Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Jimmy Page Announces Plans to Start New Band

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page seems to finally be realizing that a Led Zeppelin reunion is most likely never going to happen. That being said, he has announced that he would like to start a brand new band that would play music from his career as a whole; not just Led Zeppelin.

Recently Page was asked by NME if the recent remaster releases of Led Zeppelin albums Led Zeppelin IV and Houses of the Holy had made him want to reform the band once more, to which Page said:

"I don't think it looks as though that's a possibility or on the cards, so there's not much more I can say about that. I'm not going to give a detail-by-detail account of what one person says or another person says. All I can say is it doesn't look likely, does it?"

The most exciting part of the interview was Page mentioning his desire to put a brand new band together.

"If I was to play again, it would be with musicians that would be… some of the names might be new to you. I haven't put them together yet, but I'm going to do that next year. If I went out to play, I would play material that spanned everything from my recording career right back to my very, very early days with The Yardbirds. There would certainly be some new material in there as well."

In addition to that, Page went into detail about his intense love for playing live:

"I love playing live, I really do. Live concerts are always an interesting challenge because it means you can always change things as you're playing every night. You can make it even more of an adventure. I would play all of the things I'm known to play — instrumental versions of Dazed And Confused, etcetera, etcetera…"

Hopefully Page follows through with this desire to play and puts together a kick-ass band. He could probably put together quite the super group of well known musicians, but honestly it would probably be way cooler to bring some relatively unknown talent up to the forefront of rock music. Personally, I think Jay Buchanan of the band Rival Sons would make an EXCELLENT front man for such a group. What do you guys think?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Black Sabbath To Do One More Album and a Final Tour

It would seem that heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath aren't done quite yet. After the success of their most recent album 13, they have decided to do one more album and one final world tour before calling it a day.

Seems that while they were working together on their most recent endeavor there was better creativity and personal dynamics between the group than ever before. Singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, and bassist Geezer Butler have decided to harness this positive energy to make at least one more album before gracefully bowing out.

In an interview with Classic Rock Magazine Osbourne said:

“The whole Sabbath experience this time around was great. We all made friends, we didn’t f— around, we all knew that we had a job to do, and we did it. It was a lot of fun. So we’re going to do one more album, and a final tour. Once the dust settled after the last tour, we started discussing the idea, because we were getting asked about it all the time. I said to Sharon, ‘What’s going on? Because if there’s no more Sabbath I want to get on with my own thing again,’ and she came back and said ‘Let me look into it.’ Three weeks later I asked her about it again, and she said, ‘Oh, I still have to talk to so and so … ‘ and I said, ‘Sharon, I ain’t f—ing 21 anymore; if we’re going to do it, I want to do it before I’m 70! Time isn’t on our side!’ So she made the call and came back and said, ‘Yeah, the record company wants another album.’ I believe [producer] Rick Rubin is going to do it with us again.”

Osbourne does not know for certain when all of this will come to fruition, but he did say, “It’ll be sooner rather than later. Obviously a lot of it is coming down to Tony’s health, he’s obviously got his cancer treatment. But we’ll get onto it next year. I don’t know if we’ll be writing in England or L.A., but I’ll fly to the f—ing moon for it if I have to!”

It would be great to have a new Black Sabbath album soon. 13 was pretty good, but personally now that they are staying together for one more album I'd like to see them progress a bit more and be a bit more creative rather than just trying to recapture the old sound that they had during their 70's heyday. Hopefully Iommi won't be departing from the land of the living any time soon either. How cool would it be to record an album on the moon, though? Sounds like something Black Sabbath would do.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

AC/DC Tease New Song "Play Ball" in TBS Postseason TV Ad

Not too long ago hard rockers AC/DC decided to give fans a small taste of their upcoming album Rock or Bust by letting TBS use a short clip of one of the songs from the album Play Ball in their postseason TV ad.

Originally there was only a 30 second clip of the song, but then shortly after a minute long version of the commercial with more of the song was released. You can only hear so much of the song seeing as the primary focus of the commercial is on the content it is promoting rather than the backing music it is using to make it more exciting to the viewers.

Play Ball so far sounds genuinely AC/DC. However, that is to be expected seeing as AC/DC hasn't really changed their formula much over the years. Then again, do they really need to? They are one of the few bands that can get away with using the exact same sound for years and years due to their notoriety, image, and legacy for making some of the best hard rocking music the world has ever heard.

Rock or Bust is reported to hit the shelves on December 2nd of this year. It will be the first to not feature founding member rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, who has left the band via retirement due to his failing health. Stepping in is his nephew Steven Young. Hopefully he does his rock legend of an uncle some justice.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Who Release New Single "Be Lucky"

For the first time in about a decade, British Invasion legends The Who have put out a brand new song! While not yet available for sale, you can listen to it on YouTube.

The single Be Lucky will be featured on a new Who compilation disc called The Who Hits 50! that will be hitting stores on October 27th. This isn't the first time that The Who have put on new material to some of the many compilation discs they have out there, but it's always great to hear something new from the creative genius that is Who guitarist Pete Townshend.

The single and album are also preceding the beginning of a U.K. tour that will act as "the beginning of a long goodbye". According to an interview with Rolling Stone, Who singer Roger Daltrey says “We intend to go on doing music until we drop, but we have to be realistic about our age. The touring is incredibly grinding on the body and we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere. This will be the last old-fashioned, big tour.”

Hopefully The Who don't completely bow out for quite some time. Though their age definitely shows, it by no means makes them any less of fantastic musicians and performers. In the mean time, The Who are still supposedly working on a brand new full length album; which would be their first full album since 2006 release Endless Wire. No word has been spoken about it for some time, but I can't imagine that they would just give up on it.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Waking the Fallen, by Avenged Sevenfold

In 2003 a band named Avenged Sevenfold (A7X for short) were starting to make themselves noticed on the scene with their own brand of modern heavy metal, especially when they released their second album Waking the Fallen. Influenced by many classic metal and punk bands they have over the years sold millions of albums and sold out many concerts with their own take on a beloved musical genre. Though A7X wouldn't become the insanely popular band they are today until their next album City of Evil which was released in 2005, this was their jumping point to get there.

As far as I'm concerned Waking the Fallen is when A7X really started developing their trademark sound with the abundance of dual-harmony guitar solos, speedy drum rhythms, deep gutsy riffs, and pacing that takes you on one hell of a wild ride from start to finish. While still retaining a lot of the element of screaming vocals from their first album Sounding the Seventh Trumpet they also brought in more melodic vocals than had been present previously in order for the album to be more marketable and also to sound more like their favorite bands at the time.

Anyone who has been a fan of Avenged Sevenfold for some time knows of Unholy Confessions. It is one of the few older songs that they still play at their live shows. The song kicks in with a tasty speedy guitar riff from lead guitarist Synyster Gates, but what makes this song really come alive is the impeccable switching between screaming and melodic vocal styles by singer M. Shadows. Another thing I can praise the Unholy Confessions for is how much variety there is in it in terms of rhythm, melody, and pacing. At some points the verses almost have a slight funk vibe while the rest of the song gets heavy and rocking.

However, my absolute FAVORITE Avenged Sevenfold song of all time comes from Waking the Fallen, which is Chapter Four. This song tells the story of Cain and Abel in such a dark and powerful way. This song has everything I love about A7X in it. It has brilliant dual harmonized guitar solos, vocal melodies in the chorus so orgasmic that at some points I swear I'm having a real eargasm, and an overall intensity that does NOT let up till the song is over. Chapter Four is where I honestly feel Avenged Sevenfold became the band we know and love today.

Waking the Fallen is without a doubt my favorite A7X album. The balance of their old style and the more commercialized style they went into is absolutely perfect. I love most of what they have done after it as well, but I feel that in this album they were still staying true enough to their roots while also making themselves a little more accessible to people who may not have given them a chance otherwise. It is a definite must have for any A7X fan and even any fan of modern or classic heavy metal.

Waking the Fallen, by Avenged Sevenfold receives 5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Waking the Fallen
2. Unholy Confessions
3. Chapter Four
4. Remenissions
5. Desecrate Through Reverence
6. Eternal Rest
7. Second Heartbeat
8. Radiant Eclipse
9. I Won't See You Tonight (Part 1)
10. I Won't See You Tonight (Part 2)
11. Clairvoyant Disease
12. And All Things Will End

Buy the album on Amazon:


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Journey Warns Fans of Ticket Scam

It would seem lately that there are scammers out there online that are trying to sell fake Journey tickets to unsuspecting fans. If you have tickets to see them between now and the end of this year, you're S.O.L.

A recent Facebook post from the band says:

“Attention CAUTION fans: Someone is selling tickets that are phony and a rip off. WE ARE DONE WITH OUR TOUR … THIS IS NOT REAL.”

The situation gets a bit bizarre, however. Apparently the tour being promoted is something called Journeys Noise Tour which is being sponsored by a clothing company with bands like I Killed the Prom Queen, Ghosttown, Marmozets and Nightmares (none of which I have heard of). It would definitely be confusing to anyone in the market for tickets to the event itself or to actually see Journey.

That being said, Journey is currently off tour for the rest of the year as they currently finished one up not all that long ago. They plan to start a new tour next year with guests like Tower of Power and Steve Miller Band. Hopefully all of this misunderstanding gets cleared up soon. Maybe Journeys needs to figure out a better way to promote their tour so that this doesn't happen again. Who knows? Maybe they can get actual Journey to play for them?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pink Floyd Reveal Cover Art, Track Listing, and Other Details of New Album

 (Album cover for Endless River, by Pink Floyd)

Prog-rock pioneers Pink Floyd have been in the news recently having announced their first studio album in 20 years which will be titled The Endless River. The band has mentioned some details such as how it will feature recordings from Division Bell sessions including ones from the late Rick Wright (Pink Floyd's keyboardist who died in 2008) along with augmentation overdubs from guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason. However, now even more details have been made public.

The Endless River has revealed to be 18 tracks (all of which are listed below). Also, the cover which will be used has been made public. According to an interview with Uncut the band says that there will be some organ work Wright did in 1969 with a real atmospheric tone to it.

Gilmour has also gone on further to say about the album, “The Endless River has as its starting point the music that came from the 1993 ‘Division Bell’ sessions. We listened to over 20 hours of the three of us playing together and selected the music we wanted to work on for the new album. Over the last year we’ve added new parts, re-recorded others and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st century Pink Floyd album. With Rick gone, and with him the chance of ever doing it again, it feels right that these revisited and reworked tracks should be made available as part of our repertoire.”

The Endless River is said by Pink Floyd to have an abundance of  “mellifluous keyboards, jazz-tinged drums, musique concrete, ethereal vocals, and distinctive, emotional lead guitar" while also being a “return to the creative principles of Echoes, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, and Animals". It will be due out November 10th.

 Looks like everything short of actually releasing any of the tracks from the album has been done. After all the boasting and hype Pink Floyd has done for this I'm wondering what it will actually sound like. I'm getting the impression that The Endless River isn't really the type of album that would have a promotional single released for it given that the majority of it is instrumental with more of an ambient overtone to it. I kind of like the cover. It seems like a fitting tribute to their fallen brother. That being said, we have to wait another month and a half for what will probably be Pink Floyd's final release of new studio material. I'm stoked. How about you?

Track Listing:

1. Things Left Unsaid
2. It’s What We Do
3. Ebb and Flow
4. Sum
5. Skins
6. Unsung
7. Anisina
8. The Lost Art of Conversation
9. On Noodle Street
10. Night Light
11. Allons-y (1)
12. Autumn’68
13. Allons-y (2)
14. Talkin’ Hawkin
15. Calling
16. Eyes to Pearls
17. Surfacing
18. Louder Than Words

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Nikki Sixx's Sixx AM Planning World Tour

Big things have been happening for Motley Crue and Sixx AM bassist Nikki Sixx lately. Currently he is embarked on a long final tour with the Crue and has a third album from Sixx AM (titled Modern Vintage) coming out on October 7th.

It gets better, however. According to an interview in Lithium with Sixx AM singer James Michael the band will be doing a worldwide tour soon. Now that Motley Crue will finally be winding down and that guitarist DJ Ashba does not have any upcoming obligations with Guns N' Roses there are no more things to get in the way of such an event. Michael says they "are so excited to be able to put Sixx: A.M. at the forefront of all of our lives. For the first two records we weren’t sure we were a band. And now we are so excited with this new album and the future that we know we are – we truly feel the sky is the limit. We are planning a big tour right now, and everything feels like it’s happening at the right time.”

Sixx AM has only toured once and that was back in 2008 when they were in on Motley Crue's Crue Fest tour package. That being said this tour has definitely been a long time coming for fans of the band.

It should be fun to be able to see Sixx AM doing a vast number of the tunes they have written up to this point live. I know I have a few personal favorites I would love to have the chance to see performed. They probably won't be packing huge venues like Motley Crue, but that should make the shows more intimate and raw. Hopefully we hear more details on when this tour will be happening soon.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Album Review: World on Fire, by Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators

A few days ago (September 16) world renowned guitarist Slash formerly of Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver put out a third solo album titled World on Fire. This is his second one with Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy doing all of the vocals (the first one with Kennedy being 2012 release Apocalyptic Love) whereas the first album titled Slash had a different singer for each song. With the new album out, Slash is now set to astound the world once again with his own brand of electrifying rock n' roll.

If you were a fan of Apocalyptic Love then World on Fire is right up your alley. It features almost exactly the same kind of vibe musically. However, that is where I find a problem with the album. As much as I was a fan of Slash's previous album I was hoping for something a little different this time around. It kind of kept me from really enjoying what Slash and Kennedy brought to the table this time around. I just didn't really notice any variety in the tunes. However, that is not to say that any of the songs on World on Fire are bad because they aren't. These are some good straight up rock songs if you listen to them individually, but I personally didn't find anything particularly memorable about any of them.

The title track World on Fire is the main single out for the album right now. It opens guns a'blazing with Slash furiously and rapidly playing the song's opening riff. It is a somewhat faster song, but not ridiculously speedy. In a sense, it almost seems like Slash's modern take on hair metal. I get the impression that the idea behind the song World on Fire was just for Slash to play stuff as fast as he could. He does a pretty good job of it because it would seem his chops are just as up to par as they ever were. I will admit that that the chorus hook sung by Kennedy is kind of catchy, but I don't see it being remembered in that long a period of time.

One song that did stand out amongst the the long parade of hard rock songs that blend together was one called 30 Years to Life. It starts off with a REALLY sweet riff that Slash played using a finger slide while Kennedy sings the catchiest hook on the whole album that I remember more than anything else on World on Fire. However, then it goes into the bulk of the song which is a lot more up tempo and similar to the other songs on the album. I think the intro wasn't long enough, but they make up for it by using that section again for a longer period of time near the end of the song.

As a long time fan of Slash I REALLY wanted to like World on Fire more than I did. As I said earlier, none of the songs were bad by any means but none of them seemed that memorable and they all seemed too similar to one another. What made his previous album Apocalyptic Love so great was that even though it had this sound the songs were more varied. I may need to listen to the whole album a couple more times to get a better feel, but it makes me sad that not one song made me go "HEY! What was THAT?! Let's play that again!!!". Personally, I think maybe Slash works better when he has other musicians helping to write the music along side of him as was the case in his previous bands. However, my opinion may differ from yours so I still encourage you to get the album and judge for yourself.

World on Fire, by Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators receives 3 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. World on Fire
2. Shadow Life
3. Automatic Overdrive
4. Wicked Stone
5. 30 Years to Life
6. Bent to Fly
7. Stone Blind
8. Too Far Gone
9. Beneath the Savage Sun
10. Withered Delilah
11. Battle Ground
12. Dirty Girl
13. Iris of the Storm
14. Avalon
15. The Dissident
16. Safari Inn
17. The Unholy

Buy the album on Amazon:


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Coverdale-Page, by Coverdale-Page

It's usually pretty awesome when multiple talented artists who are not in the same band/group as one another work together to make something astounding. The possibilities seem almost limitless when things like this happen. In 1993 an unfortunately little known collaboration between two big names in rock n' roll happened. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and David Coverdale of Deep Purple and Whitesnake joined forces to write and record a full album of what is definitely some great under rated music.

The collaboration was simply called Coverdale-Page and their self-titled album Coverdale-Page came out on March 15th, 1993. It features a lot of songs that sound like they could have been for Led Zeppelin while also featuring some others with a more recent vibe. It was a great chance for Coverdale to get back to his blues/rock roots after having done so much heavy metal with Whitesnake up until he disbanded them for a while back in 1991. At the same time, it was a great way for Page to get back out in the game after having not done much for many years up to that point. The album went platinum and there were a few concerts in Japan, but ultimately the partnership was scrapped due to low ticket sales.

Though there were five singles for Coverdale-Page, it is Pride and Joy that usually comes to mind whenever anyone mentions the album. It starts off with a jangly acoustic intro with Coverdale singing in a bluesy timbre. It doesn't take too long for the full band to kick in with Page coming in with a VERY Led Zeppelin type groove. There is absolutely nothing not to like about it. They even include some great harmonica interludes. In a way, listening to this song is what Led Zeppelin songs would probably have sounded like had they been recorded in more recent times.

Waiting on You wasn't a single, but it's one of my personal favorites from Coverdale-Page. It sounds less like a Led Zeppelin song but still has a great classic rock kind of feel while also having a nice modern punch. Waiting on You sounds more like a song that Coverdale and Page came up with together instead of like it was a recycled Led Zeppelin tune that never got used. It's a mid-tempo rocker, but you could still jump around to it. Jimmy Page does some really nice riffage in this while also doing some clever melodic solo sections.

I feel it is particularly unfortunate that Coverdale-Page did not amount to much as a collaboration, but at least we got this one great album from it. Coverdale-Page isn't perfect, but it's worth owning. The thing is a lot of it does sound like they were trying to sound like Led Zeppelin. I know that Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant is one of Coverdale's influences because it definitely shows through in some of the vocal melodies and techniques and even some of the lyrics. Jimmy Page of course is just doing what he does. All that being said however, that does NOT mean Coverdale-Page is bad by any means because it's not. The album kicks some serious ass and you should go get it ASAP. It will give you a feeling much like the kind you would get from a Led Zeppelin record in a good way.

Coverdale-Page, by Coverdale-Page receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Shake My Tree
2. Waiting on You
3. Take Me For a Little While
4. Pride and Joy
5. Over Now
6. Feeling Hot
7. Easy Does It
8. Take a Look at Yourself
9. Don't Leave Me This Way
10. Absolution Blues
11. Whisper a Prayer for the Dying

Buy the album on Amazon:


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Robert Plant Talks Down About Led Zeppelin Reissues

It would seem that former Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant is not as enthused about the recent reissues of the band's material that include unheard versions of tracks as many other people are. This probably is not that big of a shock to many people, but the man finally spoke up and confirmed his feelings on the subject in a recent interview with Billboard.

When asked if the newly heard material had given him a new perspective on Led Zeppelin's history, Plant said:

“No, not really. Because it’s so long ago. What you’re hearing there is mostly work-in-progress stuff. Things on their way to completion, and maybe there’s some little quirk or something that led to an either/or moment. But it’s nothing relevant, really. Not to me, at least.”

According to the interview it's not that Plant isn't digging the music that he helped create any more, but it's just he enjoys playing it in new arrangements for his live audiences in order to keep everything fresh and alive.

“I think it’s a way to enjoy the music. We do ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and these other ones, and our approach is driven mostly by trance and psychedelia and the musicians’ relationships to African music. In each case, one of the guys in the band will take dominance, and that kind of determines where it goes.”

Now I personally have never heard any of these new arrangements, but if they sound anything like what the music from lullaby... and the Ceaseless Roar (Plant's new solo album) they probably sound pretty trippy and way different from the original versions that everyone has come to know and love over the years. I can imagine the reception to such arrangements would be mixed, especially considering that most people who go to see Robert Plant are primarily there to hear him perform Led Zeppelin songs.

Monday, September 15, 2014

ELO Has Some Good News...

On September 14th Electric Light Orchestra performed its first full concert in 28 years at BBC Radio 2's Festival in a Day at Hyde Park in London. Due to how well it seems to have gone over, band leader Jeff Lynne says that there may be more ELO shows on the way according to NME.

The show went on for 75 minutes and was chock full of classic favorites such as Living Thing, Evil Woman, Turn to Stone, Mr. Blue Sky, Sweet Talkin' Woman, and even the first single from his project with Traveling Wilburys Handle With Care. The band even included original ELO keyboardist and songwriter Richard Tandy.

During the show Lynne said to the audience, "I'll do this again." By the end of the evening Lynne also said that the performance was "the best fun we've had". The band was supposed to do a reunion tour back in 2,000, but for various reasons things never came to fruition.

This time however it would seem that Lynne is more serious about getting something going. It would be pretty awesome because then a whole new generation of ELO lovers (myself included) would finally get to see them live for the very first time. No one else does anything quite like what ELO does and it would really be something else to see them in person. Be on the lookout for tour dates!

Below you can watch ELO's performance of the classic Mr. Blue Sky at the BBC Radio 2 Festival in a Day show:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Miley Cyrus Covers Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, by Led Zeppelin

Pop "artist" Miley Cyrus has been known for doing radical out there kind of things. Seems she has done it again, but not in the way you think this time. This time she has decided to take a stab at attempting to cover Led Zeppelin classic song Babe I'm Gonna Leave You.

Honestly, I'm quite shocked that she would make such a move. I never would have seen her covering Led Zeppelin of all bands. She released the cover earlier today on Soundcloud. It sounds REALLY lo-fi. I'm guessing that was probably on purpose so that she could attempt to capture the same vibe of the original. However, I think she goes a little too far with it because even Led Zeppelin's recordings sounded cleaner than that back in the late 60's.

As much as I hate to admit it and wanted to hate the cover because of who did it, I didn't. Believe me, I am FAR from being a fan of Miley Cyrus. Objectively speaking however while Miley didn't do anything new or original with it, it still sounded pretty damn good. In this case it's probably for the best. It's best not to tamper with perfection. She doesn't have the best voice, but it still worked in this instance.

Maybe if Miley Cyrus could keep her tongue in her mouth and stop being such a tramp I might respect her a bit more as a singer. She clearly does have at least a bit of talent and could do some great things with it if she went in the right direction.

Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, by Led Zeppelin as covered by Miley Cyrus

Friday, September 12, 2014

RHCP Drummer Chad Smith Wants Drum Battle Rematch with Will Ferrell

Earlier this year Red Hot Chilli Peppers drummer Chad Smith took on his celebrity doppelganger Will Ferrell on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in a drum battle for charity. Causing much controversy as a result, Ferrell won the competition by bringing out a cowbell. Now though, Smith has been practicing up and is ready for a rematch.

In a recent Facebook post, Smith says:

“Will Ferrell claims he’s coming to Seattle on Sept. 19. I’ll bet he pops off about his alleged ‘Drum Off’ victory. I just might have to be there to call him out on it and settle the score once and for all. The only way you will know for sure is if you are actually there to see it with your own two eyes.”

Ferrell is coming to Seattle on the 19th for an event he is calling Approximately 90 Minutes With Will Ferrell and Some Other People… He is trying to raise money for an organization called Cancer for College, which is the same organization he raised money for with his and Smith's last drum battle. It will be held at the Meany Hall for Performing Arts.

That being said, it should be a fun time. I'd love to be there to see Smith interrupt the whole show and call Ferrell out for the challenge. Odds are it will probably be planned and worked into the program, but it would be pretty rad nonetheless. Maybe this time Smith will actually overcome any of Ferrell's devious cowbell cheating tactics.
‘Approximately 90 Minutes With Will Ferrell and Some Other People…’

Read More: Chad Smith Ready for Second Drum-Off With Will Ferrell | http://loudwire.com/red-hot-chili-peppers-chad-smith-second-drum-off-will-ferrell/?trackback=tsmclip

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Rocks, by Aerosmith


By the mid-70's Aerosmith had become a widely recognized and respected name in the world of rock n' roll. They had already gotten much notoriety with their third album Toys in the Attic and were now building up momentum. On May 3, 1976 the band released Rocks which captured them at their rawest and most hard rocking. It spawned three successful singles which are still kept in Aerosmith's live repertoire to this day and has since gone quadruple platinum.  

Rocks is also cited by bands like Guns N' Roses and Metallica as a direct inspiration for their own music. In a way it was the blue print for an entire generation of hard rock bands to come. What is interesting about Rocks is that many of the members of Aerosmith switched instruments for many of the songs. For example: lead guitarist Joe Perry plays six string bass on Back in the Saddle, bassist Tom Hamilton plays guitar on Sick as a Dog, vocalist Steven Tyler plays bass on Sick as a Dog and piano on everything else that had any keys in it, etc.

Last Child is one of the most popular tunes from Rocks. I remember it being one of the first songs I learned on guitar. It's quite funky, which was kind of odd for an Aerosmith song at that point. However, it has a nice slow to mid tempo groove that you can easily move to the rhythm of. Naturally when Steven Tyler wrote it with rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford he was sure to include as many double entendres in the lyrics as possible. Big surprise, right? Oddly enough this song has banjo in it, played by Paul Prestopino. I personally have never heard any banjo in it, but I suppose if you were to listen close enough you would find it.

The tune Nobody's Fault is arguably the heaviest song on the album besides Back in the Saddle. I personally like how ambient the intro is before it slams into an awesome rocking tune. I can't get over how Steven Tyler just howls over the heavy riff. Plus, Joe Perry's soloing makes you just want to get up and air guitar right along with him. I think it is at this point that Aerosmith really transcended to a whole new level of hard rock. I'm not the only one who has noticed this either. Slash and James Hetfield both cite it as their favorite Aerosmith song and has been covered to death by countless bands. Drummer Joey Kramer and Brad Whitford both list it as one of their absolute favorite Aerosmith songs.

Personally, I totally get why Rocks has been such a major influence on so many musicians and is even highly beloved by the general public. I remember when I first bought the CD as a teenager I had it on repeat the entire weekend because of how blown away I was. I also fondly remember that doing so pissed my dad off. It was great. If you want to hear Aerosmith at their prime, this is the album to go with. It's where I feel they hit their peek. It's all killer and no filler. Go get it if you don't have it already!

Rocks, by Aerosmith receives 5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Back in the Saddle
2. Last Child
3. Rats in the Cellar
4. Combination
5. Sick as a Dog
6. Nobody's Fault
7. Lick and a Promise
8. Home Tonight

Buy the album on Amazon:


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Robert Plant Desires to Work With Jack White

Former Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant has recently released a new solo album (lullaby... and the Ceaseless Roar) and you would think that would keep him fairly busy. However, he seems to want to make time for a special collaboration by doing a single with Jack White.

During a Facebook chat that Plant participated in with fans of his not too long ago he was asked if he had any plans to work with White any time soon and he said, “I love Jack White’s buccaneer spirit, and the way he dodges through the musical horizons. I’d be happy to make a single with him.”

Plant stated he is free to record on the morning of September 15 before a meeting with Alison Krauss and Patty Griffin. The song he has in mind is a cover of Love Me, by Phantom. As rad as this would be however, White is currently on tour and will be in Cleveland, OH that day.

Will White find a way to bend his schedule to make this collaboration happen? I honestly hope so. If David Coverdale and Jimmy Page can pull off a great collaboration, why can't these two legends? White's and Plant's musical styles would probably blend well together considering their heavy blues backgrounds. Vocally it would probably be a real treat as well. Hopefully White responds soon.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Foo Fighters Respond to Gene Simmons's Comment on Rock Being Dead

Recently Kiss bassist and vocalist Gene Simmons got even more press (as if he hasn't had enough recently) when he made the bold statement in an interview with Esquire that rock is finally dead.

However, it would seem that not everyone is in agreement over this. The Foo Fighters posted a tweet to their Twitter feed saying:

"Not so fast, Mr. God of Thunder...RT: @esquiremag Gene Simmons declares "rock is finally dead" http://esqm.ag/6019W02B"

 It's true that the Foo Fighters have been keeping rock alive and relevant by getting frequently noticed and receiving many awards at ceremonies that are usually dominated by pop and rap artists. However, I don't think they fully read into what Simmons actually said in the interview.

This is the full extent of what was said by Simmons:

“Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won’t because it’s that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it. ‘Don’t quit your day job’ is a good piece of advice. When I was coming up, it was not an insurmountable mountain. Once you had a record company on your side, they would fund you, and that also meant when you toured they would give you tour support. There are still record companies, and it does apply to pop, rap, and country to an extent. But for performers who are also songwriters — the creators — for rock music, for soul, for the blues — it’s finally dead. Rock is finally dead.”

I hate to say it, but for once I actually agree with Gene. The thing is that I see people constantly downloading illegally and then acting as if it is no big deal. They actually try to justify it and it blows my mind. I'm sorry, but piracy is wrong. This is why it's so much more difficult to make it as an artist or band these days. No one will buy your records when they can just steal them with no consequences for their actions. This is also why ticket prices are so ridiculously high. In 1971 you could go see Alice Cooper for $6. Now though because no one pays for their music concerts have to jack their prices up so high that the average working stiff can't afford a ticket unless they start saving months in advance. That being said, I kind of see Gene's point when he says not to quit your day job.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Top 4 Beatles Songs You May Not Know

The Beatles have had a LOT of well known songs over the years. Probably more than any other artist out there. However, beyond all those classics lay some gems that don't always get the attention they so truly deserve. They are unique, peculiar, and some times even outlandish. Tonight I'm going to go over some of them for you.

1. Why Don't We Do It in the Road?

This is a pretty simple tune written by McCartney for The Beatles (aka The White Album). The subject matter pertains to when The Beatles were in India and he saw a couple of monkeys quickly having sex in the middle of the road and then going about their business like it was no big deal. What got to Paul was that no one really seemed bothered by it or even noticed it at all. The music itself is a pretty straight up 12 bar blues pattern played on piano and drums. Paul absolutely howls on the vocals and seems to take this subject matter fairly seriously, which makes it all the more fun to listen to.

2. Nowhere Man

The melodies and chord progressions of this song are simple and pleasing, but if you really listen to the lyrics and take them to heart, it hits you straight in the feels. You feel bad for whoever Lennon is singing about and just want to give them a hug and tell them it will be ok. It was written after Lennon had been up all night, taken a walk, and had to come up with a song by the next day for the Rubber Soul album. I wouldn't be surprised if he had written it about himself. It's just another example of how The Beatles could make a tune that sounds upbeat and somewhat cheery but actually make it sad if you really listen to it.

3. She Came in Through the Bathroom Window

This is a pretty short tune from Abbey Road, but it has a really smooth groove to it. The song was inspired by the fans of the band aka "Apple Scruffs". The particular incident in question though was one night when fans crawled into McCartney's slightly open bathroom window with a ladder they found in his garden. They ended up taking quite a few things that belonged to McCartey such as trousers, photos, etc.. That being said, it's a pretty amusing song and worth the two minutes to check out.

4. Glass Onion

This song while also on The Beatles almost reminds me of their earlier work. The only thing that makes any difference is that while it is upbeat rhythmically, the chord progression in the verses seems a bit more minor and less cheery than what they originally hit the scene with. They reference past songs of theirs such as Strawberry Fields Forever, I Am the Walrus, Lady Madonna, The Fool on the Hill, and Fixing a Hole. The subject matter is about the changing relationship between Lennon and McCartney at the time as well as the urban legend that in 1966 McCartney had died during the making of the Sergent Pepper album and was replaced by someone who sounded and looked just like him. It's kind of weird, but it's nothing you wouldn't expect to hear out of The Beatles' later work.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Nikki Sixx Goes Under the Knife for Double Hernia Surgery


Motley Crue and Sixx AM bassist and song writer Nikki Sixx seems to have been in quite a lot of pain the past few months on Crue's final tour. This is because he was dealing with quite the hernia. A couple of days ago (September 3) Sixx had some time to finally get the condition addressed due to a break in the tour. Sixx commented on his Facebook page saying:

“I have been performing during the last few months with a pretty intense double hernia but you gotta give 100% even through the pain onstage. The good news is yesterday I got surgery on both sides and it went really really well. My lovely wife, kids and Leica have been really taking care of me. I should be up and kicking ass in a few weeks and back in the gym/tour in 6 weeks.
Looking forward to seeing you all back out on the road..
PS.. Holy Jesus, it feels like I got kicked in the stomach by a horse. They gave me some pain meds but I am trying to not take them and luckily Courtney Bingham-Sixx looks pretty hot in her nurse outfit…”

Looks like Sixx is going to be A-ok, though I have to say he is one hell of a trooper for being able to deal with that kind of pain during such a large scale tour. Judging by his post, he seems like he is in good hands. Knowing his past, he has been through worse anyway; considering his past heroin and other drug addictions having nearly killed him multiple times.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Whitesnake (1987), by Whitesnake

In 1987 hair metal had reached its peak. No one into the genre did not have Whitesnake's self titled album Whitesnake in their collection. The singles Here I Go Again and Is This Love were and still to this day played constantly on the radio. This was Whitesnake's major commercial breakthrough, despite having success with their previous album Slide It In. This can be attributed to the fact that this is when the band went for the most popular and commercially popular sound at the time due to the big change in line-up and singer/band leader David Coverdale wanting a fresh start for the band. Previous to this album, Whitesnake had been more blues, R&B, and rock n' roll oriented.

Though Whitesnake came out in 1987, the process to create it began back in 1985 when Coverdale and guitarist John Sykes settled into a town in southern France. Soon after they began auditioning a new drummer because the previous one had quit. By the time they found Aynsley Dunbar they had gone through 60 drummers. During the recording process however, Coverdale got a sinus infection and needed surgery. This resulted in him also needing a 6 month rehabilitation program which made Sykes impatient and wanting to bring in a new vocalist. This lead to Sykes being fired and Dutch guitarist Adrian Vandenburg to record the solo for Here I Go Again and replace him full time. Not long after other members of the band were let go and almost none of the musicians who played on the album toured to promote it. Whitesnake was eventually released April 7, 1987 and spawned five successful singles.

This is actually not the first time Here I Go Again was on a Whitesnake album. It was originally written and recorded by a different line up of the band for their 1982 release Saints & Sinners and had a much more churchy music meets rock feel to it. However, I digress. The version on this album that everyone knows starts off with a soft synth keyboard intro that Coverdale then starts singing very soulfully over. You can really feel the emotion he is trying to get across. Then of course the rest of the band comes in and makes the song kick some serious ass. It's fun to head bang to. Surprisingly the solo that Vandenburg recorded fits well with the tone of what Sykes recorded for the rest of the song. However, it's Coverdale who really shines through in this song; especially when he hits his high notes.

One of my personal favorites from Whitesnake is the song Crying in the Rain. This song also appeared on Saints & Sinners, but in a different style. The new version opens the album with an absolute punch, followed by Coverdale absolutely howling away and making you feel the pain within his heart. Though Crying in the Rain sounds much more metal on this album, you can still feel the bluesy vibe. The crowning achievement of the song however is Sykes's guitar solo. Holy shit. His fingers absolutely fly across the fretboard for quite an extended period during this. This solo proved that Whitesnake was just another band that was all about the image and flash. No, these guys could PLAY. I have never heard anything like it before or since.

Whitesnake is by no means my favorite Whitesnake album, as I am more a fan of their older stuff. However, that doesn't mean I don't love it to death. It's loud, brilliantly composed, and showcases a lot of talent from both David Coverdale and John Sykes. It really is a shame that they couldn't have worked more together. This is hair metal with some real technical and skillful prowess behind it. If you love 80's music or heavy metal in general and you don't have Whitesnake already then shame on you!

Whitesnake (1987), by Whitesnake receives 5 out of 5 stars.

Track Listing:

1. Crying in the rain '87
2. Bad Boys
3. Still of the Night
4.  Here I Go Again '87
5. Give Me All Your Love
6. Is This Love
7. Straight For the Heart
8. Don't Turn Away
9. Children of the Night

Buy the album on Amazon:


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Slash Responds to BBC Poll Naming 'Sweet Child O' Mine' Second Greatest Guitar Riff of All Time

Recently BBC did a poll to determine what the greatest guitar riff of all time was. In second place was Guns N' Roses song Sweet Child O' Mine. Former Guns N' Roses lead guitarist Slash has since addressed the honor in an interview with Australian radio station Triple M.

"Yeah, it’s the greatest riff. But it’s very surreal when somebody says something like that. It’s almost like … impossible to take seriously.” Slash continued, “It’s not tangible. I mean, obviously, someone is walking around saying that and there’s been some sort of poll. But it’s also nonexistent as far as … you know, it’s really hard to really take seriously.”

To be honest, I can't say I blame him for not being able to take it seriously. Internet polls are never a reliable way to gather information because no matter where you put it there will be some form of bias. Plus, there is the fact that any one person can vote several times over and over again. Furthermore, I can think of plenty of Guns N' Roses riffs that are far better than Sweet Child O' Mine like Estranged, Nightrain, Coma, etc.

Sweet Child O' Mine was beat out only by Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love and is followed by AC/DC's Back in Black, then Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water, and then Derek and the Dominoes' Layla. Personally, I'm a little surprised that Smoke on the Water wasn't number 1. I guess that's the way things go some times, though.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Motley Crue Have Some Advice For Justin Bieber on Behaving Badly

Known as the world's most notorious rock n' roll band, Motley Crue is ending their decades long career of sex, drugs, rock n' roll, and bad behavior with one final tour. Before they go however, they have a bit of advice for teen heart throb Justin Bieber.

Seeing as the Crue is infamous for some of their outrageous escapades (especially in their 80's heyday), in an interview with Q Magazine they felt like leaving the guy some tips as he has been gaining a similar reputation as of late.

Bassist Nikkis Sixx says, “Let’s give him a little bit of credit. He started with the eggs, which was a little weak — a poor start. Then he got arrested in Miami for drag-racing, and that was kinda cool — he was under the influence. Then he got arrested in Toronto and turned himself in. So he’s getting better, but he has work to do.”

Singer Vince Neil says, “He has to beat someone with a chain, or something — or get into a fight with a cop. The next thing he’ll get arrested for is toilet-papering a house.”

I find it a bit amusing how much Motley Crue is taking such an interest in Bieber considering how they are two completely different genres and from two completely different worlds. I guess when you become that famous and infamous at the same time there are more similarities between them than you would think. Personally, I find Motley's escapades way more interesting considering how much further they took things.