Classic Rock is Dying!

I am starting to feel old.  Why you might ask?  Well, I will tell you and it is not that I turned 50 last year.  It is not that my kids are growing up too fast.  Okay, that is part of it.  The main reason is that all the musicians I grew up listening to are now starting to die.  Not by drug addiction or overdosing. Nope, those are generally younger rockers and although sad, it doesn’t make me feel old.  The musicians are now dying of natural causes due in part to old age.  They are getting cancer or having heart attacks…you know…normal things that tend to happen when you are older.

Recently, we have seen the deaths of Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek who were both in their 70’s when they passed.  Let that sink in.  They were in their 70’s.  When I listened to them growing up, their music was mainstream.  Not today.  They fall under the Classic Rock category.  I loved both Eddie Money’s and The Cars’ music.  I remember sitting in my basement watching MTV and seeing Eddie scream out “Take Me Home Tonight” and The Cars “You Might Think” video which is one of the most innovative music videos ever done (at least at the time).

Their deaths brought to light a real issue that the world is facing.  The heroes of the classic rock era of the late 60’s, the 70’s & the 80’s are getting a lot older and won’t be around much longer.  Soon, we won’t be catching these acts on tour or won’t even have any new material be released.  The iconic music makers will be dying and the music of generations will start to fade away.  When that happens, how many radio stations will play Classic Rock anymore?  Think about it…there are no stations specific to the 40’s, the 50’s or even the 60’s music (ok, maybe unless you have Satellite Radio).  Some of the 60’s will fall under Classic Rock, but not the early 60’s music.  Gone.  Classic Rock’s days are numbered.

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Queen + Adam Lambert – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC – August 23, 2019)

On a dark stormy night in August, Queen + Adam Lambert came riding in to town for the very last show of their Rhapsody Tour.  Yes, Charlotte, NC was able to bid farewell to this legend of a band who has seen a massive resurgence thanks in large part to the movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and in small part due to the current singer Adam Lambert.

There is no exciting story to tell leading up to the show except the Rain Gods were nice to my daughter and I by not raining on us.  We got in to the Spectrum Center and about 5 minutes later the skies opened up.  People were coming in dripping wet, but no one cared because everyone was there to have a good time and listening to everyone’s favorite band, Queen.

When we finally arrive to our seats after a long line at the merch table and a long line at the bathroom and a short line at the refreshment stand to grab a couple of $5 waters (each), we were greeted to this…

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A giant crown wrapping the stage.  It looked so real and like it was made out of metal.  Impressive.  Even more impressive was the fact it was a giant TV screen.  The graphics, detail, clarity, hell everything about it was impressive.  It looked 3D without the glasses…amazing.

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Bohemian Rhapsody – Movie Review

I have been a Queen fan since I was a young teen back in the 80’s and when this movie came out, I wanted to go see it.  I was worried about the cheesiness of a biopic and if they could represent Queen and Freddie Mercury respectable enough or would it look like a LIfetime biopic?  Could the actors make it believable enough that I could imagine that this was really the guys from the band I know so well?  Could I get lost in the movie and enjoy it?

All valid questions and let me tell you, the answer is yes to all three questions. The movie was respectable, believable and I enjoyed it.  It opens with the band about to take the stage for their Live Aid show and then cuts to 1970 where it all began and Freddie would meet Brian and Roger while the latter two were playing with their band Smile.  And the rest you can say is history.

The movie takes you through the start of the band, the struggles with the label, the struggles with each other and the struggles of Freddie’s life.  And the movie ends with that Live Aid concert which was quite possibly the greatest 20 minute set of any band in history.  How they recreated the Live Aid scene was magical and the Blu-Ray comes with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look on how they did it. Probably worth the price of admission alone.

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Nita Strauss – ‘Controlled Chaos’ (2018) – Album Review

I am a little behind on reviews, so excuse the lateness of this one.  I almost passed it over due to the lateness, but I felt this one needed to be done.  Nita Strauss’ ‘Controlled Chaos’ is nothing short of spectacular so I had to talk about it.

Instrumental albums are hard for me to write-up as I am not a guitarist (although learning) or a musician.  I mean how many times and how many ways can I say the guitar work is sensational.  Well, I will say it at least a few times.  Nita’s guitar work is sensational…she is a beast…she is one of the most exciting guitarists out there today.  Plus, you know she is one of the best if Alice Cooper has her in his band.  I saw them tour last year and she was quite phenomenal!

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And another way I can tell you it is great is the fact I actually bought a physical CD.  I normally stream new music and buy used vinyl and special edition box sets.  New releases only get bought, if they are beyond exceptional and well, this is just that.  So, I showed my support by actually spending my hard in dollars on her album.  People should do way more of that.

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American Authors – ‘Seasons’ – Album Review

American Authors is one of those bands I had heard about due to their hit “Best Day of My Life” from 2013, but I had never wanted to take a deeper dive.  It is not because they weren’t any good band, it is just not my type of music.  It is too pop and generic and nothing really interested me.  Well, with the release of their third album, ‘Seasons’, that has now changed.

The reason for that change is simple, they have two songs on the album by a couple of my favorite singers right now, Billy Raffoul and Bear Rinehart (Needtobreathe).  You see, those two put out a song…I will listen and American Authors only reap the benefits…or do they…we will have to see.

I don’t know much about the band, so I will get straight into the music.  American Authors are really good at writing, happy type, uplifting songs and the opening track, “Stay Around”, is just that.  It is an uptempo and fun song that sounds exactly like an Imagine Dragon song with that drum beat and the lyrical phrasing.  Good song, but come on if you are going to copy any one why the hell would you copy Imagine Dragons?

The next song is one of the best on the album called “Say Amen”.  It features new singer Billy Raffoul and is probably why I am biased about loving this song.  It is a darker song for American Authors and I like this darker edge to the band.  Bill’s Jeff Buckley style vocals work well with singer Zac Barnett who I think changes his vocals to be a little more in Billy’s style which is great because Billy’s vocals have a lot of texture and character.

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Friday New Releases – October 19th

Welcome to a HUGE Friday!!!  There releases are massive and numerous. What more could you ask for.  This is the first time in a very long time where I have 3 releases that are on order for the same day.  I am going to love the mail man this week.  The albums I am interested in are highlighted in Blue and the first 3 are the ones on order.  Let me know what you looking forward to hearing and which ones I might have missed.  Enjoy and have a great musical weekend!  I know I will!!!

  • 81PZVtcGBVL._SX522_  Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Man – (Republic Records):  These young lads are constantly getting compared to Led Zeppelin and you know what?  Who cares.  Zeppelin isn’t putting out any new music so I am going to enjoy this.  At least the young generation is still making Rock & Roll.  This is their first Full Length studio album and I get wait to unwrap the vinyl.

  • 51EQXYr3IZL._AC_US436_QL65_  Whitesnake – Unzipped – (Rhino Records):  5 CDs and 1 DVD of Whitesnake Unplugged.  20 years worth of music including Starkers in Tokyo and Starkers in Warsaw, Paris, Germany and so much music.  I can’t wait for this one either.  It is going to be non-stop music.

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Turntables & Vinyl #11 – The Holiday Treasure Trove

Oh the Holidays!  The end of the year.  Christmas time.  The time John is not supposed to buy any albums since it is the holidays and it is my birthday time period so no record purchases as people need to have something to give me as a gift.  Well, that didn’t quite work this year.

I did set aside a list of albums people could buy for me for Christmas and/or my Birthday and I made sure that anything I picked up was not from that list.  December turned out to be a treasure trove of purchases, gifts and free stuff.  I definitely hit the jackpot with a crap load of albums to listen to and some day write about.

It all started mid-November when the Coke reward program was giving away $5 Amazon gift cards for every 10 bottle caps redeemed.  Well, I had been collecting them at work as I do drink one Coke product everyday and on really stressful, busy days, maybe two.  The $5 Amazon Gift cards were actually $10 because they allowed you to redeem it twice.  After setting up a several more accounts with different email addresses, I was able to redeem $40 worth of caps (I would have done more, but I ran out of caps).  What did I get with the $40 from Amazon?  Music of course.  I picked up the following:

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Friday New Releases – November 24th

It is Black Friday!!!  As a result, a lot of bands don’t release albums the day after Thanksgiving.  However we do have a few coming out…one studio release I might give a listen, one anniversary release, a couple live and a greatest hits (of ballads).  Hopefully there is something for you.  Have a great day and don’t shop too much!!!  My choices are highlighted in Blue.

  • 41C2rvfmQYL._AC_US218_  Queen – News of the World 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe:  The biggest release today is the 40th Anniversary Edition of News of the World.  This looks great and I would get it, but it is pretty pricey and might be out of my reach for awhile.  The album features the classics “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions” so it is a must for anyone’s collection…if you can afford it.  The Super Deluxe is $128…ouch!!  If it is streamable, I will listen to it there first.

  • 51u0IyadquL._AC_US436_QL65_  Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon? – (Caroline):  Oh the Gallagher Brothers…First Liam has a new album and now Noel.  Since no more Oasis, I will take what I can get from each.  Liam’s album was surprisingly good…I hope this will be just as surprising (even with the girl playing scissors on stage) and just as good.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Queen

Happy Tuesday!  Welcome to this week’s memes.  We are tackling the band Queen this week and why not!  Queen is so worthy of getting this treatment.  So if you week has started off pretty crappy, maybe this will cheer you up a little.  Enjoy!!

Here is the Real Most Interesting Man in the World!!

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And a Phd in Astrophysics…pretty impressive:

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