Wednesday, December 12, 2007

ISSUES FOR IDIOTS -- Rolling Stone "top 50 songs over 7 minutes long" is yet another joke

Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the Top 50 songs over 7 minutes long was put out in the last week... and it doesn't contain any Rush.

Big surprise there.

My guess is that if they ran a list of the
Top 50 songs by a Canadian progressive rock trio that Rush wouldn't be on that list either.

Hey, it all makes sense to me...

Rolling Stone, the magazine that's turned the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame into a brown-nosing circus driven by Jan "Oscar Meyer" Wener's ego -- and decided to turn its back on anything in rock remotely viewed as "progish" -- now seems to be now breaking off its jaw to spite its face... as it doesn't have any nose or ears left... if the credibility of Rolling Stone could sink any deeper... but does that really surprise any of us?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Zeppelin reunion concert... at last!!!

So it finally happened... waaaaay overdue...

Led Zeppelin, one of the greatest rock acts of all time, and arguably the most influential rock band of all time next to the Beatles, finally gave their hungry fans what they'd been waiting for years to see... no, it's more like
decades... a bona-fide live concert that showcased material from all their albums.

It took place yesterday in London, at the O2... with Jason Bonham, the son of the late John Bonham, on drums.

The Zep didn't put out a
single poor album, and they never had a bad song... not one... so they could seemingly whip out ANYTHING and play it live... well, not just "anything," if we want to avoid some scary visuals of seldom-seen cragginess... now we're getting really icky!

So here's their set list from last night:
  1. Good Times Bad Times
  2. Ramble On
  3. Black Dog
  4. In My Time of Dying
  5. For Your Life
  6. Trampled Underfoot
  7. Nobody's Fault but Mine
  8. No Quarter
  9. Since I've Been Loving You
  10. Dazed and Confused
  11. Stairway to Heaven
  12. The Song Remains the Same
  13. Misty Mountain Hop
  14. Kashmir
  1. Whole Lotta Love
  2. Rock and Roll
Very cool... but nothing from In Through the Out Door, huh? I would have liked to have seen them play "Achilles Last Stand" from Presence, or maybe something random from Physical Graffiti, such as "In the Light," "Down by the Seaside," or "The Wanton Song."

If they decide to tour, perhaps they'll consider touring without an opening act, which would free them up to expand the set list and bring in some more obscure numbers... or maybe they'll let the audience call out songs and design the set list themselves... right? Isn't that how it's supposed to work?

Let's hope they follow up on this and tour the States... What a dream that would be! S

Monday, December 10, 2007

John Zorn/Earshot situation, final chapter

It's been resolved...

Earshot Jazz mailed me a refund for the botched John Zorn performance from last month. There is justice in this world.

Because of their fairness and the way they handled the matter, they're more likely than ever to get me to buy in on a season's pass sometime in the future at future Earshot Jazz festivals.

I support their efforts, even though that might be a laughable statement considering that I just got my money back from them... and the director's still a condescending prick, but whatever, I'm not worried about him. I understand that not everyone can be a good communicator and that he's simply "caught up in the art of it all."

Here's the jazz festival's website:
Earshot Jazz :: Seattle, Washington. Lots of interesting information, and they get many decent acts. S

Friday, December 7, 2007

THE STAGE HECKLER: Van Halen's guitar wizardry defies description

I saw Van Halen the other night -- my 3rd concert seeing them, and my first seeing them with their original frontman David Lee Roth.

Also to boot was Eddie's son, Wolfgang Van Halen, replacing the always-in-the-past efficient bass and backing vocalist Michael Anthony... and he did okay for a teenager thrust onto the stage
with his father and uncle, drummer Alex Van Halen.

Despite having cut their hair (therefore doing away with the classic big hair 80s look), DLR and EVH put on a great performance... there were still roundhouse kicks coming occasionally from DLR -- but you could feel everyone in the audience cringing -- hoping nobody onstage was going to "take it too far" and
pull a groin muscle... yikes!

Alex put on a nice mini-drum clinic... and it was obvious he's been watching some of Neil Peart's instructional videos, which is okay... everyone needs to get a few tips from the best...

...but it was Eddie who stole the show. I don't think I can find the words to describe what I was hearing from his guitar... otherworldly? Etheral? I don't even know where to begin...

EVH was all over the map with all his effects, methods, and gear... I've never seen so many foot pedals and gizmos for one guitarist onstage before.

He'd noodle into a bluesy number from Women and Children First, then rock to the pop sentiments of "Dance the Night Away." Then he'd dive into what I've always described as the "dinosaur wreaking
havoc" industrial sounds of "The Cradle will Rock," and then the intense jamming of "Mean Street," the first track off Fair Warning (which my buddy and I agreed is Van Halen's best work).

There were some surprises, such as "Little Guitars" from the band's fifth album Diver Down (1982), and "Little Dreamer" off the eponymous first album
Van Halen (1978), along with "Ice Cream Man" from the same album, featuring DLR on acoustic guitar... holding and playing it Johnny Cash style almost.

The Wolfgang element was a nice touch. All three of the other band members would check in with him regularly, as if to check up on him and offer encouragement... at one point Eddie grabbed his son by the lock of his hair and placed a long fatherly kiss on his face... you could tell throughout the night that EVH was REALLY amped and very very happy to be performing...

I'm sure there was the added kick and rush of performing with his son and only child onstage... I'd imagine it gave a whole new meaning to performing live for him -- now it's a family affair... and Wolfgang's presence will make the other band members behave a little more, I'd imagine.

I was a little skeptical going into the show, but the guitar heroics alone were worth every penny spent.