Saturday, January 30, 2016

Vince Neil Recording New Solo Album

Ever since Motley Crue ended their 3+ decade career on this past New Year's Eve its former members have all gone in separate directions to go after various pursuits. Many of them are recording new albums, including singer Vince Neil who is currently in the process of doing one under his own name as a solo artist.

In an interview with Michigan City News-Dispatch, Neil says:

“I’ll say that we’re recording some stuff for a new record this year. You often hear some surprises at our shows. I don’t want to give away some of those surprises, but let’s just say you might have struck a nerve that could ring true."

As for how the album might stack up against his work in Motley Crue, Neil says:

“Look, I’m going to always be the guy who was in Motley Crue. but my first solo record with You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come) was over a million-seller, so a lot of people enjoyed it and Sister of Pain and many of those songs.”

This will be Neil's first solo album since his 2010 release Tattoos and Tequila, which quite frankly was WAY better than I had expected it to be considering it was an all covers album from a guy I didn't think would be able to do much outside of the band he was famous for being in. That said, I'm curious to see how well Neil will be able to do without Nikki Sixx writing his songs for him. I will be waiting and listening with keen ears for this.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Electric Warrior, by T. Rex

In 1971 glam rock giant T. Rex released its sixth album Electric Warrior; the second under the name T. Rex after it had changed from Tyrannosaurus Rex (which the first four albums had been billed under). This was the album where the band lead by singer/songwriter Marc Bolan really made an impact as they were changing their sound from a more acoustic/folksy vibe to a more plugged in glam rock oriented sound that people of that time could vibe with better.

Electric Warrior definitely has an interesting vibe to it because it is more than just fun glam rock tunes. There are acoustic ballads as well as funky grooves to jive on as well. The lyrics can be rather cryptic at times, but that just gives you something to think about while listening to the album for the Nth time. The single from the album which is also the band's signature tune that got them noticed and put on the map: Bang a Gong (Get it On) which is still played on commercial classic rock radio even to this day.

Mambo Sun in my opinion is one of T. Rex's finest works. While it is just the same couple of chords played back and forth over and over again, it's that chilled out grooving rhythm and soft cocky vocals that really do it for me. You can definitely tell this song is more about moving and dancing rather than about leaving the listener with a melody they can hum/whistle throughout the day while on the way to work or school.

Bang a Gong (Get it On) is a song that has survived on classic rock radio for a reason. It has that classic T. Rex groove, a big chorus, and an overall fun atmosphere to it that makes you want to jive and sing right along to it. While it is by no means the only good track on the album, it is one of the bigger selling points for sure. Personally I LOVE how they managed to put a backing orchestra into such a loud raucous rock n' roll tune and actually make it work instead of clash.

Electric Warrior is one of the best places to start if you're looking to investigate the work of T. Rex more fully. It is also an essential glam rock album to have if you are planning on starting a collection any time soon. Marc Bolan was a musical genius. It's definitely a shame he passed away so young, just when he was starting to make a bit of a comeback in the late 70's. Regardless, this is one of those 70's gems you really don't want to miss out on if you can help it.

Electric Warrior, by T. Rex receives 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Mambo Sun
2. Cosmic Dancer
3. Jeepster
4. Monolith
5. Lean Woman Blues
6. Bang a Gong (Get it On)
7. Planet Queen
8. Girl
9. The Motivator
10. Life's a Gas
11. Rip Off

Buy the album on Amazon:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Black Sabbath May Yet Record One More Album

It seems we keep getting mixed messages from the guys in Black Sabbath about whether or not they will be recording one more album before they call it quits for good. However, now thanks to news from bassist Geezer Butler fans are given hope once more that there might be a final record.

Originally the band was planning on entering the studio to record another album before their The End tour that they are currently embarked on, but then it was cancelled due to the fact they wouldn't have enough time to do it and would have a hard time topping what they were able to do with their most recent release 13.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Butler says:

“I was just being logical. At the time, we were given six months to write and record an album and I said, ‘There’s absolutely no way we can do it in six months.’ There’s nothing stopping us from doing another album after the tour.”

Singer Ozzy Osbourne also is not shooting down the idea of doing another album after the tour ends, though he is firm on the idea of touring coming to an end. He says:

“Time ain’t on our side. By the time we’d have written and recorded another album, it would have been another three years. … I’m not saying I’ll never record with Tony or Geezer again, but I don’t think I want to go touring again with Black Sabbath after this.”

Personally I'd like to see Black Sabbath do one more album, but this time do something creative and new; unlike 13 which sounded like them trying to copy off themselves. That said, I don't want them to abandon their classic sound entirely, but they were always about pushing the boundaries and doing something new; not copying old stuff. Maybe if we're REALLY lucky they will be able to mend fences with original drummer Bill Ward and have him play on the record.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Last in Line Releases 2 New Songs in Tribute to Jimmy Bain

For those of you who follow news of classic rock and metal closely I'm sure it is no secret to you by now that sadly former Rainbow and Dio bassist Jimmy Bain passed away a few days ago. In response to the news, Bain's current band The Last in Line which consists of original Dio band members Vivian Campbell and Vinnie Appice with Andrew Freeman stepping in for Ronnie James Dio have made a tribute to honor his memory.

The Last in Line just released two new songs from their upcoming album Heavy Crown, which comes out on February 20th. The tracks are titled Starmaker and Blame It on Me, both of which can be found on YouTube and are available to be listened to below. They are both definitely good choices as they both kick some SERIOUS ass.

As of right now there is no word as to what the future plans of The Last in Line will be; whether that be finding a replacement for a tour or just calling it quits altogether. Personally I wouldn't blame them for throwing in the towel, seeing as the whole point of the project was for the original members of Dio to get back together to pay tribute to Ronnie. However, a tour to promote the album with a replacement bassist isn't a horrible idea either.

Blame It On Me


Monday, January 25, 2016

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #58

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. Long Way From Home, by Whitesnake

This is one of the more poppy sounding songs from the early blues infused line-up of Whitesnake. It's melodic, upbeat, and fun. With its lyrics being about love and all, the whole atmosphere the song creates almost makes you feel as though you are watching the opening title sequence to a cheesy 80's sitcom. Be that as it may, it makes it no less of an enjoyable tune to get on with if you need to do some rocking while thinking about your love.

2.  Stargazer, by Rainbow

With the recent passing of Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain I felt it was only appropriate to pay tribute to his memory by including the single greatest song he ever played on. Stargazer is Ritchie Blackmore's masterpiece. It is an 8 and a half minute epic of a tune that even features the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra to back up the band while every last member of the band is giving it their all all while taking the listener into a fantasy themed land with wizards and all that cool stuff.

3. 21 Guns, by Green Day

Need to get your feels on? I think at some point or another many of us have been in a situation that can relate to the lyrics of this song. Some times it doesn't feel like something is really worth fighting for any more despite the fact that you have put copious amounts of time and effort into making things work out. It's hard not to get swept away by the pure raw emotion that spills out of the tune. Anyone who doesn't tear up at least a little has no soul.

4. Wake Up Dead, by Megadeth

Some times you need a thrash metal infused adrenaline rush to get you going first thing in the day. Megadeth's Wake Up Dead has you covered there. Of course if you are also the type to not be faithful to your long term partner you can probably also relate to the lyrics pretty well. However, for everyone else it's a great way to completely rock out and is also a great way to introduce someone to the thrash metal genre. It has everything: dark lyrical themes, killer riffs, and ripping solos. What more can you ask for?

5. Big Ten Inch, by Aerosmith

It is absolutely RIDICULOUS how many sexual innuendos are in this seemingly innocent song about listening to one's favorite blues band on a big ten inch record. You keep thinking that while this rockabilly tune is going they are going to drop a sex related word but every time they manage to catch themselves and keep on going with the clean theme of the song. It's good silly fun that you can even show the kids.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tommy Stinson on Why He Left Guns N' Roses

With the recent reunion of Slash and Duff McKagan with their former band Guns N' Roses after nearly two decades, bassist Tommy Stinson who was bassist from 1999-2015 has opened up about why he left the band.

In an interview with the Current, Stinson says:

“I think everyone kind of knows where I stand with it all. I left it in a good way. I mean, roughly, I actually had to just start turning down tours because I was unable to tour; I got into a position, personally, where my personal life was going to prevent me from doing, I don’t know — it must have been about five tours that they called me to do, and I just said I can’t do ’em […] I think Axl {Rose] got to the position where he was, like, ‘Okay, so what am I going to do now? ‘Cause I don’t have a band. Blah blah blah.'”

Back in September Stinson said in an interview that he wanted the original Guns N' Roses to get back together, citing from his own experience with his reunion with his band The Replacements, saying:

“I think it worked out. And I think they’ll have fun. It will be a healing thing for ’em, if it works out good. It will be good for them.”

It's good to see that Stinson is keeping active on projects that really matter to him now that he is getting a little older. He really is a pretty damn under rated musician. He was a good fit for GN'R during the Chinese Democracy years. That said however, I'm STOKED to see the old line-up getting back together after all this time. I never dreamed it would happen and it finally did. It's a good time to be a Guns N' Roses fan.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Pawnshop Guitars, by Gilby Clarke

In 1994 Guns N' Roses rhythm guitarist Gilby Clarke put out is debut solo album Pawnshop Guitars. It featured primarily original material, though there were covers from Rolling Stones and The Clash. Also on the record there were contributions by then-GN'R members Slash, Duff McKagan, Axl Rose, Matt Sorum, Dizzy Reed, and Pixies members Frank Black and Ryan Roxie among many others.

Pawnshop Guitars is fairly eclectic in sound, as it goes from metal, to hard rock, to blues, to country. It's kind of fun to be kept guessing what genre will pop up next. Clarke takes lead vocals on most of it and you get to hear a bit more of what kind of a guitarist he is than you did on the one GN'R record (The Spaghetti Incident). Clarke is definitely an under rated rock guitarist, to say the least.

Dead Flowers is in my opinion the track that sells Pawnshop Guitars. Even though it's a cover of The Rolling Stones it is done in such a fun upbeat way to where it far outshines the original and in some ways sounds like its own song. It's just three chords with some flourishes here and there, but with Axl singing background and Dizzy pounding away at the keys in the back it's hard to feel like this song isn't just one big party through sound.

Cure Me or Kill Me is a Clarke original that sounds vaguely Metallica-esque. The riffs are big and chunky in ways that make you feel like you're listening to thrash. I wasn't quite expecting to hear that out of someone who seems to be more hard rock oriented, but it still works with the aesthetic of the record quite nicely. Slash does an absolutely FANTASTIC job on the lead guitar work here. It's always astounded me how Slash can find ways of fitting his particular style of guitar playing into so many different genres.

Pawnshop Guitars is one of those albums where if you aren't REALLY into Guns N' Roses you probably would not have found out about it unless somehow Pandora turned you onto it through a genre playlist you already had going. That said, it is in my opinion one of those records that is a hidden gem. There are bound to be at least a few tracks on here that you will like, especially if you are even just a casual fan of GN'R. It's definitely worth picking up.

Pawnshop Guitars, by Gilby Clarke receives 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Cure Me or Kill Me
2. Black
3. Tijuana Jail
4. Skin & Bones
5. Johanna's Chopper
6. Let's Get Lost
7. Pawnshop Guitars
8. Dead Flowers
9. Jail Guitar Doors
10. Hunting Dogs
11. Shut Up

Buy the album on Amazon:

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Chickenfoot 99% Done With New Track

Looks like after an extended period of silence super group Chickenfoot which is comprised of guitarist Joe Satriani, vocalist Sammy Hagar, drummer Chad Smith, and bassist/backing vocalist Michael Anthony will be making a bit of a ruckus; though it will be in a minor way.

The group is said to be doing a one-off show in May and are currently working on finishing up a brand new song. In an interview with Northwest Music Scene, Satriani says:

"It looks like we're going to do a show in the middle of May. I think it's a Lake Tahoe show. We're working around the schedule of Chad, who's got a rehearsal scheduled at that point with the Chili Peppers. Then we've got a track that's pretty much done – it's about 99% finished. We actually recorded a song. We're the slowest-working band in history – we take forever. But there is stuff happening, and we're still laughing and communicating."

The new song will be the band's first release of new material since their 2011 album Chickenfoot III. Since then the band has been on the back burner due to Hagar feeling it not worth it to work on a whole album when it costs a lot of money, time, and effort to make an album that won't garner huge sales.

Personally I'm glad we're at least getting SOMETHING out of Chickenfoot - even if it is just one song. It's been too long since the Foot put out some kickass new tunes. Both their albums Chickenfoot and Chickenfoot III are worth checking out if you haven't already. They are fun, punchy, melodic rock songs that will remind you why you love to rock out in the first place.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Eagles Founder Glenn Frey Dead at 67

Ok, this is just getting f***ing ridiculous. All of these awesome musicians/entertainers keep dropping like flies within a short time span of each other. Last month it was Scott Weiland. This month we've lost Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and now Glenn Frey of The Eagles. What the actual f***.

The band posted on their official Facebook a long message saying:

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York City on Monday, January 18th, 2016.
Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia.
The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery.
Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.
Cindy Frey | Taylor Frey | Deacon Frey | Otis Frey
Don Henley | Joe Walsh | Timothy B. Schmit | Bernie Leadon | Irving Azoff
“It’s Your World Now”
Written by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin
From the Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden album
A perfect day, the sun is sinkin’ low
As evening falls, the gentle breezes blow
The time we shared went by so fast
Just like a dream, we knew it couldn’t last
But I’d do it all again
If I could, somehow
But I must be leavin’ soon
It’s your world now
It’s your world now
My race is run
I’m moving on
Like the setting sun
No sad goodbyes
No tears allowed
You’ll be alright
It’s your world now
Even when we are apart
You’ll always be in my heart
When dark clouds appear in the sky
Remember true love never dies
But first a kiss, one glass of wine
Just one more dance while there’s still time
My one last wish: someday, you’ll see
How hard I tried and how much you meant to me
It’s your world now
Use well your time
Be part of something good
Leave something good behind
The curtain falls
I take my bow
That’s how it’s meant to be
It’s your world now
It’s your world now
It’s your world now"

It's a shame that such an influential musician is gone. Yet again. Hopefully soon Death will decide to take a break from robbing us of so many great musicians/entertainers. Maybe knock off someone like a pop star or a rapper? I kid of course, but still. This is ridiculous. May Glenn R.I.P.

Monday, January 18, 2016

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #57

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. Life on Mars, by David Bowie

I know that David Bowie week is over, but I can't help myself. The man has just way too much good music for me to just let it all go that quickly. Life on Mars is an absolutely FANTASTIC piano ballad backed by a string section. It is an impacting song about the effect of the media on young people still forming their opinions of the world around them. Incidentally, Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman played the piano on the recording of the track.

2. Shake My Tree, by Coverdale-Page

The 1993 collaboration between Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Deep Purple and Whitesnake's David Coverdale in my opinion is one of the most absolute under rated collaborations to ever happen. It had all the best elements of rock n' roll. This is nowhere more present than Shake My Tree, the opening track of their only album. It blends 12 string acoustic, punching electric, and harmonicas with Coverdale's howls in all the best ways possible.

3.  Nights in White Satin, by The Moody Blues

This is some powerful stuff, right here. It's mid-late 60's psychedelic rock at its absolute finest. There are so many different musical layers to it while at the same time the lyrics are immensely emotional and sang with so much passion while backed by what at least sounds like a choir. The verses are pretty soft and backed with synth/strings but when that chorus kicks in - BAM. It hits you like a ton of bricks and leaves you a different person by the time it's done.

4.  Elephant, by Tame Impala

This song to me sounds like what The Beatles might sound like were they all still alive, together, and making music today. The vocals have a very John Lennon-esque quality and the music has enough of a swing to it that despite it being almost entirely synth and bass that it would still be fairly passable as a track by the Fab Four. That said, despite its Beatles influence it still has plenty of its own originality to it with some of the subtle nuances.

5.  Let Me Know, by Kiss

This is by far my FAVORITE Kiss tune. It's a rather obscure one from the band's first album, but I consider it a hidden gem. It shows a LOT of Paul Stanley's Beatles influence, although the outro definitely has more of a Led Zeppelin kind of vibe to it. Either way, it features Gene Simmons singing pretty melodically, which to be quite frank is not something you hear all that often. The song is fun, upbeat, and catchy. It deserves more attention than it gets.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

David Bowie Receives Honor of New Constellation

With the untimely passing of music innovator David Bowie earlier this week, many tributes from fans all over the world have come pouring in almost non-stop. However, this next one kind of takes the cake. Bowie has now been honored by having a new constellation dedicated to his memory.

Belgian radio station Studio Brussels and MIRA Public Observatory registered a seven star lightning bolt shaped constellation near Mars. The lightning bolt for those of you who don't know holds significance to David Bowie because during his time using his famed Ziggy Stardust persona he had a one painted across his face.

Philippe Mollet from MIRA went into detail on the inspiration for the new constellation, saying:

"It was not easy to determine the appropriate stars. Studio Brussels asked us to give Bowie a unique place in the galaxy. Referring to his various albums, we chose seven stars - Sigma Librae, Spica, Alpha Virginis, Zeta Centauri, SAA 204 132, and the Beta Sigma Octantis Trianguli Australis - in the vicinity of Mars. The constellation is a copy of the iconic Bowie lightning and was recorded at the exact time of his death."

MIRA have also done a rather cool thing by having created a website called Stardust for Bowie where fans can add their favorite David Bowie songs to a representation of the constellation.

I guess now with the new constellation there really is a Starman waiting in the sky. Definitely a touching tribute; probably my favorite of all of the ones I've seen and heard so far. It's wonderful that a man who gave so much to the world in only a 40 year career has been shown so much love during this difficult time. If anyone deserves it, it is definitely David Bowie.

That said, this wraps up David Bowie Week on Young Ears, Fresh Perspective. In my own little way this was my way of paying tribute to an astounding musician. I hope you have enjoyed celebrating his life as much as I have.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Hunky Dory, by David Bowie

In 1971 David Bowie put out one of his most prolific albums that would in some ways act as the blueprint for the rest of his career: Hunky Dory. It was the first album to feature Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust persona backed by his band The Spiders from Mars.The lyrics were profound and had immense amounts of cultural importance at the time with issues such as artistic reinvention, youths' reaction to the media, alternative religion/spirtualism, and more. The music itself was big, as though from some great grand movie score.

Hunky Dory features a variety of genres, from big ballads to catchy pop numbers to in your face rock n' rollers. It features some of Bowie's best known hits such as Life on Mars, Changes, Oh! You Pretty Things, etc. Many of the songs are fairly easily to follow, having graspable melody and accessible movable grooves. There is something for everyone on this album, honestly. It's no wonder that this is where Bowie REALLY started to make a name for himself.

Oh! You Pretty Things is a peculiar little tune, but the chorus is so damn catchy that it really doesn't matter either way. It has a rather jazzy vibe to it during the verses, especially considering the style in which Bowie plays the piano. However, the chorus very much has a pop oriented feel to it. The styles blend together pretty well. I'm not surprised Bowie pulled this off as well as he did. The lyrics themselves are kind of weird too, primarily focusing on Aleister Crowley - the famed English occultist from the early 20th century.

Changes is a certified Bowie classic and was a staple of his live sets and radio hits. It focuses on Bowie's chameleonic stage and musical persona and how it is always changing as well as the compulsive nature of artistic reinvention in general. Musically it sounds like a REALLY old school night club song, but it has some blusier/poppier aspects to it as well. The chorus is naturally one of the absolute catchiest things to ever smack the face of the planet by surprise. It really is a unique work of art.

If you really want to see where Bowie began to take off, Hunky Dory is the album to go to. It's fun, eclectic, and full of pure Bowie goodness. I personally think it's one of his best albums; probably his second best (the first being The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars). Whether you like softer tunes, louder ones, or something you can dance to you will be guaranteed to have a good time. Do yourself a favor and start looking into the legacy of David Bowie today by picking up a copy of Hunky Dory.

Hunky Dory, by David Bowie receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Changes
2. Oh! You Pretty Things
3. Eight Line Poem
4. Life On Mars
5. Kooks
6. Quicksand
7. Fill Your Heart
8. Andy Warhol
9. Song For Bob Dylan
10. Queen Bitch
11. The Bewlay Brothers

Buy the album on Amazon:

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Album Review: Blackstar, by David Bowie

Two days before his unfortunate passing earlier this week, pop sensation David Bowie left us with a gift that was his 26th and final album; a peculiar gem named Blackstar released on the singer's 69th birthday.

What can I honestly say about this album? It really is something else entirely. Blackstar is one of Bowie's most progressive and out there albums. I know he was always one for innovation, but this kind of takes the cake. It blends the most odd parts of avant-garde and jazz music and takes them to a whole other level. This is definitely not an album for those who love the David Bowie who made straight up easy to follow pop music.

When put into the context of Bowie's recent passing from liver cancer after an 18 month battle, listening to Blackstar's lyrics a bit closer is a rather surreal experience. You could tell he knew he was on his way out. There are hints of it all over the songs; especially in the song Lazarus, Dollar Days, I Can't Give Everything Away, etc. Hell, Lazarus's opening lyric is: "Look up here, I'm in Heaven.". I Can't Give Everything Away has a lyric that goes: “I know something is very wrong / The pulse returns the prodigal sons / The blackout hearts, the flowered news, with skull designs upon my shoes.” If that doesn't tell you what's going through his head, I don't know what will

Musically Blackstar is soft and relaxing, yet at the same time that quietness has a sense of tension that tugs at the back of your mind and works its way forward throughout the entire album. In a way that was more than likely what Bowie meant to convey. It was probably the way things were going in his head during his final days while writing and recording the album.

Blackstar is full of odd rhythms, dissonance, harmonies that make the hairs on your arms and neck stand up, etc. Honestly, you can tell that for this album Bowie was doing just what he wanted to do by being creative and not caring about what people expected from him.

There is not much in the way of any followable melody, but if you can separate yourself from the notions of what you feel David Bowie music is supposed to be you will still find merits in Blackstar.

Blackstar is a very suitable farewell from one hell of a magnificent man who changed so much in the world of entertainment and even every day life during his lifetime. It's not a traditional sounding pop album, but it wasn't meant to be. If there is one thing that Bowie was always known for it was being an innovator and well ahead of his time. Blackstar was his way of doing that for us one last time. We'll probably still be working on catching up with him for the next few decades. That said, I would recommend checking this album out. Listen to it with headphones multiple times so you can really get the full experience of it.

Blackstar, by David Bowie receives 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Blackstar
2. Tis a Pity She Was a Whore
3. Lazarus
4. Sue (Or in Season of a Crime)
5. Girl Loves Me
6. Dollar Days
7. I Can't Give Everything Away

Buy the album on Amazon:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

David Bowie Tribute Concert Turns to Memorial Concert

A star studded concert put on by a great multitude of famous talent to pay tribute to the music of pop legend David Bowie now has a new sad purpose. Instead of just paying tribute to the music, it is now paying tribute to the memory of the man himself, as Bowie passed away just last night from liver cancer after fighting it for 18 months.

According to Ultimate Classic Rock the concert which is to be titled The Music of David Bowie at Carnegie Hall will feature performances from The Roots, Cyndi Lauper, Jakob Dylan, Bettye LaVette, Ann Wilson of Heart and Perry Farrell, with more performers and “surprise guests” yet to be announced. In addition to that, Bowie's long time producer and friend Tony Visconti will be around helping to coordinate the house band.

The news of the concert and ticket sales were made known to the public just as the news of Bowie's passing was announced. The website for the show posted a message in response to the event saying the show will “become a poignant honor of his music by his friends, peers and fans.”

Seems like this will be quite the shindig. It's kind of ironic that things happened the way they did, but I think this will be a great opportunity for many people who have been greatly impacted by David Bowie and his music to show just how much of a difference he made to them as artists and for fans to hear Bowie music live once more.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Breaking News: David Bowie Dead at 69

Ziggy Stardust is now one with the cosmos, as his alter-ego David Bowie has just passed away at the age of 69. Bowie had apparently been battling cancer for the past year and a half. He is said to have died peacefully in his sleep according to his representatives.

A statement on all of Bowie's social media accounts announced the loss, saying:

"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief."

Bowie had just turned 69 on the 8th of this month and had also just released a brand new album titled Blackstar. Over his 40+ year career he had released 28 albums.

I am honestly devastated with this terrible loss. David Bowie in my opinion is one of the absolute greatest song writers and performers to ever live. His lyrics were always prolific and his musical style was always eclectic and evolving. You never would hear him make the same record twice. He never tried to capitalize on former glory because one of the best things about him was that he was always pushing forward. No matter where he went as a musician or performer his fans would faithfully follow and be enthralled with what he released. Whatever persona he took on next was always radically different and enigmatically profound.

Sadly he stopped performing back in 2002. Definitely a shame because now there is a whole generation of David Bowie fans that have never seen him before and will never get the chance to (myself included). However, I am grateful that we have a 40+ year legacy to look back on. We have TONS of wonderful records, films, TV shows, etc. that he was involved in.

That said, I think I'm going to declare this David Bowie Week on the blog. A man of this magnitude kind of deserves it. It's a terrible loss to all genres of popular music. Feel free to share any thoughts you have relating to David Bowie below.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Original Deep Purple Bassist Nick Simper on His Rock Hall Snub

Over the multiple decades that Deep Purple have been eligible, they have until this year always gotten snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for entry into their ranks for candidates who quite frankly were far less deserving of the honor. However, despite the fact that Deep Purple finally got in this year, certain members from the band's many line-ups are not to be inducted.

One member in particular is original Deep Purple bass player Nick Simper. Simper played on the band's first three albums. However, he seems to be taking it quite well. In an interview with Classic Rock Magazine, Simper says:

The first I knew about the Hall of Fame induction was when I read about it and fans were complaining that I wasn’t being inducted. Maybe I am being na├»ve, but I always thought that if a band gets into the Hall of Fame then all members, past and present, are part of it. Obviously not.

Yes, it is a little strange that I am only only one from Marks I, II and III being left out, but I shan’t lose any sleep over this. It’s not as if I need to be given this award to know what we did in Deep Purple made an impact. And I’m sure it wasn’t a decision that came from the band.”

Simper says he has remained on good terms with many of the members of the band over the years, being particularly close to original keyboardist Jon Lord up until his death back in 2012 and also sending and receiving a good word from drummer Ian Paice from time to time.

Quite frankly I agree that Simper got the shaft. If you at any point were a member of a band that gets inducted into the Rock Hall, you should be included in that induction. It's kind of a slap in the face otherwise. Then again, the RRHOF always has been about politics and a bunch of stuffy old men who wouldn't know the true meaning of rock n' roll if it jumped up and punched them in the face. Honestly, it should NOT have taken this long for Deep Purple to get in. They are one of the most important bands in the development in hard rock and heavy metal. Without them there would be no Metallica, no Iron Maiden, no Queen, etc. Oh well. At least Simper knows what kind of contribution he made and I guess that's all that matters.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Throwback Thursday: The Doors, by The Doors

In 1967, one of the most groundbreaking and influential debut albums of all time came out: The Doors, by The Doors. The LA based group would forever change the way many people viewed rock n' roll by including longer jams, deeper lyrics, and an overall sense of wonder and adventure throughout the entire LP. The Doors became the central focal point in the shift from pop rock to psychedelic rock in the late 60's.

The Doors has a rather psychedelic bluesy/jazzy sound to it, though it has many straight up rock n' roll over tones as well. There are so many layers to the songs both on a musical as well as a lyrical level. The musicianship from the musicians is top notch and Jim Morrison's lyrics have so many profound double meanings that your head will spin. The Doors features quite a few of the band's hits, such as Light My Fire, Break on Through, The Crystal Ship, The End, and more.

Light My Fire is a prime example of how The Doors would absolutely jam it out. There are lengthy instrumental sections that feature solos trading off between keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger while drummer John Densmore absolutely pounds away at the drums while keeping a rather jazzy rhythm going. It makes you want to dance around in circles around a camp fire or something. Given the name of the song, that isn't a big surprise right?

The Crystal Ship is one of my absolute FAVORITE Doors songs of all time. It is the epitome of psychedelic rock. It has an absolutely dreamy soundscape. Morrison does a fantastic job of drawing you in with his smooth bourbon-like vocals while painting a word picture in your head. When this tune plays you feel as though you are gently falling into a warm soft pit of darkness. While that sounds kind of scary, it's actually quite comforting and safe. It's like a security blanket in a way.

The Doors is an absolutely essential album. Whether you're into prolific lyrics or guys who really know how to jam away at their instruments, there is something in here for you. It is definitely where I would recommend beginning if you are looking to check the band out. Plus, it's not like you can go a day without hearing a lot of the songs on it on any classic rock radio station anyway. You can't escape The Doors and it's an absolutely wonderful thing.

The Doors, by The Doors receives 4 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Break On Through
2. Soul Kitchen
3. The Crystal Ship
4. Twentieth Century Fox
5. Alabama Song
6. Light My Fire
7. Back Door Man
8. I Looked At You
9. End of the Night
10. Take It As It Comes
11. The End

Buy the album on Amazon:

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Slash: "Life now is tons of fun"

Now that Slash has not only buried the hatchet with his former band mate Axl Rose but also returned to Guns N' Roses he feels life could not be any better.

In a recent interview with Classic Rock Magazine, the guitarist goes into detail on stuff like his horror movie work, his solo band, and the return to GN'R, saying:

“Not being burned out from the night before helps. Since I’m not spending all my time at the pub or chasing dealers, I spend all my time writing and working. I do all kinds of shit and I think it’s become more exciting as I get older. The passion and desire to do it is really strong. I find it to be tons of fun.”

Guns N' Roses is set to play its first show with Slash since 1993 this April at the Coachella festival in California this April. So far the only confirmed people in the line-up are Slash, Rose, and bassist Duff McKagan. No word yet on if Izzy Stradlin', Matt Sorum, Gilby Clarke, or Steven Adler will be part of the band's activities.

I'm glad for Slash that he is able to in a healthy way make things come full circle in his life. As things once began, so too shall they end I suppose. Not that Slash's career is over by any stretch of the imagination of course. I personally hope this renewed energy makes for some kick-ass new songs from the band in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Guns N' Roses Reunion Confirmed

The biggest rock n' roll reunion of all time is confirmed: For the first time in over 20 years members of the original line-up of Guns N' Roses including Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan will be playing together.

The first show will be happening at this year's Coachella Festival in Indio, California on April 16th and 23rd. This will be the first time that Rose and Slash have performed together on stage since the Buenos Aires concert in 1993. McKagan on the other hand has performed with the newer line-up of the band over the years for a few shows here and there.

Rumours of these shows have been circulating for a while now, but they were confirmed when just yesterday the above image was posted on the official Guns N' Roses, Slash, and Duff McKagan social media pages.

My inner-17 year old is flipping the hell out right now. This is the one reunion people thought would NEVER happen. The bitter feud between Slash and Rose was stuff of legendary proportions. People thought for years that if the two were to even be in the same building as each other all hell would break loose. I guess some times all it really takes is time to heal a broken relationship. Personally, I'm happy beyond all belief that this has happened within my lifetime. Now so many people who never got the chance to see the original band will get to. I just hope that Rose whips himself and his voice into shape before the shows so that they don't fall flat.

Monday, January 4, 2016

5 Songs to Get You Through the Week #56

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. Nightrain, by Guns N' Roses

Since the old Guns N' Roses are getting back together (at least Slash, Axl, and Duff) I feel it's only appropriate to celebrate by cranking the tune with one of the absolute greatest guitar riffs they ever came up with. This song crashes and burns in all the best way with its crunchiness, attitude, and ripping and running guitar solos from the Cat in the Hat. To be honest, Nightrain really is all about the guitar and it's pretty rad.

 2. Merry Go Round, by Motley Crue

80's hair metal staple Motley Crue had their absolute final concert this past New Year's Eve in Los Angeles. The band is now officially retired once and for all (unless all four members sign a contract saying they want to reform). To celebrate the 35 year legacy the band left behind I think it's appropriate to take a look at some of the awesome stuff they did besides the radio hits. Personally, I dig Merry Go Round because it seems a lot more 70's glam rock based than the more crunchy heavy metal they were known for. It's quite melodic and gets you wrapped up in the moment.

3. I Ain't No Nice Guy (After All), by Motorhead

It is with great sadness that we mourn the recent and far too soon loss of Motorhead founder and front man Lemmy Kilmister. The man in his day wrote tons upon tons of ripping and running punk/metal tunes that tore it up. However, I am also choosing to remember him for some of his softer, more heartfelt moments as well. I Ain't No Nice Guy is a (mostly) softer ballad that features guest vocals from Ozzy Osbourne and a guitar solo from Slash. Honestly, it's a pretty badass song despite the fact it isn't a rocker.

4.  Touch Too Much, by AC/DC

This is one of those under rated Bon Scott era tunes from AC/DC. You can tell that hard rock was already going in a bigger, more melodic direction by 1979 when the Highway to Hell album came out. The chorus in Touch Too Much is definitely a prime example of that; featuring big chords, big melodic backing vocals, and an infectious hook. Quite frankly, I think the only reason this wasn't a bigger hit back then was because of just how sexual the lyrics were.

5.  Fairies Wear Boots, by Black Sabbath

Now the title of this song would throw most conventional mainstream people off (though quite frankly I think it's AWESOME), but if you're willing to explore Fairies Wear Boots anyway you're in for a pleasant surprise. It is an absolutely wonderful swingy band jam. It does have solid structure and vocals, but honestly it's really about the guys on instruments jamming it out and having a good time. It's definitely a great choice on their part for a closing track to the Paranoid album.