"Sometimes there's a song in my brain/
And I feel that my heart knows the refrain/
I guess it's just the music that brings on nostalgia
For an age yet to come" - Pete Shelley (Nostalgia - Buzzcocks)
I'm not really a Green Day fan. There's a few songs here and there that I like of theirs but this track originally included on 'American Idiot' and released as a single in 2005 I personally think is one of the best tunes that Billy Joe Armstrong has ever written.
Green Dayplaying Wake Me Up When September Ends Live at KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 12th Dec 2004 (Dedicated to Johnny Ramone)
Founding members Craig Aspen and Cyd Frazzini formed The Believers in Seattle amid the Alt. Country - No Depression boom and have been recording and performing ever since. Now they are based in New Orleans.
I actually first stumbled on The Believers reading Paste Magazine one day and they had a little article by Bob Harris who said that The Believers had been recommended to him by Buddy Miller. I thought that if Buddy Miller liked them and Bob Harris liked them I'd just go ahead and buy 'Crashyertown' without hearing a note of it. I was glad I did because I love the album. Not long after getting the album The Believers came and played a really intimate show at a small pub in Glasgow (there couldn't have been more than 50 people there) and it was a real joy to be able to meet with Craig and Cyd and have them sign copies of their CD's for me.
I have to say that I am well impressed with this project that Lemmy, Slim Jim Phantom and Danny B. Harvey have put together. When their debut album was released back in 2006 very little notice of it seems to have been taken. According to Lemmy the sales were pretty woeful. I will admit that I never even heard the album myself up until a week ago and was blown away by just how good it is.
Lemmy actually seems pretty suited to churning out these rock and roll classics and of course he is better known for a more heavier breed of rock and roll with Motorhead. But hearing him belt out Buddy Holly tunes you would think it wouldn't work so well, but it does.
The Head Cat have just released their 2nd album - 'Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk'. Once again it is brimming over with great Rock and Roll standards like 'Say Mama', 'Shakin All Over', 'Something Else', 'Let It Rock' and even a spot of The Beatles' 'You Can't Do That'. What stands out though on this album is the inclusion of a couple of originals, 'American Beat' and a brilliant little Blues number called 'The Eagle Flies on Friday'
Lemmy reckons that The Head Cat are not actually that much different from Motorhead and said in a recent interview with Classic Rock that he wants to go out and tour properly with the band. It seems that The Head Cat will be an ongoing concern - "There's no reason why we can't aim to do an album a year. It's not as if we are short of songs to cover. There must be a 1,000 of them at least. And because hardly any are more than two minutes long there's no time for people to get bored. That's Rock 'n'Roll."
Filmed for Rockpalast in 1981 and broadcast in 1982. This was the final night of the 1st European Leg of the OctoberTour. The tour had begun back at Slane Castle on August 16th when they supported of all people Thin Lizzy! Twenty years later they would headline themselves at The Castle.Thirty three dates made up the tour before they went off to the USA to play a 23 date tour (after 5 more dates in the UK and Ireland they jetted back across the pond to play 32 dates).
U2 were still playing pretty small venues and universities back then. Personally I was not a big fan of the 'October' album but managed to see the band again at The Lyceum on this particular tour. I had seen them a number of times prior to the release of 'Boy' and then a residency at The Marquee Club that began the night after they supported Echo and the Bunnymen at The Lyceum Ballroom (7th September) on a bill that included Delta 5 and The Au Pairs. The 'Boy' album is such an amazing debut album I think and it was great that so many songs appeared in the setlist from it on the 'October Tour'. The setlist is taken from U2Gigs.com
At a recent celebration of the life of Clarence Clemons down in Asbury Park, fans were treated to a nine song set of classic R 'n' B featuring Bruce Springsteen. Bruce joined The Sensational Soul Cruisers and JT Bowen on stage
Setlist: Action in the Streets Savin' Up Ain't Too Proud to Beg Sweet Soul Music Shake You Can't Sit Down Raise Your Hand Knock On Wood 634-5789
September 1973 saw the release of the 2nd album by Bruce Springsteen, 'The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle', and it seemed to fair no better than the debut release 'Greetings From Asbury park N.J.'.
In the UK the album peaked at #33 whilst in the States it barely scrapped to #60. It received a lot of critical acclaim at the time but the sales didn't really live up to the expectation. The album is top notch in my opinion and includes the classic 'Rosilita' that for more than a decade closed the shows for Springsteen.
On the night of the 7th November 2009 noting that there were only eight shows left on the tour, Bruce paused before the sixth song of his set on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden to say that he and the band appreciated the support of their fans over the past few years and that they wanted to do something that was a "nice treat for the fans and for us."
So began the first-ever top-to-bottom performance of 'The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle'. Bruce shushed the audience, tapped a baton against his microphone stand and turned to face the horn section (set up on the back riser behind the piano) to conduct them as 'The E Street Shuffle' kicked off an amazing seven-song performance. Bruce completely followed through on his intent to treat the audience, as he unquestionably went above and beyond to ensure a performance that did his second album proud.
If there is one artist I could point to who has remained a part of my life from the moment I first heard him it would be Bruce Springsteen. I have sometimes wondered what on earth a musician from New Jersey and a 10 year old lad from South East London would ever have in common but back then in 1973 when the debut album 'Greetings From Asbury Park NJ' what blew me away was the words that came from Springsteen's mouth.
Lester Bangs, in his review of the album for Rolling Stone (5th July 1973) said, "What makes Bruce totally unique and cosmically surfeiting is his words. Hot damn, what a passel o' verbiage! He's got more of them crammed into this album than any other record released this year, but it's all right because they all fit snug...Some of them can mean something socially or otherwise, but there's plenty of 'em that don't even pretend to, reveling in the joy of utter crass showoff talent run amuck and totally out of control...Bruce Springsteen is a bold new talent with more than a mouthful to say."
On November 22nd 2009 at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo Bruce Springsteen & the East Street Band played the album in it's entirity
"Tonight! One time only!" — the 'Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.' album, start to finish. "This was the miracle," he said, "This was the record that took everything from way below zero to... one." That got a big laugh. Bruce went on to speak of John Hammond, "one of the great legends of music production," and of manager Mike Appel, whose "incredible talking" got him a crucial audition with said legend. Tonight's album performance was dedicated "to the man who got me in the door. Mike Appel is here tonight — Mike, this is for you." He added, "We've never done it... hope we can do it!"
Blinded by the Light
Mary, Queen of Arkansas
Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?
Lost in the Flood
Spirit in the Night
It's Hard to be a Saint in the City
Many years have passed under the bridge since 1973 but I still think the album is a classic. Hard to think that back in its first year of release that it only sold 25,000 copies in the USA! Now it's a Double Platinum album. The album actually peaked higher in the UK chart than the USA when it was first released!
Eddie and the Hot Rods formed in 1975 (though their official site says 1976) and are constantly name-checked as belonging to the Pub Rock circuit of music. In their early days they performed many great 1960's R 'n' B tracks alongside their own material, which in many ways was influenced by their Essex neighbours Doctor Feelgood (founding guitarist Dave Higgs had played in a band with with Feelgood frontman Lee Brilleaux called The Fix). After a residency at the Nashville in South West London with The 101er's they got a record deal with Island Records. Not totally sure when this TV appearance first took place but it must have been before 1976 because Lew Lewis is on the harmonica and he left the band by the start of that year. Have to admit I had never seen these videos before this morning and must say that it was great watching them.
Writing On The Wall
Horseplay (Weary of the Schmatlz)
Get Out Of Denver Baby In 1976 they released their debut album 'Teenage Depression'. It included three cover versions (The Who's 'The Kids are Alright', Joe Tex's 'Show Me' and Sam Cooke's 'Shake' - which was the b-side to the single 'Teenage Depression'). They also hit the charts for the first time with their 'Live at The Marquee EP'
This was basically an EP of cover versions they were performing in their set at the time ('96 Tears', 'Get Out of Denver' and 'Gloria/Satisfaction'). When they first performed at The Marquee their support band was none other than the Sex Pistols (who smashed up all the Hot Rods equipment).
Get Out of Denver Baby (Top of the Pops) Teenage Depression (Supersonic) 1977 saw the band more linked to the Punk/New Wave movement and they released a couple of classics. First up 'I Might Be Lying' which only got as far as #44 on the charts but got them an appearance on Top of the Pops. The b-side, 'Ignore Them (Always Crashing In The Same Bar)' is one of their finest tunes. Then came their biggest hit, reaching #9 in the UK charts:
Do Anything You Wanna Do (The Marc Show) The album that followed, 'Life On The Line', is one of my favourites of all time.
Nine brilliant tracks were on the original release (including two that would be released as singles in 1978 - 'Quit This Town', which reached #36 in the charts and 'Life On The Line') Quit This Town (Top of the Pops) Life On The Line (Promo Video) My favourite track from the album though is 'Beginning of the End' and here is a classic performance from The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1978. Their final album for Island Records was released in 1979:
Shortly after the release of the album they were sacked from the label. Two singles, 'Media Messiahs' and 'The Power & The Glory' were released from the album. The Power & The Glory The band went on to record a couple of more albums for EMI and then disbanded in 1981 but reformed again and to date they are still out doing shows. Barrie Masters on vocals is the only steady original member of the band.
I've always liked Billy Bragg. He has a wonderful way of putting things into a song that you just wouldn't expect from anyone else. The song below was written on Friday 8th July 2011 and performed live for the first time at the Garforth Arts Festival on Saturday 9th July 2011 and the video was shot in his dressing room prior to his performance.
Never Buy The Sun
Hearing that got me thinking about the works of Billy Bragg and I thought I'd share here a number of my favourite tracks from the Bard of Barking.
Between the Wars (Top of the Pops)
Days Like These (The Tube)
She's Got A New Spell (Town & Country Club 1991 Live)
Accident Waiting to Happen (Town & Country Club Live 1991)
Levi Stubbs Tears (Roundhouse 2008)
Tank Park Salute (Town & Country Club 1991 Live)
St. Swithin's Day (Germany 1985)
Greetings To The New Brunette (The Filmore, SF 2008)
New England (1983 John Peel Session)
The World Turned Upside Down (Greenbelt 2007)
Help Save The Youth Of America (American TV 1989)
The Short Answer (John Peel Session)
Must I Paint You A Picture (Extended Version)
Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key (with Natalie Merchant)
Not sure how I missed this but back on June 5th it was the anniversary of the death of Dee Dee Ramone back in 2002. He died of a heroin overdose but many of us would prefer to remember him differently.
To me one of his finest moments is that Rainbow Show in London from 1977 and this is how I like to remember him.