Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Chris Cornell Sues Hostage Taking Ex-Wife

Former Soundgarden frontman/current Audioslave lead singer Chris Cornell is suing his ex-wife, claiming she "she conspired to divert money that belonged to Cornell to other Soundgarden band members. The lawsuit also claims that [Susan] Silver held his library of music, lyrics and two Grammys hostage."

The couple enjoyed twelve years of marriage before they split in 2002. Former wifey, Silver, used to manage Soundgarden while she was married to Cornell, and now seems to be causing such troubles in retaliation for interpersonal breakdowns with her former husband, according to Cornell himself.

Perhaps an impromptu oration of the Cornell penned 'Ty Cobb' would communicate the singer's frustrations to Silver? ---You know, the "hard headed" part?

For the legal pundits out there, here are the court documents.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Long time no blog...

Apologies for my lack of posts as of late. Where do I even start when there is so much to discuss? My recent absence from the site has in no way reflected a minimal level of auditory intake on my behalf. Au contraire. I've been quite busy catching up on a plethora of tuneage - both new and recycled. With this particular post, I've decided to share a couple personal highlights, and plan to do so with plenty of name-dropping and hyperlinking.

Men Women and Children - I recently heard of this group via Do it Old Maid and was a bit surprised that I had been out of the loop, beings that ex-Glassjaw guitarist Todd Weinstock is at the helm. MW&C finds Todd taking a very similar path as the Long Island hardcore band's vocalist, Daryl Palumbo, who currently fronts the eclectic Head Automatica. Like Palumbo, Weinstock's new work ditches hardcore in favor of Latin rhythms, hip-hop beats, and the excess of disco and funk. In my opinion, MW&C's new studio track 'Dance in My Blood' describes the band best: "You don't need a reason, to get out on the dancefloor" This band definitely finds me wanting to put on my boogie shoes to shake my groove thing on disco mountain.

Stereogum recently posted the mp3 of Elbow's 'Teardrop' cover. As one of my all-time favorite Massive Attack songs, I have been looping this track repeatedly.

Collisions, the fourth and most recent album from Calla has also been receiving recognition on my iTunes lately. Tracks like 'Swagger' and 'It Dawned on Me' are two of my favorites from a well-rounded album that should appeal to old and new fans alike.

Currently, my most-played track is one that I found while digging through the archives on Between Thought and Expression. Dating back to July - a stellar mash-up between The Prodigy's 'Smack My Bitch Up' and Prince's 'When Doves Cry.' The end product? A well-blended remix; titled none other than 'Smack My Bitch Up When Doves Cry.' Not only does it invoke a need to break out a pair of glow sticks, but it also seems to provide an interesting association between violent relationships and questioning lost love - a lyrical connection that many mash-ups seem to ignore.

And lastly on tonight's list of mentionables... Pearl Jam's rare Mtv Unplugged album. Having recently acquired the full two-disc recording, I have been pleased to be able to hear the show in it's entirety (disc one is the band's soundcheck). Recorded in 1992, when their debut Ten was still new, the band is heard performing powerful acoustic versions of songs from that album, plus b-side 'State of Love and Trust' and a cover of Neil Young's 'Rockin in the Free World.' Eddie Vedder's signature vocals are on point and continue to grow in intensity throughout the performance - occasionally finding him spinning out of his emotional limits. On 'Porch', the band erupts into a full-out jam session, and in the process creates my favorite guitar solo of the album. With random tunings and banter thrown in between songs, Pearl Jam: Mtv Unplugged is an insider's look at a fifteen year-old rock juggernaut during their rise to fame.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Giant - 'I'll See You In My Dreams'

As promised, here's Giant's 'I'll See You In My Dreams.' This is really quite something else, and it makes me laugh almost everytime. Founded by former Christian rockers, Giant was an attempt at secular sucess. This song is the closest they ever came:

And So the Holiday Season Begins

Well, another Thanksgiving has passed, and Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/(insert culturally relevant holiday here) is upon us. Having this last week off from school was nice, although I've spent most of it conducting research for a final research paper, in addition to slaving away for the Man at work. Musically, however, I've spent time catching up on some CDs I hadn't had the chance to listen to, and as it turned out, much of this music seemed to be carbon copies of their more famous counterparts.

On Tuesday I acquired the Fort Minor album. Fort Minor is Mike Shinoda's band, and it basically sounds exactly like Linkin Park sans Chester--which makes sense since Linkin Park is Shinoda's band too. Their disc isn't all that bad---it just sounds like Linkin Park recycled.

Al Stewart was one of my new-old finds of the week. Hearing 'Year of the Cat' on XM, I decided to check out the man's Greatest Hits disc since that particular song struck me in quite a positive way. In addition to 'Year of the Cat,' 'Carol,' and 'Lord Grenville' were a couple of other songs I found I possessed quite an affinity for. Critics of this artist may brand him a David Bowie copycat, but at least All Music Guide gave this album a full four and one half stars.

Finally, Giant's 'I'll See You in My Dreams' proved to be my cheesy listen-to of the week. Nevermind any of their other songs; I was content to to play this power ballad in repeat mode on Windows Media Player for days at a time. So all of you can enjoy this Foreigner decoy, I'll post the stream in the next post.

That's my week in a musical nutshell, and I hope to catch up on more music here in the near (a reliable source tells me Five Bolt Main is a band worth checking out). I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pearl Jam - 'In Hiding'

With a new Pearl Jam disc on the horizon, I've decided to dig through the archives and find one of my older favorites by the band.

Off of 1998's Yield, here's 'In Hiding:'

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Unowned: Pearl Jam Redux

Pearl Jam is almost set to finalize their new album. Pondering a play on Soundgarden’s Superunknown, the band says one possible title for the new disc includes "Superun-owned:"

[Eddie Vedder] added he had been mulling an album title that was a play on Soundgarden's Superunknown: "I was thinking of the word 'un-owned' -- not owned by anybody," he said. "The sky is un-owned. The moon is un-owned. We're un-owned. We want to remain un-owned. The title was Superun-owned."

Said to be aggressive, the grunge band’s newest work is supposed to be the band’s hardest effort and is tentatively set to release in April 2006.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

2006 Coldplay Tour Dates

A must-see tour for myself, Fiona Apple and Richard Ashcroft will split opening duties for Coldplay's upcoming North American tour. Fiona will open for dates falling between January 25 and March 5, while the former Verve frontman will open the remaining dates.

The 2006 tour dates are below:

Jan. 25: Seattle (Key Arena)
Jan. 26: Vancouver (GM Place)
Jan. 30: Sacramento, Calif. (Arco Arena)
Jan. 31: Oakland, Calif. (Oakland Arena)
Feb. 1: San Jose, Calif. (HP Pavilion)
Feb. 3: Las Vegas (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Feb. 19: Denver (Pepsi Center)
Feb. 20: Omaha, Neb. (Qwest Center)
Feb. 22: Auburn Hills, Mich. (Palace of Auburn Hills)
Feb. 23: Louisville (Freedom Hall)
Feb. 25: Houston (Toyota Center)
Feb. 26: Dallas (American Airlines Center)
Feb. 27: Oklahoma City (Ford Center)
March 2: Washington, D.C. (MCI Center)
March 4: Orlando, Fla. (TD Waterhouse Center)
March 5: Tampa, Fla. (Ford Pavilion)
March 20: Cleveland (Quicken Loans Arena)
March 22: Toronto (Air Canada Centre)
March 25: East Rutherford, N.J. (Continental Airlines Arena)
March 26: Uniondale, N.Y. (Nassau Coliseum)
March 30: Chicago (United Center)
April 3: Manchester, N.H. (Verizon Wireless Arena)
April 4: Uncasville, Conn. (Mohegan Sun Arena)
April 6: Philadelphia (Wachovia Center)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Goodyear Pimps (w/ Nil8)

Saturday, November 5th 2005 @ The Reverb

Question: Where can you drink Michelob Golden Light and champagne for free, watch a girl in a "orange crush" shirt dance naked on stage, and watch a bunch of punk and metal fans have a Michael Jackson dance-off?

Answer: A Goodyear Pimps concert!

The Reverb celebrated it's 4th Birthday (which explains the free booze) by bringing in one of it's staple bands, The Pimps! If being able to watch my favorite live band at my favorite venue wasn't good enough, the free keg and champagne made it that much more divine! Yours truly was introduced to The Pimps in 2001 when a girl I was dating at the time made me watch the horrible movie "Crazy/Beautiful" featuring Kirsten Dunst. The song is featured in the scene where she is sitting in her jeep waiting for her man after a football game. I made a note that the song was pretty cool. Soon after, a man much wiser than myself told me I had to come with him to the Reverb to see this awesome band. Not only did I recognize the song from the movie, I was blown away by their sheer energy (and catchy humor). Well, I did what any good friend would do, and I spread the word! Now, there is a group of about 10 or 15 of us that make every Pimps show possible, which is for me now in the double digits! Saturday night was no exception, as those of us who are still left in scenic Cedar Falls and those who still travel back there (myself) were not about to miss this show! Not only are the Pimps one of the favorite performers of the owner's of The Reverb, The Pimps also consider this one of there favorite venues to play at-- obvious by the fact that they come here about 4 times a year and have a big, loyal following every time they come!

The 5-man Pimps formed in 1994 in Rockford, IL. The band is made up by lead singer Stu, usually clad in a John Deere trucker hat, or more recently his cashmere style. GT, who always appears coked out of his mind, is on bass, and eternally-in-dreads Hilly plays guitar. They have two percussionists-- a drummer who's face I have never seen and a bongo drum player with an incredible mohawk. This punk-metal band, with album titles such as "To A Cool Person, Stay that Way," "Just Give Us The Grammy Now," and "More Songs About Drugs With Curse Words," plays mostly harder tracks. But don't be discouraged if you are not a fan of hard rock, because The Pimps are not your ordinary punk-metal band. As my girlfriend (who is DEFINITELY not a fan of hard rock) found out, The Pimps play to the crowd, which is why they are so popular. They love to tell jokes about sex and drugs, and do great covers of the country-western tunes "Devil Went Down to Georgia" and "Family Tradition." I myself do not like country music, but they do such a good job on these songs that I can't help but sing along. Another staple of a typical Pimps show include a cover of Tenacious D's "F**k Her Gently," along with a hillarious rendition of J. Lo's "Jenny From the Block." The guitarist Hilly usually sings a song, and this time he sang the equally-hillarious "Honey, Will My Fingers Do?" (and yes, it's about exactly what you think it is). Stu also usually likes to call someone on stage and make up a song about them-- this time it was about some white guy in a G Unit sweatshirt, which of course they had a field day with. The mohawked-bongoist usually has a song where he spanks some guys naked rear end, but this time they skipped that.

So as you can see, their shows can be enjoyable to people who don't like that genre of music. As I like to say, they put on a show, not a concert-- which is why a large diverse crowd comes to see this show! Along with all they songs they play above, other good songs include "Sumpin'" (The Crazy/Beautiful song), "Rocket Science" (on the Mission Impossible II soundtrack), "Machine Shop," "Would it Have Killed You to Leave a Suicide Note?" and "Star Wars." I have never seen The Pimps open for a band before(it's a good thing, since they would show almost every other band up!), but last Saturday they did, for a very similar band called Nil8. Insiders tell me this is one band The Pimps have no problem opening for, citing their great respect(and the fact they could drink while watching them). Nil8 plays very similar music, and definitely impressed me with tracks such as "Dominatrix" and a cover of "Humpty Dance." But of course I am biased and as good as Nil8 was, I still love The Pimps!

But something incredible happened after Nil8 left the stage -- as the post-concert music came on (which happened to be Michael Jackson's "Beat It," "Black or White," and "Thriller,") concert revelers, obviously still wanting more, formed a circle and had a dance-off. Who would have expected this from a punk-metal crowd? I witnessed a bunch of shirtless and heavily-tatted guys showing moves you would not expect from them. With the whole crowd going nuts, it continued for several songs. The dancing included fellow Lonely Note writer Tae, who did his best impression of the gloved-one! For those of you who think the only people who go to hard rock shows are trouble-makers, this should hopefully show you that most of us are just coming together for the love of good music, even if it is Michael Jackson! The night ended with Hank's girlfriend driving his Sunfire home (one too many MGL's) with 9 people inside, including one in the trunk! What a good night!

So if you have never seen The Pimps before, please make it a priority, and do this for me: Instead of buying their CD's first and then going to see them in concert, do the opposite; Go see one of their high-powered shows, then buy their CD's (which are sold at the show). You will appreciate their CD's more once you have heard how awesome their songs are in concert. Their albums, while very good, don't do their live shows justice. Then - repeat this process over and over, going to as many shows and buying as many CD's as you can. Trust me- their shows do not get old, and people (including myself) like them more and more each time we see them! If you live in the midwest, they are easy to see, as they play more than 150 shows a year covering Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, Des Moines, and EVERYWHERE in between!

Next Week: Audioslave, Seether and 30 Seconds to Mars @ The Rave in Milwaukee

New Enya Track List

Here is the track list for the new Enya album:

'Less Than a Pearl'
'It's in the Rain'
'If I Could Be Where You Are'
'The River Sings'
'Long Long Journey'
'Somebody Said Goodbye'
'A Moment Lost'
'Amid the Falling Snow'
'Water Shows the Hidden Heart'

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Billy Idol

@ the Val Air Ballroom -- Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

Ok-- so this is REALLY late, and I apologize. Not only did my original write-up get erased, your concert reviewer also has been using a spare laptop for a while now. My original acquired a virus and then the motherboard crashed, so my original laptop is MIA. Plus, Grad school has owned me, so again I apologize for this being so late, and since it was so long ago and I don't remember it all that well, it will be short (hooray!)

Just a few months short of his 50th birthday (and not looking a day older when he was a regular on MTV in the early 80's), Billy Idol stormed the Val Air Ballroom, with amazing and chain-smoking Steve Stevens helping on guitars. And did you think he still donned his leather pants? Well, just check the picture above, and of course he did! In attendance with your truly were Hank's parents, the one's who originally turned me onto Billy Idol with 1987's Vital Idol. Well, Billy is finally back from his dreadlock days and drug addictions (evidenced by two of his albums in the early 90's "Heroin" and "Speed" (haha)), and is luckily not doing any more rock opera's like when he played Cousin Kevin, in the Who's rock opera Tommy. I'm a straight male, but for a guy who turns 50 November 30th, he looked pretty cut-- after revealing his washboard abs, much to the females delight. He loves pleasing the crowd, and the girls went nuts as he strip-tease like removed his shirt several times during the show.

Billy opened with music from his latest release "Devil's Playground." I did not know any of these songs, and will say his classic stuff was much better (as expected). He played all of his favorites, like Rebel Yell, Flesh for Fantasy, Dancing with Myself, and Hot in the City. His best song of the night, and my favorite song, was White Wedding. After all these years, his voice is still strong and his customary wail is still soul-lifting. I will say he did lose me in the middle of his show, which lasted an amazing 2 hours and 17 minutes (no wonder there was no opening band). Sometimes I felt like I was at a blues concert instead of a rock concert. There were times Billy would play acoustic songs (with him on guitar), or even leave the stage for periods of 10 minutes or more and let Mr. Stevens or one of his other band-mates perform solos. Stevens is a great soloist, but I'm pretty sure there was not one person in the Val Air who paid to see him over Billy! There is definitely a good 45 minutes of that show that I have no recollection of while they slugged through some stuff I didn't recognize.

I awoken from my slumber as Billy and Steve broke into a version of Led Zeppelin's "Over the Hills and Far Away," and then an awesome cover of The Doors "L.A. Woman." He played a couple of new songs, and then ended the concert with a 16 minute rendition of "Mony Mony," off his 1981 solo debut "Don't Stop." How did Billy make this song 16 minutes long you say? Well, EVERY member of the band, including himself, rotated instruments, and in a very photogenic moment, all 5 of them stood at the front of the stage, each donning a guitar to close out the song. If the Val Air had allowed cameras for this show, yours truly would have gotten that picture. It was near priceless. We left the Val Air very happy and very deaf. It is good to have Billy 'freakin Idol back, and make sure to check him out on tour! And be sure to check out the rest of the Billy Idol pictures from the show at Lazer 103.3. They do a great job of bringing in great shows and taking great pictures much closer to the stage than I care to get to!

Next Week: Local H (Nov. 4th) and The Pimps (Nov. 5th) at Hank's favorite locale for watching music, The Reverb. Hank's girlfriend (and maybe some Lonely Note writer's??) will be in attendance.