Matt Nathanson – ‘Postcards (from Chicago)’ – Album Review

One great thing about Matt Nathanson (there are a lot) is that he has been releasing E.P.s in between albums to keep his fans happy.  Last year we got the absolutely incredible Def Leppard covers E.P. called ‘Pyromattia’ which was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  Now he brings us another covers E.P. titled ‘Postcards (from Chicago)’.

Matt took some time while in Chicago to put together another covers release.  There are 6 songs from quite a diverse group of artists which makes it a very interesting release.  Here is the track list…

  1. Same Drugs (feat. Patrick Stump) – original by Chance the Rapper
  2. Perfect World – original by Liz Phair
  3. Hum Hallelujah – original by Fall Out Boy
  4. Surrender (feat. Richard Marx) – original by Cheap Trick
  5. Hold On to the Nights – original by Richard Marx
  6. Whiskey Bottle – original by Uncle Tupelo

The album is out now on digital and I have ordered it on Vinyl which I am waiting on as of this write-up. It will have an autographed postcard of Chicago and be on a really cool looking Orange Vinyl and should look like this…

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Kiss – The End of the Road Tour – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC August 10, 2019)

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming of Tuesday’s Memes to bring you this special announcement…

August 10th, 2019, Kiss bid farewell to the city of Charlotte, NC.  The End of the rode made a stop on a beautifully, hot night and a venue that holds 19,500 people was pretty freaking packed!!  If it wasn’t sold out, it wasn’t by much.  The place was filled with young and old alike and the costumes and make-up were a plenty including leather pants so tight, I don’t know how the women got them on (or off for that matter).

My first show was December 26, 1983 and August 10, 2019 was my last.  That is according to Kiss as this is the Farewell Tour or so they say.  I tried to drag my kids to it, but in the end, my oldest was the only one to go so I let her bring a friend.  My youngest has a few issues with noise sensitivity and after the show, I realized, she was probably right not to go as it would have been too much for her as the explosions and music were pretty darn loud.  Hell, my ears are still ringing a little this morning as I type.

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With tickets in hand, we found our seats and were ready to see “The Hottest Band in the Land…KISS”

But first, we had to sit through the opening act.  No, not a rock band.  Nope, not a comedian either.  We got the great pleasure of having David Girabaldi doing some performance art…painting.  What?  Painting is a performance art?  I was not aware of this.  David is immensely talented and whipped through 3 paintings in about 30 minutes. He did one of Jon Bon Jovi, while their music played.  His final one was of Kiss which was raffled off with proceeds going to Make a Wish Foundation which is cool.  The 2nd painting was of Ozzy!!  And it was really great…heck…they all were. The problem was it was so boring and unexciting.  The crowd liked it somewhat, I thought it sucked.  I would have liked a band to play, a young up & coming band or someone that had toured with Kiss before…Actually, Bruce Kulick’s band would have be the bomb!!

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Deep Purple – ‘Stormbringer’ – Album Review (The David Coverdale Series)

After ‘Burn’, Deep Purple went right back in the studio and recorded their second album together with the Mark III line-up.  The album was released in November 1974 just nine months after ‘Burn’.  ‘Stormbringer’ is the bands 9th album and actually ended marking the end of an era for the band which will discuss shortly.

The album cover is a great picture of a tornado with a pegasus riding in with the storm.  The cover is based on a photo by Lucille Handberg which was taken back on July 8th of the year 1927 in the town of Jasper, Minnesota.  The picture stretches out to the back cover to show the immense size of the storm.  The intenseness of the album cover; doesn’t necessarily translate to the music.

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The sound of the album is a continuation of ‘Burn’, but not near the intensity. There seem to push the Blues and Funk and lot more on this one much to the dismay of its leader Ritchie Blackmore.  Ritchie was so displeased with the direction of the band that after this album, Ritchie left ending the era of the Mark III phase of Coverdale, Hughes, Lord, Paice and Blackmore.  I find this funny considering David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes were both brought in by Ritchie to explore a new sound and direction for the band.  I guess sometimes be careful what you wish for.

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My Sunday Song – “Gods of War” by Def Leppard

For My Sunday Song #156, we are going to talk about one of Def Leppard’s few politically charged songs and one of the few songs from Hysteria that was not a single.  The song is “Gods of War”.  It is an epic song at over 6 minutes and I loved it when they used to play this one live long, long ago.  They still do play it when they do the whole Hysteria album in concert of course.

This was the 80’s and there were all these little military skirmishes going on around the world and it was the end of the Cold War.  Ronald Reagan was President of the United States and Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.  Intermixed in the song were lines from the world leaders threatening the terrorists and even gun fire and battle sounds.  One of my favorite lines was towards the end when President Reagan said, “He counted on America to be passive, He counted wrong” and then there was gun fire and explosions.  For a teenage boy, that was really badass!  Plus, I can do a really great Reagan impression so I would say those lines in his voice every time I would sing it.

Joe came up with the song from watching the news and what was going on in the world. It was Def Leppard’s version of protest song which I am sure was overshadowed by the songs that the band was releasing such as “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.  People didn’t look at Leppard as a socially conscience band, but they could be and were.

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Friday New Releases – August 9th

Happy Friday!!  Another work week behind us and new music weekend ahead of us.  Does it get any better than that?  Nope!  This Friday, however, there are not a ton of releases (at least not that I am interested in.  There is one I am anxious to hear and the rest…neh.  There is one I will hear whether I want to or not thanks to my daughter and another I might listen to as I am not sure I get this band and see if this one changes my mind at all.  MY choices are in Blue.  Let me know what tickles your fancy or if I missed anything.  Thanks and have a great Weekend!!

  • 6127Sh3ejCL._SS500_.jpg  Wilder Woods – Wilder Woods – (Atlantic Records):  This is the only release I am excited about and have ordered the vinyl which hopefully will there when I get home from work!!  Bear Rinehart, lead singer for one of all time favorite bands, Needtobreathe, has a side project called Wilder Woods.  The music is different from Needtobreathe, but that voice is the same.  It is another opportunity to explore something different and spread his wings of creativity.  It is a little lighter at times and yet darker as well as he explores different sides of himself than what you would normally get.  I can’t wait to explore this one.

  • 81bMGIBu5mL._SS500_  Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind – (Roadrunner Records):  Okay, here is a band I have never really listened to. A little heavier than I like or maybe a little stranger than I like.  The mask, yeah whatever, the music, eeeh, but I might give it a listen to see what the hubbub is about.  Don’t expect I will like this any more (or any less) then their other stuff.

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Kiss – The Hottest Show On Earth (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

We are on Vinyl #7 and the Final Vinyl from my trip to Paris.  Man, what a collection of bootlegs I picked up and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  I have been enjoying them immensely and they were well worth the money despite what my wife says!

The final vinyl in the collection is from the Epicenter in Fontana, CA on September 25th, 2010 on the bands The Hottest Show on Earth Tour.  The album actually says it is at the Auto Club Speedway, but they even say Epicenter in the show.  So that ain’t right.

This particular bootleg was made in Japan and even has the awesome Japanese obi strip on the album cover as you see on the above picture.  And the back of the strip is some more pictures of the band.

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And the back cover is pretty awesome as well as it has a great stage shot of the menacing Demon himself, Gene Simmons.

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Michael Sweet – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Michael Sweet is the lead singer of Stryper so you think I would do a Stryper ranking first, but nope.  I decided to do Michael Sweet’s solo releases before I go through all the Stryper albums.  Michael has been rather prolific with his music lately between the Stryper albums, his solo work and his Sweet & Lynch albums there has been a ton of new music.  I think he has also been getting better with age both vocally and lyrically.

He has a new album solo coming out soon called ‘Ten’ and before that was released I started listening to his older Solo albums and then one thing lead to another and I went through all of them.  So why not rank them from the ones I liked the least to the ones I liked the best and here we are.  Eventually I will get to the Stryper albums, but that could be awhile as there are so many to get through, but I will make it eventually.  For now, let us get through these.  Enjoy…

THE WORST – TOUCHED (2007):

Okay, the album is beautiful. He sounds amazing and I know the album was dedicated to his wife Kyle who was suffering from cancer.  It is a love song for her and that is incredibly touching.  The album is a collection of his songs and covers that were for his wife and all are ballads and not rocking at all.  I am not saying this album is bad, I am just saying I couldn’t enjoy it without that rocking side to go along with it.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Ratt

Finally, a collection of memes for the band Ratt.  The world needs this, so I will deliver.  Here are the best ones I could find as for some reason, with a name like “Ratt”, they don’t have a ton of memes that I could find. So, here is the best we can do.  I hope you enjoy…

Will the fighting over the name ever end?

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John 5 and the Creatures – ‘Invasion’ Album Review

John 5 and the Creatures are back with their second studio release called ‘Invasion’.  Their first album together was their 2017 release, ‘Season of the Witch’, which was a nightmarishly spectacular release.  John 5 is currently one of my favorite guitarists in rock today and man is he everywhere.  He is always writing for other artists and when he isn’t doing that or playing with the Creatures, he is on tour with Rob Zombie.

And if that isn’t enough, you should check out his Instagram page as he is constantly posting videos of him noodling around with his guitars usually wearing interesting masks and/or costumes and those hairless cats of his walking around.  He knows how to keep you coming back.

And he keeps me coming back.  When this album came out on July 31st, I am not sure I have stopped playing it since that day.  It has been on constant rotation.  And I have to say , I might like this one better than ‘Season of the Witch’ which I didn’t think would be possible. John 5 and the creatures, Ian Ross and Logan Miles Nix are nothing short of spectacular.

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The album kicks off with a storm brewing as the band readies itself to invade every piece of your body.  The ominous bass and hard hitting drums come across with an eeriness that is ready to battle and then John 5 comes blasting in with his killer riffs to lay waste to the land.  And the “Invasion” has begun.

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My Sunday Song – “Scar” by Def Leppard

For My Sunday Song #155, we are on to a very underrated album called ‘X’.  The song is “Scar” and is another unsung classic in their catalog.  The album ‘X’  didn’t do terribly, it just didn’t do as well as a lot of their previous work. It peaked at #11 on the Billboard charts.  Part of the problem was this was not released as a single.  “Scar” has all the elements people love about the band.

The song is full of layer upon layer of vocals and harmonies that give it the unique Lep trademark vocals.  It has a power ballad feel to it which suits Joe Elliott’s vocal perfectly and it actually seems like it would have fit nicely on one of their best albums, ‘Slang’.  It has a lot of the same tone and feel of that album.

Another piece that I like about the song is the guitar playing of Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell.  There is a hypnotic element to the riffs and when you get to the solo, the back and forth between the two is sensational.  It takes me back to when Phil and Steve would play off each other.  Overall it made feel good.

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