My Sunday Song – “Mean Street” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #150, we are ending the Van Halen set of 10 songs with “Mean Street” off the album “Fair Warning”.  The song reached #13 on the Mainstream Rock station and help propel the album to #5 on the Billboard charts.  It is the opening track and the song were the title of the album comes.

The song comes blazing out of the gate with the vintage Eddie style riffs that scream…I am the best guitarist and don’t you forget it!!  The opening was inspired by the slap funk bass style and I would say there is nothing the man can’t do with a guitar.  Then the song gets dirty and a little nasty.  Musically and Lyrically, it is a dark song for the band. I also love the fade out at the end with those wicked guitar parts Ed is playing while it is fading out.

The song seems to be about life on the streets.  The pain and agony of living on the street and the fighting to stay alive.  The streets will basically chew you up and spit you out.  Funny thing, the band aren’t from the streets so they really have no idea about “mean streets” now do they. Don’t get me wrong, that takes away nothing from the song.  It is badass and delivered very convincingly.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Slipknot (Part 2)

And now are you ready for Part 2 of Slipknot??  Well of course you are.  Why wouldn’t you be.  Here is the next batch of our 2 part series on Slipknot.  I hope you enjoy!!

The fans…

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Tuesday’s Memes – Bruce Springsteen

I can’t believe that as  long as I have been putting together collections of memes from artists and bands, I haven’t done Bruce Springsteen.  That is a travesty.  Well I am going to correct that right here, right now!  So, sit back and I hope you enjoy this collection honoring and poking fun at The Boss!!

Enjoy!!

The Controversy…

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My Sunday Song – “Poundcake” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #143, we have “Poundcake” off  Van Halen’s 1991 album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (or F.U.C.K. for short).  The song was the first single off the album and went straight to #1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart.  The song was also the first song on the album which was one hell of a way to open an album.

The song comes firing at you with a freaking power drill.  That is right.  The song opens with a power drill being played through Eddie’s guitar.  Playing it near or against the strings allows the guitar pickups to actually “pick up” the sound.  It was totally cool as there seems there is nothing Eddie can not do with a guitar.  It was so popular, that Eddie painted up a drill in the Frankenstrat motif to use in the video and tour.

That wasn’t the only cool thing about the song.  The rest of the guitar sounds were great as well.  Eddie beefed things up playing a 12 string throughout for the rhythm guitar as well as his normal guitar for the solo.  And let me tell you that solo was something else too.  Eddie pulls out all the tracks accompanied by the heart pounding drums of his brother Alex.  It is one of those songs I liked more for the music than the actual lyrical content of the song.

Lyrically, the song is about being real.  Most people are fake and pretend to be something they are not.  It is sexier if you are just who you are, no pretentiousness or b.s. of any kind.  If you can find a woman (or a man) that is who they say they are, then get a hold of that and wrap it up nice and tight.  Poundcakes are simple, there isn’t anything to hide.  What you see is what you get so I guess that is why they chose that as its title.

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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

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)

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My Sunday Song – “I’m Not A Saint” by Billy Raffoul

For My Sunday Song #120, I am discussing one of my favorite songs of 2018 called “I’m Not A Saint” by newcomer Billy Raffoul.  The song is from his 2018 E.P. called ‘1975’ which I did a review on a couple months back (go check it out – click here).  The song was released as a single, but sadly, I don’t think I have heard it on the radio which I find to be sad as the world is missing out on a real talent.

When I saw Billy Raffoul open for Needtobreathe over the Summer, I was really impressed with his Jeff Buckley sounding vocals and so I picked up the E.P on vinyl at the show (which he gladly signed for me) and it turned out to be one of my favorite albums I have heard this year.  This song in particular jumped out at me and I really connected to it.

The song is about the fact we all have things we do that we know we shouldn’t.  Some sort of vice that is keeping us from being what he calls a “saint” such as smoking, drinking and cursing (which is my biggest problem).  He states he could be a saint if he tried, but honestly, I don’t think he is going to try which is fine as there is nothing wrong with having a vice (well as long as it doesn’t kill you I guess it is okay.

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Friday New Releases – August 3rd

We are not into August. Summer is in full swing, but releases are not.  Only a handful this week and nothing I am overly excited about, however, there a couple I will listen to as I listen to everything they put out…they will be highlighted in Blue (as usual). Let me know what you have a hankering for this week or if I missed anything.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!!

  • 518UpIs4YxL._AC_US320_QL65_  James – Living in Extraordinary Times – (BMG):  James has been around since 1982 and have been solid all along so I will give it a listen for that reason.  I am not ready to run out and buy anything, but a good stream will suffice nicely.

  • 51XTXkyOEeL._SS500  Phil Wickham – Living Hope – (Phil Wickham):  This Christian singer has one heckuva voice and always has some standout tracks on his releases so of course this one will be played.  Always happy to fly his flag when he puts something out and this will be no different.  Give him a try!!

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My Sunday Song – “Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones

For My Sunday Song #102, we explore “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones.  Probably not the best day to be visiting a song about the Devil, but then again maybe it is the best day.  The song is off their 1968 album ‘Beggar’s Banquet’ and went only to #55 on the Billboard Hot 100, but that doesn’t take away from the fact it is one of my favorite Stones’ song.

The song was very controversial for the time and gave the Stones an image of being bad boys as opposed to the clean cut image of that little known band called The Beatles.  The band was accused of being satan worshippers and being into the occult.  The problem is that no matter if they were or were not, people don’t like something different and always tend to look for the bad and always blamed rock & roll.

The song isn’t a celebration for the Devil and the song isn’t even asking you to sympathize with him…although the Devil is asking you to do that when you read the lyrics.  The song is strictly a march through time and all the evil that has occurred throughout.  The person talking in the song is assumed to be the Devil as he travels through time, but is it the devil that was there or just some evil person who the devil is taking the credit?

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The song was inspired by the book from Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov and his novel The Master and Margarita.  The book was given to Mick Jagger by his then girlfriend Marianne Faithfull.  When Mick wrote the song, it was originally written as a folk song and quite different than the final version.

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Ratt – ‘Detonator’ – Album Review

The year is 1990 and we are getting to the end of the Hair Metal era, but at the time, no one knew that end was coming.  Ratt released their fifth album in August of 1990 and it brings us to the end the long running stream of Platinum albums.  It is also the last Ratt album with the line-up that has been on all 5 of their albums.

  • Stephen Pearcy – vocals
  • Robbin Crosby – lead guitar
  • Warren DeMartini – lead guitar
  • Juan Croucier – bass guitar
  • Bobby Blotzer – drums

After the disappointing reception for ‘Reach for the Sky’ (although it did go Platinum), the band needed to make a change.  That change was not to use Beau Hill as producer on the next album as he had produced all previous albums to much success.  The band (or label) brought in powerhouse songwriter Desmond Child.  You know Desmond…he had great success writing with Kiss, Aerosmith and a few Bon Jovi classics.

And did he ever get involved in the songwriting as he has writing credits on 10 of the 11 tracks on the album.  Not only did Desmond assist with songwriting, he was also the executive producer along with Sir Arthur Payson.  While Ratt did maintain the classic Ratt sound which was a little bluesy and little sleazy, the songs were much more polished and contained more hooks than a fisherman’s tackle box.  It definitely leaned to a more Glam rock image than prior albums.

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