Friday, December 26, 2008

You Might Be A Redneck If...

You give your brother Smokey And The Bandit on DVD, as a joke, and he immediately opens it and puts it in the DVD player at the family Christmas party!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Great Gift Ideas

Make your dreams of a White Christmas come true with this official White Album pen.
Only $399.95 buy it now

Or spread the wealth buy giving a Toast Wallet.
A steal at $11.99 buy it now

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not Your Brother's Skynyrd

I've always been a fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd. I tried to deny it throughout the 80's but after a bottle of Old Grand-Dad I bought the 1991 Box Set and I've been back on board ever since. One of the great American rock bands they often gets a bad rap based on the guitar jam Freebird but most of their songs are short (relatively speaking, this was the 70's) and to the point.
Everyone knows about the plane crash of 1977 which took away their singer, songwriter and spiritual leader (often ruling by fist) Ronnie Van Zant and their best third guitar player ever Steve Gaines, who revitalized the band after a little lull in the proceedings. Not everyone kept listening.
Being a fan of the original band I rebelled against the reformed Skynyrd, first a tribute and then a never ending touring machine and cash cow. I never thought Johnny was Ronnie or even Donnie, but after hearing the 1994 acoustic album Endangered Species I realized this guy is a damn good singer and these guys have every right in the world to keep playing these songs.
If not them than who else? They're still a good band. The songwriting is a little suspect but no one is going to a Skynyrd show to hear the new songs.
It's the original band that brings me to this DVD. The bonus footage is three songs from a 1974 concert opening for Queen (I'd love to have been backstage for that) with guitarist Ed King (ex- Strawberry Alarm Clock!) and original drummer Bob Burns. The songs are Working For MCA , Freebird , and Sweet Home Alabama. Alabama was their biggest hit, primarily written by Ronnie and Ed King, and it's great to hear it played by the man who composed it.
What I wasn't ready for was the 1996 footage of the reformed Skynyrd, now featuring Rickey Medlocke (ex-Blackfoot and pre-pronounced Skin-nerd member) and Hughie Thomasson (ex- Outlaws) on guitars along with Gary Rossington on Germany's Rockpalast. There must have been a hearty supply of German beer backstage. In between numbers Johnny Van Zant is cursing "Let me hear your fucking asses!" and changing the lyrics of Gimme Three Steps to "wait a minute mister I didn't even stick her!" while making adolescent hand gestures.
There's a drum solo (sort of) and the normally mild mannered Rossington plays guitar with his teeth and jokingly kicks and pokes at the other guitarists during their spots. Billy Powell looks like he's one drink away from being literally "on piano". It's a rough show but give these guys some credit they've been there and back and if they wanna have a few cocktails before the show all the power to 'em, they just might not want to do it when the cameras are rolling. This disc is worth picking up for the bonus footage but if you want to see this version of the band in a much better setting pick up the 1999 Austin City Limits DVD instead.

sweet home alabama the rockpalast collection
live from austin tx
endangered species

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Video Killed the Radio Star

Star- Stealers Wheel
You can thank the stars there was no MTV in 1974 or this minor hit may not have been heard.

thanks aquarium drunkard for making me think of this tune

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Home Plate

Turn it up. Beginning in January, Alabama state license plates will carry the slogan of Lynyrd Skynyrd's southern rock classic Sweet Home Alabama.

official press release

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stumping The Shark

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Funny as a crutch, Rich
I know Happy Days already jumped the shark but leave Mayberry out of this.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blue Plate Blues

We missed the opening set by friend of Philco Con Murphy (1 PM!) so we swilled some Pumpkin Ale to the sounds of Jason James at the Blue Plate 75th Anniversary Bash.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Under A Blu-Ray Sky : U2 Live At Red Rocks

You need this. Not because the picture has been regraded (whatever that means). Not because the sound has been remastered in 5.1 surround (I can't really tell on my stereo). No, you need it because unless you have an old VHS (or beta) copy lying around you haven't seen this in years if at all. This is a band at it's live peak. I saw them on this tour at the Worcester Centrum and it was so good I vowed never to see them again. That also may have something to do with the fact that I never bought an album after War until All That You Can't Leave Behind. Live At Red Rocks actually looked better on VHS back when TVs weren't made for high definition and you didn't notice the flaws in the film. Bono's singing is great, his dancing not so, but the real star of this show is The Edge and the sounds from his guitars. It's a blast to watch him switch from piano to guitar seamlessly throughout Sunday Bloody Sunday. 2003's U2 Go Home: Live At Slane Castle DVD would have been a worthy sequel to this but the camera's don't show Edge's guitar for more than a second at a time. Too bad. That leaves this DVD as the definitive document, a band seemingly unaware of how great it was...yet. Be warned the picture isn't fantastic, but the music is.

buy it now

Sunday, September 21, 2008

MOMOFUKU - An Instant Classic

One of this year's biggest musical surprises of the year is the latest Elvis Costello record (yes, record!) Momofuku. Featuring The Imposters and some musical guests (including superb background vocals by Jenny Lewis), I mistook this for some throwaway side project but in fact it's one of Elvis best releases in years. This isn't the second coming of the Attractions, well actually it is, it's not on a par with their first three records but certainly up there in terms of the entire catalog. When I Was Cruel and The Delivery Man were a return to form but this goes one step better.
With no grand concepts to weigh them down The Attractions, I mean Imposters, sound like their old selves. If your an Elvis fan this year's model is not to be missed.

buy it now

Friday, September 19, 2008

stART on the Street

StART on the Street Worcester's biggest art festival will be held this Sunday, September 21, on Park Ave between Highland and Pleasant Streets.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Brett Favre Career:
Starts: 254
Passing Yards: 61,849
Touchdowns: 444
Interceptions: 288

Matt Cassel Career
Starts: 0
Passing Yards: 405
Touchdowns: 3
Interceptions: 2

Prediction: Cassel led Pats will send Favre back into retirement

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Experience Boylston

Some guy from Boylston bought a guitar that Jimi Hendrix set on fire for half a million bucks. Not the Hendrix /Zappa Strat from Monterey but the first one he lit up at London's Astoria. The other one is expected to fetch Dweezil a cool million. If you don't have that kind of money to burn you can have always one custom built.

more from The Sun

Sunday, August 24, 2008


With the lingering disappointment of The Weirdness and the endless sea of Iggy DVD I didn't need more Iggy Pop, but while browsing for a summer vacation book I could find nothing else. Well that's just fine because Open Up And Bleed could not be better. Not the authorized biography, but written with Iggy's blessing, Paul Trynka perfectly captures the tale of Jim Osterberg and his alter ego Iggy Pop from pre-Stooge to present with all the gory details intact. Essential.

buy it now

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Your Sounds

filmed on flip by philco brothers
This time I got to see them.
Here's the Incredible Casuals playing Your Sounds Yourself at The Beachcomber in Wellfleet

"The Casuals make a raucous, guitar-driven sound not unlike NRBQ but with a hint of Replacements-style corrosion." - David Fricke, Rolling Stone

band website

Monday, July 28, 2008

Quote Of The Week

I’ll take a guy hitting .500 that’s miserable as opposed to a guy handing out bouquets of roses to his teammates and he’s hitting .145
-Red Sox manager Terry Francona

Monday, July 21, 2008

49 minutes

New Paul Westerberg release!
It seems to be only 43 minutes and 55 seconds but at 49 cents who's complaining.
Buy It

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Psycho Circus

I don't know what I like best about this dvd, the dressed to laugh Kiss family, the battle of the tribute bands, the real band's convention intervention, Handsome Dick Manitoba's imitations of both Paul and Gene, or the ace Frehley impersonator who turns to Elvis when the real Ace lets him down. This rockumentary basically follows the put on the make up movement and concludes with the ridiculous press conference at which the original Kiss reformed. You wanted the best, you got it. Now watch it.

buy it now

Sunday, June 22, 2008

play ball

photo by Vivian Johnson
Steve Wynn, Linda Pitmon, Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck formed this dream team of alt-rockers to sing about baseball.
Have a listen.
The Baseball Project

yep roc page

Friday, June 06, 2008

10 MPG

MPG is almost out of gas so they will be having a 10-year retrospective opening tonight.
Included in the exhibition are works by the Philco Brothers' own Don Hartmann.

450 Harrison Avenue
Boston MA

June 6 to
July 12, 2008
Friday, June 6, 5:30 to 8:00 pm

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Read The Book, See The Movie, Buy The CD

Just finished reading this tremendous book about Roky Erickson and The Thirteenth Floor Elevators. It's quite detailed and will probably stand as the definitive book on the subject although it would be nice to hear Roky tell his own story. The book made me revisit the documentary You're Gonna Miss Me which I enjoyed much more knowing the details provided in the book (the author appears in a short segment in which Roky ,while polite, shows no interest in helping with the book). This in turn made me find my old CD Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye (still in print?) the 1990 tribute CD which made me realize what a great songwriter Erickson is in the first place.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Country Cookin' with Doug Sahm

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1976 US Army Radio Program featuring Doug Sahm

Friday, May 02, 2008

Pleased To Meet... Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell talks about his new album Meet Glen Campbell on which he covers:
"Jesus," Velvet Underground
"All I Want Is You," U2
"Times Like These," Foo Fighters
"Grow Old With Me," John Lennon
"Angel Dream," Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
"Sadly Beautiful," the Replacements
"Sing," Travis
"These Days," Jackson Browne
"Walls (Circus)," Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
"Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)," Green Day

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The End Of An Era

If you grew up in Massachusetts watching the Bird-era Celtics then you probably got your sports news fron Bob Lobel. Make no mistake this guy was one of the greats.
He was smart and funny before ESPN sportscasters were smarter and funnier than you.
We celebrated with him as the Celtics raised banners and we turned to him when the ball rolled the other way, as in through Buckner's legs. Big layoffs at CBS are sending him packing and maybe it is time. Even the great Johnny Carson lost a step in his last few seasons. There won't be another Lobel as we turn to the internet for instant scores and highlights. But when we see another young sports star shine somewhere else and ask "Why Can't We Get Players Like That?", we know there's one who didn't get away. Here's to you Bob Lobel, The Jock, we wouldn't have made it through the 80's without ya.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Harp Blues

The quite excellent Harp music magazine has printed its last issue.
I once e-mailed them about a Pere Ubu review and I got a response in less than 30 minutes.
Little did I know they were gonna print it.
Thanks Harp
We'll miss ya.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pop Hall Of Fame

Yes it's true, Iggy and the Stooges finally made the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony. Not for their three trailblazing pre-punk classics however.
They were there to sing for Madonna, the Queen Of Rock she played CBGB's once or something. Oh yeah and she sold a lot of records too. Maybe this was the MTV awards cause I saw John Cougar there too.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I think I just saw the Stooges play Burning Up and Ray Of Light for Madonna at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony.
Could this be possible?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

pale blue eyes by R.E.M.


Shattered and Little Big Wheel at The Lucky Dog
The last time I saw Little Big Wheel they opened for an amazing Frank Black at this same venue eight years ago. Since then the band has released the excellent Redwood CD, making it two of the best locally released albums to ever come out of the Worcester music scene.
When LBW hit the stage the first thing I noticed was only half the original members are still in the band. That only makes 'em a little Little Big Wheel doesn't it? What matters is singer-songwriter Jim Weeks is center stage. The band sounds fine, but I miss original guitarists Wes Burton's playing a bit. He was the Dan Murphy to Week's Pirner (a veiled Jagger -Richards reference). No offence to the other musicians, but maybe it's time to drop the Little Big Wheel moniker. We know who Weeks is by now and it's his songs we come to hear.

On with the show,
To celebrate the anniversary of the legendary Rolling Stones appearance at Sir Morgan's Cove (now Lucky Dog) tonight's main act is Shattered. The club originally booked legendary Rolling Stones clones The Blushing Brides but they had to cancel.
As the band took the stage I was trying to figure out who played who with no luck.
Then I saw the Jagger guy. Yes, he was definitely Jagger. Directly to his his left was a female singer (which Stone was she?).I figure her job is to make you not notice that the other guys don't look like Stones at all.

How you doing Wooster?

This guy had the accent and rooster dance down pretty well as they ripped into Monkey Man. The Keith guy had the right guitars and tunings all the way down, but he hardly looked the part with his leopard print shirt and his K-mart chain. That's okay cause the Jagger-esque voice and moves got all your attention. The between song patter made me wonder if he acted like this all the time. He'd be great at parties, for a while. They ran through all the hits (with a couple of surprises, like No Expectations) and the more you drank the more you thought they were the the real deal. Jagger-boy left the stage for a breather and the female singer took over for a capable version of Beast Of Burden (remember the Bette Midler video?), which looked better than it sounded, prompting one rowdy fella to holler "let the bitch sing!" upon the Mick's return. Encore time and Mick and K-mart Keith are playing the crowd with us regular folk and it's 1981 all over again, almost. Wonder what is was like to really be there.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Lights Out

Hear Rock City, one of the finest music blogs on the web, is going out of business.
Go check it out before it's gone.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

James Gang In Concert

I never gave much thought to the James Gang because they pretty much happened before my time. My first band played the hits, Funk #49 and Walk Away, but I'd never even seen their their LP's. Then one day, twenty years on, I saw a clip of Walk Away on VH-1 Classic that blew me away. I was also surprised when I heard that they were doing a reunion tour. Why would Joe Walsh need to do this when he's in the fucking Eagles and can charge 300 dollars a seat? After listening to a bootleg copy of one of the 2002 shows I realized this band had a few more good songs and they could still cut it live(with a little keyboard help). Next day while browsing CD racks I couldn't find anything new so I headed for the James Gang bin. I should have bought the studio James Gang Rides Again but the $6 dollar price tag for Live In Concert suckered me in. Well it rocks, with sloppy sound and total stereo separation of the bass and guitar. It starts off with a few heavy bloozy rockers then Walsh switches from guitar to keyboard for Tend My Garden, the song on whihch Tom Scholz supposedly based his "Boston Sound" on. A quick acoustic track follows and then back with a blistering version of Walk Away. The album ends on a long note with a 17 minute jam complete with bass and drum solos which I could probably do without. A 7 minute Funk # 49 might have been better. But hey, 20 minutes of good music for 6 bucks, who could walk away from that.

buy it now

walk away (2002 version)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Superbowl XLII Recap

Tom Petty had a better night than Tom Brady as the Patriots fell to a Manning brother for the second year in a row. Sure there was Moss in the end zone but it was too little too soon. You would think they would learn from their own success. Well nobody's perfect...except the 1972 Dolphins. Forget Spygate, there's only one question for Bill Belichick now: Do you think you were out-coached?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Tom Petty Halftime Show

Looking forward to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers halftime show.
He'll probably break out all the lame hits (Freefallin, I Won't Back Down) but the Heartbreakers are still a great band, especially guitarist Mike Campbell and former Stooge Scott Thurston. If you don't have their 1999 album Echo go buy it now

post Superbowl update:
Tom Brady didn't play as well as Tom Petty
but he went down Swingin' (1999)

Tom "playing bass" with Dwight Twilley (1977)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

shrunken memory

There were two more new albums I bought in 2007 I almost forgot. Paul McCartney's Memory Almost Full which, while an improvement on the much overrated Chaos and Creation (what chaos?), didn't hold my attention for more than a couple listens. Also of note was Ian Hunter's Shrunken Heads which was good but not on a par with his previous album Rant. I may have to try this one again while I search for the out of print Artful Dodger.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Last Year's Model

Is it too late to nominate an album which came out last year, even though I bought it this year, for the best of 2007?
I'm talking about Ray Davies second solo LP Working Man's Cafe.
It's not due for a physical release in the US (New West Records) 'til Feb 19 but apparently has been available as a digital download for months. Who knew?

Amazon Download (only $8.99!)

Ray Davies MySpace