Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Who Bust Out Quadrophenia at Royal Albert Hall

The Who performed Quadrophenia last night at the Royal Albert Hall, concluding the 10th year of concerts initiated by Roger Daltrey in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Special guests Eddie Vedder (PearlJam) and Tom Meighan (Kasabian) joined the band, filling in the roles played by Billy Idol and Gary Glitter on the 1996 tour.

That 1996 show in Portland still stands as one of the best shows I have ever seen. Entwistle was still alive and I think it was the first time I had seen drummer Zak Starkey with the band, and they just killed it.

It doesn't hurt that Quadrophenia is one of my favorite albums, and they did the whole thing end to end.

Word is that Pete's hearing is so on the fritz again that he may be done with live shows, but we have all heard that before. If that is the case though, what a way to go out with a bang.

Below is a video from the show last night. Rolling Stone also covered it here.

I've Had Enough

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rush In Canadian Songwriters HOF; New Songs & Tours 2010 and 2011

On the heels of yet another recent US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snub, Rush took home the honor over the weekend of being inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame where they were recognized for the songs Limelight, Closer to the Heart, The Spirit of Radio, Tom Sawyer and Subdivisions.

There were some great quotes from the band leading up to the event, and new recordings and a rough touring schedule were discussed:

Geddy Lee from the Globe and Mail:

"It's not very often we get a chance to look back at what we've created. "It's humbling, frankly, to be joining a group that includes Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot and so many other great songwriters...When you have a great lyric the music becomes a natural extension of the mood and content. The `music first' method is more difficult, but often more rewarding. It relies a lot on craftsmanship, and on the magic of musical inspiration and improvisation...but the words have to match that special quality, and it's sometimes painstaking work to get that to happen...I understand why no one covers our songs. They sound daunting. When we tried to write songs that are simple and uncomplicated, it didn't work. One of our producers used to tell us, 'You'd have a lot of hits if only someone else recorded them.'"

Alex Lifeson from the Globe and Mail:

We were off for a year and a half, and now it's just pouring. Everything is totally crazy and there's not a minute left in the day. We've got these half-dozen songs, and we'll probably go in the studio and work on a couple of them and see how it goes, perhaps release something - and I say perhaps - and then we plan on being on the road in the middle of June. Ideally, we'd like to showcase a couple of these songs on the tour, come off tour in mid-October, go back in the studio and continue writing, then record through late this year and early next year, and then release the album in the spring of 2011 on a slightly more substantial tour. This [year's] tour will probably be about 45 dates. Most likely summer, 2011, would be more like 70.

Neil Peart from an interview from Jam! Music:

The band is about five songs into the record with co-producer Nick Raskulinecz, from 2007's Snakes and Arrows, but won't talk about the sound or how or when the tunes will be released or subsequent tour plans. "I stopped in Toronto a couple of weeks back and went over to Geddy's house and listened to what they've been working on from my lyrics and it's very exciting, we've got probably five very good songs there," ... "So we were saying, 'Well, I kind of just want to keep working on this and finish the record.' But on the other hand we were thinking, 'Well, something we haven't done since the '80s is write new songs and go out and play them.' It's interesting to be so deeply involved in songwriting right now with this honour coming up. It kind of puts a fresh observation on it for me."

At the Hall of Fame ceremony, other artists performed the songs being inducted, including a guy named Jacob Moon who did Subdivisions. Neil had this to say about it:

"It's a very unusual song construction lyrically and musically that we managed to make work," he said. "It was written at a time when we weren't working, so to speak. We were mixing a live album and we just started playing around and wrote a song for fun. Although it's very serious in it's musical structure, one of the most complicated actually that we've had in terms of arrangement drum part alone, it's a really intricate drum part to play and consequently I still love playing it almost 30 years later and that's a good testament."

"We all shared Jacob Moon's performance of Subdivisions quite a long time ago and sent it to each other, 'Hey have you seen this?' because it's such a beautiful cover. The imaginative way that he uses the little cassette player to get my voice in there. It's superb. And it is that kind of song. It's a singer-songwriter's song. I loved to see his version of it and I loved the idea that song has endured to his generation."

According to, Peart was to write and deliver the band's acceptance speech, and in addition to Moon doing Subdivisions, Primus frontman Les Claypool would be playing The Spirit of Radio and Canadian hardcore rockers Alexisonfire would be performing Tom Sawyer.

I am very stoked about the band hitting the road with a couple of new, unrecorded numbers. And who knows? Maybe we'd get Camera Eye or Jacob's Ladder this time?

Here is a Canadian TV report from the event, with some cool interviews.

Here is Jacob Moon doing Subdivisions. It's very cool!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bill Wyman Is Next Bass Player To Be Erased

There was a lot of controversy a few years ago when Van Halen reunited without bass player Michael Anthony and the band erased Anthony's image from thumbnails of the band's original albums on its Web site, going so far as replacing him with photos of Van Halen's son Wolfgang who took his place.

Now the Stones have pulled a VH. On the band's Rarities CD (which was released a few years ago truth be told), the band abused Photoshop to make Bill Wyman disappear from the cover, despite the fact that he was in the band during most of the period the CD music was recorded (1971-2003).

It took five years for anyone to notice but according to this story people are enraged this week.

Check out the side by side below. The story notes that they did a crappy job of deleting Wyman, leaving his bass cable in the shot!

Why on the hell do bands do this kind of stuff? The worst offense is Ozzy Obsourne (Sharon, really) being so angry at original bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake that she had the masters of the classic Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of A Madman replaced with newer musicians. I am so glad I have those on vinyl because all the CDs I have ever seen have the new guys on it and the magic is gone. Talk about the Original Sin. Ugh.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Them Crooked Vultures and Dave Grohl's Coffee Addiction

This is just too damn funny to let go by. Them Crooked Vultures are recording a second album (awesome news - still love the debut), and apparently Dave Grohl's drug of choice for this endeavor is caffeine. The band put out the following video documenting the problem:

Good luck Dave - one day at a time, bro. One day at a time.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Phish Rock Out Genesis Tune at Rock And Roll Hall of Fame

I have not watched the DVR'd Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show yet but I did check out the Genesis portion thanks to YouTube. No Peter Gabriel as expected, but Phish busted out a pretty cool version of Watcher of the Skies and it was nice to see Steve Hackett alongside the others for a change.

The shots of bemused suited attendees during the keyboard intro of Watcher are pretty priceless and underscore what I said last time, which is that the Hall is an exclusive club and that the Hall events are more about awards and less about performances, as much as the Time Life people want to tell you differently. And is probably one of the giant reasons they won't have KISS or Rush in yet -- their live shows would completely fry the attendees!

Anyway, check it out before they yank it down. It's pretty awesome, and I have always thought Trey was heavily influenced by Hackett. They do an incredible job and it's pretty cool to see all the Genesis guys checking out the performance. Was probably pretty emotional for them (and boring for everyone else - but it's prog rock so handle it!)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

New OK Go Video is Off The Charts

These guys were the band that had that video with everyone on the treadmills. Their new video makes that one look like a Kindergarten finger painting project. Holy crap this must have taken ages to set up. I didn't even pay attention to if the song was any good (hey was that the point?):

Friday, March 05, 2010

Iron Maiden - New Album and U.S. Tour

News from Classic Rock Magazine is that Iron Maiden has finished its new album, titled The Final Frontier - Eddie in space? Does William Shatner rap on the album? Time will tell.

But check this out, Tweeps -- the band will embark on a two month U.S. tour with Dream Theater. That would be a pretty mind bending lineup. And holy moly they are coming to my neck of the woods - White River Amphitheater in Auburn Washington on June 22. Chris - see you there?

Full tour itinerary and the usual hype and info can be found here.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

SNL Presidents Reunite

This is pretty funny. Nice to see all of these alums come together to get a couple of good laughs in. They pulled in Jim Carrey (not an SNL guy) to play Reagan but they should have gotten Michael Richards to do it, as he played the Gipper on Fridays and was funny as all hell. Regardless, this is pretty good. Enjoy:

New Jimi Hendrix Album "Valleys of Neptune" Web Stream

The upcoming Jimi Hendrix album Valleys of Neptune can be heard streaming from this site.

According to a post on Eddie Trunk's web site:

Centered around tracks recorded during a pivotal and turbulent four-month period in 1969, "Valleys of Neptune" unveils the original Jimi Hendrix Experience's final studio recordings, as the group lays down the foundation for its follow-up to "Electric Ladyland," alongside the guitar superhero's first sessions with bassist Billy Cox, an old army buddy he'd recruited into his new ensemble.

More info and track listing is here.

I am just starting to check this out. What do you all think? Does it live up to the hype?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Neil Young Closes Olympics

Neil Young helped Conan O'Brien close out his show by playing Long May You Run on Conan's final episode. Neil busted the tune out as a surprise guest at the Olympics closing ceremonies over the weekend.

Fellow Canadians Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morrisette and others performed. It would have been great to have seen Rush or shit even Triumph do some actual rock and roll but having Neil is cool. See the performance here. Try to ignore the asshole announcers talking over the intro.