Friday New Releases – May 31st

Welcome to the last Friday of May!!  Let the Summer heat and fun begin!!  School is almost out for the kids, but busy times ahead for me.  Let’s end the month with some new releases.  I have a few I am interested in hearing and they are highlighted in Blue.  There is a handful of releases this week so let me know what you are interested in or if I missed something that needs a shout out!  I hope there is something for you.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!!

  • 819tYFEUphL._SS500_  Kenny Wayne Shepherd – The Traveler – (Concord Music Group):  First up for me is KWS and that awesome blues guitar.  Kenny has been around awhile now and his last release was stellar so expect more of the same with this. It is funny how his Blues actually makes me feel good.  Is that the way it is supposed to work?

  • 81BCSsOw5gL._SS500_  Duff McKagan – Tenderness – (Universal Music):  The Guns ‘n Roses bass player is back with a new solo album which is the first one in 20 years (not counting the 8 years since his band Loaded’s last album).  I don’t have high expectations or any for that matter, but I am curious as to what he has to offer and he has earned the respect for a listen.  I want some new GNR music though!!!

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The Alarm – Strength Live ’85 (RSD) – Album Review

For Record Store Day April 13, 2019, The Alarm released a live album in support of their 1985 album ‘Strength’.  It was a previously unreleased show recorded at the Boston Orpheum Theatre on November 9th, 1985.  Since ‘Strength’ is one of my favorite albums, this was quickly added to the albums I needed to grab on RSD.

The album has 20 songs, of which, 16 have never been released before (officially). There have been bootlegs of the show, but none with the actual mixed recording which was done about a month after the show by Nigel Luby.  The sound is untouched and no overdubs.  It is as it was back in the day.  You can hear the rawness, the crowd and you know it is truly live.  It is fantastic.

With only 2 albums out at this time, the band played a ton of songs from both ‘Declaration’ and ‘Strength’ (which hadn’t been out long) and some you hadn’t heard before.  Songs like “Majority” and “The Chant Has Just Begun” were not on the studio albums, but later released as bonus tracks on deluxe editions.  You get to hear them live here before ever seeing the light day.

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Billy Idol – ‘VH1 Storytellers’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

For the last half of the 90’s, Billy didn’t release anything.  After the failure of the ‘Cyberpunk’ album (which was awesome) and the issues with the label, Billy sort of vanished from the music scene.  He did have the single for the movie “Speed”, he made a memorable cameo in the movie ‘The Wedding Singer’, but outside of that, there wasn’t much else.

In 2001, that started to change.  VH1 aired a ‘Behind the Music’ on Billy and a greatest hits compilation was released that had a cover of Simple Mind’s song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” which had moderate success.  Heck, the greatest hits album sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. alone.  VH1 also decided to film a VH1 Storytellers with Billy and along for ride was Steve Stevens which was a reunion that was long overdue.

I am not going to critique the VH1 Storytellers show, but the CD that was released.  The CD came out on February 22, 2002 and is only the songs that were played and not any of the stories.  For that, you need the DVD.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Roadies

Let’s see…live music…check.  Groupies…check.  Now it is time for Roadies, the most important people in the band. Otherwise the band would actually have to carry their own shit.  Plus, if you want to get back stage as a Groupie, you have to go throw these guys (and gals) first.  Let us now celebrate the greatest, most thankless job there is…The Roadie!!!

Yeah, tech! Right…whatever you say…

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Poor bass player…

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Truth!!!

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Old joke, but still funny…

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Is this racist??? If so, sorry…I still laughed…

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Perception is everything…

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Let the animals have some fun…

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Have a great week!!!

Stone Temple Pilots – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

You have the Big Four in Metal…Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth.  In Grunge, the Big Four were Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots.  At the time, the only one I liked was Stone Temple Pilots.  They were the closest to the old Rock & Roll that I grew up with.  The others were too foreign to me to like.  However, I do like Soundgarden now and Pearl Jam I can tolerate…Nirvana still sucks (I still don’t get the hype for them but that is another story for another time).

Today, we are focusing on Stone Temple Pilots and how their albums rank from my least favorite to the very best one.  Despite all the troubles with the band and lead singer Scott Weiland, they were able to capture a magic that set them apart from most other bands.  Hell, Scott was probably one of the best frontmen to come out of that era or any era for that matter.  His stage presence and charisma were unparalleled and he could command a crowd.  After his passing, a couple other singers came on board including the late Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) and now current lead singer Jeff Gutt.

And let’s not forget the band…Robert DeLeo (bass), Dean DeLeo (guitar) and Eric Kretz (Drums).  Musically, they are the driving force behind the band. They are the constant.  They are why I still listen to this band no matter who fronts.  Their playing is excpetional and Dean’s guitar is freaking awesome.  Some of the best riffs you will hear!

Enough chit chat, let’s get to the reason we are here.  Here are the Stone Temple Pilots albums I rank from Worst to First!!

THE WORST – SHANGRI-LA-DEE-DA (2001):

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My Sunday Song – “Atomic Punk” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #145, we are tackling “Atomic Punk” which is off Van Halen’s debut album.  The space age song is a very deep cut and was never released as a single, but was the B-Side to “You Really Got Me”.  It is one of those gems that only the true fans listen to probably more than some of the band’s big hits (maybe that is just me)  I believe it helped drive the sales to way above 10 million copies.

The song is a sci-fi song about a dystopian society and Dave is the leader of this rag-tag crew.  The opening of the song has these space age sounds coming from Eddie’s guitar almost like a space ship sound.  Eddie captures the sound by rubbing his palm over the strings with the guitar going through one of his pedals.  It is captivating.

Lyrically, there isn’t a whole lot here.  Not in context or theme, but in length.  This is more of a showcase for more of what Eddie can do.  Not to take anything from Dave as he delivers the lyrics earnestly and convincingly as it does set the tone for the dark feel of the song.  But it is Eddie’s guitar playing that is again in full force with all the tricks he throws at you.  You hear something a little different and new each time you listen.

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Friday New Releases – May 24th

Happy Friday.  It is a nice long weekend here in the States with Memorial Day coming on Monday and we get that extra day off to spend with family and remember those who have died serving and fighting for our country.  It is also the unofficial start of Summer break (although the kids still have two more weeks of school.  All I know is I get an extra day to listen to some music.  Not much out this week, but there are a couple I am eager to hear.  They are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you want and if I missed anything. Thanks and have a great weekend.

  • 714mlGfPWtL._SS500_  SOTO – Origami – (InsideOut Music):  Jeff Scott Soto returns with one of his many bands.  This band is on their third album and the first two were heavy, solid rock band and almost metal.  It isn’t a solo album, it is a band.  These guys kick some major ass.  I have held off from listening to anything like I do on albums I want to hear as I like to take it all in at once.  It makes for a better listening experience.

  • 818qjjRsApL._SX522_  Stray Cats – 40 – (Surfdog):  The Stray Cats are Back!!!  And it is about time.  It has been well over 25 years since their last album and I couldn’t be more excited. I love that Rockabilly sound and we need a little of that now to shake things up as the music scene has gotten a little stale.  Welcome back boys!!!

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Kiss – ‘Accept No Imitations’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

On my trip to Paris, I came across a plethora of Kiss Bootleg albums so I figured why not do a whole series on Kiss Bootlegs.  And BOOM!!! Here we are with the first in that series.  Why not start off with a tour I actually saw and that would be the 1985/1986 Aslyum Tour.

This vinyl I picked up is opening night on November 29th, 1985 at T.H. Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, AR.  I would see the show a month later on New Year’s Eve in Atlanta, GA at The Omni.

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Before we get in to the music, let’s talk about the packaging of the album.  The set is a gatefold with 2 LPs and the gatefold has a bunch of shots of the band from the performance (or at least shots from some time during the tour.  The cover (at the top) is of Gene only which is a little bizarre as I probably would have rather had the group picture on the back as the front at least.  But I am being picky.

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Generation X – ‘K.M.D. Sweet Revenge’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

After the release of Generation X’s second album, “Valley of the Dolls”, the band started recording the follow-up release.  However, during the recording the band started having some creative issues with each other. The album was demoed, but never finished before the band broke-up.  Billy Idol and Tony James decided to continue on and they rebranded themselves as Gen X.  They released ‘Kiss Me Deadly’ in 1980 to little or moderate success.  So, the 3rd Generation X album never saw the light of day.

Well, it never saw the light of day until 1998 when former Generation X guitarist Derwood Andrews released it due to some contract obligations without the consent of Billy Idol and Tony James.  Billy & Tony were able to block the release in the U.S., but not anywhere else.  The songs were in demo form and not fully realized tracks.

Now in 2003, Billy finally did release the songs (from a different audio source) on a Generation X Anthology that he did approve.  The songs I have that I will discuss are for the Anthology and not the actual Sweet Revenge release as I am still trying to get my hands on it.  When I do, I will update the post.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Groupies

What band doesn’t love their Groupies??  Do bands today even have groupies?  Is that still a thing?  I mean does the DJ that today’s band have any woman fawning all over them?  “Oh, you scratch that album so amazingly” just doesn’t have the same as “Oh look at what his fingers can do to that guitar, imagine what he could do to me”…am I right?  Let us celebrate the Groupies!!

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