I am sitting here eating lunch and learned that Peter Tork of the Monkees died today, February 21, 2019. Peter was 77 and passes almost 7 years to the day after Davy Jones (February 29,… More
I am going to do a collection of Gwen Stefani memes whether you like it or not. With her stint in No Doubt, her Solo work, her fashion sense or the Voice, she has been around a long time and is still in the public eye even if not for the best of reasons. So sit back and I hope you enjoy it…
I have followed Switchfoot since around 2003 with their fourth album ‘The Beautiful Letdown’ and now some 16 years later they bring us their eleventh studio album, ‘Native Tongue’ and yes, I am still a fan. The new album brings us more of the same and yet travels down a new road as well.
The album has a familiar Switchfoot sound that is at times pure rock, at times pure spiritual and at times au natural almost Earthy feel to it. They try so many different musical styles, including a little EDM, but they were able to keep it cohesive. That is in part to what seems to be a theme throughout and that is “Love”. Whether it is God’s love, human love and love on some different level, I don’t know, but the songs all seem to be connected.
The opening track, “Let it Happen” has this spiritual feel with a little bit of rock thrown in and the message to it about letting love just happen as well as letting life just happen. The rock comes in full force with “Native Tongue”. The heavy tribal drums and bass sound kick this up a notch and was a great choice as the first single. And then you get the church feel of “All You Need” and with that chorus I can picture a worship team singing it out loud during service.
For My Sunday Song #131 and for the next 10 songs, we are celebrating the songs of Kiss!! Now that Kiss has started their Farewell Tour, I thought I would honor some of my favorite Kiss songs. There will be No “Beth”, No “Detroit Rock City” & NO “ROCK & ROLL ALL NITE”!!! Sorry, not my favorites..,well Detroit is one but too obvious a choice. We will start it off with “Black Diamond” from the debut album ‘Kiss’.
Black Diamond was written by Paul Stanley and it was about New York as were a lot of their songs. This one was on the seedy side of it at least. It is about street hookers and the queen of them all, the Black Diamond. Stanley has been quoted as saying this was partially inspired by the Rolling Stones classic “Brown Sugar”.
Lyrically there is not much there, but musically…Damn!! What a way to close out your debut album. The song kicks off with Paul Stanley on vocals for the first verse while playing an acoustic guitar. He screams “HIT IT!!” and all hell breaks loose. Peter Criss takes over vocals and the song kicks in to full gear with his pounding drums, Gene Simmons’ thumping bass and Ace Frehley’s frenzied guitar.
The guitar solo is top notch and I love how it ends with the heavy ass bass sound with the ominous sounding drums as it gets slower and slower and then fades out. It is amazing how so few lyrics can turn into a song over 5 minutes long and when the play it live it is even longer…live is a whole other story. Don’t get me started on how great this song is live. They used to close their live shows with this one a lot.
Welcome to the day after Valentine’s Day. I hope everyone was with the one you love or at least loving the one you were with. And if you didn’t have anyone, that is okay too. Maybe there is something on here you could love. There is a little for everyone. My choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you are interested in and what I might have missed. Have a great weekend.
- Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water – (BMG): Avril Lavigne, what can I say. I actually dig her stuff. I am not afraid to admit it. Even if she married the guy from Nickelback. I won’t hold that against her. I haven’t heard anything off this one yet, but that won’t deter me from giving it a listen as she has earned that respect. Oh yeah, the cover of the album is quite nice!
- Jon Fratelli – Bright Night Flowers – (Cooking Vinyl Ltd): I love the Fratelli’s so can’t wait to hear Jon do another solo album. His last one I enjoyed so why would this one be any different. Give him a try, you will like it.
After the demise of Generation X and Gen X, Billy would follow Bill Aucoin, his manager and Kiss’ former manager, to New York City to start a solo career. When Billy signed on with Gen X as their manager, he quickly learned that the star of this band was not the band, but its lead singer, Billy Idol.
When Billy got to New York, he met a lot of interesting people and really loved the club scene…and of course, the drug scene was something he enjoyed as well. If you read his book, “Dancing With Myself“ you can find out all about it so I won’t spoil the details here.
Billy was introduced to a guitarists at this time that would become just as big a part of Billy’s solo career as he was. He met Steve Stevens. There is no Billy Idol sound without Steve and his guitar playing is what makes Idol’s solo songs that much better.
With Steve Stevens in tow along with Phil Feit on bass and Gregg Gerson on drums, the band set out to record Billy’s first solo album. As a teaser and build up to his career, it was decided an E.P. would be put out, I guess to whet everyone’s whistle and draw up buzz on the singer. ‘Don’t Stop’ was the result. It was more of a dance album than the former punk sound Billy had and you could see the magic being developed on what would become an amazing run of albums in the 80’s.
Okay Parrotheads! It is time to grab a Margarita and a Cheeseburger and head to Paradise. Climb in the hammock, sit back, relax and enjoy this collection of Jimmy Buffett memes from around the internet. It doesn’t matter what time it is because it is 5 O’Clock Somewhere so drink up!!…and light ’em if you got ’em.
I will give props to Michael Bolton for actually re-recording the songs with a symphony orchestra and not just phoning it in, but I don’t see the need for basically another greatest hits package of songs from 30 years ago that feels tired and boring and left me missing the days of this Michael Bolton…
Rival Sons are now on their sixth studio album and we are just shy of 10 years since the debut album and I hate to admit that I had only been a casual fan throughout. That has since changed with the release of ‘Feral Roots’. There is no need to be casual as a deep dive is needed to explore all the textures they have delivered over the years.
Why the change of heart? Well, easily it is this album. But before we get into the good of this album, we have to explore the bad. What is bad about this album? Well, not a damn thing!
From the opening fuzzy guitar riffs of “Do Your Worst”, Rival Sons come out swinging with a pure rock & roll album. It is bluesy, it is heavy, it is retro, it is fan’freaking’tastic. This is what Rock & Roll music should sound like.
What is the best part of this album? Well, it is the drumming of Mike Miley. Not since Kiss’ Creatures of the Night album have the drums sounded so great and been such an integral part of the sound of an album. His NRA approved, machine gun barrage of drumming to open “Back in the Woods” had me screaming as I was driving down the road at 6am in the morning heading to work.
For My Sunday Song #130, the final instrumental we will highlight is from John 5 & the Creatures called “Here’s to the Crazy Ones”. The song is off the album ‘Season of the Witch’ from 2016 and I love that album.
The song is John 5 on guitar and for the Creatures you have Ian Ross on bass guitar and Rodger Carter on drum and what a heck of a trio you have on your hands. John 5’s guitar work is unbelievable with some killer riffs and one heck of solo. But not to be outshined is that rhythm section. Ian is destroying it with his bass fills and Rodger’s drum work all add to the craziness of the song.
The song has some Satriani-esque moments, it has some funked up jazz moments, it has progressive rock moments and it is just John 5 showing off with his full arsenal of tricks and speedy-ass fingers. Ian and Rodger turn what would be great songs into something even better. The trifecta of musicians make it shine.
Happy Friday! I can’t wait for the weekend! Why you ask? Duh, no work and all music all the time!! Not a whole lot this week, but a couple I will try out and they will be highlighted in Blue. Let me know if there is anything for you or let me know what I am missing out on. Hopefully there is something for you…I know that Bolton one is calling everyone’s name…”Listen to me (insert name here)”.
- 7eventh Time Down – Brand New Day – (BEC Recordings): A Christian rock band or pop rock…whatever you want to call it…I will give it a try. I have enjoyed their first few albums and there is always one or two songs that blow me away so hoping for more of that. I just like the positive messages and the good grooves. Check them out! (Update…I guess I need to stop doing these three weeks ahead because this got moved to March 1st…sorry about that).
- Sister Hazel – Fire E.P. – (Croakin’ Poet Records): I remember their 90’s hits (or at least “All for You”) so why not see what they have to offer in 2019. They are doing a lot of E.P.s. They did two last year (Water & Wind) and now comes Fire. I think I missed the other two so I will check this one out and go back and listen to the others.