The releases keep on coming and another solid week of new albums for you. Not as many as the prior weeks but still over 20 to choose from. My choices are highlighted in Blue as usual. What are you interested in listening to this week? Let me know in the comments and please add anything that I may have missed so everyone can know what else is out there. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a fabulous weekend listening to music!!
Myles Kennedy – The Ides of March – (Napalm Records): Myles is probably the busiest man in the music business and somehow he still found time for a solo album. This is his second solo album and his first ‘Year of the Tiger” was absolutely brilliant. Of course, that makes this one have super high expectations. I have this ordered on a really cool green/white vinyl that was exclusive to his site so I can’t wait to see how it turned out. Plus it is autographed so that will make two albums of his I have autographed!!
Sunbomb – Evil and Divine – (Frontiers Records): I was just talking about Myles being the busiest man in the music industry…well, Michael Sweet might be tied in that category as he is constantly putting out new material. This time around Michael Sweet and Tracii Guns team up for their first album. The band is Sunbomb and is another in a long line of a pairings that Frontiers brings together. I am not a huge fan of this unless it turns in to a real band. We will see if this does, but I am sure this will be a one time thing, which is usually disappointing. I will hold judgement until I listen to it though.
The 2000’s have seen Kiss release more live albums, greatest hits packages and box sets than Studio Albums. And this particular release has sat on the shelves for six years because one thing or another got in the way. The album was recorded on December 31, 1999 and January 1, 2000 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada and consisted of the original band members of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. The original intention for this album was to be released as Kiss Alive! IV, but there was a problem and it got shelved because the record label, Mercury, was being gobbled up by Universal in a giant merger. Then a few years later, Universal agreed for Mercury to release it, but the band was working on the Symphony show which would become Kiss Alive IV. One thing after another kept pushing this release back. Thoughts were that it wasn’t a good show, but I think it was bad timing.
The album would see a release on November 21, 2006 when it was included on the box set Kiss Alive! 1975-2000. That box set included Alive!, Alive II and Alive III as well and since those have already been reviewed, I went with just reviewing the Millennium show as that did get a separate vinyl release of its own.
One of the cool things about this release is that there are three songs on here that had never been played by all 4 of the original members. You get “Heaven’s On Fire” and “Lick It Up” both from the non-makeup era that Peter and Ace were not on and you get “I Love It Loud” which Peter was not on and Ace was credited on the ‘Creatures of the Night’ album but reality proved he didn’t play on it. However, the opening track on here is “Psycho Circus” and Peter and Ace actually didn’t play on that song either even though it was the “Reunion” album.
After the success of their album ‘News of the World’ and a very successful tour for that album, Queen quickly went back to work for the band’s seventh album, ‘Jazz’. They started recording the album in July 1978 in France and didn’t finish until October 1978. The album saw its release a month later on November 10, 1978 around a year after their last album. Upon its release, it wasn’t a critical darling, but the album did go to #2 in the UK and #6 in the US. The funny thing is that over the years, the critics have warmed up to this album and they usually rank it within the Top 5 Queen albums ever made. I don’t know about that, but we will see when I finally rank them at the end of the series.
The band is still Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon and that won’t change ever during these reviews as they are one of the few bands to not change their line-up during their studio album run. Not many bands can say that. We know after Freddie’s death, that will change, but it is really a touring band at that point, no more studio albums. Okay, we are getting a little sidetracked…by we, I mean me.
In my crate digging, I keep running in to Tour Books and of course, I keep buying them because I think they are cool time capsules of a band. This time around, I found 2 Alice Cooper Tour Books. And these are vintage as they were both from the 70’s and they look it. The first one we have here is from Alice’s biggest and best album, ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’, from 1975. The Tour began on March 21, 1975, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, making its way across the States and even in to Europe where it ended on September 17 in Antwerp, Belgium.
The Band had a cast of characters and included the following host of people:
Steve Hunter – Guitar
Dick Wagner – Guitar
Prakash John – Bass
Jozef Chirowski – Keyboards
Whitey Glan – Drums
Vincent Price – Spider Voice
Sheryl Goddard – Ethyl
Robyn Blythe – Bat Woman
Gene Montoya – Voodoo Man
Uchi Sugiyama – Frog Man
Yes, it is a cast as Alice doesn’t just put on a concert, nope! He puts on a show. A creep show and this one is all about his nightmares. But the concert is always important and the set list, on average, looked something like this…
Can you fall in love with an album or an artist by hearing only one song? The answer for me is a resounding YES!! That happened to me many moons ago when I heard one of the coolest songs I have ever heard. The song was “Not That Cool” by Will Hoge. The song was about me. He reached into my soul and wrote this song just for me. Ok, he didn’t really, but it felt like it was.
Will Hoge has been described as Americana, Alt. Country with a Southern Rock flair and it fits him perfectly. He has a little pop, a little blues and if you need to compare him to other artists then go with John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen or even Bob Dylan. Will’s ability to tell a story that can be bleak at times and uplifting at others is a shot in the arm and shows the power that can be found in music. His lyrics are an honest interpretation of what is going in America and at times a giant slap in the face. His genius lies in the words as well as the music and it is that gritty voice that draws you in and makes you care about what he has to say.
I thought it was time to rank his albums from what I think is his worst to what I feel is his best. Remember, this is what I like as a fan…not as a critic. Critics get paid, I don’t. So, if you don’t agree with this order, that is great and I think happens with every band. It is all about your timing in to the artist and what you like. This for me, is what I like. I hope you enjoy. I did something a little different with Will and included his 3 Studio E.P’s. along with his Studio albums and jumps the count up to 13 albums to go through, so grab a beer and relax and enjoy!
For My Sunday Song #247, we are going to dive in to “Devil Inside” by INXS. Another track off the fantastic album ‘Kick” from 1987. The song was a massive success for INXS going all the way to #2 on the US Charts. INXS was exploding in the States and I was gladly jumping on board at the time as this is one of my favorite albums from the 80’s. The song was written by Andrew Farriss and the late Michael Hutchence.
The song is about excess, but it is also about the battle of good and evil in us all. We have a good side and we definitely have a dark side. The side that wants to come out and be really bad. When we start to wonder how the other half lives and jealousy starts rearing her ugly head, when we want the taste of flesh or lust…either of these things are lying it wait at the tip of our minds ready to explode out and let the dark side take over.
For me, the best part of the song is not the lyrics, but the opening guitar riff by Tim Farriss. It is simple and short, but so recognizable and for a band that always has some cool riffs in their songs, this is one of their best. Also, the other thing I love is the sexiness of Hutchence and they way he delivers those lyrics. The sultriness of the way they roll of his tongue it turns this pop/rock song into a sexy beast…roar!! Okay that was over-the-top, sorry. This album saw a band gel together and become so tight and this song is a perfect example, every guitar note, every keyboard strike and every bass thump and every pounding drum beat came together in a perfect combination to bring us this masterful pop song.
What a fun evening had by all. If you didn’t get a chance to catch the live show with one of my favorite singers of all time, Paul Laine, you now can sit back and enjoy every second like we did. Paul was so gracious to give us so much time as we spent over 2 hours talking his career, rock and we even nerded out a little on Star Wars, Star Trek, history and European Architecture. If you want to know anything about his solo albums, the Danger Danger albums, The Defiants, Shugaazer, Dark Horse or his career in general than don’t miss a minute of this show as we cover it all. Well, almost all, so maybe Paul will be back later down the road for Round 2.
Paul comes in around 21 minutes if you want to skip right to it, but if you do, you will miss Mike do some great Unboxings so you might want to find out “What’s in the Box”!!
Thanks to Paul for all his generous time and great conversation and thanks to Mike for hosting such a great show, The LeBrain Train. He has kept us entertained every week since Covid happened over a year ago. And here is hoping for more fun to come. But can he top tonight??? For me, it will be tough, but I have faith he can do it.
One of the things I love most about doing these shows is how spontaneous they are. John and I came into this Paul Laine interview with pages and pages of notes and questions. Yet some of the best moments were spur of the moment. Paul Laine is a music nerd just like us! But not […]
A Friendly Reminder that Paul Laine will be joining us tonight on The LeBrain Train. Paul has been around since 1990 with his first solo album, ‘Stick It In Your Ear’ and I have followed him for 30 years from his bands Danger Danger, Shugaazer, Darkhorse and currently The Defiants. Come enjoy the fun and if you have a question, ask away and we will see if he can answer your question.
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and John Episode 63 – Paul Laine John from 2loud2oldmusic is to thank for this week’s guest: the hugely talented Paul Laine! He became a solo star here in Canada back in 1990, but has since worked with Danger Danger, the Defiants, Shugaazer and Darkhorse. He’s […]
I can’t believe we are already in to May. Time is flying by. This week this is a lot and there isn’t. There is a lot as in I do have over 35 releases for you today, but there isn’t a lot as their are only a handful I am interested in hearing. I will mark those in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear or what I may have missed as I am sure there is something that came out that I don’t have on the list and people need to know. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!
Weezer – Van Weezer – (Crush/Atlantic): I am not a Weezer fan by any stretch of the imagination, but when you name you album “Van Weezer” and this supposed to be your so called metal album I guess, that makes me interested. I am giving this a try strictly out of curiosity.
Nancy Wilson – You and Me – (Carry On Music): I am excited to hear Nancy Wilson’s new solo album. Although this ain’t Heart, it is cool she finally is releasing her first solo album. Their are 8 original tracks and four covers and some great guests including Sammy Hagar, Duff McKagan and Taylor Hawkins. We also get a song that is a tribute to Eddie Van Halen called “4 Edward”. I’m expected a good time to be had by all.
Despite not having any new albums in years, Kiss was touring. In 2000-2001, the band was touring the so called “Farewell Tour” which was supposed to be the end of Touring. Well, in 2003, the band announced The World Domination Tour where the band would be co-headlining with Aerosmith. Ace Frehley believing the Farewell Tour was the final tour, did not want to do this tour if they were the opening act for Aerosmith. Well, Ace was now gone. Because apparently the Farewell Tour was really the Farewell Tour for Kiss playing with Ace. Peter Criss came back in to the fold and did the World Domination Tour.
When that tour ended, Kiss decided to do another tour in 2004 called the Rock The Nation Tour. This time around, Kiss was the main headliner and the opening acts were Poison and Z02. Before the tour started, Peter Criss’ contract with the band had expired. According to Peter, no one contacted him about signing back up with the band for the next tour. Now, Peter was gone, yet again. Kiss was back down to just Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley with the hired guns of Eric Singer on drums and Tommy Thayer on guitar. This is the line-up that would stay in existence for the remainder of the Kisstory. The Rock The Nation Tour, was the start of a new era of Kiss. One where people either still loved the band and didn’t care who was in it or a group that hated Tommy for being in the band and wearing Ace’s make-up. Sorry folks, but so what. Tommy was hired to do a job and Tommy does that job very well. No one seemed to care too much that Eric was in the band and wearing Peter’s make-up and maybe that was because Eric had already been a big part of Kisstory before and he had earned his cat whiskers.