Tuesday, September 25, 2012


There's not enough time in the day to get everything I want done and something has to suffer.  One of the things that I didn't have time for this past month is posting to the blog, my spare time spent building the bookcase, repairing the walls, texturing the walls, painting, replacing the floor boards, replacing all electrical fixtures and then putting things back together again. The room is largely done, except for replacing the books and paintings/prints.  This project was hard to complete because I was not motivated to do it from the very beginning.  It was accomplished only because I was a zombie and simply went through the motions to get it done.  This project effectively completes the interior of the house, the last room to be renovated.  Yet other lesser projects remain to be completed in the coming years.  I like to believe they are smaller in size and scope, but that's always an illusion based on my experience, with unplanned tasks always requiring added effort.

But the music kept on playing.

Sex Pistols
Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA, USA
September 3, 2003
At the Warfield on Wednesday, the Sex Pistols crawled from history's crypt and returned to the city where they ended their brief but brilliant career in 1978. Someone should have nailed the crypt door shut. It isn't that the resurrected Pistols -- singer John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten), guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and original bassist Glen Matlock, who preceded the late Sid Vicious in the lineup -- were technically awful. Just embarrassing for anyone who saw them when they were still vibrant, twentysomething malcontents caught between trying to destroy a bloated music industry and milk it dry.

The real Sex Pistols met their Goetterdaemmerung with open arms on a spit- soaked Winterland stage in 1978. The embalmed facsimile that played San Francisco on Wednesday as part of its second blighted reunion tour (the first was in 1996) barely qualified as an homage. With eyes closed, the hourlong set, which included all of 1977's "Never Mind the Bollocks" album and a few singles (including the marathon cover of the Stooges' "No Fun"), seemed like a cool jolt to the memory circuits. Most of the songs still live as powerful and euphoric expressions of a certain time and place; Lydon's voice retained its distinctive sneer, and his band mates churned through their limited repertoire with workmanlike precision.

"Any of you got anything funny to say?" he demanded after a competent rendition of "God Save the Queen."

"F-- you!" replied a few middle-aged voices enthusiastically. "How do you like your meat?" Lydon spat back. "Old and tough?"

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/music/article/Sex-Pistols-Lydon-tries-but-can-t-revive-rage-2590991.php

Download it here:

Angry eye of red
Stares down upon corruption
Death is in the air

Their moral conflicts
In a world of black and white
Colored with denial

Words meant to persuade
Spoken with such eloquence
The truth’s not required

Van Halen
Atlantic City, NJ, USA
March 24, 2012
A fan writes:

First, as you can tell, I don't post much but I am a regular on this board (basically a troll...lol). I have seen every VH tour (all except with that Cherone (spelling) joker) since the beginning when they warmed up Black Sabbath at the Spectrum. I saw the Philly show a couple weeks ago and to be honest there was no way I thought they could top that show. Boy, was I wrong. The band was tight and the acoustics in AC were tremendous. I was in the 18th row on Eddie's side and they kicked ass from start to finish. Less "chitter,chatter" from Dave tonight than Philly. This is definitley a new version of VH. I consider this the "mature" version of the band. I paid 170 both shows and it was worth every penny. A whole lot of band hugs and joking with each other. It was a tremendous show and all I can hope is that they do this again some day. KUDOS to this board as you guys all rock. I have followed many tours on here. No comparision to the tour 3 years ago. This one is tops.

Read it all here: http://www.vhlinks.com/vbforums/showthread.php?p=1502382

Download it here:

Clergy's whitewashed room
Sun shines outside its window
There beyond the bars

Sun rises so red
Omen of some prophecy
Nation in decline

High upon the stage
Preaching their morality
Swept up by the lies

Look to the future
But when eyes close forever
He's stuck in the past

Their optimism
Farther than the eye can see
Suffer from blindness

Joy Division
Live at Nashville Ballroom, London, UK
September 22, 1979
Excellent sound to this classic recording of the band led by Ian Curtis.

Download it here:

Scatter the ashes
Turns his back and says goodbye
Nothing but silence

A gorgeous sunset
Brilliant light shines from within
Everyone is special

Public Image limited
Belgrade Calling Festival, USCE Park, Serbia
June 29, 2012
Excellent recording from their 2012 tour, playing both old classics and new songs off their recent release.

"This summer the beautiful Ušće Park, set in New Belgrade at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, will be the setting for one of the largest music festivals that the city have ever seen, with headliners including the legendary Ozzy Osbourne featuring guitarist extraordinaire Slash, the criminally underrated American rock band Faith No More, and the absurdly popular British singer Jesse J (who we had literally never heard of before writing this, but apparently has hundreds of millions of views on on Youtube). For us some of the 'supporting' acts are even more noteworthy, with the likes of Public Enemy, the Cult, Public Image Ltd, Orbital and the Horrors all taking to the stage over the festival's three days. Definitely one event not to be missed!"

Download it here, thanks to Pilhead:

Leaves his childhood's town
Their down turned heads are weeping
Lay them in the ground

Iggy Pop
Roadkill Rising
I listened to discs two (1980's) and three (1990's) from the Shout! Factory’s 2011 release, Roadkill Rising, a collection of live, unreleased tracks from the 1970s through the 2000s, culled from numerous gigs around the world.

"Discs two and three mix in some of Iggy’s almost-hits, like “Nightclubbing”, “Real Wild Child” from Blah Blah Blah, and “China Girl”, which David Bowie rode as a huge hit in the summer of 1983. Other surprises include the “Batman Theme” and a filthy version of “Louie Louie” that segues into “Hang on Sloopy”, while older tunes like “Loose” and “TV Eye” are still in the setlist. A particularly delicious highlight is a ten-minute-plus version of the bluesy “One for My Baby” from the much-reviled Party album. It’s unexpectedly hilarious to hear Iggy trying to quiet down the audience so he can hear himself sing; this version is so long because he keeps stopping to harangue the crowd. The sound on these discs is clearer than disc one, with heavier bass, although the buzz-saw guitars are still there and the crowd noise remains prominent throughout."

Read it here:

What's most interesting on the second disc is the recording of "One for My Baby (Quarter to Three)." It's more than ten minutes, if only for several false starts due to a rowdy audience. Iggy even starts to get pissed off as he's unable to sing his song. The thing is, he sounds like he means it when he says he wants to sing the song. So despite critics panning the bulk of his 80s output, apparently Iggy did believe in what he was doing. The song's low key croon isn't at all bad, and Iggy pulls it off convincingly. It's refreshing (and perhaps revitalizing) to hear his pleading with the audience though, as it does add levity to his patchy studio work through that strange decade.

Read it here:

Go out and buy it!

Van Halen
Right Here, Right Now
Van Halen with Eddie and Sammy at their finest!  I was in a mood for 90's Van Halen from the Hagar era.

Go out and buy it!

Echo and the Bunnymen
O2 Brixton, London, UK
December 9, 2010
My recording from that night. 

When I listened to it on Saturday night I was somewhat disappointed at the fact that there was something lacking in me, unable to connect, as though a part of me had turned the page on this band, particularly in light of their recent failings.  It's as though the magic has gone.

Read about the trip here:

Iggy Pop
Live At Channel, Boston, MA, USA
July 19, 1988
Great CD reissue of the Iggy live at the Channel Boston 1988 "when he was touring to promote Instinct, one of his less impressive solo albums, when he performed the concert taped by the King Biscuit Flower Hour and presented here, on July 19, 1988. Since Instinct was a return to simple hard rock, the seven songs from the album fit well stylistically, if not qualitatively, with the Iggy and the Stooges evergreens -- "1969," "No Fun," "I Wanna Be Your Dog," "Penetration," "Search and Destroy" -- that fill out the set list. The revved-up, near-metal arrangements are reminiscent of Lou Reed's revamping of his catalog on Rock and Roll Animal, if not as imaginative. But Pop is an enthusiastic, appreciative frontman, even if his lyrics and spoken remarks contain so many four-letter words that the original broadcast must have been heavily edited."

Download it from the Concert Vault:

Van Halen
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC, Canada
May 7, 2012

A fan wrote about the show:

At its fullest, I'd say it hit about 85% full. Not a sell out, but pretty well attended. Very fun crowd both inside and outside the arena; there were large groups of vans strolling through the street before the show drunkenly singing VH tunes. That they butchered the music was irrelevant - it was the thought that counted.

The show was fantastic, IMO. Dave had some struggles lyrically/vocally at points, but he made up for that with his typical Diamond Dave showmanship. He worked the crowd to his advantage and moved the evening along as a Maestro would. Ed, Al and Wolf didn't miss a beat all night - just extremely tight, and the background harmonies provided by Ed and Wolf were one of the best parts of the evening.

Vocally and musically, Wolf more than capably fills Mikey's void. He definitely doesn't possess the stage presence/fan interactivity that Mikey had, but he was still noticeably better than 2007. As the kid gets older, he's going to be fierce.

The whole show flew past, it was just like a shot of adrenaline full in the face. They ripped through everything and the energy level was fantastic. I'd rate it easily above the 2007 show that I saw. Again, just a great, fun evening.

Funny moment: When China Town started, I am 99% certain that Dave began singing the lyrics to "Bullethead" instead. He stopped, frozen on stage as the others kept chugging a long, and then deadpanned into the mic: "I fucked up the lyrics." Everyone laughed, he waited for the next verse and leapt back in.

Best moment: Eddie's solo, IMO. Didn't drag it out, didn't make it too short, it was just right - and man oh man, the man is fucking amazing.

Read more here:

Download it here:

Saturday, September 1, 2012


The third and final act on this warm summer evening on August 30, 2012 here at the Comfort Dental Amphitheatre in Englewood CO was Linkin Park, the alt-rock/nu metal/rap metal band from California.  They were what most people were waiting for based on the crowds response to their presence on stage, a large proportion of the audience singing along, word for word.

Linkin Park's tack, by comparison, was a punch in the gut to anyone still lathered up from Incubus. Theirs was a rock set with a capital R. When those guys came out, surrounded by drum risers and catwalk-type ramps, the fist pumping began and "Faint," with its familiar line, "I won't be ignored" came blasting through the amps. This is some of the most nihilistic pop music around. It's the soundtrack you hear in a war film, when Humvees go barreling into some desolate desert landscape. It's full-on and breathless, and, no, it won't be ignored.

Singer Chester Bennington and rapper Mike Shinoda co-front the group, blending rap and elements of slowed down metal. Their set, like Incubus's, was flawlessly executed. They played "Papercut," "Given Up," "With You" and "Somewhere I Belong" with the vigor of a gym rat on go-go juice. The word "dynamics" was not in the band's vocabulary last night. Linkin Park played new song "Victimized," another nihilistic jam. Strange how a band that has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and are millionaires many times over could still be so pissed off.

Meanwhile, the adrenaline-crazed hits kept blasting out the speakers. "The Catalyst" was followed by "One Step Closer," during which giant flames shot up from the stage. Ten rows back, the heat was still intense. The show wound down, and Linkin Park reemerged for the obligatory encore, playing "Burn it Down" and a couple more tunes before wrapping it up for the evening.

Read it here:

Download it here