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

26Jan/1221

Music Worth Buying: Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan

Written by:

In a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, guitar legend Jeff Beck shared his unpleasant memories of being onstage at the Rock Hall induction ceremonies 20+ years ago jamming "Like A Rolling Stone" and "Satisfaction" with members of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and apparently everybody who was anybody.

"It was one of the worse cacophonies I've ever heard in my entire life. Just horrendous."

So it's a pleasant surprise to hear him revisiting "Like A Rolling Stone" with Seal on lead vocals, which ends up being one of many enjoyable moments on the new Chimes of Freedom Bob Dylan-themed tribute celebrating the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International.

There are 76 tracks from a variety of artists from Jackson Browne to the Silversun Pickups, most of them newly recorded with a handful of live cuts rounding things out. Believe it or not, there are very few musical inclusions that will make you cringe and reach for the skip button.

[But there are at least a couple: Special shout out to the Avett Brothers for taking an unnecessary time travel trip to guest on the opening cut by Johnny Cash. Honorable mention goes out to Silverstein for their contribution 74 tracks later.]

At less than $20 for either the physical four CD collection or MP3 download, there were enough of my favorite artists (Browne, Mark Knopfler, Neil Finn, Raphael Saadiq, etc.) present, that I was completely game to take a chance on hearing a whole bunch of bands and singer/songwriters cover Bob Dylan songs for hours and hours.

I'm glad I did and you should too!

Here's one of the noisier moments from the collection, courtesy of Bad Religion.

....and on the opposite end

more
25Jan/120

Random Youtube: Van Halen at Cafe Wha?

Written by:

Props to my good pal 1888 Rob for sharing out this mighty fine video specimen of Van Halen circa 2012.

The jury is still way, way out in regards to the new album that is set to drop in February (i.e. we have to hear the whole thing still), but it's cool to see some high quality video of a very special Van Halen show.

It's going to take one hell of a record to measure up to what Hagar and Anthony already delivered with Chickenfoot III, but let's wait and see what we get from the brothers Halen (and Mr. Roth).

Let's review song #1 from each:

Game on!

zero
25Jan/1225

Bruce Springsteen Vs. Your Wife

Written by:

Yesterday's announcement of Springsteen tour dates puts some people in an interesting position.  I'm definitely a lock for Cleveland on April 17th, Buffalo looks possible and talking with my good buddy Tony, we agreed that should any tour dates materialize later for Columbus and Cincinnati, it's very likely that we'll be in the house.

Plans like these can cause tension on the homefront, as this humorous video demonstrates below. Don't worry - there's equal time for both sides with a "husband" version here too.

more
25Jan/1232

Jeff Beck Recalls Working On Tina Turner’s Private Dancer Album

Written by:

Jeff Beck got the cover story treatment in December's issue of Classic Rock Magazine after being named "Living Legend" by the mag. Inside the related interview, Beck spent some time talking about some of the session work that he had done over the years and perhaps unsurprisingly, he's not a big fan of doing it unless it's for someone that he likes.

He says that he's done "loads I disliked," but that playing on "Private Dancer" for Tina Turner was "okay."

"I heard her demo and she was grumbling away, singing in the wrong key, but I did it because of 'River Deep, Mountain High.'"

"I played a pink Jackson guitar and she sang 'Private Dancer' once and 'Steel Claw' once and that was it. Christ, that was swift. I added some screeching guitar and she had her biggest album ever."

It's funny, all of the times that I've heard "Private Dancer," somehow I missed that it was Jeff Beck playing the guitar.

What a killer tune still, even today after all of these years!

more
24Jan/122

Good News From Cleveland: Fountains Of Wayne Coming To The Beachland

Written by:

Hasn't it been way too long since Fountains of Wayne played a Cleveland show?

The folks at the Beachland Ballroom apparently must agree with that thought, because they've booked FOW for a Ballroom show on Tuesday, April 24th.

[Details of which were shared mere minutes ago in their fine email newsletter which you should be subscribed to.]

*dancing and celebrating commences now here at the ATV compound*

FOW are touring in support of their latest album Sky Full Of Holes and their tour schedule seems to indicate that perhaps there might be additional dates added in April to go along with the dates presently listed on their site.

Tickets for the Cleveland show go on sale on Friday, February 3rd at 10 A.M.

more
24Jan/120

Jenny Owen Youngs Prepares ‘An Unwavering Band Of Light’ For Release

Written by:

Singer/songwriter (and ATV favorite) Jenny Owen Youngs is finally about to release her new album An Unwavering Band of Light on February 7th, which will also be the kickoff moment for her next round of tour dates. An Unwavering Band of Light follows a couple of individual song releases that came out last year and it will be really good to finally hear a full batch of new material. I loved her previous album Transmitter Failure to pieces (in the nicest possible way).

Here's a video for "Your Apartment," which you can get an immediate download of by pre-ordering the new album here.

zero
18Jan/122

Random Youtube: Gin Blossoms – ‘Pieces Of The Night’

Written by:

This is one of my favorite tunes by the Gin Blossoms. I love the extended version with the piano ending that's on the deluxe edition of 'New Miserable Experience.'

Here's a live version from Youtube and as I recall, they actually played a full set that was broadcast on television and I kept hoping that perhaps a DVD of the whole thing might surface, but if it's out there (and I'm sure it is), I haven't seen it yet.

more
17Jan/121

Former Alice Cooper Guitarist Dick Wagner Collects A Lifetime Of Stories In New Book

Written by:

I recently finished reading 'Not Only Women Bleed,' the new autobiography by former Alice Cooper guitarist Dick Wagner. One of the bits that I was most surprised to learn from the book was that he co-wrote 'Just As I Am,' a song that he submitted to Clive Davis (who had been supportive of Wagner's songwriting in the past) which eventually was recorded by Air Supply.

I read Wagner's book right after reading 'Billion Dollar Baby' by Bob Greene and while I enjoyed Greene's book more personally, I imagine that Cooper fans will find Dick's book to be an enjoyable peek behind the Alice curtain. Wagner delves into some of his side work, most notably, his work with Aerosmith, but I would have enjoyed more details for some of the other work on his musical resume, especially his session work with Peter Gabriel which gets only a very brief mention.

Wagner's longtime associate Bob Ezrin recently penned the following review of the book for Amazon.com:

It feels a little self-serving to write a great review about a book in which I am a character and I would never normally do this but...I am SO proud of Dick and this amazing accomplishment that I have to weigh in here. This is no pandering or self-serving, ghost-written "auto-biography" that sanitizes the past to protect the "author" or amplifies the glamor and excesses to sell units. This is a thoughtful recollection of slices of Dick's life. It's witty, artful, literate, sometimes cheeky, often philisophical and profound, gentle and loving, whistful and exuberant but, above all, musical. But that's Dick in a sentence. Reading this will certainly entertain anyone who has an interest in the "Roman" era of the music business. But it also offers insights into the complex and often insane life of the musician celebrity; the one close to, but not quite at, the top of the entertainment foodchain. In its honesty it does encompass sex, drugs and rock'n'roll - but also pain, yearning, sacrifice, adventure, growth and the joy of creating.

Aside from being my go-to musician and writer on the majority of my projects in the 70's and 80's and now again in the new milennium, Dick Wagner is also my dear friend and a good man who has more than paid his dues over the years. To see him healthy and back in form again makes me very happy. To read this wonderful book makes me very proud.

Bob Ezrin

more
16Jan/1212

New Music: Sons of Bill – ‘Sirens’

Written by:

With the first bits of new music beginning to trickle out as we hit the start of another year, 'Sirens' by Sons of Bill is one of the early albums that has been spending a good amount of time in my CD player. Normally, I'd say iTunes or Amazon Cloud Player, but in this case, I really have been listening to the actual CD from the Charlottesville-based band as I've been out and about in the past week.

Due out on March 27th, 'Sirens' is album number three for the Sons and since I haven't heard the first two (hello MOG, I'm coming to visit you soon), I can't tell you whether this is the album where they finally hit it out of the park....or if it's just the latest chapter of them continuing to be great at what they do. Whatever the case might be, it's a mighty enjoyable listen.

"Bill" is Bill Wilson, the father of three of the members of the band and if their choice of cover songs (Steve Earle, Tom Petty) in the live set is any indication, we can probably thank Mr. Wilson for sharing his record collection that no doubt helped in some way to influence their full bodied sound that embraces heavy amounts of organ ala Benmont Tench, a nice throwback.

'Sirens' itself was produced by fellow Virginia resident David Lowery (and largely recorded at his recording studio), who himself knows a thing or two about the Benmont factor and he acts as the shepherd for these sessions, even pitching in with fellow Cracker comrade Johnny Hickman midway through the album on 'Life In Shambles.'  But these guys come off as great players both on record and in the live setting so while it's nice to have the extra cred of having Lowery's name on the album, it's very likely that their music would have stood just fine on its own without the help.

Lowery digs into the Sons of Bill story directly via this interview which was done for Lowery's Virginia-based radio program.

They're giving away a free download of 'Santa Ana Winds,' which is the opening track on the album and while it's a good taste, I promise you that you'll enjoy it that much more when you're able to hear it in context with the rest of the album in March.

Sadly, I missed them last July when they were here opening for Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers at the Beachland, so I'll look forward to hopefully getting another chance to see them here in Cleveland very soon!

more
11Jan/121

Chickenfoot finds practical use for the Google Hangout

Written by:

Here's one reason to use Google+. You could spend some time hanging out with your favorite rock band...or in this case, guitar player.

This brings a new layer to the more familiar "internet chat" and it's a very real conversation with Joe Satriani that fans will really enjoy.

It's also cool to see how visibly stoked each fan is to talk with Joe.

Here's another Google Hangout with Michael Anthony as well..

more