Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

29May/100

DVD Review: Chickenfoot, “Get Your Buzz On Live”

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Chickenfoot. When word of the band name of Sammy Hagar's new "supergroup" leaked out, half the internet responded by saying "that's the dumbest band name I've ever heard.....and just when I thought Sammy couldn't get any cornier!" The other half of the internet said "you know what? That band name is pretty funny." The official word from band camp was that "Chickenfoot" was merely a working title for the project, and the real band name would be revealed later.

But the buzz about the "name" was large enough, that Hagar and crew quickly realized that they had the attention of their audience, and when you've got that, you pick it up and you run with it. So "Chickenfoot," the temporary working title, became Chickenfoot, the band.

(And for those that remember Sammy's HSAS project from the '80s, take note that the members of Chickenfoot happen to spell out H.S.A.S. as well. Cool!)

And what a band it is! After an aborted attempt at a similar project a few years back underneath the name of Planet US, Hagar made sure that the associated players for this new project would actually have the time to commit to a proper album and the subsequent touring. Which is important, when your colleagues in said new project are virtuoso guitarist Joe Satriani, former Van Halen bass player Michael Anthony and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.

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29May/1012

CD Review: Triumph, “Greatest Hits Remixed”

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Back in the '80s, I don't think I could have given you the name of five songs by Triumph, and perhaps, not even one song by the Canadian rock trio that didn't have the name "Rush" on their albums. In spite of my ignorance, Triumph apparently did just fine, and had themselves quite a career, beginning in the mid '70s with their self-titled debut release in 1976 and wrapping up eight albums later with Surveillance in 1988. (The band would later regroup in 1993 with a revised lineup, releasing Edge of Excess, their lone studio release in the '90s.)

With a number of gold and platinum releases to their credit (a total of 8 certifications in Canada alone), Triumph sold over 10 million albums during their career. Singles like "Hold On," "Magic Power," "Fight The Good Fight," and especially "Lay It On The Line" drove Triumph to arena rock success (and later, a high profile appearance at the legendary US Festival), driven by the shared lead vocals of drummer Gil Moore and guitarist Rik Emmett. The Rush comparison is a natural one to make, since both bands are trios, but aside from the occasional Peart-like drum fill from Moore (and yes, he had a really big drum kit too), and brief Geddy-esque vocal moments from Emmett, Triumph fit more comfortably with bits and pieces of the sounds of any one of the so-called "corporate rock" bands (Journey, Boston, etc.) that were making albums in the '80s. And hearing a song like "Hold On," I think it's safe to say that future Giant mastermind and producer Dann Huff might have listened to a few Triumph albums before eventually forming his own band in the late '80s.

While Triumph might not be the most original sounding band of their time, they are quite possibly one of the smartest bands in their genre. Butting heads frequently with their label (RCA Records), Triumph pushed hard and overspent with no regret on each album that they made, and put additional money out on the table to make sure that fans were getting their money's worth with the coolest light and stage show (and one that was revolutionary for the time period) they could possibly bring on tour (with a road show that at one point, cost $100,000 per week). Investing further in their future, Triumph built Metalworks Studios, a state of the art facility established in 1978 for exclusive use by the band. The studio went on to become one of Canada's most successful recording studios, eventually hosting clients from Barenaked Ladies to Rush to Guns 'n Roses, and Moore continues to operate the studio to this day. In 1998, after Emmett rejected a proposal for a 20th anniversary reunion tour, Moore and bassist Mike Levine made their smartest move to date, purchasing the entire Triumph catalog from MCA Records, and they subsequently established TRC Entertainment (later renamed to TML Entertainment) to release a series of Triumph archival recordings, culminating in the 2004 release of remastered editions of all of the band's studio albums.

Which brings us to the release of Greatest Hits Remixed, a title which made me wince when I first read about the pending release, but after hearing it, I can assure you that this release is a good thing, especially if you're a Triumph fan. You won't find the eight minute dance remix of "Magic Power" on this CD, so there is no need for any panic. Additionally, these are definitely the Triumph songs that you remember - they haven't been futzed with in a unnecessary history-altering sort of way. Instead, the best way that I can describe these remixes is to say that everything has more presence, with a sound that is more full than the previous versions. It certainly helps that the originals were well-recorded, giving producer Rich Chycki a good palette of colors to work with in constructing the new mixes. After hearing "Lay It On The Line" on the radio a bazillion times, I was blown away at how good the new mix sounds, compared to the version I've been familiar with all of these years. You'll experience a similar feeling, listening to the rest of the tracks on the album, all of which boast unbelievable sonic clarity that is hard to believe, considering the time period that all of this stuff was recorded in.

The liner notes present an extensive history of the group that is thorough, although as an audio geek, I would have liked to have read some notes behind the process that went into remixing this material, and in fact a short video documentary regarding the remixes on the accompanying DVD would have put this package over the top. But the DVD on its own is equally worthy - a collection of 11 of the band's videos, plus bonus footage featuring two videos from the later version of Triumph with singer Phil X, some "bootleg fan video" from 1980 that is surprisingly crisp, and the DVD is rounded out with footage of the band's 2007 Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame and 2008 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductions.

The music videos look about as good as you'd expect them to look for the time period, but all of the audio has been cleaned up with the new mixes presented in 5.1 Surround Sound. A special mention regarding the DVD authoring for this package, which really deserves some sort of Canadian Juno Award, if they give out awards for that sort of thing. Authored in house at Metalworks, the menu visuals are incredible and they are some of the best that I've seen on any music DVD release. The entire Triumph/Metalworks team really put a lot of effort into making this the coolest anthology release a fan could possibly want, whether you're a hardcore Triumph lifer, or just someone like myself that liked a few of the hits over the years. The DVD is worth the purchase of this package on its own merit - a full length piece that very easily could have been released on its own as a separate release. Considering that this was a release that was one of my least anticipated releases of this year, Greatest Hits Remixed ultimately will probably rank as one of the best archival releases of the year - it's that good.

I hear rumblings that a reunion tour is possibly (and finally!) on the books for 2011 (after a couple of one-off shows a couple of years ago, including a performance at Rocklahoma), and if that's the case, Greatest Hits Remixed is the perfect release to tune up for those shows.

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22May/106

Good Listening: Crowded House at the Mermaid Theatre, May 2010

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Intriguer is the name of the new album from Crowded House, coming out on July 13th via Fantasy/Rounder.  You can pre-order the album now from Amazon for only $13.99, and it comes with a free bonus live DVD, which is a pretty awesome deal for the price!  The band is already out playing shows in support of the disc, and looking at the setlists, it looks like a fun show.  I'll be looking forward to seeing the band personally when they hit Chicago in September over Labor Day Weekend.

Last week, the band played a gig for the BBC, which was broadcast live from the Mermaid Theatre and the show featured a hefty preview of material from the new album.

Check it out for yourself, and take a look at the band's upcoming tour dates here!

Crowded House - Live at the Mermaid Theatre
5/20/10

Download full-res files of this show via Dimeadozen

complete zipped file

01 Introduction
02 Saturday Sun
03 Banter
04 Weather with You
05 Banter
06 Twice if You're Lucky
07 Banter
08 Elephants
09 Banter
10 Fall At Your Feet
11 Banter
12 Amsterdam
13 Banter
14 Either Side of the World
15 Banter
16 Falling Dove
17 Banter
18 Don't Stop Now
19 Four Seasons in One Day
20 Banter
21 Distant Sun
22 Don't Dream It's Over

Photo from the official Crowded House Myspace

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22May/102

The Big Four are headed to a theater near you

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Q: What is "The Big Four?"

A:  Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax.  Duh!

For one night only, metalheads around the world can experience history: On Tuesday, June 22, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax perform on one stage together, and through the wonders of satellite technology, you can be part of this historic concert event, broadcast exclusively to select movie theatres around the world. Beyond the limited European festival dates, there are no additional tour dates planned for this extraordinary line-up.

This will be a four hour broadcast, and there should be plenty of theaters in your area screening it (ticket price will be about 20 bucks here in the CLE area) - click here to find your theater.

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18May/1034

Ronnie James Dio, R.I.P.

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What a shock it was to wake up on Sunday morning to the news that heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio had passed away, after a six month battle with stomach cancer.  All recent indications made it seem like Ronnie was winning the battle (in fact, he was on the "black metal" carpet in April for the Revolver Golden Gods Awards, looking great), and although Heaven & Hell had recently postponed some summer tour dates, it made sense that perhaps Ronnie just needed more recovery time to finish treatments and get back to full strength.  Apparently things must have been much worse than any of us realized, or perhaps they worsened quickly within the past few weeks.  I was sad, both as a music fan and as someone that had experienced personally what an awesome human being Ronnie was.

I wrote a few words about my experiences with Ronnie for Popdose, and I thought I'd share a few more highlights here, as seen around the web.

My pal Chris Akin is the one responsible for my first meeting with Dio, and although we've had many memorable metal/music experiences together, Chris has quite a few tales of his own that I forget about - like that one time that Dio introduced him to Jimmy Page.

D.X. Ferris also wrote a nice Dio tribute here, while gathering additional thoughts from some of Cleveland's metal royalty, regarding Dio's passing.

Nationally, a bunch of metal folks stopped by Eddie Trunk's radio show on Sirius, and you can stream the interviews with former Dio band members Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren and Doug Aldrich, plus Geoff Tate, Tom Morello, etc; here.

Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic  adds his own tribute via the Seattle Weekly where he is an occasional contributor.

This is Ronnie James Dio that we're talking about, so if you dial up Blabbermouth.net, you'll find tributes from nearly every musician that has ever picked up an instrument in metal.....only a slight exaggeration.  Without a doubt, the man was loved by many, and that will continue to live on via his music with both current and future musical generations.

On that musical note, my buddy Mark Zander will have a nice two hour musical tribute to the music of Dio on this weekend's edition of The Rockin' '80s - which you can stream via the following link.  I've seen the song list already, and it's a really nice collection of not only the hits, but some pretty cool Dio-related rarities as well.

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13May/101

Random Notes: Rolling Stones, Rush, Justin Currie, etc.

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A few random notes regarding things we've discussed recently here at ATV, plus a couple of new items for you to be aware of:

First of all, I'd like to direct Stones fans to the excellent breakdown of the forthcoming Exile on Main Street reissue from Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune, featuring a review of the deluxe edition, plus separate interviews with Mick and Keith about the set. As you might expect, the stuff from Keith is typical gold....

Q: What about the remix of the older material?

A: My approach was basically hands off, don’t touch. I don’t want to do any fancy, modern ideas on top of a 40-year-old record. My job was to guard the sanctity and purity of the original tracks. But there was some overdubbing of vocals on some of the extra tracks. There was one track where we heard an acoustic guitar, then about one-third of the way through another acoustic guitar because I string must’ve broken, so I overdubbed that. I wouldn’t touch the original tracks with a barge bull.

Check out the complete Stones coverage from Kot right here.  Pre-order Exile on Main Street via these links - deluxe edition - super deluxe edition.

For You, For A Good Cause.....


When author Lawrence Kirsch published For You, his first book of Springsteen fan-sourced recollections and photographs in 2007, the limited pressing of 2000 copies quickly sold out.  If you missed out on that pressing, don't be TOO sad - Kirsch has one more chance for you to win a brand new signed copy of the book, via a drawing benefiting the Montreal Heart Foundation's 2010 fund raising drive.

Here's more information from Lawrence:

Bruce Springsteen represents a great deal to his fans, not only as a world-renowned artist, but as a giving and caring person, someone who stands out by helping and donating to many charitable organizations over the years.

Today I am asking for your help to raise money for a great cause: The Montreal Heart Institute, a cutting-edge cardiology center dedicated to education and prevention of heart disease.

As you may know, the limited edition For You has been sold out since December 2008. This spring, I'm offering a chance to win a new signed copy of the book while contributing to the Montreal Heart Foundation's 2010 fundraising drive.

Register for your chance to win by clicking here.

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13May/103

Happy Birthday to Stevie Wonder

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Stevie is 60 years young today - here's a cool clip of Stevie performing "Superstition" on Sesame Street in 1973, plus a related skit.  Apparently Stevie was JUST in the area for a couple of shows at Oberlin College (and a subsequent late night visit to Nighttown) - I can't believe I missed a potential chance to finally see Stevie live.  Arrrgh!

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13May/102

The Michael Bolton School of Michael Bolton

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I got a good laugh from this, and thought that you all would probably enjoy it too.  I'll admit it -  I'm a Bolton fan and it's always cool to see a celebrity that can have fun at their own expense.  Kudos to Jimmy Fallon er, Kimmel for another winner!

Thanks to AZ for the share!

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11May/103

Crowded House announce Intriguer track listing + tour dates

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The new Crowded House album has a name (Intriguer) and an officially confirmed release date of July 13th via Fantasy/Concord.  And we're all lucky, because Crowded House will of course be hitting the road for an extensive set of tour dates to promote the new album.  (Presumably, this means that I will finally see my first Crowded House gig since 1994!)

Intriguer will feature the following track listing, and will be available in two different flavors including a special deluxe edition featuring a bonus live DVD.

1. Saturday Sun
2. Archer's Arrows
3. Amsterdam
4. Either Side of the World
5. Falling Down
6. Isolation
7. Twice If You're Lucky
8. Inside Out
9. Even If
10. Elephants

Crowded House frontman Neil Finn shares the following information regarding the new album:

"Intriguer is exotic in parts, traditional in origin," says Finn. "Through many a twist and turn we fashioned some drama and intrigue. You will find some threads that go back through all that history and some new discoveries as well that will need to be followed up. Its part of the continuum and it may just be the best thing we've done...until the next one."

Produced by Jim Scott (Wilco), Intriguer once again brings together singer/guitarist and chief songwriter Neil Finn with original Crowded House bassist Nick Seymour and keyboardist/guitarist Mark Hart, who'd been with the band from 1989 until its last days. Also on board is drummer Matt Sherrod, the relative newcomer to the family, having joined the band for the making of Time On Earth. Recorded at Roundhead Studios in Auckland, New Zealand, in the spring and summer of 2009, the album includes songs that "have been worked over on the road and transformed a few times, some all the way back to square one," says Finn. "It's a good place to return to from time to time."

U.S./Canadian tour dates and samples of several tracks (including the new video for "Saturday Sun") can be found after the jump:

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11May/104

Eye Candy: The Rolling Stones in Exile

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Hey Stones fans - how about a documentary regarding the recording of Exile on Main Street....you'd be interested, right?

It's your lucky day - Stones in Exile will be out on DVD on June 22nd via Eagle Rock - check out the trailer:

Here are some more details from the press release:

In the spring of 1971 the Rolling Stones reluctantly departed the UK to take up residence in

France. Keith Richards settled at a villa called Nellcôte in Villefranche-sur-Mer and this became

the venue for the recording of much of the band’s masterpiece “Exile On Main Street”. “Stones In

Exile” tells the story in the band’s own words and through extensive archive footage of their time

away from England and the creation of this extraordinary double album, which many regard as the

Rolling Stones’ finest achievement.

Bonus Features

Extensive additional footage including interviews with all the band members, footage from

“Cocksucker Blues” and Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts returning to Olympic Studios and Jagger’s

country house Stargroves where a lot of the early work on the album was done.

And, because you asked nicely - here's the cover art:

Amazon is taking pre-orders for Stones in Exile via this link. And in case you missed it, there is also a deluxe reissue for Exile that will street on May 18th, which means you'll have plenty of Stones/Exile related material to carry you through the next few months.

Sounds good to us!

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