I've mentioned in this blog before
that I'm a lukewarm admirer of Pink, or P!nk, however she's
spelling it these days. Although her persona is a bit hard-assed for my
taste -- I mean, do we really need another Joan Jett? ok, maybe we do -- but her voice is simply too powerful to allow any personality annoyances stop me from being a fan.
She solidified this with her jaw-dropping performance from last night's Grammys. The only performance I cared to watch, actually.
I mean, come on. Any woman who can belt out a beautiful song while hanging upside-down spinning fast enough - and long enough - to make me nauseated just to watch has got talent.
And I'll say it again: Man, that girl can sing.
I don't have too much recent pop music on my iPod. I mean, it's "ok" for ambient noise in the grocery store, but I wouldn't purposefully listen to most of it. Occasionally I find something that catches my fancy, and this song from P!nk is one of them. A more recent hit of hers, Who Knew, is another. That girl can belt a tune.
The first time I heard this Creedence classic was the summer of 1983 when I went to see the highly anticipated and newly released Twilight Zone: The Movie. I was shy of my 13th birthday, which explains why I get the chills just a little every time I hear it. I suppose I was a bit too young and sheltered to be ready for this scene. And as if that wasn't enough, the creepiness associated with the song was reinforced at the end by this scene (starting at the 10 minute mark).
But it remains my hands-down favorite of the CCR collection, and has made it's way into the go-to playlist of my iTunes. I guess must like being just a little bit scared. Or maybe it's just that kick-ass of a tune.
If you were on Family Feud and the question was "Name a music band from Ireland" with the top 5 answers on the board, would you play or pass? Let's see.... U2....and.... I'll pass.
Allow me to introduce another.
The only song on the Once soundtrack not performed by it's stars Glen Hansard and/or Markéta Irglová is this little ditty by the hard-to-pigeonhole band Interference. After sampling the eclectic mix on their website you may or may not become a fan, but when the other family can't come up with more than U2, at least you'll have a chance to steal.
Lawn seats that turned into front row...
Friday June 5, 2009 I was the lucky receipient of some free tickets to Coldplay and Snow Patrol. Jenny Parker was kind enough to give me two tickets to Deer Creek because her plans didn't work out. I took my son who had never gone to a big concert before.
The bands were excellent and the sound as good as it gets. We were lucky enough to find a small stage in the grass area with guitars in a rack. I knew that this meant that one of the bands was going to take a walk into the crowd and perform from this remote stage. My son couldn't believe it when Coldplay walked right up to us.
I will post more pictures here.
Here is a picture with my Blackberry. Sorry I didn't have a real lense but you know the security drill.
I had already decided to talk about The Who before I realized today
is Pete's birthday (64), so the date forced me to "take a break" and
post about another of my all-time favs. The band that falls in just
behind those two other UK bands from the 60's in popularity has been
through its own share of rollercoaster emotions. Yet the two remaining
original members, Townshend and Roger Daltrey, still go at it with the
passion of the wild-eyed "rockers" that were introduced to the US
shores in 1967, when "I Can See For Miles"
broke the top ten. I actually remember the first time I heard that
song on the radio, sitting in my grandmother's car in Terre Haute, IN
on a hot summer day, knowing I had to get my own copy ASAP.
Who was born in the UK in 1964, when sheet metal worker/guitarist
Daltrey, who built his own guitars to play in his band "The Detours,"
recruited John Entwhistle and Pete from their band "The Confederates."
Drummer Keith Moon joined a few months later, Daltrey took over as lead
vocal and "The Who," after a short identity crisis as "mod" band "The
High Rollers," started their journey to fame and fortune. On one of
their first gigs in the UK, Pete, quite athletic and passionate while
playing guitar, accidentally hit a low roof with his guitar's neck and
in frustration, smashed it to splinters on stage, making headlines all
over England the next day. Moon followed the next week by destroying
his drum kit at the end of another gig. The music was definitely the
"raison d'etre," but the destrution of theirs and other people's
property (mainly hotel rooms during tours) gave them a "hook" to be
remembered by. Their first US TV appearance on The Smothers Brothers Show
even had Moon use explosives to blow up his drums at the end of their
set, something that Townshend feels today was the start of his hearing
On and off stage antics aside, by the time of their
Woodstock appearance, The Who, along with The Rolling Stones, had
become known for their live music concerts. Daltrey recently has said
that The Who never rehearsed - that "rehearsals" were on stage in front
of their fans, because that is where their passion always is and where
their best music is always played. Although they never had a #1 hit in
the US, not even the rock radio staple "Won't Get Fooled Again"
from "Who's Next", the next ten years they enjoyed status as "The
World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band" for their incredible live
performances. They even enjoyed Guiness Book of World Record status as
performing the world's loudest concert in London in 1976: with a
measured sound pressure level of 126 dB at 32 meters (over 100
feet). Man, wish I could have experienced that!
notoriety, along with numerous world-wide hits and 2 "rock operas"
(Tommy and Quadrophenia), of which Tommy was made into a movie
(yea, I remember the theater I saw that in too), those "highs"
were countered by equally emotion rendering lows...from Moon and
Entwhistle almost joining a new band called "Led Zeppelin" during
a long-enduring money-crunch with The Who, to two nervous
breakdowns within 5 years for Townshend along with his drug addictions,
from Moon's demise and death, to the death of 11 fans at a concert in Cincinnati, and from the breakup of the band, to a cocaine induced death for Entwhistle at a later age.
their ups and downs and Pete Townshend's personal life thereafter, he
always came back with his passion for music. He re-affirmed that
passion and eventually "joined" again in 1995. I first saw The Who
minus Keith Moon on their "farewell Tour" in 1982, on the
"Quadrophenia" tour in 1997 and then, minus Entwhistle on the tour
right after his death in 2005. Today, The Who is Townshend
and Daltrey...Townshend told the Indianapolis audience in 2005 that "if
we lose anyone else, we can't call it The Who anymore...". Zak
Starkey, Ringo Starr's son who actually got his first drum kit from
dad's buddy, Keith Moon, is probably the best "replacement" for Moon,
and Pino Palladino, a very accomplished bass player, has rounded out
the new Who rhythm section very well (have you heard the cool "Baba
O'Reilly" re-mix with the awesome bass line CSI NY has been using the
last year or so?). Starkey and Palladino are not "permanent,"
but I expect them on any tour from here on.
The Who's passion today is not only for the music but for many worthy causes, including England's Teenage Cancer Trust and The Double O Charity.
Passion for what you do is so important, because without it, you are
fooling no one but yourself if you think you are putting your best
effort into it. The Who never just go through the motions. True
passion shows, and I think it shows as much today with The Who as it
So thank you Pete (and Roger) for all the years of
great times and music your passion has created. And Pete, if they come
up with another CSI spinoff, I vote for "The Seeker" as its theme song!
Just in case you didn't know, Klipsch purchased the Canadian-based speaker company Energy® back in 2006 to expand into worldwide markets with its high performance/high value sound. The Take Classic 5-pack is a cool, compact 5 speaker package with 4 satellite speakers and a matching center channel speaker, all in stylish high-gloss black and all with Energy's exclusive CSM technology.
All you have to do is go to Energy's website at http://www.energy-speakers.com/na-en/ and sign up for the Energy newsletter and you're automatically entered to win one. While you're there, check out all the offerings from this heralded speaker brand!
I mentioned in my first blog that one of my all time favorite
bands/artists is Led Zeppelin. OK, my top four of all time (could
never rank beyond 4) also consist of Steely Dan, The Clash and
yes...Neil Young. Since Neil has something new out (and is only one of
two on that list who has the potential to have anything new out), and
since Deuce has talked about U2's latest in our music blog...I thought
I'd bring a little attention to Neil. Actually, his new "Fork In The Road"
CD is nothing really new or groundbreaking, it's partially a
platform to draw attention to his latest environmental/political
crusade: the preservation of the American car industry. You see, Neil
got ahold of a 1959 Lincoln "Heavy Metal Continental," a 5,000 pound
"whale" at least as big as any Chrysler the B-52's ever sang about, and
is converting it to a hybrid with an ultimate goal of 100 miles per
gallon (I think they have it just over 80 MPG at this point). Once the
goal is reached, Neil will drive it from Witchita, Kansas (where it's
being modified) to Washington, DC to show everyone that American
know-how is still very much alive...and if it can make this "whale"
that efficient, Detroit can do it too...and, as he feels, without a lot
of physical retooling to get it done.
Good 'ol Neil, that is one of the reasons I have always admired him...you never know what part
of left field he is going to walk out of...just that he eventually
will. From rock to country to an album based on an ad slogan for a
spray paint, to techno, back to country, over to grunge, etc. etc ...a
true nightmare for any record company's marketing department. Yet his
music has influenced artists as diverse as James Taylor (who played
banjo on the original studio recording of "Old Man"), Devo, Lynyrd
Skynyrd, Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Sonic Youth and Radiohead, just to
name a few. The kid from Canada, who suffered through Polio, Diabetes,
Epilepsy (he sometimes refers to himself as Bernard Shakey), and a
recent brain aneurysm which almost did him in for good, has done pretty
well for himself.
I first saw him live on a solo tour he did in
the mid-80's, then with Crosby, Stills and Nash in 2003 and 2007, but
regret never getting to see him with Crazy Horse.
A good friend of mine dated a girl many years ago who once toured with
her brother as an acoustic act which did a lot of Neil's songs. One
night in the late 70's, while playing in a small bar in upstate New
York, they noticed Neil sitting at the bar. He introduced himself,
then when their gig was done that evening, flew them to his farm in
Canada. She told me she couldn't believe it...there were chickens
running through his farmhouse, which also doubled as the left speaker
of a GIANT stereo system with his barn as the right speaker. I think
this is another reason he's been one of my hero's..he's always into the experience
of music, and for Neil that experience is, many times, loud and clear.
His latest endeavor is offering up collections of his music on Blu-ray
disc because of that formats ability to reproduce audio in a lossless
format...loud and clear.
Anyway, back to his latest CD...it's a
fun, country/rock group of songs that poke at today's economic issues,
which has been the topic of several of Neil's past works, but this time
with an enthusiastic outlook that "we'll get through this." Maybe it's
his older age or maybe it's his latest brush with death, but his
tone seems less angry and more optimistic this time
around. Nonetheless, if you're already a fan you'll like it and, if
not, it probably will not win you over. I think the best chance of
winning new fans over is his recent movie release on DVD, Jonathan
Demme's "Heart of Gold"
which is a concert he performed at the famed Ryman Auditorium in
Nashville shortly after his recovery from the aneurysm and after the
death of his father. It really shows the emotional side of Neil,
with some truly heart-rendering music, and the recording quality is
Either way, with Neil Young, I have found, you either love him or....you usually tolerate the ones like me who do!
Hi Readers, Deuce here
If we ever meet, it won't be long before I make you and everyone in ear shot aware that I'm a U2 fan. If you express any interest I will then assault you with additional details, like how I've met Bono and The Edge, or how I've managed to see U2 in concert 34 times (and counting). After you tell me I'm crazy, I will smile as I recall each show as a unique, moving experience. My fellow Music blogger Phil Hatch had never seen U2, and after finding out he was going to Ireland on vacation at the exact same time U2 would be playing in Dublin, I gladly gave him my tickets. Phil has been to more concerts than most bands have played. He has a phenomenal collection of stories and experiences detailing his experiences at live shows because Phil gets it - there's nothing like live music, and nothing like great live music. It delivers a visceral experience which is hard for any other type of entertainment to match. I was eager to hear his feedback from the show, which was a lot, but what stuck in my mind was this: "I have never seen a band in all my life connect with an audience like they do...It's one of the greatest concerts I have ever seen.”
Even if you aren’t a U2 fan I recommend going to one of their shows. I wasn’t a fan until I did. They can only truly be appreciated live because they embody what a live concert experience can be, and no one does it better.
Now on to the latest album. U2 has set out to stay relevant, move forward and keep things exciting for everyone - themselves included.
The new album is titled No Line on the Horizon. Bono has stated the title and associated picture on the new album is meant to convey "The Future." No Line on the Horizon isn't the last two U2 albums. It is the future of U2, and the direction they are heading may not appeal to the casual U2 fan. The new album has a lyrical depth and passion that gets under your skin; it almost feels like a collection of modern hymns. You may not initially expect to remember some of the hooks or lyrics as every song travels at a unique yet familiar pace, but with time it sticks with you (I recommend 5-6 listens). If you love the first single "Get on your boots," you may initially question the rest of the album, but with time I suspect you will skip over the first single as you begin to connect and almost experience the deeply layered tracks the album has to offer.
Let's look at the album cover:
No line on the horizon? I see 2
What's cool I guess is that once you open the CD, the two silver lines get pulled off the horizon, kind of clever.
I encourage you to listen to the album a few times, then take out the CD liner or find the lyrics on line and read along during another listening, it will only make the album better. No Line on the Horizon is a masterful work that is haunting, powerful and surprisingly unique for a band 30 years into their career. Every song has a familiar hook with the Edge’s guitar, but it is a welcome one. The rhythm section has never been more prominent and engaging, the power of the Larry Mullen’s drums and Adam Clayton’s Bass have never been more melodic. Like most of U2’s past albums, Bono handles nearly all of the lyrical duties passionately while conveying stories of Soldiers, Sex, GOD, Love, Religion and Singing.
This is one of U2’s finest accomplishments blending old with an unexpected new, U2 may have a lead singer with a Messianic complex but they are no where near being Played out... and who gives a sh#t is they come across Pretentious, They are the greatest band of all time...I can only hope that the U2 360 Tour kicking off in the U.S. on September 12th in Chicago will live up to the album.
OK, so I'm "on the road" in Mexico City last Thursday and, lo and behold, the hotel TV system gets ABC, CBS and NBC out of New York. I'm just in time to see Prince do a tune from his new "Lotusflower" CD at the end of The Tonight Show. OK, it was in "low-def" on an old 25" CRT TV with mono sound but, man, was he smokin'! Heavy rock riffs punching through those tiny speakers and I swear I saw smoke billowing off his Strat. When he finished, he walked into the audience and handed his guitar, still "feeding back" to an astonished audience member (who, apparently was a reporter for TMZ). Leno had to say goodnight to everyone over the continued guitar feedback coming through the PA. Pretty cool stuff. I saw Prince once live, back with my first wife in the mid-80's, on the "Purple Rain" tour. I wasn't expecting much, but was pretty amazed by his talents then.
Hi everyone. I thought I'd start off with a bit about my music and audio background, so you know where I'm coming from on my general music opinions. Being "Born in the 50's" (like The Police), my early influences and loves started with early to mid 60's rock/pop/surf music. At an early age I was exposed to classical music by my mother (a pianist) and by my grandmother and her brother, who were in the entertainment business, to pop and rock music, which I gravitated towards immediately. My first albums were composed of "classics' like "Herman's Hermits Greatest Hits" and "The Very Best of Tommy James and the Shondells" (with a cool, extended version of "Crimson and Clover" with a really psychedelic, distorted guitar solo).
I remember the Sunday night The Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and my dad proclaiming that "the world had gone to hell in a handbasket". FM rock radio appeared here in Indy when I was 11, and my ears were exposed to the new era of protest and drug culture rock, becoming immediately a fan of groups such as The Byrds, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Donovan, The Guess Who, Steppenwolf and CCR and a band that eventually became my favorite of all time...Led Zeppelin. At the same time, the Motown sound coming from the north in Detroit, also intrigued me with music from The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and the like. Throw in some "Acid Rock" from bands like Alice Cooper and Deep Purple and my basic tastes were implanted.
My dad was a child of "the great depression" who grew up on a rural Indiana farm and learned all kinds of stuff about electrical and mechanical engineering at a young age just to survive...he was an audio/video fan also who influenced me at a young age to get hooked on electronics. We even had matching Quadraphonic sound systems in the mid-70's (I barely could fit all those speakers in my bedroom!). I was the guy all of my friends turned to for audio advice in high school, and was also known as "the dude with the loudest stereos"...I even bought a VW beetle in 1975 specifically so I could install a cool new Craig "PowerPlay" cassete receiver with Jensen Co-axial speakers in it and listen to my rock at ridiculous levels in the unique acoustics of the VW.
I went to college in Indy and majored in Broadcasting (my mom wanted me to be a pharmacy major), having a ball as a disc jockey on the college FM station. I was a critic of Indy's narrow music offerings on the radio and met a few guys at college who were operating a "pirate" radio station at the time. For the next 5 years, I spent lots of time with them in Indy and at Indiana University in Bloomington playing all sorts of music (rock, folk, outlaw country, etc.) you couldn't hear anywhere else in the area on "Jolly Roger Radio," which broadcast on about any frequency we wanted on AM/FM and Shortwave (where we were nationwide). That stint ended in the early 80's when the Federal Communications Commission came knocking on my door one early morning, stripping me of my 3rd class broadcast licence and fining us all for broadcasting without the appropriate permission to do so.
Besides being proud to bring music to our listeners our commercial station counterparts refused to, we apparently inspired one very noted member of the US Senate to push for, and getting passed, legislation which made it easier for minorities and other non-corporate backed groups to get licences to broadcast on both radio and television in the US. After my graduation from IU (Marketing degree), I (for some really bizarre reason I still do not know) tried selling insurance for a couple of years before hiring on in sales with an appliance/electronics company in Indy. This was a career I enjoyed for 16 years before becoming part of the Klipsch family in 2000.
My counterpart here on the music blog, Don, being from a younger generation, has an incredible knowledge of, and passion for, the groups that have influenced a younger generation than mine. Don and I have always compared notes on bands and he is one who helps keep me from losing my faith in today's rock scene. One of my all time favorite concerts (and I have been to many since my first real one...Led Zeppelin in 1974)...was where Don (the ultimate U2 fan) got me tickets to see U2 in Dublin back in 2005. I think, between the two of us, we'll cover stuff with two distinct viewpoints. Since I also am listening for many types of good music to play through our speakers, I will try to include other music besides rock.
Let's have some fun!
First blog readers. I'm heading out to Cupertino tomorrow to the new music mecca, Apple Inc. Klipsch has several new music emitting products coming so I consider this a relevant post. As everyone knows Apple has changed the way everyone listens to music, I mean even thoug they weren't the first to do it they had the vision and visibiltiy to complete the software and hardware marriage. I hope to learn much from our friends out West, more details to follow.
Available April 2009: New
Image S4 In-ear headphones - comfort, style & sound at an affordable price.
$79.99 plus Free Shipping! To be notified when it is available, go to http://www.klipsch.com/shop/notification.aspx?id=161