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Archive for the 'Music Musings' Category

Let Me In The Sound

2009-10-05 | Posted in Music Musings

Last week I finally got to line up tickets for some more concerts. First up was Tuesday when I got to buy tickets to see U2 in Helsinki, Finland. The show isn’t until August 20th next year, but it feels great to have secured tickets already. Since I’m a paying member of U2.com I got to participate in the presale, and after hearing how difficult it was to get tickets at the public onsale today, I feel like it was money well spent. I got Red Zone tickets, which means you get to stand in a pre-determined area right outside of the catwalk on either side of the stage. At 250 euro a piece the prices were kind of steep, but it’s well worth it since you are guaranteed a great spot, and you don’t have to waste the entire day standing in line. My wife and I will be taking the overnight ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki, and there is actually talk about a possible U2 cruise, with Swedish U2 tribute W2. That would be a nice added bonus.

Then on Thursday we bought tickets to see Henry Rollins on one of his spoken word appearances in January. My wife saw him last time he was in Stockholm and she had a blast. Apparently he has some really funny/interesting stories to share. Irma told me one about when Rollins met David Lee Roth that was just hilarious. So that’s going to be a fun evening!

When I got back from lunch on Thursday, and the Henry Rollins tickets were taken care of, came the biggest surprised of all: I had a message from my wife that said: “The Dead Weather is coming to Stockholm!” I couldn’t believe it! As you would know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I’m a huge Jack White fan. I had already resigned myself to the fact that The Dead Weather would not be visiting Stockholm on their European tour, and had actually been thinking about going to Amsterdam to see them. So glad I hadn’t acted on that impulse. So we got tickets, general admission. I will do my best to stand in the front. The concert is on November 7th, and starts at midnight. How cool is that? I’ve never been to a midnight concert before, unless you count Chickenfoot this summer, but that was at a festival so that’s different.

Anyway, the main point I wanted to make here is that I am very happy to have some concerts to look forward to. First up is Muse in a couple of weeks. Their new album is really growing on me…(”or am I growing on you?” as Justin Hawkins of The Darkness so subtly put it).

Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats

2009-09-19 | Posted in Music Musings

Being a huge Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot fan, I just have to write about Chad Smith’s new project, Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats. Chad has teamed up with guitarist Jeff Kollman, Ed Roth on keyboards and bass player Kevin Chown, for a funk-rock outing. Their album Meet The Meatbats was released on September 15th and reached number 9 on the iTunes Jazz chart yesterday according to a tweet by Chad himself.

Meet The Meatbats is an instrumental album. The style is somewhere in the funk-jazz-fusion realm, but it doesn’t feel contrived like a lot of music in that genre has a tendency to do. It is fun music, with a nice funky groove to it, quite reminiscent of classic RHCP. In an interview on The Preston and Steve Show on Philadelphia’s WMMR radio station, Chad talked about how the record might not be for everyone, but how it’s a fun record and not just a bunch of guys trying to play a million notes a minute.

Chad also talked about how he is scheduled to start writing songs with Red Hot Chili Peppers on October 12th, and because of that there won’t be a proper tour with the Meatbats. He went on to say that the Chili’s writing process would most likely take around six months, and that hopefully they’d have an album out by this time next year. I can’t wait for new Chili Peppers material, and a tour, but it would be really nice if Chickenfoot managed to squeeze in one more European tour during the winter. Chickenfoot are by far the biggest surprise hit this year if you ask me. The pure joy displayed by all four members when they play live makes for a fantastic show. But for now, broaden your horizon and check out Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats!

As a side note I have to mention that Chad also talked about how he likes to throw drumsticks to the crowd, as long as they pay attention and don’t get hit in the head! Hmm, wonder what he could have possibly been referring to??? ;)

Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam

2009-09-14 | Posted in Music Musings

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been listening to the British blues rocker Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam. Davy writes the songs, perform vocal duties, and play a mean guitar.

I discovered the band because they are the opening act for Chickenfoot on their U.S. tour, and in every Chickenfoot review I’ve read, people are praising Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam, so I just had to check them out. Davy Knowles have two albums so far. 2007’s Roll Away, was recorded as a trio with band mates Adam Jones on bass and drummer Ross Doyle. I’ve been listening to this album over and over and it’s just mind blowing. It’s like a rawer, grittier version of Kenny Wayne Shepherd. My favorite song is the opening track, Come Home, but really, all the songs are great.

The trio parted ways in early 2009, and Davy recorded the follow up with new musicians, among them Peter Frampton who also co-produced the album. Released in June 2009, Coming Up For Air continues in the same tradition as its predecessor, but with a fuller sound, in my opinion. Check out the title track and Tear Down The Walls on Davy’s MySpace page.

Now, how about a European tour Davy?

Guilty Pleasure

2009-09-13 | Posted in Music Musings

I feel completely horrified to admit this, but I actually have to say that I really like the new Bon Jovi single, We Weren’t Born to Follow (click here to hear it on Spotify)! I guess it shouldn’t shame me so much, since Bon Jovi is the reason I got in to music in the first place. I got Keep The Faith for Christmas 1992, and saw them in concert on April 17th 1993 in Stockholm
(check out my review). This was my first concert and I was completely blown away by the whole experience. From this moment on, music has meant everything to me, and my taste in music is constantly evolving.

I have always liked Bon Jovi, or rather, I liked them up until around 2002-2003, when Jon Bon Jovi started believing he was Bruce Springsteen, and completely abandoned the trade mark Bon Jovi sound of heavy guitars, great hooks, and infectious choruses. I completely avoided the horrific This Left Feels Right, and I haven’t even heard 2007’s country flavored Lost Highway. That’s why I am so pleasantly surprised by We Weren’t Born to Follow. It is definitely a step back to familiar Bon Jovi territory. I read an interview with Richie Sambora at
ultimate-guitar.com a couple of weeks ago where he talked about how the new album will be a straight forward rock effort. Now I am quite excited to hear the new album. I hope that when it’s time for a tour, the past 5 years of questionable efforts are left in the closet, and we’ll get a classic Bon Jovi show. However, I do have to say that Last Man Standing from 2005’s Have a Nice Day is a great rock song, that I hope they will include in the set.