Peter Tork (The Monkees) – R.I.P.

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, 2012).  I haven’t been doing memorials for passing artists lately as I saved that for my year end In Memoriam list, but I am going to make an exception.

Growing up, The Monkees were a big influence on me.  Their whimsical behavior and their music were a big part of my childhood.  I am sure it was that Beatles sound, but whatever it was, I loved it (They outsold the Beatles for a short time, by the way).

Peter was the lovable goofball bass player who might have been my favorite on the show as he always made me laugh.  Now, I didn’t see the shows live, but I did watch them religiously on the cable station TBS back in the 70’s.  The first album my parents bought for me was The Monkees Greatest Hits.  They ordered off one of those TV commercials because I am sure I hounded them until they did.  I still have that vinyl today and it plays beautifully.

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I am going to keep this short, but wanted to pay my respects to Peter Tork.  Thanks for the musical memories and the joy you brought me as a little kid.

John

2018 – A Year in Review and More

2018 was a tough year at times and the best year at times, it all depends on my perspective when looking back at it I guess.  For my blog, we had a banner year with a vast improvement over the prior year.  It is hard to believe that people continue to come back to the site to read what I have to say.  It is rather humbling and much appreciated.  I don’t make any money on this, it is all for fun so to know people find it and come back motivates me to keep doing it.  I never thought I would be able to come up with material, but with over 730 posts so far, I seem to keep finding stuff to write about.

I will keep it to the blog as far as highlights for this past year, except I did turn 50, so that is pretty cool.  They say that the first 50 years of childhood are the hardest, and I would agree. It should be smooth sailing from here.

The first highlight, is that I have finally reached 100,000 views  on the site since its inception which was about 2 years & 7 1/2 months ago.  That is hard to believe. Now, I hope to do 100,000 views in 2019 alone.  That is at least my goal.

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As far as posts, what were the biggest posts of the year.  Here are the Top 5 new posts that were done in 2018:

Continue reading “2018 – A Year in Review and More”

What to Expect for New Music in 2019?

2019 is upon us and it is always fun anticipating what new albums are and will come out in the year.  There are quite a few we already know about, but some haven’t been officially announced or even a date set yet.  From what I have gathered around the internet, here are the bands that should have new albums out in 2019, but no dates announced yet. The ones I would give a try (and my kids) will be highlighted in Blue.  The ones with Dates Announced are at the bottom of this post.  The list is building up nicely!!

  • Adele
  • Billy Eilish
  • Coldplay
  • The Defiants
  • Eclipse
  • Greta Van Fleet – (rumor already for new music)
  • Hootie & the Blowfish (new tour has been announced)
  • Megadeth
  • Michael Sweet
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Prince
  • The Raconteurs
  • Rob Zombie
  • Stryper
  • The Cranberries
  • Taylor Swift
  • Tesla – Shock (Produced by Phil Collen of Def Leppard)
  • Tori Kelly
  • Whitesnake – Flesh & Blood (should be March)

Continue reading “What to Expect for New Music in 2019?”

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!!

Friday New Releases – May 11th

May is kicking in to high gear.  The temperature is heating up and so is the music.  There are only a few I am interested in this week, but there is plenty to get you moving this weekend.  My choices are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what tickles your fancy and if I missed anything (which I know I did).  Take a look and have a great weekend!!!

  • 51O5XlQtVaL._AC_US436_QL65_  RSO (Richie Sambora & Orianthi) – Radio Free America – (BMG):  The first full length album from Richie Sambora & Orianthi.  Well, it isn’t really completely new as they have had 2 EPs and a couble singles which are all included. The only new songs are only “Blues Won’t Leave Me Alone” and “Hellbound Train”.  I have mixed feelings on the EPs, but let’s see how they play as a full length album.

  • 51Jg2VeHSHL._SX120_SY120_  Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino – (Domino Recording):  Arctic Monkeys are back with their first album in five years.  It has been a while, but I am eager to hear if any of the magic is back.  They haven’t disappointed me yet…or at least very little.  Here is a snippet…

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – May 11th”

Thirdstory – Concert Review (Visulite Theatre in Charlotte, April 18, 2018)

I don’t get to attend many concerts each year and when I do it is usually me taking my daughter to a show.  This case was no different with the exception that I am fan of the band as well. The band is Thirdstory who are out of New York City and featuring Elliott Skinner, Ben Lusher and Richard Saunders.  Their music is a mixture of Pop and R&B with some unbelievable harmonizing.  That is definitely the highlight of the band.

The night started out early as the show didn’t start until 8pm, but we had to arrive at 5:30pm.  Why?  Well, I am trying to win a Father of the Year award and I surprised my daughter with Meet & Greet passes for the show.  She had been hinting all along how cheap it was and I didn’t even have to get a pass since she was underage.  I could be her chaperone.  Little did she know how convincing of an argument she made.

We got there a little early and she ended up being 2nd in line to meet the band.  She was so nervous and it all started it out well enough.  She walked up all smiles and started talking, saying hello to the band and then suddenly she got a little quiet. So, in good old dad fashion, I jumped right in to keep the conversation going.  I mentioned she saw the band once before when they opened for Tori Kelly almost two years to the day at the Fillmore in Charlotte.

The band has a song “G Train” (which I will talk about later), but I brought up the fact we were in New York a couple weeks earlier.  I told them we were unable to catch the G Train while we were there.  Funny enough, they laughed and said they would be worried if we did as it isn’t the safest train in New York.  Now, I am glad we didn’t catch it.

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Continue reading “Thirdstory – Concert Review (Visulite Theatre in Charlotte, April 18, 2018)”

Friday New Releases – April 6th

It is already April and I can’t believe how fast time flies.  We just got back from New York City for a family vacation and what a great time we had.  I love that city!!  Now, what do we have new this week you might ask.  Well, we have a lot of different things, Metal, Rock, Southern Rock, Pop, Christian and so much more.  My choices are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what you want, if anything.

  • 91P3HWlQIsL._SX522_  The Dead Daisies – Burn It Down – (Spitfire Music):  John Corabi and boys are back with yet another Dead Daisies release.  They are pumping out the music and thankfully so.  Since Corabi came on board, I have really loved these guys.  And coming of Corabi’s recent Live album playing his one Motley Cure album in its entirety, I am ready for some more.

  • 31iUJMAkz3L._AC_US320_QL65_  Thirty Seconds to Mars – The New Album – (Interscope):  Jared Leto and company are finally returning with some new music.  He shares his time between movies and music and although I like his movies, he is one of the few actors that actually has some musical chops and Thirty Seconds to Mars rarely disappoints.  Looking forward to this one as I have loved the first song and here it is…

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – April 6th”

Friday New Releases – March 9th

Finally a Friday with an abundance of new releases.  There are so many I am interested in that this could take awhile.  I hope to get to them all sooner or later. I think there is a little something for everyone today.  The ones that are striking my fancy are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what you are looking forward to getting or if I am missing something added to the comments.  Have a great listening weekend.

  • 51Xejf8pEwL._AC_US436_QL65_  Myles Kennedy – Year of the Tiger – (Napalm Records):  Whether with Alter Bridge, Slash or just by himself, there is no getting by the immense talent that is Myles Kennedy.  He can definitely sing, but his guitar playing is just as sensational.  Looking forward to the focus being all about him.  I have purposely not listened to anything off this album yet so I can enjoy it all at one time.

  • 61juEljtrLL._AC_US436_QL65_  Judas Priest – Firepower – (Sony Music):  Judas Priest is back with a brand new album.  Enough said…Mic drop!!!

  • 61OAkFDlBoL._SY300_QL70_  Thirdstory – Cold Heart – (Verve Label Group):  After waiting for two years, we finally get the full length album they have been promising.  My daughter and I saw them open for Tori Kelly two years ago and we bot really enjoyed their harmonies and just the power of their voices.  Three guys doing amazing things singing together.  We are going to see them again in April when they headline a little club here in Charlotte.

  • 41Tg4xMSIqL._AC_US436_QL65_  Calum Scott – Only Human – (Capitol Records):  This former Britain’s Got Talent contestant from 2015 finally gets his debut album.  After the release of his cover of “Dancing On My Own”, I was completely blown away by his vocals.  Can’t wait to enjoy this one.

  • 91D-QeKEaBL._SX522_  Three Days Grace – Outsider – (RCA Records):  I have had two heavy and two soft albums and now back to heavy with Three Days Grace. I followed them since their debut in 2003 with the song “I Hate Everything About You”.  They have given me consistently good albums and I expect nothing less from this hard rock band out of Canada.

  • 51hvL2s57GL._AC_US436_QL65_  Jimi Hendrix – Both Sides of the Sky – (Experience Hendrix LLC):  Jimi Hendrix…worth giving a listen solely for that matter.  This is the third and final in a series of unreleased tracks and surprised their have been so many and why did it take so long for them to come out.

  • 71+ROZdl3aL._SS500  The Fratellis – In Your Own Sweet Time – (Cooking Vinyl): (MOVED TO MARCH 16) And there is still one more I want to hear and that is the Fratellis.  When I heard their album Costello Music, I adored their sound and the whole vibe.  As a result, I have been absorbing all their albums and this one will be no different.

  • A1tacv-Bk2L._AC_UL320_SR320,320_  Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – Tearing at the Seams – (Bottleneck Music)
  • the-neighbourhood-8943  The Neighbourhood – The Neighbourhood – (Columbia Records)
  • 71uNAtyyFzL._AC_UL115_  Suicidal Tendencies – Get Your Fight On! – (Suicidal Records)
  • 51ODSEkcvjL._SS500.jpg  Ministry – AmeriKKKant – (Nuclear Blast)
  • 61oWXk3LmPL._SS500  Nightwish – Decades – (Nuclear Blast Records)
  • 91QjB6kYcLL._SX522_  David Byrne – American Utopia – (Todomundo LTD)

 

Friday New Releases – February 16th

Welcome back to Friday New Releases.  This week is a little better than last week, but not by much.  There are only a few I am interested in this week and they are highlighted in Blue.  I am beginning to think February for music releases is like February for movie releases, there aren’t as many and they aren’t as good.  I am hoping for a couple exceptions to that rule.  Let me know what floats your boat.

  • A1flrKrkxTL._SX522_  Pop Evil – Pop Evil – (Entertainment One):  Pop Evil is one of the few modern rock bands I like.  And based on what has come out so far this year, I need something good and heavy.  They usually don’t disappoint.  I will admit it is a little generic, but it is consistent and you know what you are going to get.

  • 51+Hcq+l4oL._SS500  David Cook – Chromance E.P. – (Analog Heart Music):  Former American Idol winner is finally back, but only with an EP.  I will take what I can get.  David is a little rock, but mostly pop and I don’t know if he has ever fully found where he wants to be with his sound. Hopefully this finds him in a good place.

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – February 16th”

Friday New Releases – February 9th

Happy Friday!!…or is it?  Well of course it is, it’s new release Friday.  There is not a whole lot I am pyched to listen to this week.  Some I might give a spin, but only one will get listened to today for sure and it is highlighted in Blue.  Otherwise, not much else that is exciting me.  Let me know what floats your boat.  Thanks.

  • 41VSwhV-ZFL  Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending – (Domino Recording Co.);  The Scottish indie rock band is back with their fifth album.  I have been a fan since the beginning which is strange for me as I usually don’t like the whole indie rock vibe, but Franz gave me a nice retro rock feel with a lot of distortion.  I don’t know what this one has to offer yet, but I will give it a listen.

  • 61CbMAk5zzL._AC_US320_QL65_  Toto – Greatest Hits: 40 Trips Around the Sun – (Sony Music)
  • 51O8TIeBEuL._SS500  Sister Hazel – Water – (Croakin’ Poet Records)
  • 51xgRMToKcL._AC_US320_QL65_  Voodoo Circle – Raised on Rock – (AFM Records)
  • 51cKSEatsBL._SS500  Dashboard Confessional – Crooked Shadows – (Fueled by Ramen)
  • 61l+GoCpryL._SS500  MGMT – Little Dark Age – (Columbia Records
  • 5130EnGGISL._SS500  Elevation Collective – Evidence – (Elevation Worship Records)
  • 61By-XPHFoL._SS500  Social Club Misfits – Into the Night – (Capitol CMG Label)