Monday, June 29, 2015

Dave Grohl Could Not Watch Kurt Cobain Documentary

Former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl recently admitted in an interview with Washington Post that for various reasons he has been unable to bring himself to watch the Brett Morgen made documentary Montage of Heck on his former band mate Kurt Cobain.

Though Grohl was interviewed on camera for the documentary, he had never actually watched the whole finished product. In the interview Grohl said that his wife had turned on HBO when they were in bed one night and the documentary was on. Grohl could not watch more than 10 minutes of it before having to shut it off being terrified of what some of the darker footage may have done to him.

“All the footage of him as a child, I think that might make me sad, and then the dark stuff at the end I think would bum me out."

This is not surprising considering that the death of Cobain in 1994 had a tremendous impact on Grohl. It put him into a depressive state and nearly made him quit music altogether.

“I couldn’t even imagine getting behind a drum set, because it would just keep me emotionally in that place."

Eventually though, Grohl realized that making music could be the way out of his pit of sadness and began handing out cassettes of music he had recorded completely on his own to his friends. These songs became the Foo Fighters' first album Foo Fighters on July 4th 1995; which lead to Grohl being part of two of the biggest rock n' roll bands to ever exist.

Personally I don't blame Grohl for opting out of watching the documentary. There is no need to revisit that can of worms when he has made so much progress as a musician and a person. Some times the past should stay where it belongs. Grohl has a lot of guts for being able to pull himself together and do what he did after what happened. Not many people have that kind of strength and fortitude.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #32

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week is a feature I run on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective on Sundays/early hours of Monday morning where I pick out 5 tunes that I think are notable and tell you a bit about them. The point is to give you some rocking music to help you deal with your weekday blues. You can either listen to one each day, listen to them all at once, or any other combination that you feel. As long as you can get through the week without the man getting you down, that's all I care about. Without further ado, here are the 5 tracks I've picked out for this week:

1. Owner of a Lonely Heart, by Yes

With the tragic passing of Chris Squire (the bassist of and co-founder of prog-rock band Yes) it is only appropriate to honor the man's memory and legacy by including one of his band's most well known songs. Though Yes had a great deal of fantastic work that got them fame beforehand (dating back to the 60's), this was one of the songs that really put them on the map in the eyes of mainstream rock in 1983. May you rest in peace, Chris.

2. Hustle and Cuss, by The Dead Weather

Jack White has had quite a few interesting musical projects over the years, one of the most under rated of which (in my opinion) would have to be The Dead Weather; a band that includes  Alison Mosshart on lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, Jack White  on drums, lead vocals, and guitar, Dean Fertita on lead guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals, and Jack Lawrence on bass, backing vocals, and drums. The tune Hustle and Cuss really showcases the kind of howling bluesy classic prog rock that the band makes. It's dark, but has a wicked groove to it.

3. Hey Joe, by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

The Jimi Hendrix rendition of Hey Joe is probably the best known version of this blues standard. Surprisingly Hendrix's playing is a little more reserved on the recording rather than him going off on his wild fiery guitar odysseys that he was famous for. Maybe that is for the best though because it helps preserve the structure and focus of the song on the emotional and lyrical content being conveyed to the listener.

4. Speedin' Back to My Baby, by Ace Frehley

In 1978 tensions between the four members of Kiss were running high, so their record label came up with an idea to give them all some time and space from each other while still getting new material from the group: each member would record a solo album and all would be released on the same day. Lead guitarist Ace Frehley's album Ace Frehley ended up being the most successful due to being the most rocking with catchy hooks; especially in tunes like Speedin' Back to My Baby. It's a pretty basic song, but it pulls it off in all the right ways.

5. Sheena is a Punk Rocker, by The Ramones

To end things on a fun note, this classic from The Ramones' first album is a sure fire win if you want to get your internal motor revving. It is pretty much everything that a Ramones song needs to be: catchy, upbeat, memorable, simple and fun. Plus, it actually does have a bit of deeper meaning about the difficulties of being different in adolescence to it if you do take the time to listen to the lyrics and not just dance around your bed room or car to the song itself.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Glenn Danzig Covering ZZ Top, Black Sabbath, Everly Brothers, and More Along With Recording New Original Album

Glenn Danzig has a plethora of covers up his sleeve for his upcoming covers solo album. The album that will be titled Skeletons will feature songs from ZZ Top, Black Sabbath, to the Everly Brothers, and beyond. Kind of an unexpected list of bands to say the least.

In an interview with Rolling Stone Danzig says on the subject of the Black Sabbath song:

"It's one of the Sabbath songs I really liked, and the first Sabbath record is pretty groundbreaking. I just dropped it down to a half beat, pulled all the bass out of the beginning, and it's just drums, guitar and vocals. When the chorus comes in, it's just big old bass chords and church bells. My attitude with covers is, make it your own or else leave it alone."

Though no official release date has yet been announced Danzig mentioned that Skeletons could be ready to go as early as next month. In addition to the covers album being nearly completed, Danzig has also made mention that an album of original material is coming along quite well, saying:

"It's pretty much all recorded, except I keep writing extra songs so I'm gonna go back in the studio probably at the end of June. Some of it's very swampy and dark. It's pretty heavy though."

Danzig seems to be one busy dude. Good for him and us. I am a bit baffled by some of his choices in covers, but I guess Danzig listens to more than just heavy/dark music. That's understandable. Everyone has an eclectic taste in some way or another. The original material should be great too. Danzig never disappoints.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Thriller, by Michael Jackson


Yes, yes. I know. This isn't by any means a rock album. However, since today marks 6 years since the king of pop died I figured it's only right to pay tribute to his finest work: Thriller. Besides, countless rockers have been influenced by Michael Jackson anyway. That being said, this is the album that in 1982 spawned seven major singles that are still well known to the general populous even to this day and sold 29 million copies due to Jackson wanting to "create an album where every song was a killer". Not very many artists of any genre can stake such a claim on their albums.

Thriller while sounding pretty modern for the time it was released still featured much of the R&B, soul, and post-disco sound that were part of the base of Jackson's musical roots. Jackson veered away from disco because at that point in time there was such a backlash against it. That being said, Jackson sought to create a rock song (which ended up becoming Beat It) that would draw in a wider demographic. As many folks well know by now, Jackson recruited Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen to play the iconic solo.

Billie Jean seems to be closer to Jackson's roots. It is very much a funk song; retaining many aspects of 70's dance music while bringing them into the new decade. The opening bass line is iconic and legendary in its own right. This is definitely a song you can put on your dance shoes and shake what your mama gave you to.Plus, if you can do the moonwalk then this song is the perfect one to do it too; especially during the bridges and outro. If you can't do it, at least you can have a good time faking it.

The Girl is Mine is one of my personal favorites, as it features former Beatle Paul McCartney as a second vocalist due to the fact that the song is a duet. Who knew that two guys fighting over which one a girl loves more could be so musical and entertaining? It is very youthful and has almost a childlike naivete to it, but then again I suppose that's what gives it its charm. It isn't really a dance song, but it is still something nice that you can sway to while listening to the musical quarrel.

Thriller is one of those albums that everyone should have in their household even if they aren't huge music buffs. Even though I'm not huge into pop myself even I find that there are numerous tracks on it that I find enjoyable and worth my time to listen to. It's just a shame that Jackson never got to make one more album or do that final tour/set of shows he was planning on doing. However, his legacy will live on forever through his outstanding music and videos.

Thriller, by Michael Jackson receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Wanna Be Startin' Something'
2. Baby Be Mine
3. The Girl is Mine
4. Thriller
5. Beat It
6. Billie Jean
7. Human Nature
8. P.Y.T.
9. The Lady in My Life

Buy the album on Amazon:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Slash Working on Fourth Solo Album

Former Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash is one serious workhorse and doesn't ever seem to take a break. Though still touring for his 2014 release World on Fire he already has tracks written for a new studio album that he will be recording next year according to an interview with Billboard.

This will be the Cat in the Hat's fourth studio album and third with his solo band Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

Slash says:

"We're working on material. When this tour's over we'll start some pre-production, and probably go into the studio in mid to late spring and record."

On the subject of the tracks themselves Slash says:

"They sound very rhythmic – and that's definitely something that I'm going for. We'll see what that turns into. It changes. It sort of evolves. You start out with one idea and that morphs into another idea. At this point it sounds like it's going to be really awesome."

Sounds rather intriguing to me. Hopefully it's a change-up from his last couple albums. While they were both pretty good it would kind of suck for such a talented musician to just get stale and boring; two things Slash has never been known for being.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Gene Simmons Once Again Defends Greedy Record Labels

Kiss bassist/front man Gene Simmons has made it no secret in recent times how he feels about the current state of the music industry; especially after making comments like "rock is dead". In a recent interview with Planet Rock Simmons states once more that he feels it's the fans that are killing the music industry with all of their file sharing and illegal downloading.

Simmons says:

"Record companies were a gift from heaven. Yeah, they're greedy, but they wanna make money just like you do. But they gave you money — millions. And if it wasn't for record companies, there'd be no Sex Pistols, there'd be no punk, there'd be no nothing. There would be punk, but it would be in a small club. It would never become huge.

Record companies gave bands money that they never had to pay back. If the band failed and the records were a complete disaster, the advance money was all yours. What other business would give you that? If you go to a bank and they give you a million dollars, and your business goes under, they don't care it failed – they want their money back.

The fans have decided en masse that they should get free music, download, fileshare. And you're not hurting Kiss, we've been around a long time and we make a good living. You're killing the next Elvis, the Beatles, the next Kiss and the next whoever."

As much as I hate to say it, Simmons does kind of have a point. When you illegally download and share files you're seriously hurting an up and coming artist's chances of being successful. It costs money to tour, make merch, and also have money to live. However, millions of people don't seem to care just because they feel they are entitled to get the music for free and that artists should just be happy that someone is listening. I have news for those folks, though. Artists need to eat and pay bills too. If you want them to keep making the music you love and be able to do it better and full time then you should actually buy their music.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #31

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week is a feature I run on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective on Sundays/early hours of Monday morning where I pick out 5 tunes that I think are notable and tell you a bit about them. The point is to give you some rocking music to help you deal with your weekday blues. You can either listen to one each day, listen to them all at once, or any other combination that you feel. As long as you can get through the week without the man getting you down, that's all I care about. Without further ado, here are the 5 tracks I've picked out for this week:

1.  The Kids Are Alright, by The Who

Want something poppy and upbeat from the British Invasion? This song from the early The Who catalog should do you nicely. Oddly enough though, while the lyrics at first listen seem like typical pop lyrics from the 60's if you listen closer you can kind of tell that there is more meaning to them than what first meets the ear. This isn't surprising though considering the lyricism of guitarist Pete Townshend was more profound than most other bands of the genre at that given time.

2. One Thing On My Mind, by Montrose

This shuffle from Sammy Hagar's first big band is hard not to smile and move your feet to at least a little. It definitely shows his voice in its most youthful, happy, and energetic state. Plus, Ronnie Montrose lays down some solid pseudo-Aerosmith-esque bluesy guitar work during the verses and solos. This tune is sure to bring your mood back up if you're having one of those days where you nothing seems to be going your way.

3. Personality Crisis, by The New York Dolls

Getting back to the stuff with deeper meaning, check out this track from glam rock/proto-punk band The New York Dolls. Though the music itself is catchy, upbeat, and fun the lyrics are actually kind of dark. They are filled with adolescent/youthful frustration and rage that would inspire countless famous bands to form such as Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue, Kiss, The Ramones, etc. If you're young and need something to relate to while also having something cool to jam to, this should do it for you.

4. Good Time Music, by Elf

You like having a good time, right? Need some music to go along with it? You've found just the right tune right here! The title gives it away. This jangly honky-tonk piano driven tune is enough to make you feel like you're in a down home country type area, though it isn't directly a country/western song. It's kind of amusing to think that the man who would later sing songs like Holy Diver and Rainbow in the Dark sang this tune.

5. What's Up, by 4 Non-Blondes

This 90's pseudo-grunge ballad was a one hit wonder from 4 Non-Blondes. It's actually a bit bluesier than most other popular songs were at that time. However, most people in this day and age will know it better for the EDM remix titled HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA that was set over a video of random clips from the 80's cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe that somehow correlate with the song. However, I think this original version is far superior and much less stupid.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sammy Hagar Defends Michael Anthony After Being Disrespected by Eddie Van Halen

For those of you who are fans of the soap opera that is Van Halen, you're in luck. A new episode aired today when former lead vocalist Sammy Hagar posted a video to YouTube in defense of the band's former bassist Michael Anthony after some rude comments were made about him by guitarist Eddie Van Halen in an interview with Billboard.

Eddie said:

“Every note Mike ever played, I had to show him how to play. Before we’d go on tour, he’d come over with a video camera and I’d have to show him how to play all the parts.”

Furthermore, Eddie went on to knock Anthony's well noted vocal contributions to Van Halen, saying:

“Mike’s voice is like a piccolo trumpet. But he’s not a singer. He just has a range from hell. Mike was just born with a very high voice. I have more soul as a singer than he does. And you know, people always talk about Mike’s voice on Van Halen songs, but that’s a blend of Mike’s voice and my voice. It’s not just him."

Needless to say, Hagar was not to pleased to hear about these comments at all and was quick to swoop in and stick up for his friend, saying:

“That is the biggest line of bulls— I’ve ever heard in my life. I was in that band for 11 years. There was never a video camera involved of Eddie showing him what to play. Eddie would tell him what to play once in a while and say, ‘No, Mike. Don’t play that many notes. Just stay on one note [demonstrates] so that I can f— up and nobody will know it. It was that kind of s—.

I’m telling you straight up, especially on the ’04 reunion tour. If Mike would have played any more than one note, it would have shown that Eddie wasn’t playing the right chords again and again and again. I couldn’t sing to him. You couldn’t play bass to him. So that is a lot of bulls— and I don’t know why they go after him like that. He doesn’t deserve it.

Michael Anthony is a bad motherf—–. F— you, Eddie Van Halen for saying that about Mikey. You’re a liar [...] I’m so pissed about that. A–hole [...] Michael Anthony is the greatest guy on the f—ing planet.”

Though Hagar has been known to exaggerate a bit from time to time, I still have an easier time believing him than Eddie in this case. That was a pretty rotten thing of Eddie to say about someone who was never anything but kind to him and dependable. Even if you aren't happy with him, it's still extremely unprofessional to make such remarks. It only makes you look bad and makes fans and other people lose respect for you. Thank goodness Anthony has good friends like Sammy Hagar when people like Eddie say such things.

I was kind of hoping Anthony would stick up for himself, but he chose to take the passive route. If anything though, that makes him more respectable in my book. He is taking the high road and not giving Eddie more fodder. That being said, props to you Michael Anthony. You're a bigger man than most people will ever be. As for you Eddie, you're a talented musician but a rotten human being.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Whitesnake, by David Coverdale

Back before the band Whitesnake was even an idea, singer David Coverdale was embarking on a solo career after the collapse of Deep Purple in 1976. With a wide array of studio musicians Coverdale began putting together brand new material to help him resurface as a relevant musician. The result was the album Whitesnake (named after a track with the same name on the album), which was released in 1977. Though it didn't make it huge, it did help Coverdale get his momentum going again.

Whitesnake features a wide variety of genres in it, but it features a distinctly more classic R&B feel to it than the hard rock/heavy metal Coverdale had been doing in Deep Purple. This isn't surprising considering stuff like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, etc. are more along the lines of Coverdale's musical roots than anything else that was popular at the time. However, there is still some rock n' roll on the record, though it's more basic and bluesy.

Lady is probably my absolute favorite track on Whitesnake. It is the opening track and starts the album with so much sunshine, sweet up tempo groove, and fun. The instrumental focus is the sweetest sounding electric slide guitar part. It's like a melody that you can taste in a way. There are also some blaring horns in the back that also add to the tune's lighthearted attitude and brighten things up. The best part is that Coverdale also sounds like he is genuinely having fun singing the song. That to me is what clinches it.

The title track Whitesnake makes things a bit more rock n' roll to help bring in the fans who were following Coverdale's career in Deep Purple. It isn't quite as heavy or intense as some of those songs, but it definitely gets the blood pumping and your feet jumping. The lyrics are filled with all kinds of double entendres and sexual innuendos; a precursor for what would become the most prevalent theme in Coverdale's career in Whitesnake.

While unfortunately Whitesnake has mostly faded from the public's memory, if you're lucky to find a copy you are in for one hell of a treat. As I said earlier, it isn't a straight rock n' roll record but there is bound to be a few tunes on there that you will enjoy regardless. It's lighthearted (save a sad ballad or two), easy to listen to, and fun to dance to. The production is not quite as up to par as it could be, but I feel that it adds to the character and feel of Whitesnake. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of it today!

Whitesnake, by David Coverdale receives 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Lady
2. Blindman
3. Goldie's Place
4. Whitesnake
5. Time On My Side
6. Peace Lovin' Man
7. Sunny Days
8. Hole in the Sky
9. Celebration

Buy the album on Amazon:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Foo Fighters Cancel Rest of Tour Due to Injured Dave Grohl

Looks like those who had planned to see The Foo Fighters on their current tour are SOL, as the rest of it has been cancelled due to doctor's orders. Many European fans will be having to get a refund on their tickets due to Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl breaking his leg at a recent show in Goethenburg, Sweden.

The band issued an official statement saying:

“Due to injuries sustained in Dave Grohl's fall at Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, doctors have required the cancellation of the remainder of the band's dates in the UK and Europe. After undergoing surgery Monday, Dave's full recuperation time is still to be determined.”

It's a shame that the tour has to be cancelled, but I imagine with an injury as serious as this at Grohl's age it isn't exactly something that would be quick to recover from; even with complete relaxation and no strenuous touring at all. Hopefully the guy can get well as soon as possible in order to make up the dates that are being cancelled.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Former Cream Drummer Ginger Baker 'Detests Heavy Metal'

It would seem that former Cream drummer Ginger Baker isn't too big a fan of the heavy metal genre. In fact, he is quite appalled by the fact that his former band is even linked to it at all as an influence according to a recent interview in Forbes.

Baker says:

"I've seen where Cream is sort of held responsible for the birth of heavy metal. Well, I would definitely go for aborting. I loathe and detest heavy metal. I think it is an abortion. A lot of these guys come up and say, 'Man, you were my influence, the way you thrashed the drums.' They don't seem to understand I was thrashing in order to hear what I was playing. It was anger, not enjoyment — and painful. I suffered on stage because of that volume crap. I didn't like it then, and like it even less now."

It's kind of understandable that Baker feels the way he does, given that he is from a much older generation and school of music. However, I do feel it's kind of crappy that he takes a verbal dump all over musicians who have been influenced by him even though they play heavy metal. It should be a compliment to be told that you had a positive impact on one's musicianship and life. Then again, Baker has never been known to be that tactful. Personally, if you are influenced by Baker I wouldn't let these comments get to you.

Monday, June 15, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #30

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week is a feature I run on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective on Sundays/early hours of Monday morning where I pick out 5 tunes that I think are notable and tell you a bit about them. The point is to give you some rocking music to help you deal with your weekday blues. You can either listen to one each day, listen to them all at once, or any other combination that you feel. As long as you can get through the week without the man getting you down, that's all I care about. Without further ado, here are the 5 tracks I've picked out for this week:

1. Jolene, by The White Stripes

Normally I'm not that into country music, but The White Stripes' slowed down rock interpretation of this Dolly Parton classic has made me re-examine that preference. It is a little weird to hear a man sing a song that was clearly meant to be sung by a woman, but Jack White pulls it off flawlessly in this powerful cover of the tune. If anything, I think this cover has more passion and emotion in it than the original version (not to knock Mss Parton).

2. Strawberry Fields Forever, by Bumblefoot

Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Bumblefoot did his own version of this Beatles acid trip classic. It sounds pretty similar to the original. However, it is more bass heavy and replaces the keyboard parts with harmonized guitar melodies. It works out surprisingly well. Then again, Bumblefoot isn't about to put out something that sucks. It's one of my favorite Fab Four covers and a nice way to bring the Beatles into the 21st century.

3. Live and Let Die, by Guns N' Roses

In case you haven't figured it out by this point, the theme this week is covers. The Guns N' Roses cover of Live and Let Die does some serious justice to the Wings original. In fact, almost a little too much justice. Be that as it may, it's intense, driving, and exhilarating. Axl Rose puts a really nice bit of swagger into his vocals. Though the original is always best, this comes close because of it. In a way, this delivery of the lyrics makes the song almost a bit more relatable.

4. Baby Please Don't Go, by Aerosmith

It's always fun to cover a blues standard. It's even more fun when it's the bad boys from Boston doing said cover. Aerosmith is a fantastic blues band despite the fact that they have put out tons and tons of poppy love ballads over the years. When they take the time to get back to their true roots the real Aerosmith shines through like in their cover of the Big Joe Williams classic Baby Please Don't Go on their 2004 album Honkin' on Bobo. Maybe some day they will do that kind of music again.

5. Don't Stop Me Now, by The Protomen

One of the most extremely difficult bands to cover is Queen. They were/are a legendary group of musicians with extraordinary talent. Not very many people can come even close to doing their music justice. However, The Protomen are one of those very select few who manage to pull off such a wondrous feat. Their rendition of Don't Stop Me Now is phenomenal. You feel that same energy, same level of proficient musicianship, and that same sense of fun that the original had. It's absolutely remarkable and uncanny.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Dave Grohl Falls Off Stage and Breaks Leg - Finishes Show Anyway

Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl has once again proven just how awesome he truly is. Earlier this evening (June 12) the man was playing a show in Gothenburg, Sweden when he accidentally fell off the stage during a performance of Monkey Wrench according to Consequence of Sound. When he got back he let the audience know he thought he had broken his leg.

Grohl addressed the crowd saying:

“I think I just broke my leg. I think I really broke my leg. So look! You have my promise, right now, that the Foo Fighters…we’re gonna come back and finish the show. But right now [...] I’m gonna go to the hospital. I’m gonna fix my leg, but then I’m gonna come back, and we’re gonna play for you again. I’m so sorry.”

 Luckily for both Grohl and the audience a trip to the hospital was not necessary. While drummer Taylor Hawkins entertained the crowd for an hour with covers, Grohl had his leg reset and wrapped by on-site professionals. He then finished the show while sitting in a chair with his leg elevated, saying:

“I may not be able to walk or run but I can still play guitar and scream!”

There has been no statement yet about how this injury will affect the rest of the Foo Fighters' Sonic Highways tour. However, I have a feeling Grohl will try to tough it out as best he can due to his strong work ethic and punk rock spirit. The guy may be middle aged but he'll be damned if he is going to let something like this keep him from putting on the best show he can for everyone he promised one to.

The footage of Grohl breaking his leg can be watched below:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Unleashed in the East, by Judas Priest


In 1979 metal band Judas Priest put out their very first "live" album titled Unleashed in the East while out on the Hellbent For Leather tour. I put live in quotations because all of Rob Halford's vocals were recorded in a concert-like setting in the studio due to the actual live recording of his vocals getting garbled up for some reason. However, Halford has said in interviews over the years that while his vocals were done in a studio the rest of the music was from the night of the concert at Kosei Nenkin Hall and Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo, Japan.

Unleashed in the East features songs from many of the band's albums that had been released up until 1979, though quite a few were from Hellbent For Leather due to that being the album they were touring for. The guitar sound is much cleaner and packs more of a punch than the studio versions, which in my opinion makes them far superior. Halford also despite being in the studio to record his vocals gave a very powerful performance. If you didn't know any better you really would think he was doing it live.

Unleashed in the East has an absolutely kick-ass version of Running Wild. The cleaner production and the live energy absolutely supercharges this riprunning rocker. You can tell that Judas Priest were at the absolute top of their game when they recorded this performance. The guitar solos by K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton are far superior to the ones on the studio version of the track. It kind of makes you want to just step on the gas and feel the wind blow across your face in the night air out on the highway. It's hard not to feel invincible when jamming this metal classic.

The Green Manalishi With the Two Pronged Crown in my opinion is one of the crowning jewels (no pun intended) of this album. In this Fleetwood Mac cover Halford puts some serious balls into his vocal performance on this. The way he gets his voice so high while doing the melody of the song in the interlude is absolutely haunting. It will make the hairs on your arms and neck stand up without a doubt. Plus, you can definitely tell that there was little to no studio doctoring on it whatsoever (especially since it was 1979 and autotune wasn't a thing yet).

Despite some of the studio recording that had to be done Unleashed in the East is by far one of the best live metal albums ever released. It is high octane pulse pounding hair raising music that will not leave your memory any time soon. It is everything you would want a metal show to be: punchy riffs, flashy solos, powerful vocals, and so much more. You really do almost feel like you are at the show when playing this record. I honestly don't think there is any higher praise a live album can get than that.

Unleashed in the East, by Judas Priest receives 5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Exciter
2. Running Wild
3. Sinner
4. The Ripper
5. The Green Manalish with the Two Pronged Crown
6. Diamonds and Rust
7. Victim of Changes
8. Genocide
9. Tyrant
10. Rock Forever (bonus track)
11. Delivering the Goods (bonus track)
12. Hellbent For Leather (bonus track)
13. Starbreaker (bonus track)

Buy the album on Amazon:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Glenn Hughes Joins Former Deep Purple Band Mate David Coverdale and Whitesnake On Stage

The audience at the Whitesnake show in Beverly Hills on June 9th got one hell of an awesome surprise that night. That night Glenn Hughes joined David Coverdale and his band on stage to perform two classics from their time in Deep Purple together: Lay Down Stay Down and You Keep On Moving.

Whitesnake recently released a whole album full of covers of songs from Coverdale's time in Deep Purple called The Purple Album. The tour they have just embarked on is likewise called The Purple Tour. Hughes has been quite busy splitting his time between Kings of Chaos and his solo album that he is working on that should be out early next year.

Coverdale and Hughes definitely seem to have a lot of their old stage chemistry, though you can kind of tell it's been a while since they performed together like that. Be that as it may, it was pretty surreal to see those two singing those songs together 40 years after the fact. It's just too bad that Hughes didn't strap on a bass and play his old parts. Anyway, this is probably the closest many people will ever come to seeing Deep Purple Marks III and IV. I know I wish I could have been there.

The performances of Lay Down Stay Down and You Keep On Moving can both be viewed below.

Lay Down Stay Down

You Keep On Moving

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Pink Floyd Guitarist David Gilmour Announces Title of New Solo Album

Not even a year after the release of the final Pink Floyd album The Endless River, guitarist David Gilmour is already working on a new solo album (his first since his 2006 release On an Island) and has even announced the title of it: Rattle That Lock.

The announcement was made at the Borris House Festival Of Writing And Ideas in Ireland during this past weekend when fans kept asking both Gilmour and his wife Polly Samson about it.

So far two potential song titles have been announced for the album: Just Do It and Girl With a Yellow Dress. The album is said to feature contributions from Jools Holland and Phil Manzanera. Samson says according to BrainDamage that the theme of the album is “Carpe diem – seize every moment, look to the future, ‘Just Do It’ and don’t hold back.”

Gilmour also included that there will be no future reunions with former band mate Roger Waters, saying “Despite having nothing – well almost nothing – but fond memories of Roger’s working relationship, it ain’t going to happen.”

It's unfortunate there is no plan for Gilmour and Waters to work together, but you never know what will happen. The future isn't written in stone. In the mean time, I'm sure Rattle That Lock will cause quite the rattle, as Gilmour is one hell of a talented musician and his wife is quite the lyricist. Good to see that old age isn't holding back such a musical beast.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #29

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week is a feature I run on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective on Sundays/early hours of Monday morning where I pick out 5 tunes that I think are notable and tell you a bit about them. The point is to give you some rocking music to help you deal with your weekday blues. You can either listen to one each day, listen to them all at once, or any other combination that you feel. As long as you can get through the week without the man getting you down, that's all I care about. Without further ado, here are the 5 tracks I've picked out for this week:

1. Bring it on Back, by Buckcherry

If you want some new rock that is nothing but straight up pure unadulterated rock n' roll check out the new single from Buckcherry: Bring it On Back. The intro has a bit of a Highway Star kind of feel, but then it breaks into its own thing, which happens to be the unmistakable style of Buckcherry. It's a simple tune, but it does its job of being a fun short rocker of a song quite well. No frills. Just riffs, lyrics about going fast, and weedily guitar solos.

2. No More Mr. Nice Guy, by Alice Cooper

This classic is still played on radio to this day for a reason. It's one of the best songs out there about rebelling against the standards society has set for you and the consequences that go along with taking such action. Who really wants to keep being Mr. Nice Guy anyway when it involves being such a stuffy goody two shoes? What fun is that? Be who you want to be, even if it involves making some jaws drop.

3. Slither, by Velvet Revolver

This song by the former members of Guns N' Roses really matches its title. That bass and solo guitar intro really do give it a slithering kind of vibe. Of course when the rest of the song picks up it keeps with it but with a more loud balls to the wall kind of approach to it. Hard to believe it's been over 11 years since the album it came on came out to the public. I guess time really does pass quickly when you're having fun, doesn't it?

4. Suck My Kiss, by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Nothing quite says early 90's like some old school Red Hot Chili Peppers, does it? The funk genre certainly took a new turn when the Chili Peppers came on the scene. Although they had a few albums out before this, Blood Sugar Sex Magik is when the band truly arrived on the scene in 1991. This is where Flea made his mark on the world with his own style of funky bass playing too. If you want funk with a punch, look no further.

5. Movin' On, by Bad Company

Need something to pick you up at the end of the day or even during the middle of the day? This track from Bad Company's first album ought to do it. It's a fun upbeat rocker of a tune. It's simplistic, easy to get into the groove with, and will have you singing along in moments. One time I even saw a waitress actively dancing to this song in the middle of a diner; that's just how effective it is at doing what I said.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Earliest Recording of Iron Maiden Now Streaming

It would seem that the earliest known recording of Iron Maiden from 1977 has found its way onto the internet. It is a 29 second clip of the band's second singer Dennis Willcock introducing the band right at the beginning of the show.

In the clip Willcock says:

“We’re called Iron Maiden. We’re all about a sound that’s called metal, if you know what that’s all about. Scrap metal, yeah. We don’t have enough room to move about here, by the looks of it, so someone’s going to go arse over tit, I should imagine. Here we go.”

Willcock was Iron Maiden’s second singer. Original singer Paul Day helped co-found the band in 1976 along with bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. In 1978 however Willcock was replaced by Paul Di’Anno who would record vocals for Iron Maiden's first two albums: Iron Maiden and Killers.

In addition to this clip leaking out, Willcock will play his first show in 30 years with his band GV1 at London’s Bar 12 on June 13. Quite a while to go without doing a gig, but I'm sure he will do just fine. At the very least it should be fun for him.

Hopefully more early clips of Iron Maiden will turn up sooner or later; ones that are of the band playing some music at that.

The 29 second leaked clip can be heard below:

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, by Rainbow

In 1975 guitarist Ritchie Blackmore became fed up with the way things had been going in his band Deep Purple. Rather than making the big heavy rock songs that he loved to write at the time instead their sound had taken more of a funk and soul direction; a sound Blackmore referred to as "shoeshine music". Blackmore talked to the singer of a band that had been opening for them for a while: Elf. This singer was none other than the late great Ronnie James Dio. Dio and Blackmore then with all of the members of Elf except the guitarist formed a new band that would be known as Rainbow.

Later in 1975 Rainbow put out its first album titled Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. The album featured some key elements of the kind of rock Blackmore had wanted to do in Deep Purple but this time around more focus was on Blackmore's medieval meets blues guitar playing and of course Dio's powerful soaring vocals. There are a variety of genres ranging from hard rock to ballads to rockabilly to medieval folk music. You could tell the band was having a lot of fun coming up with all the different songs they were writing.

The one song almost every hard rock and heavy metal fan knows from Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow is the anthemic Man on the Silver Mountain. The main riff hooks itself into you and just won't let go from the moment the song begins playing. Dio paints some fantastic imagery with his lyrics and absolutely belts the tune out as powerfully as he can. Of course since this is Blackmore's brain child his guitar soloing goes off the chain as well. Everything about Man on the Silver Mountain is memorable to the last note.

Catch the Rainbow is a slower song, but you can hear a great deal of Ritchie Blackmore's Jimi Hendrix influence mixed into it. You wouldn't think the electric guitar could be that beautiful of an instrument, but with Blackmore's careful nuance it's one of the warmest pieces of music you might ever hear. Dio also showcases the more melodic and soft side of his voice as well; proving that he can do more than just shout out heavy rock anthems. The timbre and texture of his voice makes it almost feel like its a soft creamy piece of chocolate in a way.

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow is one of the truly under rated albums of the 1970's; at least in terms of what is remembered by the mainstream anyway. You don't often hear any of it on the radio, but if you do yourself a favor and pick it up then I guarantee you will find something on there that you will cherish till the day you die. There isn't a single bad track on it. In fact, there isn't a single just ok track. It's one of those albums that at least I personally can listen to on repeat for days and not get tired of. While I don't necessarily expect it will enchant you the same way, it will still be a wonderful experience.

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, by Rainbow receives 5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Man on the Silver Mountain
2. Self Portrait
3. Black Sheep of the Family
4. Catch the Rainbow
5. Snake Charmer
6. The Temple of the King
7. If You Don't Like Rock n' Roll
8. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
9. Still I'm Sad

Buy the album on Amazon:

Buckcherry Puts Out Details for New Album "Rock n' Roll" Release

Looks like this summer is going to be a good one for rock n' roll. Buckcherry have announced that their new record titled Rock n' Roll will be released on August 21st.

According to singer Josh Todd the title is a way of giving Kiss front man Gene Simmons the finger for saying "rock is dead". Can't say I blame them there. It's a simple, yet effective title for what they are trying to communicate with this album.

Todd says in an interview with Classic Rock Magazine:

“There’s been so much talk about how rock‘n’roll is dead and all of this bullshit. The funny thing is, that’s been going on since we put out our first record in 1999. We wanted to call the new album Rock 'N' Roll because this is what we’ve been doing our whole lives. We focused on making a record that encompasses all of what we are. You get every flavor of Buckcherry.”

Buckcherry have already released a single from Rock n' Roll titled Bring It On Back. It's a song that is straight up about fast cars and racing. It's pretty straightforward rock n' roll. No frills. No bullshit. Exactly what Buckcherry was aiming for. I do wish there was a little more to it riff-wise, but it's still a great rocker. The video for Bring It On Back can be watched below.

I'm looking forward to the new album. Buckcherry have put out some great stuff in the past, although I wasn't overly ecstatic about their previous album Confessions. This time around though I'm sure there will be some great riffs and rock n' roll debauchery that you can typically expect in a Buckcherry album.

Rock n' Roll Track List:

  1. Bring It On Back
  2. Tight Pants
  3. Wish To Carry On
  4. The Feeling Never Dies
  5. Cradle
  6. The Madness
  7. Wood
  8. Rain’s Falling
  9. Sex Appeal
  10. Get With It
Bring It On Back, by Buckcherry

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Paul McCartney Has Quit Marijuana


Many of you have never thought you would live to see this day if it were to ever happen at all. I know I didn't. Believe it or not, former Beatles front man Paul McCartney has publicly announced in an interview with Daily Mirror that he has completely given up marijuana. 50 years is a long time.

McCartney and the rest of the Beatles got their crash course in smoking pot in 1964 when Bob Dylan came to visit them in their hotel room in New York (though George Harrison says it was in Hamburg).

McCartney says:

“I don’t do it any more. Why? The truth is I don’t really want to set an example to my kids and grandkids. It’s now a parent thing.”

It's a bit ironic that McCartney is doing this however because the Beatles were so for pot that back in 1967 they along with several other members of British society signed their names to an ad in the Times saying “law against marijuana is immoral in principle and unworkable in practice.”

 Some things have changed between then and now, however.

“Back then I was just some guy around London having a ball, and the kids were little so I’d just try and keep it out of their faces.”

These days to get his buzz on, McCartney says:

“Instead of smoking a spliff I’ll now have a glass of red wine or a nice margarita. The last time I smoked was a long time ago.”

I guess it's a good thing McCartney is trying to set a good example for his family, though personally I don't see that big of a difference between booze and pot. It's like just switching out one vice for another. If anything, marijuana is healthier. The key thing to remember is all things in moderation. That's the best example to set.

Monday, June 1, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #28

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week is a feature I run on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective on Sundays/early hours of Monday morning where I pick out 5 tunes that I think are notable and tell you a bit about them. The point is to give you some rocking music to help you deal with your weekday blues. You can either listen to one each day, listen to them all at once, or any other combination that you feel. As long as you can get through the week without the man getting you down, that's all I care about. Without further ado, here are the 5 tracks I've picked out for this week:

1. People Are Strange, by The Doors

This classic by The Doors while being short in length and fairly simple in musical structure has some rather profound lyrics concerning people who just do not seem to fit into society, are jaded, and possibly also depressed. Given that this song came out in the late 60's this is some groundbreaking material for the time. Most mainstream songs were cheery poppy numbers, but this was a game changer. Now it was more acceptable to sing about things that people could actually relate to.

2. Mama Kin, by Aerosmith

This song comes from Aerosmith's 1973 debut album Aerosmith. With the way Steven Tyler is singing you might not even think it's actually him, but I assure you it is. This is a rockabilly tune with a pretty hard edge to it. Great guitar and saxophone solos for one thing. It's probably one of the most energetic tunes in the Aerosmith catalog. If you feel a bit down and need something to get you moving, this should do the trick.

3. Are You With Me, by Sixx: AM

This song comes from Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx's side project Sixx: AM where he collabs with acclaimed songwriter and producer James Michael and Guns N' Roses guitarist DJ Ashba. It's a modern heavy rock ballad of sorts that talks about having the courage to face the things that fear you so that in turn you can become a stronger person. The lyrics are profound and honestly I'm pleasantly surprised how melodic the guitar parts are considering how heavy the song is overall. If you haven't been listening to anything from the past few years, you owe it to yourself to check this out.

4. Walk on the Wild Side, by Lou Reed

This song has always amused me because Lou Reed talks about some pretty intense and gritty imagery in this song while the music itself is rather relaxing and calming. It's a prime example of dividing those who just casually listen to music for the sake of the music and those who actually hear what is being said in the message of a song. I think it's for that reason that it is one of Reed's best remembered songs to this day. Of course David Bowie producing the album it came from (Transformer) probably also had a hand in it too.

5. Youth Gone Wild, by Skid Row

If you're into the heavier kind of rock that borders on metal, Skid Row is just for you. In the late 80's many bands were so focused on looking good and making pop rock hits that they forgot to sing about what was really in their hearts and about the realities of the world. Bands like Skid Row started a movement that would help end all that. Tunes like Youth Gone Wild were anthems to the kids out there who wanted something more real that they could identify with. Plus, it also helps that Sebastian Bach really sings his balls off here.