Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Springsteen at the Super Bowl, Old Dylan Streams A New Bootleg

This week it was announced that Bruce Springsteen, once hailed as "the new Dylan" would be performing during halftime of the Super Bowl. This has become a classic rock slot since Janet Jackson's wardrobe failure, with Prince, U2, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney jumping in over the past few years.

Prince was typically great, but with Bruce, there may be a need to chime in on the set list. He is one of the greatest live performers in the history of rock, but frequently does massive shows based on his mellower, more serious, less-than-great music from his past few albums. As I have said many times, The Rising was great for its intention, not its execution. At least we can be happy that he put the band back together, and that Magic includes some retro vibes and decent songs.

In order to avoid the horrible results of his appearance at the Harley-Davidson Anniversary, I recommend the following hit-laden set for my Boss. If you really want to split hairs on this topic, hit Ben Lazar's page.

1. Born to Run
2. Radio Nowhere
3. Prove it All Night
4. Dancing in the Dark
5. The Rising

If you want a slow one, how about "I'm on Fire" because it's short (and they can dub in Dominic Barbara too).

Let's assume Obama has just taken office and there is a hopeful vibe in the country at the end of January.

And in case you were wondering why "old Dylan" was mentioned in the title, it was because NPR Music is streaming the new album "The Bootleg Series Volume 8: Tell Tale Signs." How much do we love the Bootleg Series? It's now about 20 years old and has been a big part of Dylan's resurgence. The loosely-based emphasis shifts from out-takes to live shows to unreleased, unfinished. A lot of bands should copy this idea...

For example, if only the Stones could manage to do something like this instead of reissuing the same stuff over and over. I would also love them to do an acoustic, Willie-type show in a stadium, but they don't have the guts. The second half of their 45 year career has been about "milking the kids" (as watt would say). They never listen to me, but the Wingless Angels did.

I'm also looking forward to Prince's collaboration with Randee St. Nicholas, the photo book called 21 Nights that documents his recent performances in London.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ray Castoldi, Def Leppard to Perform for NHL Season Openers

Def Leppard, one of the major bands of the 80s "hair" movement, will perform to launch the 2008-9 NHL season on Rocktober 9 in Detroit at the Fox Theatre. Def Leppard have a lot of hits but they are also pumping a relatively recent "arena-inspired" song called "C'mon, C'mon." If you are in the demo, get on board!

I personally never heard Def Leppard after the early MTV years but met them working at Island in the 00s. They are a great bunch of guys and have one of the more distinctive road managers too, Malvin. He's about 5 feet tall but you would not want to tangle w/him, the dude runs a tight ship and has seen a lot. You also get the whole British vibe too. There are so few British bands, and it's such a bummer the accent gives them instant charisma and connection to the classics.

One of the things that impressed me about DL was their connection to Ian Hunter, whose Mott the Hoople music was inspirational to the band. (See below for a great Mott documentary)

Here is Joe Elliot working the crowd by wearing a jersey of a local team:

Says the NHL's SVP of Broadband and New Media Production Andre Mika, "Def Leppard is one of the legendary all-time rock bands. They're a terrific fit for our demographic. We have a demographic that loves this type of music. And we love working with Def Leppard because some of the songs off their new album are very hockey friendly."

They know how to promote! Here they are hitting their demo on the Ellen show a few years back. Beware: this video contains some embarrassing soccer mom fist-pumps.

Hopefully, there will be some Def Leppard played at the party for the Rangers' Czech opener on October 4 at the Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria NY! Sounds like a fun time and the Rangers are putting in a nice effort: Ranger great Ron Duguay and the legendary Madison Square Garden organist Ray Castoldi is set to perform!

If you would like to know more about Hockey and music, check out the Hockey Music Forum! Vibes as well to my friend Ronnie Ron Poster of the Boston Bruins, who introduced me to Ray as well as the late Eddie Layton.

The bottom line is I'm looking past baseball season.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Adios Shea Stadium, and "Love for Money" the new video by Willie The Kid featuring Trey Songz, Gucci Mane, Bun B, LA the Darkman and Yung Joc

With Willie Nelson in town following Farm Aid last weekend, and a lot of posts about baseball, I couldn't resist Miss Theda's pitch "don't sleep on this joint... post this up now!!!" in her recent email. I felt I needed to do something music-oriented, and less classic/adult oriented too.

I also caught what was probably my last game at Shea Stadium last night, continuing on the old vibes. It's so weird that they are knocking down these buildings that I thought would last forever. A few Shea highlights for me include playoff games in 1986, sparsely attended, post-Seaver games in the late 70s, Mayor's Trophy games, concerts like The Who (with The Clash opening, coming out on cd next month), The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel and a pair of Springsteens, Jet games that were very cold, and many, many Met games. Maybe there was no Babe Ruth on the Shea field who played for the Mets other than Tom Seaver, but there were countless greats from other teams who played there, and who we often went there to see. A few of these that I saw include Pete Rose (who I saw hit his 2,995th hit), Mike Schmidt, Nolan Ryan, J.R. Richard, Dave Parker, Cesar Cedeno, George Hendrick, Lou Brock, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and countless others. It was the park I went to the most as a youth, paying $1.50 for a GA.

After a game in September 1979, me and my friends figured out how to sneak into the US Open and saw Bjorn Borg vs. Jimmy Connors that day, and John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl on repeated trips combining baseball and tennis.

One thing the new stadium will also have is deafening LaGuardia Airport traffic flying overhead.

As Willie the Kid says, "Love for Money."

MissTheda.com is a site run by my friend Theda Sandiford, covering technology, hip hop, r&b, culture and politics. Stop by when you can!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yankee Stadium, Jack White with Alicia Keys Quantum of Solace theme

It's been a long goodbye to the old place in the Bronx, and here are my two cents on the demise of Yankee Stadium. I will feel just as bad when Shea goes next week.

In my opinion, they should both live on, but I also realize I don't own the teams!

I will most definitely enjoy seeing the teams in the new places. It will be a 21st Century experience, and I'm looking forward to next season -- for a lot of reasons. Maybe the Dodgers will prove to be Manny's underground railroad to the Bronx!
So here are a few that come to mind:

  • Aaron Boone hitting the clinching homer in 2003 (after texting Lyor Cohen who we observed towering over the front row to "get us some runs.")
  • Early games in the REAL old Yankee Stadium, including one vs. the Red Sox in 1973.
  • Various World Series and Playoff Games, 1997-2007, including Tino's bomb.
  • Thurman Munson, Goose Gossage, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Graig Nettles, Lou Piniella, Mickey Rivers, Bobby Murcer, Willie Randolph, Ed Figueroa, Dick Tidrow, Sparky Lyle, Roy White and so many more in the 70s
  • Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield, Ken Griffey, Butch Wynegar, Mike Pagliarulo, Jim Wynn, Dave Righetti, Tommy John, Phil Neikro, Don Baylor and a few other funny teams in the 80s and early 90s.
  • Derek Jeter any time but especially on defense, and for a clutch hit most any time the team has needed one.
  • Opposing stars blast massive homers like Manny Ramirez, Bo Jackson, Ken Griffey Jr., George Brett and David Ortiz.
  • The 21 inning battle I saw in the 80s vs. the Orioles, at the time the longest AL game ever
  • Bob Sheppard announcing players (like Alvaro Espinosa and Shigetoshi Hasegawa) with "the voice of God"

Tom Verducci wrote a really sad one for SI's cover story. This is one time the curse will definitely come true, but I was heartened by the letters about Tom Brady showing his knee on the cover recently, and the details about Bob Sheppard leading the prayer group in the umpires' locker room.

The Daily News picked 15 great moments of their own.

My mom's friend from Forest Hills High School, Paul Simon wrote a nice remembrance too. It's going to go on for many years after this weekend.

and finally, a little treat from FMQB and J Records, the new James Bond theme, "Another Way to Die," by Jack White featuring Alicia Keys!


or download the song on FMQB's page here

Life goes on!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Daniel Craig is a good James Bond, but there's only one Jon Anderson

Daniel Craig makes an excellent James Bond, and thanks to so many actors playing the part over the years, we are used to turnover and can adapt to new people in the classic role. I definitely believe Sean Connery was the best James Bond, but the newest guy is good and considering Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton, a real comeback.

On the contrary, however, the chemistry of a band is one that can't change even the slightest amount without a noticeable difference, especially when its a singer. For a singer as distinctive as Yes leader Jon Anderson, it's a real let-down. I happened to have seen them in 1980 when Anderson and Wakemen were replaced by The Buggles, and it was not good. Most people left or didn't come -- they changed lineup after the tickets were sold! "Tempus Fugit" was an inspiring single, however.

I hope my friend and Jon Anderson is ok and gets well enough to get back on stage soon. And many more trips around the Sun to him too. I have seen Yes 13 times over a 25 year period (1979-2004)!!!! Here's the article from Billboard.

Jon Anderson, musician, California, Earth on MySpace

And here's the real deal, performing "And You and I"

Back to Bond...

The BBC has the most info, so I have generally steered clear of it. Yahoo! has a lot of different trailers to enjoy.

I'm not looking that closely but it seems like there is a lot being built on Casino Royale. I wonder if they will redo the Sean Connery films with Daniel Craig. One that is very underestimated and doesn't fit in because of George Lazenby is "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."

Unlike most critics and even my friend Theda, I enjoyed the Roger Moore era very much, especially the first few, "Live and Let Die," "The Man with the Golden Gun" and especially "The Spy Who Loved Me." They did fall off with "Moonraker," "Octopussy" and "A View to A Kill." Somehow I feel I am missing a Roger movie here.

Here's the new dude in action!:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bob Dylan, Muckety and Colossus

With a big release around the corner, Bob Dylan's people have made a song from the new album "Bootleg Series Volume 8: Tell Tale Signs" available as a free zip file. How nice to be able to spread the word on your favorite artists (see Byrne/Eno below too). I can maybe get into this whole internet music revolution.

Click here to download "Dreamin of You."

You may also notice on Dylan's site a pretty impressive page that illustrates Dylan's past tour dates on a 3d globe!

I'm very into graphic data representations and there were a lot of them at MOMA's exhibition "Design and the Elastic Mind."

Bob's people may have also snagged the idea from Muckety.com.

But the ultimate graphic data imaging was done by the folks I saw do it first, Marvel Universe.com, Connections, Theta.

A couple of music sites into a similar idea include MusicMesh and TuneGlue.

Check it out and let me know who did it better - Bob Dylan or the Colossus!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sonic Youth Rules the Earth, Closes McCarren Pool

I happened to catch the incredible Sonic Youth at McCarren Pool's final show before the renovation last weekend. The band delivered on its reputation with a set that commenced with two previously unheard songs and drew on all periods of the band's career.

My period of Sonic Youth is 90s, and from the album "Goo," they performed one awesome song, Lee Ranaldo's "Mote." They seem more professional now, able to do really wild stuff with less effort. Sonic Youth shows no signs of age whatsoever, except for Thurston's self-deprecating remarks. Other highlights included "The Burning Spear," "Hey Joni" and "Silver Rocket" and songs from Rather Ripped, Washing Machine and Daydream Nation!

Thanks to Smells Like Records... for the tickets!

I also attended the recent Wilco show, so I began and ended McCarren with some real classic rock. Sorry I missed MGMT!

After the show, I met up with David Browne, who included me in his book "Goodbye 20th Century," the first comprehensive Sonic Youth biography since "Confusion is Sex" in the 90s. I did some promotion for the book with college radio and some blogs over the summer and I would like to thank and mention a few here.

My Old Kentucky Blog did a cool haiku contest

a fine example:

"Youth's noise creation
Helps her daydream her days in
A Daydream Nation."

Yuppie Punk (including picture of Nelson and Sonic Youth!)
Future Hall of Fame
College Radio stations reviewing it: CITR, WTJU, KRSC, KCRW, KMSU, WMPG, WHUS and WXPN