Friday, November 30, 2007

iPod music to run by

A few people at The Star know that I like to run. Lots of folks here do. And most run faster and more competitively than I do. Carl Lewis, I'm not.

When I run, my iPod is more important than my New Balances. I could run barefoot for a while, but I couldn't run around the block without a drummer in 4/4 time banging in my ears. Loudly.

So this week I've started a new project: Creating a playlist specifically for running, something most serious runners did long ago. I'm late, as usual. Beforehand, I had simply been picking CDs and running to whatever floated my boat that day.

What I've noticed is that my performance -- if you can call it that -- seriously declined if I had anything mellow on my iPod. As songs changed, my time and gait would either speed up or slow down, depending on the music. I'm a Pavlovian runner. Old Priest, original lineup Maiden, Megadeth, pre-black album Metallica -- think "Creeping Death" while you're struggling through your sixth mile -- and Sabbath made me run fast. Old Van Halen sometimes worked. Rush, especially 80s and 90s Rush, made me slow down. I dig the heck out of Dream Theater, but their music is so dense and complex that often it doesn't work well for running. And all those CDs of acoustic guitarists that I love? I couldn't crawl with them in my iPod.

So I'm going for the hard stuff, fast beats, loud guitars and no ballads, pianos, synths, acoustic guitars.

I'm gonna be deaf, but I'm gonna get my 10K time down, one way or another.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Widespread Panic song streaming; new album info

New-esque might be the better term. "Flicker" has
been played live before. It's the second song to be
released for streaming that is on the "Free Somehow"
album that is rumored to hit stores in late January 2008.


November 29, 2007
New CD hits the streets early 2008

The band is excited to announce their new CD "Free Somehow"
will be available online and in stores early 2008.
The CD was recorded at the Compass Point Studios by
Terry Manning. Most of the songs on this CD have not
been performed live yet. Here's a peek at the track
listing and a streaming studio version of "Flicker,"
which was performed live on tour in 2007, on the audio player.

Track listing:
Boom Boom Boom
Walk On The Flood
Angels On High
Three Candles
Tickle The Truth
Free Somehow
Flicker Take a listen
Dark Day Program
Her Dance Needs No Body
Already Fried
Up All Night Free download

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

News and notes from the jam world

The Black Crowes Warpaint w/ Luther Dickinson

From the beginning, The Black Crowes have done things their own way. And it's good to know that some things don't change. Warpaint — the band's first album of all-new studio material in seven years, due out March 4 worldwide — will be independently released on the band's own newly formed Silver Arrow Records and distributed through Megaforce/Sony Red BMG. It's their first studio release since the acclaimed Lions album in 2001 (on V2).

Warpaint marks the recording debut of two new band members - guitarist Luther Dickinson and keyboardist Adam MacDougall - who join Chris, Rich, drummer Steve Gorman and bassist Sven Pipien. Dickinson, of North Mississippi Allstars, officially steps in to replace producer/guitarist Paul Stacey, whose position with the band was always intended to be temporary. The Black Crowes are deeply appreciative that Stacey committed his genuine talent and time to the band and their performances for most of 2007.

More info >>

Widespread Panic's Tunes For Tots Gig at the Roxy

For the third consecutive year, Widespread Panic will precede its two night New Year's Eve stand at the Philips Arena, with a club gig in Atlanta at the Roxy. The Tunes for Tots charity event will take place on December 29, with all proceeds to benefit music departments in Georgia area public schools. Widespread Panic founded Tunes for Tots "to support their belief that art education, and in particular music education, is integral in the overall education and advancement of children Art allows for personal expression, appreciation of ideas, celebration of cultural awareness, sharing emotions, and gives purpose to life." Tickets go on sale on Friday at 10 a.m. and cost $125, with a limited number of $500 VIP tickets also available, which include a pre-show cocktail party with the group.

More info >>

Hannah's Buddies Charity a go again

We are pleased to announce that registration is open for the 2008 Hannah's Buddies Charity Classic and tickets for the JB and Friends concert at House of Blues are available. John Bell is lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for Widespread Panic.

More info >>

Monday, November 26, 2007

The band that simply cannot live up to its name

Extreme's getting back together! Extreme's getting back together again!

That's right metal fans, time to break out your acoustic guitars (talk about two terms that simply don't go together) the band that gave the world arguably the most obnoxious song in the annals of rock - "More than Words" in case you'd able to extract it from your mental play list - is coming to a terribly small club/bar next to you.

That's right, the gang's all here - Nuno Bettencourt, frontman Gary Cherone and bassist Pat Badger and a drummer to be named later. Seems as though Cherone realized he wasn't getting a callback from Van Halen and has moved back in with the old bandmates.

Snarky though I may be, I must also acknowledge the fret mastery that was Nuno Bettencourt. He's a guitar god wasting his talents in Extreme - a band that was anything but.

But wait ... there's more. They're also releasing a new album. Goody-Goody.

Now this reunion I'd like to see

So it would appear that Ian Ashbury, lead singer of The Cult, had a little secret that he felt the need to share with a couple thousand fans recently.

During a gig at Bogart's nightclub in Cincinatti, Ashbury told the crowd that his band - themselves recently reunited - had been pegged as the opening act for a Led Zepplin tour.


Now the surviving members of arguably the greatest hard rock band in history - Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones - have set the stage with a planned "one-off" concert for charity in the next month have been fighting off reunion talks for decades. But with the recent release of yet another "best of" package, their entire catalogue availble for digital download and the remastered release of "The Song Remains the Same" (not to mention everyone still being alive), the time just might be right for an actual reunion tour. But as much as I appreciate the gesture, even though Jason is his son, John Bonham simply cannot be matched and therefore a Led Zepplin reunion will ultimately fall short.

'Course the real question ... Seriously is The Cult the best they could get?

read all about it.

Wikipedia says Quiet Riot vocalist dead at 52

From Wikipedia (link):

Kevin DuBrow (October 29, 1955 – November 25, 2007) was an American rock vocalist, best known as the lead singer of the heavy metal band Quiet Riot. He was known to be the driving force behind Quiet Riot, and for his motormouth and cartoonish stage antics.

Click here to read an article about his death.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Red Hot Chili Peppers sue Showtime

When Showtime began Californication I wondered about the legality of the series name. If Showtime thought they could use that name and not get permission then they don't know a lot about copyright infringement. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Tue Nov 20, 7:35 AM ET

LOS ANGELES — The Red Hot Chili Peppers on Monday sued Showtime Networks over the name of the television series "Californication," which is also the name of the band's 1999 album and a single on it.

The lawsuit alleges unfair competition, dilution of the value of the name and unjust enrichment, claiming the title is "inherently distinctive, famous ... and immediately associated in the mind of the consumer" with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Read the article

Who knew ... a cool story from Neil Diamond

Seems ol' Neil Diamond found inspiration for his hit "Sweet Caroline," from a photo he saw of Caroline Kennedy way back when the bejeweled singer was a struggling songwriter.

It's an anecdote he vowed never to reveal until he could tell the little lady herself, which he recently did via satellite ... how sweet.

Read the whole story here ...

Monday, November 19, 2007

no Van Halen

For those of you waiting to see the recently reunited Van Halen, the wait will continue. Though the band has recently added legs to its sold-out tour, there are still no stops anywhere near hear - unless Ft. Lauderdale counts.

More music nobody wants

Once upon a time, Kiss was innovative, dangerous, decent.

But no more - and not in a really, really long time. Sure, they're still out there - Gene with his books and TV show, Paul with his art and solo record, Ace and Peter ... well, they are still alive.

Anyway, with a series of TV box sets already on the shelves (both of which truly are awesome. The first because it captures the might and majesty of KISS as rock icons, and the second just for plain niche value - Phantom of the Park is one of the unintentionally funniest movies ever made), one would think they'd be happy to ride off into the proverbial sunset.

Nope. In a recent Billboard interview, Gene Simmons complained at length about how the college kids "killed music" because of all their free downloads, and how he has "no desire" to make new music with Kiss or anyone else for fear it would just be "stolen."

One reason to be thankful for music downloads. I'll be content to go home crank up Destroyer or even Dynasty (actually, I still like Music From the Elder) and reminisce about the good ol' days.

But Gene's not done. Plans are already in the works for the long-tongued one to drop "Monster" - a collection of never-before-released solo material.

Dear God, Why? As with such music, my boss has a saying that always rings true ... music that's been 'previously unreleased' hasn't been released for good reason, 'cause if it was good, somebody would've released it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Star's music poll

We're uploaded this week's music poll. It's there on the right on the top of the page.

Vote now!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

someone make him stop

It's time for the Gene Simmons Money Making Juggernaut to pull over to a rest stop.

OK, glad the long-tongued bassist for Kiss managed to resurrect the band and the makeup for one last reunion tour ... that's lasted 10 years and counting. And I truly enjoyed the reality show. His son, Nick, is a star in the making. Heck, it's even cool that I can buy everything from Kiss condoms to breath mints at Spencer's.

But as much as I enjoy watching Gene and his Kiss cohorts, I don't want to read about his philosophies on making money and I certainly don't want to read about his advice for snagging chicks. Granted he's got Polaroid proof of certain backstage conquests, let's stop on the proverbial horn tootin'.

Here's a thought ... Let's record another KISS record! Granted, the world won't take a whole lotta notice, but at least that's what you're good at.

For the whole story, check out

Tommy Lee no more

And the entire Metal World mourns ... then cheers ... then mourns ... then cheers.

Seems as the on-again, off-again courtship between Motley Crue and original drummer Tommy Lee is again on the skids. Bassist Nikki Sixx, off tearing up tiny stages with his side project Sixx AM, officially accepted the faxed resignation of metal's most famous skins man (get it ... "skins man 'cause of the whole Pam and Tommy tape thing, Oh, never mind) and thus ending the gutter-glam band's lucrative reunion tour.

But have no fear. The band will endure long as Mick Mars is still alive (that or they'll just prop him up). According to Vince Neil, who's been doing the fairground circuit during Crue's down time, says future tours and even CDs of new material are in the works.

Read it all here...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Panic brings down the house

11/09/07 BJCC Arena, Birmingham, AL

1: Holden Oversoul > One Arm Steve > Conrad, Heroes, Old Joe, A of D > B of D > Barstools and Dreamers > Ribs And Whiskey > Climb To Safety

2: Surprise Valley > Protein Drink > Sewing Machine, Airplane > Arleen > Mercy > Bust It Big > Pigeons > Mr. Soul

E: Pilgrims

Review | Stream

11/10/07 BJCC Arena, Birmingham, AL

1: Postcard > Coconut, Goodpeople, Tickle the Truth, Fixin' To Die, C. Brown*, Time Zones*, Chest Fever**, Tall Boy

2: Disco > You Should Be Glad**, Bowlegged Woman > Impossible > Jack > Chilly Water > Drums > Jam > Maggot Brain > Chilly Water

E: City of Dreams > Last Dance

* with John Keane on pedal steel
** with John Keane on guitar

| Stream

Monday, November 12, 2007


On Tuesday (as in tomorrow), Led Zeppelin's entire catalog will be available on iTunes for the first time. In terms of supergroups, that leaves only the Beatles who've not drunk the iTunes Kool-Aid, but they've sipped it because they're in negotiations now for their catalog to be made available in the future.

So what's your favorite Led Zep song? Robert Plant says he thinks "Kashmir" is the song that best encapsulates what the band was all about, but I can't stand "Kashmir." It's a droning dirge.

For me, the song that never really gets old for me is "Bring It On Home" from Led Zep II. In fact, that entire album never really gets old to me, unlike, say Led Zep IV, which I can only listen to every now and then, probably because almost all the songs on it have been played to death on classic rock radio.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Widespread Panic returns to Birmingham

The Southern jam masters Widespread Panic comes back to the BJCC in Birmingham Nov. 9-10. It's looking like these shows will sell out so get your tickets fast if you plan on going.

I'll review this weekend's shows next week.

Click here to stream the Nov. 3 show from Charleston, S.C.

Widespread Panic Web site

Monday, November 5, 2007

This week's OTR poll ... Vote now!

It's ready. Right there. On the right-hand side of the page.

Vote today!

Eagles music? It's the classics, man

Voters in The Star's weekly poll have spoken. If you're gonna listen to the Eagles, you wanna hear the classics.

Last week, our poll asked a simple question: Do music fans want to listen to the Eagles new CD or their old stuff? The results:

7 votes - the classics.
3 votes - aaahhgg! Eagles music is fingernails on a blackboard
1 vote - the new CD.

Bob Davis updates: As the lefty blog ThinkProgess notes, not everyone is happy about the Eagles latest. ThinkProgress writes about a conservative Web site's review of the album:
In a 1731-word diatribe, Newsbusters’ Warner Todd Huston lays into the new album from The Eagles, which is "just one long, sustained attack on the integrity of the United States."

Some Eagles critics probably feel the same way about their entire discography.

Friday, November 2, 2007

She's been done wrong

I'm now in my third week of listening to Lucinda Williams' latest CD, West. (It came out in February, which should tell you how far behind the times I am.)

It's clear after one listen that she's been visited by bad fortune in the recent past. She's been jilted by a lover. (See Wrap My Head Around That.) Her mother has passed away. Those two themes haunt West.

My favorite, Mama You Sweet:
With an ocean in my spirit
And cracks on my lips
And scars in my heart
And this burden on my hips

Ocean becomes heavy and tries
To push its way out
Through these ancient eyes
And the memories in my mouth

The song remains ... on pause

Seems that karma returning the favor to Jimmy Page. The former (and kinda/sorta current) Led Zeppelin guitarist once rumored to dabble a bit in black magic broke his finger, forcing the postponement of the band's one-off reunion concert (sans original drummer John Bonham).

But have no fear, the grizzled rock vets will still perform the show, which was organized in tribute to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, who died last year.

The gig has been rescheduled for December.

A great mystery revealed

Finally ...

After so many years of wondering, we've been given the answer to one of life's resounding mysteries - How top-hatted former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash got his nickname.

Not that Saul Hudson, his real name, wasn't cool enough.

Seems that Saul was a friend of the son of character actor Seymour Cassel, who called the then-teenage, wannabe musician Slash - because he was so struck by the scheming youngster.

"It was a nickname that Seymour Cassel used to call me," Slash said recently. "I used to be (and) I'm still good friends with his son, Matt, so I used to hang out over at their house and he always used to call me Slash.

"Basically, he says it was because I was always in a hurry and I was always scheming, I was always hustling, this and that. He always saw me on the go, on the fly. So he used to call me Slash and it just stuck. My friends started calling me that and it just became a permanent nickname."

And now we can all sleep at night.

Poor, poor Ozzy

Now I guess he's the whining Prince of %$#@%&$ Darkness,

Pigeons and bats beware ... seems that ol' Ozzy Osbourne is a bit miffed, contending that music downloads are taking a bite out of his royalties and blames Internet piracy for the terrible sales of his latest effort "Black Rain."

That or the fact that nobody really cares anymore. Truth is Ozzy's legacy as a metal madman is secure (despite the knock his reality show did for his presumed evil nature), but nobody's really interested in new music. Just enjoy the royalties from "Tribute," "Diary of a Madman" and so on.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The next Knox Series show

Don't forget, the Knox Concert Series' next show is Tuesday night. Australia's Ten Tenors are performing. Tickets are $60 for the show at the Anniston Performing Arts Center at Anniston High.

Here's a taste of Entertainment Editor Shawn Ryan's story from today's Star on the Ten Tenors.
The tenors — Craig, David, Dion, Dom, Drew, Jason, Liam, Shannon, Steven, Stewart — met in 1995 as college students, all pursuing careers in opera. The group performed its first professional show in 1998 and began by touring in out-of-the-way towns in Australia's outback, figuring if they could entertain those rough-hewn folks, they could entertain anyone.
Read the whole story here.

82 bucks for a Timberlake ticket

Here's this week's top 20 concert tour listing, courtesy of Pollstar. Wanna get mad? Look at those average ticket prices. Good gosh ...

The Top 20 Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows in North America. The previous week’s ranking is in parentheses.
1. (1) Justin Timberlake; $1,724,905; $82.64.
2. (2) Kenny Chesney; $1,583,354; $61.27.
3. (3) Dave Matthews Band; $1,321,558; $47.89.
4. (New) Mana; $1,221,236; $73.73.
5. (4) Tim McGraw / Faith Hill; $1,104,803; $87.75.
6. (6) Beyonce; $849,016; $93.33.
7. (5) Rascal Flatts; $826,560; $54.67.
8. (New) Toby Keith; $677,644; $50.68.
9. (8) Josh Groban; $665,622; $78.63.
10. (7) Nickelback; $664,581; $44.90.
11. (11) Michael Buble; $629,661; $81.09.
12. (9) Rush; $620,432; $56.88.
13. (11) “Projekt Revolution” Linkin Park; $542,426; $39.91.
14. (12) Def Leppard; $518,865; $46.19.
15. (13) John Mayer; $499,575; $43.98.
16. (14) American Idols Live; $453,562; $59.30.
17. (15) Brad Paisley; $442,401; $38.38.
18. (17) Stevie Wonder; $404,671; $73.11.
19. (16) “Vans Warped Tour” $402,342; $27.04.
20. (19) Bob Dylan; $285,612; $55.16.