Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Unauthorized, unofficial....and I WANT THIS!more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
With Big Head Todd and the Monsters in town today, it feels like 90s weekend here in Cleveland, and the weekend got off to a good start last night with back to back sets from fellow 90s vets Sponge and Seven Mary Three. Attendance for the concert on the east bank of The Flats at Roc Bar Cleveland was dismal - probably 100 people at the most. Chalk it up to the fact that there is so much going on in Cleveland this weekend - the air show, Taste of Cleveland, etc. Add an Indians game into the mix, and also a $20 day of show ticket price that might have been a bit pricey for most, a shame because the show was outdoors on a beautiful day in Cleveland.
A 45 minute set from Sponge focused mainly on hits and album tracks from Rotting Pinata and Wax Ecstatic, while Seven Mary Three shot through a 90 minute setlist that featured quite a few tunes from their new CD Day & Night Driving. I got my most wanted Sponge track, the title track of Wax Ecstatic, which was as I expected, the leadoff track in their set. For Seven Mary Three, I was pulling hard for "Lucky" and the Orange Ave.-era "Over My Shoulder," but didn't get either, which surprised me since they were both singles. Opening with "Rock Crown" was pretty cool though, and their set really was a crowd pleaser for all in attendance.
(Note: I saw both bands previously on a great four band bill in Columbus in 2003 featuring Gin Blossoms, Spin Doctors, Seven Mary Three, and Sponge - for 10 bucks. Can you beat that ticket price for all of those bands?)
My friend Pat and I had the chance to hang out a bit with Seven Mary Three frontman Jason Ross prior to their set, and I got to talk a good bit about music with Jason. I wanted to pick his brain a bit about Springsteen after hearing back in the day that Springsteen's The Ghost of Tom Joad album was a big influence on Ross as he was writing tracks like "Lucky" that eventually ended up on Rock Crown. I was surprised to hear that being a Springsteen fan, he still hasn't seen a full Springsteen show.
We both talked about having a list of artists that we still need to see, and the artists like Tom Petty and Neil Young, that have been crossed off of his list in recent years. Ross is also a fan of bands like Wilco, and My Morning Jacket, who he said are probably his favorite band of today's artists that are making music. We also talked a bit about some video work he's been doing, shooting indie bands like Fleet Foxes. Cool dude, and definitely my favorite type of backstage experience filled with good conversation and hanging out.
Here are the setlists for both bands:
Have You Seen Mary
Party Til We Drop
Party Til We Drop (reprise)
Seven Mary Three
Was A Ghost
Times Like These (R&T)
Big Bird (Eddie Floyd cover)
Strangely at Home Here
Sponge official website
Seven Mary Three official website
Purchase Day & Night Driving, the new album from Seven Mary Three - CD or MP3
Purchase Seven Mary Three American Standard - CD or MP3
Purchase Galore Galore, the new album from Sponge - CD or MP3
Purchase Sponge - Rotting Pinata - CD or MP3
Purchase Sponge - Wax Ecstatic - CD or MP3zero
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Saw this on Melodicrock.com, and I feel for the poor bastard that has to write these press releases. I'll highlight the portions that I found to be humorous - no additional commentary needed, really!
Metal God Entertainment and Rob Halford are pleased to announce New York screenings of Halford Resurrection World Tour Documentary an Official Selection of the New York International Independent Video and Film Festival (NYIIVFF) September 18th 25th in the category of Best Music Documentary. Halford Resurrection World Tour Documentary NYIIVFF screenings are to be held at The Village East at 8 pm September 22nd and September 23rd, 2008. For tickets visit www.RobHalford.com/nyfilm or www.nyfilmvideo.com/2008/ny-fall-2008/schedule/schedule-ny-september-2008.htm.
Hosted by Rob Halford and members of his new solo band, Resurrection World Tour documents each new Halford musician as they find themselves in a fast-paced world of Heavy Metal greatness after being selected to write, record and tour the world with Metals most revered songwriter / vocalist.
Halford Resurrection World Tour - Live At Rock In Rio III a three hour DVD debuts October 7, 2008 in a Custom-Designed Digi Pak, twenty-eight page booklet and includes Halford's debut CD release: Resurrection Remastered with 16 songs including two new Halford tracks.
The DVD also includes Halford's complete Rock In Rio III performance in 5.1 surround audio. Thirteen cameras are fixed on Metal's most diverse band of the decade as The Metal God delivers one of his best live performances in front of two-hundred thousand+ Brazilians. Featuring Halford, Fight, Judas Priest classics also featuring Bruce Dickinson in a rare studio performance with Rob Halford. Stereo and 5.1 Surround Mixed by Roy Z. and Mastered by Technicolor.
Limited Edition Digi Pak Includes Custom-Numbered Digi Pak, 1 DVD, 1 CD, 28 Page Booklet, Original Rob Halford Autograph and Rare Halford Radio (CD) Sampler.
Halford Resurrection World Tour - Live At Rock In Rio III 5.1 DVD Pre-Sale Is Now Underway at www.MetalGodShop.com and Your Preferred E-tailer.
Halford - Light Comes Out of Black
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
This post is a response to Kelly and José's Random Retro Wednesday Song: Euro Trash Girl
A post in which our heroes pay tribute to the day that David Lowery and Johnny Hickman decided to record a really long awesome song that was so long, they put it on the Kerosene Hat album as a hidden bonus track. The Cracker boys were apparently afraid that the Song Length Police might bust them for the crime of excessively long jamming committed while rocking out in the mellowest fashion possible.
That's my take on it, anyway.
Anyway, Cracker have another song that lives in the same halls of greatness with "Euro-Trash Girl," a song that comes off of The Golden Age album. At 5:40, "Big Dipper" isn't quite as long as "Euro-Trash Girl," but Lowery makes up for that by loading "Big Dipper" with ten times the misery in each minute of the song!
On my first trip through The Golden Age shortly after it was released, I fell head over heels in love with "Big Dipper," and mentioned to the record label guy how much I loved that track. His reply to me was that I would be very happy, because they would be opening the show with "Big Dipper."
Seriously, listen to the above track, and imagine how awesome that was?
It was great.
Yet, wouldn't you expect them to open with something like this?
That's what is great about Cracker - expect the unexpected, always!
I went with my friend Sue from the radio station to see the Cleveland show at The Odeon. She told me as we were getting there, that we had backstage passes to meet Cracker, and also let me know that "this time you're not going to be a p***y, you're actually going to talk to the band!"
I can't recall, but the pre-show pep talk might have been brought on by a previous backstage experience with The Wallflowers....and here, I was thinking that went pretty well!
Part of my meet and greet silence came from an ongoing effort to not be that guy that says something retarded to the band that he loves.
Example - me meeting David Lowery that night, and I say "hey man, your band is awesome!"
*awkward silence follows*
*what the hell did I just do? I thought we rehearsed this, Matt?*
The good news is, that I further refined my backstage routine after that, and can now just approach any of them as regular people, because at the end of the day, that's all we are! Realizing that little bit helps a ton!
Let's kick into the weekend with my favorite Cracker show that just happens to come from right here in Cleveland, OH, recorded at the Empire Concert Club, another great Cleveland club that like the Odeon, no longer exists.
Cracker played "Euro-Trash" Girl during this radio broadcast, but the broadcast cuts away with closing credits just as the song is beginning. Had Cracker over-stayed their welcome, or was it all of the filthy language that came before this moment? It matters not, because what we have here, even without "Euro-Trash Girl," is a ROCK SHOW.
(For those keeping score at home, this show happened about a year before Kerosene Hat was released - the band was wrapping up their touring for the self-titled album at this point.)
There are so many great Cleveland radio broadcasts from over the years, and this is another one of them!
Viva la weekend, all!
Empire Concert Club
03. Happy Birthday To Me
04. How Can I Live Without You
05. Don't F*ck Me Up (With Peace And Love)
06. I Ride My Bike
07. This Is Cracker Soul
08. Dr. Bernice
09. Mr. Wrong
10. Lonesome Johnny Blues
11. F*ckin' Up
12. Teen Angst
13. (I Was Born In A) Laundromat
Cracker official site
Purchase the latest Cracker album Greenland - CD or MP3
Purchase Cracker self-titled from Amazon - CD or MP3
Purchase Kerosene Hat - CD or MP3
Purchase The Golden Age - CD or MP3
Purchase Garage D'Or (greatest hits) - CDmore
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Okay, guilty pleasure time - here's one of many bands that fall into that category for me.
Apparently, this must be the week where I recap a bunch of shows that I missed for no apparent reason from artists that I really love.
In 1997, things were pretty busy for me at the radio station, so either I was at a ton of shows leading up to this one, needing a night off from rock and roll, or perhaps I had other pre-existing show plans.
All three bands came by the radio station and played acoustically that morning, and you could tell that big things were ahead for MB20. Acoustic sessions are always great for putting the spotlight on bands that can actually play their instruments, and also offer a painful dose of reality that exposes bands that aren't the greatest musicians. On this particular morning, all three bands sounded great.
I became a bigger fan of Cool For August after that morning, and of course, for all of the great success that was projected for them, they bombed instead.
These days, people know Matchbox 20 as a band that is loved by soccer moms globally, but in 1996/1997, their record label put a serious push behind Matchbox 20 as a ROCK BAND. The first single released in 1996 was "Long Day," and it tanked at every format besides Mainstream Rock where it charted top ten.
The label kept working on their plan to make Matchbox 20 a household name, and thanks to a little song called "Push," Matchbox 20 finally had a multi-format smash that kicked things into full gear.
The Grog show (cap. 250) came at the tail end of a full year of small venue touring that was coming to a close as Matchbox 20 made the leap to larger clubs.
Their next Cleveland show was another sold out show, this time at The Odeon Concert Club (cap. 700) (R.I.P.) That was my first MB20 experience, and I would end up seeing them about 5 times over the next year and a half.
Always a sucker for a good cover song, and ESPECIALLY an '80s cover song, MB20 sucked me in with their cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," which sent me on a quest to find a good bootleg show with "Time After Time" in the track listing.
I purchased this show initially on a bootleg titled "The Fire Down Below," a clever reference to Australia where the show was recorded for a television broadcast.
I kid, I kid.
Later, I got my hands on a better quality version (which sounds great, by the way,) and that is the version I'm sharing with you now. It seems like I listen to this show on my Ipod at least once a month - I LOVE the 8 minute version of "Long Day" that closes out the show.
Becoming a headlining act with only one album under their belt found Matchbox 20 playing a setlist that included all of Yourself, with a great non-album track called You and I and I, and various cover songs to fill a headliner-length set.
There's a lot of good on this disc, and only one real miss, a Beatles cover of "Don't Let Me Down" featuring MB20 guitarist Kyle Cook that is wretched. If you're even a casual fan, you will dig this, and if you're a diehard fan, this is essential stuff!
And on a side note:
One more side note that I have filed away in my list of cool rock and roll encounters - I had a chance to have dinner with Matchbox 20 about a year after they had broken big with "Push." It was one of those cool moments that really makes you appreciate the good people in the music business. Despite having sold millions of albums, the MB20 guys remained the same good down-to-earth dudes that had come to the radio station for the first time a year prior.
Just had to share that for those of you that might have the belief that all "rock stars" are dicks - that's not always the case!
Anyway - listen and enjoy!
Live in Australia
Matchbox 20 official website
Purchase Matchbox 20 - Yourself or Someone Like You - CD or MP3
Purchase Exile on Mainstream (greatest hits) - CD or MP3more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
This week, I got a copy of the "collector's edition" of Rudy Sarzo's (Dio, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, Yngwie Malmsteen) book Off The Rails - Aboard The Crazy Train in the Blizzard of Ozz. The book is billed as "a tribute to Randy Rhoads" and indeed, that is exactly what it is. So often, books of this nature end up being more about the person writing the book, and lose focus of the supposed main subject.
As I began reading Off The Rails, I was happy to see that indeed, the book is an in-depth look into the short-but-legendary career of Rhoads, which tragically ended in a 1982 plane crash.
Originally issued in 2006, Off The Rails is must-read stuff for fans of Randy Rhoads and Ozzy Osbourne. Sarzo does a great job of covering Rhoads' career in the beginning with Quiet Riot, and subsequent rise to fame as a member of Osbourne's band, "Blizzard of Ozz." Off The Rails also charts the beginnings of Ozzy and Sharon's relationship, her contributions to his career, and paints vivid pictures of all of the famous Ozzy incidents you remember.
From biting heads off of bats to urinating on the Alamo, all of the stories are captured with vivid detail in Off The Rails. Sarzo's first-person account of the time period comes from diaries that were kept at the request of his accountant for tax purposes.
And without a doubt, the new edition is very sharp, and though I didn't see the original edition of this book, I can tell you that Halfin's photos are typically excellent and really add a visual element to the overall reading experience that helps to put you in the moment of some of the stories that you're reading about.
At roughly 260 pages, Off The Rails was a page turner that I couldn't put down, and I quickly finished it over a three day period (okay, maybe I put it down a few times!) It's interesting that Sharon Osbourne allegedly made an effort to keep this book from coming out.
Even with drug use and the occasional violent episode, Sarzo still paints what I view to be an overly positive picture of both Ozzy and Sharon. Certainly, there are potentially multiple sides to any story and situation, but Off The Rails is likely the closest any of us will come to knowing what it was like to be on the road with Ozzy and Randy.
As I noted above, this is essential stuff for fans of Rhoads and Osbourne. Music fans that are in the mood for a good book with lots of tales of rock and roll debauchery will enjoy Off The Rails as well. Anyone with basic knowledge of Ozzy Osbourne will be aware, Ozzy can always be counted on to add unique humor to a wide variety of situations, both intentional and otherwise.
I think that Rudy Sarzo succeeded with his goal to clear the misinformation and bogus theories regarding Rhoads' short life, career, and tragic death by writing this book. Of the many music-related books I've read, Off The Rails is one of the best yet.
Rudy Sarzo on KTLA-TV's "Morning Show" on February 19, 2007 (video)
Ozzy Osbourne / Randy Rhoads - Suicide Solution (w/ guitar solo)
Rudy Sarzo's official site
Purchase Off The Rails: Aboard The Crazy Train in the Blizzard of Ozz via Amazon
Purchase Ozzy Osbourne Randy Rhoads Tribute - CDzero
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Neil Diamond loves you, he really does.
In fact, he apologizes profusely for the really crummy show you saw the other night. He knows that it really hurt to talk to your friends in Cleveland the next morning, who made sure to tell you how great the Cleveland show was.
It's all good, because Neil is going to give you a refund, all 11,000 of you. Because you and Neil, you're like brothers from another mother.
The all-out refund shocked even the concert’s promoter, with Scott Stienecker saying “I’ve sat through Vince Neil falling-down drunk before. I’ve sat through Bob Dylan not even acknowledging that there was a crowd, and neither of those artists refunded the fans."
So stop your sobbing C-Bus, it's going to be okay.
P.S. - can I borrow ten bucks?
Neil Diamond in Columbusmore
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
So you might find it hard to believe that the album wasn't an immediate success, and took nearly a year to reach the Top Ten of the Billboard charts. And thanks to the great musical talent (*gag*) of Billy Ray Cyrus, the album peaked at #2, unable to unseat Cyrus' Some Gave All from the top of the charts.
Prior to the eventual chart success of the Ten album, the band toured hard and quickly began to build a reputation as a must-see band in the live setting.
Pearl Jam played a couple of notable early Cleveland shows, including a 1991 show opening for Smashing Pumpkins and the Red Hot Chili Peppers in November at Music Hall. Earlier that same day, the band played a charity basketball game vs. local radio personalities that is still frequently part of conversation when local Pearl Jam fans talk about their favorite Pearl Jam memories.
Allegedly, the game was carried on local public television, which I don't remember hearing, but that would be a cool tape to see if someone has a copy!
I've talked to many that supposedly were in attendance for the Peabody's show, and then several others that produced their actual ticket stub proving their attendance.
My friend Matt had the coolest Pearl Jam mementos of all, hand written letters and an autographed setlist, all obtained from Eddie Vedder via postal correspondence in those early days.
As for me, I missed both shows - much like my recent Woodstock '94 tale, I can't give you a good reason why I missed them.
All of Pearl Jam's hard work finally paid off with the album's success, and Ten continued to sell so well, that it outsold its followup Vs. in 1993, notching sales that made Ten the eighth best selling album of 1993.
Ten got a lot of really good reviews, and also got at least one lukewarm review courtesy of Entertainment Weekly:
Like many of its Seattle cohorts, Pearl Jam also flail about in search of a groove and a song. Occasionally, as in the single ''Alive,'' they find both. More often, they lose themselves in a sound that only goes to show that just about anything can be harnessed and packaged.
My favorite Pearl Jam albums/tunes?
I will tell you that my buddy Matt (mentioned previously above,) helped me to see the light on No Code, which at the original time of release I was not a fan of.
Walking past his office on a daily basis, I would frequently hear him playing something that sounded really good. One particular morning, I stopped to ask him what that album was, and he informed me that it was in fact that No Code album that I disliked (and had made a point of telling him how much I didn't like it.)
These days, No Code is one of my favorite Pearl Jam albums. Some of my favorite tunes are on No Code, including "Smile," "Present Tense," and "Off He Goes."
Yeah, I like the moody stuff from Vedder.....but I also like the rockers too - "Once," "Animal," "Porch," and "Not For You" are high on my list.
Album-wise, I'm generally okay with most of the PJ catalog - Ten still ranks high on my list, but I probably listen to No Code the most, followed by the two most recent albums, Riot Act and Pearl Jam.
What about you?
Since we're talking about Ten, how about a really cool Ten-era live show recorded on March 4th, 1992 in Holland?
According to Vedder's comments from the stage, it's also the first Pearl Jam show that he played with a tattoo. There's a random historical fact for you all, I guess.
Ticket stub courtesy of Five Horizons
March 4, 1992
Tivoli: Utrecht, Holland
Pearl Jam's official site
Purchase Pearl Jam's Ten from Amazon - CD
Purchase Pearl Jam's rearviewmirror (greatest hits) - CD or MP3more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Perhaps we've been having some problems with gravity that I'm not aware of, which would explain why I've seen three Youtube videos within the past month of famous musicians, taking an unexpected on-stage spill.
We'll start with one that you've probably already seen:
The next two video incidents happened within the past few days!
First, we have Sebastian Bach, captured live in Los Angeles doing the Skid Row classic "I Remember You." This one kind of hurts, because he's in Los Angeles, which means that there were probably tons of his friends in the audience watching the incident. No worries, for any of his friends and family that missed it, luckily there is this Youtube video.
Baz definitely has the best fall out of the three videos, and also a good recovery. I'd probably give him the award for best of the bunch, but the last video....well, we'll get to that in a second.
Interesting note, as my friend pointed out, Baz wipes out at about the 1:50 mark as he is singing the word "die."
Okay, that brings us to our final video from K-Ci and JoJo, the R&B duo whose songs you probably remember singing along with in the rain with your girlfriends, right? Well, JoJo had a bit of an off night in Australia, and while I can't confirm that Burgo was in attendance, someone had to shoot this video, right?
There are quite a few disturbing things about this video, and there is also running commentary from the audience.
And of course, there's already an explanation online from K-Ci. Are you buying the explanation? Watch the below video around the 1:50 mark, and draw your own conclusions:more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Thanks to the good Captain over at Captain's Dead for this:
A Living Colour cover of Tracy Chapman's "Talkin' Bout A Revolution," who knew?zero