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Monday, September 17. 2007
Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!
In January of 1981, the Canadian group April Wine released The Nature of The Beast, an album that quickly became one of my favourites. It was full of interesting music including one song where they "sampled" The Beatles, Day Tripper. That album included one of my favourite love songs ever Just Between You and Me, and this wonderful rocker, Sign of the Gypsy Queen
I always love it when local folk do well, and while I don't agree with vast chunks of Art Alexakis's politics, I do admire that fact that he at least is getting involved and passionate about things. Everclear has always interested me because they're local. They keep me listening because their music entertains me. I was recently having a conversation about swimming out past the breakers. I'm quite sure that the water at Short Sands, is far colder than the water in Santa Monica.
A career in rock music can be a rough road. This is very evident from the title of the title of The Gin Blossoms major label debut, A New Miserable Experience. Shortly after the album was released in 1992, Doug Hopkins, the writer of Hey Jealousy committed suicide, further underlining the appropriateness of the album name.
Thursday, September 13. 2007
In the history of great rock 'n' roll front men we've had Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, David Lee Roth of Van Halen, Axl Rose of Guns n' Roses, but there's one who'd longevity and talent have been around far longer than the others. That man is Mick Jagger. I had the privilege of seeing the The Rolling Stones on one of the greatest road trips of my life at B.C. Place in Vancouver, B.C.. Their album "Some Girls" would likely be on a top 10 list if I were to create such a thing. I rue the day when I have to say Miss You to Mick and the boys.
The Kingdome was not a great place to see a concert. A huge concrete dome does not make for great acoustics. Many years ago, some buddies and I arrived for a concert, found our seats (they were in the top row of the top deck, underneath a small leak in the dome) and then proceeded to watch one of the most amazing shows any of us had ever seen. When Paul McCartney and Wings took the stage we went on a wonderful musical journey with them. With a Little Luck we will be listening to Sir Paul make music for many many more years.
I heard Boston's Don't Look Back before I heard their first album, the self-titled Boston. I was blown away that any band could produce so much beautiful and interesting sounding music with just their few instruments, and then I started to read up on Tom Scholz and I didn't wonder how they made that marvelous sound anymore. Off their first two albums, one song speaks to me the most, A Man I'll Never Be.
Rest in Peace Brad, your voice still brings me great measures of joy.
Monday, September 10. 2007
On October 30th, The Eagles will release Long Road out of Eden, their first album of new material since The Long Run in 1979. Of course their music has stood the test of time. I hope that the new album is full of music I will be wanting to listen to in 28 years. Hotel California is a wonderful album, and an amazing song. I can close my eyes and completely lose myself in that guitar solo.
Back in the day, I would never have confessed to enjoying this next group. The embarrassment would have been far too great! Now, of course, I know better, but back then the mere thought was terrifying. Here are the Bee Gees with How Deep Is Your Love
It wasn't long ago, that I shared U2's cover of this song. It was quite easy for a teenage boy to have a huge crush on Anni-Frid and Agnetha. When I need a pick-me-up I still often turn to ABBA. Here they are with their only Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit Dancing Queen
Thursday, September 6. 2007
Well, I had my plan all ready for today, and then tragedy struck. So I'm tossing what I prepared, and planning to put the vast majority of you way out of your comfort zone (at least I'm guessing so) as we visit music that is a bit different from the kinds of things I normally talk about.
Today, the world lost an amazing man, Luciano Pavarotti died this morning at his home in Modena, italy. As much as I wanted to hate opera I was never able to, not all of it rings my bell, but some of it is simply amazing. Pavarotti is one of the greatest tenors ever to grace us with his voice. Along with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras he formed the "opera super-group" The Three Tenors Here they are singing the most recognizable song from the musical Carousel, You'll Never Walk Alone.
We may not walk alone, but we do walk with one fewer magnificent voice today.
An aria from the Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot, became Luciano Pavarotti's signature song. This video is amazing as you can really watch this man sing, and see the complete control he has over the magical instrument of his voice. Let no one sleep as you listen, watch and are amazed by Nessun Dorma.
While Pavarotti had a reputation as being a bit hard to handle, he wasn't a complete stick-in-the-mud when it came to his style of music. He performed with James Brown, Bryan Adams, Barry White and a host of others. Here he is with U2 doing the haunting Miss Saigon.
Monday, September 3. 2007
Merry Labor Day everyone. I'm sitting out on my deck on a beautiful sunny day, thoroughly enjoying a relaxing time listening to...
Otis Redding singing Try a Little Tenderness. Everyone knows Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, hell you can't go to a karaoke night without someone attempting it. As far as I'm concerned Otis Redding has one of those voices that no one should try and cover, in the same way that Patsy Cline should be untouched, or Janis Joplin should be left alone. They're so unique that no matter what you do, you're going to be a pale imitation at best.
I love the song Seven Spanish Angels. Not sure why I enjoy it so much, I just do. Ray Charles is one of those timeless musicians whose music has spoken to generations of people. Willie Nelson has one of the most recognizable and wonderful male voices in country music. Here they are together doing the aforementioned song.
Many years ago, when I worked in one of the towers at Lloyd Center, I rode Tri-Met and MAX to work every day. The regulars I rode with became something less than friends, but something more than mere acquaintances. One of the girls worked for a music promoter, and one day she handed me tickets to see Robert Cray up at the Rose Garden Amphitheater. It was a fabulous show, in a lovely venue. Here he is, the bass player from Otis Day and the Knights playing Right Next Door (Because of Me)
Monday, August 27. 2007
Well I'm going to pick up where I left off before Carrie Underwood distracted me last week....
I'm not a huge fan of The Pretenders. While I don't usually turn their music off if it comes on, I also don't go out of my way to listen to it. That changes when it comes to this song. It's one of my favourites, and I love the lyrics.
The Eagles have so much great music. Here they are with Randy Meisner doing the lead vocal on Take it to the Limit.
Conservative politics and rock 'n' roll don't very often go hand-in-hand. Usually when you hear about a musicians politics they're quite liberal, as is the case with Bono of U2. Many years ago I saw Damn Yankees in concert, and as part of the show Tommy Shaw did Renegade, and Ted Nugent did Free for All. I didn't know just how conservative that man was back in those days, I mean what kinda conservative sings a song like Cat Scratch Fever
Thursday, August 23. 2007
Today is Themeless Thursday. Just some stuff I really dig, that connects in no way other than that I dig it.
I'm going to start off with something brand new to me. A few days ago a friend of mine shared a video that a friend of hers had made. The video is from one of the ceremonies at Burning Man. The music over the video was this song. I was completely blown away and moved, even moreso knowing some of the things she's going through in her life at the moment. Citizen Cope is a man with enough musical integrity to buy out his contract at one record company so he could move to another when the first company didn't handle his music the way he thought it should be handled. Here he is singing the very beautiful Sideways.
I'm not a huge fan of The Pretenders. While I don't usually turn their music off if it comes on, I also don't go out of my way to seek it out....
Wow, this edition just took a completely unexpected left turn. As I was searching YouTube for the video I was going to put here, I came upon this version of the song I was looking for. It is definitely NOT on my iPod...yet. However, I'm sitting here in tears after watching Carrie Underwood's rendition of I'll Stand By You.
There's nothing more for me to say. I'll see you all again next time.
Monday, August 20. 2007
If you've been reading, then you know that sometimes I like to sneak a theme in. I try and hide it, so you have to work to figure it out. For those of you still working out the theme of my last edition, here's a hint, it was all about Elton John. Today I need to smile, and all of the songs today make me smile when I hear them. Hopefully they will add some energy, happiness and a grin to your day also.
In the summer of 1979, between my sophomore and junior years of high-school, The Knack released their first album. It had the song My Sharona on it, a song that did very very well. I, however, was not a big fan, it was catchy, but I could take it or leave it. Then came the second single. To a young man who had very limited experience with girls (I went to an almost all boys high school, and the only other girls I knew were at church), the girl in this song was fantasy material. As I've grown older, I have even run into a few girls who do say, "Good Girls Don't, but I do."
"I was cuttin' the rug down at a place called The Jug, with a girl named Linda Lou, when in walked a man with a gun in his hand and he was lookin' for you know who..." Rock n' roll telling a story, a simple and silly story, but completely believable when you listen to and watch these guys play. Lynyrd Skynyrd will never be accused of being good musicians, fun, yes, hard working, yes but good, likely not. Despite that, I have a quite a bit of their music, and enjoy it very much, I am very very unlikely to push the "skip track" button when one of their songs comes on. "...I said wait a minute mister, I didn't even kiss her, don't want no trouble with you, and I know you don't know me but I wish you would let me ask one favor from you. Oh won't you Gimme Three Steps..."
I can remember watching this on TV when I was very young. I don't know if I saw it when originally broadcast, or in re-runs, but The Archies have been making me smile ever since. Here they are with Sugar Sugar
Thursday, August 16. 2007
If you had told me 10 years ago that I would listen to rap and hip-hop, much less enjoy it, I would have told you you were crazy. Then two things happened. The first was I started playing the Grand Theft Auto games, and got sick and tired of the in-game radio stations that played my typical types of music, this forced me out of my comfort zone and into listening to the other stations available in the game. Then in early 2001 the news broke that Elton John was going to perform at the Grammys with this Eminem character that I'd read so many horrible things about. I've been a huge fan of Elton John for many years. Some of his music is in the soundtrack of my life so when he said of Eminem, "If I thought for one minute that he was (hateful), I wouldn't do it," I paid attention. Then I watched this performance of Stan and came away knowing that I'd just seen something incredibly special.
I am definitely not a fan of the whole boy band concept. I work very hard to avoid that type of music. However, one day as I was perusing music by Elton John, I came upon one of my favourites of his. This time it was not performed by Elton it was performed by the U.K. boy band, Blue. I gave it a listen, and it stuck. Here's Blue with their rendition of Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.
Shania Twain is one of those very pretty girls of country music. She also happens to have a very nice voice. Her husband Mutt Lange has produced some of the biggest names in rock, and has pushed his wife to a bit more of a pop/rock sound. Here she is singing a lovely little duet with Elton, You're Still the One
Monday, August 13. 2007
Welcome to my semi-weekly exercise in pretentiousness where I pretend that you actually care what I have on my iPod!
Rock music is full of people with absolutely no talent whatever, it is also the home of some incredibly talented folk. Sometimes I am quite surprised at who turns out to be an incredibly talented musician. Our opening act today is one of those places where I was surprised to find talent in addition to some seriously kick-ass music. Guns N' Roses has made some good and entertaining music over the years. They also have a knack for making some incredibly good covers, Sympathy for the Devil, Live and Let Die, and this gem Knockin' on Heaven's Door. Axl, Slash, and the boys go to work here in Buenos Aires. WARNING: Axl Rose in tight shorts can be a disturbing sight to some individuals with more tender sensibilities...
Growing up my first ever radio was a tube based AM receiver. I used to fall asleep listening to 62 KGW and watching the glowing tubes. One of the songs I remember very vividly was ABBA's Dancing Queen. I have several of ABBA's songs in my library, but only one cover of a song they created. That cover was done by U2. Here are Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry, with a little help from Bjorn and Benny...
"I hurt myself today to see if I still feel..." I have been there, I have done that, and it is not a very nice place to be. I am not a huge fan of NiN, but there are some Trent Reznor creations I enjoy quite a bit. His version of Hurt is interesting for me, mostly from a lyrical standpoint. In late 2002, Johnny Cash covered Hurt. The video was made just months before his wife passed away, followed shorty after by the Man in Black himself. Trent Reznor has gone on record as saying "...that song isn't mine anymore." The song as recorded by Johnny, is very very good, the video makes it incredibly compelling, bringing even the original artist to tears.
Thursday, August 9. 2007
Let's kick things off with one of my all-time favourite bands, Australia's The Angels or as they were known in the US Angel City. I once saw them described as "The thinking mans AC/DC." This is a pretty good performance of Fashion and Fame, but the lyric shift that they make toward the end of the album version from "fashion and fame" to "passion and pain" is not evident in this broadcast performance.
The Boys from Oklahoma roll their joints all wrong..." I know many of you probably don't enjoy country music. But this song makes me smile every time I hear it. So here's Cross Canadian Ragweed....
When this next young lady popped on the scene, I thought she was a Britney Spears wannabe. I was so very wrong. Christina Aguilera has a magnificent voice, I often have to stop and just listen, completely lost in her music. Britney may have been hot, but Christina truly is Beautiful.
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