Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Dream Academy

A very talented band that formed in England in the early 1980's. It consisted of Nick Laird-Clowes, Kate St John and Gilbert Gabriel. Shown above is the first album, their self titled debue which is an absolute master piece. Yielding three hit singles "The Edge Of Forever" (appears in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off), "The Love Parade", and of course "Life In A Northern Town", which gave the band worldwide success in 1985 and a tremendous hit in the U.S. charting at #7 on the Billboard. Not many people are aware that David Gilmore from Pink Floyd co-produced this record with Clowes and on the third album Gilmore even co-wrote one of the tracks "Twelve-eight Angel". In addition to the self titled debut the band went on to release two more albums Remembrance Days in 1987 and A Different Kind of Weather in 1991, I myself am still looking for Remembrance Days as it contains my favorite single by the Dream Academy "Indian Summer" I'm sure sooner or later I'll find it, I usually do. The Dreamy Academy were part of the English New Wave Scene during the 80's, what set them appart from other bands was their use of instruments and sounds that were not normally utilized in the Rock/Pop genre(strings, woodwinds, tympani). Like the decade itself they achieved excellence through attention to detail and a willingness to take chances in their endeavour to create an original sound, a great band to be sure, they should not be forgotten.

The Dream Academy are...

Nick Laird-Clowes...singer/guitarist.
Kate St John... Oboe & English horn.
Gilbert Gabriel...Keyboards

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Melanie C - Have Yourself A Merry Little X-Mas

Ti's the season to be jolly and what better way than this. If there was ever any argument as to who was the most talented Spice this should pretty much put it to rest. Melanie displays her impressive vocal talents in this beautiful and heartfelt performance filmed Germany during Christmas 2006. It's no secret I'm a big fan of hers, a very exciting and talented artist. Hope ya like it... Merry Christmas to all...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kenny MacLean

Another tragic loss yesterday Kenny MacLean, the bassist for Platinum Blond, passed away. MacLean was only 52, and was reportedly found on Monday by his sister, collapsed in the bathroom of his Toronto recording studio. An accomplished artist in his own right he had just released his third solo album "Completely".
...Although you would be hard pressed to hear anyone mention Platinum Blond today, back in the mid 80's they were an extremely popular and successful band credited with a string of hits that included "Hungry Eyes," "Crying Over You," "Standing in the Dark" and "It Doesn't Really Matter." As I've mentioned previously the 80's was an extremely creative era for music, it saw the birth of the New Wave genre, it was a time were artist and band alike on both small and large recording labels were free to experiment with new idea's new sounds and of course new looks. Platinum blond was part of that movement and although they were never my favorite, I did never the less respect them for their significant contribution . MacLean joined the band for their second album "Alien Shores" in 1985, which went quadruple platinum and featured their only US hit "Somebody Somewhere" he will be missed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Micheal Crichton

We lost another great man this month, Michael Crichton, passed away on November 4, 2008. I have to admit I've never been a big reader, not because I don't like it... I just never seem to find the time, but I was always a big fan of his work. I have read the following Crichton books: The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Congo, and Sphere. It is always sad when a great storyteller dies and we are left wondering what other great stories we may have read if he had lived. He died of cancer in Los Angeles early this month, he was only 66. He will be missed...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fans - Malcom McLaren

Released in 1984 this is an incredibly difficult album to find but every once in a while it does come up for sale on E-Bay. I scoured the Flee Markets for a few years before I acquired my copy. For those dumbass's that don't know who Malcom McLaren is, he was the manager of iconic punk rock band The Sex Pistols during their meteoric albeit short lived rise to glory during the late 70's. Over the years he experimented with many sounds and idea's. Many call him innovative, while other claim he did nothing more than steal original ideas from others and make them his own. There are argument to merit both sides, and I suspect he may be a little of both. This album is his attempt to fuse Opera, 80's New Wave and R&B together to create an entirely new sound and if do say so myself it worked out incredibly well. The stand out track on "Fans" is of course Madam Butterfly, the single that charted on both sides of the Atlantic. It's an amazing creation of two musical genre's that are seldom mixed and he pulls it off successfully. This album is by no means perfect, the rest of the album is more of the same but none of the other tracks seem to work anywhere near as well as Madam Butterfly, although I do like "Boys Chorus". If you find this album grab it, its worth it just for the one single and also I would think as a collectors item in a few years.
The Tracks are as follows...
"Madam Butterfly" ( UnB el di Veremo)
"Fans" (Nessun Dorma)
"Carmen" (L'Oiseau rebelle)
"Boys Chorus" (La sui monti dell' Est)
"Lauretta" (O mio babbina Caro)
"Death Of A Butterfly" (Tu Tu Piccolo)
Produced by Malcolm McLaren and Robbie Kilgore
Produced and Engineered by Stephen Hague and Walter Turbitt
Virgin Records

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Church

Another band that I liked very much that never seemed to reach their full potential ( at least not in North america ) was The Church. They were another Australian band formed in Canberra in 1980. Initially associated with New Wave sound of the mid 1980s, their music later became more "prog rock" featuring long instrumental jams and complex guitar interplay. In 1988, With the album Starfish and the American Top 40 hit "Under the Milky Way." they had there most significant comercial success. I believe this song was one the best singles of the 80's and I'll include a link to the video so you can check it out. The band went through several line-up changes in the 1990s and continue to perform to this day. In 2007, they recorded new music to soundtrack a short film based on Jeff Vandermeer 's book Shriek: An Afterword . The band has put together an internet-only album that compiles the extended tracks and the film was released to the internet on August 14 this year. The members are as follows...
Steve Kilbey
Marty Willson-Piper
Tim Powles
Peter Koppes
former members...
Nick Ward
Richard Ploog
Jay Dee Daugherty

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sex Pistols DVD

I'm looking forward to picking this up, It's hard to believe that there's never been an official Sex Pistols concert DVD. The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle, The Punk Rock Movie, D.O.A. and The Filth And The Fury featured live Pistols footage, but there hasn't been an official DVD or video of the Pistols in action. That changed on Oct. 14 when Rhino Records released " There'll Always Be An England ". The footage is from a show that the band's original lineup (singer Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, bassist Glen Matlock and drummer Paul Cook) performed at London, England's Brixton Academy last November. The set list features songs from Never Mind The Bollocks, their cover of The Stooges' "No Fun," the B-side "Did You No Wrong" and covers of The Monkees' "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" and Jonathan Richman's "Roadrunner" from The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle.The DVD also comes with more than 90 minutes of bonus material, including a documentary called The Knowledge. Julien Temple directed the piece, in which he follows each Sex Pistol around London as they revisit their old stomping grounds and see how they've changed.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Stormtrooper Armor - Build- Assembly

It arrived last month all wrapped in plastic, how excited was I. Faster than you can say "fourty year old geek" I unpacked it.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

Got to be very careful when removing the plastic, I myself used a J.A Henckles steak knife to do the job, nothing but the finest German steel for my armor.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

Ok I decided to start with an easy piece so I did the biceps. I used Lepage 5 minute Apoxy glue on one side and Velcro on the other . I tryed to buy the apoxy that came in the syringe but it was totally dryed out. So I went back to the store a second time and bought the glue that came in two separate tubes. I used blue painters tape to stop excess glue from getting on the armor and the clamps I left on for about 10 minutes.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

Here are the biceps completed, you gotta be careful with the glue it's extremely strong stuff, if you screw it up and make a mess there are no second chances. As fortune would have it my first assembly was a success.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

I finished the forearms, not much different than the biceps used Apoxy glue on one side and velcro on the other..

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

I attached the shoulder straps to the chest plate using industrial velcro, also added velcro to the back plate as well. This will help hold the straps in place. The instruction say to use appoxy but I decided against it. I've researched how others approach this part and most do not use glue so I'm goin with the crowd.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

The Shoulder bells attach to the bicep armor using velcro, this part ain't exactly rocket science.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

There are distinct inner and outter halves for both left and right of the calf . Just like on previous parts, I used appoxy on the front and velcro on the back. Gettin tired of hearing me repeat myself, too bad.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

Another veiw of my masterpeice in progress.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

This next part made me extremley nervous because I aint what you'd call a handyman. After drilling a hole in either side of the Shin/Calf armor and also in the sniper plate, I used rivets to attach them, I put washers on the opposit side to make sure they stay nice and sturdy. I was so sure I was going to crack the armor, and make a total mess of things, but as fortune would have it, everything worked just fine.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

And here's what it looks like...not to bad if I do say do myself.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

Drilling holed in the thigh peice, you'll see why in a sec.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

Once again I used the rivet tool to attach the power cells to the thigh armor.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

Started working on the webbing. The Chest, Ab and Cod will be linked useing a combination of velcro and buckles...but mostly velcro.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

I bought the heavy duty snap fastener kit at Fabric World. It comes with 10 sets of snaps, which should be about as many as I need. I cost me $5.25 including tax. RT --- also includes an additional 6 sets when you buy the armor.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

I used heavy duty snaps to attach the thigh armor to the cod peice, velcro also works great.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

And once again I used industrial snaps to attach the ABS belt to the canvas belt.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

The canvas belt with the snaps attached, you may want to get a proper snap tool, I found that useing a hammer and the little steel peice provided (left) was a bit tricky.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

Here a picture of the completed belt ( front only ). The battle is of course only half over, the Thermal detonator still has to be attached to the back.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

This is were it will eventually sit. If I can ever get the damn thing done. I took me three hours to attach to ABS plastic belt to the canvas belt.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

After spray painting the back of the Thermal detinator grey I drilled two holes so I could attach the belt clips.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

I used metal screws to attach the belt clip to the back of the TD, I also put a bit of apoxy glue on the screw so it stays in place forever...err...hopefully.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

Here's a shot of the back of the Thermal detonator with the belt clips attached. If there are any question about my procedure send me an e-mail and I'll do my best to confuse you even more.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

A fine job if I do say so myself.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

This will give you an idea how the webbing holds the entire suit together. I desighned it to I can just step into it. The only problem with this approach is that you will need some help attaching the chest plait and shoulder straps to the back peice once it's on. The way I have done it is deffinatly not the easiest way, you will always need assisstance getting dressed, but it works for me.The nice thing about and ALL velcro assembly is that at a later date I can always change it.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

And here's a shot of the Thermal detonator attached to the back of the belt.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

Although it was'nt entirly done I just had to do a test fitting...not bad hides my beer belly...can someone please pass me a Bud.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

And here it is, the completed project, I'll add some fans, speakers to the helmet at a later date.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

I just replace the AB button ( little black buttons on the stomach ) with screen accurate AB buttons which I ordered from Vader Dave in Des Moines, Iowa. These are the colors used in the original Star Wars movie they consist of 6 grey and 3 blue buttons.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

The final part to my puzzle were the boots, these I ordered from Champion Attitude ( CABOOTS ) in El Paso, Texas. They provided excellent service arriving in just over a week, now I'm finally ready to go.

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

Now it's time to go hunt some rebel scum...

From Stormtrooper Armor Build

For more information on the artist that engineered this high quality armor which is commonly known as the RT-Mod please see think below...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bowie Live in Santa Monica 72

EMI has just put out Bowie and the Spiders Live in Santa Monica . This has been a big bootleg for years and kind of had an offical release in the late 80's early 90's. That version was taken from the radio broadcat so the sound was not great. This is the first time it has been released from the multi-track tapes so the sound should be alot better. This is concidered to be the best show " Bowie and the Spiders from Mars" ever did so if you love Bowie you might want to drop the $20.00...Thanks Steve.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Mockers - New Zealand

A band based out New Zealand they formed in 1980 the remnants of another band called the Ambitious Vegetables with the line-up of Gordon Costello, Andrew Fagan, Gary Curtis and Charlie Mannell who all attended Rongotai College together in Wellington. The Mockers fell into the New Wave / Pop genre and released their first single in 1980,"Good old Days", followed in July of 1981 with their second "Trendy lefties" in 1982 the third single "Woke Up Today" was released. All three songs enjoyed some success locally receiving regular airplay. The Mockers were lead by singer /song writer Andrew Fagan, the band charted successfully in 1985 with the hit "Forever Tuesday Morning" which became a massive hit in New Zealand. Eventually, like most bands they dissolved and went their separate ways, Fagan moved to London...
Original Line Ups...
Ambitious Vegetables
Gordon Costello, Andrew Fagan, Gary Curtis and Charlie Mannell.
The Mockers
Andrew Fagan, Gary Curtis, Dean Hazelwood, Geoff Hayden, Tim Wedde and Brett Adams.
Later members included..
Murray and Gordon Costello, Brendan Fitzgerald, Steve Thorpe, Paul Lightfoot (guitar) 1984
Thanks for the additional Info Mouldytone

Monday, September 22, 2008

Forever Young - Alphaville

It's difficult to pinpoint the exact origins of the new wave movement, what is widely accepted is during the late 1970s and the 1980s. It emerged from punk rock as a reaction against the popular music of the 1970s ( and the corporations that controlled it ). I myself believe it began the very first moment the Sex Pistols took the stage... others believe it was actually David Bowie that started it, some credit Roxy Music, and there is merit for all these arguments, each one of these bands a pioneer in there own right. What is clear is that during the 1980's something very special happened to the music industry. The corporate ties that bind were completely broken and for the first and only time in history the spotlight was shared by an eclectic mish-mash of bands from both large labels, and independents, from diverse genres, also and perhaps most importantly from different countries, nations from all around the globe contributed, it would become the most musically creative decade the world has ever seen. Alphaville was one of Germany's contributions to the New Wave movement and Forever Young was their debut album. This is another one of those must have perfect albums every track a masterpiece, not a single throw away on the entire creation. The album produced no less than four singles,"The Jet Set", "Big in Japan", "Sounds Like a Melody", and of course "Forever Young" all of which charted well all over the globe. The other tracks are equally impressive and I believe one track in particular "Fallen Angel" had it ever been released as a single also would have charted successfully perhaps even going to #1. It is of course Alphaville's most critically-acclaimed album and an estimate 2,000,000 copies have been sold since its release. I think it is so very easy for us to forget especially in today's musical environment that a music industry exists outside the United States or the UK... for a short time a little while ago ( It seems like yesterday to me ) we all had privileged to catch a glimpse of it...

Forever Young - Track List


1. "A Victory of Love"
2. "Summer in Berlin"
3. "Big in Japan"
4. "To Germany with Love"
5. "Fallen Angel"
6. "Forever Young"
7. "In the Mood"
8. "Sounds Like a Melody"
9. "Lies"
10."The Jet Set"

Friday, September 19, 2008

Spice Girls reunion beats Led Zep

Off Topic Alert
You just know I was going to mention this one...This is from the BBC news...The Spice Girls have beaten Led Zeppelin to an award for the Best music reunion of the last 12 months.
The girl group won best live return at the Vodafone Live Music Awards after getting back together for a world tour. It was judged to have been better than the one-off comeback by rock legends Led Zeppelin, the Verve and James Morrison also nominated. Emma Bunton was present, and said she was "a bit shocked" to beat such venerable rock acts as Led Zeppelin. "We had a great time," she said of the comeback tour. "So I just feel very lucky that I had the opportunity to do it again." The pop group's victory will raise eyebrows among rock fans, but Bunton told the BBC News website: "The thing is, when you go to a gig, you go for fun and entertainment and a night out. "And that's exactly what we did and I think that's why people enjoyed it so much." ...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Richard Wright dies at age 65

Yesterday was a truly tragic day for the music industry Richard Wright, a founding member of Pink Floyd, died Monday, he was only 65. The group's jazz-infused rock and drug-laced multimedia "happenings" made them darlings of the London psychedelic scene, and their 1967 album, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn," was a massive hit. In the early days of Pink Floyd, Wright, along with Syd Barrett, were seen as the group's dominant musical force until Roger Waters and David Gilmour started to write material. Waters left Pink Floyd in 1985 and Wright began recording with Mason and Gilmour again, releasing two amazing albums "The Division Bell" and "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" as Pink Floyd. Wright also released the solo albums "Wet Dream" (1978) and "Broken China" (1996). I always felt ( or perhaps hoped ) that Pink Floyd would eventually reunite and we would all have one more chance to see them live...but of course that will now never happen. They are in my opinion perhaps the greatest band in all musical history and Richard will be missed terribly... a life well lived to be sure.

Boys Brigade - Toronto Band

They first formed in 1981 and were part of the Canadian New Wave scene. The first exposure they received was via their first single "Mannequin" which appeared on Q107 s annual compilation album Homegrown, back when the mighty "Q" actually cared about new talent. Produced by Geddy Lee ( lead singer for Rush ) the self-titled debut album release in 1983 yielded two singles "Melody" and "The Passion of Love" both of which fared well on the Canadian charts. This band was truly talented but never reached their full potential. Infighting and internal tensions led the band to break up before releasing another album, one can only speculate on what might have been...

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Spitfires - Indy Rock Band - Australia

Based out of Adelaide, South Australia they formed in 1981, an Indy rock band with a hard edge that could best be described as a mixture of punk and rockabilly somewhere along the lines of the Cramps with regards to their style and sound. Their debut mini album was released in 1983 if I'm not mistakes and was called "I Was A Teenage Teenager" under the independent Rivet label, there is not alot of info available on this band so I could be mistaken with my facts. They enjoyed moderate success within Australia releasing a number of singles that charted locally. If anyone has any additional info or pictures please e-mail me, it would be greatly appreciated. The group was comprised of the following members ...Ted Keely (lead vocals), Jeff Stephens (guitar/vocals), Andrew Travers (drums), Greg Ryan (guitar), Rick Gac (bass), Jeff Karutz (sax). Sadly Greg (Slim) Ryan passed away on September 4, 2006, my sincere condolences to his family and friends.
I Was A Teenage Teenager - Track List
Side 1
Rumble In The Jungle
Bad Luck Bop
I'm In Love With A Vampire
Side 2
I'm In Love With A Vampire
Brand New Cadillac
One Way Train
There may be other tracks from this album that I have missed...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hunting High and Low - A-ha

This phenomenal band from Norway released "Hunting High and Low" as their debut album back in 1985 and it is in my opinion one of the truly great albums from the 1980's. The first single "Take On Me" hit number one all over the world, 36 countries to be exact selling 9 million copies and earning the band a Grammy Award nomination as Best New Artist in 1986. In addition to the songs success I think the video to Take On Me is perhaps the best ever produced, and I don't just mean in the 80's either. The video is absolutely astounding, it used a pencil-sketch animation/ live action combination called Rotoscoping (where individual frames of live video are drawn over or colored). The video would become one of the most instantly recognizable and most enduringly popular videos of all time and it still received regular play even today. The rest of the album is equally impressive, there is no fill on this record at all, it is pretty much perfect. There were no less than 5 singles that charted both in North America and in Europe, in addition to Take On me, "The Sun Always Shines on T.V." , "Love Is Reason", "Train of Thought" and "Hunting High and Low" also fared very well. With regards to financial success I for the most part believed that sales don't always tell the full story ( sometimes they don't mean shit ) but on some occassions they can be an indication as to the merits of a particular work. In end Hunting High and Low went on to sell 10 million units worldwide.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Journey / Heart / Cheap Trick Concert

On Friday night I saw an absolutley astounding concert at the Molson Amphitheater, Headlined by Journey who have recently been reconstituted by Arnel Pineda, the band's new leadman who delivered a performance that perhaps even rival that of original singer Steve Perry. Heart and Cheap Trick were also on the bill delivering solid performances as a sold out crowd of 16 thousand rocked to four hours of great tunes. I have to say I was positively amazed: What your ears hear doesn't quite connect to what your eyes see. How is it possible that this tireless Filipino spitfire with stringy black hair, who guitarist Neal Schon discovered last summer via YouTube clips of him singing covers in his former band the Zoo, could sound so eerily like Steve Perry, that rarely rivaled voice of every Journey smash? I couldn't believe how great he sounded, this show I'll remember for a long time. It's fitting that the band titled its 13th album (and first with Pineda) "Revelation," for not only does the term apply to the wonder vocalist, it speaks to the rebirth of the group itself. Pineda was hardly the only standout I also have to acknowledge how spectacular Cheap Trick and Heart sounded, both bands sound every bit as great now as they did back in the 80's. I was blown away by Heart's Ann Wilson characteristically robust form during the group's hour-long set, navigating the roaring passages of the Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" as adeptly as she did the dramatic pleas of "Magic Man" and "Alone," the latter smartly scaled back to just piano and guitar.Likewise, sister Nancy's spotlight, "These Dreams," was tempered by a mellower, mandolin arrangement. Note some of what I have written here was taken direct from Ben Weners article in Orange county news, he's alot better at writing this kinda shit than I am, thanks Ben...below I've included a few low quality shots I took at the show, when I get a chance I'll link the entire album, the quality should be better and I'll also try to post some video as well...

Cheap Trick Started the night at around 7:00 pm they played a fantastic set that lasted approximatly 45 minutes.
The second band to take the stage was Heart the set lasted just over an hour and it was an impressive performance to say the least. Journey certainly had their work cut out for them to compete with it...
Journey put on an amazing show, lasting about an hour and a half , the set included most of the classics and some of their new material as well. A great time was had by all, hopefully this won't be the last time these bands play Toronto.

Here's a link to the entire albumn...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Boy - U2

Just picked up the double CD remaster of this album last week, at some point I lost interest in this band and I'm not sure why, that said I still absolutley love this record, U2's first album and still their best in my opinion... I owned it on vinyl twice, CD twice and cassette. From beginning to end this is a perfect album, every song is excellent. It has a very energetic, raw edged rock sound with a little bit of the punk thrown in for good measure. It's a simpler sounding band to the one we hear today but also more creative and rebellious. I must have listened to it at least a thousand times over the years and it is tough to choose what I would consider my favorite tracks since they are all so well written. Of course there is "I Will Follow" which for many of us was our introduction to the Irish phenomenon. "An Cat Dubh" and "Into the Heart" which I kind of consider one long song and is by far my favorite song ever written by U2. "Twilight" and "Out Of Control" are also among their best as well. If you don't know this band, which of course is unlikely, then this is a great place to start. Right at the beginning.

Monday, September 1, 2008

There and Then - Oasis

I wasn't actually into Oasis until I discovered this live concert, it is an absolutely amazing performance and I now watch it regularly. Recorded during the What's the Story Morning Glory? tour, Oasis were at the peak of their success,and without a doubt one of the biggest bands in the world at the time. The shows is actually filmed in two locations part of the footage was recorded at Earls Court in London November 1995 and the remainder was filmed in Manchester April 1996. Mixed in with the concerts footage are a number of interesting interviews with various members of the band, normally I prefer not to have interviews during the concert as I feel it breaks the continuity of the performance but for this show it seemed work. The thing that really stands out about this concert is the fan footage, I don't think I've ever seen as packed stadium go quite as crazy as they did during this show. Thirty thousand people screaming at the top of there lungs for pretty much the entire performance, and the camera's captures it perfectly, I almost felt like I was there. I highly recommend There and Then, one of the best live performance ever caught on film.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ink - The Fixx

I actually just picked up this CD recently so I was totally unfamiliar with it. A relatively unknown album that The Fixx released in February 1991 after a 3 year hiatus. This was the sixth studio album by the band and although it was a commercial failure it was still a well written album, not perfect mind you but still good. Their sound remains relatively unchanged from their 80's material which I'm happy about, if it works don't f--k with it that's what I say. The tracks that stand out are All is Fair, How Much is Enough, No one Has to Cry and my personal favorite, Still Around. If you get a chance it's well worth a listen, not their strongest album to date but certainly worth a listen...Cheers

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Metal Masters

Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto - August 13, 2008 Everything old is new again... I was transported back in time last night to 1985 when I saw the Metal Masters show in Toronto. It was so cool I almost shit myself, it included a four band bill in what turned out to be an almost 6 hour head bangin extravaganza. The line up included ( in order ) Testament, Motorhead, Heaven & Hell (aka Black Sabbath) and Judas Priest.
The first band to take the stage was Testament a hard rockin thrash metal band based out of San Francisco, they took the stage at 5:30 and played a set that lasted approximately an hour. Although not entirely familiar with there music they put on a good performance for a appreciative crowd that was still making there way in to the amphitheater. The next band to play was Motorhead fronted by Lemmy Kilmister they set the bar high with Killed By Death, the trademark Ace Of Spades. The hard edged head thrashin set really got the crowd going as they put on a spectacular set. I've never seen Motorhead before so it was a real treat to watch them perform for the first time. The next band was Heaven and Hell, featuring Black Sabbath members in guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler vocalist Ronnie James Dio put on an absolutely astounding set playing classics like Children Of The Sea, Sign Of The Southern Cross and ending the their set with Neon Nights. I thought the final act of the night Judas Priest might in be a bit over their heads trying to follow Heaven and Hell, they certainly had their work cut out for them but they did not disappoint. Led by singer Rob Halford, Judas Priest kept the new songs to a minimum and relying on classics to win over the fist-pumping, head-banging crowd filling most of the venue. Songs like Hellbent for Leather, You've Got Another Thing Coming, Breaking The Law and finally Living after Midnight kept the crowd hoppin til the very end. My ears are now bleeding hopefully it will stop within a few day, a fantastic night, rock on dude.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Unexpected Guest At A Cancelled Party.

This album was released last summer and it is absolutely spectacular. To the left is a copy of the CD cover and a statement below by Gordon Depp - The lead singer and Guitarist for the Spoons...

"Searching for and finding these songs was like uncovering lost memories in some ancient, overgrown garden. Some had to be carefully restored from their neglected, corrupted state, not unlike faded photographs or cracked, moss covered statues. For some, it seemed, it was merely a matter of time before any hope of a second life would slip away all together. But with a bit of care, they were brought back to life and, as they did, the memories that surrounded the songs also came back into focus. Of innocent days in the early 1980s when we were at our creative best and songs came without effort, when they just happened out of the sheer pleasure of making music. If you push back the vines a little, you might see bits and pieces of songs that would make their way into other recordings. Unpremeditated Love and In The Hands Of Money show you their origins and, I think, are still more pure and musical. See if you can pick out the references to the Arias & Symphonies album, scattered all through 2,000 Years. The earliest compositions on this collection are Bending and the instrumental Young English Gentleman, the latter a tribute to our good friend and producer John Punter. Given the chance, I think newer songs like Love Drum and Love Can Be A Stranger could have had their day in the sun. But more than any, Spaces was probably buried the deepest, so much so that I didn't recognize it as our own when I first found it. So long had it been sleeping under the dead leaves. The instrumental section near the end is my favourite moment on the whole album.Most of these songs were recorded after Romantic Traffic and Tell No Lies, in a tiny, hidden away studio in Oakville, Ontario. We were about to embark on a whole new chapter in our musical lives that would leave these old ideas forgotten, to slowly weather over time and eventually fade into the earth. So, in a way, this album truly was almost never made. Fortunately, never is just a word." Gord Deppe May 2007

In the Winter of 1982 The Spoons hit the air waves with their first commercially successful single the song was Nova Heart. This would be the first of many singles to rush up the charts by this talented foursome...The single would be followed quickly by the album Arias & Symphonies which would help establish the Spoons as one of Canada premier New Wave bands. I don't know how many are old enough to remember but in 1982 Arias & Symphonies charted at number four in the CFNY top 100 album of that year...the top 5 were as follows...

1. Simple Minds - New Gold Dream

2. Duran Duran - Rio

3. Roxy Music - Avalon

4. The Spoons - Arias And Symphonies

5. ABC - Lexicon Of Love

For those who are interested in the entire list the link is here...

"Spoons" were and still are Canada's greatest contribution to the New Wave movement. Under Ready Records, a small independent record label that sprung up in Toronto in the early 1980s. They cut a record, Stick Figure Neighbourhood followed by Arias & Symphonies, and started climbing the charts. Spoons were at one point courted by three major American record labels who wanted to distribute the band's music.

Most of the promises made to the group were broken by Ready and the record company soon lost interest, the promotional budget was scrapped also. In Sandy's words... "It was like we were in a straight line heading one way, and someone took the motor out and yanked us out. And then we're going 'and now what?' "

UnExpected Guest is a collection of previously un-released material. Some might think that because it was unreleased it's probably shit, but this is not the case. It is a fantastic album and a number of songs would likely of charted very well if the had been released. Three songs in particular "Unpremeditated Love", "2,000 Years", and "In The Hands Of Money" should be released as singles immediately as they are exceptionally well written.

The Entire album is as follows...

1. Love Drum 4:16
2. Show & Tell 3:33
3. Unpremeditated Love 3:47
4. 2,000 Years 4:21
5. World In Motion 4:16
6. Bending 3:32
7. Young English Gentleman 3:35
8. In The Hands Of Money 3:34
9. No Promises 4:39
10. Spaces 3:12
11. Love Can Be A Stranger 3:31
12. Ciao 1:34

Friday, August 8, 2008

Humanity Hour 1- The Scorpions

Last year the Scorpions released a new album and I meant to comment on it but I just never found the time, but now I have, so here it is...It's been a long time since the Scorpion released a new album but it was well worth the wait. It's easy to see why many consider Klaus Meine to be one of the greatest Heavy Metal singers of all time. After more that thirty years he is still at the top of his game, and Humanity - Hour 1 is nothing short of spectacular. It's a slightly updated sound to what we're used to hearing but make no mistake, this is 100% pure Scorpions, no holds barred hard rockin roll. Like most of their earlier albums some power Ballads have been thrown in along with the Heavy stuff... The three songs that stand out are "Hour 1" which is on par with the classic heavy Scorpion material of the past and should easily top the charts all over the world, "321" which is my favorite song, easily makes my personal list of best Scorpions songs ever written, and "Humanity" which is a great power ballad that sounds more along the lines of traditional Scorpions style. Metal fans are going to love this album, it will satisfy the die hard older crowd and should also draw the younger fans as well because of updated modern metal sound that's prevalent throughout the album, especially noticeable in the guitar riffs. ...I don't think it has charted well in North America but that's primarily due to lack of record company support. In Europe it has done very well and even charted at number one in some countries. This is an excellent album and I strongly recommend it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Touring Landscape

I thought this was interesting...

From Billboard magazine...The touring landscape may be tough this summer, but Billboard Boxscore's midyear numbers illustrate that many tours have enjoyed significant success already. Bon Jovi and the Spice Girls have the two top tours for the period Nov. 14, 2007, until May 13, 2008, grossing $112.4 million and $70.1 million, respectively.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Winehouse punches a Fan

Amy is a very talented lady but unfortunately the chick is crazier than a sh*t-house rat. Amy Winehouse packed a punch at the Glastonbury music festival this weekend. After taking the stage on Saturday, the troubled singer climbed down into the pit and scuffled briefly with a fan. Winehouse sang for about an hour in front of an estimated crowd of 80,000.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Melanie C June 28 2008 Toronto

For the sixth time this year and the second time as a solo artist Melanie C played Toronto this weekend. She was at Welsley station were she performed a free concert to a jammed packed house of about three thousand people. Despite the sweltering heat (about 32 °C) she put on a fantastic show and played for just over an hour. A great time was had by all. Besides the picture above I took many other photos at the show, the link to the albumn is below.