Saturday, October 31, 2015

ELO Premieres New Single "One Step Out of Time"

So for those of you who are fans of Electric Light Orchestra I'm sure you're aware by now that Jeff Lynne is about to put out another album under that moniker with long time keyboardist Richard Tandy and other new musicians titled Alone in the Universe. Two singles have been made available to the public: When I Was a Boy and When the Night Comes. Now a third one has been made available: One Step Out of Time (which can be listened to below).

It has a lot of that old school 70's ELO melody and warmth while at the same time has a bit of a modernish disco sounding vibe to it. You could definitely dance to it if you wanted to badly enough. Personally I find myself getting overly lost (in a good way) in Lynne's vocal melodies. I find it absolutely astounding that his voice seems to not have aged at all. It sounds pretty pristine.

All Alone in the Universe will be coming out on November 13th via Columbia Records. Personally I'm glad that we will be getting a new ELO album in our lifetime. Jeff Lynne is a master of song writing in all respects. Plus it's nice to get such warm melodic music made with real instruments in an age where computers have taken the place of talent.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, by David Bowie

In 1972 pop rock king David Bowie used his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust persona with his backing band The Spiders From Mars released one of his biggest most important albums in his entire career: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. Bowie had already had notable success up to this point, but his popularity skyrocketed with the release of this album.

Ziggy Stardust is Bowie at the peak of his glam rock phase. It is a concept album that tells the story of a human messenger for an alien race by the name of Ziggy Stardust who comes to Earth to bring a message of hope to a doomed planet. Every tune is absolutely spellbinding in some way or another. There is so much memorable melody, creative song structures, fantastic instrumentation, polish, lyrical depth that tells a story, and more packed into just one album.

Starman in my opinion is one of the finest songs David Bowie has ever written. Though it is a simple chord based song, the electric guitar melody between the verses is so entrancing and warm that it will have you moving and playing the song on repeat for days to come. I feel happy to exist in this universe just because Starman exists. It's actually the first David Bowie song I learned to play on guitar.

Suffragette City is the main single from the album that seems to still get radio airplay on classic rock radio stations to this day despite the fact that there are so many better songs on the Ziggy Stardust album. Be that as it may, it is a pretty sweet driving rock song. It is basic in bluesy structure, but the dirty tone of Mick Ronson's electric guitar and Bowie's sneering vocals make it all the more impactful and in some ways endearing.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars is one of those albums that I feel EVERYONE needs to have a copy of. If you are new to David Bowie this is definitely one of the albums I would suggest you start off with. It is an absolute treat to the ears and a treasure to the world of popular music. If anything, we should all be thanking David Bowie personally for blessing us with this album.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, by David Bowie receives 5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Five Years
2. Soul Love
3. Moonage Daydream
4. Starman
5. It Ain't Easy
6. Lady Stardust
7. Star
8. Hang on to Yourself
9. Ziggy Stardust
10. Suffragette City
11. Rock n' Roll Suicide

Buy the album on Amazon:

Thursday, October 29, 2015

No New Black Sabbath Album After All

Unfortunately, it seems we will not be getting one final Black Sabbath album. The band has recently announced that starting in January of next year it will be embarking on one final tour before calling it quits for good, though originally they gave the impression that one more album was to be done as well.

Singer Ozzy Osbourne dropped the news during an interview with, saying:

“It’s the end of Sabbath, believe me (the band’s upcoming The End tour.) In December, I’ll be f—in’ 68 and I think it’s time to call it the end of the day. I’m not saying I won’t get on stage with … any of them some time, but officially we’re going to be done. I don’t want it to dwindle and dwindle and play just for the sake of making another f—in’ sack full of cash. So it’s time, and then I’ll go back to doing my own thing.”
Kind of sad that we won't be getting one more Black Sabbath album. Their most recent release 13 which came out in 2013 wasn't too shabby, though I feel it could have been better. I was hoping they would do one more to really leave one last big powerful album that will resonate for the ages. I guess we can't have everything though, can we?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

David Bowie Confirms New Album

Many rumors surrounding the release of a new David Bowie album (which will be his 25th studio effort) have been flying around lately. To address what is true and what isn't, Bowie's camp has made a statement via Bowie's Facebook page.

Here is what is true:

1. The album will be titled Blackstar; a title shared with the name of the theme song he wrote for the upcoming TV show The Last Panthers.

2. The album will be released on January 8th, 2016; Bowie's 69th birthday.

What is not true:

1. The sound of Black Star will NOT contain Gregorian chant to electronic beats and Kraftwerk-style pop as reported by an article in the Times UK.

The Facebook post also read:

“Only the following can be confirmed. The single will be released on Nov. 20th and is not part of David’s theater piece Lazarus.”

Lazarus is a play that will act as an adaptation of The Man Who Fell to Earth.

As much as I would like to see Bowie get weird and creative, I wouldn't mind some more of the kind of semi-conventional yet innovative pop music he is more well known for doing. Personally I'm extremely disappointed that he seems to be retired from touring ever again. It means all the young dudes like me will never get the chance to see him perform.

Monday, October 26, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #49

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. Welcome to the Black Parade, by My Chemical Romance

Were you an emo kid in the mid 2000's? If you were I'm sure you remember this iconic tune. It's big, epic, and the epitome of everything the whole emo movement was about. In some ways it reminds me of a Queen song in some respects musically; at least during the part of the intro where the whole rest of the band kicks in to build atmosphere.

2.  Driver's High, by L'arc En Ciel

Despite the French sounding name, L'arc En Ciel is actual a Japanese rock band. The tune Driver's High is one of their better known tunes and for good reason. It definitely gives you the feeling that the wind is rushing through your hair while you have the window down and are stomping on the gas on a warm summer night. Even though the lyrics are all in Japanese I'm sure you will find this song invigorating nonetheless.

3. The Crystal Ship, by The Doors

This soft psychedelic tune from The Doors is rather under rated in terms of attention from the general public. The vocal melody and lyrics from singer Jim Morrison are on a whole other plane of existence and way ahead of their time. The rest of the band lays down multiple gentle layers of sound that make it feel as though you are floating through another dimension as peacefully as one might float atop a body of water.

4.  Jesus of Suburbia, by Green Day

This 9 minute tune is what introduces listeners to the main story of Green Day's hit 2004 concept album American Idiot. It is a suite composed of at least five distinct musical parts that are put together to form one cohesive song. They would all honestly be good as individual songs, but the way the band put them together is simply remarkable.

5.  New York Groove, by Ace Frehley

This cover of a Russ Ballard penned tune by Kiss lead guitarist Ace Frehley for his debut solo album Ace Frehley in 1978 is pretty well done. It is funkier and more R&B/soul tinged than most tunes that Kiss had been known for doing up to that point. Since funk of that nature was in at the time it is no wonder the song was chosen as the record's main single. It's definitely fun and easy to move along to while cranking it through your stereo at top volume.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Judas Priest's Rob Halford Gets Help from Ronnie James Dio Before Shows

It is no secret that many performers have pre-show rituals that they use to get themselves in the zone for what they are about to do. Some people exercise, some people do warm ups, etc. Judas Priest singer Rob Halford on the other hand listens to the late Ronnie James Dio.

In an interview with OC Weekly, Halford says:

“I listen to Ronnie for so many weeks at a time. I find his voice so inspiring and so powerful for me as a singer. I always listen to Ronnie before I go on stage with Priest because I find his voice invigorating. It gets my blood pumping and gets me in the zone before I go out and do my thing with Priest. I pretty much listen to him almost every time.”

Also referring to Dio as "my dear late friend", Halford continues by saying:

“He was a very influential singer. If you listen to him now, you can almost imagine what he was like behind the mic in the studio because he’s so committed; you can tell in his delivery, presence and performance. It’s almost as if he’s just recorded it and laid the track down last week. That’s the great thing about Ronnie; he had that kind of engineered dynamic that is very difficult to capture in the studio, but he delivered that at every show night after night.”

I find it kind of beautiful and endearing that even after Dio's passing over five years ago Halford is still so committed to his friendship with him; especially since he find's Dio's music so enthralling in addition to the fact that he was such a great friend and person. This is probably one of the coolest pre-show rituals I've ever heard of.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Black Sabbath 1972 Drug Bill Resurfaces

Heavy metal inventors Black Sabbath (particularly singer Ozzy Osbourne) have been known over the years for their excess use of drugs in their non-stop party rock n' roll life style. It would seem now that just how much they spent on cocaine in 1972 has come back to light.

In 1972 alone Black Sabbath ended up spending $75,000 on cocaine, which may not seem like much by today's standards but if you adjust for inflation I'm sure it would seem like a hell of a lot more. The album Vol. 4 that the band had recorded the same year only cost them $60,000. Go figure.

In an interview with The Guardian guitarist Tony Iommi says:

“We were young blokes, doing what young blokes do. Nobody could control anyone else. I was doing coke left, right and center, and Quaaludes, and God knows what else. We used to have [cocaine] flown in by private plane.”

Vol. 4 was almost called Snowblind (after the track of the same name about cocaine) due to the fact that the band was so enamored with the drug. The liner notes even say: “We wish to thank the great COKE-Cola Company of Los Angeles.”

It was around that time that Geezer Butler the bassist tried to jump out a hotel window while on acid, after which he started to get away from the drug aspects of the rock n' roll life style, saying: “Tony and Bill [Ward] had to hold me down on the bed. I started going off drugs after that.”

 I think the message here is that drugs are bad, mmkay?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ritchie Blackmore's 1st Rock Show in Nearly 20 Years Reportedly Confirmed

In 1997, guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore (formerly of Deep Purple and Rainbow) decided to call it quits for good from the heavy rock scene so he could focus on making Renaissance music with his wife Candice Night in their folk band Blackmore's Night. However, after nearly two decades Blackmore has decided to strap on the Strat one more time to do a few rock shows next year.

That being said, one of these shows has already been reportedly confirmed. According to Blackmore and his band will supposedly be playing the Monsters of Rock festival in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany on June 18th, 2016.

In an interview with Billboard, Blackmore talked about his reasons for returning to rock briefly as well as what his band will be like:

“I’m now 70, so I just felt like playing some rock ‘n’ roll for a few days. We’re going to do four or five dates of just playing the old rock stuff, Purple stuff and Rainbow. I’m doing it for the fans, for nostalgia, and the singer I found is very exciting. He’s a cross between [former Rainbow frontman Ronnie James] Dio meets Freddie Mercury. So, this will mean exposing a new singer to the masses, and I’m sure he’ll become pretty famous because of his voice.”

I'm definitely curious to hear how this new singer sounds. Would be nice if Blackmore would do another rock album even if it wasn't under the Rainbow name, but somehow I don't see that happening. Then again, we all thought Blackmore would never return to rock in any capacity; so I guess never say never.

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #48

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 Sound of Silence, by Bobaflex

For years my brother would talk about how he wished that there would be some band who would do a heavy metal cover of this Simon & Garfunkel classic. Lo and behold, a few years ago someone finally did. I have to say, Bobaflex did a pretty damn good job on it too. It's just as epic as I was hoping it would be. The only thing that I feel is missing from it is a big epic melodic guitar solo. Be that as it may, it still rocks.

2. Meet Me in the City, by Bruce Springsteen

The Boss is working on releasing a box set of material from The River era (1979) this coming December. One of the first glimpses of this stuff is an unreleased B-side called Meet Me in the City. To be honest, I'm surprised this wasn't released as an A-side single because it has just about everything a catchy Bruce Springsteen single needs. It's upbeat, has wailing sax, emotional powerhouse singing, punchy guitars, pounding keys, and more.

3.  Hills of Eternity, by Buckethead

Most of you who are at least a little familiar with Buckethead know him for his shredding skills. However, he is also quite capable and skilled at making soft relaxing acoustic music as well. Hills of Eternity happens to be one of my absolute favorite songs of his that are in that vein. I could play it on loop for hours and probably fall asleep if I wanted to. It's one of the first songs I ever played on the first acoustic guitar I ever got.

4.  Blue Blood, by X-Japan

If you're willing to give a kick-ass metal band that doesn't sing primarily in English a shot, I think you'll be in for a pleasant surprise with X-Japan. Their version of melodic speed metal stands up just as well as any other more well known European or American bands. You won't even miss being able to understand the lyrics when they absolutely tear it up on their guitars and hammer away at the drums.

5.  Final Countdown, by Europe

Who doesn't get their jollies the moment this tune kicks on with its iconic synthesizer intro? It's one of the best songs to come out of the 80's hair metal movement, honestly. That whole time you feel the epicness and the pounding tension that the song creates while it builds up to all of the powerful moments it contains. Too bad Europe seems to be only kind of a one hit wonder band as far as the general public is concerned.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Bruce Springsteen Premieres Previously Unreleased B-Side "Meet Me in the City"

Fans of the Boss rejoice! If you have been craving some new/"new" tunes from the New Jersey native then you are in luck! Today Bruce Springsteen started streaming a previously unreleased B-side from the The River era in 1979 titled Meet Me in the City.

Springsteen released the track in order to promote the upcoming box set The Ties That Bind: The River Collection that will be out on December 4th via Columbia Records. It will contain 4 CD's and 3 DVD's.

I have to say, it's hard to believe that Meet Me in the City is a pretty damn spiffy tune. I can't believe it wasn't an A-side released at the time of the album. It has everything you need from a Boss song: passionate wailing saxophone solos, driving rhythms, powerhouse emotional vocals, punchy guitars, slamming keys, etc. It's so uptempo and cheery sounding that it's hard to not want to dance around or have the song cranking while putting your pedal to the metal on your way into the city tonight.

I have to admit, even though I personally am not the biggest fan of Springsteen, this tune has definitely to some degree won me over. You can listen to it below:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday: De Stijl, by The White Stripes

In 2000 The White Stripes took to the new millennium by recording their second full length album De Stijl. Their debut The White Stripes had garnered them quite a bit of attention internationally as a promising up and coming band and it was time for them to really deliver on their potential. Needless to say, they did so and then some with their cult/fan favorite sophomore effort.

De Stijl is an inventive blend of multiple musical genres such as punk, blues, rock, and even a bit of country. I honestly have never heard anything quite like it before. You wouldn't think that all of these genres would necessarily blend together well on one record, but they do. Each song flows from one to the next seamlessly. I think one of my favorite aspects of this record apart from any of the others in The White Stripes' catalog is the amount of slide guitar that Jack White does.

Hello Operator was one of the main singles for De Stijl; and rightly so. Its delicious blues licks, pounding mid-tempo drums from Meg White, and cheery garage tone give it that edge that such a song would need to be a single. Jack White definitely shows off how melodic and bluesy his guitar playing can get in this tune. I think one of the best aspects of the song however is when the guitar and harmonica melodies match one another and overlap.

Apple Blossom is quite frankly one of my favorite White Stripes songs of all time. Its blend of acoustic guitar, haunting electric guitar, honky-tonk piano, etc. gives it an other worldy atmosphere that in some ways reminds me of a blend of a Beatles song and a Doors song. Everything in this song is melody based and it works out phenomenally. It sounds somewhat dark, but nonetheless it will have you singing along fairly quickly.

De Stijl is a fun little bit of exploration through music. Combining Jack White's prolific lyrics to impeccable song writing made this in my opinion one of the best records he has ever put out (including his work outside The White Stripes). If you're looking for a record that is kind of different but still has some fairly familiar musical elements to keep you a bit grounded, then De Stijl would be a wise choice for your collection.

De Stijl, by The White Stripes receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. You're Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl)
2. Hello Operator
3. Little Bird
4. Apple Blossom
5. I'm Bound to Pack It Up
6. Death Letter
7. Sister, Do You Know My Name?
8. Truth Doesn't Make a Noise
9. A Boy's Best Friend
10. Let's Build a Home
11. Jumble, Jumble
12. Why Can't You Be Nicer to Me?
13. Your Southern Can is Mine

Buy the album on Amazon:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Yoko Ono: "John Lennon May Have Been Bisexual"

It has recently come to life in a new interview with Yoko Ono that her husband the late John Lennon may have been bisexual due to him considering a homosexual relationship.

In Daily Beast Ono talks about how the two of them had said it is perfectly natural to be attracted to someone of your gender even if you identified as heterosexual, saying:

“John and I had a big talk about it, saying, basically, all of us must be bisexual. And we were sort of in a situation of thinking that we’re not [bisexual] because of society. So we are hiding the other side of ourselves, which is less acceptable."

Ono elaborated on whether or not Lennon would have gone through with having a homosexual relationship, saying:

"I think he had a desire to, but I think he was too inhibited. No, not inhibited. He said, ‘I don’t mind if there’s an incredibly attractive guy.’ It’s very difficult: They would have to be not just physically attractive, but mentally very advanced too. And you can’t find people like that […] The beginning of the year he was killed, he said to me, ‘I could have done it, but I can’t because I just never found somebody that was that attractive.’ Both John and I were into attractiveness — you know — beauty.”

Somehow this doesn't come as a surprise considering some of the profound subject matters Lennon often got into pondering. If he had done such a thing I'm sure he would have caused a media field day, but sooner or later people would have been pretty accepting due to the fact he was such a highly regarded public figure. Still, it may have helped LGBT rights along back during that time as well.

Monday, October 12, 2015

James Hetfield Says Metallica is Recording New Album

Metal fans rejoice, but don't hold your breath! It would seem that thrash metal legends Metallica are back in the studio recording a new album according to a recent interview with front man James Hetfield.

This will be the band's first new album since 2008's Death Magnetic and their 2011 collaboration with the late Lou Reed Lulu. The closest thing to new music we have gotten out of them at all lately is a single called Lords of Summer.

The news came when Hetfield was interviewed by EMGTv. He says:

“We’re recording right now, and there’s the No. 1 guitar, the No. 2 guitar and here’s the third-track guitars that just sound different. They all sound different.”

Hopefully this time around Metallica actually sounds like Metallica and not a crappy Metallica tribute band. It's kind of hard to have that youthful energy though when they are at their age and mellowed and worn out. They don't have anything to really be angry at any more. I guess all we can do is hope for the best.

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #47

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. Strength of the World, by Avenged Sevenfold

The longest track from City of Evil, Strength of the World is a criminally under rated song. It feels like a big long epic song that you would hear on a movie soundtrack. It blends an orchestra with a metal band incredibly well. It's really a shame you don't hear this song played by the band in a live setting at all any more.

2. Phantom of the Opera, by Iron Maiden

This in my opinion is the absolute greatest song that Iron Maiden has ever written. It has absolutely nothing to do with the play/musical, but it is fantastic nonetheless. The song structure flows and changes up seamlessly, the guitar solos and harmonies are impeccably melodic and fast, and the vocals are surprisingly harmonious and powerful. Great early power metal tune.

3. Peace Sells, by Megadeth

Ever need to listen to a politically charged song that the Joe Every-man can relate to? This song shows how little remorse young Dave Mustaine had for his words and actions in regards to letting the government and society know just how he felt about them. Chris Poland's lead guitar work is pretty respectable here too.

4. Jump in the Fire, by Metallica

There is some nifty quick riffing around in this tune. Not surprising considering it was written by Dave Mustaine before he was fired from the band. It pulses and pounds relentlessly for the entire duration of the song. This of course was back when they had a solid rhythm section and weren't trying to copy off themselves.

5. Steal Away (The Night), by Ozzy Osbourne

This was the closing song on Ozzy Osbourne's debut solo album The Blizzard of Ozz. It has some killer riffs and solos from the late Randy Rhoads with the rhythm section bringing up the rear with a wild yet steady chugging. It is the ultimate song of escaping, grabbing your gal, getting on a bike, and stealing away into the night.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jack White Crashes Neighborhood Barbecue, Isn't Recognized

Over the past couple of decades Jack White has made a name for himself as one of the top dogs in alternative rock and for revitalizing interest in so many old styles of music that have unfortunately dwindled over the years. However, despite all that fame White the other day was able to attend a neighborhood barbecue without being recognized by anyone at all.

White who has been living in a historic gated house in a quiet Nashville neighborhood for the past decade or so has missed out on this annual tradition. White now having time since his big Lazaretto tour ended finally had the chance to join in with the ordinary folk in his neighborhood and was able to do so without a bunch of people recognizing him and bugging him for autographs, pictures, etc.

Jedediah Jenkings, whose mother helped put together the potluck says in an interview with Live For Live Music says:

“My mom helps host a neighborhood potluck in front of my childhood home. Our little dead-end street is populated primarily with elderly and quiet people. The houses are modest and suburban. My mom has been doing this potluck for over a decade. At the bottom of our street, there is a large gated historic home shrouded in trees. We’ve never really spotted that neighbor. But we have from time to time heard guitar coming from the garage.

This year, without warning, the occupant decided to come mingle with the neighbors. Of course they had no idea who he was. ‘Jack White, nice to meet you.’ He apologized for traveling so much and missing out over the years.”

I would imagine that after all those years of having to be careful about going out in public as a famous rock star it would be refreshing to go to such a low key mundane event and just be among regular people without any stress. I'm kind of happy for White to have such an opportunity. Hopefully though he starts working on another album soon.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Paul Stanley: Ace Frehley and Peter Criss Make-up Rights Sold for Little Price

One of the biggest controversies among Kiss fans for the past decade or so is whether or not it is right for current lead guitarist Tommy Thayer and current drummer Eric Singer to be wearing Ace Frehley and Peter Criss's iconic "Spaceman" and "Catman" make-up. In a recent interview that rhythm guitarist/singer Paul Stanley did with 4KQ in Australia, Frehley and Criss apparently sold their rights to it for a pretty low price.

Stanley says:

“The guys basically sold it off for, you know, not a whole lot, because they didn’t think it was worth anything. Quite honestly, I’ve always thought our image and what we represent is priceless. It didn’t matter to some people — it truly matters to me.”

Stanley further defends the changes in the Kiss line-up and them wearing the make-up saying:

 “If somebody is out, somebody else comes along. I don’t think that when you go to see your favorite team, you’re yelling that you want to see somebody who was in the team 20 years ago. Time moves on, but the team lives on. … I didn’t invent the wheel. Somebody is out there who can come in and take my place. … I don’t see a reason for the band to fold, any more than I can see a reason for a team to fold.”

Personally I think that if Kiss is going to continue wearing make-up that they should do like they did in the 80's and have the new members get their own new personal characters. It worked for Vinnie Vincent and Eric Carr, why not Thayer and Singer? I understanding trying to preserve the image and legacy of the band, but at the same time some people need to let go and let the band evolve as it should.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #46

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. Anastasia, by Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators

In my opinion this is one of the greatest songs that the Cat in the Hat has managed to write outside of Guns N' Roses - including what he did in Velvet Revolver. Definitely his most creative song from his solo work. There is a great deal of neo-classical influence in the melodies that you don't often hear from this primarily blues based hard rock guitarist. There is definitely some great guitar solo work in it for sure.

2. Pride and Joy, by Coverdale - Page

In 1993 former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and Deep Purple/Whitesnake vocalist David Coverdale got together to form a new project. Unfortunately it only lasted for one album and a short tour of Japan, but the songs were pretty damn good. The main single was Pride and Joy, which was definitely a throwback to the old Led Zeppelin way of doing things. It's a great blend of acoustic and electric hard rock that will definitely have you moving your head right along to the rhythm.

3.  Dead Leaves and Dirty Ground, by The White Stripes

This is dirty loud bluesy garage rock at its finest. It is a big, rumbling, slow moving monster; almost like a Black Sabbath song in some ways. The vocal melodies are haunting and in some strange ways rather memorable and ear pleasing. It also shifts between drastic dynamic changes in some neat ways that more artists should try doing in order to keep their listeners on their toes and not knowing what to expect.

4. Carry On Wayward Son, by Kansas

This song is a classic rock staple. You can't go a day listening to a classic rock station without hearing this at least once. Of course if you have watched the show Supernatural you have probably listened to it a lot too; and for good reason. It such a glorious and epic song that you can't help but sing both the lyrics and the guitar parts. Despite the fact that it's played over and over it's one of the few songs where I feel it's ok to do so.

 5. Forever My Queen, by Pentagram

I will admit it isn't too far fetched to call these guys a Black Sabbath clone, but they do have aspects to their sound that are completely their own. Plus, if you can put all that aside they wrote some pretty kickass songs; including this. Forever My Queen combines dark heavy riffs with poetic lyrics and eerie guitar solos. If you're looking for some non-mainstream classic metal this is right up your alley.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Megadeth Premiere Single "Fatal Illusion" and Give Album Details

One of the pillars of the Big Four of thrash metal, Megadeth has just released a new single Fatal Illusion from their upcoming album Dystopia. The track can be listened to below.

This time around founder and front man Dave Mustaine has decided once again that the band must return to its thrash metal roots after a failed second experiment with pop rock that was their 14th album Super Collider. This isn't the first time something like this has happened. In 1999 they tried something similar with the album Risk and that turned out poorly too. That being said, seems Mustaine has again learned to stick to what he knows best.

Fatal Illusion isn't too shabby. I wouldn't say that it is especially great or memorable, but I may have to give it a few more listens before I can really form a solid opinion on it. I will say it does have a somewhat Rust in Peace kind of vibe to it. I will say that despite that it does have some pretty snazzy riffs and solos. Then again, I would expect nothing less from a Megadeth song. The only thing I'm not all that particularly fond of are Mustaine's vocals. I know he was never much of a singer to begin with, but I think age has worn them down too much. They are too gravelly and subdued in this song.

Overall though, I am still looking forward to Dystopia, which will be out on January 22, 2016 according to Ultimate Classic Rock. Changing musicians by bringing in Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler and lead guitarist Kiko Loureiro will definitely help keep things a little more fresh and lively. Hopefully the rest of the album has a bit more to offer.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, by Fleetwood Mac

Once upon a time, there was a blues band in London who were just starting to make a name for themselves as Fleetwood Mac. However, this wasn't the band that everyone is familiar with today that has Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham leading the band but instead blues extraordinaires Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer. In 1968 the band put out its first album Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac that was actually pretty successful despite the fact it lacked a hit single.

Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac is a pretty straight up blues album. However, you really do have to appreciate the warmth and musical nuances it contains. Green's guitar playing really is on a whole other level and rivals his peers of the time. The songs are a mix of blues covers as well as songs written by Green and Spencer; both of whom shared vocal duties.

Shake Your Money Maker is about as basic blues patterns as you can get (as it is a cover of an Elmore James song), and Spencer's slide guitar absolutely kills it. The whole band truly is on fire in this upbeat swing of a tune and you can tell that they were having fun with it. Their youthful energy really does bring the blues to life in a whole new way that at the time could only really be done by Englishmen and Jimi Hendrix.

Hellhound on My Trail has to be my absolute favorite song from this album. Despite it's just piano and vocals, this reinterpretation of a Robert Johnson classic is full of pleasant relaxed warmth despite the subject matter of the lyrics. I just wish that Spencer would have been able to remember all the lyrics to the song because he finishes it up only halfway through. Be that as it may, it's still my favorite cover version of the song.

If you're looking to get into the blues, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac is a great place to start. It's like a 35 minute guitar lesson in the most fun ways possible. Plus, it gives you a great introduction to some blues classics that you can go and find the original versions of whenever you have a few minutes to spare and an internet connection to use to get to YouTube. I can't recommend this album enough. It's way better than anything from Rumours.

Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. My Heart Beat Like a Hammer
2. Merry Go Round
3. Long Grey Mare
4. Hellhound on My Trail
5. Shake Your Money Maker
6. Looking For Somebody
7. No Place to Go
8. My Baby's Good to Me
9. I Loved Another Woman
10. Cold Black Night
11. The World Keep on Turning
12. Got to Move

Buy the album on Amazon: