Sunday, March 30, 2008

Unreal Live Performance - Neil Young

I am reading the only officially authorized Neil Young biography, called Shakey. I really want to post a review when I am done but I am not sure where I will start. The book is almost 900 pages long and there is so much great stuff in it.

I guess it could be a multi-part review, but seriously, I have been reading this book for a month and am only up to 1989.

Which brings me to this post. As you may know, Neil had a pretty bad period in the 80s. He was struggling with some personal issues, and had a bit of an identity crisis. He released weird tangential albums - rockabilly, country, blues, 50s style rock and even a computerized album inspired by Devo, called Trans.

Put it this way - his 80s albums were so weird and sold so poorly that his own record company at the time (Geffen) sued him for making noncommercial albums. Classic!

So after being totally written off by everyone as a has-been and total hack, he comes out with this Saturday Night Live barnburner.

This is probably one of my all time favorite clips. It's up there with The Who slaughtering Young Man Blues at the Isle of Wight gig in 1970. Which is saying a lot (but that is another post altogether).

A couple of factoids from the book about this clip. Neil worked out with a trainer for an hour and a half right before getting onstage, so he could be in a physical and mental state similar to being at the tail end of a live show.

The drummer, Steve Jordan, had done so much televised work before that he knew he needed to bring the largest cymbals possible if he wanted to be heard. The author of the book says that the band look like 'a bunch of car thieves.'

I find this video so inspiring, I want to go out and form a band to just slaughter songs like this. And Neil was 44 at the time.

This embodies everything I love about Neil Young and for any of my friends who have never understood, just watch the video!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Journey, Heart, Cheap Trick Hit the Road

Journey, with its fourth singer, will hit the road this summer on a big classic rock tour that also includes Heart and Cheap Trick.

Not relying solely on their past, Journey will be supporting a new album called Revelation that will be only available at Wal-Mart.
Which means I won't be buying it.

The first disc will consist of 11 re-recorded classics (another reason I won't be buying it), presumably sung by new guy Arnel Pineda. The second disc is filled with 11 new songs, and the third is a live, in-concert DVD.

About this new material, producer Kevin Shirley says on his Web site:

...what has me the most excited about it, is the new album with eleven original tracks. Ballads, rockers, progressive pieces - even a gorgeous instrumental to close - and I think the fans, both old and new, will love hearing what I think is the best album from Journey since Escape. (I know press releases have hinted at these things before, but I wouldn't say it if i didn't believe it). Schon and Cain's playing and writing is tuned into some higher source on this one.... well, you'll see soon enough.

While I am a fan of some Journey music (the older the better), I was a little soured on the band when I read an insanely long interview with former manager Herbie Herbert. Seems that these guys are a-holes of the highest caliber.

Still, a show with Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick would be pretty sweet. It comes to Portland on a Sunday in September, so maybe I'll hit it. That would be a good use of a Sunday night.

I have not seen any of these three bands, so what the heck?

The tour dates are listed here.

"Bands I Know" Series - Part Two - Matt Vrba

I have played off and on the last few months with singer songwriter Matt Vrba, whose brand of 'high octane Americana' has caught the ear of Nashville Star, a countrified version of American Idol.

Matt is in the running to be one of the primary competitors on the upcoming season and has made is so far that he'll likely at least be in the first episode. He's beaten out something like 10,000 competitors so far to get where he's at. Rockin!

Coincidentally, Matt was planning on moving to Nashville even before he found out about the show. So the stars seen to be aligning - no pun intended. He hit the road in a moving truck Monday but will be back in town to play May 9 at Ponderosa Lounge.

Last Saturday, we played a 'going away' gig at the Dublin Pub in Portland, and I posted some of the highlights on YouTube. Here are a couple of clips:

Danville Train

Trucker Song

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Yes to Reunite and Tour in 2008

Sort of.

According to numerous news articles and the Yesworld Web site, Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White will join with Rick Wakeman's son Oliver to haul out the old prog rock warhorse one more time on what is called the "Close to the Edge and Back" tour.

In an interview with Jon Anderson at, Jon talks about doing some podcasting from the tour. Behind the scenes stuff, etc. That could be cool. There is also going to be some partnering with VH1 Classic, which would be a nice way to get the word out. Yes is probably one of the worst-promoted bands in the world!

But in talking about the songs they are thinking about playing, it's all the same stuff I have heard a million times. He even says his original idea for the tour was called "Close to the End," which I think is a bit telling. I'd love to hear some new material out of these guys.

I won't drive to Seattle for this, but it looks like there are a lot of open dates in the schedule. So if they make it to Portland, I will check 'em out for sure.

I also like the fact that they are hitting the West Coast once they have warmed up a bit. I saw them twice on tours where my show was the second or third on the tour and they tend to need more rehearsal before getting started!

On one of them, Chris Squire was trying to give the band cues at the end of The Fish and man was it a train wreck. Kinda interesting to see, but for sure not what I paid good money for.

Oh, and why is Rick Wakeman bowing out this time? Mainly health reasons and the fact that he thinks long tours are not in the best interest of the band. You can find a typically verbose answer from the man himself here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

VH1 Rock Honors - The Who

I watched the last couple of VH1 Rock Honors shows and found them kind of lacking. Seemed like the bands they chose were so past their primes that live sets trying to capture the old magic fell flat.

I am mostly remembering KISS, Def Leppard and Judas Priest. And not fondly.

However, there were shining moments, like when Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters joined Roger Taylor for a triple drum set assault version of We Will Rock You. It was also that performance that made me see that the Paul Rodgers-fronted Queen might not be such a bad idea after all.

So you never know. The jury is out.

Which brings me to today's news. VH1 announced that instead of splitting the next Rock Honors show between three bands, the whole thing will be devoted to The Who.

That could be good. I am willing to watch it, that's for sure! My money says that somehow, Eddie Vedder will be involved. Mark my words.

According to this article, the show will be filmed July 12, and aired July 17.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee Join Foo Fighters on YYZ

Attendees to the Foo Fighters show last Saturday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto got a unbelievable treat coming out of Taylor Hawkins' drum solo. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson from Rush stroll out and the three bust into a complete version of YYZ.

Thank God for YouTube and a thousand camera-ready cell phones. At about 2 minutes into the video below, Hawkins teases the crowd out of his solo with the intro to YYZ. Based on the insane screaming from those around the amateur photographer, the crowd knows the song.

Then, Lee and Lifeson walk out to a pretty classic Dave Grohl intro and then we get the whole song. I love it when bands do this kind of stuff. And big kudos to Geddy and Alex for doing crazy shit like this! makes me love 'em even more.

And how would you like to be Taylor Hawkins? Holy crap. I know a few drummers who can pull off YYZ on the drums pretty well. But how'd ya like to do it with Geddy and Alex in front of, like, 20,000 screaming freaks? Yeah!


Another Death in the Beatles Family

Just saw that Neil Aspinall died at age 66.

People may not know Aspinall by name, but he basically kept The Beatles organization running from the late 60s, through all the crazy lawsuits and changes in the industry and technology, all the way to last year when he resigned as the head of Apple.

An Associated Press article said:

A Liverpool school chum of McCartney and Harrison, Aspinall was The Beatles' first road manager and would drive them to gigs in his van. He later became their personal assistant, and in 1968 was given a management role at Apple Records, the band's own record label.

As head of Apple Corps, Aspinall was executive producer of the hugely successful "Beatles Anthology" album and was behind other successes, including the "Beatles One" album.

"As a loyal friend, confidant and chief executive, Neil's trusting stewardship and guidance has left a far-reaching legacy for generations to come," the band's statement said.

"Bands I Know" Series - Part One - Luce

I thought I'd take this week to post some interesting stuff about some bands that I know personally. I'll start off with Tom Luce, a guy I went to high school with, who sang in my first heavy metal band, Osiris.

I lost touch with Tom between graduation and about 1999, but we re-connected and I have enjoyed tracking his career, which is still going strong.

When Osiris reunited for our 20th High School Reunion a couple of years ago, Tom was supposed to join. But due to his house burning down and all of his band's gear getting stolen on the road - both in the same week - he couldn't make it.

We forgave him, barely.

Much as Rush did with Feedback, Luce has decided to recharge its collective batteries and stretch a little by recording an EP of cover songs.

The below video is a cool overview of how and why they did it. Enjoy.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Aces High

You want to fly on Iron Maiden's plane? Noooo problem!

For roughly $800, you could get a flight, for example, to see Maiden at the Super Bock Super Rock Festival, Lisbon, Portugal, or to Lerkendal Stadium in Trondheim, Norway. Your flight will be piloted by Captain Bruce Dickinson, whose day job (night job?) is to sing for the band. Hmmm.

Costs include:
- Exclusive themed Bruce Air ED FORCE ONE goodie bag
- Personally signed photo of Bruce in Ed Force One
- Standing ticket to the Iron Maiden concert
- Bus transfers at destination to venue and to and from hotel where trip includes hotel

Does not include:
- Where Eagles Dare barf bag
- Rime of the Ancient Mariner sleep mask
- Matter of Life and Death parachute
- Lap dance from Eddie
- Guarantee you won't crash from wasted pilot buzzing Judas Priest tour bus

No word if the plane will take passengers around on the US leg of the tour. But if I can catch a ride from PDX to Seattle with the boys in June, I will post a photo or two.

Go here to book your flight!

Iron Head or Radio Maiden?

Iron Maiden is following in the footsteps of Radiohead, who decided to make their new CD "In Rainbows" available for download for whatever the consumer wished to pay for it (including $0). Later, when it was released as an actual CD, it shot to the top of the charts.

Maiden is putting out a greatest hits compliation called Somewhere Back In Time. The band is allowing users to download the whole thing for free and listen to it three times before they need to pay for a permanent DRM-free downloaded version.

The hopes are that newbies who may not know Maiden will use this new media to check the band out, and afterwards will be happy to pay for the product.

I bet it works. Check out the list of stellar material on this CD:

Churchill Speech
Aces High
2 Minutes To Midnight
The Trooper
Wasted Years
Children Of The Damned
The Number Of The Beast
Run To The Hills
Phantom Of The Opera (Live)
The Evil That Men Do
Wrathchild (Live)
Can I Play With Madness
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Iron Maiden (Live)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Boston to Tour

Looks like Tom Scholtz is taking the latest version of Boston on the road.

I saw Boston in the late 80s in the Bay Area and it was solid. Brad Delp was still in the band, and they only had three albums' worth of material to pull from. Despite this, it was one of the LONGEST concerts I have ever been to, and Scholtz's band really delivered.

Delp's voice was fantastic and I remember being really surprised at how good the show was. I guess I should have expected as much, since Scholtz is such a flipping perfectionist.

But alas, Delp is no longer with us, and there are a bunch of other mediocre Boston albums to draw from (they are promising new and old material). One of the singers in the band is from Stryper. You know...

So I think I will pass, even though they are rumored to be coming to Portland in July.

Full details here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

McCartney Takes $50 Million Hit

CNN is reporting that Paul McCartney will get out of his marriage to Heather Mills by paying her $35 million plus $15 million of assets (would 150,000 copies of the Beatles butcher album take care of it, luv?).

This news is enough to validate Gene Simmons' "never get married - it's bad for you financially" edict, but really, is $50 million all that much to a guy whose net worth is supposed to range from half a billion to a billion and change, depending on who you ask?

Put it this way - He could pay four ex-wives the same amount and just equal the amount Robert Plant turned down to tour with Zeppelin.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Audio Clips of New ASIA Album posted sound bites from the new ASIA album, Phoenix. First of all, I never thought this album would see the light of day, and if it did, it would suck hard. Well, I was wrong on the first count at least - it's coming out April 11.

On the second, I guess it depends on how much you like Asia's more glossy, ballad-oriented second album Alpha, 'cause this one sounds like they picked it up right from there.

The first track sounds pretty good. Actually really good. But after that, it's Asia ballad after Asia ballad, which I could leave aside, really. I dig Asia for guitarist Steve Howe, and he seems pretty downplayed in what I heard. I want him to bust out a Time Again lead, but I don't hear a vehicle for that in this album.

Not to dwell solely on the negative, Wetton's voice sounds surprisingly strong. The production sounds really good as well. Not as present as the first album but not as flimsy as the second. It sounds fairly high budget.

But given that they signed a contract with EMI and therefore must have SOME sort of strategy, maybe they are figuring this album will appeal to a generation of 80s rockers who have mellowed and really like ballads. If you're a fan of The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, this one is for you!

I will probably buy the first tune off of iTunes and pass on the rest.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Photo Worth a Thousand Words...

Friday, March 14, 2008

From the WTF Department...

For my 200th post, I present you this little nugget sent to me today by Chris from Stumbling the Walk.

What can I say about this, except that...well, I actually have nothing to say about it. I scratched my head so hard thinking about it that I scraped a bunch of hair off and now I am calling Optima Hair Specialists for help.

PS - for those who don't know, Blaze Bayley was singer for Iron Maiden from 1994 to 1999 while Bruce Dickinson was learning to fly jet airplanes.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wafer Thin!

This is a kick. I don't post about high-tech too much, even though that is my job outside of blogging and jamming. But this is too much:

ValleyWag reports:

Newsweek tech columnist Stephen Levy had a MacBook Air. Had -- past tense. It seems Levy misplaced his über-thin notebook, losing it somewhere in his apartment. That should be easy enough to find, right? Maybe not:

On Sundays in my apartment, the coffee table where the Air sat becomes the final resting place for the bulky New York Times. It is not unusual for other magazines, and newspapers from previous days, to accumulate there as well.

My wife, whose clutter tolerance is well below my own, sometimes will swoop in and hastily gather the pulp in a huge stack, going directly to the trash-compactor room just down the hall from our apartment, dumping the pile into a plastic recycling bin. Sometimes the whole mess gets so nasty that I even perform this task myself. Could it be that somewhere in the stack was a Macintosh computer so thin that its manufacturer brags it could fit inside an envelope? I believe so. (For the record, my wife does not subscribe to this theory.)

As humiliating as it sounds, let me repeat: the MacBook Air is so thin that it got tossed out with the newspapers.

Being a tech reporter, he probably got that computer for free but it's still $1,700 down the chute! Literally.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Iron Maiden Blows Off Steam

Thanks to Pat for sending me this video of Iron Maiden going nuts. This clip is back from when Maiden was at the top of metal mountain. But they had just come off the insanely long Powerslave tour and were totally burnt out.

There is a fantastic new interview with Maiden at where bassist Steve Harris candidly says, "But, by the end of the tour we were fried. Five or six nights a week for 30 months, two hours a night, full-on. Physically we were fit at the end of it but mentally very unfit. . . Bruce [Dickinson, vocals] was so fried he couldn't even write anything, really. Anything coherent, anyway (laughs), for the next album. Without a doubt, he was the one affected the most."

So, that explains the below video. It's the band blowing off steam by totally throwing the video shoot for "Wasted Years" from Powerslave's inferior follow up, Somewhere In Time. It's pretty funny. I like how the producer just 'goes with it' and breaks into 80s era special video effects.

Got tickets the other day for the band's upcoming show outside of Seattle. They are bringing the whole Powerslave stage and set list back, which is going to be awesome. I will make that drive and pay the cash just to see them do "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" again. Good times, good times.

And maybe we'll get to see the Maiden plane fly over the city.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mary Anne Smokes Mary Jane!

This is great. 69-year-old Dawn Wells, famous for playing the uber hot Mary Anne on Gilligan's Island, was busted for having pot in her car.

She claimed some hitchhikers she picked up sparked up the joint so she kicked them out. Then a friend later claimed he left it in her car without her knowledge. And, she was swerving in the road because "she was trying to find the heater controls in her new car." Whatev. When you are baked to the tits, it can get chilly. And geez - look at the mugshot. Stoned!

Me, I think this bust is bogus. Once you hit 67 you ought to be able to smoke whatever you damn well please.

Full deets here.

Ross Halfin Is Funny

I posted about famed hard rock photographer Ross Halfin last October. I told you all to check his daily diary entries, dating all the way back to 2002.

The guy is tremendously witty and does not pull any punches about the characters he has to deal with as he shoots a who's who of the rock world. One of his BFFs is Jimmy Page - need I say more?

Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, KISS, Mars Volta, Areosmith, Velvet Revolver, etc. The list goes on. He has shot them all and partied with most. And he hate hate hates Metallica. His anti-Metallica rants are gut busting. His first hand account of the Zeppelin reunion is also great, as are his photos from that event.

Anyway, I have a lot of new readers so I wanted to re-post about Ross.

For example, check out an entry this week about going to Dubai to shoot a festival:

March 7
At 2am Dave Clarke and his posse of British press and photographers arrive. 'Order us a drink,' says Dave. I stagger to the bar. 'Twenty two pints of lager please and two double rums and coke.' The women behind the bar and everyone along it look at me as if I'm mad. I repeat the order. They all arrive - Dave says 'Same again please.' No wonder foreigners hate the British. I go to bed at 3am and leave them to it.

The Dubai Desert Rock festival is next to a huge mall, bigger and better and faker than anything you would find in America. I like it a great deal and would happily stay there shopping, instead I go and see Machine Head starring Rob Flynn. Rob says 'Raise your fists in the air and headbang, motherfuckers,' followed by a guttural 'Uuuuurghhhhhhh!' at least fifteen times in the space of ten minutes. Rob's communication skills, bringing the west to the Arab world, are enlightening.

In the middle of the crowd is a platform hanging from a crane holding a disco with a DJ and cocktail bar. I go up with Dave Clarke and Scott Rowley, who is dancing in the disco, completely open at 300 feet above the crowd. You can see through the floor straight down into the flat concrete. I am terrified, pretending to shoot Machine Head from up there while re-discovering God, thinking 'please don't fall, I'll never blaspheme again' as Robb screams 'UUUUUURGGGGHHHH MOTHERFUCKERS' another twenty times. As the crane descends I find religion, at least until I've got off. Thank you God...

His site is here. Click on the diary page to get to the posts.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Who Says No One Can Get A Record Deal...?

In many spots on this blog, I've talked about the sad state of affairs in the music industry. Labels are consolidating and industry people are terrified of losing their jobs.

The big labels have no idea how to address the demand for the digital availability of music and are fumbling with modified business models. Bands are getting dropped left and right, and newly signed artists have about five seconds to make it or they are dropped.

KISS' big mouthed jerk Gene Simmons says there will never be another new KISS album because they wouldn't know how to release it. And Radiohead shocks everyone by giving their new album away for free digitally, and then the physical release debuts at number one months later.

In this era of fear and uncertainty, only a true knock-out gets a label deal, right?

Nope! Check out this press release announcing that the reunited Asia has been signed to EMI Records for its new CD, called Phoenix.

Yep, the same Asia in which half of its members had heart procedures in the last six months. How can EMI make any money off of these guys?

I love Asia's first album and a half - don't get me wrong. And I am bummed that yet again they will bypass the Northwest on their current tour.

But they are playing really small venues. I can't imagine they are doing more than break-even on the road. But hey, at least they have a record deal!

So this is a bit of a head scratcher to me. What do you all make of it?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Keith Richards and the Core Values Fashion Line from Louis Vuitton

Filed in the 'what in the hell' category, Keith Richards has been announced as the new face of Louis Vuitton, French luxury fashion company

Fresh off of snorting his dead father's ashes and almost dying by falling three feet out of a coconut tree on the last Stones tour, Richards will head a campaign to promote the company’s Core Values range, which includes branded travel luggage and accessories.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

XM Radio Blows it with Zep Channel

So, I have had months to listen off and on the XM Radio's Led Zeppelin channel (it's channel 59, if you really want to know). I blogged about the concept when I first found out about it, here.

What a great idea, on paper. Months of Zeppelin, non-stop. All the album tracks, augmented by live stuff, interviews and even solo outings.

But I have to say that XM did not deliver. We mostly got the studio albums, a scant smattering of already released live stuff and mostly Robert Plant solo. But I'd say 95 percent of what I heard were songs from the studio albums. I could do the same damn thing if I created my own iTunes Zep playlist and set my iPod on shuffle.

I was in the Bay Area this week and stumbled onto a classic rock station's "Get the Led Out" 30 minute segment and they got it right. I heard a version of the Jimmy Page solo piece White Summer, and Bonham (Jason Bonham's band from the late 80s) doing "In The Evening" live. I had never heard THAT before, and it was rockin.

There you go. That is what XM should have done. Bootleg live tracks. Deep solo cuts, like stuff from Jimmy Page Outrider or the DeathWish 2 soundtrack. How about The Firm? What about the Honeydrippers (OK, maybe it was fine to leave that out)? John Paul Jones has done soundtrack work.

They just shot for the lowest common denominator and now I am REALLY sick of D'yer Maker and Traveling Riverside Blues, which seemed to run twice and hour, each.

Satellite radio usually fulfils its mission of going where terrestrial radio can't or won't go. But in this case it was a pale imitation. Opportunity lost, for sure.

What Did J. S. Bach Look Like?

I find it amazing to fathom that in the time before cameras, we have to rely on old oil paintings and dusty drawings to trust what a person from another era actually looked like.

We trust that George Washington looked like he does on the dollar because he sat for a lot of paintings. We have a good guess as to what kings, queens and people of importance looked like because, well, they could afford to sit for a painting.

But the further in the past you go, the less clear it becomes. There is that classic debate of was Jesus really a brown haired, good looking dude. Could you imagine a blonde Jesus? Or a black/Arab Jesus? But who the hell knows? No one painted him while he was still alive, right? He never sat for an artist.

Which brings me to this recent CNN story about Johann Sebastian Bach. Seems that he only sat for one painter in his whole life. Hard to believe but apparently true.

The story says, Bach's appearance has long been surrounded by mystery. Images of the prolific composer are plentiful -- the Bach House alone has 140 likenesses -- but he is only known to have sat for one portrait, museum director Joerg Hansen said.

But due to the fact that someone made a copper replica of his skull (what?), scientists were able to make a good guess as to what he looked like.

I think I saw this guy on a bus one time, actually.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Van Halen Postpones Tour Due to Eddie Medical Issues

A Reuters article this morning says that Van Halen has postponed upcoming shows on the reunion tour due to Eddie requiring "medical testing for an undisclosed condition."

The story says: "According to Eddie Van Halen's physician, he is undergoing a battery of comprehensive medical tests to determine a defined diagnosis and recommended medical procedures," according to a statement released Monday by Van Halen's representative and the tour promoter, Live Nation.

It's either cancer coming back or he fell off the wagon and this is a smokescreen. Either way, it's not good. Despite my snarkiness about EVH on this blog, I wish him the best.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Plant Says No to $200 Million for Zep Tour

Get a good look at the video below. It's Zeppelin doing Kashmir last December at the reunion show for Ahmet Ertegün. Look at it closely. See how they rock.

Now come to grips with the fact that this is probably the closest we'll get. Robert Plant has officially out the kibosh on a tour. Read all the details in the LA Times, but Plant would rather keep working with Allison Krauss than his old fishing buddies. Even if it cost him $200 million.

Yep - the standing offer would net he, Page and Jones $200 million - EACH.

In a London Daily Mirror story, a band source said: "Despite the enormous offer, the decision did not come down to money. They always said they would do the one-off show and then see how they felt. Jimmy had enjoyed the concert in December enough to want to tour. He argued they still had something to offer. He likes the idea of another chapter in the band - the grown-up tour. John Paul Jones sided with Jimmy. He loved making music with the others again. But, Robert wanted to leave last year's concert as their legacy. They had proved they could still do it and that was enough."

Whatever. His, and our, loss.

Jeff Healey Passes Away

I remember seeing Jeff Healey play on a late night talk show in the 80s and thinking the dude was amazing. He played the guitar more like a keyboard – laying it flat on his lap and pushing down on the fretboard like you would play a keyboard. I have never seen anyone else play guitar like that.

He was also a great singer. I had his debut CD “See the Light,” which I thought was kind of a trite name for an album by a blind artist. But it was solid and I really liked the track “Angel Eyes,” which was also the big hit on the release.

I had no idea that it was cancer that took his eyes. And I was surprised and saddened by today’s news of his passing. The full story is here and the below video showcases that killer style he had:

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Indiana Jones Returns

I remember going to see the first Indiana Jones movie when I was a wee lad and laughing myself silly when that dude's face melted at the end.

Maybe we'll get the chance to relive the magic in May.

The AP ran this story about how the trailer is catching like wildfire (also pasted below). Looks pretty good!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Stellar Roth Isolated Vocal

For anyone who has spent time in a recording studio, you know how jarring it is to isolate one track of a full band recording - to hear just the lead guitar for example. Or just the drums. But isolating the vocals is always the most dodgy.

No one wants to hear themselves singing full voice without any other instrument. It would be like popping your drunken karaoke vocal from last Friday night onto a CD so you could hear yourself singing full bore without the backing music. Talk about warts and all.

Even a great vocal performance needs the context of the music to be fully appreciated. Part of the magic of a recorded song is how the instruments lay together and how the vocals fit within the context of the mix. Add a bit of delay or reverb to a vocal and it sounds even better.

Which brings us to this post. Thanks to Guitarman5150 for this one. It's the isolated vocal track of David Lee Roth singing Running With the Devil from Van Halen's first album. No idea how someone got their mitts on this but it's pretty stunning to hear.

But contrary to everything I said above, it's stunning in a good way. My opinion of Roth's vocal abilities just shot up about 200 percent. There are some funny moments, like hearing him scream and howl without the backing music, but overall he delivers the hell out of this song. Not like we didn't know it already but hearing his voice isolated gives me a new appreciation for how talented of a vocalist he is.

Check it out here.