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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New music by Jason Aldean, Pink, Elton John with P'Nau, Gaslight Anthem

Four years since "Madhouse", the last CD of all new material by Pink.   She's back with a edgy breakup anthem similar to a tougher version of Kelly Clarkson's Since You've Been Gone.   The chorus says it all:   “I think I finally had enough/ I think I maybe think too much/ I think this might be it for us/ Blow me one last kiss/ You think I’m just too serious/ I think you’re full of s—/ My head is spinning/ So blow me one last kiss.”   The new CD will be called "The Truth About Love" will similar biting titles like "Walk Of Shame" and "Slut Like You".



CD #5 for Jason Aldean is getting ready to drop later this fall (read my discography of his first four CDs  JASON    ).    The lead single "Take A Little Ride" debuted at #1 on ITunes.  Billboard predicts sales will set a record for digital sales by a male country artist.   The current record is Toby Keith's Red Solo Cup at 207,000 in a week.     The song should dominate NASCAR commercials.   You'll love the guitar heavy song almost as much as the lyrics.  Jason sings of riding his Chevy down the dirt roads, picking up his girl with the summer tan and pink toes on the dashboard, turning up the radio, and letting the seats go back.

My college, The University Of South Florida, just renovated their Sun Dome and will open the facility with an Elton John concert.   It's been years since Elton's topped the charts but thanks to an Australian dance duo named Pnau, he's back on the charts.  While in a record store in Sydney, Elton picked up Pnau's album, loved it so much, he contacted the band and signed them to his management company.    Giving the green light to take Elton's catalog of music from the 70's and revamp them to their style.   What came of this was a new CD called "Good Morning To The Night", a hit and miss CD of dance, electronic sounds mixed with classic Elton John vocals.   The track I chose uses the "sad" line from Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word and elements of "Curtains".

If you don't about Gaslight Anthem until now, you've been missing out on the best New Jersey bar band since Springsteen.   In fact, Bruce loves the band so much that he's joined them at the famous Stone Pony bar on stage and they've even covered "Badlands" on their own.  If the Ramones covered Springsteen it would be the Gaslight Anthem sound.   Their brand new CD, Handwritten, and the lead single "45" have been receiving critical reviews.   My favorite track is "Keepsake" with lyrics of family, opportunities lost, and that classic Jersey sound.    

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Jimi Hendrix's Greatest Blues Song: new Papa Roach, Guiffria, Jettblack

Meg Ryan played a heart surgeon in the movie, City Of Angels, and needed to concentrate on a delicate medical procedure in the surgery room.  To focus, she asked her nurse to put on "Red House" by Jimi Hendrix.   The ultimate electric guitar blues jam, you can close your eyes, and FEEL Jimi digging deep into his soul with this slow burning classic.   This extended version appears on his "Valleys Of Neptune" CD.   Jimi played this at Woodstock but the song was left out of the movie.  The lyrics describe an army veteran coming home from war looking for his girl, but she's not there.  But we all know the focus of  "Red House" is Jimi's blues solo.

DAILY MUSIC TRIVIA QUESTION:  One of the worst music pairings of all-time, what 60's boy band had Jimi Hendrix as their opening act for a few shows in the 60's?   Yesterday: St Petersburg's Angela Bissett

Jacoby Shaddix and Papa Roach debuted their new single, "Still Swinging" at the MLB All-Star game on ESPN this summer.   The group who said "cut my life into pieces, this is my last resort" has grown up with this hopeful nu-metal anthem.  The chorus here:  “We are a beacon in the dark / A lighthouse risen from the heart / We’ve been here from the start / We are the ones still swingin’.    Their new CD called "Connection" is set to be released in October.  Jacoby has gotten sober and I anticipate more positive messages on the new CD.
Gregg Guiffria's self named 80's hard rock band lives up the often-used label, One Hit Wonder.   Their debut single, "Call To The Heart" steals a page from Steve Perry and Journey with the big arena filling chorus, sensitive love song lyrics masked with synthesizers and electric guitar.  Guiffria had the traditional big blonde hair and the spandex but appeared softer than their hard rock counterparts and perhaps this cut into their fan base?   "Call To The Heart" is an often-overlooked but epic 80's rock track.

From "Raining Rock", the 2nd Jettblack CD just released in June, my favorite track is the stadium anthem, "Prison Of Love".  Jettblack turn up the amps and I love the retro 80's hard rock guitar starting at :18.    You can see the influence of bands like Firehouse, Trixter, and the L.A. Guns on Jettblack's sound.   The first single, Raising Rock, has an outrageous new video you may also want to check out on YouTube.  

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Notorious B.I.G. Discography: Favorite Song From Each CD

1994   "BIG POPPA"             from READY TO DIE
"I love it when you call me big poppa, throw your hands in the air, if you're a true player."  And who can forget, "I see some ladies tonight who should be havin' my baby,".  It's hard not to pick Biggie's first single, it's so iconic, a must-have jam for any party.   Taking a seductive Isley Brothers "Between The Sheets" sample, young Christopher Wallace set his influential rap career in motion with this smash.  "Juicy" and "Warning" were also commercial tracks on an otherwise hardcore street album. 

1997   "I LOVE THE DOUGH" with Jay-Z  from LIFE AFTER DEATH
Source Magazine named Biggie, "The King Of New York".  At the same time, Tupac was joining Death Row Records in California.   Two musical comrades, two rap heroes, were suddenly rivals on the charts and at music award shows.   In a famous Vibe Magazine article, Tupac said (after being critically shot) that he believed Chris and Sean Combs had knowledge prior to the shooting.  The East Coast/West Coast rivalry was in full swing.  As we know things escalated and within two years, both Tupac and Biggy were found shot dead in very streets they so eloquently wrote about.   Life After Death is loaded with classics.  "Miss U", "Playa Hater", "Sky Is The Limit", "Mo Money, Mo Problems", "Hypnotize" with Lil Kim, and the prophetic "You're Nobody Until Someone Kills You".   I've always loved his collaboration with a young Jay-Z and Angela Winbush in "I Love The Dough".

The posthumous CD debuted at #1 and sadly marked the end of Christopher's three short years in the rap game.  The CD was loaded with guest stars like Eminem, Ice Cube, Nas, and Lil Kim, who finished some of Biggie's unfinished rhymes.  Many of the songs stole verses from other Biggie songs, mixtapes, and demo versions.  Chris had no part in the final CD versions but the producers did a good job keeping the songs faithful to Biggie's style.  The gem from the CD is "Notorious B.I.G." featuring his pal, Diddy, and his ex, Lil Kim.   Biggie's verses came from a freestyle ironicly over some Death Row Records beats.  Plus you've got to give Biggie credit for using a prominent Duran Duran sample!

Sadly, the last release from Biggie was "Duets".   The CD got poor reviews, it felt like "product", cashing in on his death.  The guest rappers were not on Chris' level at this point in their career including Akon, Nelly, T.I., Lil Wayne, and The Game.  Method Man who appeared on his debut "Ready To Die" confirmed this when he said, "Biggie wouldn't have recorded with these rappers".   "Hold Your Head" with Bob Marley is a creative dual posthumous pairing with intense lyrics of fear of death by gunshots, it's one of the top tracks on an overall weak CD.

DAILY MUSIC TRIVIA:  What Oscar nominated actress played Biggie's mom in Notorious?   Yesterday:  Runaway

Not a Notorious BIG CD, but Eminem produced this track that combined vocals from Tupac Shakur and Biggie including Chris discussing 2Pac's death on a radio show.  The song's hook shared the dual sentiment of many fans, "why am I trying to live when I'm living to die."

Who'd have guessed one of the better tracks on Biggie's discography would be a track with Shaq!  Yes, Shaq's rap career had one shining moment, an epic track that no one can deny.   Biggie adds the hook to "You Can't Stop The Reign" and Shaq is on point with his rap.   Check out this rare find video:

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

KISS with Motley Crue "The Tour" Tonight: 5 KISS Army Classics and Garth Brooks

"Everybody says she's looking good, and the lady knows it's understood, Strutter"   Love that line!  Painted faces, Gene spitting up blood, Ace's guitar shooting fire, The Kiss Army, all of it began with this from their 1974 debut album.  "Strutter" is one of the rare songs that both Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons wrote as a collaboration.   Despite being 38 years old, kids today know this song from video games like Guitar Hero and Grand Theft Auto:  San Andreas.  In fact, "Strutter" was the first song I got 5 stars on Expert Mode on Guitar Hero (oops, was that embarrassing to admit :)  Tonight:  I'm seeing KISS in Tampa at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheater with Motley Crue, even though it's not my first KISS concert, I'm so excited!!   Here's the setlist I expect: KISS

The grand finale, the song KISS has used for years to close their show.   With pyrotechnics, an Ace Frehley guitar solo, and a drumset getting destroyed, "Black Diamond" is classic KISS.   The song starts off with Paul singing but the drummer (Peter Criss, then Eric Carr, now Eric Singer) gets the lead vocals.   The thump and power of Gene's bass mixed with a fast Ace solo creates one of the better rock grooves in their catalog.  This song ended their debut album and about a million concerts.

The power ballad that even made grown men cry.   Even critics of the band can't deny the magnitude of this 2 minute Peter Criss love song.  This song was a B-Side to Detroit Rock City and was almost left off of the album for being too soft.  Great decision to leave it on!  "Beth" opened up KISS to a wider audience.   The guys were already hooked with songs like Shout It Out Loud and Rock & Roll All Night, Beth got the ladies.   Here's their reunion version from the MTV Unplugged special with Peter Criss and Ace Frehley brought back into the fold.  Sadly, Peter has passed away but "Beth" will live forever to music fans.

Rod Stewart sang Do Ya Think I'm Sexy, The Rolling Stones recorded Miss You, and KISS joined the 70's disco craze with the biggest selling hit from their Dynasty album.   Unsatisfied with all of the synthesizers in disco songs on the radio, Paul Stanley set out to make a disco song with real rock guitars.   Through the years, the band has roughed up the song, enhanced the fast guitar riffs, and made it less disco.   It's been a KISS concert staple since it's release.   The laser sound effects and the electric rhythm tempo break near the end is incredible, an iconic 70's classic. Who can resist lines like, "In the darkness, girl there is so much I want to do" and "tonight, I want to give it all to you", KISS has never been known for their subtlety.   

DAILY MUSIC TRIVIA:  What 80's film starred Gene Simmons, Tom Selleck, and vicious robot spiders?  Yesterday:  Romeo & Juliet
Back in the late 80's, when gangsta rap was singing about gang violence and black on black crime, KISS released a video with a similar message.   "Hide Your Heart" always reminded me of a more metal version of "Living On A Prayer".  Check out these lyrics: "Rosa had a lover on the shady side of town, Tito, he was king of the streets, and she was his possession like a jewel on his crown, Johnny better run, better run".  KISS initially passed on the song and it's been covered by Bonnie Tyler, Molly Hatchet, even Ace Frehley (who had left the band) on his solo CD.  Of course, I'm partial to the KISS version of this 1989 street anthem.

I added a sixth song because most people don't know this incredible crossover version.   The greatest selling artist in country music history, Garth Brooks, loved the 70's arena rock bands like Journey and KISS.   On a KISS compilation tribute CD called Kiss My Ass, Garth along with artists like Lenny Kravitz, Anthrax, and Extreme added their own covers.  Here's the live version of Garth, from the Rock And Roll Over album, with help from his special back up band on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Best Movie This Year, new music by The Killers, Eddie Vedder with Tom Petty, Savatage

"ABOUT TODAY (Theme To "Warrior")      THE NATIONAL
Tom Hardy is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors.   His last four films are Inception (epic), This Means War (I thought it was fun, a guy's chick flick), Warrior, and Dark Knight Rises (he's Bane).     WARRIOR was actually released in the fall of 2011 but I didn't see it until just recently.   It's got a incredible 8.3 rating on IMDB and 83% on Rotten Tomatoes.   Great scores, but I think they are too low!!!   It's my favorite movie I've seen this year.  Taking a page from Stallone's Rocky movies, an underdog gets a shot at the title.    But that doesn't do the film justice.   Nick Nolte should have won an Oscar for his portrayal of the ex-alcoholic father.   Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Morrison are brilliant as Tommy's brother and sister in law.   But the true star is Tom Hardy and his commitment to the lead character, an ex-Marine who competes in a Winner Take All UFC tournament.  I'm not a big fan of mixed martial arts training but I was mesmerized by the action in the ring.  Scene after scene takes your breath away, from the confrontation between son and long lost father, the brothers meeting the night before the tournament, the brutally realistic fight scenes, the high school students rooting for their teacher.    You'll be enthralled and cheering the whole movie!    100% recommended.   Here's the theme song and a special short version with movie dialogue included.

Finally new music by The Killers!   "Runaways" is the lead single from a new CD called Battle Born due out this fall.   Four years since the last CD but they're back with a vengeance.  A true rock anthem with swirling guitar riffs, unrelenting drum beats, Brandon Boyd's scream-it-out chorus, and lyrics that remind me of a lost Springsteen track.   ""We're all just runaways, I knew it when I met you,  I'm not gonna let you runaway, I knew it when I held you I wasn't letting go".  I really liked Entertainment Weekly's description of the song as 'a Jack & Diane story of exuberant young love'.  If the rest of the CD is as powerful as this track, it may rival the sales of "Hot Fuss", The Killers breakthrough masterpiece.  

DAILY MUSIC TRIVIA:  What Dire Straits song did The Killers cover on their Sawdust CD?  

"Oh baby don't it feel like heaven tonight, don't if feel like something from a dream"  -  Could those lyrics be anymore apropos then on this incredible night.   I'm so jealous for the Amsterdam audience this June 24th.   During Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers show, Eddie Vedder comes out and performs "The Waiting" with the band at the Heineken Music Hall.  There wasn't even a need for a big introduction, Eddie shows up in his traditional flannel shirt, Tom has a drink from his beer, and they jam out to the 80's Petty classic.   After Eddie sings the first bridge, Tom (on lead guitar) changes up the first guitar solo and then joins Eddie on vocals.    The video's quality is really good for a concert bootleg video.

Growing up in the Tampa area in the late 80/90's, you had to know Savatage.   I once saw them at ML Chasers, a rock club on US 19 in Clearwater.  Their CD, Gutter Ballet, was an MTV Headbanger's Ball favorite in 1989.   The Oliva brothers actually started their metal band at an Astro Skate in Tarpon Springs, FL not far from where I live!   Savatage's theatrical themes,rock operas, and their refusal to play anything radio-friendly, set a line in the sand, you loved them or hated them.  "Believe" starts off exceedingly slow but give it a minute or two and the intensity of Oliva's voice mixed with the heavy guitar riff is pure metal bliss.   As you know, the uncommercial Savatage ironically became the massively successful, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who sell out arenas every Christmas season. 

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Seductive Rainy Night Music Playlist: Luther Vandross, Janet Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Leon Haywood

The seductive sound of rain on your windows as you lie in bed.  A soft kiss on the beach with a misty breeze blowing through your hair.  The steamy windows of your car after a passionate make-out session.   There is something about water that passionately connects to our heart.   During Janet Jackson's career peak (Control & Rhythm Nation), she was asked to participate on legendary musician, Herb Alpert's comeback CD.   Produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the two Janet Jackson collaborations "Diamonds" and my provocative slow jam scored big on the R&B charts.    Here is the extended video version with Lisa Keith:

Tough decision, go with the near perfect, original 1975 version by Major Harris, complete with the woman's orgasmic moans near the end of the song or go with Luther's brilliant 1988 interpretation?  It's hard to take a classic and make it your own, but the Vandross version is my favorite.   If you ever questioned who is the greatest SOUL singer of the 80's, this song should answer that question?  Luther's approach is so silky smooth here, masculine yet vulnerable, total control.  One person playfully commented, "if you hear this in the bedroom, you know what's happening next".   

Just think about the life of Vanessa for a minute.  The first African American Miss America has been nominated for every kind of entertainment award imaginable:  An Oscar (Colors Of The Wind), a Grammy (Save The Best For Last), a Tony (In The Woods), even an Emmy (Desperate Housewives)!  What other performers can make that claim? You want to talk about a triple threat performer, Vanessa has done it all.   Still strikingly beautiful with perhaps the sexiest eyes of all-time, here's one of the songs that kick-started her music career.   
You've heard Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's "Nuthin' But A G Thang", here's the original song they sampled.    Don't be put off by the song's title, it is just a very seductive R&B song, nothing obscene.   Leon's got a knack for choosing highly sexual titles, his other big hits were "Don't Push It, Don't Force It" and "Strokin' (Part II)".   In addition to these hits, Leon wrote the party anthem, "She's A Bad Mama Jama".   For a guy who's basically unknown to many, he's left quite a footprint on music history.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Do You Remember Your First? Jackson 5, Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Kid Rock

My First 45 Record:  I can still remember my blue Motown 45 singles and also the cardboard Jackson Five records I cut out of Sugar Smack Cereal boxes, anyone else remember those?   After three faster songs, ABC, The Love You Save, and my favorite, I Want You Back, the Jackson 5 put out their first ballad.   I wore those records out and could probably still lipsync every bit of Michael's lead or Jermaine's harmony parts.   The lesser known B-side, "One More Chance" was another favorite.   Always loved that line, " Everybody loves a star when he's on top, but no one ever comes around when he stops to drop.  But YOU were someone special, you stuck through thick and thin."  

My First Cassette:  My dad showed me an insert for the Columbia House Record mail in service where you could get something like 10 free cassettes if you agreed to buy 3 more.   Needless to say, I was addicted quickly!  Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy, Cassette #1.  Elton John's music really moved me.  I can remember playing this song on an actual jukebox at a favorite pizza place in Milwaukee.  Thought I was a young 10 yr old rebel singing that line, "it's 4:00 in the morning, DAMMIT listen to me good!"   Hearing the Jackson 5 and early Elton really takes me back in time.

My First CD:  I had so many cassettes and albums that I didn't want to start over and switch to CD's.   But when you saw how easy it was to move from song to song and hearing the incredible sound quality and nuances on a friend's copy of Dire Straits, "Brothers In Arms", I knew I wanted the new gadget!   Peter Gabriel's CD "So" was my first compact disc.   Loved the MTV Video Of The Year, Sledgehammer, with its claymation, the duet, "Don't Give Up" with Sinead O'Connor, and Daniel Lanois' beautiful production on "Red Rain" and "Mercy Street".   Of course, anyone who seen the John Cusack film, Say Anything, knows that In Your Eyes with the boombox over head will live forever in our hearts!   I've been told I'm a lot like Lloyd Dobbler, I've always taken that as a compliment.

My First MP3:  First year teaching, one of my students told me about Napster.  "Wait, you can download any song for free?   Anything?"   Yep!   Must have spent that whole first weekend filling up my hard drive.   Of course, Lars Ulrich wasn't too happy with this and within two years, Napster's short run was over.   It was summer 1999 and Kid Rock was the latest rage.   Metal guitars, hardcore raps, and a rebellious attitude, "My Name is .....Kiddddddd Rock!", "Bawithaba" was my summer jam!   Fun fact:  Kid Rock is still holding out on putting his music on ITunes and this song is the only one available from Kid Rock since it was released.

Today's my birthday so I took a trip down memory lane, love to hear what some of your first music loves were?  This song was dedicated to me today :)

DAILY MUSIC TRIVIA ANSWER: Yesterday:   The Cosby Show 

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Green Day Is Back! New Alica Keys, Jack White, Tamia

Get ready for Green Day, they're coming back with THREE new CDs in the next few months.   Uno!, Dos!, Tre!  (The drummer's name is Tre Cool so they got a little creative with their Spanglish) will be released every two months with each CD taking a different musical theme.   Uno! is power pop, Billie Joe said it's somewhere between AC/DC and early Beatles.   Dos! will feature garage rock, turn up the amps, and wake your neighbors.   Tre! is described as Epic.   Armstrong told Rolling Stone, "With the first album you're getting in the mood to party. On the second one, you're at the party. And the third album you're cleaning up the mess." LINK 

A lot has happened with Alicia since her last CD, she married Swiss Beatz and had her first baby.  Alicia said, "Everything is new, I'm a new person now.  What that's done for me in just giving me a real stability, real connection, grounding, reason, and purpose.  That empowerment and freedom is definitely something that's reflected in the new album." Love the first single, "New Day" with the emotional vocals driven by her husband's bass heavy hip hop beats. 

DAILY MUSIC TRIVIA:  What 80's sitcom included a scene with a young Alicia Keys?  Yesterday:  Erotica CD cases were dipped in Madonna's new perfume

Guitar Hero, Jack White, gets Hall Of Fame video producer, Hype Williams, to direct his big budget extravaganza.   The guitar solo during the last 60 seconds is the highlight of the record.  "Blubberbuss", Jack's solo CD, hasn't sold up to White Stripes-like expectations but one of the better rock CDs released this year.  Recently, Jack filmed a documentary, "It Might Get Loud" with guitar legends, Jimmy Page and The Edge.  They discussed their craft, influences, and jammed together.  Any guy watching "Freedom At 21" will love the hottest female motorcycle cop ever and a prison full of voluptuous women.   Look for cameos by Frances Bean Cobain and at the end by Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age.  

Ironic that the song's title and my reaction is identical.  Tamia is back with a new single!   "Beautiful Surprise" is the title track from her new CD set to drop on Aug. 28, 2012.   I first heard her angelic voice on Quincy Jones' Jook Joint CD with "You Put A Move On My Heart".   Tamia looks gorgeous in this brand new breezy video.  Incidentally, that's her longtime husband, NBA's Grant Hill, who she's kissing at the end of the video.   I liked this video so much, I had to watch it back-to-back :)  

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Dave Matthews Band "Mercy" : New Madonna, Carly Rae Jepsen with Owl City, Alanis Morissette

In April, Dave Matthews played this song live on  Jimmy Kimmel's Show.  Fans have been excited for new material from the band and this "save the world" lead single is heartfelt.   The music reminds me of "Crash", my favorite DMB song while the lyrics speak about not just hoping on miracles but showing love and mercy as a way to change the world.   The new CD, Away From The World, is being produced by Steve Lillywhite and he promises it will not be all acoustic.  Future post:  My favorite Dave Matthews moment was when he joined Mick Jagger for "Memory Motel". 

Wow, a new Madonna video that is actually good!  No gimmicks, no overt sexual references, no guest stars, just a hot dance track and a summer time vibe video!  Here Madonna is getting driven around Italy creating her own party bus (well, not a bus more of a party convertible).  Dancers, streetwalkers, hitchhikers, you name it, join Madonna's party on the move.   Pure dance pop is exactly where Madonna's at her best.  Favorite track on her MDMA CD!

DAILY MUSIC TRIVIA QUESTION:  Initial CD's of Madonna's Erotica CD had what special element?   Yesterday:  Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward starred in Against All Odds

"GOOD TIME"  OWL CITY With CARLY RAE JEPSEN  (Updated Official Video)
"Call Me Maybe" so catchy until you've heard it 100 times, she's back with a new equally perky, summer tune.  This time teaming up with Owl City, known for their hit "Fireflies".   Carly, who's 26 years old (looks 18), said she's thrilled to have the two songs competing on the charts.   The single will be released on each artist's next CD.   "Good Time" is saccharine sweet, repetitively happy lyrics, and will be blasting on IPods for the rest of the summer.   If you haven't heard it yet, enjoy it, for it will be forever in your head from now on!

Havoc & Bright Lights in the name of Alanis Morissette's new CD, set to be released August 28th.  The lyrics speak of a mother's protective love for her child.  "I'll be your angel on call, I'll be on demand, the greatest honor all, as your guardian".  Alanis actually debuted this song on Dancing With The Stars.  Unlike some of her other songs, "Guardian" is uncomplicated, hopeful, radio friendly, and an easy listen.   


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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Genesis Discography (Phil Collins Years): Favorite Song On Each CD

DAILY MUSIC TRIVIA:  Phil Collins had a #1 soundtrack hit with "Against All Odds", who were the two stars of the movie?  Yesterday:   The Rolling Stones got their name from a Muddy Waters song

Genesis began as a very avant garde, progressive rock group.   Lead singer, Peter Gabriel, would dress in outlandish outfits and their lengthy songs were elaborate symphonic adventures.   In 1978, Peter and Steve Hackett had left the group, leaving the trio of Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, and Tony Banks.    Their first album continued their progressive style but they get a little poppy and scored their first chart hit with "Follow You, Follow Me".

1980 - "TURN IT ON AGAIN"  from DUKE
During the making of this album, Phil was recording his landmark debut album, Face Value.   Duke was recorded as a concept album with a 30 minute story of a character named Albert.   "Misunderstanding" was the biggest single but I love the rock jam, "Turn It On Again" where the band's different members get a chance to shine.

1981 - "NO REPLY AT ALL" from ABACAB
In my opinion, the greatest Genesis album was Abacab.   "Man On The Corner" is a 5 star song and the first time Phil wrote about the homeless situation which was as bad in England as the States.   The title track is a classic rock radio staple.   But "No Reply At All" is simply the pinnacle of the Genesis songbook.  Buoyed by the horn section from Earth, Wind, and Fire, the song is rock, R&B, funk, and must be played at maximum volume.  The change in tempo at the 3:00 minute mark is perfection, brilliant track!

1983 - "MAMA" from GENESIS

Rolling Stone Magazine applauded this CD saying Genesis got off their "ivory tower of artistry" and became the New Genesis, commercial, pop/rock fusion.    Hits like "That's All" and "Taking It All Too Hard" were legitimate pop hits.   The vital track from the album was "Mama", one of the most inspired of Phil Collins' vocals.   The song was about an obsession with a prostitute and the demonic laugh in the chorus is a very creative and eerie effect.

As Genesis became a super group, my interest in the band was dwindling.   Invisible Touch sold 14 million copies and the band was saturating MTV with their singles.  They are lampooned in the movie, American Psycho, starring Christian Bale, when he rants that Invisible Touch is an "undisputed masterpiece".   "In Too Deep" is my favorite track, it's soft, sensitive, but lyrics like "I can still remember everything you said", kill me everytime!

The final CD with Phil Collins was popular but you could tell they weren't the same band of the early 80's.   The title track was trendy with an equally cheesy video.   Yet, tracks like "No Son Of Mine" and my selection continued the Genesis rock legacy.  "Since I Lost You" feels like a long-lost brother to Phil's "Against All Odds".   Dedicated to Eric Clapton who just lost his son, "Since I Lost You" is epic, emotional, and you can feel the tears falling down during the closing minutes.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Obama Discusses Dark Knight Shooting, Rolling Stones Blues Jam: Bonnie Raitt, Ann Peebles, Gregg Allman

You are in for a treat here!  During the middle of the Rolling Stones Tattoo You Tour in 1981, the Stones while in Chicago came to Buddy Guy's blues club, The Checkerboard Club, to unwind and have some drinks.   Legendary bluesman, Muddy Waters, was on stage and you can see Mick and the boys in awe watching this master at work.  Half way through "Baby Please Don't Go", Muddy invites Mick on stage to join him!   Then Mick says, "what about Keith?", watch as Keith excitedly climbs over the table to get on stage!  You've got the best of Muddy, Mick doing his strut at the end, a killer blues harmonica solo, and a moment of music history.   They just released a DVD and CD of original footage and cleaned up audio from the November 1981 Checkerboard shows.  The video is ten minutes long but it is so worth your time!!!

DAILY TRIVIA QUESTION:  What special relationship do the Rolling Stones have to Muddy Waters?   Yesterday:  Pink's real name is Alecia Moore (the same as one of my tennis players!)

Sadly, yesterday, at a movie premiere for The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, a deranged gunman shot and killed at least 12 people including young children.  He was dressed in black with a riot helmet and bulletproof vest, but many others come to the Batman films in costume.  Audience members were so into the movie's loud action scenes that they didn't think the gunshots were real at first.  Even President Obama was in disbelief, saying "Life Is Very Fragile" and "My daughters go to movies, what if Malia and Sasha had been in the theater as so many of our kids do every day? Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, as I'm sure you'll do with your children. But for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them."  OBAMA In dedication to the victims, I created a YouTube version of Eric Clapton's Tears In Heaven as sung by Ann Peebles.  For those unfamiliar, Ann's biggest hit was the 70's classic, "I Can't Stand The Rain".


"I've seen such losers darlin', even though I've find a mind who will take home 'stead of taking me for a ride".  To many, Bonnie Raitt's image is the late 80's pop star with songs like "(Let's Give Them) Something To Talk About".  The early 70's Bonnie Raitt was a female blues master. Let me know what you think after you watch this video accompanied by the brilliant Jerry Portnoy on harmonica.  You'll see her incredible guitar work combined with her confident, sexy drawl on "I want a man to rock me like my backbone is his own".  

The Clarence Carter 1968 R&B nugget, Slip Away, gets the blue eyed soul treatment by Gregg Allman.   With a voice that lands him on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest voices of all-time, you can totally feel Gregg's passion in that line, "Oh I need you darlin', I WANT to see you right now, can you slip away?"   Gregg Allman released a new CD this year and despite medical problems from his years of abuse, he's still touring.   The picture I included is of Elijah Blue, his son by Cher, who's also a recording artist.   Talk about winning the gene pool with parents as talented as Elijah has.

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