With working at home during the Covid-19 lockdowns, I have pulled out a lot of my vinyl and gave it a spin. This was one I hadn’t listened to in a couple years and when I did, I remembered that this was the last great album Train had done. At this point, Train was down to only 3 members, Pat Monahan, Jimmy Stafford and Scott Underwood. My wife and I had met them a couple years earlier on the ‘Save Me, San Francisco’ Tour and they were super nice and they are kind of “our” band. They were anyway, now it is the Pat Monahan show as he is the only original member left, but that is another story for another day.
What we loved about the band is really the songs. Lyrically, Pat is a master at slipping in pop culture references in to the lyrics and the band can write some hooks and pretty damn catchy choruses. It is wonderful, pop music. And this album, the band outdid themselves with all of the above. They did bring in some outside writers, but Pat was still the driving force behind them as they are usually very personal songs to him. He spent three years writing the album while on tour for the previous items and they all reflect pieces of his life in some way or fashion.
The album is called “California 37” which is a State Highway in Northern San Francisco which the band seems to call home. The road was often used to get to gigs and they even broke down on it and what band hasn’t done that on the way to a gig. The album has this light, California vibe to it and it makes you feel good as you listen. From the opening track, “This’ll Be My Year” you know you are in for a treat. The song travels through his years in life and is a bio of his life and completely filled with Pop Culture references so you can put the year’s in to perspective. It is brilliant. It has the classic line…”I stopped believing, although Journey told me don’t”. Continue reading “Train – ‘California 37’ – Album Review”
Wow!! The new releases are coming in droves. Another extensive list of releases this week just like last. There has to be something for everyone as the artist here cover the gamut of genres. There are a handful I am interested in streaming at least, not sure about buying…yet. I will test the waters first. Those are highlighted in Blue. What do you see that you like? Let me know and let me know what releases are missing from the list. I hope you find something. Have a great weekend!!
- Stephen Pearcy – View to a Thrill – (Frontiers Records): The lead singer of Ratt (or some version of it) is back with another solo effort. I am becoming very skeptical of this release with all the antics going on with him from the latest Ratt tour…not a pretty picture. The tracks I have heard so far are so, so…but after his last one was pretty decent, I will give this one a try. We will see.
- Red Dragon Cartel – Patina – (Frontiers Record): Jake E. Lee isback with Red Dragon Cartel’s 2nd album. I get the impression this is a real band now and so the songs should be solid and consistent. I am digging what I have heard and have higher expectations for this one over the last. I can’t wait to crank this one up.
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – November 9th”
Train started way back around 1993/1994 in San Francisco, California. Their first album didn’t arrive until 1998 and I remember hearing their first hit on the radio for “Meet Virginia”. However, it wasn’t until the song and the album “Drops of Jupiter” came out until I became a fan. I met my wife around that same time and Train became “our band”. We have seen them many, many times together and even met the band several years later. Now my wife had met them before as my Brother-in-low worked with the band back around the Drops of Jupiter era.
Train has seen many line-up changes and their sound has changed over time. They have gone from a pure alternative rock band and are now kind of like a Vegas act (and I don’t mean that in a good way). The lead singer, Pat Monahan, is the only original member left and Train doesn’t feel like Train anymore. Now, that doesn’t take away from the fact the band has had some fantastic albums. And with that, let us explore the band’s catalog. We are looking at 12 albums which even includes Pat’s only solo album, a live album and even their Christmas album. If you are ready, sit back and let us get started. If you are not ready, take your time and go at your own pace.
THE WORST – ‘Christmas in Tahoe’ (2015):
Continue reading “Train – The Albums Ranked Worst to First”
Welcome back to T-Shirts, T-Shirts, T-Shirts. I didn’t expect to do another post so soon, but the Rock T-Shirt collection has taken a little twist. It has become a family affair. Not only have I been buying, but now my kids have to have band T-Shirts as well.
My oldest daughter is the worst. Almost as bad as I am. She has some concert T’s and now she has quite a few band shirts as well. Here are her concert shirts for Ed Sheeran, James Bay and Tori Kelly…
Continue reading “T-Shirts, T-Shirts, T-Shirts #2 – A Family Affair”
I hate holidays…I don’t know why, but i just do. Ok, I hate the ones where I have to buy gifts…I feel so much pressure. The holidays I do like are the ones where I actually get gifts. The old adage “it is better to give than to receive” is crap. That person never received vinyl records as a gift obviously.
For Father’s Day this year, my wife and daughters gave me some nice gifts. Not only did I receive some great cards and some candy, but I got some nice shirts for work as well. Which I needed. They also got me some really cool, crazy socks. One was blue with some pineapples (don’t know why, but I love them) and the other was some gray socks with guitars on them (I understand that one and love them as well).
But what I loved most of all was some vinyl. I love to go buy vinyl, but I generally only buy used records from the 70’s & 80’s and if I am lucky…early 90’s. The brand new copies I generally don’t buy…too expensive. So I always ask for those as gifts.
Continue reading “Father’s Day – The Vinyl Gifts”
Train has found a niche in the pop world. They bring a fun, summer song feel to their albums and are firmly fitted in the Adult Contemporary world. They have found their formula and they are sticking to it. However, they are starting to show signs of a disease called BonJovitis. What is BonJovitis? Well here is the clinical definition:
BonJovitis – a disease caused by repeating the same song formula without ever changing anything other than the words. It causes dull, lifeless and completely uninspiring albums and puts your fans and listeners to sleep. Ultimately the disease will cause your album sales to drop and fans to leave and search elsewhere for music. (See Bon Jovi as a perfect example).
All their albums are starting to sound the same, but it isn’t as bad for me as how Bon Jovi does it. If you are a regular reader of my site, you know Train holds a special place in my families heart. That is the only reason they don’t have full blown BonJovitis in my eyes…YET!!!
All joking aside, Train has delivered another solid album. I even think the album cover is actually quite beautiful. It has the ocean, a beautiful girl, a boat and the American flag. I don’t see a bottle though.
Continue reading “Train – A Girl A Bottle A Boat – Album Review”
I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and a fantastic weekend. I should be sitting on a tropical beach in Jamaica about now soaking up the sun and the alcohol with my lovely bride of 15 years. We are two weeks past our anniversary, but we finally got away just the two of us.
The bad news is I am missing so many great releases this weekend, but I don’t really care. I will listen when I get back. One release that is actually quite fitting is the Train release. That is “our band” as I have mentioned many times on this blog. That will the one I definitely check out this week. I have highlighted in Blue all the ones I am interested in and will find some time to give a listen.
- Train – A Girl, A Bottle, A Boat – (Sunken Forest/Columbia): So happy for another Train album. I have heard a couple songs so far and they have been okay. They seem to be rehashing the same formula with every album and song now and loosing some of the magic (reminds of what Bon Jovi is going through). I am hoping the rest of the album is better otherwise, they might loose their place as my wife and I’s favorite band.
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – January 27th”
There are ton of songs in rock & roll about cars. However, this is not a list of songs about cars. This is a list of the most recognizable cars in Rock & Roll. Cars that were in music videos or on album covers. Just the coolest cars that you could actually own and drive. Ok, there is one on here that isn’t really cool, but it had to make the list.
10. The Black Keys’ 91 Dodge Caravan: This glorious vehicle graces the album cover for their 2011 album ‘El Camino’. I am a little confused. The album is called ‘El Camino’ and you show a picture of a Dodge Caravan. Now that is rock & roll. I believe the van is actually similar to their first van they used for touring.
Continue reading “The Top 10 Rock & Roll Cars”
Train announced their 2017 North American Tour called the Play That Song Tour. The band O.A.R. and Natasha Bedingfield have been tapped as opening acts and it is going to be a great show. For those that visit my blog regularly will know that Train holds a special place with our family and we have seen them numerous times and quite possibly one more time with this tour.
Train also released the lyric video for one of their new songs called “Drink Up”. The song is from their new album ‘a girl, a bottle, a boat’ which comes out the same day as tickets go on sale.
Continue reading “Train – Play That Song Tour Announced – Opening acts O.A.R. and Natasha Bedingfield”
2017 is upon us and 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 2017, but no dates announced yet. The ones I want will be highlighted in Blue.
- Adelitas Way
- Adrenaline Mob
- Arcade Fire
- Avril Lavigne
- Bad Religion
- Callum Scott
- Charli XCX
- Christina Aguilera
- Coldplay – ‘Kaleidoscope’
- Dark Horse
- Demon Hunter – ‘Outlive’
Continue reading “What to Expect in 2017 for New Music??”