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!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

We hear the playback and it seems so long ago.

     I was thinking tonight, I thought "could you imagine if Facebook was created in the 50's?" There is a song by a group called Friend and Lover, it's called Reach Out of the Darkness (yes, the song says reach out in the darkness...but the title is R...actually, I think I covered this before.) Anyway the lyric is "I knew a man that I did not care for, and then one day this man gave me a call. We sat and talked about things on our mind, and now this man, he is a friend of mine." Could you imagine changing the lyric to this man sent me a friend request? Kinda creepy if ya think about it. If that were to happen, what sort of creepy things would we be singing about today?

     I'm kind of in a 90's mood tonight, but I regress the decades every once in a while, and one of the things that is weird is I was listening to Ugly Kid Joe, and how that song seems...forgotten. I like the big forget you song...yes, even C-lo! One thing I haven't messed around with on here is rap. I am not the biggest rap fan, but I like the rap songs that are actually rap songs, not this mumbly random beat stuff, I like Naughty by Nature's Pin the Tail on the Donkey for instance. Anything by Run DMC is good too, but I tell you what absolutely amazes me still...the crossovers, Run DMC and Aerosmith's walk this way for one, they both knocked down the door of the rock rap border. Next people like Anthrax and Public Enemy go together and make Bring the Noise. it's just nice to hear both styles in tune with each other. Don't get me wrong, I like Anthrax by themselves, but when they collaborated with Gene and Paul for Love Her all I Can, it was cheesy. I just think this lead to bands like the early 311, and the like.

     Now a  collaboration I am not to keen on is Lionel Ritchie doing all his old songs with country stars. I don't mind country, but I like Lionel better. I was happy to see he did a new CD, just to find it's stuff I can get off my CD...if I can find it. I lose CDs all the time. Now a lot of people ask me "why does someone your age like and listen to these old songs?" Well it's simple, I grew up with them. Mom always played the 80's/90's mix, Dad was stuck in the 50's, 60's and sometimes 70's, and well my stepfather is...crazy, so I was always around that. I had to discover new music by myself...which wasn't easy because in 6th grade my radio occasionally got DC101, which is/was the grunge/punk 90's stuff and they still keep pretty true to it. So I just find it funny when someone is confused with my music tastes...

     Oh well, If anyone has a subject they want me to cover, feel free to email me or comment, or check me out on Twitter or Facebook (not Myspace though...that's lame.) Till then keep hitting the HIGH NOTES!

Friday, April 13, 2012

LACK sabbath

So it seems my excitement was misconstrued, as the four members of the original Black Sabbath will not be doing the CD and tour. Bill Ward has pulled out because he was not given a "signable" contract that made him look respectable as an original member. They do not give any more detail on specifics, but it sounds like they were given separate contracts, and if this is true then that was a bad idea. I don't understand who would think that was a good idea, this is what breaks bands up in the first place. I believe KISS had the best contract idea of splitting everything straight down the middle, Equal divide, yet I understand why the contracts happen, if Bill or Geezer writes a lyric, and/or the music and no one else pitches in, then all the other members get paid just as much, it's unfair. Though it's hard to live with a band that you have been dealing with for years, and have someone you fired in the 70's rejoining it can get flustering. I guess as a Sabbath fan I was just excited, and this got to me. I just wonder who they are going to get to replace him on drums. I would hope it's not someone who doesn't fit the bill, or can't do the job, or a studio drummer...I don't know what would be worse. Now what I would like is having Ward to sign the contract, but I guess the fans can't have everything. When I saw Sabbath, it was an amazing experience, I was thinking (as I stated in a previous blog) I was seeing a band that many had not received the chance to see, or lied to their parents to see...or even (eww) people were conceived at their concert (people that were may have even been at that same concert I was.)  Oh well, we will see, and only time will tell.

     Anyway I have been cursing new music, a lot of boy bands (speaking of which, the boy band One Direction is being sued by another band with the same name) and stuff that doesn't reach my interest (Lionel Richie singing his classic songs with country singers, or Nicki Manaj, Train or Keane.) I finally broke down and bought (along with some classic music) Pighammer by Wayne Static. It's a solid album and I like it so far, wouldn't expect anything less from Wayne. Hard core fast guitars, booming bass and vocals, and drum sounds, it's like sadistic, evil disco. It's a concept album about a guy who kidnaps women and attaches pig noses to them. As Wayne said in an interview,

"The 'Pighammer' concept conjures up bizarre images," Static explains. "It's about a mad plastic surgeon, with a pig fetish, that likes to convert hot chicks into pigs. It is the total opposite of what a plastic surgeon would do. He has this crazy hammer device made from a pig foot. The images of the surgery in the CD package are only a dark comedic visualization of the real theme of the album, which is my transformation."

     If you like Static-X, or that style of music, I suggest checking it out. It's quite interesting. Until next time, keep hitting the HIGH NOTES.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hard for me to say I'm sorry...

     I notice a lot of people saying things about certain bands losing their touch. One of the most notable being one of my favorite bands, Chicago. I see people saying they lost their unique sound when the 80's hit. I would like to say I disagree. I do agree they lost a lot when Terry Kath died, I mean come on. His style was the 70's in a nut shell. Him and Peter Cetera together were amazing. Yet, the 80's slowed Chicago down and made themselves a ballad band (though Along comes a Woman  was a great upbeat song...) but we forget one of Kath's best songs was Colour my world...hell even KISS did "Beth," and that's one of their best known songs. It's interesting the way the full transition went, but honestly...who even thought two of the guitarists from the Yardbirds would do "Forever man" and "Kashmir?"

     It's like in the late 80's when Boston started to fall apart. When third stage came out (the album with Amanda, Cool the Engines, and a lot of Tom's solos) and the band was really starting to crumble, he forged on and they didn't lose touch, they filled the gaps and when they lost Brad to other projects, they forged on with Fran until Brad came back. Now what worries me is the new album coming out, the last of Brad's vocals. They only finished 80% of the album when he took his life. Even INXS finished Elegantly Wasted before Michael killed himself, yet I think here what it will sound like. We all know Tom Scholz isn't known for piecing together albums in a timely manner, yet some of these comments about these bands being "sellouts" worry me. It's like when people said Metallica sold out. I still feel they were hard driving riffs with "we won't take it" lyrics (given low man's lyric kind of destroys that last sentence,) Cyanide is a good reference to my point. I think that song gets to the core of the meaning of this blog, and drives into your soul and lays a nest.

     So in conclusion, I can't wait for the next Metallica album, Black Sabbath album and still listen to stuff like Paramore and Wayne Static. Until then, stay diverse in taste and keep hitting the HIGH NOTES.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Until your love comes back around...

     I'm back blogging world. I apologize for my absence, crazy weeks in the music world. The loss of Whitney Houston, and Davey Jones, I could not bring myself to blog because that was all the other bloggers could write about, I didn't want to sync in with the others but I also didn't want to not write about it and be disrespectful. Now a loss we suffered today was Armand Crump, Kerry King's guitar tech. I haven't heard a cause, but still sad. A well respected man in the music industry, so I hope it was nothing foolish.

     Anyway, I was listening to "All I Need" by Jack Wagner (who sang that at the Christmas show to be sort of like "remember me?") and I remembered mom being impressed of me knowing all the words to Summer of '69, since I was around 4 when it came out. So I searched youtube's recommended songs and they had "How Can I Fall" by Breathe. I remembered singing to that as "you just won't give me raisins" instead of reasons...not a mondegreen...I was just joking about that one. Oh the good times in music.

     There are some great tours coming this summer, I hope to catch at least one to blog to you guys about. My main one is Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden, I have seen Maiden a few times but have been trying to see Cooper for years, even after I won free tickets. The next one is KISS and Motley Crue, that would be nice if KISS doesn't open and wear me out like they did the KISS/Aerosmith tour. Last but certainly not least is the Aerosmith and Cheap Trick tour, that would be nice to see. I loved seeing Cheap Trick live, I wanted to see The Scorpions too, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

     Well I hope to write about those shows sometime soon, until then, keep hitting the HIGH NOTES.

Friday, January 27, 2012

So very very far away, maybe it's only yesterday...

     In 1969, there was a song by a group called Zager and Evans called 2525, and let me start off saying they were 2 members of a band called The Eccentrics. The band broke up and Denny Zager and Rick Evans went out to form a pop duo (very common for that era,) and though they made a lot of songs, this was their only hit. Now the duo was expected to get the same success as the Beatles...but they only made that hit. It's a song about the world lasting until that time, as a kid I would listen to it and get creeped out. Now I just listened to it and thought  "what?" The song starts off as in the year 2525, if man is still alive, then 3535, then after 5555, and so on they say in the year 7510 and 8510...well that's random, oh wait, rhyme scheme. Now after the duo broke up, Rick Evans went on to be a solo singer and writer, and Denny became a guitar teacher and sells his own style of guitar on his website.

     Now there was a duo in the 80's  named Buckner & Garcia who tried their damnedest to make it as a real pop duo, including co-writing the theme for a show called WKRP in Cincinnati. Now unfortunately for them when they put out their most popular song "Pac Man Fever" in 1982, they were pretty much expected to follow up (which they did, with songs called "The Defender" and "Do the Donkey Kong" after their song about E.T was shelved) that pretty much solidified them as a video game band, and despite their best efforts, they compiled a CD named Pac Man Fever, solidifying their destiny. Though the duo continued writing songs and made a new song for a website (that you can find on, or Rock Band Network, or my suggestion, youtube.) Though they were seemingly on a comeback, Gary Garcia died of undisclosed circumstances in Nov, 2011.

      Like the late Jani Lane of Warrant, most of his interviews cursed the song Cherry Pie, which was just put on as a fan favorite to sell albums, he became the cherry pie guy, he said he was doing things like cherry pie eating contests, and ended up dying alone in a hotel room due to alcohol poisoning. The music industry is rough, even if the sights are stacked in your favor, there is no guarantee you will end up the next Metallica. Until next time, keep hitting the HIGH NOTES!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gene vs. Ace

     Well I just finished Ace Frehley's book, and a few years ago I read Gene Simmons' book. It's funny how the hottest band in the world had such a love/hate relationship with each other. I mean it was apparent that Gene and Paul were friends and Ace stuck by Peter, but the way the two books differ, it seems like some things could have gone much worse. As you can see alone from the personality you can tell that Gene is a (self proclaimed might I add...) hard ass whose soul intention is to make money...and damn good at it, and Ace was in it for the music, a rocker's soul that just didn't want to quit (though his body would from time to time.) Though Ace's solo was the #1 seller of all the CD's, it was clear who the bigger rock personality was.

     There are a few stories in the two books that overlap each other, and some explanations that Gene didn't go into (whether he was trying to make Ace look bad, or just didn't know...because he wasn't there,) Gene talked about only one of the two times he saved Ace. Ace mentioned some of his (interesting) ways he recorded his solo album, went into his drug problem multiple times, and how he overcame it, and a lot went overlooked (Gene said he suggested Casablanca to Neil Bogart, and Ace just said for some reason it was changed from Emerald City records.) Though Gene was more elaborate in some things (because he had a better relationship with a lot of people, though usually business.) Ace mostly wrote about the music, like what the song was about or how it inspired him, which is a main reason I picked up the book in the first place. I do think it was funny he called Gene a whore, not something I expected to be used as a description of him. Both are good reads but I can't put my finger on which I liked better.

     Now in my personal opinion, Ace's solo CD with KISS was the best one of the group. I liked his, then Peter's then next Gene, and last Paul (sorry Paul.) But each CD showed their personal traits as artists, and their personality. For instance, Ace was the best and that is because I like rock, and it was a pure uncut rock album, and had his version of New York Groove written by Russ Ballard. Peter's CD was a clear jazz album with his own version of tossin' and turnin'. Gene, though was more of a soundtrack to his life's movie, using stars like Cher, Bob Seiger, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, Joe Perry (Aerosmith) and "Skunk" Baxter (Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers) just to name a few. Don't get me wrong, it's amazing, but you can tell Gene did the star studded cast for...almost an ego trip. Though that may sound like I am attacking him, which I am thing that made me happy was Gene did not play any bass on his album. Paul's on the other hand was kind of ballad like, but figuring he does a lot of opera stuff these days, it fits better than when I first heard it...though his is the one I listen to least. I liked all the CD's but Ace's takes the cake.

     Now when Tommy Thayer took over for Ace and Eric Singer took over for Peter, it seemed like it was a "conspiracy," but I see a bit of what Gene said, Ace, always the poor victim. Now given that Gene had asked Ace back for the KISS/Aerosmith tour he declined because he was ready to do his CD "Anomaly" and tour on his own, and from what I heard he said how can someone say it's over and go out again as they are planning something else? Also (I take this with a grain of salt) he was saying how can we open for someone who would opened for us long ago? Anyway, I had the pleasure of seeing both line ups and have to say, I see what Ace is saying...KISS made Peter and Ace's absence almost a secret. I did not know until the day of the concert that Tommy Thayer was taking over, and did not know until next year that it was Eric Singer. People knock Peter's ability, but Eric did not have the same solo ability and charisma Peter had. Though I was not able to rock out as hard to Aerosmith like I did during the "Just Push Play" tour. Now when I saw the originals at the farewell tour (which they wanted to call Jews in Space...even though Peter is Catholic and Ace is Lutheran,) it was an amazing night, Ted Nugent and Skid Row were there (Johnny Solinger looks and sounds so much like Sebastian Bach...but that's another blog all together...I will incorporate bits of this blog in it.) But when KISS hit the stage, I stupidly asked "we won't be able to sit during the show, will we?" Anyway, when they opened with Detroit Rock City, and the curtain went down, I knew the electricity would continue, and they played songs like Lick it Up when Ace and Peter weren't in the band, and songs like Flaming Youth, an apparently less played song from the tours after Destroyer. My favorite thing that night (besides Peter's drum solo) was when Paul went flying to the center stage for Love Gun. Also when Ace hit the light fixture and broke it with a rocket. But anyway, I got a free Yahoo! card with KISS on the front at that concert that I kept in my wallet until it pretty much ripped, and I drew pictures and made art in class usually of KISS, I was hooked more than I was when I only listened to the tapes of the greatest hits, and Psycho Circus.

     I hope for Paul and Peter to make a book too, though I highly doubt it. As Ace was saying though he was writing a book and had some things to say to Gene (he was mad when he said that at his concert on the youtube clip.) It's amazing how 2 Christmas gifts can be made amazing by one man, when Erik gave me tickets for him and I to see Ace at a small club in Springfield, VA called JAXX, and how 2 summers can be made awesome by seeing Gene with the boys in concert, but that's how life is sometimes, just saying. Until next time, keep hitting the HIGH NOTES.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm only human, of flesh and blood I'm made...

     Well, I'm back (sorry, I had a few things to deal with.) So I am going to start 2012 on a high note and try to make Thursdays the blog day again, though I am writing this one on a Friday just to get back in the swing of things.

     So I was reading something today, and I try to stay on top of music history for everyone that reads this...just to spread my knowledge, and I am a tad bit embarrassed about this, but I was under the impression that Fats Domino was dead. I knew he was rumored  when Hurricane Katrina came, and he refused to evacuate...but that was debunked. He actually stayed with of all people JaMarcus Russell, the free agent football player who played in Louisiana, then later the Raiders (also his granddaughter's boyfriend.) Later I heard that he was to do a concert but fell ill and died. Now that is where I got that idea...but apparently he is still alive and well. Anyway, one time I was on youtube listening to the BoxTops, and it was the exact day that Alex Chilton passed away, and I did the same for Crispian St. Peters when he died, eerie huh? But as you can see, even as a blogger I make mistakes, but hope not to be misleading.

     Anyway, has anyone heard the new song Tattoo by Van Halen? David's voice is shot, and it's missing a bit backup wise without Michael Anthony, but it's got the classic writing and most of the classic sounds of a Van Halen track, the more I listen the more I like it. I mean the video looks like a classic Van Halen video with a few new tricks, Though I don't think Wolfgang Van Halen fits the bill (though I like his "Jump" era bass guitar and I want one.)...and Alex looks old as anything now, but he is STILL one of my favorite drummers. I am looking forward to the new album.

     Another new album I am looking forward to is the classic lineup Black Sabbath album, I was so excited over that news. Even though they say Tony Iommi has Lymphoma, he says he won't let that stop him from making the album, as for a tour though, no one knows. In fact there are a few albums that have come out in the past year and a half that I didn't expect. Phil Collins and Elton John (who said they wouldn't do another album,) Devo, the Cars, Ratt, even Metallica are said to be working on a new album. Yet in all this excitement I haven't even gotten Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton's new album (though I will chalk that up to the fact I am not one for live music...but that is another blog all together.)

     So that said, I hope to be back soon, and hope in May I have that new, tattoo...ok, I'll shut up now. Keep hitting the high notes!