Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Pussy Riot: The new voice for freedom in Russia?

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has gradually worked to roll back democratic reforms which came to Russia after the fall of communism two decades ago. Muzzling news media outlets, jailing opponents and arm-twisting elections have all borne fruit, allowing him to consolidate power.

It seems ironic that the most visible challenge to Putin's rule has come from the female punk band Pussy Riot. The band, best known for wearing bright outfits including masks in neon colors, has become known for outrageous performances with songs often challenging Putin's regime.

Arrested in February for a guerrilla protest performance in a Moscow church, the band has garnered an international following, including numerous music performers, including Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Faith No More, who have called for their release and for greater freedom of expression in Russia.

New Iron Maiden album coming out next month


This is great summer news: Iron Maiden's new album, "The Final Frontier", comes out August 16. We'll be eagerly awaiting this one, but for now, here's the video for the album's title track:


Bound to rock you: Overkill's "Ironbound" album

Thirty years ago, a bunch of New Jersey boys shut down a punk rock band and decided to form Overkill, one of the bands that introduced the 80s metal scene to a high-speed frenzied style of metal which became known as "thrash metal".

They've been rocking the world ever since.

I caught them playing live in Charlotte back in 1990, but haven't been able to catch them on tour since then - but not for lack of trying.

Rocking with Tesla tonight at "The Farm"

I'll be rocking with Tesla at the Music Farm tonight. Tickets are still available, so come join the Blogland for a hell of a great night!

One of their classic hits - Edison's Medicine:



... and something from their new album - I Wanna Live:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=


Megadeth's "Endgame" CD released today - it ROCKS!

Today, Blogland readers are given a simple, but important mission:

Get online or go to a music store and buy one of this year's best heavy metal releases: Megadeth's new album Endgame, which was released yesterday.

This is album is definitely one of their best albums yet, continuing the great performances in their last two albums: The System has Failed and United Abominations. While there's a lot of good stuff on this album, the song that most impressed me was
44 minutes, which told the story of the infamous 1997 Bank of America robbery and shootout in North Hollywood, California.

The band will be on Jimmy Fallon's show Thursday night, so go catch them rocking out with some of their new material.

The video for the song Headcrusher is inspired by the
Arnold Schwarezenegger movie The Running Man. The video brings up a growing concern (including with yours truly) about how so-called "reality" television programming has helped fuel a mindset similar to the days of Roman gladiators, where spectators' desire to be entertained trumped any ethical or moral considerations about the privacy or human rights of the participants:

Judas Priest and a darn good time in St. Augustine


Wow!!!!! What a show! As with every show I - along with any other Judas Priest fan - has been to over the years, it never disappoints. It was very much the usual Priest performance - high energy and hard driving from start to finish.

The band started out by playing the entire British Steel album, and then threw in some other cuts from across their career:

Nostradmus
Hell Patrol
Victims of Changes

... and then Rob Halford drove the Harley on stage, followed by:

Freewheel Burning
Diamonds and Rust
You've Got Another Thing Comin'

While the crowd clearly loved the entire show, the high point of the show was when Halford drove the Harley on stage and kicked into Freewheel Burning, the crowd went wild. Even though a lot of them expected Hell Bent for Leather, you could see the crowd go wild with the fast-paced Freewheel.

The use of laser lights in the lighting set-up added a special effects element not seen since lasers were set in the eyes of the Metallion stage prop in the Defenders of the Faith tour, including an animation at the opening of a steel worker driving rivets - an homage to their roots in Birmingham, England - a city famous for being the heartland of ... British Steel.

Before the band kicked off the closing song, Halford praised the American and British flags in the backdrop as representing the two greatest countries on earth, "united in war and united in peace" - and paid tribute to the men and women who fight for freedom ... and then added "and against the fucking Taliban!"

It's always nice to see someone who gets it and isn't afraid to call it like he sees it.

Sure, it was unfortunate that Whitesnake had to cancel, but you could talk with the fans and they were cool about it. Nobody wanted him to push himself and all thought it better for him to recover to "live to fight another day".

This was the first concert I'd taken my 11 year old to, not counting when I took her to see Fallout Boy a couple of years back, which was one of her bands. A lot of people there thought it was great to see her along for the show.

If you're reading this, it's yet another reason why if you can catch these guys on the road.

The before-show scene was really cool. This guy from Wilmington, NC (shown above) has the album cover artwork from the band's Screaming for Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith on his chest (for those of you who don't know what real rock and roll is, these are arguably the best Priest albums ever released) has to be one of the most hard-core Priest fans I've ever met. The dude with the British flag cape was clearly paying tribute to the band's album.

Before the show, we did some sight-seeing in St. Augustine, the oldest European settlement in North America, dating back to the 1500s. We visited the old Spanish fort overlooking the inlet from the ocean, as well as the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum.

After that, we stopped at the waterfront in Jacksonville. The way they've coordinated the lighting along the waterfront creates a really good lighting effect. There's a really good waterfront scene on the downtown side of the St. Johns River - waterfront park, hotels, and restaurants. It's worth checking out if you're passing through.

Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Joe Satriani release new CD as "Chickenfoot" today

We're not exactly sure what the name means, but four of the best known veterans of rock music have teamed up under the name "Chickenfoot": Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony from Van Halen, guitar legend Joe Satriani and Chad White from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.


It's a silly name for a band -- and album -- that kicks a donkey's ass six ways to Sunday and back again. Maybe that's because long before the four men who comprise Chickenfoot came together they already filled the pages of rock history with enough individual mind-blowing chapters to boggle the mind.

First, let's consider the stellar line-up. There's Joe Satriani, he of guitar god status, a dream born on the fateful day of September 18, 1970. It was the day Jimi Hendrix died, and it was the same day that Satriani, upon hearing the news, quit his high school football team and decided, at age 14, to devote his life to the electric guitar.

So what about that singer? Well, that would be another guy who needs no introduction; Sammy Hagar, the original "Red Rocker", a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee for his tenure with Van Halen, who made his professional debut as the singer for the much-revered group Montrose during the early 70's. As a replacement for the iconic David Lee Roth, Hagar faced what many would have viewed as an unenviable, if not impossible task, but as Hagar sees it, "I decided I wasn't going to get criticized for being the second singer in the band -- I was going to be the only singer in the band."

A great band is nothing without a great rhythm section, and Chickenfoot has one of the best in the two-man team of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Chad Smith.

As a founding member (and fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer) of Van Halen, Anthony laid the bedrock for which guitar genius Eddie Van Halen could fly. More than that, he provided a signature style of background vocal that became an intrinsic part of that band. "A total fluke," the good-natured bassist humbly asserts. "I was just doing what came naturally."

Aiding Anthony in holding down the fort is Chad Smith, drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who have, since Smith joined the group in the late Eighties, gone from cult faves to a worldwide force. Heretofore thought of as a "funk/alternative" drummer, Smith gets to rock hard with Chickenfoot, and the percussion explosion he creates might come as a surprise to those who only know of his work from tracks like Under The Bridge.


Their album hits the streets today. While it only makes sense to trust a lineup like this, those of you with little faith can preview tracks from the album.

The Devil You Know: Dio and Black Sabbath ROCK!

Today is a major holiday here in the Blogland with the release of "The Devil You Know", the new album from the Dio-led Black Sabbath line-up, billing itself as Heaven and Hell.

We've previewed the new album and it ROCKS!!! Those who listened to the three new tracks they recorded for the "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years" compilation and/or have seen them on tour know these guys are still at the top of their game.

Rest assured this album is a heavyweight release worthy of a day off from work and at least a six pack of something cold, which is exactly what the Blogland has in mind for today. Download it or find a music store - but this album is worth dropping anything else you might have planned today to buy and listen to.

We suggest as loud as possible. There's no other way to enjoy these guys.

Check out the first song release from the new album, "Bible Black":






The many lineups of Rob Halford

We've had a lot of complaints about the declining share of Blogland content devoted to discussing music, so we've decided it's time to do something about that ...

There are few acts in the heavy metal scene who have been more enduring or had a greater influence than Judas Priest. Led by Rob Halford, they've been kicking ass and taking names since the mid-1970s. If you've caught them in their recent tours or listened to their two post-Halford reunion albums Angel of Retribution and Nostradamus, you'd agree.

If you don't agree, then you're hopeless.

In addition to being the all-around Metal God and vocalist for Judas Priest, Rob Halford has performed in guest appearances with a number of bands and lineups over the years:



Delivering the goods with Skid Row





Devil's child with Fight and Sebastian Bach (Skid Row)





Grinder with Pantera





NIB with Black Sabbath at Ozzfest 2004





Paranoid, again with Sabbath at Ozzfest





You've got another thing coming with Sum 41 & Tommy Lee




Rob Halford's Metal "Resurrection"

After a long streak of thoughtful and profound postings, it's time for something a little less political. Since yours truly will be busy doing safety compliance site visits and teaching First Aid and CPR to employees today and tomorrow, it seems like a good time to start getting back to the heavy metal album reviews that inspired some of our readers to throw up clenched fists and call out "Blogland" when we've seen them over the last couple of years ...

At the end of a long musical journey that lasted throughout the 1990s, where he left Judas Priest in a rambling solo journey which turned in a number of music directions, in 2000, Rob Halford returned to his metal roots with his kick-ass solo 2000 album, very fittingly entitled “Resurrection”.

While I couldn't find any YouTube stuff that links to anything from this album, here's a link to a video of him performing the Judas Priest classic "Delivering the Goods" with Skid Row:




A bit ironic that since this, Halford's band wanted him back and Skid Row has moved on without Sebastian Bach, ain't it?

Fire and damnation

... and the new AC/DC album, "Black Ice", is set for release late next month. It's available for early order via their website.

Would it surprise anyone if the Blogland's got an order in already?



Black Sabbath and Judas Priest ROCK in Bristow

Last Thursday night, when Sabbath and the Priest took the stage in Bristow, the mob ruled - and the Blogland was there (and got some killer t-shirts).

To use the words “kick ass” to describe the Black Sabbath and Judas Priest performances would be gross understatements. This was clearly the best show we've seen in two or three years!!!

When Ronnie James Dio and the rest of the reunited “second generation” of Black Sabbath, touring as “Heaven and Hell”, took the stage, the crowd was eager for a show. From opening with the classic “Mob Rules” to closing with “Neon Knights”, Dio’s voice and energy and Tommy Iommi’s guitar mastery rocked the crowd non-stop for the hour-long set.

While many of those in attendance would never have seen this lineup on stage some three decades ago, these guys performed so flawlessly, it sounded like they hadn’t aged a day. Their extended performance of Heaven and Hell included a lot of special lighting effects and showcased Dio’s theatrical talents, just as other moments in the show allowed other band members to stand out in their performances.

Judas Priest has long had a reputation for putting on strong shows. Anyone (like us) who’ve been to dates on their 2005 Angel of Retribution tour would know that the return of Halford didn’t change a thing. But a five-star performance wasn’t enough for these guys, and anyone who saw the show we saw would agree.

The first of many changes in their shows was in opening with “Dawn of Creation” from their new Nostradamus CD set, instead of the Hellion/Electric Eye which they’d opened shows with since the Screaming for Vengeance album. A number of songs that hadn’t been played in their more recent tours were thrown in for good measure, including Deceiver, Eat Me Alive, Rock Hard Ride Free and Devil's Child.

If you caught them on the last tour and thought "this feels good", you ain’t felt nothing yet. The band’s playing was tight, and Halford’s siren vocals were much stronger and louder than the last tour. It was as if the last tour was just practice for this one.

This certainly was a show to be a part of. If you can catch them on the road anywhere in North America, you do not want to miss either of these bands, much less both of them on the same stage.

A Dark Knight and a Hard Rockin’ evening in Atlanta

For those of you who were eagerly awaiting to hear about the weekend concert, here's the recap of what you missed.

Sunday was a GREAT time in Atlanta, thanks to Dokken and Sebastian Bach rocking thousands of faithful metalheads at the Lakewood Ampitheatre.

Do y’all remember when Bach used to be the lead singer for Skid Row?

As a prelude, going to see The Dark Knight was a hell of a pre-concert show. If you haven’t seen this one, go see it. It’s two and a half hours of WOW!

About 8pm, Sebastian Bach opened up the show with “Slave to the Grind”, running through a fast and furious ten song set which was about half songs from his new CD “Angel Down” and the other half well-known hits from the 80s, wrapping up with “Youth Gone Wild”. The guy was live, bouncing all over the stage, interacting with the fans in the audience before and during the show.

Hot on his heels was Dokken (the first concert I went to after my divorce). Don Dokken and company hit the stage, opening up with a not-so-well known older Dokken song, “Kiss of Death”. As did Bach, they played about ten songs, but unlike Bach, covered very little from their most recent CD, “Lightning Strikes Again”, sticking mostly to well-known classic hits. While Don still can’t hit some of the high notes from twenty years ago, his voice was strong, and he kept a light, good-hearted demeanor interacting with the audience throughout the show.

Don got more than a few laughs from the audience when he called his guitar his girlfriend – “no matter where I touch her, she always responds and if she’s too loud, I can just turn her down.”

At the end of Dokken ‘s set it was time to leave. Those of y’all who know the Blogland know full and well we wouldn’t be caught dead there once those lamers got up on stage.

Sebastian Bach and Dokken both put on a hell of a show – if you can catch them together, or separately, it’s well worth an evening of your time and ticket money to catch the show.

Michael Schenker rocks

In the 80s', Michael Schenker was the guitarist for MSG - the McAuley Schenker Group - and one of the best guitarists out there..

What? You don't believe me? Just click on the You Tube video of the MSG classic "Save Yourself" and turn those speakers UP!


The Blogland’s Summer Painkiller Contest

What have YOU got planned for your summer vacation?

If the answer is “I wanna go see Judas Priest, Testament, Black Sabbath and Motorhead this summer”, then your friends at the Blogland have just the Painkiller for your summertime blues.

This summer, the Metal Masters tour, featuring Judas Priest, Motorhead, Testament, and Heaven and Hell (the complete Black Sabbath line-up led by Ronnie James Dio) will be rocking America. To help show our appreciation for our readers, we at the Blogland want YOU to be there.

One lucky Blogland reader will be selected at random to receive a free lawn seating ticket to their August 8th show at the Nissan Pavillion, just outside of Washington, DC in suburban Virginia, along with a copy of the classic Judas Priest “Painkiller” CD.

Yes – that’s a free ticket to the show and a free CD to boot. Heck, we’ll even thrown in $20 for gas money. To enter, all you have to do is email us and we’ll pick one winner, totally at random, to win the prize package. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number so we can contact you in case you win.

So get those entries into the Blogland right freakin’ now!!! You can’t be a winner if you don’t enter – and you can’t be a loser unless you’re an SCRG candidate.


HERE'S THAT FINE PRINT (CONTEST RULES):

All Blogland readers, regardless of age, gender, location, and political affiliation (even Club for Growth and SCRG types are welcome to register). All contest entries will be kept confidential, because we’re sure a lot of you don’t want to admit to your friends that you’re headbangers like us.

Prize winner will be notified by phone and/or email and will be sent package by US Mail, and will be responsible for providing their own transportation, meals and lodging - dude, we don't have THAT big a prize budget.

Judas Priest set to rock the summer

This summer is bound to be a headbanger's delight for a lot of good reasons, but first among them is the big summer plans of Judas Priest.

Next month, their long-awaited Nostradamus album will hit the
stores, and in July, they will hit North American shores to begin a tour in support of the new album. Their website - JudasPriestTicket.com - will keep you up with all the dates for their shows and tickets as they go on sale.

As part of our post-graduate recovery process, we've already got our tickets.

If you'd like to get a sneak preview of the new album, they put a couple of tracks on their band website (JudasPriest.com) -
the title track, "Nostradamus" and "Visions".

Condy rocks!

There are a lot of things you could have told us about our Secretary of State which wouldn't have surprised us, but this latest bit of news did:


The KISS Army fan club has an enthusiastic new recruit: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.


Apparently this really did happen, according to the band's website.

That's a wrap, folks. Be sure to have a great weekend!

Aces High on Ed Force One

Iron Maiden is on their ongoing world tour, flying on Ed Force One, a special 757 dedicated to the use of the band, their crew and their equipment. Piloted by none other than lead singer Bruce Dickinson, who apparently is a licensed pilot.



This "Maiden" voyage has enabled the band to hit nearly two dozen cities around the world in just over 40 days. Quite a feat.

Let's just hope Dickinson doesn't decide to recreate some of the RAF dogfighting tactics memorialized in their classic song "Aces High".


Ace of Spades - a Motorhead classic

We've said it before, and we'll say it again - Motorhead is more than just a great heavy metal band ... they are the most indestructable form of life on the planet. When the nuclear holocaust comes, and even cockroaches die, Lemmy Kilminster, their lead singer will live on.

Yep, we're still wierded out from working on this thesis ... could you tell?

Our all-favorite Motorhead song is the classic "Ace of Spades". Shown below, they performed the song for the BBC comedy series "The Young Ones" (as motley a bunch as Motorhead itself):





If you'd like to see the "regular" version, performed in concert ...


Headbangers - Mark your calendars

For those of you out there who love your rock and roll hard and heavy (like we do), be sure to mark these dates on your calendar:
  • April 20 - Megadeth plays the Tabernacle in Atlanta
  • April 22 - Whitesnake's new CD - "Good to be bad"
  • May 13 - Dokken's new CD - "Lightning strikes again"
  • May 18 - Jackyl plays the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach
  • June (sometime) - Judas Priest's new CD - "Nostradamus"
  • July 22 - Dokken and Sebastian Bach play the Lakewood Ampitheatre, Atlanta
  • Summer (sometime) - Motley Crue's new CD - "The Dirt"

Expect more concert dates to be announced in upcoming weeks as bands start hitting the road. We'll be sure to keep you up to date ... and you can bet if it's a great rockin' show - we'll be there!