In Memoriam – 2018

Every year I do a post memorializing musicians that we lost in that year.  The list is really long and I guess each year it will get longer as all the bands I grew up with are getting older and it is bound to happen.  Though we have lost them, they live on in our hearts and in their music they left behind.  I guess we might as well get started.  Do realize this list isn’t every musician that passed away, it is really those that I have listened to over the years or were legends and icons in music.  So if I leave someone off, it is nothing personal but please add their name in the comments.

JANUARY 2018

January 10th: “Fast” Eddie Clark of Motorhead and Fastway.  He was the last surviving member of the original and classic line-up of Motorhead.  He was in the band from 1976 up until 1982 and was on the classic song and album that everyone knows, “Ace of Spades”.  Clark was also a founding member of the 80’s band Fastway (“Fast” Eddie Clark wasn’t a giveaway).

340px-Dolores_O'Riordan_guitar_2010January 15th: Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries.  A common theme lately is that artist seem to be committing suicide at an alarming rate.  The year kicked off with the loss of these heavenly voice.  The Cranberries were huge in the 90’s with such great songs as “Zombies” and “Linger” to just name a few.  She will be missed.

 

 

January 16th: Dave Holland, drummer for the band Judas Priest during some of the biggest years of the band, The 1980’s.

January 24th: Mark E. Smith, founder and lead singer of The Fall.  The band released over 32 albums from 1972 to 2017.  Quite an accomplishment.

FEBRUARY 2018

February 1st: Dennis Edwards, singer for The Contours and The Tempations.  He died at 74 of meningitis.

Mrbig_pattorpeyFebruary 7th: Pat Torpey, drummer for the band Mr. Big.  Pat’s drumming was sensational and a much respected drummer by musicians and non-musicians.  He was 64 and died from Parkinson’s Disease.

 

MARCH 2018

March 9th: Gary Burden – album cover artist. I normally do only musicians, but the album cover is just as important as the album itself (at least it used to be).  Gary was a pioneer in the the whole idea of cover art.  He worked mostly with Neil Young, but wored with The Doors, The Eagles, Joni Mitchell and many, many more.

March 14th: Alfred Lynn, singer for Wu-Tang Clan.  Alfred died of a heart attack at the age of 62.

March 20th: Peter Cowling, bassist for the Pat Travers Band.  He was 72 years old.

APRIL 2018

April 18th: Dale Winton – Dale was an English Radio DJ and very famous over in the UK.  He even had a cameo in the movie Trainspotting.

April 20th: Avicii – This Swedish musician and DJ was only 28 years old.  The details of his death were never released (that I can see), but it appears it was related to years of alcohol abuse.

April 26th: Charles Neville – saxophonist for the Neville Brothers.  He was 79 and died of pancreatic cancer.

MAY 2018

May 1st: John “Jabo” Starks – drummer for James Brown.  He was 79 years old.

May 4th: Steve Coy – drummer for the 80’s band Dead Or Alive who had the big hit “You Spin Me Round”

May 10th: Scott Hutchison – guitarist, singer and songwriter for the Alternative rock band Frightened Rabbit.  I came across them on a post I did about them years ago.  Damn fine singer and artist.

JUNE 2018

June 8th: Danny Kirwan – Danny was a former guitarist for the band Fleetwood Mac. He was with the band at it’s infancy from 1968-1972.  Danny was 68 at the time of his passing.

June 18: XXXTentacion – XXXTentacion was a rapper and was murdered at only 20 years of age.

440px-VinniePaul2008June 22: Vinnie Paul of Pantera –  Vinnie was the drummer for the famed Thrash metal band Pantera.  He was only 54 years old and is now with his brother Dimebag who was killed during a concert in 2004.

 

June 27th: Joe Jackson – the mastermind behind the Jackson 5 and father of Michael Jackson and all the other Jackson clan. His abrasive style has not looked fondly for him, but he did make those kids successful.

July 2018

July 3rd:  Richard Swift – Richard was a singer & songwriter for the band The Shins and The Black Keys.

AUGUST 2018

August 14th: Randy Rampage – Randy was the singer and bassist for Canadian thrash metal band D.O.A.  He died at 58 of a heart attack.

August 14th:  Jill Janus – Jill was the singer for the rock band Huntress.  She died of an apparent suicide at the age of 42 years old.

440px-Aretha_Franklin_1968.jpgAugust 16th: Aretha Franklin – Aretha was a living legend and one of the greatest singers we have ever had.  Her song “Respect” by Otis Redding is one of the most famous songs probably ever.  There was no one that her vocal power and she was adored by so many.  Definitely a legend and a icon has been lost.

August 22nd: Ed King – Ed was a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame guitarist for the band Lynrd Skynrd and Strawberry Alarm Clock.  He is most famous for co-writing the song “Sweet Home Alabama”  Funny thing, he was from California.

August 25th: Kyle Pavone – Kyle was the lead singer for the band We Came as Romans.  He was only 28.

SEPTEMBER 2018

September 7th: Mac Miller:  Mac Miller was a Rapper, singer and producer.  Sadly at he age of 26 died of a drug overdose.  For me, most notable for his collaborations with Ariana Grande who my kids are a fan.

September 27th: Marty Balin – Marty was the singer and musician for the Hall of Fame band Jefferson Airplane.  He was 76 years old.

OCTOBER 2018

October 29th:  Jimmy Farrar – Singer for Molly Hatchet and Gator Country died of a heart attack at the age of 67.  I loved me some Molly Hatchet.  He was singer from 1980-1982 and appeared on two of their albums.

The_Residents_Eye_-_EMP_-_Sarah_StierchOctober 30th: Hardy Fox – musician with the avant-garde musical group The Residents.  Famous for their weird eyeball-band.

 

 

NOVEMBER 2018

November 3rd: Glenn Schwartz – a member of the James Gang died at 77.  I just picked up a live James Gang album that I will play in his honer.

November 4th: Josh Fauver – Bassist for the band Deerhunter.  Josh was only 39 years old.  Way too young.

440px-Roy_Clark_a_conversation_with_OETA_(cropped)November 15th: Roy Clark – Roy was 85 when he died of pneumonia. I remember Roy from Hee-Haw and was actually one of the first guitarist I remember paying attention to.  I was forced to watch Hee-Haw and it was funny at times, but Roy Clark’s guitar and banjo playing was sensational.  He was one of the few Country musicians that I ever noticed that could serious play…I mean freaking awesome.  He will be missed.

DECEMBER 2018

December 6th: Pete Shelley – Pete was a member and co-founder of the band the Buzzcocks.  He died from a heart attack at only 63.  The Buzzcocks were a British punk rock band that have influenced so many others. Some songs include “I Don’t Mind”, “Fast Cars”, “Ever Fallen in Love (with Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) and “Orgasm Addict”.

Nancy_Wilson_(1968)December 13th: Nancy Wilson – The Grammy winning Jazz Singer was 81 years young.  She won 3 Grammies in her life including for Best R&B recording in 1965 for “How Glad I Am”.

 

 

To all the musician we have lost in 2018, may you rest in peace knowing the legacy you have left behind.  Thanks for the music!!

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My Sunday Song – “Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson

For My Sunday Song #124, the instrumental this week is none other than Eric Johnson’s “Cliffs of Dover”.  The song was released in 1990 and is off his album ‘Ah Via Musicom’.  The song garnered Eric a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1992 and it has been named #17 in the list of 100 Greatest Guitar Solos by Guitar World Magazine. That should tell you something about how great this song is.

The song starts off with one wicked guitar solo before kicking in to that familiar riff of the song.  What I really love about the song is the melody.  It is so infectious and gets stuck in your head.  When you hear the song, you immediately strap on your air guitar and strum along.  It is taking everything for me to not stop typing and do just that as I am listening to it.  Forget, I will be right back…(air guitar strumming)…(still going)….(almost done)…okay, I’m back.

Eric Johnson claims the song came to him quickly and he was done in about 5 minutes.  I guess he knew a good thing when he heard it.  If it was only that easy for every song.  Now, that creative output occurred back in 1982.  Eric being the perfectionist that he is spent a lot of time tweaking the song and trying to get it right.  He was going to included it on his 1986 debut, but it was nixed by the powers that be.  And some 8 years after he first created the song, it was finally released.  At least the idea was quick!

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The Top Songs of 2018

It is time for the Top 20 Songs of 2018.  My previous post, if you missed it, was the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018.  Go check it out by clicking on the link.  These 20 songs are all genres other than rock.  Some were popular and chart toppers and others were not.  They are my favorites, that touched me in some way so don’t expect any indie bands or anything trendy.  If you want that go to one of the cool sites out there, this ain’t it.

If you missed the Top Rock Albums of 2018 or the Top Albums of 2018 (that were not Rock), just click on the link and go check them out.

Let’s get started…

#20 – “Space Cowboy” – Kacey Musgrave off the album ‘Golden Hour’: I am not huge into today’s country music, but Kacey is different.  She is doing things her way, pushing boundaries and sounds.  I love her voice and her songs are always interesting and worth diving into lyrically.  This one is no different.  It is more pop than country, but still good.

#19 – “Say Hello” – Rhett Walker Band off the ‘Rhett Walker Band E.P.’:  Rhett’s a Christian rock band and this song comes off with the power of Church Revival and gets you up out of you chair, hands in the air and give it your all.  If you want to get moving, this will do it.

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The Top Rock Songs of 2018

Welcome to the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018.  These songs are my favorite songs of the year and were not necessarily played on the radio or even shot up the charts.  They just moved me in some way good or bad!

If you missed the Top Rock Albums of 2018 or the Top Albums of 2018 (that were not Rock), just click on the link and go check them out.

It is time to start the list so here we go…

#20 – “Loading Zones” –  Kurt Vile off the album ‘Bottle it In’:  Kurt’s can be about the mundane and anything that troubles him in life. This is about the horrors of trying to park in the city.  It has such a great little beat to it and some great guitar and such a simple subject that yet turns into something amazing.  The video is great as well.

#19 – “Roll Me Under” – Stone Temple Pilots off the album ‘Stone Temple Pilots (2018)’:  I know I did give the album the best review, but I liked this song.  It had the old STP sound, but it was also Jeff Gutt at his best on the album.  Such a heavy bass and guitar sound,  it was just great.

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The Top Albums of 2018

The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year.  I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2018 (click to read).   This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums.  Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.

Note:  These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers.  There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list.  These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way.  So, we might as well get started…

The #1 Album of 2018

91OE1mUg7jL._SL1500_-2Matt Nathanson – Sings His Sad Heart:  Man, what can I say about this guy.  He is my favorite singer/songwriter out their right now and has been for sometime.  Within just a couple listens to this album I felt like I knew all the words and I was singing right along like I had grown up with these songs.  And how do you know an album is great, you keep singing it when you aren’t even listening to it.  Yes, I was and I am still singing.  The songs “Mine”, “Way Way Back”, “Used To Be” “Long Distant Runner” and “Best Drugs” are some of my favorites but there is not a bad song.  Perfect!!

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The Top Rock Albums of 2018

2018 was another year with some great releases and way too many to get through them all so I am sure I missed a number of great albums and if you look around the web, there will be tons of Top Album lists you can get a pretty good idea of what you should check out in case you missed any of these.

This list will be my favorite “Rock” albums of the year.  All other types of music will be for a later post.  I am going to leave this one to my favorite genre.  It is a broad genre, but these are the albums that I consider to be ROCK!!

Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!!  These are not the most popular or trendy albums.  These are the albums that I connected with during the year and I kept coming back to again and again.  And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2018:

My #1 Album of the Year:

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Reach – The Great Divine: A modern, yet melodic rock album that just grabs hold and won’t let go from beginning to end.  A band I had never heard of prior to this album and I am now wondering where they have been my whole life.  Just a fantastic album with no songs to skip or delete.  Almost pure perfection.  The first album I bought that was new in 2018 and still listen to it today.  With songs like “The Great Divine”, “Nightmare” and “Into Tomorrow” you can see they have the goods.  The production value was great, the music, the vocals, it was all solid and my favorite album of the year!!  Give it a try (and check out my original review by clicking the album title).

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Tuesday’s Memes – Christmas Music #2

It is actually Christmas Day and Tuesday so why not combine the Memes with the Holiday.  Here is the second Tuesday’s Memes on Christmas Music.  If you can’t get enough go check out the first one from last year.  Just Click Here!!

The Songs…

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The Christmas Rant – LEAVE CHRISTMAS ALONE!!

Tomorrow is Christmas!  It is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, celebrate our families and the ones we love.  It is a time to be joyful and full of yuletide cheer (whatever that is).  However, some people have tried to poo poo on the Holidays.  And I can’t take it anymore.  So, you are about to get something from I rarely ever do.  Voicing my opinion about some topics that have really pissed me off this year.  Sit back and settle in…if this offends you, too bad.

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE

First up…since it is a music site, I will start with the music controversy with the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.  If you aren’t aware, a radio station or two has BANNED the Christmas song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” because they feel it is Rape Song!!.  A Rape Song!…really.  Yes, the lyrics when read without context of the singing or the time within which they were written do sound like a possible date rape scenario, I will give them that.

However, I think the #MeToo movement or whatever movement is going a little too far with this.  Seriously, do you have to take the joy out of Christmas???  You are missing something crucial about the song.  When the singers are singing this, it isn’t date rape, it is a playful flirtation between the two parties.  The song was written in the 1940’s.  Women couldn’t come right out and say they wanted to have sex with the guy, they had to come across as innocent and playfully suggest such things so she didn’t come across as a Whore.

So, please shut the fuck up and leave my Christmas music alone!!  You suck the life out of everything.  Hell, it must be hard being you!!

LEAVE CHRISTMAS ALONE!!

Oh, by the way, I saw this on Facebook and thought it was funny…Frosty the Snowman is naked and smoking in front of kids…you might want to Ban Frosty!!

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GENDER NEUTRAL SANTA

First you fuck with Baby, It’s Cold Outside and now you want to fuck with Santa!!  Am I hearing this correctly??  You want a gender neutral Santa Claus???  It this a joke???

Ok, I am ready to lose my shit!!  Santa Claus is a Male!!  He is married to Mrs. Claus.  He is a JOLLY OLD FAT MAN!!!  Leave Santa alone.  Now, before you go and say anything, I don’t care if Santa is White or Black or whatever color you want your Santa to be, but Santa is a MAN!!!  A very FAT MAN!!  And there is nothing wrong with being a Man.  Stop fucking with my Christmas Tradition!!  If you want your own Christmas icon that delivers presents or whatever and they are gender neutral, that is fine…BUT IT AIN’T SANTA CLAUS!!!  I am curious, when did being a male in this country become such a bad thing!!

LEAVE CHRISTMAS ALONE!!!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS

Now this controversy has been around awhile about not being able to say “Merry Christmas” to anyone.  I am going to say Merry Christmas!!  Why, because I can and have every right to do so!  If you are offended that is your own personal fucked up problem.  If you were to come up to me and say Happy Hanukah, I would in no way be offended.  I would be appreciative and I would say it back to you even though I am not Jewish.  Why?  Because I would be glad you greeted me with such kind words.  We aren’t trying to force Christ on you we are wishing you well.

Merry Christmas is more than just about Christ (although that is the big focus).  It is also about family and loving one another.  It is about celebrating everyone whether we are Christians or Jewish or Muslim or whatever you are.  We give gifts to those we love and consider friends.  it is supposed to be a time of joy.  If your sad, pathetic life is offended by the statement of Merry Christmas, that is on you.  Not Me!!  I mean no ill will when I say it and I can’t control how you take it, but I am pretty darn sure you will never stop me from saying it!!

LEAVE CHRISTMAS ALONE!!!

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And thanks for listening to me ramble even if I don’t make sense half the time.  I am a little tired of the political correctness gone way too far!!  The world has lost its sense of humor and people have lost the ability to be kind to one another.  It is a sad, sad world we live in now.

And one final thought…MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

My Sunday Song – “Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12-24” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

For My Sunday Song #123, we are still tackling instrumentals and this one will celebrate Christmas.  The song is “Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12-24” by the band Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO).  The song is off their debut 1996 album ‘Christmas Eve and Other Stories’.  The song was originally done by the metal band Savatage back in 1995 on their album ‘Dead Winter Dead’.

Okay, TSO is a side project of some of the Savatage band members and you might have seen them as they tour each year a very popular Christmas show that rocks out.  TSO tours two groups at one time and the show looks spectacular.  The song, you have heard it, there is no doubt.  It has become a Classic Christmas song in my book and one of my favorite Christmas songs.

I am going to cheat heavily on this edition of My Sunday Song.  I want to capture for you the great story behind the song and the composition itself as both stories are great and I don’t think I can write it any better.

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The story behind the song comes from an interview Paul O’Neil (founder of TSO) did with Christianitytoday.com  and it goes like this…

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Turntables & Vinyl #17 – The Thanksgiving Collection

For Thanksgiving, we always travel to Atlanta to visit family and celebrate what we are ‘thankful’ for and just enjoy being around people we love.  And two things happened this year that involved vinyl.  The first was Black Friday Record Store Day and the second was that a family member brought up they have a collection of vinyl they have sitting around.  Anything that involves music or vinyl is a good time for me.

First off, let’s talk about the Black Friday Record Store Day.  Friday morning came and everyone was a little tired from eating too much the night before and it was a slow start to the day.  My sister and brother-in-law were kind enough to make us breakfast and I couldn’t refuse.  Now this started at about 8 or so in the morning.  The one record store that was fairly close to my sister (20-25 minute drive) was going to open at 10am so I felt I was still good on time.

Breakfast didn’t actually get ready until closer to 9am and now I was getting worried. I didn’t want to be rude and skip out on breakfast, so I decided that it was more important to sit with the family and enjoy what was a very yummy breakfast rather than get some exclusive limited edition vinyl’s that would bring me hours and hours of enjoyment.  And I was right.

My daughter and I eventually got on the road and made it to the record store, Sweet Melissa’s Records at about 9:50 which was 10 minutes prior to opening.  And there was no line!!!  That is right…NO LINE!!!  I was so excited.  We got a parking space right in front of the store and couldn’t be happier.  We get out of the car and there was a lady at the door coming out and we asked if they were open and she said Yes, come on in.  Then she added, we got bored and opened early!  Early????  Red Alert….Early?? Danger Will Robinson, Danger!!

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