Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Top 10 Albums of the 2014 Year


I have no problem gushing over my favorite music so this list may be of no surprise to you.  I still have to say it though.  You can't end a year of a music website without a year end list.  You just can't.  It's against the rules.  So here we go.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rediscovered Albums - Cheap Trick / In Color 'The Steve Albini Sessions'

This is how my brain works.

I was watching Episode 1 of Sonic Highways and they were interviewing Steve Albini.

I immediately thought, "I have never heard the Steve Albini produced version of Cheap Trick's 'In Color'.




Thursday, December 11, 2014

If I Could Ask A.C. Newman Anything

I finally had a chance to see The New Pornographers in concert.  Instead of answering questions it posed so many new ones.




Saturday, December 6, 2014

Album Review - Foo Fighters / Sonic Highway

I love all types of music.  There is nothing better than a pop beat that can make you move your body.  But a song that tells a story moves your mind.




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Musical Thoughts - Record Store Day...The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions

Record Store Day started in Baltimore in 2007 at a meeting of the minds between record store owners.  How could they save their business from going the way of the dinosaur?  The idea was simple and brilliant.  A day to visit your independent record store and get special releases that you can not find anywhere else.  To spark interest.  To generate sails.  What could go wrong?




Thursday, November 27, 2014

My Top 10 Favorite (Non)Traditional Christmas Songs

I love Christmas music.  I truly do.  I am a sap for the old standards too.  'The Holiday Season' by Andy Williams is one of my favorites.  But having head these songs for over 40 years it doesn't take much to make me sick of them.  That is why every year I search out new Christmas music that will become a new favorite.  I want them to sound like Christmas...not just different.  They have to embody Christmas.  Below are my Top 10.  I hope that you will listen to these so much that they will make you sick one day!!!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Jenny Lewis @ Union transfer - Philadelphia, PA 11/11/14

Although I was late to the scene I eventually became a big fan of Rilo Kiley, and latter Jenny Lewis.  I was crazy excited about the release of 'The Voyager'.  Jenny played Philadelphia for it's release at the XPoNential Festival but I am not a big fan of festivals...even if Ryan Adams is playing there too.

Then they announced that Jenny would play the Union Transfer.




Thursday, November 13, 2014

My List of Concerts


My original idea for this blog was to document all of the shows I have attended.  I felt I had a few good stories and I thought it would be a shame if I didn't document them in some way or form.  I am planning on doing an entry for each show although the older show are starting to escape my memory and photos do not exist.  Nevertheless I will do my best to remember.  I have been starting with the most recent shows as they are still fresh in my mind.  Any concert that I have already posted has a link to the entry.  Enjoy and I will see you at the next show!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Damned @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ 11/01/14


Whenever you go to see one of your legendary heroes in concert, late in their career, you always hope that they don't suck.


Fortunately, they didn't.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Twitter Tourettes Vol. 3 - Random And Totally Out Of Context Celebrity Replies To My Tweets



If I Could Ask Ryan Adams Anything

As a music lover and music writer I have always wanted to give an interview.  Sadly, as I do not write for a living this has not happened.  That does not stop me from dreaming though.  I often find myself writing questions for interview that would never happen like an MTV version of Rupert Pupkin.  I'm really not sure that I would be very good at interviews because I don't care what the reader wants to know.  It's more about what I want to know.  The other day I found myself writing questions for Ryan Adams (like that interview would happen).  Instead of throwing them I have decided to launch them into cyberspace like a flaming bag of dog shit.  Be careful what you stomp on.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Grateful Dead @ Giants Stadium, Meadowlands, NJ 06/17/91

How is it that I can't remember anything about many of my early concert events but I can remember everything about a certain Grateful Dead show for over twenty years ago?

Funny you should ask...



Sunday, October 12, 2014

5 Albums That Changed My Life

Music is an audible timeline.  I can relate just about most life events with it.  Music is my drug. But every now and then I take music for granted.  At those moments it tends to turn my world upside down.  It will hit me with something that I just didn't see coming and make me see things in a whole new way. It will get me to wonder if I ever really understood music in the first place.  Music has the power to do that.  It can change your life.  These 5 albums did that to me. 


Monday, September 29, 2014

Rediscovered Albums - Boomtown Rats / The Fine Art Of Surfacing




There seems to be a recurring theme that leads to me rediscovering an album.  The album typically comes from my youth and has one song that I fear I may deafen myself with a pointy object if I hear one more time.  This album qualifies.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Album Review - Royal Blood / Royal Blood

It seems as though I have been writing a lot of album reviews lately.  There is a good reason for that.

The music that is coming out right now is killer.

I can't remember the last time that I was this excited about a series of releases.  Ryan Adams, Jenny Lewis, The New Pornographers, and a host of other have me chomping at the bit.  But there was one that I wasn't expecting that blew me away. 

Royal Blood.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My Top 10 Favorite Alternative Bands From the 80's

The 80's are a magical time for me.  I started hitting my stride around 16 and that is when I discovered alternative and punk music.  Then my life pretty much went into a tailspin.  Aaaahhh...those were the days.  Since I am feeling sentimental, let's go back and visit My Top 10 Alternative Bands from the 80's to see if we can relive the collapse.  I am basing my list on media in my collection and listens overall.


Monday, September 8, 2014

The Dead Milkmen @ Laurel Hill Cemetery - Philadelphia, PA 09/05/14

I had the strangest and most wonderful conversations the other night.

Chris: "What are you doing Friday?"

Me: "Nothing, Why?"

Chris: "Want to see The Dead Milkmen play a concert in a cemetery?"




Thursday, September 4, 2014

Album Review - Ryan Adams / 1984 EP

After losing the lottery and not getting a copy of Ryan Adams' vinyl boxed set I swore I would never buy another record from Pax-Am Records.

And then Ryan Adams released the 1984 EP.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Album Review - The Griswolds / Be Impressive

On Twitter, I have never been one of those, "Follow me and I will follow you back" type of accounts.  I follow those I like.  Period. It is mainly bands, record companies, and other bloggers and writers.  There are so many unknown bands out there that will follow you just for a follow back.  Either that or they are just looking for you to check them out.  Often enough, if you do not follow them back within a couple of days they will unfollow you.  In some cases they will do that even if you do follow them.

The Griswolds changed that for me.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Album Review - The New Pornographers / Brill Bruisers

After teasing us with the brilliant lead single, Brill Bruisers, The New Pornographers opened up the new offering a week early on iTunes a week before its scheduled release.  It is a loving and nostalgic celebration of 60's and 70's pop music that is crafted into something completely new.  Perhaps they drew influence from the Brill Building itself in Times Square which housed the publishing of some of the best pop music of the same era by authors such as Simon, Diamond, and Bacharach.  After listening to it about 500 times I thought I would weigh in with my thoughts.  Below is a track by track blow. This is completely stream of consciousness as I listen.  It's not thought out or analyzed.  It is just what I think and how I feel at the moment these songs enter my ears.  For the best experience I recommend listening for yourself.  My words are nothing compared to the music contained on this album.  They are the true artists.  And they are artists at the top of their form.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Echo & The Bunnymen @ Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA 08/19/14

These days I am still on my Sentimental Tour.  Most of my current concert experiences are revisiting bands from my youth that I never had a chance to see.  Money was scarce when I was a teen and what little I had went to vinyl, cassettes, and on occasion CD's if it was a sure thing that I would love the album.

Now that I am older, so are the crowds.  The are more laid back and appreciative, and surprisingly the bands still sound great even though they are in their 50's and 60's. Echo & The Bunnymen would prove to be no different.


Monday, August 18, 2014

My Top 10 Songs of 2014 (So Far...)

It seems like everyone has a Top 10 list of new songs these days.   And that is a wonderful thing. It sparks conversation and debate.  It shares information.  It challenges you to pay attention.  So you ask what have I been listening to this year?  I'm going to tell you on one condition.  You have to share your list with me.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Album Review - Jenny Lewis / The Voyager

I was late to the party in terms of discovering Rilo Kiley. It wasn't until 'Under The Blackligh't that I first heard them. This was already a departure from 'More Adventurous'. It was less indie, which isn't always a bad thing.  I was ok with it.  I took to it immediately.

Shortly after that Jenny Lewis hit us with her 2008 solo album 'Acid Tongue'.  The Alt-Country tinged melodies were both sultry and dreamy. I was taken with Jenny's delivery.  I went back and revisited her back catalog and I felt with every offering it just kept getting better.

When the announcement was made for the release of 'The Voyager' I could not believe how excited I was.  We've waited 6 years for this and I couldn't wait for the day to get a copy in my hands.



Monday, August 4, 2014

Our Top 10 "I'm Mad As Hell & I Am Not Going To Take This Anymore!" Songs - PART 1

I have learned since I have started this site that Blogging is a community thing.  Which is sometimes difficult as I am the poster boy for Narcissism.   I am working on it though and today is my first step.  I am very happy to be collaborating with one of my favorite Bloggers, Gita from Odd & Ends.  Her blog is a wonderful mix of Beauty, Music, and a celebration of Life in general.  We are both channeling our inner rage this week to bring you our top 10 "I'm Mad As Hell & I Am Not Going To Take This Anymore!" songs.  Gita is going to kick this off with the first 5 songs plus an honorable mention.



Friday, August 1, 2014

Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden @ Susquehanna Bank Center - Camden, NJ 07/30/14

I love both of these bands.  I do.  But when I heard that they were playing Camden I initially balked.  It has nothing to do with my love for the bands.  Its quite the opposite.

I have seen both of these bands before.  both in their heyday.  Both when they were most important in my life.  I saw NIN in 1990 at The Torcadero Theater in Philadelphia.  They opened for Jesus and Mary Chain.  The stage show for J&MC was enormous, and NIN was relatively unknown so they were made to play on the floor directly in front of the stage.  There were maybe 30 to 50 of us in attendance and our minds were blown.  I had heard 'Sin' and 'Head Like a Hole' on Trenton State College's radio station but we were not prepared for this assault.  Trent threw beer on us, he beat up his band, he broke their instruments, and he dragged the keyboard player across the floor by his hair.  One guy in the audience was in such a frenzy he jumped on my back.  It is a concert experience I will never forget.

I had seen Soundgarden during Lollapalooza '92.  It was a crazy day at Montage Mountain in PA and when Soundgarden took the stage after Pearl Jam they took hold of the audience.  By the time they played a cover of Body Counts 'Cop Killer' I thought my head was going to explode.  And that wasn't from the drugs either.  Another unforgettable experience.

After these life highlights I wasn't sure that I wanted to see them at a larger, outdoor venue.  So when a friend asked if I wanted to go I told her no.  I wanted to leave my memories in tact.  Here is the great thing about friends.  They know you better than you do.  A mutual friend of ours stepped in and offered us free tickets.  How can you say no to free tickets?  You can't!  Did I mention that I have the best friends???

The only problem now was to wait months for the show.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Independent Record Store Spotlight - Princeton Record Exchange, Princeton, NJ

I now conclude my Holy Trinity of local independent record stores.  First it was Randy Now's Man Cave in Bordentown, NJ.  Second, Positively Records in Levittown, PA.  Lastly, not only has this store been listed as one of the top 20 independent record stores in the country, it has been listed as one of the top 20 independent record stores in the world.  What can I say about the Princeton Record Exchange in Princeton NJ that hasn't already been said.  I don't really know...but I am going to try.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Baroness @ The Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA 05/24/13

Sometimes, Facebook is a good thing.  If it wasn't for a friends post praising the new album, Yellow and Green, by Baroness, I still may not have heard of them.



Monday, July 21, 2014

An Open Letter To Butch Walker

I always seem to get e-mails asking for product feedback.  They ask for your input under the guise that you are helping to shape your experience with this product.  A customized experience.  The problem is that it is never really anything that I care about.  What I do care about is music.  I get to give my input every time I make a purchase.  If it sells it must be good.  If it doesn't sell then it is back to the drawing board.  But is this input really a customized experience?  Am I really getting to help shape my music experience.  What I'd love to do is sit down with an artist I love and tell them what I really think.  There is a problem with that.  I believe that music, like art, is a moment in time.  That moment is sometimes created to please the artist.  Sometimes it is for the observer.  Sometimes it is for a release.  Those are things that can not be tampered with.  But what if your advice could change a course of events.  Like giving directions at a fork in the road.  What do I know about creating music?  Not a thing.  I am merely and admirer.  But I know what makes me feel good and what does not connect at all.  Just once I would love the opportunity to share that.  It will, more than likely, never happen.  But that does not mean I have to keep it bottled up.  Instead I will release it into cyberspace, like a message for an alien race, and let it fall where it may.



Saturday, July 12, 2014

READERS REVENGE - YOUR Top 10 Songs About Bad Relationships

As always, the Readers have spoken.  Sometimes you agree.  Sometimes you STRONGLY disagree.  Sometimes I overlook the obvious song.  Sometimes I forget the perfect song.  It is all good.  That is what this is all about.  I love all of the feedback and appreciate every comment.  So without further ado, here are Your Top 10 Songs About Bad Relationships.



Friday, July 11, 2014

The A's @ Underground Arts - Philadelphia, PA 1/26/13

If you are not from the Philadelphia area you probably do not know who the A's are.  Hell, technically, I am not even old enough to know who the A's are.  Their heyday was 1979-1982 when I was about 10 years old.  I have two sisters that are much older than me (10 and 12 years older) that loved this band.  I owe a lot of my musical tastes to my sisters.  They had very eclectic tastes and introduced me to The Cure, Ministry, Japan, and XTC at an early age.  They also introduced me to April Wine, Rainbow, and the Bay City Rollers.  With good comes the bad.

In the late 70's and early 80's Philadelphia had a rising scene.  It included The Hooters, Robert Hazard and the Heroes (who was discovered by Kurt Loder of Rolling Stone AFTER they sold 300,000 of self released EP) and The A's.



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

In The Spirit Of Music Discovery



Everyone has a story of their initial love for music.  My 13 year old son started playing guitar at 8 and drums at 10.  He gave up the guitar last year to focus on the drums.  When he was in fourth grade he came home excited about the opportunity to play Xylophone during the school's Spring Concert.  He was the only one who would be given the opportunity to play.  He had been practicing hard at school and could not wait for us to see.  I wanted to share with you the video of that performance.  I wonder if this is how Alex Van Halen started.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Top 10 Songs About Bad Relationships

Everyone has a comfort song for bad relationships.  Sometimes it is a sad song that let you wallow.  Some help you get out the anger while yell along.  Some having nothing to do with you at all.  They just get your mind off of things.   We've all been through it.  Those special songs are the ones that relate with exactly how you feel.  The ones that let you know that someone else has been there before and survived or even triumphed.  Below are 10 of my favorite.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Clutch @ The Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA 05/17/13

I've already mentioned that my oldest son wanted Clutch to be his first concert.  It was not to be.  Second time around my youngest son wanted his first concert to be Clutch.  He was 10 and I felt it was time and we had a FANTASTIC opportunity.  Clutch was playing a New Years Eve show at the Trocadero in Philadelphia I felt that would be a landmark first concert.  Hell...it would be a landmark concert anytime.  I was lucky enough to get two tickets and...then found out it was a 21 and older show.

BUMMER!!!



Friday, June 13, 2014

Mastodon @The Trocadero - Philadelphia, PA 11/20/11

I always dreamed of going to concerts with my boys.  It is always something that I wanted to share with them.  Although you always hope that you influence their musical tastes you never now exactly what they will like.  And I am ok with that.  I have always encouraged personal expression.  So when my oldest son told me at 11 that he wanted his first concert to be Clutch I was thrilled!!!

His mother, not so much.  The only show they were playing locally was with Motorhead in North Jersey.  I thought that would be perfect.  She did not.  Needless to say, that didn't work out.  When he heard that Mastodon was coming to town he decided that was the one.  I secured our tickets and we were ready to go.




Monday, June 9, 2014

Rediscovered Albums - The Knack / Get The Knack


When I was a kid I HATED 'My Sharona' by The Knack. I remembered sing ape noises instead of lyrics when ever it came on the radio.  And it came on the radio often.  I couldn't escape it.  Even at the local community pool it would be blaring from a ready what seemed to be every 15 seconds. It was a number 1 hit and I loathed it.  Despised it.  At the time I felt as though I may have been the only one. I didn't understand what everyone else heard in it.  I felt like The Knack was Jim Jones and 'My Sharona' was Kool Aid.  I was NOT drinking the Kool Aid!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Book Review - No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of The Legendary City Gardens by Amy Yates Wuelfing & Steven DiLodovico

My reading consists of music books.  I can't get enough of them.  Especially oral histories about the punk and new wave era.  I've read Punk Rock: an Oral History by John Robb about the start of the British Punk scene through Post Punk and Goth. I've read We've Got The Neutron Bomb about the LA Punk scene and also Please Kill Me about the start of the NY Punk Scene.  I love these books.  They are first hand accounts of scenes I loved even thought I was not a part of them.

I was not a part of those scenes.


That phrase is the key.  A scene that I was a part of was City Gardens.  City Gardens was the Mecca for misfit youths in the bad part of a bad city.  The club was the homing beacon for any punk, new wave, indie, ska, and numerous other genre's that played the underground circuit traveling between Philadelphia and New York.  It made Trenton a destination, regardless of how dangerous it was to travel there, because once you were inside its doors you were home.  Punker, Skinhead, Goth, New Waver, it did not matter.  You were accepted.



Monday, May 26, 2014

Lush @ City Gardens - Trenton, NJ 03/28/92

City Gardens was a magical place.  I wax poetic about it often in many of my reviews.  On this particular night it brought old friends together.


 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Danzig Is Gonna Be PISSED!!!

Billy Corgan / Glenn Danzig
Fran

Monday, May 19, 2014

Independent Record Store Spotlight - Randy Now's Man Cave

A record store isn't just a place where you buy music.  It has to identify with you.  It is like picking the right clothing store.  Each one has its own personality and that personality has to be compatible with you.  When you find that perfect match it is like an oasis.  It is that happy place that you never thought really existed.  The wonderful thing about that match is that others just like you have made that same pilgrimage.  You meet others like yourself and you congregate.  You share.  You discover.  You interact.  Sure, music discovery exists on the internet.  And that is a huge part of my life.  But it does not replace the record store. 

My record store soul mate is Randy Now's Man Cave in Bordentown, NJ. 



Friday, May 16, 2014

Album Review - Swans / To Be Kind

I have both good news and bad news about life as we know it.  First the bad news...

 - It is inevitable that this world and life as we know it will end in Armageddon.

Now the good news...

 - The Armageddon will have a soundtrack


Monday, May 12, 2014

Rediscovered Albums - Fountains of Wayne / Fountains of Wayne



I have 1,800 CD's.  I got my first CD player for Christmas 1987.  Back then when you bought a CD it wasn't always music that you knew.  It may be based on the recommendation of a friend, you might just like the album artwork,  or it could be from a review in a magazine like Star Hits.  Hopefully you hit a home run and it was a keeper.  Sometime it was a strikeout in which you would try to trade it to a friend.  This one was a single. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Top 3 Singers That Are Better Solo Than In A Band

I can't really take credit for this idea.  This was a question initially asked by a Facebook friend.  Blair Hook (of the internet).  It did get me to really think about this.  It set the wheels in motion  Mainly because the best that I could come up with was Attila / Billy Joel.  I needed retribution. What would be my Top 10?  This has taken a lot of thought but I was finally able to come up my Top 3.  All much better than my initial answer.



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