Saturday, November 27, 2010

Willie Nelson Busted for Possession...Again.


Everyone knows drug use among musicians is as commonplace as ramen in a college dorm room.
The sex, drugs, and rock n' roll mentality prevails long after other cliches of the 70s have lost their steam.
It's no surprise, then, that Willie Nelson was arrested for pot possession on Friday morning. The 77-year-old musician is just as well known for his love of chronic as any song in his lengthy catalog.
Most bloggers and journos would take the next several sentences to chastise law enforcement to leave ol' Willie alone and let grandpa smoke his pot.
Here is where I differ from most: Whether we take a liberal or conservative stance on the use of marijuana, it is still an illegal substance. Law enforcement will continue to, y'know, enforce the law.
My question is, why hasn't Willie learned how to keep the law off his back? As a lifetime pot smoker, one would think he'd know how to be more stealthy.
If rock star addicts like Nikki Sixx and Anthony Kiedis can be routine heroin users and manage to avoid being arrested for possession, how does Willie find himself in this situation multiple times?
Perhaps Sixx and Kiedis, both reformed, could teach Willie a thing or two when it comes to steering clear of run ins with the law.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Review: Hialeah Fest at Churchill's Pub


A spontaneous trip to Churchill's for last night's Hialeah Fest exposed us to some great bands, both old and new. For a $7 cover, we walked into the sounds of infamous Miami-based band Humbert. I've heard much about these guys over the years, but every time I was at a festival they were playing, I was in another area doing some sort of promotional hustle.

I observed the end of set from across the bar, peering through a sea of bad hairdos as I nursed my Jack and Coke. The band lived up to their hype: Catchy, dance-worthy indie rock. They're the kind of band you find yourself declaring you're totally in love with, halfway through the first song of theirs you've ever heard.  I'm glad I finally had the chance to see them live.

The stage was divided in two by a crudely hung white sheet, and as Humbert tore down, Low Visibility began their set on the opposite end of the stage. I honestly don't have much to say about these guys. The fifteen minute set rotations meant for me that they were sandwiched between Humbert, whom I had been excited to see; and Hit Play.

Hit Play is my friend and former 93 Rock co-worker Gaston de la Vega's band. They were the motivation for me to take my ass to Miami in the first place. The band kicked off their set with "...Progress, I Think?" from their debut EP "In Case of Emergency". Singer Alex Calente lead the band through a killer set that also included "The Lie Detector Determined That Was a Lie" and others. Equal parts power pop and punk, these guys deliver with catchy tunes that make you want to bounce and sing along, even if you don't know the lyrics. Of the four bands we saw, Hit, Play sounded tightest of all. They opened and finished strong, chugging through the fifteen minute set with as much energy as you would expect from an hour or more.

The last band we caught was Change Is Great. Giz Forte leads this Hialeah-based three piece with soulful reggae tinged vocals. The slow groove was a complete 180 from Hit Play; but a welcome change indeed. I'll definitely have to catch this trio again in a longer format.

Hialeah Fest was a great way to sample some local music, without having to wait impatiently though lengthy sets when a band you're not into hits the stage.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rock n' Roll Samsons


From a purely aesthetic standpoint, I'm rarely attracted to guys with long hair. There are few who can pull it off, but there are exceptions to the rule. When it's done wrong, it looks messy. It prevents me from seeing your gorgeous face. You get my point.
Regardless of my feelings about the look, one thing remains clear: The amount of which you rock, as a frontman, is directly proportionate to when you decided you shear your locks.

I submit to you the following:

James Hetfield- The cowardly lion of metal, Hetfield was known for thrashing those locks around as he kicked ass to "Seek and Destroy" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls".
He cut his hair right before the release of Load in 1996, which brought us gems like "Ain't My Bitch" and "King Nothing".

Current length: Still close cropped. The suck has somewhat abated since the release of Death Magnetic, but imagine a return to power if Hetfield grew his hair once again.



Eddie Vedder- Despite tireless research, I had trouble pinpointing exactly when Eddie Vedder cut his hair short. My best guess is he started cutting it sometime during the No-Code era, one of the last Pearl Jam albums I liked. The shorter he cut it, the worse the music got. Yield had a few good tracks, Binaural even fewer. By the time Riot Act was released in 2002, I had stopped purchasing their albums. Eddie's hair cut in 2002? A mohawk. Do the math, friends.



Current length: Just above the shoulders. Not enough hair length to recover from the free fall that started with the mohawk. Sorry, Ed.



Chris Cornell-Cut his hair halfway through Superunknown, which is widely considered to be Soundgarden's breakthrough album. Superunknown is also regarded by hardcore fans as the turning point in their career from a heavy band to a more mainstream band. I enjoyed Superunknown, but less hair definitely equaled less heavy. Cornell continued to wear his hair short through the end of Soundgarden, just one album later.


Current length: Just past his shoulders, with no signs of stopping. Soundgarden has recently reunited, and re-recorded the track "Black Rain", which is originally from the Badmotorfinger recording sessions. It rocks...HARD. Hair is back, heavy Soundgarden is back. Cornell becomes a success story the others should model themselves after.


In conclusion, I find these men far more attractive with short hair. But for the sake of all things rock n' roll, the only way they can salvage the music is to grow back the hair!

Who else in the music industry have you witnessed this phenomenon with?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Ear For A Single

Call it a blessing and a curse. When I hear an album for the first time, there is always one song that stands out to me above the rest. Whether it is an EP or a full length record, at least one song "speaks" to me. This often ends up being the one that receives radio airplay.

I've gotten a lot of hell for this ability over the years. My music snob friends like to tease me for recognizing the most popular and radio-ready hits. Everyone with decent taste in music knows the single is often the most loathed song on any album, as it gets overplayed ad nauseum by radio stations across the country. It finds its way into commercials, music videos, grocery stores, and bores a hole into your very soul. Sometimes it is mediocre when compared with the rest of the album. Other times it is so infectiously catchy, you can't help but love it.

As much as you love to hate most singles, these are the songs that are chosen to grab a listener and drive them to further explore the band's album. If the single is really good, it may even encourage a listener to delve into a band's entire discography.

I'm proud of my ability to hear an album and choose a song that I am confident will make a new band successful, or breathe new life into a band that is on the verge of a comeback.
Having this gift means I'm doing my job well.

What are some of your favorite singles? Least favorite? Is there a single you hated, but eventually ended up listening to and becoming a fan of the band?




Saturday, July 10, 2010

Playing the Right Size Room


I was cruising home from work in my car today listening to music. I started thinking about some of the concerts I've been to over the years, and how the size of the room these bands are playing in directly correlates with what kind of performance they have.

Bands like Foo Fighters and Green Day are solid in an arena setting. I've seen Foo Fighters tackle the Bank Atlantic Center twice, and KILLED both times.
I've seen Green Day own both the BAC and The Triple A (American Airlines Arena).
Dave Matthews Band, Poison, and Disturbed are all fantastic bands to see on a sweaty summer night at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. The open-air structure sets the tone perfectly for a great night of acoustic balladry or balls-out rock.

The difference in playing certain venues becomes even more evident when it comes to local bands. I've recently seen Juke play a Beer Fest, Hollywood Bandshell, and The Poorhouse. Each performance had a different vibe. Beer Fest was high energy, Bandshell was laid back with a medium pace, and The Poorhouse was full of foot stompers, attitude, and an anything goes vibe.

My friends the Hep Cat Boo Daddies always play their best shows at The Hollywood Playhouse. There is something about that theatre that brings out the best in them as a band. All of the songs sound that much more soulful and real.

Conversely, choosing a room that your band is not suited for can provide disastrous results. I've seen multiple bands play Hard Rock Live in Hollywood with mixed success. Sometimes the sound is drowned or muffled, or the music gets lost drifting over the sea of people.

I enjoyed seeing Weezer at Sunfest earlier this year, but they're better suited to play in an arena, or even a medium-sized venue. Rivers Cuomo has been experimenting with becoming a more outgoing and impressive frontman, but I'd prefer to see him play a smaller room and stick to his traditionally awkward ways.

What are some recent shows you've been to where the band worked really well or really poorly in a particular venue?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Record Store Day!


In just 10 hours, I'll be on the doorstep of Radio-Active Records to celebrate Record Store Day 2010.
Kris and I already pre-ordered all of the stuff we want to buy, as it is limited edition. What's this day all about, you ask? It's the celebration of independently owned record stores across the country, and worldwide. Many bands release records that you can only purchase on this day. It also includes live performances, and lots of other great stuff. So, wherever you live, make it a point to support your local record store. Go dig through the vinyl and fall in love with a new band, or maybe just one that's new to you :)

Happy RSD!

Want more info? Go here: Radio-Active Records blog or here: Record Store Day

Monday, April 12, 2010

Palladia

I do so enjoy this channel. Better than just a string of music videos every day, they also show live concerts and other assorted performances.

I set my DVR for Kings of Leon, parts of the 2009 Glastonbury Festival, a Green Day performance from Munich, and various others I can't recall.
Tonight, I watched a performance that included several artists, but it was also a documentary of sorts. There were sit-down interviews with each of the performers, most of which I fast-forwarded through to get to Dave Matthews Band.

The featured song for their portion of the documentary was "Take Me to the River", and DMB was joined by Al Green. Imagine my surprise when the camera panned to stage left, and there stood Leroi Moore. I didn't even think about what year this performance could be from, turns out it was 2006, before he passed away. To see and hear him play after only seeing recent stuff was beautiful. He had a sound that was all his own.

Thanks, Paladia, for playing the awesome stuff.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pop Culture Fluff

Scanning the headlines on Rollingstone.com, a few names pop up that I've been seeing everywhere: Justin Bieber, Ke$sha, etc.
It's always interesting to see how pop culture evolves every decade, only to come
full circle and make the same cycle of trends popular all over again. There is no originality. Right now, the Grunge look is back in style, and 90s bands are reuniting like crazy.
In ten years, none of these artists will be making headlines in Rolling Stone. But in twenty years, they'll all be reuniting to play to the nostalgia of adults that were kids when they were around the first time.
I'm always pleased to report I am blissfully unaware of what these one hit wonders sound like.
Anyone remember Tweet, Big Tymers, Nine Days or Eamon? Bet you didn't until I rattled them off :)
Enjoy having those songs stuck in your head!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba!

Fort the last several months, I'd heard lots of great stuff about the Nickelodeon kid's show "Yo Gabba Gabba!". Until recently, I didn't have a child that was old enough to pay attention to a television, so I never had reason to check it out. Then, all of my friends in their 20s and 30s started raving about this show...even the childless ones. So I did some research and discovered that the show is created by Christian Jacobs, a member of the Aquabats.
Jacobs and co-creator Scott Schultz have scored some well-loved names in contemporary music to be a part of their show. Regular contributers include Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, and Biz Markee in a segment called "Biz's Beats". Recent musical guests include: Of Montreal, Mos Def, Weezer, Weird Al, The Killers, The Flaming Lips. It's every music lover's dream come true, in rainbow colors! If you've never checked it out because you thought it was just for kids, I highly recommend adding it to your DVR list.



"Singing and dancing to music is AWESOME!"

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Music Banned in Mogadishu

I try not to be preachy with my political beliefs. I would never want someone to force their politics on me, so I try to show the same courtesy. The one thing I've always thought was important, however, was to have an educated opinion. In any event, bear with me on this blog, as it is still music related. Many Americans take for granted the freedoms that our country provides. It's easy to stay in our insulated little bubble, not thinking too much about how people around the world live. In some parts of the world, you don't even have the freedom to listen to music.
I recently came across an article discussing a ban of music of all kinds in Mogadishu, Somalia. The consequences radio station broadcasters will face if they fail to cease is unclear, but the message sent in the accompanying photo is not: It contains man inside a radio station whose window contains a bullet hole. This resonates with me on two levels: One, as a passionate music lover. Two, as a ten year veteran of radio. Sometimes, it's easy to forget how good we have it, as we complain about everything that's wrong with our nation. Things we consider to be basic rights and liberties are not granted to those in other countries, and this one would be heartbreaking for me, and a lot of other people I know as well.
So turn your radio up a little louder today. Instead of bitching about how your favorite station plays the same five Metallica songs repeatedly, be thankful that you have music to listen to.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Erykah Badu's Video Controversy

http://vodpod.com/watch/3316188-erykah-badu-window-seat-official-video

I've been reading and hearing buzz everywhere for the last several days about the video for Erykah Badu's song, "Window Seat", in which she strips naked. At first, I deliberately avoided having anything to do with it, as I often do with anything the media dubs controversial. But curiosity got the best of me, and after all, I do write a music blog. I watched the video, and I think it's bold and daring. I'm not a fan of her music, I could really care less about her, but she made a statement. It's unfortunate in this modern age that something as simplistic as shedding your clothing is considered a "statement", but she went for it nonetheless. So did Matt&Kim, Alanis Morrisette, and Blink-182 . If you've never seen Matt&Kim's video, for which Badu's was inspired, do check it out. I actually like theirs much better. Call it performance art, a cry for media attention, whatever you wish. But the thing to be disappointed about is the sentiment that fairly liberal people have been echoing for years: "What is the big deal?". Many raise the point of exposing children to nudity. If you don't want your children exposed to it, that's a personal decision you have control over. But why are we sheltering the general public from something that we all see every day? Just because you are nude does not mean you're going to have sex. Just because you're exposed to violence, such as Badu getting shot at the end of the video, does not mean you are going to commit an act of violence. If given the knowledge of right and wrong, as guided by a parent or guardian, you know the difference.
But I digress, as this debate is older than I am, and I'm sure will continue to rage on for years to come.
What are your thoughts on Window Seat, and other videos like it?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Green Day-Last of the American Girls

http://www.mtv.com/videos/green-day/498721/last-of-the-american-girls.jhtml

Enjoy this new Green Day video, because I don't have much to talk about today...and Billie Joe Armstrong is still cute after all these years. The blonde wigged dancing chicks I could do without...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ricky Martin Announces Homosexuality...


...and I am just as shocked about this one as I was when Clay Aiken came out. I'm happy for you, Ricky. You just announced to the world one of the most obvious statements ever made.
In his official statement, Ricky discusses how he was hesitant to come out, and pressured by others into remaining silent. Conveniently, now that it has been several years since receiving any mainstream media attention, he decides it's the perfect time to let everyone know what we've always known.
Lance Bass, Clay Aiken, and now Ricky. None were shocking revelations. None were at the height of their popularity. It's always good to see someone be true to themselves and who they are, but for the right reasons.
Maybe I've got this all wrong. I'm not gay, so I have no idea what it must be like. Would anyone care to correct me on this, or do you support my opinion that this seems more like a play for some press than an honest-to-goodness declaration of sexuality.

What say you, dear readers?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Miley Cyrus is Going to Quit Making Music

What? The headline wasn't awesome enough?
One less person making obnoxious, watered down, generic pop music. Err...one less person making it for her, I guess I should say.
Clearly she inherited her awesome musical talents from her equally musically gifted father.
Miley says she wants to focus on acting in the movies. This is her way of ruining another creative medium!
She's apparently releasing her last album in June, at least I think...I try not to pay too close attention to crap.

What "musician" do you wish would quit making music?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

STP Couldn't Be Bothered to Record New Album Together


Once upon a time, Stone Temple Pilots were one of the first bands I rattled off when asked who some of my favorites were. Even after they released a couple of albums I could have cared less about, including the clunker Shangri La De Da, I still stood by a band I loved.
After they split off, Weiland becoming part of the mildly successful Velvet Revolver, and the DeLeos becoming part of the not-nearly-as-successful Army of Anyone; I still remained a fan.
I was cautiously optimistic at the thought of new music from a band I've loved for more than half of my life. Their new self-titled album is set to be released on a date that has personal meaning to me. May 25th is the date I was hired to be on-air at 93 Rock. That same night, I went to see Scott Weiland perform in Velvet Revolver.
Tonight I read about the making of this new record, and I was disappointed to say the least. Bassist Robert DeLeo has been quoted in an interview as saying all of the rest of the members of STP gathered without Scott to make music, while somewhere across the country, he was recording vocals. DeLeo attempts to put a positive spin on this concept by insisting: "...it's a great achievement being able to write and produce and do this record the way we did. I'm very, very proud of that."
Really? You're very proud of the fact that your band can't collectively get its shit together to make a record? You know, one of the most basic functions of being a member of a band? His quote may as well have read: "We can't stand to even be in the same room as Scott Weiland, but we'd like to prey on the loyalty of people that have been loyal fans of our band for the last fifteen years. So we thought we'd just phone this one in, and hope no one notices the difference"
Am I crazy here? Am I going off on an insane tangent, or does this not irritate anyone else?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CD Prices Lowered























It was recently reported that Universal Music Group Distribution is lowering the overall cost of a cd to $10.00 or less. To this I say too little, too late. Seven years ago, I worked at an F.Y.E. music store. During this time, small music stores and relatively well-known chains alike were starting to close their doors across the nation. Business was suffering. Everyone from Tower Records to Virgin Megastores saw their demise due to poor record sales, largely due to the fact that internet downloads were increasing in popularity. Back then, the solution seemed simple to me. I was stocking the shelves of F.Y.E. with cd's whose stickers read upwards of $19.99. Wouldn't it make sense to lower the cost of the cd in order to move more product? My co-workers and I scoffed when a cd would go "on sale" for $15.99.
I do not fall in this camp, but many people my age (and many more in the generation below mine) are content to download a few songs off of the internet from an artist they like, without purchasing or even listening to the album in its entirety. An album is created to be a whole body of work, and should be treated as such.
I suppose music lovers from older generations still purchase cds, but most people tote around iPods these days, or listen to mp3s on a similar handheld device...even their cell phone.

What do you think about Universal lowering prices?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Musical Genres

I was browsing a website that breaks up music by subgenres, and I was surprised to see labels for things I'd never heard of. Everyone knows Rock, Hip-Hop, and Classical. But have you heard of musique concrete or Filk? Do you know the difference between traditional jazz music and free jazz?
Pirate metal and wizard rock are both actual genres, the latter being based on the Harry Potter novel series. No, I'm not joking. If there's a concept for music, it's probably already been done. The list of rock genres alone is staggering. Exactly how much do you need to break your music down, classifying and reclassifying it?
I'll just stick with listening to things I like, staying away from things I don't, and avoiding labels altogether.
Do you have a favorite obscure music genre?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Trailer Shark at Respectable Street Cafe















Last night, I attended Slammie Wedding Bash at Respectable Street Cafe in West Palm Beach. Although there was a great lineup with several bands I am familiar with, my purpose for making the trek out of the Broward County comfort zone was to see Trailer Shark's first show. Trailer Shark is a classic rock cover band...with balls. Let it be known, this is not a bunch of guys in their 60s trying to relate to the "kids". Trailer Shark is an honest to goodness, hard hitting, rip your face off with awesomness, good band. Comprised of members of Indorphine, Raped Ape, Stillkept, Pro Pain, Cyst, What Wishes Can't Mend, and Gonema; the band's lineup reads like a best of the Florida music scene over the last several years.
The band played two sets, with a brief break in between. They plowed through songs by bands you'd expect to see on a classic rock setlist: Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple. But they also dug a little deeper for bands like Mountain, Grand Funk Railroad, and Blue Oyster Cult.
After the second set, I made a run for the door to hit a second show in Broward.
Without calling anyone out, let's just say the boys playing covers in Trailer Shark blew the band I saw next playing original songs out of the water.
I can't wait to see them again.



Friday, March 19, 2010

Juke Box Hero


Yeah, that's right. I just went Foreigner on your ass. So it's Friday night, and I got to thinking about days of yore, where I used to spend my night on a barstool at Poorhouse or Dicey Riley's, drinking and enjoying good company. The perfect companion to this experience is a few singles and a well stocked jukebox.
Nothing kills your buzz faster than someone ruining the ambiance of your favorite watering hole by throwing on some garbage that would make a teenager squeal. To be fair, I understand that a good jukebox should contain music from several genres. But playing "I Want it That Way" does not make you trendy or ironic, it just makes you an asshole that people want to throw balled up beverage napkins at.
So how do you play to an often mixed crowd? Survey the room as your stroll up to the machine. The purpose is not to appeal to everyone because you want to impress, but to appeal to everyone so they don't use the extra credit feature to skip your song and play theirs next in line.
Almost everyone has been drunk and down on their luck at least once, so you're always safe with Johnny Cash. Skip playing Folsom Prison Blues for the millionth time and choose "Sunday Morning Comin Down" instead.
Ok, you have two more credits, what to pick? If you're in a bar, the odds are pretty good that someone, if not the great majority, is trying to get laid. Play Violent Femmes' "Add It Up". Last credit. Neil Diamond "Sweet Caroline" or Queen Bohemian Rhapsody". If your timing is right, fellow bar patrons will be drunk enough to kick off a rousing sing along.

One to avoid? Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " It's been ruined by hipsters in tight jeans with stupid haircuts.

What songs do you play on the jukebox at the bar?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Workout Mix

Listening to music while you work out is a good way to motivate you to push yourself. The right songs can get you amped up. They don't necessarily have to be fast-paced. A good driving beat can be just as effective.
Here are a few of the songs I like to work out to:

Head Automatica-At the Speed of a Yellow Bullet
The Cardigans-Lovefool
Gnarls Barkley-Transformer
Blur-Girls and Boys
Foo Fighters-Stacked Actors
Daniel Bedingfield-Inflate My Ego
The Dandy Warhols-We Used to Be Friends

Many people like to work out to dance or techno music, some like hip-hop, but I go for something a little different. What is your preference?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Musicians Say The Darndest Things

Perusing Rollingstone.com, I came across this gem of a headline: Billy Corgan on John Mayer: "He's Trying to Destroy His Career". If that does not make you laugh, then you are a soulless human being whose funny bone was ripped out early in life.
When celebrities try to comment on the actions of their fellow species, the results are often hilarious at best. As we all know, celebrities are a mess. We're all a little messed up, sure. Maybe your dad wasn't around or your mom drank too much, but that can't come anywhere near the fucked up lives of famous people. So when they point out just how messed up someone else's life is, the irony is so great it's ridiculous.
How about instead of playing armchair psychiatrist, you stick to playing your music?
Sound like a deal?
What's the strangest thing you've heard one musician say about another?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Missed 'Em The First Time Around...


Sometimes, for whatever reason, you miss falling in love with a band at the height of their popularity. Perhaps you were too young, or you weren't into that particular genre at the time. Maybe you'd heard of the band, but you needed a friend to introduce you to their music.
Whatever the case, when it clicks...it really clicks. This clicking feeling is generally followed by beating yourself up over the fact that you didn't like them sooner, especially if they're dead/defunct/really old.
I never knew much about the Pixies in the late 80s and early 90s. To be fair, I was six years old when Surfer Rosa was released. In my early 20s, I met a friend that was obsessed with their music, and it lead me to give them a listen. Frank Black's gruff and earnest vocals captured my attention immediately, and I was intrigued by his many alter egos.
The only song I knew by Faith No More when I was a teenager was "Epic", but years later, I discovered the many works of Mike Patton: Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, Fantomas, and my favorite: Peeping Tom.
Kris and I were listening to the double disc Best of Radiohead collection last week, and he couldn't help but note one of the songs from early in their career was reminiscent of The Stone Roses. I admitted that I was familiar with the name, but I'd missed hearing them entirely, and here I sit listening to them for the first time. I like it.

Which bands do you enjoy now that you wish you'd discovered sooner?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chris Brown's Awkward Message to Fans


Following last year's scandal where he physically abused Rhianna, Chris Brown is so desperate to win back fans that he is recording audio messages asking them for support. In the awkward message, Brown states that a lot of radio stations aren't playing his records, and that he "can't be an underground mixtape artist". Coming off equal parts arrogant and pitiful, Brown often stumbles over his words and laughs nervously.
When you're a celebrity that makes a grave error in your personal life, fans take it to heart. Fans expect their favorite celebrities to set an example, and domestic abuse is not something that anyone takes lightly. Though an artist's work should stand independently of their personal life, we live in a world where pop culture is often the central focus of the news. It is easily accessible for anyone with a computer or internet capable handheld device.
Musicians and other celebrities are human, and therefore make mistakes just like everyone else.
I'm not a fan of Brown's music, but I am a fan of Scott Weiland's. Weiland was arrested for domestic violence several years ago, and it didn't make me want to stop listening to his music. It made me sad for him as a human being, that he couldn't get his act together, but I will always be a fan of his music.
Should the less than reputable actions of a musician be taken into consideration when judging their music?
When a musician you love does something stupid, does it change your opinion of them?


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Deftones-Rocket Skates


The Deftones have released a new track, titled "Rocket Skates". It's from their upcoming album, Diamond Eyes, due out May 18th.
This album is their first release since 2006's Saturday Night Wrist, and also marks the first album without bass player Chi Cheng. Cheng was involved in a car accident in November 2008 that left him with severe injuries, rendering him in a minimally conscious state from which he is still recovering.
"Rocket Skates" is a hard hitter, assaulting the senses right out of the gate. It's reminiscent of their early work, and much more heavy than anything they've put out in recent years.
I look forward to hearing the album in its entirety.

Which Deftones album is your favorite and why?


Friday, March 12, 2010

Musicians and Tragedies


In light of Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse's recent death, I found it appropriate to address this subject. It seems the words "creative people" and "tortured soul" go hand in hand. What is it that drives some of music's most talented individuals to abuse their bodies, or worse, commit suicide?
The reason his death is even more hard to swallow is he survived a brush with death once, and he still ended his own life. Paraphrased from Wikipedia:

While on tour in 1996, Linkous overdosed on alcohol and other substances in his London hotel room. Rendered unconscious by the combination of drugs, he collapsed with his legs pinned beneath him, and remained in that position for almost fourteen hours. The resulting potassium buildup caused his heart to stop for several minutes after his body was lifted up. Subsequent surgeries saved both legs but left him wheelchair bound for months.

I recently discussed here the deaths of Layne Staley and Bradley Nowell, two more musicians with a history of drug abuse and depression. Personally, I have never battled depression, so it is difficult for me to wrap my head around wanting to end my life.
Kurt Cobain, Jon Bonham, Ian Curtis, Shannon Hoon, Hillel Slovak...just to name a few. All with a history of depression, drug and alcohol abuse, or both.
So sad that so many talented individuals couldn't find the help they so desperately needed to turn things around.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Anyone Can Play Guitar



















Unusual Instrument Usage in Modern Pop Music

The standard roles in a five piece band are lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.
Some bands are not satisfied with traditional instrumentation. Bored with the lineup, they go looking for ways to alter their sound, such as Radiohead did by eliminating their label as "guitar rock". They incorporated instruments such as a glockenspiel, as well as drum machines and samplers. A Perfect Circle's debut album, Mer De Noms relies heavily on gourd instruments and violins to set the often dark theme of the music. The White Stripes experimented heavily with the marimba on their album Get Behind Me Satan, and The Roots have evolved over the years to include a sousaphone as a regular part of their lineup.

Some bands don't just experiment on a song or two, but use unusual instruments as part of their regular lineup. In addition to the traditional guitar, bass, and drums, Dave Matthews Band has a violinist and saxophonist.
Artists like Robert Randolph and Ben Harper forgo the standard electric guitar in favor of pedal steel and lap steel guitars. Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson use a ukulele.

Beck is so experimental with unusual instruments, that I had to use wikipedia and google images to figure out what some of them were. The list includes: sitar, banjo, glockenspiel, slide guitar, vocoder, and melodica.

Musicians that think outside of the box make some of the most creative and beautiful compositions.

What are some of your favorite examples of unusual instruments in contemporary music?



Monday, March 8, 2010

Blog Riffing Challenge Topic #4


Tonight's question is as follows: How did our parents' taste in music (or non-taste, for that matter) shape our own likes and dislikes?

This is the easiest one of all. My mom went to three concerts while I was still in the womb: Springsteen, Rush, and The Allman Brothers. When I was five years old, she took me to my first concert: Julian Lennon. She and my father taught me almost everything I know about the genre known as "classic rock". They introduced me to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Lovin' Spoonful, The Monkees, and a lot of other bands I still love to this day.
As for dislikes, my mom is a huge fan of Prog-rock, such as Yes and The Moody Blues. I don't particularly care for these bands anymore. As soon as I began to develop my own taste, I stopped listening to those bands. They're just not my taste, as an adult.
As for non-taste, my dad doesn't like much by the way of contemporary music. He'd prefer to stay firmly planted somewhere around 1975, musically speaking, with very little exception.
When I read this question, non-taste really jumped out at me as an experience my husband had. Kris's parents listen to country, christian music, and a smattering of 80s bands like Journey and REO Speedwagon.
Anyone that reads this and knows my husband knows that he is a bigger music elitist than I am. He learned nearly everything he knows about music, classic and contemporary, on his own.
We're taking all of the passion we have about music of all kinds and passing it on to Jonas. It is our responsibility as parents to give him a well-rounded musical education.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Blog Riffing Challenge: Topic # 3


The question is: "What did you hate in high school that you now love? Vice versa?"

My answer is:

Hated: Most rap and hip-hop, for starters. Music was not as easily accessible when I was in high school as it is now. I didn't have a home computer and internet until after I graduated, so I couldn't search for music and skim articles for new things. I also didn't have a lot of friends that were into hip-hop. The ones that were liked the pop garbage you hear on Top 40 radio. When I went to college, I discovered Outkast, The Roots, Goodie Mob, and Q-Tip. When I met Kris, he introduced me to a lot of good indie hip-hop: Mr. Lif, Aesop Rock, and El Producto. The entire Definitive Jux label has a great roster of guys you won't hear on the radio.

I also hated female singers. I've revised this over the years for the likes of Shirley Manson, Beth Gibbons, and a handful of others. I still don't like most of them, but that's an improvement upon the zero I liked in high school.

Loved: SmashMouth. I loved Steve Harwell's silly personality and bouncy lyrics. I bet I'd probably still like parts of Fush Yu Mang if I heard it today, if for nothing else but the nostalgia factor. After hearing them on every children's film soundtrack for the last ten years, I quit giving a damn.
Sugar Ray. Hmm. I don't even know how to explain that one away. Haha.
Counting Crows. I think my love for them began to fade when I saw them perform live for the first time. Adam Duritz doesn't just take liberties with his songs, he completely rearranges the composition when he plays them live. I've never been one to want a live performance to be a note-perfect rendition of the album track. But can it at least sound like it's in the same galaxy?
Pearl Jam. I know I'll get a fight on this one from the diehards, but I quit caring about their music three albums ago. I'm not the a-hole that thinks Ten is their best work and their only listenable material. Quite the contrary. Vitalogy, No Code, and Yield all have great tracks and shining moments. Maybe I outgrew them. Maybe they outgrew me. Sorry, Vedder.

What do you listen to now that's different from your tastes when you were younger?

Ed Note: The photo included in this blog was taken my Sophomore year of high school, at Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

RIP, Rock Star



I was recently asked which dead performer I missed out on seeing live. Two men from the same era came to mind instantly: Brad Nowell and Layne Staley.
When I first became aware of Sublime in 1994, Bradley Nowell had just overdosed on heroin. I was barely a fan before the opportunity to see him perform live went away.
Sixteen years later, I still listen to the albums fondly, but am also chilled to the core at times by how miserable he was with his life. The same can be said for Layne Staley. Reading lyrics to songs like "Down in a Hole" and "Angry Chair", it's painful and heart wrenching to imagine what his life must have been like, especially at the end. There is so much despair and desperation in the music of these two men. It is difficult to listen to, and hauntingly beautiful all at once. I have a strange fascination, that borders on obsessive, when it comes to rockstar junkies. But that is a blog for another day, my friends.

For the two or three of you that actually comment on these blogs, let me say in advance: I chose two contemporary artists, because I wasn't even alive yet when John Lennon was killed. I can't take some of the greats into consideration if I was too young or not in existence to attend a concert!

Who did you miss out on seeing live?



"Loneliness is not a phase
Field of pain is where I graze
Serenity is far away"


Friday, March 5, 2010

Music Written for Others

My friend Heather recently posed this question to me: Can music written for an artist by someone else be performed as passionately as it could be if they had composed the piece themselves? I think there are several determining factors when you pose a question like this. What is the relationship between composer and performer? Producer Linda Perry has written several songs for Pink, but they have developed a close relationship over the years that stemmed from Pink's devotion to Perry's music as a young woman. Pink felt an emotional connection to Perry's music and lyrics long before they ever collaborated together. Our emotions and experiences shape who we are, and that often translates with music, as well.
Perhaps, as a performer, you're given a piece of music that was not written by you. By putting your own heart and soul into singing and playing the piece, it in turn becomes a part of you.
On the other hand, when you see a teenager perform a love song that was clearly written by an adult, it can often be hard to swallow. The tween Disney group has yet to experience anything resembling love. There is nothing wrong with that, but they also don't have the experiences to draw upon, thereby making the performance difficult to believe.
What do you think?

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Superawesome Blog Riffing Challenge

So, chatting with a friend tonight, I lamented that I'd missed several days of music blogging due to horrific illness. I wasn't feeling particularly creative, and I asked him to give me a topic. The only requisite is that it be music-related, as this is a music blog.

His topic? Lisa Loeb.

So, when "Stay" came out, it was 1994 and I didn't have the slightest clue as to what it felt like to be in love, or date a guy, or even what it was like to kiss a guy. (That'd be 1995, in the interest of full disclosure)
At the time, my tastes were all over the map, musically. I was just starting to discover music that wasn't what my parents listened to. I didn't really like female singers much, but this chick had a neat voice, and the story behind her song was ok. Further more, I wanted a few girl songs I could sing along to. That summer, I made a mixtape (Yep, remember those?) that included Warren G and Nate Dogg "Regulate", Madonna "Take a Bow", and Soundgarden "Burden in My Hand".
How's that for an interesting, if random, mix?
"Stay" was also on said mixtape, and to this day I sing it sometimes when I do karaoke. It's not usually my first choice, but every once in awhile, there's good ol' reliable Lisa Loeb.

So there's my story, and here is my call to you: I'm opening up my blog this week to topic suggestions. You can give me just a name, a genre, a song, a concept...anything music related. I have to riff on it, whether I like it or not.

Ready? Go.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

TV Talk Show Bands

With the recent announcement that Kevin Eubanks may be leaving the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, I began to think about talk show hosts and their musical sidekicks. I've never been a Leno fan, with the exception of Headlines, which actually write themselves. Long before it was cool to shun Leno because of the Conan debacle, I was completely uninterested.
Eubanks is bland at best, and his music is not my thing, either.
Conan has (had?) Max Weinberg. Max has personality and musical talent. Add to this the unique fact that the bandleader is a drummer, and you have a winning combination. The rest of the band is fun, too.
Dave Letterman has Paul Schaffer. He may have an annoying voice, but this guy has a kick ass rolodex and can learn just about any song in popular music on the fly.
I tuned in to Jimmy Fallon's first show just to see The Roots and how they would be incorporated into the show. Several months in, Fallon has gotten less awkward. The only good thing about that first episode was The Roots segment "Slow Jammin' The News".

Who is your favorite late night talk show musical personality?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Music is Good For You

Like taking your vitamins and brushing your teeth, new music is good for you. Too often, we don't look beyond what is presented to us in the mainstream in terms of music. It pays to dig deeper than what is on the surface to find something with a little more substance. You will put forth a bit more effort for it, but it is always worth your time.
Last summer, I discovered a music website called lala.com that allows you to listen to entire albums from any genre one time. After the initial first time, you can purchase downloads for a reasonable fee, and create your own playlists. The feature I utilize most is the "New Releases" tab, which lists the week's new album releases in every genre.
I recently found the new single for Atlanta-based band The Constellations. They opened for RJD2 in Orlando last month, and put on a funky live performance. Scrolling further down the list, I came across a band I'd never heard of, called Speak and the Spells. They're a London-based garage punk band, and I really like their sound. I was flipping through the pages of the most recent issue of Spin magazine today, and happened upon a review for a band called Carolina Chocolate Drops. I took to Lala to listen to their unique, old-timey southern sound.


What bands have you recently discovered, and what resources do you use for finding new music?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Supergroup or Super Joke?

Former Gn'R and Velvet Revolver axe man Slash has recently been quoted in a Rolling Stone interview as saying Velvet Revolver is looking for a lead singer to replace Scott Weiland. Slash says he wants the new front man to be "someone who is really good that hasn’t been recognized by the whole country as being amazing". So let me get this straight, Slash. You're looking for a guy that no one's heard of to be in your supergroup? Correct me if I'm wrong here, buddy, but isn't the whole point of a supergroup to be, well, super?

To be fair, I've never been very good at math. But I'm going to attempt to break this down:

3 guys from Guns N' Roses
+ 1 guy from Suicidal Tendencies
+ 1 random frontman =
Awesome band? How 'bout NO.

Looks like it's time for Slash to go back to his solo albums that no one cares about, and the rest of these guys to fall into touring musician obscurity.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Brunch at The Downtowner


Some of my girlfriends and I have been making the effort to have a Sunday brunch once a month, to catch up face to face and just have a fun, relaxing time. Today we went to The Downtowner in Fort Lauderdale, where they have an excellent buffet and $3.00 mimosas. I highly recommend the eggs benedict with fresh crab meat, but I digress. This is still a music blog!
Along with a fantastic Sunday brunch comes live entertainment. I'm not sure if it's the same every week, but today we were treated to J.P. Soars, an extremely talented blues guitarist.
J.P.'s music was the perfect soundtrack to a peaceful Sunday afternoon with good friends.
Hear some of his tunes at: http://www.myspace.com/jpsoarsmusic and scope out tour dates to see him and his band, The Red Hots, live.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hit, Play!


In lieu of a regular blog today, I share with you some new local music. My friend Gaston's band is called Hit, Play! This is their song: http://soundcloud.com/hitplay It's called Progress, I Think?
Enjoy :)


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Axl Rose

It's all been said before. The guy has an ego. He's crazy. He's got delusions of grandeur. But Axl Rose continues to grab attention in some circles, for his spazzy attention whore antics.
His most recent rant includes a 766 character "tweet" on Twitter. As we know, Axl has never been one for brevity. He takes it to a new level by defying the very thing that Twitter is known for.
In it, he addresses a rumor about The Chinese Democracy tour. Apparently, Axl was accused of asking people wearing clothing with Slash's image on it to turn them inside out. Because you can see individual t-shirts in a sea of thousands of people, from several hundred feet away?
Sometimes I question who is truly the loon here: Is it Axl Rose or the entertainment gossip website morons that have the IQ nature gave a flea?

Someone answer me this: Does anyone give a damn about anything Axl has done in the last fifteen years?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jonas's First Concert


I took Jonas to his first concert yesterday. Hep Cat Boo Daddies were performing at Riverwalk Blues Festival in downtown Fort Lauderdale. We strolled in during sound check, and Randy's drums were too loud. Jonas was sufficiently pissed off, so we walked away from the front of the stage, finding a spot near the beer tent.
The band took the stage, and I was curious to see what my six month old son's reaction would be to live music. At first, he didn't seem to notice or take much interest. A couple of songs into the set, I took him out of the stroller so he could get a look at the stage and the band, as opposed to being eye level with every person's ass in the crowd.
The opening notes to "All My Life" drifted through the sea of people, and reached Jonas. Immediately his eyes lit up, and as the song progressed, he was smiling and laughing.
Apparently, we'd found Jonas's favorite HCBD song.
He seemed to enjoy himself for most of the set, until time started to take its toll and the overstimulation gave way to a mini fit.
This is just the first of many concerts to come, and I can't wait to see him enjoy more.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Looking For the Next One...

Sometimes, as a lifelong music lover, I get a little jaded and discouraged with popular music.
There are so many groups in the music industry spotlight today that are undeserving of the attention. So often it's all about your clothes, who you're fucking, and what you said at an awards show. When this takes the spotlight over the actual music itself, it's extremely disappointing. The amount of undiscovered talented musicians out there who are not getting the credit they deserve, or the attention of the public, is almost ludicrous.
It's not even always about a lack of talent. It can also be a matter of just churning out the same radio-ready garbage that my six-month old son could probably tap out on his musical toys and sound like a prodigy compared to these jokers.
After hearing the new Godsmack song last night for the first time, which sounds like every other Godsmack song in existence for the last DECADE, I couldn't help but think of this very sentiment I am sharing with you now.
I'm opening up the comments section on this blog for you to share with me your favorite bands that no one has heard about. Whether they play in the local bar down the street, or they're a signed band that just doesn't get any exposure, I'm ready to listen to something new.
It's no secret that I'm a Hep Cat Boo Daddies fan, or that I love The Freakin Hott.
How about you?


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mood Music

One of my favorite things about entertaining a group of people in my home is choosing background music. This week, we've have two occasions to do so, with friends that have a wide variety of musical tastes. Tonight, my husband selected Elvis Costello's "North". It's one that we often select for mixed company. Many of our "rock friends" in their 20s and 30s know and love Elvis, and our friends that are of the generation before ours love jazz music. This was followed by Miles Davis, which is always a crowd pleasing favorite.
Chatting over snacks, the topic naturally turned to music. Our group tonight loved everything from 80s country to disco, and many different genres in between.
The general consensus among the group was old standards, jazz, and classical music are all favored genres.
The gathering was relaxed and informal, and the music we chose was complimentary.
Had it been a more lively get together, such as the birthday party earlier this week, we would have chosen something entirely different.
Each situation, every different group of people, calls for a soundtrack that matches the mood and tone.

What are some of your favorite albums for entertaining guests?


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

MTV to Alter Logo


I generally stray away from news stories on my blog, as I want this to be a place to have discussions about music in a more generalized way. You can get music news from various sources on the internet that are often far more timely. That being said, it's difficult to ignore when I come across a bit of news that has as much significance at the changing of MTV's logo.
The new design will no longer include the words "Music Television" underneath the iconic logo.
For those of us that grew up as part of the MTV Generation, this piece of news means a lot in the pop culture landscape. For anyone born after 1990, this likely bears little to no affect whatsoever.
Many of my contemporaries can tell you what our favorite music videos were from those early days. Today, MTV is known for rolling out intelligent programming like "Jersey Shore", virtually ignoring its musical roots. So I guess the change is appropriate, but sometimes I WANT MY MTV.

RIP, Music Television.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Who Halftime Performance

For the first time in a couple of years, I was actually able to sit and devote at least half of my attention to the Super Bowl. In 2007, I missed Prince perform at halftime, and that was a disappointment. I was on the air and had to have the television muted to, y'know, do my job. I couldn't even remember who did last year's performance, I had to do a quick google search to see that I'd missed Bruce Springsteen. Tonight, The Who performed. I have never been a huge fan of The Who, but have always enjoyed a handful of their songs, some of which I was actually looking forward to seeing tonight. The guys took the stage...and sucked. Pretty badly. Daltrey sounded like hell, Townsend not much better. The only redeeming bit of awesome was the trademark windmill arm. I still have Baba O' Reilly in my head, but only because I'd like to hear it again, the way it was intended to sound.
My friends and fellow Facebookers took to the social networking site to air their grievances with the lackluster performance as well. Comments ran the gamut from "Turn the microphones off" to "Really, The Who?"
My Generation (honestly unintentional pun) is right on the borderline of either really digging bands from this genre, or not giving a damn whatsoever.
Maybe they were off their game, maybe the sound equipment was bad as some suggested.
Overall, not the performance I was expecting.

Here's The Who when they were awesome:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKUBTX9kKEo

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sports Music

On this, the eve of the Superbowl here in South Florida, I give you a few of my favorite (if not totally overplayed) "Stadium Anthems".

Queen-"We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions

Kool and the Gang-"Celebration"

The Isley Brothers-"I Got You (I Feel Good)"

The Ramones-"Blitzkreig Bop"

Guns n' Roses-"Welcome to the Jungle"

Enjoy the big game, kids :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Band Tattoos


I don't think it's necessary to state this, but I'm going to anyway: I love music. Lots of kinds. I live and breathe it. I also love tattoos. I have nine of them, currently, and there may be more in my future. That being said, I've never wanted to have a tattoo that referenced or paid homage to a band. I have two music tattoos: A kanji symbol on my left shoulder and an eighth note on my right wrist. When it comes to specific bands, however, I just can't bring myself to get one permanently tattooed on me. Tastes change, people change, and though I don't think I'll ever stop loving my top few favorites...who knows? I've seen some very well done

band tatts, and I've seen some that were really gaudy and tacky. My husband has the artwork for The Clash's "Know Your Rights" album tattooed on his arm. I have two friends that have the Led Zeppelin "Zoso" symbols tattooed on them. All of those are really cool, I guess it's just not for me.

Do you have, or would you get, a band tattoo?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Songs You Dislike By Bands You Love

Even bands you absolutely adore have songs you'd rather not listen to. One of my all time favorites, Dave Matthews Band, has a song that makes me cringe when I hear it. It's called "Proudest Monkey". I've seem them live at least once, and often multiple times, every year for the last decade. Thankfully, I've never had to endure that one.
Sometimes it's not the cringe factor, but the cheese factor. Several bands I like have songs about their children, and they are nearly always trite and corny. Just because you can write a song about how great it is to be a parent, doesn't mean you should...or that anyone else will care.
Sometimes it's a case of a really odd musical pairing, (Chris Cornell produced by Timbaland, anyone?) other times it's a seemingly random guest vocalist. (Lil Wayne on a Weezer song? What the hell is that all about?)
My beloved Weezer is also guilty of another musical offense: Letting other members of your band sing vocals. Three tracks on 2008's Red Album have everyone singing, even the drummer. We saw how well that worked for the Beatles.
Thankfully, the drummer singing worked out well for Dave Grohl, who became the frontman for Foo Fighters after Nirvana. In turn, their drummer Taylor Hawkins sings lead vocals on one song that is a glowing example of this practice done right: "Cold Day in the Sun."

What is your least favorite track by a band you love, and why?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sing It

I've been fascinated with singing for as long as I can remember. As a child, I sang everywhere I went and to everyone I saw. The toys, the cat, whomever would listen.
As a teenager, I mused over what life would be like if it was a giant musical. As much as I love musicals, I always found the idea of randomly bursting into song while performing everyday activities a bit off-putting.
That being said, as an adult, I do just that. I often find myself singing along to music in the grocery store, mall, or doctor's office.
Most frequently, however, it's when I'm in the studio at the radio station alone. I turn up the monitor as loud as I can without blowing the speaker, and shout to Self Esteem or Song 2.
Do you find yourself singing to yourself in public?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Trouble With You


Music is poetry, plain and simple. I can't tell you the last time I heard this song, but it's been following me around all day like a shadow. Enjoy these lyrics :)

The brightest star on a cloudless night
Some kind of miracle, almost empty sky
Infact as sure as God is a monkey's dream
And ate that mushroom and believe what he sees

Trouble with you is you always wanna find the fire
Sittin' warmin' your hands by the fireside
Trouble with you is you're always lookin way outside (way outside)
Oh why not enjoy yourself by the fireside?

Just as the bite of the blade wakes the absent mind
There's time to dream and there's time to open your eyes
She said, just as the warmth of a kiss brings the love alive
It's right here by the fire where the answers lie

Trouble with you is you always wanna find the fire
Oh when you're warmin' your hands by the fireside
Trouble with you is you're always lookin' far and wide (way outside)
Oh why not enjoy yourself by the fireside

She said why you always lookin', always lookin'?
She said why you always lookin' outside?
She said

The trouble with you is you're always lookin' for the fire
When you're warmin' your hands by the fireside
The trouble with you is you're always lookin' far and wide (way outside)
Oh why not enjoy yourself by the fireside? (way outside)

The trouble with you is you're always lookin' somewhere else (way outside)
Oh then what you see there beside yourself
The trouble with you is you're always lookin' for the fire (way outside)
Oh why not enjoy yourself by the fireside?
Oh why not enjoy yourself by the fireside?
She said, oh why not enjoy yourself sittin' by the fire?
She said
The trouble with you
The trouble with you

~DJM

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Five Musicals I Love


Moulin Rouge- A lot of critics skewered this movie, but it's one of my favorites, musical or otherwise. Ewan McGregor is a dream to watch and hear, and Baz Luhrmann makes visually stunning movies. A winning combination, in my opinion.

Rocky Horror Picture Show- I've watched this on Halloween every year since long before I realized just how fucked up it truly is. My favorite number is the highly underrated "Hot Patootie". You can make fun of me all you want, but Meatloaf OWNS in that scene. Though I love this movie, I rarely make it to the end. It drags, and the stage/pool scene is weird and kind of out of place to me.

The Music Man- Perhaps I'm partial because it was the first play I performed in as a teenager, but The Music Man is great. Wholesomeness, good songs, and the charismatic Harold Hill. I knew for the first time I wasn't alone in my Music Man geekery when I saw the entire "Shipoopi" number made into a Family Guy routine. Seth McFarlane also nods to Music Man with Lois as the piano teacher, just like Marion.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch- Because how many other musicals do you know that have a transgendered rockstar from communist East Berlin? Best song? Sugar Daddy, hands down.

Phantom of the Opera- A classic that never goes out of style. Solid story, beautifully composed music, need I say more?

Honorable Mention: The Fantasticks.

What is your favorite musical?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Missing Metallica Fan Found

http://www.mtairynews.com/view/full_story/5704672/article-Lessons-can-be-learned-from-Morgan-Harrington-case?instance=secondary_opinion_left_column

I was absolutely appalled when I was searching for Metallica news online last night in preparation for my radio show and stumbled across the above article. I realize it's called an opinion column for a reason, but this man is still a reporter and should know better. The basic gist he states in the column is that Morgan Harrington, the woman who was kidnapped and killed when she left a Metallica concert late last year, is to blame for her own disappearance and death. Should she have used discretion and not hitchhiked home with a complete stranger? Absolutely. But we've all been 20 years old, and sometimes our judgement is poor. The author accuses her of wanting to be a part of the "party crowd". I've been going to concerts since the age of five, and I would hardly call myself part of the "party crowd" because I enjoy going to shows. This woman was murdered, but shame on her for making a bad decision?
Absolutely uncalled for.
What do YOU think?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

2010 Grammys


So, the Grammy Awards show is being aired this weekend, and I will celebrate by not watching.
Since the invention of this magical creation known as the internet, I've been able to watch the highlights and recaps of crap that I don't want to sit through for three hours of my life.
If my beloved Dave Matthews Band wins Album of the Year for Big Whiskey and the Groo Grux King, I will shed tears of joy and search for the clip on YouTube.
The other "artists" in this category? Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and The Black Eyed Peas. How on earth did DMB end up in that mix?!?! How many of those artists even know what a gramophone is?
Beyond that, Green Day and Linkin Park would be excellent wins in their respective categories. But in all actuality, the awards will probably go to Nickelback or someone equally awful that I couldn't give a damn about.
I guess I must be getting old, because all I can think about regarding Grammys is: "Remember fifteen or twenty years ago, when you'd camp out in front of the television, waiting to see your favorite artists accept their awards and perform?"
Now? Not so much...

Are any of you going to watch? Any favorites you want to see win?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

MARCH MADNESS!


Three lovely shows for me to attend in the month of March, and the fun is nonstop. These are all at Revolution, so kudos to whomever does the booking, as you take all of my money.

Henry Rollins Wednesday, March 3rd
Rollins is doing is spoken word deal once again. This will be the fourth time I've seen him in action, and I laugh heartily every time. Rollins is intelligent, worldly, and not afraid to admit he doesn't know it all.

Dropkick Murphys Saturday, March 6th
The Murphys is quite a rowdy show, as was demonstrated the last time they came to town and I got crushed on the staircase of the venue by a bunch of drunken jackasses. Still, the need to do a jig outweighs my fear of getting an ass kicking to the tune of "(F)lanigan's Ball".

Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime Wednesday, March 17th
St. Patty's day with Badfish? Yes please. Normally, I'm not a big fan of "tribute"bands, but these guys pack a house full of Sublime fans and play a high-energy set. Nothing is as good as the real deal, but Badfish certainly do an excellent job of trying.





Monday, January 25, 2010

Live Nation/Ticketmaster Merger

One of the biggest changes in the history of live music is taking place, as the Live Nation concert promotions and Ticketmaster have finally been approved to merge into one large business: Live Nation Entertainment.
About ten or so years ago, there was viable competition from other concert ticket sellers like Cellar Door Productions and SFX Entertainment. Those companies were bought out by Live Nation, thereby eliminating said competition.
Many in the industry, myself included, are disappointed to see this merger. It's hard to have a fair and level playing field when the big dogs bullied everyone else off the playground.
Some artists and talent managers are hopeful that this merge will mean increased opportunities for package deals like touring and merch combined with physical album releases.
As a music fan, it's hard to accept, but you feel almost helpless. If you "protest" by only going to concerts run by independent promoters and venues, you are only punishing yourself, as you miss out on the biggest shows by bands you love to see perform live and are more than happy to support.
How do YOU feel about this merger, and what it means to you?