Archive for the ‘rock’ Category


Happy 30th birthday. I wish I could say that you’ve come along way baby. Who knows, maybe you have but is that a good thing?

Please play some videos!

When you started out, you were a burst of sheer amazingness. I wasn’t even born in 1981 and watching all the classic MTV stuff on YouTube & VH1 Classic is still amazing. Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood, JJ Jackson, Martha Quinn, & Mark Goodman introduced everyone to the greatest pop/rock & R&B to ever grace a television set: Pat Benatar, Duran Duran, the late Michael Jackson, Stray Cats, Dire Straits, all those amazing other new wave & rock bands. Better yet, there were also the legends like the Who, Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart, Heart, Van Halen, and Yes that had innovative videos that made them cooler and bigger than they were already.

Unfortunately Mtv you disgust me. You don’t air videos. Sure, you air that crap you call the Jersey Shore or those whiny rich kids that dominate The Hills. All I can say is that you no longer deserve that “M” in your title, but rather an “S” – SuckTV because you are terrible. You don’t air videos anymore and when you do – they suck. Lady GaGa is horrible and a ripoff artist – remember Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons? Does her style not remind you of Lady Gaga? You have traded your originality for unoriginal, mindless, uninspiring entertainment. The last decent video you had in this century was a Taylor Swift video in which Kanye West interrupted her VMA speech for said video. Gone are the days of “You Better Run,” “Big Love,” “Money For Nothing,” “Take On Me,” and “Thriller.” Do the math.

So MTV I have some advice for you and I want you to listen very well: PLAY SOME VIDEOS! Do not play the Jersey Shore. I know thousands of people that would love you to do this.


English: Axl Rose.

Image via Wikipedia

Guns N’ Roses frontman Axel Rose is quite possibly the most insane frontman in rock & roll. I mean, who else can singlehandedly start a riot, but also make amazing songs such as Sweet Child O’ Mine, Welcome to the Jungle and plenty more? However, that is what keeps everyone coming back for more!

I liken this moment to the fan to be a bit lik “sucks to be you buddy – you shouldn’t have been taping the concert!”

 


Journey is one of those bands that is liked by many people because of their versatility. They can rock hard, but they can also show their sensitive style too. However, when they combine both their hard rock sound and sensitivity, they do rather well. On Only The Young, this is where they shine!

Unfortunately Only The Young has a tragic story behind the song. Journey had recorded it and it was intended for their Frontiers album in 1983, but it was pulled at the last minute and ended up on the soundtrack to Vision Quest. One day, they received a letter from a mother whose young son, named Kenny, was in the terminal stages of Cystic Fibrosis. Kenny was a huge fan of Journey and wanted to meet them before he died. The meeting was arranged through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

So the band went to meet Kenny and gave him a Walkman and a cassette copy of Only The Young. The next day, Kenny died. He had the walkman with the cassette in his hands when he died.

This made lead singer Steve Perry break down crying so much to the point that the nurses had to take him out of the room.

Either way this chance encounter resulted in the band using this song as the opener for the Raised on Radio tour.

Only The Young is a great track because it perfectly captures what it is to be young in both lyric and sound. But the best thing about this song is that it offers hope to those that are enduring.


The Pretty Woman Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is perhaps the quintessential 90’s romance comedy soundtrack with it’s pizzaz and sultriness.

Natalie Cole puts things in place with the freespirit anthem Wild Women Do. One of the best things about this track is, if you have seen the film, you can easily picture the sequence where Edward (Richard Gere) and Vivian (Julia Roberts) are shopping on Rodeo Dr. for clothing in Beverly Hills.

One of the best things is that this particular soundtrack seems to play in a subconscious manner, the thoughts of the characters in relation to the scene. One of the best examples of this is the opening scene where Edward and his girlfriend (who is unseen) breakup while they are in Los Angeles and Manhattan, respectively. Edward, with very little remorse, takes his lawyer (played by Seinfeld‘s Jason Alexander) Stuckey’s Lotus Espirit and drives down Hollywood Blvd where he meets Vivian, a hooker, for the first time.  This is well-played along with King of Wishful Thinking by Go West.

The soundtrack gains its sultriness with No Explanation by Peter Cetera. With his signature adult-contemporary sound, he adds a bit of a softer side to the album for the men. This softer side for the women is repeated with Lauren Wood’s Fallen.

Unfortunately there are a few weak spots: Robert Palmer’s Life In Detail and Tangled by Jane Wiedlin. They somehow do not seem to fit with the rest of the album. They both sound extremely over-produced.

IF you have not listened to the soundtrack Pretty Woman or even seen the film itself – both are great. It is the beautiful Cinderella – like story about a corporate raider who falls in love with a hooker and molds her into a beautiful woman. It is only made better by its soundtrack.


The Summit later became known as the Compaq Center in the 90's. It's now home to Joel Osteen Ministries, better known as Lakewood Church.

Today I stumbled across an old Stevie Nicks video called Whole Lotta Trouble. I remembered reading about how the concert video was filmed – more specifically its location. It was filmed in Houston, which is the home of the Wild Heart. More specifically, the Summit – the fomer home of the Houston Rockets. As a result, I thought of the 2 concerts that were held there in which I and my parents attended: Handel’s Young Messiah in 1992 and Handel’s Young Messiah Farewell Tour in 1995. Both were major tours within Contemporary Christian music at the time and boasted a “who’s who” of artists at the top of the CCM charts: Steven Curtis Chapman, Twila Paris, Sandi Patti, First Call, Point of Grace, Christian metal band White Heart, the list goes on and on.

The Summit was to performance/sports venues in Houston what Madison Square Garden is to New York City. Though yes, we do have the Toyota Center (which is the current home of the Rockets), but as a music lover who resides in this great town I keep wondering why do we keep getting rid of our historic musical venues? Let me ask you this: what would New York City be without Madison Square Garden? What would Los Angeles be without the Staples Center?

The Sam Houston Coliseum hosted numerous musical legends such as the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen just to name a few.

Unlike San Francisco, Houston has a nasty habit of getting rid of historical buildings: the Sam Houston Coliseum, the Music Hall. Okay maybe they didn’t have landmark status, but considering some of the acts that walked onto their stages: the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney just to name a few – these venues deserved that status. However, they are all demolished now or turned into a megachurch. Could we not make the needed changes to these places to cater to Houstonian music lovers? Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

The interior of the Music Hall. Isn't It beautiful?

All we have now is the Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park, Reliant Arena, H-Town Arena Theater, Verizon Wireless Theater, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion, and the House of Blues. Though these are great venues, they somehow don’t measure up to their predecessors. Essentially what we need in Houston is our own version of places like the Fillmore.

The Music Hall in its heydey

 


Cover of "Buckingham Nicks"

In 1973 there was a young couple that resided in Los Angeles that were from the remnants of a band called Fritz – who previously became popular because they opened for the likes of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, among others in the San Francisco Bay area. Though their band Fritz disbanded, band members Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks secured a record deal with Polydor records.

Though the album flopped and was dropped from Polydor, it served as a springboard for both members musical careers. One day producer Keith Olson was playing Long Distance Winner to Mick Fleetwood, drummer for the popular British then-blues band Fleetwood Mac, who had endured a staggering 9 lineup changes prior to the inclusion of Buckingham Nicks. Originally Mick wanted only Buckingham. However, according to Behind the Music Remastered, Buckingham insisted on his then-girlfriend, Stevie Nicks, come as part of a “package deal.”

Buckingham Nicks’ self-titled debut album is like a beautiful diamond in the rough or even a fine wine: it gets better with age and experience. Nicks voice sounds raw as does Buckingham’s fast guitar picking on Don’t Let Me Down Again which, at one point Nicks seems to slightly scream “Baby baby don’t treat me this way.” One of the more hauntingly beautiful tracks is Races Are Run, which singer Stevie Nicks voice shines. The song itself though, in retrospect kinda foreshadows what would happen to Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, who famously were one of many of the band members in the throes of a bad breakup during the recording of Fleetwood Mac’s enormously popular Rumours album in 1977. Though they have had their moments, the two are still friends to this day.

However, one of the coolest things about this album is that if it was released today, it would quite possibly be a hit in the indie world. In a perfect world this album would’ve been a hit, they would have gotten married and made more albums like this. But as time went on to successful careers: Stevie as a member of Fleetwood Mac as well as a massively popular solo career and Lindsey Buckingham as an influential guitar player.

A+


In honor of Heart finally getting nominated to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I will be rerunning some of the reviews I have written in regards to the band this week. Enjoy!

In 1976, there were very few well-known women in hard rock. Enter two sisters named Ann and Nancy Wilson from Seattle, WA and their outlaw boyfriends Mike and Roger Fisher. When those women came across the border, magic and Dreamboat Annie was born!

Dreamboat Annie is the 1st album that was released by Heart. Normally with legendary bands, when they release their first album, it takes a bit of maturing on the part of the band to find their voice. Not so with Heart. Heart knows that the audience wants 100% unbridled creativity from their artists and that is exactly what shows on such songs as the hauntingly beautiful Magic Man where Wilson exclaims “‘come on home girl’ he said with a smile/ ‘you don’t have to love me and let’s get high awhile’/ ‘but try to understand’/ ‘try to understand’/ ‘try try try to understand I’m a magic man.'” On other tracks such as Crazy on You and Sing Child show that the Wilson sisters can rock with the best of their peers. They even get a bit raunchy like their male counterparts with White Lightning and Wine – a tribute to the effect that happens when you mix cocaine and booze.

However, the Wilsons are not all hard-rock, no ballad. There are plenty of beautiful ballads such as the three (count ’em), three different versions of Dreamboat Annie – all of which are amazing.

Unfortunately for Heart, their fortune was put in trouble with their own record company, Mushroom Records, decided to launch a poorly-done campaign resulting in a tabloid-style ad placed in such magazines as Rolling Stone that showed band leaders and sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson as sister lesbian lovers. The ad campaign showed the sisters from the shoulders up with the headline “it was only our first time.” This led to a host of legal problems involving both the band and Mushroom records – which went out of business in 1980.

Legal problems aside, the album itself is a great album. The Wilson sisters made history with this album and that is what makes it great.