Thursday, July 30, 2009

25 Years Ago Today: Metallica releases "Ride the Lightning"...

'Ride the Lightning' is the second album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on July 30, 1984 by Megaforce Records and re-released by Elektra Records on November 19, 1984. 'Ride the Lightning' has sold over 5 million copies in the U.S. alone.

'Ride the Lightning' is often hailed by fans as a classic of the thrash metal genre and a vital bridge between the band's albums Kill 'Em All and Master of Puppets, pushing the thrash metal of the debut into progressive territory more fully-realized on Master of Puppets and ...And Justice for All.

'Ride the Lightning' retains the speed of Kill 'Em All on songs like "Trapped Under Ice" and "Fight Fire with Fire", but also contains the first of Metallica's longer, more symphonically arranged tracks, such as "Fade to Black" and the nearly 9-minute closing instrumental "The Call of Ktulu".

'Ride the Lightning' was listed at #3 on a list compiled by of the Top 100 Metal Albums of All Time and #5 by IGN Music on the Top 25 Metal Albums.

Suggested listening:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Top 5 Songs I am Currently Listening To...

1. Washed Out - "You'll See It"
2. Grizzly Bear - "Foreground"
3. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - "Ramona"
4. Animal Collective - "Taste"
5. jj - "Ecstacy"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

22 Years Ago Today: Guns N' Roses release "Appetite For Destruction"...

'Appetite for Destruction' is the debut studio album by American hard rock band Guns N' Roses. Released in 1987, it was well-received by critics and topped the American Billboard 200 chart. As of September 2008, the album has been certified diamond (plus 18x platinum) by the RIAA, accumulating worldwide sales in excess of twenty-eight million as of October 2008. The album still remains the fastest-selling debut album in history. 'Appetite for Destruction' is considered by many to be one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time.


Axl Rose stated in 1988 that many of the songs featured on the album had been written while the band had been performing on the Los Angeles club circuit, and a number of songs that would be featured on later Guns N' Roses albums were considered for Appetite for Destruction, such as "Back Off Bitch," "You Could Be Mine" and "Don't Cry".

While the songwriting credits are credited to all five band members, many of the songs began as solo tracks that individual band members wrote separate from the band, only to be completed later. These songs include "It's So Easy" (McKagan) and "Think About You" (Stradlin). "Rocket Queen" was an unfinished Slash/Adler song that was written from their earlier band Road Crew, whereas "Anything Goes", written by Hollywood Rose and included in their compilation album The Roots of Guns N' Roses, was later re-written for Appetite.

Other songs on the album reflect the band's reaction to the debauchery of the L.A. rock and roll underground, like "Welcome to the Jungle" (Rose wrote the lyrics while in Seattle about an incident in New York City). Some of the songs focus on the band members' younger years, like "Out ta Get Me", which focuses on lead singer Axl Rose's constant trouble with the law as a youth in Indiana. The band also based songs off of their assorted female companions, reflected in the songs "Sweet Child o' Mine," "Think About You," "My Michelle," "You're Crazy," and "Rocket Queen."


In 1989 Rolling Stone ranked Appetite for Destruction as the 20th best album of the 1980s. The same magazine later ranked it at sixty-one on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
In 2001, Q magazine named Appetite for Destruction as one of the 50 Heaviest Albums of All Time. In 2004, Q magazine also named Appetite for Destruction as one of the greatest Classic Rock Albums Ever. In 2003, VH1 named Appetite for Destruction the 42nd Greatest Album of All Time. In 2002, Pitchfork Media ranked Appetite for Destruction 59th on their Top 100 Albums of the 1980s. It was ranked 18 in Spin magazine's "100 Greatest Albums, 1985-2005".

Suggested listening:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Top 5 Songs I am Currently Listening To...

1. Déclassé - "Default Values"
2. Pearl Harbour - "Lost at Sea"
3. Karen Dalton - "Something on Your Mind"
4. The Rolling Stones - "Let It Loose"
5. Animal Collective - "Taste"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Lover....

You know I need your love
You've got that hold over me
Long as I've got your love
You know that I'll never leave
When I wanted you to share my life
I had no doubt in my mind
And it's been you woman
Right down the line

I know how much I lean on you
Only you can see
The changes that I've been through
Have left a mark on me
You've been as constant as a Northern Star
The brightest light that shines
It's been you woman right down the line

I just wanna say this is my way
Of tellin' you everything
I could never say before
Yeah this is my way of tellin' you
That every day I'm lovin' you so much more
'Cause you believed in me through my darkest night
Put somethin' better inside of me
You brought me into the light
Threw away all those crazy dreams
I put them all behind
And it was you woman
Right down the line

I just wanna say this is my way of tellin' you everything
I could never say before
Yeah this is my way of tellin' you
Everything I could never say before
Yeah this is my way of tellin' you
That every day I'm lovin' you so much more

If I should doubt myself, if I'm losing ground
I won't turn to someone else
They'd only let me down
When I wanted you to share my life
I had no doubt in my mind
And it's been you woman
Right down the line

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lance Armstrong + Nike + Mogwai...

I love that "Sine Wave" by Mogwai (my favorite Mogwai song) made it into a Nike commercial. An epic song that was way overdue to be used in a great film/tv show/commercial.

another golden oldie Lance Armstrong/Nike commercial:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Great Song, Great Video: Cass McCombs - "You Saved My Life"...

I love the song and I love the video...

Suggested listening:

"Catacombs" (2009)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Up Next on the Stage: Magnolia Electric Co.

Tonite I shall cross another artist off of my "must see live" list: Magnolia Electric Co., which is something I have been wanting to do for about 6 years now.


Jason Molina is an American singer-songwriter, originally from Lorain, Ohio. He first came to prominence performing and recording as Songs: Ohia, both in solo projects and with a rotating cast of musicians. Since 2003, he has recorded either under his own name or with a stable line-up of band members as the Magnolia Electric Co.

The songs I most want to see performed later:

Leave the City
Don't Fade on Me
Doing Something Wrong
The Dark Don't Hide It
Almost Was Good Enough
The Night Shift Lullaby
Hard to Love a Man
Hammer Down
Hold On Magnolia

Suggested listening:

"Trials and Errors" (2005)

"What Comes After the Blues" (2005)

"Hard to Love a Man EP" (2005)

"Fading Trails" (2006)

"Sojourner" (2007)

"Josephine" (2009)

My 2009 MLB World Series Picks...

The time has come for me to make my annual mid-season picks for who will appear in the World Series come this October (the 105th "fall classic" is scheduled to start on October 28th). I refuse to pick the World Series participants in's ridiculous to think anyone has that much foresight. So here they are...

American League: Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox are playing like a well-oiled machine and I would be a fool to think they aren't going to be right there in the ALCS (hopefully against Tampa again, that was a great series last year).

National League: Los Angeles Dodgers

Joe Torre has the Dodgers playing quality baseball in a pretty weak division. I am about 40% on picking the Dodgers to be there in the NLCS.

Predicition: Boston Red Sox win series in 6 games

Monday, July 13, 2009

"Turn Back the Clock" Nite in Tampa...

Did anyone else notice that the Tampa Bay Rays had a "turn back the clock" nite a few days ago? If so, was it also funny to you that their "throwback" uniforms were from 2000? I guess that's what happens when your franchise has only been in existence for 11 years.

Top 5 Songs I am Currently Listening To...

1. Yaz - "Only You"
2. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - "Young Adult Friction"
3. Discovery - "So Insane"
4. Grateful Dead - "Unbroken Chain"
5. Animal Collective - "Taste"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"Only You..."

looking from a window above, it's like a story of love
can you hear me
came back only yesterday
moving farther away
want you near me

all I needed was the love you gave
all I needed for another day
and all I ever knew
only you

sometimes when I think of her name when it's only a game
and I need you
listen to the words that you say it's getting harder to stay
when i see you

this is going to take a long time and I wonder what's mine
can't take no more
wonder if you will understand with just the touch of your hand
behind a closed door

Monday, July 6, 2009

Top 5 Songs That I am Currently Listening To...

1. Pearl Harbour - "Lost at Sea"
2. Discovery - "So Insane"
3. Crocodiles - "Young Drugs"
4. Telepathe - "Chrome's On It"
5. Deerhunter - "Hazel St."

Friday, July 3, 2009

July 4th: "What's the day?" "What's you doing?" "How's your food?" "How's that song?"...

That 30% chance of rain is making me nervous. Is there a reverse rain dance I can perform? I enjoy the 4th of July and here are some of the reasons why/songs I plan to make a part of my day tomorrow:

38 Years Ago Today: Jim Morrison Dies in Paris, France...

James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer, songwriter, poet, writer and filmmaker. He is best known as the lead singer and lyricist of The Doors and is widely considered to be one of the most charismatic frontmen in rock music history. He was also the author of several books of poetry and the director of a documentary and short film. Although Morrison was known for his baritone vocals, many fans, scholars and journalists alike have referenced his theatrical stage persona, self-destructive lifestyle and his work as a poet.He was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Singers of All Time".


Morrison moved to Paris in March 1971, took up residence in an apartment, and went for long walks through the city, admiring the city's architecture. During that time, Morrison grew a beard, and by all accounts, became depressed and was planning to return to the United States.

It was in Paris that Morrison made his last studio recording with two American street musicians — a session dismissed by Manzarek as "drunken gibberish".The session included a version of a song-in-progress, "Orange County Suite", which can be heard on the bootleg The Lost Paris Tapes.

Morrison died on July 3, 1971. In the official account of his death, he was found in a Paris apartment bathtub by Courson. Pursuant to French law, no autopsy was performed because the medical examiner claimed to have found no evidence of foul play. The absence of an official autopsy has left many questions regarding Morrison's cause of death.

In Wonderland Avenue, Danny Sugerman discussed his encounter with Courson after she returned to the U.S. According to Sugerman's account, Courson stated that Morrison had died of a heroin overdose, having inhaled what he believed to be cocaine. Sugerman added that Courson had given numerous contradictory versions of Morrison's death, at times saying that she had killed her common-law husband, or that his death was her fault. Courson's story of Morrison's unintentional ingestion of heroin, followed by accidental overdose, is supported by the confession of Alain Ronay, who has written that Morrison died of a hemorrhage after snorting Courson's heroin, and that Courson nodded off, leaving Morrison bleeding to death instead of phoning for medical help.

Ronay confessed in an article in Paris-Match that he then helped cover up the circumstances of Morrison's death. In the epilogue of No One Here Gets Out Alive, Hopkins and Sugerman write that Ronay and Varda say Courson lied to police who responded to the death scene and later in her deposition, telling them Morrison never took drugs.

In the epilogue to No One Here Gets Out Alive, Hopkins says that 20 years after Morrison's death Ronay and Varda broke silence and gave this account: They arrived at the house shortly after Morrison's death and Courson said that she and Morrison had taken heroin after a night of drinking in bars. Morrison had been coughing badly, had gone to take a bath, and had thrown up blood. Courson said that he appeared to recover and that she then went to sleep. When she awoke sometime later Morrison was unresponsive and so she called for medical assistance.
Courson herself died of a heroin overdose three years later. Like Morrison, she was 27 years old at the time of her death.

However, in the epilogue of No One Here Gets Out Alive, Hopkins and Sugerman also claim that Morrison had asthma and was suffering from a respiratory condition involving a chronic cough and throwing up blood on the night of his death. This theory is partially supported in The Doors (written by the remaining members of the band) in which they claim Morrison had been coughing up blood for nearly two months in Paris. However, none of the members of the Doors were in Paris with Morrison in the months before his death.

In the first version of No One Here Gets Out Alive published in 1980, Sugerman and Hopkins gave some credence to the theory that Morrison may not have died at all, calling the fake death theory “not as far-fetched as it might seem”. This theory led to considerable distress for Morrison's loved ones over the years, notably when fans would stalk them. In 1995, a new epilogue was added to Sugarman and Hopkins' book, giving new facts about Morrison's death and discounting the fake death theory, saying “As time passed, some of Jim and Pamela [Courson's] friends began to talk about what they knew, and although everything they said pointed irrefutably to Jim's demise, there remained and probably always will be those who refuse to believe that Jim is dead and those who will not allow him to rest in peace.”

In a July 2007 newspaper interview, a self-described close friend of Morrison's, Sam Bernett, resurrected an old rumor and announced that Morrison actually died of a heroin overdose in the Rock 'n' Roll Circus nightclub, on the Left Bank in Paris. Bernett claims that Morrison came to the club to buy heroin for Courson then did some himself and died in the bathroom. Bernett alleges that Morrison was then moved back to the rue Beautreillis apartment and dumped in the bathtub by the same two drug dealers from whom Morrison had purchased the heroin. Bernett says those who saw Morrison that night were sworn to secrecy, in order to prevent a scandal for the famous club, and that some of the witnesses immediately left the country. However, this is just the latest of many in a long line of old rumours and conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Morrison and is less supported by witnesses than are the accounts of Ronay and Courson.

Grave site:

Morrison is buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in eastern Paris, one of the city's most visited tourist attractions. The grave had no official marker until French officials placed a shield over it which was stolen in 1973. In 1981, Croatian sculptor Mladen Mikulin placed a bust of Morrison and the new gravestone with Morrison's name at the grave to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his death; the bust was defaced through the years by cemetery vandals and later stolen in 1988.

In the 1990s Morrison's father, George Stephen Morrison, placed a flat stone on the grave. The stone bears the Greek inscription: ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ, literally meaning "according to his own daimōn" and usually interpreted as "true to his own spirit". Mikulin later made two more Morrison portraits in bronze but is awaiting the license to place a new sculpture on the tomb.

Suggested reading:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Dave Auman!

"I used to run around with that dude..."

Happy 28th man...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

41 Years Ago Today: The Band releases "Music From Big Pink"...

'Music from Big Pink' is the 1968 debut album by rock band The Band. It features one of their best-known songs, "The Weight."


With a rough sound, seemingly chaotic arrangements, and a distinctive blend of country, rock, folk, classical, R&B, and soul, Music From Big Pink is generally considered one of the best albums by the Band, along with their 1969 second album The Band. The album follows the band's backing of Bob Dylan on his 1966 tour (as The Hawks) and time spent at a shared house in upstate New York recording what would become The Basement Tapes, also with Dylan.

The initial critical reception of the album was generally positive, though sales were slim; Al Kooper's rave review of the LP in Rolling Stone helped draw public attention to it. The fact that Bob Dylan had composed three of the songs also helped to increase sales.

At the time, "The Weight" peaked at #63 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart. The album peaked at #30 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart in 1968, and then recharted as a #8 hit on the Top Internet Albums chart in 2000. The song "The Weight" has gained widespread popularity, in spite of its dismal chart ranking, due partially to its inclusion in the cult favorite film 'Easy Rider', though it was left off of the soundtrack due to a licensing issue (a cover version by the band Smith was included on the soundtrack album instead).

In 2003, the album was ranked number 34 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Story behind the title:

"Big Pink" is a pink house in West Saugerties, New York located at 56 Parnassus Lane (formerly 2188 Stoll Road). In 1967, the house was purchased by Rick Danko of The Band. Danko, along with bandmates, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson, moved into the house and dubbed it "Big Pink". The house became the site of the rehearsing of the album. The actual recording of the album took place in New York and Los Angeles. The house was also the headquarters of Parnassus Records a label specializing in classical music. According to the official Big Pink website, it is currently a private residence.

Suggested listening: