Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top Ten Albums of 2015 Part 5 (Final Part)

2015 is about to wrap! Over the last few days of the year Young Ears, Fresh Perspective is doing a Top Ten Albums of the Year series! Each day we will be discussing two albums that set themselves head and shoulders above everything else that was released this year. The albums are in no particular order though as it is too difficult and unnecessary to rank them.

2. Saint Cecilia EP, by The Foo Fighters

Saint Cecilia EP, by The Foo Fighters may not be a full length album, but the tunes on it kick enough of a driving groove to put it up on the list. It was released on their website for free just after the terrorist attacks in Paris this year and is dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives that fateful evening; though initially the EP was meant to be released as a sign of gratitude to all of their long time fans.

Lots of what you have come to expect from the Foos is on this record. There are punchy guitar riffs, meaningful lyrics, and rhythms that make you want to drum along to every last track on it. Dave Grohl seems to only get better with age, it seems. He and his band seem to still have as much energy and spirit as any young up and coming band today.


1. Rattle That Lock, by David Gilmour

The final album on my Top Ten Albums of 2015 list is Rattle That Lock, by former Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. This is material that he worked over the last five years to put together, though it contains a piano piece that was recorded in his living room 18 years ago. Lyrics were written by Gilmour's long time collaborator and wife Polly Samson and also features the recording debut of his son Gabriel Gilmour.
The musical direction of Rattle That Lock is rather diverse; ranging from funk, to jazz, to pop, to rock, to ambient. Then again, I would expect nothing less from one of the masterminds behind most of Pink Floyd's greatest albums. It is eclectic and creative in all of the most fascinating ways possible. Definitely something for you to pick up if you are yearning for anything more since the final Pink Floyd album came out last year.

Wrapping things up:

That's a wrap, folks! That is all for 2015! I hope you liked what all I had to offer you this year. I will be taking tomorrow off (as it is a holiday) but will be returning to you Sunday night for the first post of the new year! In the mean time, enjoy time with your family and friends; turning up your favorite rocking tunes as loud as you possibly can!

Top Ten Albums of 2015 Part 4

2015 is about to wrap! Over the last few days of the year Young Ears, Fresh Perspective is doing a Top Ten Albums of the Year series! Each day we will be discussing two albums that set themselves head and shoulders above everything else that was released this year. The albums are in no particular order though as it is too difficult and unnecessary to rank them.

4. Tell Me I'm Pretty, by Cage the Elephant

Garage rock band Cage the Elephant put out their fourth studio album Tell Me I'm Pretty only a couple of weeks ago. However, even though it hasn't been out that long it still has worked its way into a Top Ten spot for this year. This time around the band had Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach produce their album. You can definitely hear his touches if you are familiar with The Black Keys at all.

While the riffs and melodies are fuzzy and resonating, the lyrics are where the band truly hits the mark this time around. They are chocked full with so much emotion that you will need a permission slip from your parents to get on the bus for the big class feel trip. Definitely something good for fans of raw guitars and emotional messages.

3. The Book of Souls, by Iron Maiden

Metal legends Iron Maiden put out their 16th studio album The Book of Souls this year. Running over 92 minutes it's their longest one to date. Quite frankly it's the longest album I've ever heard of ever. Definitely a lot of music packed into it. Then again, this shouldn't be that big of a surprise considering Maiden has been known over the years to do power metal tunes that just go on and on and on and yet never get even the least bit boring.

The Book of Souls features the band in top form. I'm not even saying they're good considering how old they are, but REALLY good. Seriously, Iron Maiden have only gotten better with age. You can tell they are firing on all cylinders and are putting out some of the best metal that anyone has in the longest time. It will make you feel like you're back in the mid-80's getting your rocks off with the Powerslave album, but on steroids.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top Ten Albums of 2015 Part 3

2015 is about to wrap! Over the last few days of the year Young Ears, Fresh Perspective is doing a Top Ten Albums of the Year series! Each day we will be discussing two albums that set themselves head and shoulders above everything else that was released this year. The albums are in no particular order though as it is too difficult and unnecessary to rank them.

6. Skeletons, by Danzig

This time around horror punk/metal legend Glenn Danzig rather than doing an all original album decided to pursue a project that he had been wanting to do since 1979: an all covers album titled Skeletons featuring music that he grew up on and inspired him to become the kind of musician that we all know and love him for being. I have to admit that there is a pretty good mix of tunes on here that sums up that era pretty well.

Skeletons features songs from Elvis Presley, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, The Troggs, The Everly Brothers, and more. It has a rough lo-fi sound, but for those who are long time fans of Danzig and know where he came from, it kind of works to his advantage. It sounds like a rough recording of a bar gig rather than something that has been worked and polished to death by a producer in the studio.

5. Shockwave Supernova, by Joe Satriani

Guitar wizard extraordinaire Joe Satriani takes us on a ripping and tearing fret board adventure in his newest release Shockwave Supernova. This time around Joe tried something a little different, which was a concept album that tells a whole cohesive story. However, while usually these kinds of albums are done with lyrics that tie the story in together Satriani does this entirely with sound from instruments. It really is something else.

The focus of Shockwave Supernova is the alter-ego Joe created for himself as a performer back in the day. It goes through the inception and eventual retirement of the character. Even if such things aren't your shindig, you are guaranteed to find at least one song on this instrumental album that you like. It ranges from pulse pounding progressive metal to walking paced swanky blues with a swing. Take this fantastic voyage with Joe and see what kinds of things he has in store for you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top Ten Albums of 2015 Part 2

2015 is about to wrap! Over the last few days of the year Young Ears, Fresh Perspective is doing a Top Ten Albums of the Year series! Each day we will be discussing two albums that set themselves head and shoulders above everything else that was released this year. The albums are in no particular order though as it is too difficult and unnecessary to rank them.

8. The Hollywood Vampires, by The Hollywood Vampires

Alice Cooper this year put together an all-star line-up of musicians to pay tribute to the memory of the group of musicians/celebrities who died from rock n' roll excess in the 70's that would gather in the loft of the Rainbow Bar and Grille in LA. It is a primarily covers oriented album (with songs by the deceased club members) and features musicians like Paul McCartney, Robby Krieger, Orianthi, Dave Grohl, Slash, Brian Johnson, Joe Walsh, Perry Farrell, and Zak Starkey amongst others.

Overall it is a pretty fun album. You can hear all of these big name artists just jamming away and having a good time with music they love from dearly departed friends and idols. It's essentially a jam session on steroids, which in all honesty isn't a bad thing by any means. It's everything that rock n' roll is meant to be: fun.

7. Alone in the Universe, by Electric Light Orchestra

Alone in the Universe is Electric Light Orchrestra's first new album in 14 years. That said, it's pretty damn good. It has all of the soft melodic charm that you would hope to find in an ELO album. Jeff Lynne shows that once again he is a master song writer and has A grade musicians to help him bring his musical visions to life. Plus, it's also great that long time keyboardist Richard Tandy once again got behind the keys to help out.

While you can definitely tell the songs have some modern nuances to them, they still have many of the aspects you would have heard them bring out in their music in the 70's. To be honest, I think that is the best thing you can really ask for in a modern ELO album. You don't want them to abandon what made them good, but you also want them to expand and explore as well. This is definitely worth your while.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Top Ten Albums of 2015 Part 1

Hello one and all! I hope you have all had a splendid holiday. 2015 is coming to a close this week, so I figure I would keep with last year's tradition of doing a year-end wrap up by over the last few days of the year doing a countdown of the top 10 albums that came out this year. They will be listed in no particular order because I really do hate getting down to the nitty-gritty of trying to decide where in the list something belongs. It's all opinion, anyway. That said, each day up until December 31st will have two albums listed with a short description of each. Enjoy!

10. Dodge & Burn, by The Dead Weather

Jack White is one busy guy, isn't he? This year his side project The Dead Weather released its first album in five years: Dodge & Burn. If you are familiar with the band's brand of dark magic and gritty blues rock then this album is exactly what you would expect from them. The band once again combined thundering rhythms with dark memorable riffs and vocals that howl into the pouring midnight rain.

What makes Dodge & Burn special is that in an age where so many mainstream artists stick to what is short and catchy, The Dead Weather are not afraid to dip back into older forms of exploratory music that are unique and almost take you on a journey. It's stuff you can get lost in the groove of while letting the rest of the world kind of slip away. Definitely a must grab for those who are interested in the darker side of things.

9. The Purple Album, by Whitesnake

When I heard that David Coverdale was going to be putting out an album of covers from his years in Deep Purple I had mixed feelings of excitement and concern. I was THRILLED because that was the music that got me into him in the first place, but I was wondering how well he would be able to sing them given the fact that it's been 40+ years and his voice has aged tremendously. Fortunately I was for the most part pleasantly surprised by The Purple Album.

The Purple Album has its strong and weak points, but overall these are fresh sounding reinterpretations of these classic songs. Some were done better than others in my opinion, but if you remove yourself from the knowledge of what these songs originally sounded like then you might have a bit more fun. Overall the songs are a LOT heavier than the originals due to the fact that Whitesnake is more metal than Deep Purple ever was. Even so, those who have been long time fans will still find at least a few tunes that they feel do the originals some form of justice.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Scott Weiland Died of Drug Overdose

Former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland died weeks ago (December 3rd), leaving many people incredibly heart broken. Now after an investigation and autopsy of the singer's body, it has been confirmed that Weiland died of a drug overdose.

Weiland was found on his tour bus in Bloomington, MN having died from a combination of cocaine, ethanol and the amphetamine MDA having stopped his heart. Weiland had a history of cardiovascular disease, as well as asthma and multi-substance dependence according to the medical examiner.

Police had found cocaine on Weiland's band The Wildabouts tour bus in bassist Tommy Black's bunk. The bassist was subsequently arrested for the discovery.

All that said, maybe it's time rock stars and celebrities start re-examining how they party or just deal with their problems. If after all these decades people still haven't realized that drugs are not the way to go for either of those things then maybe we as a human race are sort of failing to a certain extent.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Burn, by Deep Purple

In 1974, Deep Purple once again made a big change in their sound by switching out personnel. This time they swapped out bassist Roger Glover for bassist and backing/co-lead vocalist Glenn Hughes and lead vocalist Ian Gillan for David Coverdale. The band had been building up a great deal of momentum at that point and many people wondered if they would survive with the tension and change of line-up. With the release of Burn, they showed that they were still the rock powerhouse they have always been and then some.

Where the band's material with the previous line-up had been more prog/hard rock oriented, Burn had more elements of blues, funk, and soul. That is not to say that the music isn't still loud and proud with a great deal of classical influence as it had always been up to that point. There is still plenty of that old school Deep Purple sound to be found in the record among the other different sounds that were brought to the table with the new guys.

Burn is one of the single greatest title tracks and ways to start an album as well as concert (as they did a lot during the Mark III and IV era). It has one of those ripping and running Ritchie Blackmore guitar riffs while David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes absolutely howl away on vocals and Ian Paice goes manic on his drum kit. I think my favorite part of the song though is probably Jon Lord's organ solo. It is filled with squalls, melody, and a sense of class that only Lord could bring.

Mistreated is one of Deep Purple's crown jewels. It is a slow, but intense blues song. It is emotionally and musically powerful on so many levels. Plus, Blackmore really struts his stuff in both slow and shredding ways throughout different parts of the song. Coverdale pours his heart and soul into the vocals. You can truly tell he means and feels every last word he sings. It is truly touching and able to be empathized with.

While I wouldn't suggest starting with Burn if you are looking to give Deep Purple a try for the first time, it is a great one to have in your collection after you have listened to some of the previous albums with the classic line-up first. There are all kinds of fun, pleasant surprises throughout the record. Every track in some way or another has something good to offer. If you like hard rock, it's there. If you like prog, it's there. If you like blues, it's there. If you like funk, it's there. Definitely a must have.

Burn, by Deep Purple receives 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Tracks List:

1. Burn
2. Might Just Take Your Life
3. Lay Down, Stay Down
4. Sail Away
5. You Fool No One
6. What's Going On Here
7. Mistreated
8. "A" 200

Buy the album on Amazon:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

More Rainbow Shows a Possibility

Ever since guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore announced his first rock shows in 20 years (after spending this time doing solely renaissance music with his wife Candice Night), fans have gone absolutely NUTS. Blackmore has formed a new line-up of Rainbow. Unfortunately however, only three shows have been announced.

Fortunately however, the man in black has given a small ray of hope to to the possibility of there being more shows after the ones that are currently scheduled. In an interview on Rich Davenport's Rock Show (which can be listened to in full here), Blackmore says:

“Blackmore’s Night will go on, and this is just a brief intermission of playing some good old rock, but with some good friends and some good musicians. And hopefully everybody’s there for the same reason, which is it’s good music and it’s nostalgia, and hopefully everything goes well. If it works, we’ll do, obviously, more dates. We’re only doing three this first time. But, like I said, if it works, we’ll do more later on.”

However, even if Rainbow is doing live shows again that does NOT mean that there will be new rock music out of the fingers of Ritchie Blackmore unfortunately. Blackmore commented on this, saying:

“In rock, I was just kind of churning out heavy metal riffs, and it was becoming stale and kind of redundant. I got kind of bored with the whole thing. Now, I’m always sitting with a guitar and playing finger-style when I’m trying to come up with new ideas and progressions, and it’s a very natural process. In rock, it was becoming contrived.”

I guess we should have expected as much, though. Blackmore has done everything he wanted to do in rock and metal so it's only natural that he doesn't care enough at this point in his life to try to make something new in that vein. In a way I'm kind of glad because if he did it would just be forced and would sound terrible. That said however, I would still LOVE for Rainbow to announce some shows in the US soon....

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

David Bowie Teases New Single "Lazarus"

David Bowie has decided to put out a 15 second teaser clip of his upcoming single Lazarus, which will be coming out two days from now on December 17th. Lazarus is the second single from Bowie's upcoming album Blackstar, which comes out on January 8th of next year.

The 15 second clip isn't much of a teaser, but it does give some insight as to what the track will sound like. It definitely sounds like it will be a lot easier to follow than the previous single, the album's title track. It seems more straight to the point rather than going in all kinds of peculiar directions.

Lazarus is also the name of Bowie's upcoming stage production, which the track will also be featured in. It is a stage production of the Walter Telvis 1963 novel The Man Who Fell to Earth, which Bowie starred in a film version of in 1976. It tells the story of Thomas Newton, an alien who “remains on Earth, a man unable to die, his head soaked in cheap gin, and haunted by a past love.”

I appreciate the fact that Lazarus (the single) seems to have more electric guitar than Blackstar. I know that David Bowie isn't exactly a rock n' roll musician solely, but it's still the sound that I like best from him. I'm just really curious about what the whole album is going to sound like. I get the impression that it will be fairly popular, but it is going to take multiple listens for anyone to really begin to digest it. It seems rather exploratory and experimental, even by Bowie's standards.

Listen to Lazarus teaser here:


Monday, December 14, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #55

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. To the Rescue, by Snakecharmer

Made up of former Whitesnake founders Micky Moody and Neil Murray along with other rock veterans, this 6 piece does one hell of a job bringing the sound of heavy 70's blues rock into the modern day with soulful sounds and riffs that will punch you into next week. To the Rescue sounds like one hell of an awesome blend of original Whitesnake and Bad Company. It has that sunshine feel good groove that will have you moving your head while driving down the highway.

2. Plush, by Stone Temple Pilots

Sadly Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland passed away almost 2 weeks ago in his sleep due to cardiac arrest while on tour. Plush is one of the Pilots' best known songs. It features some of the best of Weiland's notorious 90's croon while having the simplest, yet catchiest guitar riff the band ever came up with. It's sad that we will never hear Weiland sing this song or anything else ever again. May the man rest in peace.

3. Cold Ethyl, by Alice Cooper

From Alice Cooper's first album without the original band, this is a fun straight up rocker that keeps in the same dark themes as the older material while still keeping a cheery upbeat rock n' roll charm to it. You would think Alice is singing a love song, but if you listen closer it's actually something quite different; though maybe not so much if you think about it. Either way, it's a great tune to get moving and grooving to. Definitely will fill your cowbell quota.

4. For Those Who Love the Lizz, by Gypsyhawk

For those of you who have followed newer rock/metal at all it's no secret that the members of Gypsyhawk are HEAVILY influenced by Irish rockers Thin Lizzy. All of their music is bathed in their influence. To acknowledge this and pay tribute to their prime influence, the band recorded a track that nods to so many of Thin Lizzy's hits while also playing in a very similar music style. You would think it wouldn't be that interesting, but it actually kind of works.

5. Clocks, by Coldplay

I know that Coldplay isn't the kind of stuff we usually jam here on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective but I still have a special place in my heart for their biggest hit Clocks. The piano melody while simplistic is absolutely engrossing and will make the hairs on your arms stand up while sending shivers down your spine. It's some powerful stuff. For soft rock this is a damn impressive tune. It proves you don't always have to be loud and proud to make a good tune.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Steve Perry Confirms Plans for Solo Album

It would seem that former Journey singer Steve Perry has been working on a brand new solo album (his first in about 20 years) since early this year and has been keeping it a secret all this time till now.

The news was finally broken to the public when Perry did a call-in on the Mark in the Morning radio show on KSWD-FM to wish the host "Uncle" Joe Bensen a happy birthday. Perry was asked a few questions including stuff about current plans. He mentioned the album, saying:

“I’m in the studio,” Perry said when asked what he’s been up to lately. “You know, actually, I started — there’s been so many rumors going around that I’m in the studio, that I’ve been there for years. The truth is, I finally went into the studio in March, and I’ve been in there ever since, just trying to finish this record.”

As for when it would be finished, Perry says:

“I’ve asked myself that today. I’m looking forward to finishing it, put it that way. I want to get it done probably in the early part of this coming year.”

This will be Perry's first solo album since 1994's For the Love of Strange Medicine. I can only imagine what the album might sound like, considering how long it has been since Perry was regularly recording and performing. It's definitely about time he made a comeback, though. While he might not be able to do the Journey songs like he did 30+ years ago any more, I still imagine he will be able to put out some good sounding stuff nonetheless.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Down to Earth, by Rainbow

In 1979, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore was taking his brain child Rainbow in a new direction. Once original singer Ronnie James Dio left the band, Blackmore decided to switch musical styles from melodic medieval themed hard rock/metal to commercial rock. Enter new vocalist: Graham Bonnet, a soul singer with short hair and a disco suit. Pretty much the antithesis of Dio. Furthermore, Blackmore brought in ex-Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover and keyboardist Don Airey. Drummer Cozy Powell was the only previous Rainbow member aside from Blackmore who remained. This line-up would go to record an album called Down to Earth.

Down to Earth despite being a massive change in style for Blackmore still contains much of his signature riffs and melodic blistering solos that he has been known for. The songs do take on a much more straight simple radio friendly rock style in that the structures are more pop oriented. With the addition of Bonnet the songs also do have more of a slight Motown/soulful feel to them as well. Certain parts are still a bit more experimental and exploratory, but not as much as Blackmore's previous work.

Since You Been Gone is the one song of Rainbow's (though it was originally penned by Russ Ballard) that still gets regular airplay on the radio to this day. For good reason too. It has that ear worm of a main riff that Blackmore added to it and a vocal melody that is incredibly pleasing and enticing. Despite the fact that this is by no means my favorite Rainbow song (nowhere close) even I will admit to singing along to it every time it comes up on the radio or my playlist.

All Night Long was another single from the album. Its main riff sounds like a variation of the Rainbow tune Man on the Silver Mountain. I guess Blackmore is allowed to rip himself off, though. Unlike its inspiration though, All Night Long is less fantasy themed and more about trying to take a girl home from a rock show. It really is sleazy in all the best ways, though. It's simple, catchy, and fun; everything a radio hit should be.

I will admit that Down to Earth is not a bad album. I don't consider it a true Rainbow album, but it's good nonetheless. It has some good songs on it that I find myself enjoying fairly often. To be honest though, I feel this album was a fluke. After this album and they replaced Bonnet with Joe Lynn Turner that's when things REALLY went downhill for Rainbow. All that aside, Down to Earth is worth your time and money.

Down to Earth, by Rainbow receives 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. All Night Long
2. Eyes of the World
3. No Time to Lose
4. Makin' Love
5. Since You Been Gone
6. Love's No Friend
7. Danger Zone
8. Lost in Hollywood

Buy the album on Amazon:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Lost Mitch Malloy Van Halen Track Released

In 1996 Van Halen parted ways with long time singer Sammy Hagar. That being said, the group had to find a replacement if they were going to manage to stay afloat. Before settling on Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone, they tried working with another singer: Mitch Malloy.

Before Van Halen's manager decided to go with someone else to be singer, Eddie Van Halen sent over an instrumental demo to Malloy to turn into a song. The result was a positive upbeat tune called It's the Right Time. Unfortunately, before it could be handed over and used for anything, Malloy was canned. It has remained unheard until now.

In an interview with Classic Rock Magazine, Malloy says:

"After an amazing time in LA, which included Ed saying, 'Congratulations, you’re in the band,' I'm leaving and he hands me a tape of an instrumental of the band and says, 'Turn this into a song. Well, I did write that song, but never shared it with anyone out of respect for the band. But, 20 long years later, I decided that with the challenging times the world is having, It’s the Right Time to share that uplifting song. Fans have wondered what I would sound like with Van Halen, now you will know. I hope you dig it."

It's the Right Time isn't exactly the most spectacular Van Halen track I've ever heard, but it is by no means anywhere close to bad. It sounds a lot like what you would expect an early/mid-90's Van Halen to sound like, but with a different singer than Hagar. It is bright, glossy, upbeat, and has positive lyrics. It reminds me a bit of Top of the World. I think Malloy would have made a good replacement for Hagar, though I can see why they didn't go with him. Malloy is talented, but he wouldn't have taken the band in any fresh kind of direction.

If you would like to hear It's the Right Time, click the YouTube link below.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

David Bowie and Gorillaz Possibly Collaborating in 2016

There is a rumor going around the internet recently that if true is going to make a ton of people go absolutely NUTS. The rumor in question is that legendary experimental pop artist David Bowie and the famed experimental hip-hop group Gorillaz may be collaborating next year.

According to hints dropped by Gorillaz co-founder Jaime Hewlett on Instagram, the collaboration will be happening in addition to a whole new album from Gorillaz. The hint came in the form of a picture of Ziggy Stardust era David Bowie edited to look like he was a Gorillaz character.

Bowie's representatives have since refuted the claim, saying it was just respect from one musician to another according the official statement given on his official website. Bowie will also be putting out new material next year, a more experimental than usual album titled Blackstar.

I hope that this rumor turns out to be true despite the statement. A collaboration between Gorillaz and David Bowie would be something on a whole other plane of existence. Considering they both like to get experimental and are each legendary in their own rights for extraordinary song writing, I don't think I could even begin to fathom what they would create together.

Monday, December 7, 2015

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #54

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. Planet Caravan, by Black Sabbath

This is one of Black Sabbath's most relaxing and romantic songs. I know what you're thinking. Josh, WTF? Black Sabbath in the same sentence as "romantic" and "relaxing"? Sounds like you've been smoking the same stuff that they used to! I assure you however that these words are an apt description of the song. However, it is in a very creative and science fiction kind of way. All kinds of things about planets and space are mentioned all throughout the song. For those who are jazz guitar enthusiasts,  this is right up your alley.

2. Fluff, by Black Sabbath

Another peaceful song by Black Sabbath. This song reminds me of sitting at my living room window watching snow come gently falling from the sky in the middle of the night. It really is a Tony Iommi masterpiece, as he plays all the guitars and piano in the track. There are layers upon layers of instruments and they all come together as a well constructed puzzle. In a way it really is an elaborate tapestry of sound.

3.  Zeitgeist, by Black Sabbath

When Black Sabbath reunited with singer Ozzy Osbourne to record and release the 2013 album 13, a lot of what they did was try to recapture their old sound. You can really tell when you listen to the track Zeitgeist, which basically sounds like a newer version of Planet Caravan. It isn't romantic like the old track, but it is very much in the same jazzy relaxing vibe as its inspiration. It does put you in a similar mindset to say the least.

4. Solitude, by Black Sabbath

This is another one of Black Sabbath's not so loud and rumbling tunes. This one while in some ways relaxing is a bit more on the depressing side, but given the title and subject matter of the lyrics that much is obvious. Many people (myself included) have been able to relate to and resonate with it to some degree at some point in their lives. It is a mournful, yet simultaneously beautiful song. It brings to light what goes through a heart during times of great emotional duress.

5. Changes, by Black Sabbath

This has to be one of Black Sabbath's most famous non-rocking tunes. It is piano driven with some nice string backing. It is also some of the most heart felt and sincere singing I have ever heard out of Ozzy. It's a song about love, loss, and heartbreak. If you thought Solitude was relatable, THIS is even more so. Almost everyone deals with a break-up during the course of their lives. Let Ozzy's words just flow through to the very corners of your soul when you listen to this...


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Carry On Wayward Sun Covered on Dual Harps

As I'm sure many of you have all heard the dreadful news about the passing of Scott Weiland, I figure it's time to take a breath and watch something that might help you cheer up a bit; if only for a moment.

Recently Camille and Kennerly have released a new video of them performing a single from their newest album Harp Attack 2, which is a (you guessed it) harp cover of the Kansas classic Carry On Wayward Son.

Overall it isn't too bad. It's about what you would expect for the song being played on a couple of harps. The iconic melodies are all there with decent backing. It definitely lacks the punch and emotion that the original had, but I guess you can't expect a harp to drive the same way an electric guitar would. Different kind of stringed instrument.

Harp Attack 2 came out in February and features covers by Ozzy Osbourne, The Eagles, Journey, Survivor, Metallica, and more. It's definitely fun and an interesting way to hear some of your favorite classics reinterpreted on classical instruments.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Former Stone Temple Pilots Singer Scot Weiland Reported Dead

We're taking a break from our regularly scheduled format on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective tonight for a special news bulletin.

Former lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver: Scott Weiland has just been reported dead.

Weiland (aged 48) was found so on his tour bus this evening (December 3rd) by his personal manager around 9 PM according to TMZ. He apparently died quietly in his sleep. Weiland and his band The Wildabouts were set to play a show in Rochester, MN tonight, but the show was cancelled.

Weiland has been known for his substance abuse for years (particularly heroin). It has gotten him kicked out of both Stone Temple Pilots as well as Velvet Revolver. He had been supposedly clean for a long time now, but unfortunately that seems to have been more than likely not the case; especially since in recent interviews with him he looked rather sickly and also had visible track marks on his arms.

People in the music community such as Dave Navarro, Dave Kushner, Amanda Palmer, Zach Myers, Alice Cooper, and more are already making statements on social media about Weiland's passing.

This, boys and girls is why you do NOT mess around with hard drugs. You end up losing all sense of self and turn into something that no one ever wants to be. It's a shame that Weiland wasted his talent and life on such harmful vices. Sadly this leaves us also with no potential for a reunion with STP or VR. For someone who wanted such things, staying on drugs was not the best way to go about it. However, I'm going to quit railing on Weiland now because it really is a tragedy that he has passed. He made some iconic and unforgettable music in his life time; for which he will be remembered forever. We'll try to remember the songs he gave us, rather than what he did to himself.

Scott Weiland R.I.P.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Freddie Mercury and Rob Halford "Forgiven" For Being Gay in Russian Magazine

It's kind of astonishing to realize that blatant homophobia is still such a thing in certain parts of the world in this day and age. However, in Russia there was recently an article written in their version of the men's magazine Maxim where they made a list of people whose contributions are so great that they have "earned our respect and the right to remain real men in our eyes". Part of the list included Queen front man Freddie Mercury and Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford.

The magazine also included actors like Sir Ian McKellen and Neil Patrick Harris and started off the article saying, “We, men, do not consider men who love men to be men. This is the rule. But there are exceptions.”

For Halford, they said:
“If you’re cool enough, it doesn’t matter what your orientation is.”

As for Mercury:

“Brought us so much joy, we are ready to forgive him anything.”

Needless to say there has been a great deal of public outrage about the piece. Though they insist it was a joke, it is not surprising that such a piece would be published in Russia given how vehemently against homosexuality they are. U.S. Maxim was quick to act, saying:

“We are deeply disturbed by the article in Maxim Russia and fully condemn it. It is entirely against the views of U.S. Maxim.”

It really shouldn't matter what your orientation is regardless of whether or not you are a popular performer. With as many strides as we have made towards equality worldwide I guess some places *cough* *cough* Russia *cough* still have a ways to go in terms of getting their heads out of their asses in that regard.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow Line-Up Revealed

Not long ago it was announced that guitar giant Ritchie Blackmore was making an extremely brief return to rock music after playing nothing but renaissance music in his group Blackmore's Night for the past two decades. After some shows in Europe being confirmed, the line-up for the gigs has also been revealed.

Guitar: Ritchie Blackmore
Vocals: Ronnie Romero
Bass: Bob Nouveau
Drums: David Keith
Keys: Jens Johansson

Romero is still very new to the scene and according to Blackmore sounds like "a combination of Ronnie James Dio and Freddie Mercury". Blackmore intends to give him some considerable exposure to the mainstream and hopefully help him to be successful. Nouveau and Keith have already worked with Blackmore before in Blackmore's Night, whereas Johansson has not but is already a long time veteran.

Seems like a fairly decent line-up, though personally I am a little skeptical of people from a renaissance band doing hard rock and metal. However, I may yet be proven wrong and pleasantly surprised. Regardless, it's about time that Ritchie Blackmore finally got back to his roots and made the music that got him where he is today.