We are halfway through the year now, can you believe it? I have to say, I haven’t been blown away by the first 6 months of releases, heres hoping to a better second half. In this final week of June there are a handful of releases I am looking forward to and they are highlighted in Blue. Hopefully there is something in the list that will connect with you and if there is, let me know which one. Also, let me know if I missed anything as it helps our readers find new music. Thanks and have a great weekend!!
Oh yeah…I have a public service announcement at the bottom of the list, please give it a read! It will help us all!!
- The Alarm – Sigma – (Twenty First Century Recording Co): Mike Peters returned in 2018 with the album Equal and it was fantastic. I can’t wait to hear this new one and as with all albums I am excited about, I haven’t heard a song until I take it all in at once. So glad he is back and in such a prolific way!!
- Generation Axe – The Guitars That Destroyed the World (Live in China) – (earMusic): A live album of Guitar Heroes…yes sign me up!! Oh, and a live album on top of that…YES PLEASE!!! You get Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, Yngwie Malmsteen and Tosin Abasi. Is there anything else that needs to be said…I didn’t think so.
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – June 28th”
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.
Continue reading “The Alarm – Strength Live ’85 (RSD) – Album Review”
Welcome to the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018. These songs are my favorite songs of the year and were not necessarily played on the radio or even shot up the charts. They just moved me in some way good or bad!
If you missed the Top Rock Albums of 2018 or the Top Albums of 2018 (that were not Rock), just click on the link and go check them out.
It is time to start the list so here we go…
#20 – “Loading Zones” – Kurt Vile off the album ‘Bottle it In’: Kurt’s can be about the mundane and anything that troubles him in life. This is about the horrors of trying to park in the city. It has such a great little beat to it and some great guitar and such a simple subject that yet turns into something amazing. The video is great as well.
#19 – “Roll Me Under” – Stone Temple Pilots off the album ‘Stone Temple Pilots (2018)’: I know I did give the album the best review, but I liked this song. It had the old STP sound, but it was also Jeff Gutt at his best on the album. Such a heavy bass and guitar sound, it was just great.
Continue reading “The Top Rock Songs of 2018”
2018 was another year with some great releases and way too many to get through them all so I am sure I missed a number of great albums and if you look around the web, there will be tons of Top Album lists you can get a pretty good idea of what you should check out in case you missed any of these.
This list will be my favorite “Rock” albums of the year. All other types of music will be for a later post. I am going to leave this one to my favorite genre. It is a broad genre, but these are the albums that I consider to be ROCK!!
Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!! These are not the most popular or trendy albums. These are the albums that I connected with during the year and I kept coming back to again and again. And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2018:
My #1 Album of the Year:
Reach – The Great Divine: A modern, yet melodic rock album that just grabs hold and won’t let go from beginning to end. A band I had never heard of prior to this album and I am now wondering where they have been my whole life. Just a fantastic album with no songs to skip or delete. Almost pure perfection. The first album I bought that was new in 2018 and still listen to it today. With songs like “The Great Divine”, “Nightmare” and “Into Tomorrow” you can see they have the goods. The production value was great, the music, the vocals, it was all solid and my favorite album of the year!! Give it a try (and check out my original review by clicking the album title).
Continue reading “The Top Rock Albums of 2018”
Has there ever been a band that you loved and then suddenly stopped paying attention to any new releases? The Alarm was that for me. I followed them throughout the 80’s and after 1989’s album ‘Change’, just stopped listening to new stuff. No reason, just stopped. It is strange and I can’t figure out why.
So when I saw they had a new album being released, something told me to listen to it. Now if I wasn’t doing this blog, would I have cared or paid attention? I can’t answer that, but the thing is I did pay attention and I did listen to their new release this time. And I am hear to tell you I am so glad I did.
Now Mike Peters is the only original member still in the band and usually that would bother me, but Mike was always my draw anyway. I loved his vocals, his delivery and his style and with him still at the mic, I am still getting what I liked.
From the first notes of the opening track, “Two Rivers”, there was a familiarity to it with the minor exceptions of some electronica sounds which I don’t recall the band ever doing. However, that was a minor distraction. Mike Peters sounded amazing and he hadn’t lost anything which is amazing considering he has been around singing since the late 70’s.
Continue reading “The Alarm – ‘Equals’ – Album Review”
We are at the end of another month and what a way to end it. There are so many releases this week I hope there is something you can find and enjoy. My vacation will be ending this week and then back to work next, so I am going to try and do nothing for a couple days except listen to music. My choices are in Blue. Let me know what you are feeling and if I missed anything. Have a great weekend!!
- The Wild Feathers – Greetings from the Neon Frontier – (Reprise Records): This is where I will spend most of my time. I really think these guys are great. They are a mixture of Rock, Folk, Country and blend it all together so nicely. It is always a listening pleasure and so much to take in. Give them a try and as this is their third studio release, go back and get the other two.
- Guns N Roses – Appetite for Destruction Super Deluxe Edition – (Geffen Records): What can I say about this one. One of the greatest debut albums by any band and now we get the ultimate deluxe edition. I can’t afford the big daddy release as I just bought the Def Leppard Vinyl collection (Volume One) so I will end up settling for one of the lesser expensive releases. Either way, it is nice to have for the collection.
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – June 29th”
Another Friday and another week of some great releases. There are some re-issues and so old bands back with new singers and some newer bands as well. Hopefully there is something for you. The two that really peak my interests are highlighted in Blue as usual. Leave me a comment on what interests you this week…if anything. Also, let me know if I am missing anything as that is usually the case. Happy Friday!!
- Stone Temple Pilots – Stone Temple Pilots – (Play Pen Music): The boys in STP are back and with a new lead singer, Jeff Gutt. The three songs I have heard are great and I am looking forward to the rest. Jeff sounds a little like the late, great Scott Weilan, but he also has his own sound and style. The old STP sound is there as well so hopefully the have their groove back and we will see some great things from them. Give it a try…if for no other reason than my brother-in-law was involved with recording the album. That makes it worth it right there alone!!
- Dorothy – 28 Days in the Valley – (Roc Nation Records): A new band on the scene is Dorothy. The band really delivers some great, heavy, old school blues rock & roll. The lead singer, Dorothy Martin, is a powerhouse and force to be reckoned with. Her searing vocals exploded on the scene with “Raise a Little Hell” and can’t wait to hear what she has to offer this time around.
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – March 16th”
For My Sunday Song #46, I have chosen “The Day The Ravens Left The Tower” by The Alarm. The song is off the album, ‘Strength’, from 1985 and is one of my all time favorite albums from the 80’s. They were never hugely popular in the States although MTV played them a lot. The album did reach #39 on the Billboard 200 Chart.
“The Day The Ravens Left the Tower” is a very dark song and was a real jump in their songwriting lyrically. They have always been political with their songs, but the maturity and growth in songwriting really shined on this song for me. I know I read this somewhere that the song was inspired by a hallucination that Eddie MacDonald had when he was sick with the flu. I think that is cool if that is true.
What I am fascinated with about the song is actually the story of the ravens. For those that don’t know, there are ravens that live in the Tower of London. There have been ravens living there since as far back as 1660 or so around the time of King Charles II. It is believed that the ravens are there to protect the Crown. If they should ever leave the tower, the Crown and Britain would fall. I know there is a lot more to the story, but I am not a historian and the site is about music so you can look it up further if you are interested…it is fascinating stuff (also any UK readers want to add anything, please leave a comment).
Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “The Day The Ravens Left the Tower” by the Alarm”
I have been going to records stores way too often as I continue my obsession on buying vinyl. On the flip side of that, I also don’t feel like I have gone enough. Confusing I know. I actually enjoy just browsing through the store and seeing what is there. It is rare I go into the store and I don’t buy anything, but lately I am picking up 5 or 6 at a time and I am loving it.
Most everything I am picking up is of course from the 70’s or 80’s since vinyl died out in the 90’s. The new releases that are out now are too expensive to make it a habit so I focus on the used record. There are no shortages of those, but what I want is seldom available on my visits. It is hit or miss.
Lately, it has been more hit than miss. And it has mostly been 80’s records so I guess the 80’s are back. Yes, I am buying records for albums I had already purchased back in the 80’s whether on cassette or CD, but I don’t have any of those anymore so I actually only have the one physical copy of the album. The other copy is now digital and you can’t really hold that in your hand.
So, what I have been picking up on my adventures you might ask that is from the 80’s? Well, you probably aren’t asking but I am going to tell you anyway.
Continue reading “Turntables & Vinyl #4 – The 80’s Are Back!”
I thought I would do a follow-up to the Turntables & Vinyl post from a couple weeks ago since the turntable we bought was crap. We returned the first turntable we bought since it could not maintain the appropriate speed. I did some research and found that the audio-technica AT-LP60 was getting really good reviews for a reasonably priced turntable (only $99). I still didn’t want to spend too much as I still wasn’t sure how much I would listen to it.
I have to say it plays so much better than the original one we bought on a whim at the trendy clothes store that sales vinyl (I don’t want to advertise for them since their clothes are so overpriced). This turntable will automatically place the needle on the album for you which is good as my daughter was really nervous about doing it on the other turntable. I don’t think she wanted to scratch her new James Bay album (a picture disc at that).
Now that the we have a very good working turntable, we had to find some local record stores that sell vinyl. We have found 4 places so far in Charlotte and I am proud to say, we have been to all 4. We actually visited 3 of them on Saturday since they were all in close proximity to each other. The other one we went to last weekend.
Continue reading “Turntables & Vinyl – Part 2”