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 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: 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: 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:

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?