing was farther from the truth! From Nancy's solos and her lead on "These Dreams," to Ann's always fantastic vocals, this is a concert to see! I like that they played Alone, and a few songs I haven't heard before. Nancy even sang an Elton John song (I Need You to Turn to.) As Ann said, "I am going to turn the microphone over now." (and she did just that and turned the mic backwards... Very funny...) I hope they come back. I would LOVE Erik to see them, after his selfless action, and it was nice to see Heart gain a new fan. We had to leave early before the big group finally (plus Jiffy Lube Live is a pain to get out of anyway.) I heard the final songs as we left, but I don't know how I would have felt about it if I stayed... I am a music snob, and need my covers to be great (maybe that will be a next blog?) Anyway, I hope this isn't a lackluster post, it is late and I could not sleep... I figured I would get this out of the way. Thanks for listening, and oh yeah... OOH BARRACUDA!

Keep hitting the HIGH NOTES everyone!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Special Edition: What Time is it?

     So to start this, I have to go back to the beginning. That's a good place to start, OK, so when the album Pocket Full of Kryptonite came out, it was 1991. In 1991 I was 8, and my brother Erik and I went to private school. Now they didn't have bus service, so someone had to drive us. While my dad liked oldies on 94.7 WARW (I believe...hey, I'm not a professional blog yet, I don't have to have ALL my ducks in a row.) When mom drove us though, it was Q107.3 (they later went off the air, and became Mix 107.3. The ones who sponsor the Fairfax fair concerts.) Anyway, one of my favorite songs to come on was Two Princes (when it made it as a single.) Yes, at an early age, after I got out of the New Kids on the Block phase (hey, I was young. It happens... shut up!) I had gotten more into bands like The Beatles, U2, INXS, Genesis and the like. However the Spin Doctors always hit me as just a "cool" band. Almost the epitome of cool. The flow, the meanings (what I could understand of the meanings anyway) of their songs, were just awesome.

     So to present day (I wanted to do that transition as boring as possible. Moving 22 years forward too fast might make a great law suit for you, but trust me... you won't get much.) I always look to see who is playing Fairfax Fair. I have seen the likes of Sugar Ray, The Smithereens, Rick Springfield, Collective Soul, Cheap Trick, and a few others. Now one year Blues Traveler came and I missed them, when I found out the Spin Doctors were coming, I was not going to miss this one. As soon as I heard they were going to be there at 4:30, it was obvious what they were going to open with (and it's my favorite song of theirs, so I am not complaining.) I was pumped, they sounded great, had a fantastic energy to them, and were totally on point (unlike Smash Mouth.) then they did Nice Talking to Me right after which was nice, considering I thought they were going to do something I didn't know. Now one thing I get upset with at concerts (Steve Winwood) is when they only play new stuff. Spin Doctors played a lot of new stuff, and it was great. The trick is to mix it in with the old stuff to keep interest, and Spin Doctors did just the perfect blend of that. The new songs are really unique, without sounding like they sold out. When they did an old song, it was like meeting an old friend again after a long time (either being away from the friend or you were too drunk to remember you saw them recently.) But yes, I suggest seeing them because of the energy, and the full on sound all together. Even with the very talented Eric Schenkman singing, I think that was one of the best performances I have seen, and the tickets were cheap, double positive!

     This is where I would usually end the blog, but there's more! During the concert Chris said they were going to be at the tent and to come say hi. The thing is, you didn't even have to buy anything! Of course that came with the guilt trip of their kids having to eat cardboard... But I digress. I got in line right during the encore because I knew the line was going to be long, because I have met bands (Hootie and the Blowfish, Disturbed, Otep, Strapping Young Lad) before, and as they showed up and I looked back, yup... long line. As I headed up all I really had was a free hat I received from the government that said "Recycle" and had the Fairfax website on it. I asked if they would autograph it, and there was no problem at all. In fact, Chris wrote the band logo on it and said "there, now it's a spin doctors hat!" I asked for a pic, and Eric said "ask the man in the tie. His name is Bob." Yes, I'm a music nerd and knew for a fact that Chris Barron's name isn't Bob. I got the picture and left on cloud 9.

     So for some of the meet and greets, I had to pay $20, Spin Doctors and Hootie and the Blowfish are the 2 I have done that were the nicest and most down to Earth groups I have met. As dad said, they treated their fans like they were human. Anyway, great energy, nice style, and just plain fun. When people were leaving because it was raining, I laughed. I threw my "Spin Doctors" hat in the closet on a top shelf so nothing ruins it, and posted the picture on Facebook (I want to print it out to frame it) and all is well. So until next idea or concert (I will try to post more...) I will see you next time, until then... Keep hitting the HIGH NOTES!
(now where are those damn ducks?)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Greatest Hits

     Who doesn't love a greatest hits? (Other than bands who think it means "we're done.") All the best songs from that band/artist all on one CD, or 2 or 3...or volumes (lookin' at you Eagles...) Anyway, have you ever thought a band or artist shouldn't have a greatest hits, or they have 60 of them? It becomes preposterous, yet for some reason you can't help but buy it.

     I had many conversations with people, and they would tell me "I hate it when a band puts a new song on the greatest hits album. It's kind of arrogant and overzealous, thinking it's going to be a hit..." Well look at Boston, they went through the 70's and 80's, and fell apart, and when Brad went to other bands, and Fran Cosmo took over in the 90's when Tom decided to do his own thing. When Brad came back to the band, they had 2 singers. Well, they weren't done and wanted to show they were recording more music, so instead of the fans losing interest in what would be a record in 6 years, they added Tell Me (a song that would have been a good fit to close Walk On) and Higher Power, a soulful new outlook on what was to come out of Brad's and Fran's and Tom's think tank of music and show they weren't down for the count. Some bands refuse to put out a greatest hits, they feel it's a death sentence.

     Now when a band makes a ton of greatest hits, and super hits, and whatever, and suckers (me) will buy it. "Chicago and Beach Boys have a new greatest hits? Who would buy that?'s only $5? OK." I mean I have 2 copies of Boston's greatest hits because for one I thought I lost it, and it had the songs from Corporate America, But it's better to buy the collection for some bands. I could not imagine a Metallica or Beatles greatest hits ("1" does not count.) Look at Led Zepplin, they have a 4 disk greatest hits (not talking box set.) Kiss has a box set, but they also have double platinum and a few greatest hits, but it just doesn't feel right. The Eagles can get away with it because they had a career, broke up and got back together, and they had time to mature. If you listen to the two volumes, you can see it. One band I could see doing this is Pink Floyd. Their songs are long and intricate that they could do so, but they didn't. Now one greatest hits I saw that irked me was Notorious B.I.G. I think the fans would be better off getting the entire series of albums.

     So think of greatest hits as you will, sometimes it cheapens a band, or just isn't right, but sometimes there are some good ones. Now compilations are another thing, so maybe we can get into those next time, until then, keep hitting the HIGH NOTES. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

These words he speaks are true. We're all humanary stew... if we don't pledge allegiance to The Black Widow!

     So it's been a while, I haven't had much to say, and I have been super busy. I hope to start this up again regularly and bore ALL of you again! So I went to see Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden (yes...Maiden again.) I believe I have mentioned before about how I had the chance to see Cooper and missed out. Anyway if I didn't, short version is I went to get free tickets and couldn't get the tickets to get to the show. When he opened he was singing Black Widow...which caught me off guard for I was expecting "Hello, Hooray." Anyway he played a lot of his good songs. He played "No more Mr. Nice Guy," and of course "Feed My Frankenstein" and "School's Out." It was nice that he did the decapitation/I love the dead bit, and during School's Out he incorporated "Another Brick in the Wall" and yelled "EXPLOSION!" before the confetti cannon went off. All the guys did great, good to see Ryan Roxie back, and Orianthi is a fantastic guitarist. I have seen Maiden 3 times and do believe I blogged about them at an earlier time.

      Unfortunately with the loss of time I did not do this blog when it was fresh and lost a little, but what I did do, was got Alice Cooper's new CD. I like that he has the surviving original members when Alice Cooper was a band, not an artist. People like Kip Winger, Ke$ha, and Rob Zombie/John 5 make an appearance too. I like this album and like they didn't make a sequel to Along Came a Spider...because they could not really go anywhere with the concept album...though I am made of you would have worked for that too.

     On other topics, everyone was talking about a new Aaliyah song. I looked it up because her final album was produced a while after her death, and I thought they said she finished most of the vocals before making Queen of the Damned and had more mixing to oversee (though I don't doubt the production style of Timbaland.) I thought the producer's used all her unused music to finish the album... which unfortunately the break between QotD and her going to film her music video was when the accident happened. I'm sure the movie would have been better and she would have had more albums out and R&B/Hip Hop wouldn't have partially died with her.

Well, until next time guys...keep hitting the HIGH NOTES!