Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Monkees Tour: 1960’s Band Hitting The Road Again In 2013

The Monkees Tour: 1960’s Band Hitting The Road Again In 2013

Here we come
Walking down the street
We get the funniest looks from
All the whippersnappers we meet!

Hey, hey they’re the Monkees and they are touring again.

No, really.  The “Pre-fab” is hitting the road this summer to play 24 concerts routed all over the United States.

I feel like I need to snap a picture of today’s newspaper and post it in this blog.  That way you’ll be sure this isn’t a story from a year or a decade gone-by.

Don’t worry.  You’re internet is working fine.  No one has hacked your computer.  The Monkees are indeed touring in the summer of 2013.

The Monkees Tour
Their upcoming trek is called “A Midsummer’s Night with the Monkees.”  It launches July 15 in Port Chester, New York and ends Aug. 18 in Portland, Oregon.

They band has routed major cities like Boston, Philadelphia, Houston and Denver but they are playing small to midsized arenas like The Mann Center, Ryman Auditorium, and Benaroya Hall.

The Monkees Songs
“A Midsummer’s Night with the Monkees” will present their catalog of hits in a rather unique way.  They are planning to perform their songs in chronological order.  That means “Last Train to Clarksville” (August, 1966) and “I’m a Believer” (November, 1966) will be their first two songs right out of the gate.

Don’t get up leave.  There are still a bunch of great songs to come including “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “Mary Mary,” “Randy Scouse Git,” and “What Am I Doing Hangin’ Round?”  If they’re true to their word, and who has ever known a Monkee to lie, they should finish on “That was Then, This Is Now” their last top 20 single.

The Monkees Daydream Believer
The 2012 Monkees tour was a tribute to Davy Jones.  He passed away in February of that year.  While that tour inspired their upcoming jaunt, the band has already said they will acknowledge Jones but “possibly not as much as on [their previous] tour.”

Don’t worry, The Monkees—Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith—will still perform Jones’ section of the band’s tome.  That means fans with Monkees tickets should expect to hear classic cuts like “Daydream Believer,” “Valleri,” “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” and “Cuddly Toy.” 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Billie Joe Armstrong Calls Psy ‘Herpes of Music’

Billie Joe Armstrong Calls Psy ‘Herpes of Music’

Maybe he needs to go back to rehab.

Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer of Green Day, recently posted this on his Instagram account:

“This dude is the herpes of music. Once you think it’s gone, it comes back.”

The “dude” in the above quotation is K-pop star Psy.

BJA’s comment garnered 20,000 likes and 2,000 comments. Now, hold on to your hats, this may surprise you, but most of the comments agreed with Armstrong.

BJA recently got out of rehab. He and his band are currently touring Europe. What preceded his trip to the clinic was a rant about Justin Bieber at a concert in Las Vegas. After he finished chewing out the Biebs, the “American Idiot” singer checked himself into rehab.

So maybe BJA is back on the sauce, or the pills, or whatever was his addiction of choice (recording derivative music perhaps?). Not to state the obvious, but a urine test wouldn’t hurt.

Psy (and Bieber for that matter) aren’t the most musical of musical acts. Everyone knows that. No one seriously thinks Psy is the Korean Justin Timberlake or Justin Bieber the Canadian Justin Timberlake.

Psy and Bieber make fun, disposal, light songs. What’s wrong with that?

Best of all, no one forces anyone to listen to Psy or Justin Bieber or, thankfully, Green Day.

BJA should keep his negative opinions to himself. Calling out other artists, even those as vapid as
Psy, makes him appear bitter, petty, and trite.

“Hey, Bill. Your musical was nominated for a frickin’ Tony Award. You’re a legitimate musician. You don’t need to knock anyone to prove it.”

I always thought BJA was better than this. Well, I never thought that. This actually seems quite typical of the man but you know what I mean.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Robert Plant Announces Tour, Led Zeppelin Reunion In 2014

Robert Plant Announces Tour, Led Zeppelin Reunion In 2014

I’m in the mood for a Robert Plant tour.
Or how about “Tall cool Robert Plant tickets.”

This summer, Robert Plant and his new band, the Sensational Space Shifters, are coming to America for 21 one concerts.

The legendary frontman of Led Zeppelin kicks things
off June 20 at the Palladium in Dallas, Texas.  The jaunt ends at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York on July 27.

For once, a tour by a big name artist does right by the West Coast.  Plant and company will perform seven concerts in California, Oregon, and Washington.  That includes the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles; the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California; the Jambase Festival in George, Washington; and the Portland Blues Festival in Portland, Oregon.
Other highlights of his tour include a July 10 gig at Red Rocks, a July 12 concert at Grant Park in Chicago; and a July 24 performance at Wolftrap in Vienna, Virginia. 

Whether as part of a band or as a solo artist, Robert Plant has a slew of material he can pull from.  For his upcoming trek around the States, expect Plant to play a lot of Led Zeppelin numbers.  Plant’s sound should be much harder than the music he was making with Band of Joy or Allison Krauss.

Sensational Space Shifters
The Sensational Space Shifters are comprised of guitarist Justin Adams, guitarist Liam “Skin” Tyson, keyboardist John Baggott, bassist Billy Fuller, drummer Dave Smith, and multi-instrumentalist Juldeh Camara.  The group formed in May of 2012.  Together they’re toured Australia and New Zealand.

Led Zeppelin Reunion
Plant’s tour means there won’t be a Led Zeppelin reunion tour in 2013.  We knew that though.  Plant has said as much.  If Zep does reunite, and we hope they do, it won’t be until 2014.  A new album and a supporting tour is too much to ask for but maybe they can bring John Paul Jones with them this time.

The Year of Classic Rock
You could call 2013 the “Year of Classic Rock” or the “Year of the Geezers” depending on your point of view.  The Who and Eric Clapton toured in early 2013.  Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones are touring in the spring.  And now, Robert Plant has announced plans to hit the road in early summer—so much for being too old to rock and roll.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Super Bowl: Five Reasons Why It Should Be A National Holiday

Super Bowl: Five Reasons Why It Should Be A National Holiday

The Super Bowl should be a national holiday. The game, the biggest sporting event in the world, brings together the most quintessential aspects of American culture: sports, television, food, commercialism, and violence. If those five things don’t sum up America nothing does.

By national holiday we don’t mean “Super Bowl Sunday.” We mean a national holiday scheduled the Monday after the game. Getting such a holiday enacted will be as difficult as driving 99 yards on the Baltimore Ravens defense, or shutting down the New England Patriots offense, or acquiring a top-notch quarterback for the New York Jets. But if Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons can win a playoff game then anything is possible.
Truly An American Event
Everyone watches the Super Bowl. Even those who don’t like football watch the game if for nothing else than to see the halftime show and the commercials. You can’t draw more than 110 million television viewers and not attract a few causal fans—by the way the population of the United States is only 315 million. In America, football is not just a sport. It’s a quasi-religion. As a holiday, it would be a cross between Christmas and the Fourth of July.

Time To Recuperate
Let’s not run an out route and call it a fly pattern. People watch the Super Bowl and drink way too much alcohol. I don’t but certainly others do. They also eat way too much food (again not me). Furthermore, for those on the East Coast, the Super Bowl ends late and who can go straight to bed right after a rousing football game? That’s why we need the Monday after the Super Bowl off work so we can mend our hangovers, digest our bean dips, and sleep in. No one gets anything done on that Monday anyways so we might as well have the day off from work.
Save Money
An outplacement firm ran some numbers and said six percent of workers already take the day off of work after the Super Bowl. They may not sound like a lot but it’s around 20 million people. They also crunched some numbers and said for every ten minutes employees spend on the Super Bowl (either in conversation or on the internet) they cost their employers $162 million. The way I look at it we can’t afford not to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday.
Clearly Defined
I know it’s sad but how many people know the origins and motivations behind Memorial, Labor, Columbus, Veterans, and Thanksgiving? Isn’t Memorial and Labor Days’ sole function to mark the beginning and end of summer? While Easter isn’t an official national holiday how many people actually know why we color eggs? There would be no such ignorance about a national holiday dedicated to the Super Bowl.

Great Food
Super Bowl Sunday is all about food. In fact, it’s the second largest day for eating food in the United States after Thanksgiving. Everyone knows that all the best holidays are associated with great food. Thanksgiving has turkey and stuffing; Easter has hard-boiled eggs and chocolate bunnies; Fourth-of-July has hot dogs and apple pie; and Christmas has candy canes and fruitcakes. Okay, strike that last one. If great food is a perquisite for a holiday then the Super Bowl more than passes.

No More “Hail To The Chief”
To add a holiday we need to subtract a holiday. The only holiday currently in February is President’s Day, observed annually on the third Monday of the month. I don’t want to forget about Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, but do we really need ta day to celebrate a job once held by the likes of Warren G. Harding, James Buchanan, and Jimmy Carter? I don’t think so. Of all the holidays, President’s Day is the most likely to go away regardless of its replacement.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Yes Will Perform Three Of Their Studio Albums During Upcoming Tour

Yes Will Perform Three Of Their Studio Albums During Upcoming Tour

A major trend in live music nowadays is for a band to play an entire studio album live.
The Who is currently doing that with Quadrophenia. Rush did it with Moving Pictures. And Steely Dan did it, depending on the night, with The Royal Scam, Aja, and Gaucho.

It’s a way for an established act, one that has performed live for years, to do something different and treat their fans.
It’s obviously not something a relatively new band can do like .fun, The Neon Trees, or Foster the People but it works for artists with decades of world tours under their belts and several albums to their name.

In 2013, the progressive rock band Yes will do the same thing but they won’t be playing one album live they’ll be playing three.

The band is slated to perform The Yes Album (1971), Close to the Edge (1972), and Going For One (1977) in their entirety.

In case you’re not that familiar with Yes, what those albums mean is they’ll be playing classic hits like “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “And You And I,” and “Wondrous Stories.”

Three albums sound like a lot of music but you have to remember that Yes is from a woebegone era called the 1970s. They do things a little differently than we do now.
There are only 15 songs on the three previously mentioned albums; Closer to the Edge has only three track.
However, seven of the 15 songs they’ll perform are longer than 8:54 and another is 7:56. The shortest track from the triad is The Yes Album’s “Clap.” It’s 3:17.

To put that in perspective, the longest song on The Beatles debut album, Please Please Me, is 2:57.
Songs not included on those three albums include “Roundabout” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart.”

Someone suggested they’ll play those cuts as an encore. While some hope they’ll skip “Owner of a Lonely Heart” altogether. The track is widely regarded as the song that nearly ruined the band.

Getting to hear Yes play three of their most popular studio albums all the way through does come with a price and we’re not talking about the price of Yes tickets. The tour will be without Jon Anderson. He’s being replaced by another Jon, Jon Davison.
Davison was discovered while performing in a Yes cover band. This has led some fans to quip that the current incarnation of Yes is also a cover band. Their situation is reminiscent of what’s currently going on with Journey.

Yes’ tour gets underway March 1 in West Wendover, Nevada and ends April 12 in Detroit. The band has a total of 25 dates on their itinerary.
San Francisco welcomes Yes to The Warfield on March 5. Kansas City says hello to Yes and their show at The Midland scheduled for March 18, and New York City hosts a Yes performance at the Beacon Theatre on April 9.

Look for a new Yes album, their first with Davison, sometime in 2013.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Marilyn Manson Needs Stitches In Ear After Drunken Fall

Marilyn Manson Needs Stitches In Ear After Drunken Fall

Marilyn Manson got into a fight in Basel, Switzerland and needed 24 stitches on the inside of his ear. Manson was in Switzerland with Rob Zombie as part of their co-headlining Twins of Evil Tour.

Manson posted a picture of his bandaged auricle on his Twitter account. It’s gross but not half as bad as the singer looked on the cover of Mechanical Animals.

Details of the incident have not been released. All we know is what Manson Tweeted:

"I was hit by a glass table in a dangerous fight. I was however, the victor but had to have 24 stitches to keep my ear from becoming Van Goth[sic]."

Those 30 words tell the entire story. All we have to do is interpret them.

The phrase “I was hit by a glass table…” means Manson fell into a glass table. No one throws a glass table. No one throws tables in a fight. They throw chairs, maybe an ottoman, but never a table.

“In a dangerous fight…” was Manson’s attempt at humor. He was covering the fact that he was actually fall-down drunk, fell, and hit his ear against a piece of furniture.
“I was however, the victor…” means he didn’t vomit on the way to the hospital.

“Van Goth” is not only a clever reference to “Van Gogh”—the artist who cut off part of his ear and gave it to a prostitute—but will likely be the name of his next album.

What was even more amusing then reading about the “brawl” that almost cost Manson an earlobe was the tangents his incident inspired various Web sites to take.

Most outlets just reported Manson’s ear wound and tapped out, but some used the incident to go off on bizarre non sequiturs.

She Knows Entertainment morphed into a discussion about school shootings. They even included a sagacious quote Manson gave about the Columbine massacre.
Asia One spent most of their lengthy article detailing a project about the West Memphis Three—Manson contributed a song to a soundtrack to a film about the killers.

Mail Online shared a brief rundown of the musician’s romantic relationships. Manson has bedded Dita Von Teese and Evan Rachel Wood and is currently seeing American photographer Lindsay Usich.

After reporting the gammy lug, NME detailed Marilyn Manson’s brush with Charles Manson. The latter sent the former a letter from his prison cell. After citing a bizarre and incoherent passage from the dispatch, NME revealed that Manson is conservative in the bedroom.

A few articles made a more obvious segue into either Manson’s current tour with Rob Zombie or his upcoming trek of North America.

From late January through the end of February, Marilyn Manson tickets will be collected all over the United States and Canada. This will be a solo campaign with Manson headlining.

Manson’s expedition begins Jan. 18 in Milwaukee and concludes Feb. 21 in Los Angeles.

Perhaps we should give those aforementioned Web sites a break. How much column space can you devote to a 30-word Tweet and a photograph of an ear? If this article is any indication then you can devote 532 words.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Rod Stewart Teams With Steve Winwood For North American Tour In 2013

Rod Stewart Teams With Steve Winwood For North American Tour In 2013

When I was young I had this coffee table book that profiled a bunch of rock stars. One of the rock stars profiled was Jim Morrison. His section began with a story detailing a degenerate night in which he ingested cocaine and imbibed blood with a witch.

I was devastated and disturbed. I couldn’t believe what I had read. My father, who knew the book was published by Rolling Stone magazine, doubted the yarn’s validity. Still, it took a long time before I got that tale out of my system and I could listen to The Doors again.

Laugh if you must but I just didn’t have enough life experience to realize rock stars were, for the most part, sad pathetic people you wouldn’t want to invite into your home for dinner. I was such an innocence child.

Nowadays, I don’t care about rock stars and the sordid details of their licentious and decadent lives. All I care about is the music (that’s why I can still listen to John Mayer). So when I learned that Rod Stewart once took cocaine anally I nary batted an eye.

Early in 2013, Stewart released “Rod: The Autobiography.” The fun read included the confession that he used to get high by taking cocaine suppositories.

What he and his friends did was buy cold medicine in capsule form from a pharmacist (called a “chemist” in the U.K.). They’d replace the cold medicine with coke and then stuck it where the sun don’t shine. The body would eventually dissolve the capsule and the cocaine would enter into the blood stream.
Stewart worried that snorting cocaine would damage his vocal chords. Yeah, that was his ONLY worry.

Obviously, the anecdote was included to help sell copies (by the way his book makes a great stocking stuffer). What I find funny isn’t that he revealed such an embarrassing account but the fact that it’s really not that embarrassing—at least by today’s standards—although it’s sure to make him the butt of more than a few jokes.

Of all the crazy things rock stars do nowadays, Stewart’s attempt to get high via the rectum so he can protect his voice reeks more of responsibility than reprehensibility. Dare I say it’s a cute story (relatively speaking of course).

It was a big year for Stewart. Also in 2012, he released a holiday album, Merry Christmas, Baby, and announced plans for a tour of North America.

Dubbed “Live the Life,” Stewart’s trek begins April 10 in Chicago and ends May 1 in Toronto. Right now, there are just nine dates planned, all in the eastern part of the U.S. For example, Rod Stewart and Steve Winwood visit Boston on April 13, Rod Stewart and Steve Winwood will be in New York City on April 19, and Rod Stewart and Steve Winwood roll into Atlanta on April 28 for a show at Philips Arena.

I don't have a crystal ball but it's very likely that more Rod Stewart concerts are forthcoming.
Since his recent touring partner Stevie Nicks will be busy touring with Fleetwood Mac, Stewart has tapped Steve Winwood to join him on the marquee. It should make for quite the night of blue-eyed soul.

More good news for Stewart fans, the singer is planning on releasing new material in 2013. Even better news, it won’t be like his American Songbook series but a “sequel to Gasoline Alley.”