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


The Monday Morning Mix: 75 Minutes Of ’70s FM

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Hey there music lovers!  ATV is pleased to bring you a Monday Morning Mix featuring a fine blend of 70s hard rock.  14 killer tunes flowing into what is known on the street as the Stereo Dictator’s 75 Minutes of 70s Volume One. Feast your musical mind on this free prize and give your week a little kick start.

Download the entire mix here.

“I Got the Fire” - Montrose
On the heels of their landmark debut, Montrose released Paper Money, a solid follow-up featuring this burner, which sounds like an outtake from the first album. Ted Templeman’s production keeps it crisp and pounding while Ronnie tears it down appropriately.

“Never Before” – Deep Purple
Deep Purple’s Machine Head was filled with FM hits yet this song was the expected single upon release.  Poppy in a rockin way thanks to the muscle applied to the arrangement, on another album it may have stood out and become a chart-topper. An underrated tune that moves well, has memorable lyrics and is very reflective of the era.

“The Rover” – Led Zeppelin
Physical Graffiti
arguably presented Zeppelin at their best with this tune letting them do what they do best: blues-based boogie, patented layers of Page guitar, a powerful rhythm section brought way up front by Page the producer, and Plant’s hippie-fied stories about the uncertainties of life.

“Fairies Wear Boots” – Black Sabbath
was a ground-breaker and “Fairies” is a song that helped to create the Sabbath template.  Whether the song was written in a smoke-filled haze or following an encounter with skinheads is still up for debate. What’s not is the significance of blending blues, metal and jazz with a wailing vocalist in 1970.

“Nobody’s Fault” - Aerosmith
Back when Aerosmith was on a roll, Rocks was the hammer in their catalog. Hard and heavy, it opened eyes as to the band’s ability to throw down a firestorm of rock and roll.  “Nobody’s Fault” is perhaps the greatest example.  Intelligent, raunchy and wholly satisfying.

“Go to Hell” – Alice Cooper
As the wheels were beginning to come off the Alice Cooper machine in 1976, Alice hit the studio with Bob Ezrin to create one more masterpiece, Goes to Hell. Fortifying the band were twin guitar killers Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, notable for their excellence on Lou Reed’s Rock and Roll Animal a few years earlier. “Go to Hell” captures Alice at his sinister, story-telling best.

“D.O.A.” – Van Halen
Van Halen II
continued the myth while delivering the goods, including this loose and loud outlaw tale.  David Lee Roth is the misunderstood hero while Eddie V pulls out a primal riff and plays the hell out of it. Must-have Van Halen right here.

“Gotta Keep a Runnin” – The Godz
Don Brewer of Grand Funk produced, the band put the pedal to the metal and here it is. A true classic featuring one of the all-time great rock raps courtesy of madman Eric Moore, and a great driving song to boot. It’s too bad that the Godz peaked with their first album, but at least we have this well-worn anthem.

“Motor City Madhouse” – Ted Nugent
Keepin’ your pulse rate runnin’ high is this bit of rock frenzy from Ted Nugent, one of several songs that made his post-Amboy Dukes debut one of the greatest guitar-hero albums of the 70s.  This slice of psychosis is like a rollercoaster; you are on, you are moving at full speed, and you are not getting off for four and-a-half minutes.

“Shinin’ On” – Grand Funk
When quad was quad on LP and 8-track, the guitar intro to “Shinin’ On” was prime stereo outlet demo material, with and without headphones for full effect. Producer Todd Rundgren applied a generous helping of heavy-metal sheen to the band’s core sound and struck gold.  Shinin’ On went to #5, bolstered by the title track, an FM favorite, and a remake of Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion,” which became a #1 single.

“Overdose” – AC/DC
The combination of AC/DC with Vanda & Young as producers gave the band an entirely different feel than what was to come later with Mutt Lange.  This is groove-based metal blues that allows you to feel a genuine connection to the music. The guitars are truly razor-sharp, Bon Scott is right on top of it, and the whole things rocks. A supergroup to-be at its roots.

“Faith Healer” – Sensational Alex Harvey Band
This hypnotic showpiece is one of the key tracks on Next, the most well-rounded album in Harvey’s eclectic catalog.  A glitterized evangelical trip, this is another pioneering moment of the headphone-era that leaves you wanting more. Seek it out and experience more of the brilliance of the SAHB.

“Panic in Detroit” – David Bowie
A raging lead guitar from the legendary Mick Ronson wails over the top of a sometimes walking, sometimes running bass line hopped up by maracas and congas while Bowie name-checks controversial figures, adding to the panic with his somewhat urgent narrative, all the while backed up by female singers. It’s a handful and it’s glorious.

“White Punks on Dope” – The Tubes
A staple of FM radio until the FCC outlawed the F-word, this is quintessential 70s.  Producer Al Kooper masterfully weaves together the conglomeration of musical ideas for this tribute to the idle hands of rich suburban kids. The whole thing is so over the top (remember Fee Waybill as “Quay Lude”?) that it makes sense while never losing a real rock edge. Think of it as “Bohemian Rhapsody” for an alternative crowd.

Join us next time for another mix you’ll just have to have courtesy of the Stereo Dictator and AAAAY TEEEEE VEEEEE!

75 Minutes of 70s Volume One
I Got the Fire – Montrose
Never Before – Deep Purple
The Rover – Led Zeppelin
Fairies Wear Boots – Black Sabbath
Nobody’s Fault – Aerosmith
Go to Hell – Alice Cooper
D.O.A. – Van Halen
Gotta Keep a Runnin – The Godz
Motor City Madhouse – Ted Nugent
Shinin On – Grand Funk
Overdose – AC/DC
Faith Healer – Sensational Alex Harvey Band
Panic in Detroit – David Bowie
White Punks on Dope – The Tubes

Download the entire mix now.


Bootleg Vision: Van Halen Open 2012 Tour In Louisville

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How did you spend your Presidents Day holiday? Me? I was enjoying Saturday night's tour opening show by Van Halen, thanks to the immediacy of the internet.

Certainly with Youtube, it's no surprise to find video from the show you attended at [insert club here] on the morning after. For bands/artists with extremely passionate fanbases (think: Springsteen, U2, etc.), it's almost a given that you'll be able to find at least one audio download of the entire show - maybe multiple sources and eventually, probably video of that entire show as well.

[And from there, it gets crazy, because people start posting multi-camera shot versions, brought together using the various video sources of each show that circulate. Which is when people start to argue about which one is the "best" version. You know the drill.]

For a band like Van Halen, an event on the level of their highly anticipated tour opening show in Louisville, Ky. with David Lee Roth on the mic meant that taper fans were really on their game. Less than 12 hours after the show wrapped while some of the attendees were probably still sleeping, there was already a DVD of the show available.

By the time that I finished downloading it, someone had already posted a "better" version with upgraded audio. But I had already burned my copy, so it's not like I was going to be a snob and wait to download the upgraded version before I watched it? Who has that kind of patience?

Going into the tour, I was skeptical about whether or not it would be necessary for me to see this show, since I saw the previous 2007/2008 reunion tour with Roth three times. As I discussed with friends, it would come down to the setlist. The last tour featured quite a few "rarities," so how would Van Halen top that?

The answer, my friends, came in the form of a pair of tunes from Van Halen II, including "Women in Love" and  "Outta Love Again," both MIA from Van Halen concert setlists since 1979 and 1980 respectively.

A circulating "master" setlist indicated that 1984's "Girl Gone Bad" was a future possibility.....and indeed, it made its first appearance last night in Detroit! (Although sadly for Detroit fans, the inclusion came at the expense of "Outta Love Again" which was lifted out with "Girl" taking its place.)

Length wise, the show clocks in 24 songs deep, about the same as most of the shows on their initial reunion tour. New material from the A Different Kind of Truth album and the added rarities mean that some of the songs featured on the last tour have taken a back seat. "I'm The One," "Atomic Punk," "So This Is Love," "Jamie's Cryin'" and "Little Dreamer" go on the shelf, at least for now.

If there's any further setlist variations throughout the tour, some variety and additional surprises would of course be very possible. The 2007 reunion tour notably featured nearly every song off of Van Halen except for "Feel Your Love Tonight" and "On Fire." So far, the current tour continues the embargo on those two songs....and when it comes to "Feel," what gives?

As my friend Matthew notes in his review of the Louisville gig, the choice of material from the new album could leave some of the diehard VH fans wanting more. There's sadly no "You and Your Blues," which is easily one of my favorite cuts from the new album. Ditto for "Blood and Fire," although the "master setlist" indicates that as an additional possibility. I'd also like to hear "As Is" and "Stay Frosty," which seems to be the sleeper cut making waves with fans ranging from me to Dave Grohl.

But the setlist that made it to our ears is a damn good one and you can enjoy some particularly nice video from the opening night at the bottom of this post, thanks to Randy.

The band is endorsing audio and video recording of the new tour and those same type of recordings proved to be a bit of a liability in 2007 when Eddie Van Halen was hitting his low points. Thankfully, the recordings today will act as an endorsement for why you should go out and see this band live.

Eddie looks great and healthy and he's playing like a motherf**ker, just like the old Eddie that we know and love so well. His one handed riffing on "She's The Woman" was paired with a smile that would remain plastered on his face for most of the night. He broke out the classic yellow and black "Frankenstein" guitar when they got to "Tattoo," the polarizing first single from the Truth album.

Although Michael Anthony is very much missed by this Van Halen fan in the lineup, Wolfgang Van Halen really has found his confidence on stage and the joyful interplay between EVH and son really is something to see.

Diamond Dave, what can ya say? He's still got plenty of Daveisms on tap, ready to dish out at a moment's notice. "Everybody Wants Some" brought the DLR quip "party here, party f**kin' everywhere!" But the headset mic, Dave - lose the headset mic.

It might be a big pipe dream at this point, but a tour featuring Van Halen and Chickenfoot really would be the best of both worlds. If Dave and Sammy were able to (somewhat) pull it off solo, hopefully the two bands can find a way to share the stage someday.


Random Youtube: Van Halen at Cafe Wha?

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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!


Random Youtube: Van Halen at the US Festival

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Last night, I was hunting around for a Night Ranger DVD that refused to reveal itself. Instead, I found myself watching a long dormant copy of Van Halen's classic performance at the US Festival in 1983.

Although I saw the reunion tour three times, watching this really made me question whether or not I need to see the upcoming reunion jaunt in support of the forthcoming VH album 'A Different Kind of Truth.' My thought: When you've got this to watch on demand, why do you need to lay out the massive coin to see the 2011 version of Van Halen live, minus Michael Anthony, minus 1983 DLR, etc. etc. etc.

As a Van Halen fanatic, it seems unethical to miss any chance to see Eddie Van Halen play guitar - that's our general code as Van Halen fans. Even on the last tour where Edward was off the rails more than he was on, I managed to play the odds right and see the right shows where he was actually on it.

But I dunno. Maybe I should cut it off there and simply enjoy the video memories, both Sammy and DLR era.

Since we're talking about it, here's the US Festival performance in its entirety for your enjoyment. At the very least, you should check out 'Somebody Get Me A Doctor,' which is beyond awesome.

Also, do yourself a favor and head on over to check out this Van Halen bootleg from Venezuela '83 that my good pal Chris Holmes posted up.


Van Halen to tour in 2012.

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For real, apparently.  New album?  Details on that remain in the "TBA" category.

With both VH and Springsteen on the road, it's going to be an expensive year!


Suburban Metal Dad no. 68, “The 5th of July”

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Teaser: At work, at the water cooler, one guy says, "You set off fireworks for 90 minutes, but didn't play any music? Wasted opportunity, dude!"

Suburban Metal Dad, an original webcomic by D.X. Ferris, served fresh every Monday and Friday.

Now featuring Sort-Of Soundtrack — an optional random metal jam you can open in a new window!

Check out today's strip after the jump...


I actually kinda liked those ’90s VH tracks with Roth

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Lately, it seems like I might have been one of the few that enjoyed "Me Wise Magic" and "Can't Get This Stuff No More."

Tonight, while searching for a few Van Halen III tracks (by somebody else's request, no less!), I came across the following "open letter" which addresses the 1996 material and a series of related points:

An Open Letter To Van Halen: Please Do Not Make An Album

I'm not opposed to VH making a new album with Roth - I just hope that the resulting material will be better than "Up For Breakfast."

'Nuff said?

On a side note, would you pay $.10 for Van Halen III on Amazon?


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.


The Monday Morning Mix – Three Legged Dog Daze – 8/3/09

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Graphic by Rachael Novak

Click here for details on how you can be a part of The Monday Morning Mix and win some cool stuff!

We've got some great mixes in hand and on the way - where is yours?

About Today's Mix:

Bro-mance alert!  Today's mix comes to us from sunny Los Angeles, California! Within the inner shell of 1888 Media Matrix exists a man known to many only as Baron Reventón.

Four score and several beers ago, Reventón found himself charged with the mission:  The mission to ROCK the planet, using music blogs worldwide as his weapon.  And so B-Rev found his way to my digital doorstep, armed with news about some particular musical project that I can't remember now.  All I know is that it rocked, and I lost hearing.  My memory loss is no doubt due to the ill-advised yet completely necessary banging of the head that occurred while listening to Ry Cooder.  That's another story for another day.

Baron Reventón graces us with his royal presence, and had his people bring us a mix for today's Monday Morning Mix!

Check it.  And play this sucker loud!

Mix Notes:

Monday mornings are often a time to reflect about drinking on a Sunday night. For awhile, it was Tony Soprano’s fault as Sunday nights over an intermittent six years were filled with copious amounts of wine and pasta among friends. Somewhere along the way, I befriended a winemaker named Eric Dunham and although the series eventually ended, my preference for alcoholic grape juice from Dunham Cellars in Walla Walla, WA soldiered on. The Dunhams produce world-class Syrahs & Cabernets and make a great table wine called Three-Legged Red named after Port, their beloved three-legged pooch. Like a loyal companion, any of their reds continue to provide an enhancement to Sunday nights; whether it’s Dexter, Californication, Entourage or True Blood, their complex hues colour the engrossing boob tube. At times, I refer to the Cab as ‘Fadernet,’ a trivial mash-up of getting ‘faded’ and Cabernet. And while I’ll take dubious credit for Fadernet, I won’t for take it for ‘Faderade,’ a concoction of vodka and you guessed it. Urban slang strikes again. I digress.

Thanks to Matt at ATV for the opportunity to contribute a MMM. Going into this, I knew piecing together a mix was going to be time-intensive, brain-consuming and most likely accentuated by Columbia Valley nectar. The whole process actually provoked debate amongst friends whether I should be self-aggrandizing, politically correct, generationally cognizant, playlist to the presumed audience or be wantonly obtuse and obscure. I chose to spit into the torrid San Fernando Valley swelter. So, with much anticipation and slight trepidation, I set sail a few weeks ago to dig through my archives and revisit music that has been gathering dust for a long time in hopes of parsing together a seemingly congruent slab of music that might entertain and engage while also providing a glimpse behind the concave mirror of its creator.

Coming from the era of 8-tracks and TDK/Maxell Chromium oxide cassette tapes where one had to be concerned with space left on a side before the tape ran out (digital-age hucksters have it made) into a situation where there really isn’t a limitation (you can even edit songs as I did). Regardless of the medium, the method remains the same. Devise a tune-stack that lets the music do the talking while occasionally providing a window to the soul (or lack thereof).

This mix went through many, many re-iterations and sequence changes and fortunately (or unfortunately) for those willing to give it a listen, many of my fringe favorites were left out; Mozart, Slayer, Life Sex & Death, tOOl, Yngwie Malmsteen, Deadmau5 & DJ Tiësto (though he’s mentioned in ‘Corona and Lime’). If there is a loose arc to this excursion, it’s tangentially thread together by the various shades of love and how its perception is shaped by context. And, yes, it’s 40% cover songs!

In a perfect world, this mix would be posted as a single (mastered) mp3 with ancillary notes posted after the fact, allowing the listener to indulge their senses with an unassuming unbiased attention span. An old school pipe dream, I know. Oh, how I long for the album idolatry of the 70s…a couch, a purple Graffix, a needle on the record and your imagination was a complete experience. Pass the Cocoa puffs por favor.

Much like any creative excretion, it’s difficult to know when to stop squeezing it but after several sustained moments of silent lucidity, it occurred to me that this Three Legged Dog Daze was ready for consumption and dissection with the understanding that it’s better to burn out that fadernet away. Without further ado, here’s 57 minutes and 7 seconds of my temporary proprietary musical sanctum.

Three Legged Dog Daze

download complete mix (link is good for one week only)

Artwork ©Eric Dunham; Three Legged Red Wine Daze c/o Dunham Cellars

1) Gasoline – The Airborne Toxic Event - from The Airborne Toxic Event
I only own three TATE songs but I play them frequently. One day I may actually get the whole album. On the surface, this is a band I would never like but I was wrong. “Your memory blazes through me. Burning everything. Like gasoline”. Sign me up.

2) Bye Bye Love – The Ditty Bops - from Moon Over The Freeway
The happiest loneliest song this side of the Bayou. The Bops cover The Everlys with sly aplomb. I saw some entertainingly engaging Ditty Bops Vaudeville-esque shows at The Mint / Largo before they released their debut Warner Bros album. I also give them props for riding across the country from L.A. to NYC on bikes during a tour to promote their Moon Over the Freeway album.

3) Walking on Air – Kerli - from Love is Dead
Esoteric bass-heavy electronic ear candy from an Estonian chanteuse that eschews “a little creepy girl with her little creepy face saying things you’ve never heard”. Throw in her ‘little creepy cat and a little creepy bat’ as lyrical imagery and its Tim Burton’s spawn. Not really, but like high fructose corn syrup, it’s incredibly addicting. I am walking on air.

4) Beat It – Fall Out Boy ft. John Mayer - from Now That's What I Call Music:  Vol. 28
It’s hard to screw up a classic song and harder to outdo it. This cover has plenty of go-go juice and pork chops. I first listened to Michael Jackson because my guitar hero Eddie Van Halen played on ‘Beat It’. There are those who will say that Mayer’s solo better fits the song. “It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or who’s right”.

5) Corona & Lime – Shwayze - from Shwayze
Yeah, it’s a silly love song, years removed from Captain & Tennille, but it goes down as smooth as a cold Corona & Lime. “Let me tell you about a girl I know.” Shout-outs to the 818 (my area code) and the fact they accurately stereotype girls by city AND what electronic music they listen to makes me smile. “If you’re looking for love, won’t you put your hands up.” Hard to think that everyone at a club somewhere at some point didn’t throw their collective hands in the air and woot woot!

6) My Prerogative – Britney Spears - from Greatest Hits:  My Prerogative
New jack city meets uptown knob-spinners and produces a slice of guilty goodness. What can I say? From time to time, I like me some slick manufactured candy-coated pop. “I don’t need no permission, make my own decisions. That’s my prerogative”. Earlier this year, I stood at a VIP ringside booth during Britney’s Circus tour. Production expanse that only a boatload of money can provide orchestrated the Circus de Soleil stage while the unified piercing screams of 19,000 fervent fans was wholly spontaneous and unbelievably infectious. It was a joyful exercise in sensory and pulmonary excess. Brit-mania was alive and well in the O.C.

7) SpongeBob SquarePants Theme – Avril Lavigne - from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
A palette cleanser. Like a piece of stanky cheese before the next glass of vino at a tasting. This one’s from Canada, not France (though Avril is a French word that means ‘April’). There are those in my social circle who give me shit for liking this pseudo punk rocker. Fair enough, but Ms Best Damn Thing is rocking out the SpongeBob theme, ranting about Nautical Nonsense and it’s less than a minute long. Just do a shot of Limoncello or Espresso and lighten up Francis!

8 ) Baby Elephant Walk – Monkey Bars - from Upstairs at Larry's
Eight months of my life were spent producing Upstairs at Larry’s: Lawrence Welk Uncorked. I had complete creative freedom to choose any dusty two-track tapes in the Welk Music vault to have them remixed by a slew of International DJs / producers. During the final stages, I would shift the track sequence (nearly every day) and listen to the entire record as I drove through Topanga Canyon to PCH. I must have done that for an entire month before locking it in. Sequencing and psychological pacing are key aspects of all great albums. I was proud of the meticulous result. Being interviewed by the L.A. Times and hearing this song on Nick Harcourt’s ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’ on KCRW one morning while driving to work are indelible moments, frozen in time.

9) Let’s Play Dumb – The Wah Wahs - Unreleased
Band out of Ireland I tried to sign to a U.S. label deal. Didn’t work out but this song from the nine they recorded is a small slice of playful rock ‘n roll swagger that’s been heard by almost no one.

10) Real Love – Regina Spektor - from the various artists compilation Instant Karma
For a long time, this song used to come on my iPod during a random playlist shuffle and I never knew who it was but it struck me down with its poignancy every time. Like a sublime angel from above coaxing a piano to emote, this one stays with you. I imagine John would be proud.

11) Bad Things (theme from True Blood) – Jace Everett - from Red Revelations
Sunday nights are all about True Blood, True Love, Anna Paquin, True Blood, True Love. “When you came in, the air went and every shadow filled up with doubt. I don’t know what you’ve done to me but I know this much is true…I wanna do bad things with you. Scowl!” A ditty about Vampires set to a boot-stompin’ Texas Two-step shitkicker beat? Better believe it! Better turn it up! This one’s fangtastic!

12) Hello Hopeville – Dead Ringer Band - from Hopeville
The DRB was a family affair. Dad Bill Chambers, mom Diane, son Nash and daughter Kasey grew up in the barren Outback of Australia singing Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline round the campfire. This rollicking version of Michelle Shocked’s “Hello Hopeville” provides a glimpse of Kasey’s unencumbered effervescence. I’m a long-time KC fan and lobbied / helped secure her to contribute ‘Little Sparrow’ to the Dolly Tribute album while I was working with Sugar Hill Records.

13) Acid Jazz Singer – The Fratellis - from Here We Stand
When I think of the Fratellis, I think of SXSW (about 3 years ago) when they were “the” buzz band that you HAD to see and they played like 7 times. Then it was the incessant Apple commercial. I still wasn’t convinced. When ‘Here We Stand’ came out, a friend let me rip a copy. I never listened to it. Fast forward to this spring. We were driving home from the NIN|JA tour in Irvine and for some ridiculous reason, the I5 was closed down and we had to take a detour…this annoyance coupled with the fact that my car’s confounded screen interface wouldn’t load my iPod library in any order other than alphabetical by song title. So, AJS soon came on and it was a revelation, though we had no idea who the artist was. This one will induce random cravings, albeit with an air guitar longing for the spotlight.

14) Jade’s Song – Jake E. Lee  - from Badlands
Jake E. Lee followed in the footsteps of Randy Rhoads in Ozzy’s band. He was (still is) a monster guitar player and had all the rock god inclinations, but also had a badass electric tone all his own…could recognize it a mile away. Saw Ozzy w/ Jake and Badlands several times while Ray was still alive. Jake named this song after his daughter Jade. I met both of them at a Foundations heavy metal convention in the early 90s. Good times.

14) Wash – Pearl Jam - originally a b-side on the Alive single, now available on Lost Dogs
I tried (in vain) to include a song from Pearl Jam’s Ten (which is in my Top 5 of all-time favorite albums) but nothing was working so I came across this song (on the Alive single) recorded during the same era.

16) 79th & Sunset – Diamond David Lee Roth - (unreleased)
Cheap Trick’s ‘Heaven Tonight’ was the first real album in my collection (my K-Tel comps with ‘Smoke on the Water’ don’t count). After Cheap Trick’s ‘Gonna Raise Hell’ from their subsequent ‘Dream Police’ record I was lead down a guitar-heavy path to infamy where I soon became immersed in the bombast of Van Halen and never looked back (6th row for VH on the Diver Down tour is an unmitigated concert milestone amongst my thousand+ shows). Every time that DLR / VH were on Rockline, I would tape it on cassette. Much hilarity ensued during those appearances (“live before your steaming ears”). Here’s Roth at his Diamond Dave best on KMET in L.A. doing a take on Humble Pie’s classic song about a prostitute.

17) Whores (2009 Trent Reznor mix) – Jane’s Addiction - from NIN/JA Tour Sampler
I was fortunate to see the Nothing’s Shocking tour 20 years ago. They played the early show at The Riviera in Chicago. As I was exiting this incendiary show, a line was forming for the late show…Milli Vanilli. Sad but True. Fast forward to earlier this year when I went to the tiny Echoplex in Echo Park to see a 500-person reunion show of the original line-up. Soon thereafter, I was hired to work their Cabinet of Curiosities box set (an honor) and was rocking out with them in the wee hours of the Playboy party at SXSW. Their muscular double bill with Nine Inch Nails on the much ballyhooed NIN|JA tour wasn’t the icing on the cake, that came in the form of Trent Reznor producing a re-recording of this classic track from the band’s early days and giving it away for free. Truth is Stranger than Fiction. What a long strange trip it’s been.

18) In A Simple Rhyme (End Riff) – Van Halen - from Women and Children First
‘Women and Children First’ was the first LP I bought with my own hard-earned money. Hearing ‘And The Cradle Will Rock…’ on FM Radio was revolutionary! Couple that with the wicked riffage of ‘Fools’ and ‘Romeo Delight’ and WACF will always be my favorite Van Halen album. In retrospect, I feel that although the band was coming apart at the seams from an excess of drugs and booze, this record found the band at their Rock Gods peak. EVH & Alex are gargantuan on this opus. Side 2 is one of the most underappreciated 14½ minutes of rock history. “Babe, I think you’re headed for a whole lot of trouble”. I tried to work a track in but I kept coming back to the riff after the end of IASR. I was always aggravated that a cool off-the-cuff riff was not fully realized. It left me wanting more. Perhaps that was the point. And so I leave you with it as well.


Quick Hits: Alice in Chains, The Grog Shop, Coldplay

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Greetings all,

I hope this dispatch finds you in the best of places and moods.

I'm typing this to you on the other side of day one of the annual Columbus, OH mega-rock weekend Rock On The Range.

I went down for the first day with D.X. Ferris from Scene Magazine, and for this guy, the day was all about Alice in Chains. I caught strong performances from Saliva, Rev Theory, and Chevelle, but there was no denying why I was really there.

Chevelle were definitely the surprise hit of the day with me - I've always liked my share of the radio hits, but hadn't ever seen the band live. They delivered a really tight 50 minute set that even had a nice one-tune preview of their forthcoming new album due this summer. Korn were also performing last night, and if you've seen one Korn show in the past 10 years, you've seen them all - same tunes each time, slightly different setlist order, but for what it is, it's good. I wasn't looking forward to seeing them at all, but I have to admit that drummer Ray Luzier (Army of Anyone, DLR Band) adds at least something different to watch during the Korn experience. Great drummer.

Alice in Chains hit the stage about 15-20 minutes late for their scheduled performance and turned in a setlist that was just under 50 minutes and way too short. No real surprises in the setlist, but it was very happily heavy on song choices from Dirt, including the set-opening "Rain When I Die" and also "Dam That River" a few tunes later. I was worried that their performance might lose impact in such a large festival setting, but they held up and delivered a great performance, despite what the Columbus Dispatch said about the show. They must have been at a different show, because from where I was standing, AIC went over great with the crowd.

The band were joined by Duff McKagan (introduced by Jerry as the "fifth member of Alice in Chains") for the set-closing "Rooster," and one of the most humorous rock and roll slip-ups EVER came when Cantrell introduced AIC bass player Mike Inez mid-set as "Mike Starr" (i.e. the original bass player for AIC who departed during the touring cycle for Dirt.)

The new Alice in Chains album will be in stores in September via their new label Virgin/EMI. Rumor says that Elton John might make a guest appearance. Really? Very interesting!

So there you go - a mini-report from the Rock on the Range weekend. Ferris had to drive back after day one, due to prior commitments, and I opted out of driving back down with him for the second day - AIC covered all of my rock and roll needs for the weekend!

So what else is going on? We'll start with a couple of Cleveland-specific items:

Cleveland radio legend Ed "Flash" Ferenc shares an update on his daughter Stephanie one year after her diagnosis with MS. It is a positive update, and there are details on how you can offer support to the Ferenc family and their fundraising efforts dedicated to fighting MS, titled Motivate Steph.

Sad news to hear of the passing of former Grog Shop co-founder Matt Mugridge who passed away on May 7th at age 42. Grog Shop owner Kathy Simkoff told Scene Magazine that "there would be no Grog Shop without him." There is a Facebook group that has been established for friends, family, and Grog Shop patrons to share their memories and photos of Matt. I have to share the following photo of the old Grog Shop stage, because I know that it will spark fond memories for many of you like me, that attended amazing shows at the old Grog.


For me personally, I'll always remember some of my favorite groups that I saw jammed on the tiny Grog stage - Blue Rodeo probably had the most equipment and band members I ever saw shoved onto the Grog stage, and I'm sure there are many other similar shows and bands that you can think of. One of my favorite Grog experiences is a tie between seeing Fred Schneider from the B-52's play a solo show there in the late 90s, and also seeing John Squire's post Stone Roses project Seahorses at the Grog during their brief U.S. run. If there was someone really cool doing a short/limited run of dates in the U.S., you could always count on finding the Grog on the tour schedule.


Coldplay have released a new 9 track live album for free download, recorded during the Viva La Vida tour, originally planned as a bonus item for ticketholders attending the latest round of Coldplay tour dates, and instead now available to anyone with an internet connection via the band's website. I am sure that there are some that might have snickered when Lefsetz mentioned the new live album in the same sentence as Live at Leeds....but have you listened to it? For those of you that have dismissed Coldplay as cold, corporate, and void of any emotion, I dare you to listen to LeftRightLeftRightLeft and change your opinion. As someone that didn't dig Viva La Vida, this new live album made me want to take a second look, based on the material that was included from the album. There are at least two moments on this live disc that will paralyze your ears with their emotional beauty - "The Hardest Part/Postcards from Far Away," and the performance of "Fix You."

During the classic Springsteen Agora performance from 1978, Springsteen describes his favorite live albums in which the audience was "twice as loud as the band," and that is definitely the feeling that runs throughout LeftRightLeftRightLeft, a release that features the audience offering audible vocal accompaniment, most notably during "Fix You," which Lefsetz notes in his piece. It's a great listen and a must for your Ipod, and if you're not a Coldplay fan or on the fence, this one will convince you once and for all in 9 tracks, what side you are on.


Wilco NOW!

The new Wilco album is streaming now via the band's website. To these ears, the album sounds like a mix of the layered production of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot combined with the more stripped down Sky Blue Sky. I'm wishing they would have sequenced "Wilco (The Song)" later in the album, instead of track one. Favorite tracks: "You and I" (with Feist,) "You Never Know," and "Everlasting Everything."

Todd Rundgren will perform his classic A Wizard, A Star album during a September performance in Akron. Tickets are on sale now, and a Rundgren junkie friend of mine tells me that a short tour featuring the album is rumored, but to play it safe, he bought tickets for the Akron performance and will come in from New York for the show. Something tells me that he won't be the only one!

My buddy Brian at Brokenheadphones has your first look at the new videos from 311 and Rancid. I've been listening to quite a bit of 311 lately on the Ipod - Music and Grassroots specifically. I would love to hear another great album from 311, but I'm not holding my breath.

Good ol Bear takes a look at the dirty words "tribute band," and spends some time talking about Shaw/Blades, one of my favorite projects of all time featuring Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades. I love that Bear is one of the 9 people besides me that bought the My Hallucination album.

Soundtrack Saturday at Popdose features the classic 80s flick Krush Groove. C'mon, you know you wanna check it out!

Gregor offers up a disc's worth of Altered Beast demos from Matthew Sweet, and I think that is part of a two disc compilation that I've got somewhere of Sweet demos from those first few albums. Choice stuff. There are a ton of Matthew Sweet b-sides and rarities floating around out there, so if you don't have any of them, this is a good place to start!

Go on over to Swap's house and find out how Led Zeppelin saved his ass!

Site Stuff:

Mel generated some reaction with her list of "bands that sold me out." Drop by and add your opinion if you haven't done so, already!

Kurt drops his first post full of lament about loudness wars and that darn new music stuff.

Kevin takes a crack at picking "the worst single of all time."

Check out our reviews of the Queensryche tour stop at House of Blues here in Cleveland, which we both loved, and hated!

That's what I've got for this week, folks!

Hope that ya'll have a great week!!