Monday, March 31, 2008

Kevn Kinney's on tap

We've blogged about this before ... but Kevn Kinney of Drivin N Cryin will play Brother's Bar in Jacksonville on Saturday night. It's always a good show when any of the DNC guys show up.

Click here for details. Or here.

He's a Pepper

In a move that's so Spinal Tap as to be an insult to Spinal Tap ... Dr. Pepper is supposedly offering to give everyone in America a Dr. Pepper if Axl Rose - he being the lead singer of some group of no-names collectively called Guns 'n' Roses - releases the oft-rumored, decade-in-the-making "Chinese Democracy."

To quote the Dr. Pepper people, "It took a little patience for us to perfect Dr Pepper's special mix of 23 ingredients, so we completely understand and empathize with Axl's question for the perfect album."

In a rare showing of good humor, Rose responded via press release ... "We are surprised and very happy to have the support of Dr Pepper with our album "Chinese Democracy," as for us, this came totally out of the blue. If there is any involvement with this promotion by our record company or others, we are unaware of such at this time. And as some of Buckethead's performances are on our album, I'll share my Dr Pepper with him."

Don't hold your breath America. It's been on the "new release" list every year since like 1998.

City Stages, or at least part of them

OK, finally ... the first round of acts has been released for City Stages in Birmingham.

I hope this isn't an indication of what's to come later.

Click here.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Old rocker's coming to Alabama -- NOT!

OK, follow this for a moment.

A Birmingham-based concert promoter, along with another in Texas, have been receiving e-mails from someone saying they represent Ronnie James Dio, the elfish rock singer who's toured with Black Sabbath, Rainbow and his own band.

Problem is, the dude's not on tour. Whole thing is a scam.

Which means this guy in Birmingham -- not in LA or NY or some other music center of the U.S. -- helped break up this roving concert scam that's apparently been more than successful recently.

Pollstar's got the whole story here.

Sexy stuff from the B-52s

The B-52s -- yep, them -- are back with their first studio recording in 16 years, or something like that.

Anyway, the Love Shack guys are gettin' good reviews. Here's one courtesy of Rolling Stone.

Keep those Allman Brothers tickets

Gregg Allman's sick, and so the Allman Brothers tour is having to cancel some dates.

More here.

Notorious country music songs

Sean Daly, a music critic at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida, has a wonderful music blog that's often full of stuff music fans who aren't on Florida's retirement coast would enjoy reading. I do, and often.

This week he's uploaded a segment about the "10 most notorious country songs." It's awesome stuff. There's the Dixie Chicks, Merle Haggard (of course), Hank Williams Jr. (of course), and many others.

Check out his blog here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Who's in trouble now?

More bad news on the rap front.

Someone's been arrested.

Edison's not that smart, really

If you thought "Mary had a little lamb" were the first recorded words, thanks to the work of Edison and the folks at Menlo Park, well, apparently that may not be the case.

Researchers have found a recording of a human voice that they say predates Edison's work by two decades.

Big, nerdy, science stuff.

Click here for details.

Thanks to beer columnist Ben Cunningham for the tip.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The kid can play drums

You just have to see it to believe it! He is Igor Falecki from Poland. He's 4 here but I think he's 5 now.

Original link ... there are many more videos of this kid that are amazing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What's on the radio

Courtesy of our friends at McClatchey News Service, here's a look at the top songs on radio these days:

1 (2) CHRIS BROWN With You (Jive/Zomba)
2 (4) SARA BAREILLES Love Song (Epic)
3 (1) FLORIDA f/ T-PAIN Low (Poe Boy/Atlantic)
4 (3) RIHANNA Don’t Stop the Music (SRP/Def Jam/IDJMG)
5 (5) BUCKCHERRY Sorry (Eleven Seven/Atlantic)
1 (2) THE DREAM Falsetto (Def Jam/IDJMG)
2 (1) CHRIS BROWN f/ T-PAIN Kiss Kiss (Jive/Zomba)
3 (6) USHER f/ YOUNG JEEZY Love In This Club (LaFace/Zomba)
4 (4) SHAWTY LO Dey Know (D4L/Asylum)
5 (3) KEYSHIA COLE I Remember (Imani/Geffen/Interscope)
1 (2) ALAN JACKSON Small Town Southern Man (Arista Nashville)
2 (1) CARRIE UNDERWOOD All-American Girl (Arista/Arista Nashville)
3 (5) TRACE ADKINS You’re Gonna Miss This (Capitol Nashville)
4 (4) RODNEY ATKINS Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy) (Curb)
1 (2) PUDDLE OF MUDD Psycho (Flawless/Geffen/Interscope)
2 (1) SEETHER Fake It (Wind-up)
3 (4) 3 DOORS DOWN It’s Not My Time (Universal Republic)
4 (3) SIXX: A.M. Life Is Beautiful (Eleven Seven)
5 (5) FOO FIGHTERS Long Road To Ruin (Roswell/RCA/RMG)
1 (1) FOO FIGHTERS Long Road To Ruin (Roswell/RCA/RMG)
2 (3) PUDDLE OF MUDD Psycho (Flawless/Geffen/Interscope)
3 (2) LINKIN PARK Shadow of the Day (Warner Bros.)
4 (4) SEETHER Fake It (Wind-Up)
5 (5) PARAMORE CrushCrushCrush (Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic/Lava)

BamaJam 2008

Seems as if Enterprise, Ala., has started a music festival.

The artist lineup is pretty impressive.

A few of the acts are: Hank Williams Jr., Lynard Skynard, ZZ Top, Gov't Mule, Yonder Mountain String Band and many more big-name acts. lineup | schedule

Big Head Todd & the Monsters album download

BHTM are allowing fans to download their new album for free in mp3 format.

Get it while you can!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Just take those old records off the shelf...

With a new turntable that transforms 33 and 45 rpm records into digital files so they can be enjoyed on MP3 and CD players as well as computers. Load up that new iPod you got for Christmas with your favorite music, whether it’s the first Rolling Stones 45 B-side or an obscure Queen album.

The new TT Record from Los Angeles-based American Audio looks like a traditional belt-driven turntable from the outside, and it is – but it’s also a digital recording device. When a vinyl record is placed on the turntable’s platter and played, its contents can be recorded and stored as an MP3 file on a USB memory stick or SD card. This makes it possible for anyone to enjoy favorite old records they thought they’d never play again after their last turntable was retired.

The TT Record measures 17.75” x 14.5” x 5.75” (449 x 370 x 145 mm) and weighs just 9 lbs./3.8 kgs. It is power rated at 9 watts and has switchable voltage (115V/60Hz or 230V/50Hz). Suggested retail price of the TT Record is just under $280.

For more information, contact American Audio at 800-322-6337 or visit Here's a video demonstration

Joyful noise in the garden

A twilight walk through the back yard frequently ends on the swing. Last night, the birds were particularly vocal, as were the dogs and at least one woodpecker. Pair all of that with the squirrels digging through leaves, and it was a symphony.

Into this score comes the 5-year-old doing her Pavarotti impression. She pulls out some favorites from Sunday school, a few from Christmas programs past and, finally, a selection of her own composition.

While much of our musical attention focuses on the pros, it's refreshing to remember that we should try to find time to focus on the prose of the world around us and the people in it. Not to go all New Age or anything, but it was fun to sit back and listen. It was a little off-key. There were a few verses that trailed off in non-sequitur form into the ether.

But there will never be anything like it on the radio.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

moody music

Help ... Please, help me.

My step-
daughter is in "a phase," the one where everything's terrible, her parents are horrible and nobody understands her. She actually wants to paint her room black. So in my haste to help her relate, I was going to pull down some moody, angst-ridden music that would perhaps pull her through the doldroms of adolescence .

This is why they created emo right? Plus, anything's gotta be better than Flo Rida and Fergie. Trouble is, I've finally fallen out of the musical loop. I don't know what's acceptable to the younger sect anymore ... save for the junk I hear on the radio.

So I'm taking suggestions - moody music for a pre-teen. And yes, offensive language need be avoided.

Here's a working list:

The Cure (never falls out of fashion)

Counting Crows

Tori Amos

Linkin Park

August for Ashes

Dashboard Confessional

That's all I've got ... feel free to chime in.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I mean no disrespect to Madonna or The Dave Clark Five or John (he'll always be Cougar to me) Mellencamp, but I wouldn't brag too much about those recent inductions into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

It's a sham.

Why? Because Kiss isn't in.

Now before you get all up in arms, let me first defend my position while also mentioning a few obvious and concededpoints ... Yes, I know that Kiss can't sing and their songwriting skills are elementary at best. That's not why they deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.

Heck, The Ramones couldn't sing, play their instruments or write a song that didn't use the phrase "I don't wanna ..." at least 37 times. And, like Johnny Rotten, frontman of the Sex Pistols once famously spat to crowd just before they walked of stage, "Do you ever feel like you've been cheated?"

Yep ... Oh, by the way, The Pistols are in the Hall and Sid Vicious not only couldn't play bass, they rarely bothered ever even plugging him in.

The reason that bands like the Sex Pistols and especially The Ramones deserve to be acknowledged are because of the influence and inspiration they gave to others.

So why does Kiss deserve to be considered? Because of what they've meant to the spirit of Rock. What would hard rock, heavy metal, glam or even grundge be without Kiss

Before Kiss exploded in the mid-1970s, Bob Denver had the number one record. They made concerts more than just musicians playing off in the distance, they made it fun - blood, bombs, fire, exploding guitars. Sure it was kitsch, but - at least for a little while - they made rock dangerous.

Plus, they were marketing geniuses. Before Kiss, selling out wasn't even possible. They've got a rabid fan base (the Kiss Army won't be denied ... in 2006 they picketed the Hall, demanding Kiss be nominated) and haven't put out any new music in nearly a decade.

They've also got more gold records than the Beatles. Kiss became eligible for The Hall in 1999. Put 'em in. What ... 'cause Blondie's better?

Sign the petition at

Oh, and put Tom Waits in there too. If you can justify Leonard Cohen, the dark poet, then you can invite the "poet at the crack of dawn," too.

Singalong in the van

There was a wonderful rendition of Drift Away by Dobie Gray (Gimme the beat, boys, and free my soul...) going on in the van today on the way to school. There was a nice melody line with me and the 8-year-old going along fairly strong. The 5-year-old would chime in every now and then, but most of the words were beyond her.


Toward the very end of that song, when the background is going "Gimme the beat, boys, ....) and doing the refrain line over and over, the lead singer comes in and ad libs. The little girl reared back and came in at just the right time with a boistrous "FREE MY SOUL!!"

Fun stuff. Classic song, well done.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Caption this picture

Where else can you get a shirtless Iggy Pop -- How old is he???? -- Madonna and Justin Timberlake in the same photograph?

At the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Madonna's in, Mellencamp's in, and a few others worth mentioning.

Read about it here.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

City Stages are blank -- from what I can tell

A bunch of the summer music festivals have already released their lineups for 2008, but I can't seem to find the acts set for City Stages in Birmingham.

Here's their Web site. Says "coming soon."

If anyone knows who's playing Birmingham, let us know.

Everyone likes America (the band, that is)

Remember, the Knox Concert Series' next installment is this week.

It's America. Not the country, the band. So get read to hear about some "Horse with no name ... ", or something like that.

It's Thursday night at the Anniston Performing Arts Center at AHS.

I could tell you all about it, or you could read it here.

Kevn Kinney's coming to Jacksonville

While tooling around on the 'Net, saw that Kevn Kinney has been booked for a show at Brother's up in Jacksonville.

It's not until early April, but that's a show worth marking on your calendar.

Here's a few more Brother's dates:

27 - FLY BY RADIO 8 p.m. $10/12

3 - SOUTHERN HARMONY 8 p.m. $5
4 - BRANTLEY GILBERT 8 p.m. $8/$10
5 *KEVN KINNEY* 8 p.m. $10 if 21+ / $12 if under
11 - KNECKDOWN 8 p.m. $6/$8
12 - GEORGIA CADILLACS 8 p.m. $5
21 - BLACK VALLEY ROOFTOPS 8 p.m. $6/8

1 - THURSDAY FLY BY RADIO 8 p.m. $10/12
2 - SOUTHERN HARMONY 8 p.m. $5

Brother's Web site.

Reviewers beware

Obviously, Off The Record readers don't pay attention to music reviews.

Last week's poll is finis, and overwhelmingly did you guys say phooey to reviews of CDs and downloads. You apparently buy on your own accord, which is both commendable and risky.

The results:

Do you use music reviews?
8 votes - never.
2 - Only from a few reviewers.
1 - Most of the time.
1 - Always.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Top 20 tours

This week's Top 20 concert tour list is interesting, if for no other reason than who's at No. 2 -- who, as everyone knows, is in limbo right now.

1. (New) Bon Jovi; $2,059,398; $94.78.
2. (1) Van Halen; $1,421,826; $114.14.
3. (2) Dane Cook; $918,395; $70.33.
4. (3) Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus “Best Of Both Worlds”; $912,951; $55.70.
5. (6) Andre Rieu; $687,074; $78.10.
6. (4) Michael Buble; $654,527; $74.48.
7. (7) Keith Urban; $628,620; $62.73.
8. (8) Trans-Siberian Orchestra; $610,602; $42.68.
9. (9) Chris Brown; $572,141; $62.47.
10. (10) Ozzy Osbourne; $567,732; $65.44.
(Money listed is revenue and average ticket price.)

Go to

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Drive-By love

On the NPR program Fresh Air music critic Ken Tucker has kind words for the latest work by the Drive-By Truckers. Tucker says:
Brighter Than Creation's Dark, is one of their best-written and most enjoyable yet — a mix of Southern soul, Brit-invasion rock, and Texas honky-tonk in a time when the notion of regionalism in pop music has, except in the hip-hop crowd, all but disappeared.

You can hear the review by linking here.
(PS - On the same Fresh Air episode, the interview of the authors of a new book on the cost of war in Iraq, The Trillion Dollar War, is worth your time as well.)

SXSW Web casts

NPR is set to Webcast and broadcast the South by Southwest music festival March 12 and 13.

The lineup looks good. A few notables that will be Webcasted are R.E.M., My Morning Jacket, Vampire Weekend and Yo La Tengo.

For more information check out the NPR page about it.

South by Southwest

Monday, March 3, 2008

Save those Van Halen tickets

Seems the Van Halen return-to-stardom tour has fallen off the tracks, so to speak.

Oh, well. It was good for a few weeks.

RIP Jeff Healey

Jeff Healey, an amazing guitarist and possibly the best actor in Roadhouse, died after a lifelong battle with a rare form of retinal cancer which robbed him of his eyesight as a baby. The cancer had spread and recent treatments didn't help.

More on Jeff Healey's life and death >>

Watch the video for "Angel Eyes" by Jeff Healey