Neil Diamond – Melody Road (Reveiw)

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Melody road is a simple collection of songs that my dad says “seems to celebrate the history of one man’s life”. I would agree in that as usual the songs are story’s that Neil want’s to share and as with most of his songs the story’s do not need to be his own. Something Blue is the most radio friendly song and I dare you to not enjoy the simple and uplifting feel. The production is somehow rustic yet at times orchestral and complex. Neil’s voice is front and center in the mix thanks to the production of Don Was (Was Not Was) and Jackknife Lee. If you’re a Neil Diamond fan this is a great record from someone who “is” saying thank you and getting ready to say goodbye. If you don’t get why Neil Diamond is great by now… Open your mind remove all irony.

Buy it and say you’re welcome!

5 (out of 5)

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Pink Floyd – The Endless River (Review)

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David Gilmour described The Endless River as follows: “The Endless River has as its starting point the music that came from the 1993 The Division Bell sessions. We listened to over 20 hours of the three of us playing together and selected the music we wanted to work on for the new album. Over the last year we’ve added new parts, re-recorded others and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st century Pink Floyd album. With Rick gone, and with him the chance of ever doing it again, it feels right that these revisited and reworked tracks should be made available as part of our repertoire.”

Here is what I think: 18 Tracks 17 of them instrumental. The one
that isn’t is just okay. Endless River sounds great but is really a bunch of
unfinished ideas and it shows…not good. The cover art is amazing!

If this really is the end then Pink Floyd exits with a whimper not
even close to a bang. Boring and uninspired.

1 (for artwork) out of 5

J.S.L.

 

 

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The Doors – Feast Of Friends (Documentary reveiw)

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Feast Of Friends is a never completed documentary directed and
produced by The Doors. Due to Jim Morrison legal issues it has not been
released until now. Beautifully re-mastered this 1968 trip fest is a must for all 60′s music fans if for no other reason than the live version of The End which is at once both exciting and terrifying. Seeing Jim Morrison in his prime explains a lot about his magnetism and what must have been a very surreal fishbowl existence. The clothes are groovy the Woman are beautiful without plastic surgery, it was a different world to be sure. Also included are three other documentaries which include tons of bonus footage.

This is a vital film for historical reason… and it rocks.

5 (Out of 5)

J.S.L.

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Ace Frehley – Space Invader

Posted in: Rock And Roll |

Ace is back!

If you like huge 1970′s Les Paul guitars and punch to head solo’s then you will not be dissapointed! If you are looking for deep introspective lyrics…. ummm… really? It’s Ace Frehley dude.

Although I liked his last solo effrot Anomally it felt disjointed at times and even a little mean. Space Invader on the other hand is nothing but fun! Thankfully Gimmie A Feeling  the first single is the radio edit so there are no pointless curse words at the end. For me however track three I Wanna Hold You is my first listen fave however each and every song has something to offer in the first three KISS records way (with todays recording production of course!)

The only knock I have heard on the record is Ace’s cover of Steve Miller’s The Joker. Here’s my thing, the only reason to cover a hit song is if it has personal meaning to you and if you can put your own spin on it. Ace’s version of The Joker is cool… because I get it.

Clean production, monster guitars, Ace’s signature talk singing and straight ahead throwback rock and roll songwriting makes this the perfect end of the summer record!

4 (out of 5)

J.S.L.

 

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Richie Kotzen – THE ESSENTIAL RICHIE KOTZEN (Review)

Posted in: Rock And Roll |

Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr. Big, Winery Dogs etc.) Is one on the most ridiculous guitar players alive today. If like me you “almost” like Lenny Kravits or you love Chris Cornell but thinks he broods a tad too much then Richie might be for you! Richie Kotzens style is blues, funk and soul but always starts and ends with good old rock and roll. The Essential Richie Kotzen is two CDs of classic material, acoustic performances, bootleg material and two brand new songs (“War Paint” and “Walk With Me”) War Paint is the rocker you would expect while Walk With Me is a great and tender track that has a sweet little I-tunes video to give you a taste here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8ctq4ENhl0. Also included is the bluesy hearbreaker and one my all time favourite songs by anyone Doing What The Devil Says To Do. If you have only heard Richie in other bands (Or have no clue who he is) then you really need to hook yourself up and give him his due. Richie has an incredibly soulfull voice and did I mention his guitar solos are other worldly? Get the book of his musical life and discover some magic.

5 (out of 5)

J.S.L.

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Boston / Cheap Trick / Heaven On Earth Tour 2014

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I have seen Cheap Trick over ten times with and without Bun E Carlos on drums. And for a band that has written so many iconic songs they are unforgivably noisy and sloppy live… always. They are a very hard working band in that they never stop touring and recording but I would think they would want to give a better live show… wait they are called Cheap Trick right?… huh. I will stick to their records. But wait what about live at Budokan? Tons of overdubs after the fact.

Boston on the other hand has never sounded better. Seriously. The knock since the 1970′s is that Boston cannot come close to the recordings when they play live. That is no longer true thanks to a huge band (7) and modern technology. The great thing about this tour for me is that they played tracks from all of their records (ok so there are only 6 but still…) Tom Scholz the genious behind Boston looks and sounds amazing for a guy who is 66. Tommy Decarlo handels the Brad Delp songs very well as well as the others (Brad Delp was one of the best rock singers ever and was a tragic loss)  The backup vocals from everyone is really what finally gives it that Boston sound.

The last time Tom took out a Boston show was 2008, if you are a fan of Boston go see this show! (maybe skip Cheap Trick though…)

4 (out of 5)

J.S.L.

 

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Don Felder / Styx / Foreigner (Soundtrack Of Summer Tour reveiw) 7.26.14 The Greek Theatre

Posted in: Rock And Roll |

Don Felder (Formally of The Eagles)  was first and to my suprise and delight he and his band were outstanding. Playing mostly Eagles songs like Witchy Woman, Heavy Metal (Great version!), Life In The Fast Lane and of course Hotel California where he and his bandmates were joined by Tommy Shaw of Styx! Don played one new original You Don’t Have Me and guess what… it rocked! The band was super tight and talented enough to do justice to every song.

 

 

Next up the greatest touring classic rock band in the world  Styx!

Really they are that good. It’s almost unbeleivable how big their performance is. Todd Sucherman may be one of the five best rock drummers alive today… Yeah I said it. If you haven’t seen them in the past ten years or so do yourself a favor and get to their show! You know the hits and they play most of them, Grand Illusion, Too Much Time On My Hands, Fooling Yourself, Blue Collar Man and of course Come Sail Away and Renegade.  Tommy Shaw even came into the audience during a solo… Fantastic!

 

Foreigner is a band with and without Mick Jones the only original member left. Mick came onstage for the fourth song on and you could feel the enery go up right away when he stepped out.  Again tons of hits, Double Vision, Head Games, Cold As Ice, Juke Box Hero Etc. Not to be outdone by Tommy Shaw Foreigner lead singer Kelly Hanson sent himself out to greet the audience up close! Kelly has a fantastically strong and clean voice perfect for the Foreigner sound! Jeff Pilson is as always a stud on Bass, Thom Gimbal and Bruce Watson are awesome guitar players who fill in wherever Mick isin’t. Chris Frazier is a very tastfull pocket drummer but can turn it out when need be. What could be better than this? Youth choir on I want to Know What Love Is?… Yup. What’s better than that? How about Don Felder and the members of Styx joining Foreigner on stage for the encore of Hot Blooded!  Wow is all I can say.

Is this the soundtrack of summer? No clue but it was in the late 1970′s and early 80′s and has wonderful aches of nostalgia for those who remember while keeping it current for new fans or parents passing along their musical history to their kids.

The only thing I know for sure is that if you like rock and roll I promise you will not find a better tour this summer, one can only hope they can extend the tour!

It is just that freaking good.

5 (out of 5)

J.S.L.

 

 

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Motley Crue / Alice Cooper (Live Reveiw 7.21.14)

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Ughh… Why did I go to this again?

Openeing act was The Raskins a NYC band (Supposedly) I’m assuming they are young, they do their best at trying to sound like a NYC underground (ish) rock band (In other words trying to sound like a Detroit band from the 1970′s) They buthchered a Greg Khin song and did a straight version of Iggy Pops Seek And Destroy. Other than that they had some original songs that to be fair might be less boring in the recorded format.

Next up:

Alice Cooper – Wow what agreat show, loved it! L.A. Kiss official guitar godess Nita Strauss is in the line up now and was on fire, the crowd could not get enough of her because she shreds! Alice Coopers voice has seen better days but it was always growly to begin with. All the theatrics were in place and if you have never seen him perform you must! It’s like rocking out to a Universal Monster Movie.

Motley Crue:

Tommy Lee = Still a beast but seemed like he was phoning it in.

Nikki Sixx = Great as always but seemed pissed off.

Mick Mars = Sloppy and noisy, his solo was horrible.

Vince Neil = Winded after first song, forgot lyrics, voice has lost most of it’s power.

If you like to drink and be sentimental you might not notice how bad Motley Crue is in this day and age. Seemed more like a sad cash grab than a victory lap.

Wait til Alice Cooper does a solo tour and see that instead.

2.5 (out of 5)

J.S.L.

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BOB MOULD – BEAUTY AND RUIN (CD REVIEW)

Posted in: Rock And Roll |

So the knock on the new Bob Mould record Beauty And Ruin is that it’s nothing new. Ummm… that’s a good thing in my opnion (I remember his experimental stuff…) Besides any writer that is dissapointed with Bob’s musical growth is under 40 mark my words… No respect I tell ya!

Beauty And Ruin does play like a Bobs best moods record. Track one is right outta Black Sheets Of Rain. Track two has shades of Husker Du. Track three I Don’t Know You Anymore is just a wonderfull piece of  syrup pop that would have fit in perfectly on Sugar’s File under Easy Listening… Getting the picture?

The point is there is nothing new but there is a whole lot of Bob Mould power pop and post punk rock and roll to make us Mouldians happy.

The production is good although the drums are not as tight sounding as I would like and the vocals are a little buried (Again nothing new!)

Very important to note that this is like the good old days in that this record comes out only a year and half or so after the last one! (Silver Age is also a great record!)

The album is worth owning for old school fans as well as anyone who likes heartfelt alternative rock with awesome power pop hooks.

Check out I Don’t Know You Anymore live on Conan then buy the record!

http://bobmould.com/2014/06/05/watch-bob-and-the-band-perform-i-dont-know-you-anymore-on-conan/

4 (out of 5)

J.S.L.

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BOSTON – LIFE LOVE AND HOPE (review)

Posted in: Rock And Roll |

Boston’s new album in over ten years is worth buying for any fan but lets get a few things straight. First of all how many of the eleven songs are new? Eight. Of the three that are not new, two of them are better versions of songs from Corporate America (an underrated record by my account) featuring the late Brad Delp on vocals. So how many new songs have posthumous vocals by the great Brad Delp? One called Sail On and it’s awesome! At this point I’ll take anything that Tom Scholz says is Boston and I’ll enjoy it, because he’s a great songwriter and an amazing guitar player. What he is not, however, is a great drummer. He’s a serviceable drummer at best and the electronic sound of the drums makes some of the songs sound a bit demo-like at times; he really should’ve brought in a pro but ya know: control freaks etc… As on Corporate America, the lead vocals on most of the songs are shared by past and present members and all tracks have at least a partial vintage Boston feel which is great. As Tom himself laments in the liner notes, this is not about making money anymore. The only reason to make an album is if it’s a labor of love, which this obviously was. Is this an amazing new Boston record? No, but does it need to be? No. The are some great tracks here old and new and it’s really cool that Tom still wants to share with us! Thank you for that — see you when you tour!

3.5 (out of 5)

J.S.L.

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