Friday, March 30, 2007

Deep Thoughts...

I have been pondering why some artists are still respected after being in the business for decades while others are considered washed up has-beens. For example, why is Neil Young still considered so vital while his compadres Crosby Stills and Nash have long been relegated to the casino and state fair circuit?

I have come to the conclusion that the artists that have stood the test of time have been chameleons. They have bucked trends, done the unexpected and taken risks. They have put out material with little concern for if the masses will like it. They have followed up great successes with risky experiments.

Who falls into this category? Rush certainly does. They seem to entirely change their approach every few albums. So does U2, and so has Neil Young. Neil is a great example actually. Since the late 60s, he has sort of rotated between hard rock (with Crazy Horse) and country/acoustic, but along the way he has taken such insane side roads as rockabilly, big band, and the totally bizarre "Trans" album which had Neil singing everything through a vocorder. To illustrate the severity of Neil’s vinyl mood swings: Geffen Records sued him in the 80s for ‘making non commercial albums.’ That is pretty funny if you ask me.

But I guess Bob Dylan is in my book the best example of an artist who has done whatever the hell he’s always wanted throughout the course of his more than 40 year career, to great success. Dylan has reinvented himself over and over again and is right now on a creative roll he hasn’t known since the 70s, and I am really enjoying it.

I realize a lot of folks who read this Blog don’t care for Dylan. Truthfully, it’s hard to get into him because where in the hell do you even start? He’s put out 52 albums (so far) for God’s sake. I have always enjoyed a smattering of the more popular ones: Blonde on Blonde, Blood On The Tracks, Infidels, Oh Mercy. But I finally bit it and went to the very beginning and ordered all of Dylan’s 60s albums and listened to them in order. Wow. The dude has a major gift.

One way to start with Dylan is to read the autobiographical Chronicles Vol. 1. Even if you never spin a Dylan CD in your life, it is fascinating reading. He is such a vivid storyteller and writes with such poetry. The dude is in a league of his own.

Many bands played the reinvent game for a while and then fizzled. The Who ended their creative run in 1978 with Who Are You. The Stones in 1982 with Tatoo You (which was actually a compilation of dusted off rejects from their 70s albums, if you can believe that!) And Pink Floyd in 1979 with The Wall. Yes, Floyd (and Waters and Gilmour) have put out some nice work since, but none of it sounded very different from the formula they finally settled on with The Wall. Everything they put out since then has been pretty derivative of past work. The Police for sure pulled it off but disintegrated in the process. Sting, whatever you think of him, has been pretty varied, too, ever since he left The Police. Wasn’t his last album some sort of Lute instrumental thing? Whatever.

But this is why I still get all geeked up when a new Rush album is coming out. You have NO IDEA what it’s going to sound like. Sure, you are bound to be disappointed now and again – no band can hit it out of the park every time. But at least you aren’t getting a regurgitation of whatever formula worked the first time (see Yes’ brilliant 90125 and the crap fest follow up Big Generator to see what I mean). With Rush, I guess I only have to wait a month more to find out. But I did get my tickets!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Rush Tour Dates Announced

Tour dates for Rush's Snakes and Arrows tour have been posted at the Rush Web site. Many of the dates go on sale this Saturday but if you sign up for the fan club, you can buy them as early as tomorrow. I love how organized these guys are. The whole tour is there in black and white, and they charge NOTHING to sign up to get advance tickets when many artists charge $100 to join the 'fan club' which pretty much only gets you into the early ticket access. Which I think is a flipping rip off and I will never ever do it. Anyway, they are coming to Portland Saturday July 21 and baby I am THERE.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spinal Tap, I Mean Judas Priest, Recording Concept Album

Judas Priest reunited a couple of years ago with Rob Halford, whose coming out of the closet gave new meaning to the songs "Pain and Pleasure" and "Grinder." Rob said, "most people know I have been a gay man all my life." Well, I sure didn't and neither did many of my friends in high school who had his leather clad image nailed to our walls! Not that it matters - who cares, right? It was just a bit of a light bulb that went on and we all said "Oh, yeah, I guess that makes sense. Ulp."

Anyway, their reunion tour was a great success and on paper this thing looked like a kickin' idea. But then unlike Iron Maiden, who put out a very topical and seriously ROCKING new album called A Matter of Life and Death (buy it NOW - I am not kidding), Priest went into the studio last year to create a concept album about the life and times of Nostradamus. Not kidding (again).

In interviews last June, the rough draft of the thing was up to 90-plus minutes. As of last month the writing still wasn't done.

Rob said, "It's absolutely massive in its scope. I mean, it really is a very big concept, even possibly a double album. We're all totally into the whole idea and researching the man's life has opened up so many possibilities. Right now Glenn [Tipton] and Ken [K.K. Downing] have all the music written but we have to construct all of that into a meaningful story. It's hugely ambitious but I know the fans will be blown away."

Other interviews reveal that whenever the album actually comes out (more or less the same month as Chinese Democracy), Priest will tour with a huge stage show possibly involving costumes, moveable sets, "big massive screens that move around, special effects and illusions."

Does this whole thing sound like Spinal Tap to you? If it doesn't yet, dig this Halford quote I stumbled on about the project: "Nostradamus is all about metal, isn't he?" Say it like Nigel Tufnel and you'll see what I mean.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Asia Album/Cancelled Dates - Huh?

A very small mention on the Asia Web site indicates the band's summer tour is being transitioned into 'solo gigs.' Huh? In the next breath, it is reported that the band will enter the studio to record the first album by the original four since the atrocious "Alpha" album. Hmmph? What in the hell is going on? Why can't these prog rockers every stick to a commitment? If that new album sees the light of day, I will buy a copy for every one of my readers (both of you).

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Holy crap, I thought I had heard it all after I stumbled onto Hayseed Dixie, the band that does AC/DC (and other rock bands) bluegrass style. But no. My friend Tom has turned me on the the truly genius blending of Metallica and The Beatles, "Beatallica." Check them out RIGHT NOW. Go to their MySpace page and listen to "Sandman," a combo of Enter Sandman and Taxman. It's a classic. They have many more songs on the 'music' page of their site.

Dig some of these combo titles:
--Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band
--Blackened the USSR
--Got To Get You Trapped Under Ice (this one is flipping hilarious!)
--Hey Dude
--No Remorseful Reply (wicked funny!)
--I Want to Choke Your Band
--A Garage Dayz Nite
--...And Justice for All My Loving
--Everybody's Got A Ticket To Ride Except for Me and My Lightning
--The Thing That Should Not Let it Be (also classic!)

By the way, this music, if released for real, would have some sort of warning label for the liberal use of the work 'f*ck' in the lyrics. Just so ya know...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Levon Helm - Still Full of Piss and Vinegar

By most accounts, The Band's drummer Levon Helm has always been a Southern Boy loaded with hospitality, graciousness and humility. Until you piss him off. The dude has been holding a grudge against Robbie Robertson since 1976, and probably with good reason, as Robbie single handedly broke up The Band against everyone else's wishes. Anyway, good to know age has not mellowed out old Levon. Seems he is suing a New York ad agency for using The Band's song "The Weight" without permission for a Cingular ad.

Now this quote is all Levon: "It was just a complete, damn sellout of The Band - it's reputation, its music. Just as much disrespect as you could pour on Richard and Rick's tombstones..." (Richard Manuel, vocalist and piano player for The Band, died in 1986. Rick Danko, who played bass, died in 1999).

Classic. You tell 'em, Levon!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Brad Delp RIP and Tom Scholz Posting

It's old news by now that Boston's lead singer, Brad Delp, died last week by his own hand. Which is shocking, because by all accounts he seemed to be such as good natured, well balanced guy. Anyway, there has been a lot in the press about it. The most insightful thing I read was a posting by Tom Scholz on the Boston Web site. Since I am not sure how long the post will stay up, here it is reprinted here:

Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene has asked me for some recollections about my experiences with Brad. An edited version of the reply I sent him appeared on with questions inserted in the text. Here is the complete unedited note I sent to Andy:


Thank you for allowing me to answer your questions by e-mail. I haven't been in the mood to talk to talk to people much for the last few days as you might imagine, but I appreciate you turning to me for this. Brad and I were friends and collaborators for 35 years. Both of us being vegetarians, non-drug users and more interested in music than money, put us in a very small minority in the music business; our bond ran much deeper than just BOSTON music. In answer to your questions:

I met Brad, soft spoken and unassuming, when he auditioned in a recording studio outside of Boston one night to sing several songs I had written. Back then in the early seventies recording a song demo meant coming up with a significant amount of money, several weeks of my day job savings, to buy a few hours of 8 track time.

Having endured countless sessions with other singers, most with undeserved egos, I had only the faintest glimmer of hope that he might be good enough to squeak by as a suitable vocalist.

He didn't warm up; he just listened to the prerecorded instrument track once. Then he started to sing. I don't know if it took two seconds or three, but before he finished singing the first line I knew that some guardian angel had just delivered to me one of the best vocalists ever to step up to a microphone! Then he kept going and I realized he wasn't just one of the best, he was amazing! High notes I hadn't heard before followed by harmonies, and overdubbed exact duplicate layered tracks, all with ease, all with emotion, and yet all technically precise.

Before we left that night he had rewritten the lyrics and the melody, sung all the vocal parts, and with the magic of his voice turned my stark guitar riff into a song! From that moment on I only hoped I could write and record music worthy of his attention and interpretation.

There were soulful notes that pulled you into the song, stratospheric screams and angelic high notes, and after hitting these record breaking notes he'd go back and sing a harmony part above it! He didn't rehearse any of these parts, he could jump back and forth between harmony parts, double tracking parts, and then go back and do it again exactly the same with one tiny change, adjusting all the other singing parts to fit with bionic accuracy.

You'd think anyone with this super human talent would be an insufferable egomaniac. But Brad was just the opposite, and amazingly he remained honestly humble in spite of the incredible star pressure that followed BOSTON's success.

Brad and I banged our heads against the wall trying to get a break with record companies for five years. During that time he and I did a lot of basement recording; we received absolutely zero recognition locally and complete rejection submitting our demos to national record labels. I think this experience put our future success in perspective as we both realized that after so many years of insult, we were just very lucky to be able to record and play music above ground! Unlike many other individuals eventually involved with BOSTON, Brad's down to earth personality never wavered; it was his natural demeanor.

When someone asked me what Brad was like, the first words that always came to mind were "nice guy." Oddly, his incredible performing abilities seem barely worth mentioning compared to his attributes as a human being. He was soft spoken yet very quick and funny. Although I rarely remember seeing him in the throws of a good belly laugh, he could keep the people around him in stitches effortlessly, and did so on a daily basis. When he wasn't making someone laugh, or giving his time to a fan, he was a tireless worker, both in the studio and on stage.

He and I had a very strong personal connection because of our moral beliefs, yet we were drastically different kinds of people. While I am rebellious and easily provoked to an unyielding defense, Brad was passive and studiously non confrontational.

Somehow over the years I think we both grew not only to accept this in each other, but to respect it; I think this is part of the reason we were able to work together for so much of our lives. In an odd parallel we were also opposites in the studio. Once Brad would laid down a vocal track he became instantly committed to it and would dig in if challenged, whereas I would want to change everything and never be sure. We were usually at odds on how vocal arrangements should go also, which in early years caused heated debates. Later we both developed such respect for each other's abilities that the collaboration, so important to the eventual outcome of BOSTON's music, became much easier. It was largely my music, but it was Brad who brought it to life, and this struggle we both had to endure was part of what made it so many people's favorite.

I last saw Brad at rehearsal last month where we prepared several old and new songs for our upcoming summer shows. These are my fondest memories, playing music with my friend and the greatest singer in rock and roll.

Andy, Brad and I have been used and abused throughout our adult life by the music business, it continues even in his death. Please do the right thing with this. Sorry I wrote you a tome. Tom Scholz

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Britney and Eddie Sitting In A Tree

So this is obvious and cruel, but what if Eddie Van Halen and Britney Spears landed in the same rehab center? Could make for some interesting collaborations!?

Monday, March 12, 2007

New Rush Song Posted at

As of this morning, you can hear a streaming version of Rush's new single "Far Cry" at the band's official Web site, which has been reformatted to promote the new Snakes and Arrows CD due out on May 1. Also check out the cool studio photos in the 'gallery' section. What do I think of the song? I am not sure yet. Catchy chorus, not so catchy verse. Some very cool musical interludes. Great drumming (shock). Killer intro but maybe a bit forced. Great, groovy, heavy intro riff! But you know, I am still waiting in vain for them to re-write "Red Barchetta." Anyway I have only heard it once. Tell me what YOU think.

John Popper - Dumb Ass

Last week, cops pulled over Blues Traveler’s large and in charge front man John Popper in Washington state for driving his black Mercedes SUV at 111 MPH. Actually, it was his buddy driving – the Popster was a passenger. After smelling dope, cops searched the car and found "weapons stashed in hidden compartments within the car. The state patrol recovered a total of 14 weapons including four rifles, nine handguns and a switchblade knife." His manager says all these weapons were acquired legally and Popper carries them because he likes to visit gun ranges on long drives.

That is one way to blow off steam, besides smoking dope.

The article also said, "The vehicle was equipped with flashing emergency lights, a siren and an external public address system. Troopers also found night vision goggles and a Taser inside the car. Popper indicated to troopers that he had installed these items in his vehicle because (in the event of a natural disaster) he didn't want to be left behind, the Washington State Patrol said."

Wow. This is what happens when paranoid people get rich. The only difference between Popper and the Y2K freaks who moved into bomb shelters in the woods lined with walls of bottled water and dry food, is that Popper can actually afford it. It’s MadMax in a Mercedes.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Eddie Van Halen Enters Rehab

OK, here is a news flash on EVH and part of why the reunion fell apart. Here are some of the most cogent parts from the Reuters news story:

Eddie Van Halen said on Thursday he would enter rehab "to work on myself," a move that appears to rule out a reunion by his troubled band when it is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next week.

The Dutch-born Van Halen, 52, who has long battled alcoholism and survived a bout with tongue cancer, said in an open letter to fans he wanted to do right by them.

"I have always and will always feel a responsibility to give you my best. At the moment I do not feel that I can give you my best. That's why I have decided to enter a rehabilitation facility to work on myself, so that in the future I can deliver the 110 percent that I feel I owe you and want to give you."

He added: "Some of the issues surrounding the 2007 Van Halen tour are within my ability to change and some are not. As far as my rehab is concerned, it is within my ability to change and change for the better."

The letter was released by his spokeswoman and girlfriend, Janie Liszewski, who did not respond to requests for further information.

In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Eddie Van Halen said he had entered rehab twice. He recalled his only drunken-driving arrest came after he had left an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, appalled by everyone's sob story, and stopped at a bar for a few shots.

"I always got hammered to be able to cope," he told the magazine. "I have zero social skills and I don't know how to act, so I get drunk. And then I make a real ass out of myself."

Let's hope Eddie works out his issues (my words, not the Retuers story).

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I Broke the Ticketmaster Code!

So, I was able to get a work related trip to the Bay Area arranged for the week of April 23, which puts me there in time to see the Heaven and Hell show on April 24 at the HP Pavilion in Man Jose. Ticketmaster offered tickets today via an Internet pre-sale and not knowing if the show was smoking hot or not, I wanted to get my ticket ASAP. It took me three tries to hit upon the correct pre-sale password. I tried "Hell" and "Black" before nailing it with "Sabbath." How very clever. I felt like a big time hacker. Yee hoo. Anyway, I found out that the whole floor is general admission anyway, so it didn't really matter. But I still felt like I beat the system, so I win for the day.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Heaven and Hell Dates Revealed

Well, folks, Eddie Trunk posted an entry laying out the U.S. dates for Heaven and Hell, the Dio-led Sabbath reunion. And OF COURSE they are not coming anywhere near the Northwest. Not even Seattle. Yeah, I could go to Vancouver B.C. this Sunday but that ain't gonna happen. They ARE however, playing in San Jose on Tuesday April 24, and I could parlay that date into a trip to the Bay Area for work. So, maybe we'll make this happen after all...Stay tuned, people.

Dio and The Pole

Since I've been chatting about Dio lately and how classic he is, paired with how kind of funny he is, I dug up this old story on Dio from an article that came out last year. This is from an Austin360 story on rock club The Back Room in Austin, Texas that closed doors last year after 33 years in the business. Bands, managers, bartenders, etc, were telling their best Back Room memories and one guy had this to say about Dio. I think the story shows how totally cool he is:

As told by Mark Olivarez, former Back Room manager: "Dio performed here around 1990, when the stage was still in the corner. He hated that stage. He hated the shape, position and an infamous pole on the stage-left triangle corner. After the show, he didn't mince words to me about the conditions of the performing environment. Fast-forward a couple years later, and Dio announced another tour. The agent called and said Dio distinctly remembered our room and he'd rather not deal with that . . . pole. I said, "He won't have to deal with that pole, because we've moved the stage." Of course, I neglected the small detail of an all-new pole that was in the front and center of our beautiful new stage. Dio stayed in his room until minutes before the show. I met him at the back door and handed him his wireless mike. He smiled, walked up the stage and stopped dead in his tracks as he noticed the black-painted pole. He turned around and looked at me, laughed and winked. Then in the most Dio-like metal wail, he screamed 'Pooooooooooooooole!' and launched into 'Holy Diver.'"

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

New Rush - WOW (really)

So, I have been a Rush fan forever. A die hard. I even liked "Hold Your Fire," but did drop off in the 90s, after Presto. But when they put out "Different Stages," I was back on board. For the record, I think that CD has the best live drum sound I have ever heard on a recording. Anyway, I have seen every tour since and really liked the return to the heavy guitar sound of "Vapor Trails." I also thought the one-off "Feedback" covers EP was a genius way to let off some steam and do something light and different. Well, apparently it's time to get back to business, because word comes that the new Rush CD, called "Snakes and Arrows" will be out on May 8 (pushed back from an earlier-announced May 1 - G&R anyone?). I have no idea how long it will be left there, but the Rush Web site has a very brief snip from the new single "Far Cry" and it sounds like an outtake from the end of Jacob's Ladder. Check out how the last chord is direct rip from Hemispheres. What in the ever living hell are they up to this time? Check it out if you dare!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ace Frehley Dies - Well, Not Physically!

The rumor mill last week had Kiss' Ace Frehley dead - some reports even had him offing himself! New York metal DJ Eddie Trunk got to the bottom of it. He blogged, " heart dropped when Snake Sabo called me to tell me he heard that Ace Frehley had passed away. I called Ace right away and was never so happy to hear him answer the phone! Ace is fine and very focused on a new CD at the moment. He has never been more healthy. Ironically, as I told Ace about this rumour, he told me he had just come from a wake, but it was not his..." Classic Ace.

Yeah, Ace's new CD. This project rivals Guns and Roses' "Chinese Democracy" as the most postponed release in the history of recorded music. I think Ace started this project when cassettes and vinyl records were the preferred listening media! Wait - when Eddie said Ace was "focused on a new CD" maybe he meant it was someone else's. Maybe he was just spacing out at the cover of Tales from Topographical Oceans. Anyway, I am really glad Ace is alive, but come on. Creatively, he passed away in 1980!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Reunion Roundup

2007 is shaping up to be the year of reunions. Or at least reunions I am actually interested in following - either because they are going to rock, or for the same reasons people like to watch air crashes and NASCAR spin outs. So without further ado, let's take a look at the many announced reunions of 2007:

The Police. A money grab? You bet. They are going to sock away tons of money. All the hooplah around this one is a constant reminder that there was no bigger band in the early 80s. Am I wrong? U2 is the only other band this big that comes to mind in the 80s but that was after Sting had said farewell and left the others in the dust. Maybe there were others. I dunno. Anyway, reunion tour stadium shows are selling out in seconds - blah blah blah. I got two Seattle show tickets for June 6 but had to buy them separately because Ticketmaster would not let me buy more than one at a time - at ANY PRICE LEVEL. That probably says more about TicketHitler than The Police, but nevertheless, they are selling out any venue they book. And per my earlier post, based on their Grammy performance, this tour is going to kick ass. Just the three Police men - no Sting solo tunes - no back up singers - hopefully no little round trampolines for Sting to leap on (remember the Synchronicity tour?). They will for sure re-work the classics and go outside the box with it. This tour is just a no miss because they all seem to be really sincerely into it - and it will probably never happen again. Enough said - 10 out of 10.

Van Halen. Money grab? Oh my God yes. But beyond that, this one is sort of sad to me. It could be SO great. I thought the choice of Eddie's son as new bass player was bad but at least typically weird for old Ed and I guess it made some kind of sense, consistency wise - three Van Halens - wow! But Eddie said Michael Anthony was out because he was playing with Hagar and "You can't be in two bands." Really? Huh. OK. But once I saw the photo of the 'new' Van Halen with Wolfie and Dave, I actually got a boner to see this show. A kid in the band (and Eddie's kid at that) might inject something really current and interesting into the mix. But then as soon as I got interested - bing - it's postponed indefinitely due to "contract issues." A friend who has a buddy in the Roth circle says it's due to Ed's health. If so, that is too bad. The guy has gone through a divorce, hip replacement, substance abuse and tongue cancer in the last ten years - that's a big load to deal with. If he's not fit to tour, OK - good idea to cancel. His health comes before my amusement. But if Ed's health is together, I am hoping this one happens after all. Probably more for the same reasons I wanted to see Britney's shaved head and new tattoo than the possibility of this being any good. I want to go to the circus and watch some clowns crash the little cars. 6 out of 10.

Black Sabbath with Dio. Called "Heaven and Hell" so no one gets confused. Money grab? I don't know. It looks to me like they all looked at each other and said "It's time." And then Ozzy freaked out and promised a new album of Oz-led Sabbath in 2008. Ha ha ha. That's worth it right there to see what THAT would sound like. The Dio led Sabbath has always been my favorite. They put out the most demonic heavy shit EVER with Dio. No dross. Just pure devil metal. I used to tune my guitar down a half step and play along to LiveEvil after dinner every night for a few months in high school. Beautiful. Like the Police reunion, they are talking about only Dio-era stuff (no Ozzy era songs or Dio solo, etc), so that would also keep it pure for me. The only trouble is they recorded three new songs for the upcoming Black Sabbath: The Dio Years CD. I heard one of the songs and it was a bit of a self parody. Called "The Devil Cried," it was pretty heavy and I tried to like it a lot but the lyrics were a little hackneyed. Dio even had a line where he says "FIRE" the way only Dio can say it - if you know Dio you know what I am talking about. This classic utterance either totally ruins it or redeems it, depending on my mood! Anyway, I will go see this show for sure. Not looking for a train wreck. Hoping it will be as true spirited as the Police reunion but worried it will be a bunch of metal elves way the hell past their prime. 8 out of 10.

Genesis. Money grab? Who gives a shit? My interest in this plummeted when I heard it would not include Steve Hackett or Peter Gabriel. My desire to see this will be directly proportionate to what songs they decide to play. Firth of Fifth, Carpet Crawlers, Dodo, Abacab and Supper's Ready? I may go. Invisible Touch, I Can't Dance, Jesus He Knows Me? FUCK no. These are talented mofos but they have toyed with their legacy so many times even THEY are probably struggling with what they ought to play. I saw them in the 80s and I have to say, from the hardcore proggers to the teeny boppers, no one was satisfied with their set list. It's was all over the place. They need to pick an era and stick with it. Maybe what will happen is they will do this stupid tour and THEN Gabriel and Hackett will join next year. I would go and see that for sure. And by the way, when did Peter Gabriel start looking like a baked Col. Sanders? 4 out of 10.

Asia. Oh man, I saved this one for last. I mean, look at this photo. It's like they hit the Glamour Shots in the mall. Money grab? Please - they would be lucky to play for free fish and chips and veggie burgers. So at least you know they are doing this because they WANT to. I have to say - I love the first Asia album. I love Steve Howe and Carl Palmer and their respective bands, Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I have seen Howe on his own and with Yes a number of times and he is always a pro - always makes me want to cut my own hands off and sell all of my guitars. And I saw the Carl Palmer Band last year in the 650 seat Aladdin Theater and was so blown away. He has a bass player and guitar player who were probably born after ELP had already broken up for the first time, and they did incredibly incendiary ELP instrumentals all night - with no keyboards. Again, I considered chopping off my hands. But LOOK AT THE PHOTO. I have seen some clips of the reunion on YouTube and have read things and it seems like everything is going fine but this one just scares me. I want to like it so bad but I am just afraid I will see this and will vomit. I mean, there is NO question at least half of this band is so far past its prime. Maybe what I do is go see it, stand in the back and get really really drunk so I can pretend it's 1984 and the album just came out. A friend who books artists told me Asia will be coming to the Northwest this summer. Will I go? Yes, but with great fear.

OK, well, I know there are other reunions (Rage Against The Machine being one of the more interesting ones I am leaving out) but barring Pink Floyd touring with Waters, these five are my contenders for 2007. Love 'em or leave 'em.