Monday, December 31, 2007

True Blizzard of Oz

So this joke is simply to easy to be made up.

Seems Ozzy Osbourne, the Prince of F#$^%&* Darkness himself has been tapped to pen an autobiography. But there's just one hiccup. Seems the metal maven's got a case of a drug and alcohol induced amnesia.

Can't imagine why ...

The Black Sabbath rocker signed a 1 million pound book deal with publishers Little Brown early last year, but so far he has not written any of it.

A source revealed: "I cannot imagine the book being ready in five months, because so far Ozzy hasn't written anything - he hasn't even got a ghostwriter yet. So it is going to be some time before the book actually appears, if it ever does."

"My memory isn't what it used to be because of the drugs and alcohol I've been living on for the best part of my adult life," Ozzy told a British tabloid. "I often get asked, 'Is it true you snorted a line of ants?' Knowing me, there's a very good possibility. But do I remember it? No way."

Since Ozzy signed the deal his wife Sharon has written and published two books of her own.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Year's Radiohead, STS9 Web casts

Radiohead's Thom Yorke

Radiohead are to broadcast a performance of their latest album on television and online on New Year's Eve — the same day In Rainbows is released on CD and on vinyl.

Radiohead to release a pre-recorded set to coincide with the release of In Rainbows on vinyl and CD.

The pre-recorded set will go out on the cable and satellite channel Current TV, and online on and

"This is a wee celebration of the release of the physical manifestation of In Rainbows," lead singer Thom Yorke wrote on the band's Web site.

Full article >>

Also, Soundtribe Sector 9 will be Web casting their New Year's run.

According to their Web site: Our friends at will be joining us in Atlanta for ALL FOUR nights to bring you all the sights and sounds, as they happen, via the Web and a 5 camera shoot! Sign up now at and get ready to “join us” at The Tabernacle from the comfort of your own home … free of charge.

Vote in The Star's music poll -- It's free, too!

Hey, the new Anniston Star music poll is loaded and ready to go.

So vote. Today. Multiple times. It's right there to the right of this blog entry, at the top of the page.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

applause for "Sweeney Todd"

Not since the Rob Zombie version of "Halloween" have I been so excited about a movie. And yet it was a musical, which is generally hate on principal.

But I would have to say the "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" was ghoulish, garish, grisly and great. Now, I'm no movie critic, but I know what I like (keeping in mind that I consider "Saw" the work of a cinematic visionary, and with that said, this movie was a winner.

The story was entertaining but better yet the music was morbidly fascinating. What I so often find excruciating about musicals is that the actors feel this silly need to sing when they could simply speak. I mean why turn a conversation about needing to buy more Cheez-Itz into an operatic number ... It's pure overkill.

But with Sweeney Todd the music serves to simply set the scene and flavor the mood. It's a dark, brooding piece about revenge but the music compliments everything. Plus there's dialogue and the songs last for only a few bars, thus avoiding the manotony that often plagues musicals.

Oh ... and yes ... there will be blood. Lots and lots of blood. So it's certainly not for the squeamish - either in sight or sound.

We wish you a merry Kiss-mas

All I wanted for Christmas was Kissology. For those of you who don't know (and more still who don't care), Kiss - those masked men who never met a marketing opportunity they didn't like - have been putting out a series of boxed sets compiling a chronology of the band from the lean years to the bloated years all they way through to the "he let's get back together and make more money" years.

So for Christmas this year, I got the second installment, which I like to call "the awkward years." This is the real goofy stuff that true fans and those that like to poke fun and the Kiss juggernaut will appreciate.

Kissology Vol. II features the strange lineup changes of Eric Carr, replacing original drummer Peter Criss, with The Fox persona and Vinnie Vincent, replacing Ace Frehley, with the persona of The Egyptian (or so I'm guessing. To be honest, I don't know what the heck he was.

But the best part is the non-make-up phase, where the guys try and keep up with the hair metal movement - terrible outfits, terrible guitars and terrible songs and albums - and yet all wonderfully odd and awkward.

Though there are the few gems ... take for example the "international" version of "Kiss Meets the Phantom of The Park" a made-for-TV event in the states was an actual theatrical release in Japan and abroad. It's funny in the way that "Urban Cowboy" and "Grease 2" are funny, which is to say by accident.

It's truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Great (I mean terrible) Christmas performances

Aside from all the joy of giving and holiday spirit that fills the air this time of year, one of the best parts of Christmas is all the hilariously horrible songs, parodies and otherwise bizarre stuff that bounces all around.

Personally, Dokken covering Silent Night.

But here's a list of the truly weird - from Ozzy Osbourne and Jessica Simpson singing "Winter Wonderland" to the long rumored lost (which it should have not only been lost but burned and its ashes scattered) Star Wars Christmas special featuring Bea Arthur, this are truly some horrifying holiday moments.

This link will make you say, thank heavens for You Tube

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Music to send out into the cosmos

The completely awesome public radio program Radio Lab recently featured a show on sending to outer space a record of life on earth that would best explain our home to faraway space aliens.

As the show's promo noted:
How would you describe life on Earth to an alien?
In 1977, the Voyager spacecraft launched into space. And with it, went the Golden Record-- a sort time capsule, a collection of sounds and images that would describe life on Earth to whomever or whatever might find it.
Imagine trying to sum up existence on Earth into one little record... for an alien or humans of the far-off future. What sounds would you use? What music? What images? We put this charge to a bunch of artists, and asked what they would put into a space capsule.

You can check out the show here.

The Radio Lab guests tossed out interesting sounds and lots of music. Which raises my question: If you were sending out a Golden Record to space, what music would you put on it?

I'm still contemplating my list.

Sinatra? Probably.
Beethoven's Ode to Joy? Absolutely!
The Beatles? Most likely.
Lucinda Williams' Jackson? You betcha.

What would you send to space?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Let's go to Cleveland

Hey, good news ... if you live in Cleveland.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in that Ohio city, and now the induction ceremony is headed back there, too.

If you care, read about it here.

(By the way I've been to the Hall, and it's a rockin' good deal. You gotta go once.)

VH1 Classic's rock series is the bomb

I gotta admit I'm about hooked on VH1 Classic's series, the Seven Ages of Rock, that's dominating my evenings this week. And here's why:

Normally, these music history series on cable TV are nothing more than boilerplate mantra, stuff everyone knows. The Stones liked the blues, so did Clapton, Hendrix was influential, punks were mad at the world, disco was fueled by drug use, Birmingham, England, spawned all good heavy metal, etc., etc., etc.

Tell me something I don't know.

Well, this series is. Last night's episode on "art rock" was great. It featured Pink Floyd -- real Floyd, with Syd Barrett in all of his LSD-enduced greatness -- and the Velvet Underground of Lou Reed. There also was David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust, Bryan Ferry (did I spell that right?) and Roxy Music. You get the drift ...

I highly recommend checking this show out. Tonight's episode is on punk rock, so everyone channel the Sex Pistols, get real mad at the world and tune in.

Click here to see what it's all about.

More CDs of the year

If you like seeing varying writers' compilations of the CDs of the year, here's one from noted Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot. I've included his No. 1 pick of 2007. (And no, I don't know how to turn the italics off. I'm dumb on that.)

1. Mavis Staples: "We'll Never Turn Back" (Anti)

What a voice — and producer Ry Cooder gives it exactly what it needs. The Chicago soul great brings post-Katrina relevance and urgency to freedom songs she sang in the '60s civil rights era.

•Track to download: "Turn Me Around"

Click here to see his entire list.

Nope, I'm not gonna do it. Not for that amount of money

It's official now.

I'm not going to see Van Halen when the boys descend on Atlanta early next year.

I know, I'm gonna get tagged as an aging, wanna-be rocker who talks a big game but won't put up the big bucks when the time comes. That's fine.

I just can't muster the effort to spend what it'll take to get good seats to see Dave and Eddie up close. I mean, 200 bucks a pop? And I'd need 2? (Oh, the wife's gonna be mad.) Plus, I saw them in the 80s when they were relevant, and I saw Van Hagar in the late 80s, so it's not like I'm a Halen virgin.

I'll just have to wait for the live concert DVD.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

'Spice' of life in London

I confess that I went to The Guardian's Web site and read some reviews of The Spice Girls concert in London. I admit to being oddly fascinated by Victoria Beckham. Click here.
Apparently the show was pretty much what people expected. The fans, many of whom were barely out of the schoolroom when Girl Power hit the world stage, didn't mind that they couldn't dance anymore, or that Beckham didn't sing. They cheered. They hollered. When Beckham strutted her coatrack-thin frame down the stage, they cheered as much as if she'd belted out an aria at The Met.

And the British say we have no class.

Christmas songs and such

Overheard in a bank today from a teller: "God, I am so sick of Christmas songs."

Lovely music was filtering through the lobby as she muttered this. I felt for her, as did a few other folks in line, who chuckled at her good-natured grimace.

I love Christmas songs and carols, but I honestly can't imagine being in a workplace in which they're piped from Thanksgiving onward. Perhaps there should be some sort of aural remedy for people who work in offices and retail shops that employ Christmas music.

No matter how much you might love the genre of music, it's got to be wearing thin if you have to listen to it eight hours a day.

Monday, December 17, 2007

CNN NYE music spots

From CNN: Anderson Cooper brings the party to you. Anderson will be at his usual New Year's Eve post in Times Square along with Erica Hill and American Morning's Kiran Chetry. And we are excited that special guest Kathy Griffin will be there too.

You are a big part of the show. Anderson wants to hear your New Year's message.

Go to for details.

Musical guests include: Earth, Wind & Fire from Las Vegas, Grammy Nominee Miranda Lambert, just nominated in the Female Country Vocal Performance category, and Widespread Panic from Atlanta.

Rock on! I heard that Panic's part will be at 11:25 p.m. EST on CNN, do the final song, and then come back for the countdown/NYE tune and I'm not going to be there (sniffle).

Another rocker dies

Everyone's probably heard by now, but Dan Fogelberg has died at the age of 56 due to prostate cancer.

Here's the coverage:

From Britain.

From Rolling Stone.

From the NY Times.

I was a never huge fan of his music, though I did particularly like Jackson Browne's work, who my brother turned me onto in the last '70s and early '80s. Nevertheless, Fogelberg had an intense following and was influential on a great number of the singer-songwriters of the era.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Zeppelin reunion show audio

Led Zeppelin — 12.10.07 — O2 Arena, London, England

stream [LINK] backup [LINK] mp3s [LINK] torrents [LINK] & [LINK]

The sound quality isn't great on any of the sources, but on the other hand the 02 Arena isn't known for its sound. Anyway, enjoy!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Madonna's back in the news

Hey, the Material Girl is gonna be a hall of famer.

Really. She is.

So says Rolling Stone.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Is this on your iPod?

This snippet from our friendly folks from AP about the hot sellers for 2007 om iTunes.

No, Led Zeppelin wasn't on the list, so quit complaining that we're blogging too much about Plant and Page. It's been 30 years, for cryin' out loud.

OK, back to the real story:
Maroon 5 and Fergie hold the top spots on iTunes’ year-end sales roundup. The online music store released its top-selling albums and singles Tuesday, though it declined to release actual sales figures.

Maroon 5’s sophomore album, “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long,” was the No. 1 seller on the site, followed by Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” and Kanye West’s “Graduation.” Winehouse and West are also leaders heading into the 50th annual Grammy Awards — he has eight nominations, she has six.

Rounding out the top five best-selling albums were “American Idol” alum Chris Daughtry’s band’s self-titled debut, “Daughtry,” and “Coco” by newcomer Colbie Caillat, who has the hit “Bubbly.”
There's more to this story all over the Web, including on iTunes' Web site, and here too.

An ogre or a rock icon?

In case you haven't heard, Ike Turner has died at the age of 76.

Which lead to an interesting conversation in The Star's newsroom this afternoon -- that incredibly influential rock and Motown musicians like Turner and Rick James and many others, some dead, some not, are so often remembered for their indiscretions rather than their musical contributions.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

He hath banged his head for the last time

In sad and yet not-so-shocking news, it has been revealed that yet another rock star has fallen to the deadly trappings of the lifestyle.
Joining the ranks of everyone from Bon Scott to Steve Clark, Shannon Hoon to Jimi Hendrix is Quiet Riot singer Kevin Dubrow, whose recent death was ruled an accidental death by Las Vegas medical examiner.

Sad ... but not in the least bit shocking.

Live music in Jacksonville

For just a moment, I''m gonna stop pondering the possibilities of a Led Zeppelin reunion tour and take a look at Brother's lineup for the next few weeks. Check out the Web site.

Her 'tis:




15 - BALLYHOO $5


21 - BUCK & DUKE $5

*Food Bank Benefit*

31 - KNECKDOWN / ROUND 21 $12/15


10 - RECKLESS $5

11 - SELF SERVE $5


17 - MISSUSED $5



24 - FLY BY RADIO $10/12


26 - ROUND 21 $5



7 - TROTLINE $8/10


Led Zeppelin -- the reviews

OK, the show's over. Apparently, it was pretty good.

The reviews are pouring in.

Rave reviews here.

Zeppelin feels whole lotta love.

Naomi Campbell mugged at show.

Audience reviews from the Guardian.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Albums of the year, or so says the AP

While we're all caught up in Led Zeppelin frenzy around here, the Associated Press has released its albums of the year list for 2007. Page, Plant and Jones didn't make it, by the way.

But Wilco, Radiohead and a bunch of others that I'm hardly an expert on did.

Read more here.

Led Zeppelin returns to the stage

The day has finally arrived.

Led Zeppelin returns to the stage
Video of Good Times, Bad Times
Video of Stairway to Heaven
Video of Kashmir
Video of Rock & Roll

'Good Times Bad Times'
"The set started with a clip from 'The Song Remains The Same' DVD with an American news clip telling of they broke The Beatles' attendance record for a gig in 1973 in California. Simple stage set, video screen behind the band."
'Ramble On'
"'Ramble On' done in extremely slow, bluesy manner, with shards of electric guitar from Jimmy Page."
'Black Dog'
"Page wearing dark shades, quite muddy sound. Crowd singing the 'ah-ah' bits back at Plant."
'In My Time Of Dying'
"Page is playing bottleneck guitar. Plant spoke for the first time before song, saying 'Good evening'."
'Your Life'
"That's not something you get to hear often these days, Led Zeppelin giving a song its live debut."
'Trampled Under Foot'
"Before starting Plant told the crowd it was the band's attempt to sound like Robert Johnson's 'Terraplane Blues'."
'Nobody's Fault But Mine'
"There are huge screen's dominating the O2 Arena, they split into four sometimes, goes monochrome, colour etc...quite spectacular."
'No Quarter'
"Following the song Plant paid tribute to John Paul Jones, who played keyboards and bass on the track."
'Since I've Been Loving You'
"A bit of a style guide for you, all the band are dressed in black bar Page's who is rocking a white shirt. As for the song they gone for the epic version ... very bluesy."
'Dazed And Confused'
"At the end of it of the song Plant told the audience 'On guitar Jimmy Page, just as he did on 'The Song Remains The Same' DVD which was filmed in Madison Square Garden in the 70s."
'Stairway To Heaven'
"What do you think happened? Right! From the moment those opening notes rang out the whole audience went absolutely crazy. The atmosphere is electric. Afterwards Plant said "Ahmet, we did it!"
'The Song Remains The Same'
"A fairly straight version of the classic."
'Misty Mountain Hop'
"Plant kicked this one off by praising the job drummer Jason Bonham has been doing, stepping into his late father's shoes tonight."
"Yet another epic, as this song cracks the ten minute mark. Plant introduced this one declaring 'We've got people from 50 countries here and this is the 51st'. Afterwards they left the stage to loud applause. Will they do an encore? What do you reckon?"

'Whole Lotta Love'
"Of course they come back to deafening applause. And it's an extended version of the old 'Top Of The Pops' theme. Then once more the band leave the stage with a visibly emotional Plant declaring: 'Thanks to everybody. Thanks Ahmet Ertegun, this one for is Ahmet Ertegun as we remember the days when Atlantic Records was the best label on the planet!'"
'Rock And Roll'
"Just time for one more, as after two hours the night reaches its climax, and what a stomper to go out on."

They soundchecked the following:
Good Times Bad Times
Ramble On
In My Time Of Dying
No Quarter
Nobody's Fault But Mine
D'yer Mak'er
Communication Breakdown

More info >>

Photos from the band's rehearsal: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hey, hey, it's the Grammys!

The Grammys don't mean as much as they used to -- or at least that's what music gurus try to tell us these days -- but we might as well pay attention to them when the nominations come out.

So, a question:

Who's this Winehouse person, and why should we care? (Not fair, I know who she is, but is she really worth a nomination? She's more pub than cred, to me.)

Story here.

Hey, let's make a Youtube video and get discovered by the Stones, man

OK, admit it: When's the last time you intentionally listened to a Journey song. 1987? 1981? Ever...How many times can you hear 'Faithfully' and not puke?

Well ... I like Journey -- old Journey, that is, stuff with Greg Rollie singing, jam-band stuff from their Bay Area days -- and I've been intrigued with how they've changed singers like most folks do socks the last few years.

Steve Perry? Gone, back, gone again.
Steve Augeri? Gone, for good.
Jeff Scott Soto? Gone, for good.
And now?

They've got some dude from the Philippines -- yes, that place -- named Arnel Pineda who they saw on Youtube singing their songs in a bar band. Flew him out for a tryout and signed him up.

There's still hope for all of us closet rock stars, apparently.

I'm not making this stuff up.

Go here to see and hear.

Or go here to read it for yourself.

Or go here to see it for yourself on Youtube.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Running with the devil, all the way to Atlanta

Great news!....Well, only great if you're a Van Halen (not Hagar) fan. I am, so yipee!!!

The (old) boys have added an Atlanta date. It's Feb. 10. And tickets go on sale Saturday.

Hope I can get two relatively cheap.

Apparently, there's no use in holding out hope for Van Halen to add a Noble Street date.

Atlanta it is, then.

Talk about an expensive ticket

For what it's worth, here's what you'll have to pay if you want to jet off to London for Monday's Led Zeppelin show.


The 'lost' Woody Guthrie album found

Surely I'm not the only Woody Guthrie fan around here.

By JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES — He wrote more than a thousand songs, ranging from his "Dust Bowl" ballads to patriotic incantations like "Pastures of Plenty" to the American classic "This Land is Your Land."

He performed them everywhere he went, from community centers to Broadway theaters to California fields filled with migrant workers. He also recorded dozens on records.

But one thing Woody Guthrie never got around to doing was recording any of his songs in front of a live audience — or so Guthrie's family thought.

Until an odd-looking package with reels of wires showed up unsolicited in the mail one day at the Woody Guthrie Archives.

Once she had assured herself it wasn't a bomb, Nora Guthrie was delighted at what she was holding.

"Basically, it's an early bootleg," says Guthrie, youngest surviving child of the legendary folk-music balladeer.

Read the article >>

Led Zeppelin, all the time

Since the anticipated Led Zeppelin show is Monday, and since we're now apparently all Zep, all the time, I've included some Zep Web sites to get everyone ready for the big day -- since none of us have tickets to London, of course.

Here's a link to a cool story on Monday's concert.

Here's a Rolling Stone magazine story.

Apparently, Zeppelin is going to play at least one new song.

A very cool photo essay on Zeppelin history by Time mag.

More Zep news

Led Zeppelin's time has come again

By CHRIS LEHOURITES, Associated Press Writer

LONDON — Led Zeppelin's time is coming again.

When the diviners of rock 'n' roll classics "Stairway to Heaven," "Whole Lotta Love" and "You're Time is Gonna Come" reunite for their first full concert in almost three decades, the question on everyone's mind is sure to be: How many more times?

Monday's reunion in London has quickly become one of the most anticipated concerts of all time. Whether a larger tour will follow could depend on how well Zeppelin's members — singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones and the late drummer John Bonham's son Jason — perform in front of a frenzied audience.

"I've got to go through it, see how I feel," Jones told Rolling Stone magazine in its December issue.

If the result of the band's early rehearsals is any indication, Zeppelin fans have reason to be hopeful. Bonham told Rolling Stone that the band clicked immediately, right from the opening notes of the first song they tried: the haunting dirge "No Quarter."

Read the article >>

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's just not right

The Redhead is all in a tizzy that Led Zeppelin is getting back together. Like I do with everything else she wants, I'll try my best to make sure she gets what she wants (as long as the tickets aren't front row).

However, I don't know if I'll really want to go. Why? Well, seems that they might not do "Stairway to Heaven." According to Slate: click here.

As someone on put it, "That's like going to a Devo concert and they won't play 'Whip It'."

And for you viewing/listening pleasure, my favorite Zeppelin song: Over the Hills and Far Away.

And the Redhead's favorite: Fool in the Rain.

What's yours?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Top albums of 2007

I was in college once -- twice, actually -- and I vaguely remember what college radio was like. I'm not totally oblivious.

But I've been intrigued this week by the release of the top albums list of 2007 as compiled by The Chanticleer, the student newspaper at Jacksonville State. It's online, so check out the list here.

Here's the top five of the JSU list, offered in reverse order for a really cool suspense. You'll have to click over to the newspaper's Web site to get the pithy comments.

5. Liars - Liars
4. Rilo Kiley - Under the Black Light
3.Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
2. Radiohead - In Rainbows
1. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Forty-year-olds often are seen as out-of-touch by college folks, especially when it comes to music. I guess it's true; we speak a different musical language, or at least some of us do. But I may just have to check out some of these CDs. Never know, I could be pleasantly surprised.

Trust me, this is worth it

I get labeled as a stuck-in-the-70s-and-80s rock guy, and it's probably true. Doesn't bother me much.
But one of my favorite guitarists is a guy named Ed Gerhard, an acoustic virtuouso from New Hampshire who's played in Anniston a few times. He's awsome and inspiring at the same time.
Anyway, Lisa Davis -- the wife of this dude named Bob who works at The Star -- asked this week about Christmas music. So I'll offer this:
Ed Gerhard has a CD of his own version of acoustic Christmas music, and it's the best stuff I've ever heard -- other than the originals, of course. He's incredibly talented, uses a whole array of different sounding guitars and can certainly set an aural mood. Great guy, too.
Try out his Web site here. I think I'll break out his Christmas CD for our holiday party next month. Probably go over better with egg nog than my Metallica and Maiden collection, anyway.