Thursday, November 29, 2007
The popular holiday song "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" is now at the center of a lawsuit over a breach of contract. The original songwriter, Elmo Shropshire, may be forced to pay as much as $2 million in damages for his actions which interfered in a merchandising deal for the plaintiff, The Fred Rappoport Co.
To read the full story, click here.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Duran Duran - 'Falling Down'
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Into the Night
Santana feat. Chad Kroeger
At any given time, I'll make rash decisions that may or may not expand my horizons a bit. It just so happens that the day "Into the Night" came on the radio, I was in the mood to give this song a fair listen and, let the record show, my opinions have changed slightly for the better regarding Santana and company.
Over the last decade, I have found myself steadily loathe the music that Chad Kroeger's Nickelback and Santana produce. Don't get me wrong, I recognize that both groups have well established roots in the rock community, but I couldn't help but lose a little respect for Santana after hearing "Smooth". And his recent pairings with the likes of Michelle Branch and Baby Bash haven't helped his rock credibility either. One would think that Carlos could play with a better caliber of talent. C'mon, the guy wrote "Black Magic Woman"!
As for Nickelback, I loved their debut album The State, but every album after has been a replay after replay of the same song, but with a different title. Of course, I'll bring your attention to the infamous "How You Remind Me of Someday" song comparision that has floated around the internet. Click here to listen. My main problem with the band is they can't seem to sound genuine in their music. It just seems like every time I hear Nickelback on the radio, it's tailor-made for pop stations. Not exactly what I envisioned for the band when I heard their very first single "Leader of Men". Now that song rocked!
Overall, "Into the Night" achieved what I had believed was impossible. Namely, I could listen to either one of the involved artists without immediately changing stations. In fact, the track has been in my regular rotation ever since the first listen.
Monday, November 26, 2007
A few months ago, I was driving to dinner and listening to XM when this gem from 1985 came on. It may have been a few years since I had last listened to Double's "Captain of her Heart" but it took only a few moments to remember and sing along to one of the cheesiest choruses of all time.
The lyrics, while simplistic and a bit on the shallow end of the intellectual pool, do a fine job of illustrating the tale of a lonely woman who waits for a lover gone astray. Unfortunately for the aforementioned lover, the woman decides enough is enough and, I can only assume, starts looking around for a man of a higher rank. Obviously not a tune for those people in long-distance relationships.
"Captain of Her Heart" may have its moments of ridicule, like how often vocalist Kurt Maloo enjoys finding words that rhyme with "heart," but it definitely has a place in the always entertaining genre of 80's pop. Hope you enjoy the soprano saxaphone!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Neil Diamond, who is perhaps most famous for his song 'Sweet Caroline,' recently made public that the inspiration for the 1969 hit song came from a magazine photo he once saw of President John F. Kennedy's daughter Caroline.
Diamond revealed his secret to Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg more than 35 years later while performing at her 50th birthday celebration a week ago.
Diamond spoke to the Associated Press, saying:
"I've never discussed it with anybody before - intentionally. I thought maybe I would tell it to Caroline when I met her someday. It was a Number One record and probably is the biggest, most important song of my career, and I have to thank her for the inspiration."
Of course, he didn't explain what the lyrics "touchin me, touchin you" had to do with a photo of a preteen girl, but I digress...
So good. So good. So good.
The time involved to download an album isn't the only gripe to be had with this service. The music is locked by DRM, meaning the songs aren't free in the traditional sense. You can only play the songs on your computer or compatible portable devices. In essence, you are donating your time to borrow the streaming rights to the songs you download. I'd much rather turn on the radio.
Monday, November 19, 2007
"Apparently, all the Chris Daughtry fans were just biding their time, while those Carrie Underwood fans just won't quit.
The gravelly-voiced rocker's eponymous band and the burgeoning country superstar won a leading three pointy prism trophies apiece Sunday at the 2007 American Music Awards, which for the first time in the show's history left the voting process entirely up to fans, who could choose favorites online.
Daughtry collected Favorite Pop/Rock Album honors for its self-titled debut, as well as awards for Favorite Breakthrough Artist and, beating out Norah Jones and John Mayer, Adult Contemporary Artist—not bad for a guy who finished fourth on American Idol."
Read the rest of the article here.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The premise of this marvelous musical adventure is that Mother Goose has disappeared, and her uptight son Gordon Goose (played by Dan Gilroy of the Breakfast Club) must team up with Little Bo Peep (Shelley Duvall) to save her before all of Rhymeland goes the way of the buffalo.
Along their journey, Gordon and Peep encounter a barrage of wacky nursery rhyme characters, including a trailer-trash Mary and her cigar-smoking Little Lamb (Cyndi Lauper and Woody Harrelson), the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe (Debbie Harry), and the Three Blind Mice detective agency (Bobby Brown).
While a children's movie, many of the situations and jokes are obviously geared towards parents. The cast itself is rounded out by a number of musicians, and the musical segments are actually catchy, making this viewable to a wide audience. The set designs are wildly cartoonish and the crazy costumes even won the show a daytime Emmy in 1990.
The Three Men in a Tub are played by ZZ Top. Simon & Garfunkel make appearances as Simple Simon and Georgie Porgie. The Stray Cats dress to their name for a performance as Porgie's house band. Dan Gilroy co-wrote the theme song, "Hop to it." Even that merry old soul Little Richard gets a few verses in as Old King Cole.
By far my favorite song of the whole show occurs when Gordon is banished to Old King Cole's dungeon. The anthem, "Gordon Won't You Come Out to Play," gets performed by a costumed hair metal band resembling KISS and is credited to a group called The Dank. But who is The Dank?? This much is never explained...
In all, Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme is the kind of simple, silly fun that takes me back a few years. Currently, you can view the entire movie via YouTube.
Below, I've included the video for The Dank's "Gordon Won't You Come Out to Play."
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Such skills were in full force during his November 2nd show at Veterans' Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa on November 2nd. After Rob Zombie's under par performance (read my review here) Ozzy was bestowed the duty of ensuring that the thousands of fans in attendance wouldn't go home unsatisfied and angry. Needless to say, the Godfather of Heavy Metal did not disappoint.
Commencing the show with a single off his latest album, Ozzy wasted no time in giving the audience what they wanted. The rabid fans in the first section were not only treated to their favorite newest song, but also to drenches of water and foam as well. To be more specific, Mr. Osbourne began dumping buckets of water and squirting a hose full of crazy foam onto all of them. Needless to say, I was envious of the front row's proximity to such an amazing spectacle of showmanship and gimmick.
But Ozzy did not rely on spectacle alone to prove his place among hard rock's greats. Partnering with guitar legend Zakk Wylde, the two hammered through a diverse cross-section of the infamous Ozzy catalog. 'Shot in the Dark' was played third song in, and 'Fire in the Sky' was a great mid-show treat. Throughout these showings, Ozzy made sure he told everybody how much he appreciated their support by shouting "I fu***ng love you all!!." At about the hour mark, Ozzy took a break to leave the stage and lent the limelight to Wylde, who wisely used the 15 minute segment to display technical perfection via a 'Star Spangled Banner' inspired guitar solo.
When Ozzy re-emerged, he did his best to bestow upon his fans the songs they craved. 'Road to Nowhere' was sung, as was 'I Don't Want to Change the World.' By the time the encore arrived, he had performed 'Mama, I'm Coming Home' and 'Paranoid' from his Black Sabbath days. The two-hour mark reluctantly arrived when Ozzy confered his greatest symbol of gratitude upon the Iowa crowd: he bowed endlessly while screaming, "I love you all!" In typical fashion, the lights then dimmed and the self-proclaimed "madman" slowly disappeared from sight.
It was for that reason I left the Ozzy concert feeling satisfied and grateful...satisfied I saw one of rock's greatest legends live, and grateful I was fortunate to witness one of its most humble.
I've included two of my favorite Ozzy songs that were (unfortunately) not performed at the concert. Enjoy:
Ozzy Osbourne - 'No More Tears'
Ozzy Osbourne - 'You Can't Kill Rock and Roll'
Saturday, November 10, 2007
The Lonely Note has been nominated by Nielsen (the company behind those famous TV ratings) as one of the best music blogs in the US. And now you have an opportunity to show your support for us by voting for The Lonely Note here.
We couldn't have received this nomination if not for the support of you, our readers. It is what inspires us to write.
Thank-you all, and we hope we can count on your votes!
Steve, Tae, Ted & Hank
PS: The voting begins Monday, November 12 and lasts until December 12.
Mailer was just 25 years old when he burst on the literary scene with his first novel, The Naked And The Dead. The World War II tale is universally recognized as one of the best war novels to emerge from that conflict. Published in 1948, it is all the more remarkable because Mailer wrote realistically of combat without ever actually having taken part in battle."
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
The film's story, in its skimpiest form, screams cheesy: a Liverpudlian named Jude leaves England during the sixties for America in search of his GI father who retreated back to the States before Jude was ever born. Jude's paternity search leads to encounters with other characters who bear Beatles-inspired names. There's a Maxwell, a Prudence, a Sadie, a Lucy, and a doctor named Robert among others. And because the time period is 1960s America, the narrative inevitably centers around Vietnam, drug usage, and the Counterculture in general.
However, unlike many movies that take place during those 'Boom years, Across the Universe takes a very underhanded approach at dealing with the 60s' staple issues of war and drugs. While the drugs are very much available, and the characters experience their fair share of acid trips (manifested as psychedelic visuals to the viewer), the marijuana and LSD are presented to the audience in a much more subversive way. The characters don't talk about it, and they don't glamorize it. They just do it.
In similar fashion, the story does not immortalize the war protester like so many other films do. Instead, it seems to depict the student protesters of that era as children of privilege, indulging in protest perhaps only for the sake of rebellion against the establishment, rather than for the stated purpose of bringing American troops home. While Across the Universe certainly does not endorse the Vietnam conflict, it brings a grounded, post-WWII British perspective to the narrative through the lens of protagonist Jude.
Finally, the film does a pretty good job of sticking to its goal of focusing on the Beatles' robust catalog. From the sugary Mersey sounds of their early albums, to their heavier-handed material released toward the end of their legendary run, a healthy cross-section of the band's repertoire is represented. In the beginning, songs like 'It Won't Be Long' and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' are used to compliment the story during times of teenage lust and longing. As the story unfolds, heartfelt performances of songs like 'Something' by the characters are presented to emit more sophisticated feelings of reluctant love and lucidity. This transition mirrors not just the intellectual and emotional growth of the film's characters, but also that of the band's real life songwriting evolution as well.
In all, Across the Universe did a good job of surpassing my expectations. Although a little long in parts, the movie illustrated the universality of the Beatles' songs, helping to explain why people are still obsessed with them to this very day.
Here is the Beatles version of a song contained in the film. It's 'If I Fell:'
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
The stage was adorned with a giant monster head, upon which the drummer sat. And on each side of this "head" a scantily clad woman stood, dancing in unison with her counterpart on the other side to each of Zombie's very undanceable metal songs (with maybe the exception of 'Living Dead Girl'). At one point a giant Frankenstein robot came onto stage. Above the stage were video loops showing gratuitous images of naked women, as well as unfortunate characters getting sliced and diced up.
Perhaps it was the venue that made Zombie's show seem all too surreal and artificial. Sitting in a small arena, Zombie's similarly sounding songs all seemed to kind of mesh into a buzz of indiscernible crunch and reverb that provided literal pain to the ear drums. Or perhaps it was Mr. Zombie's bumptious attitude that limited any excitement or interactivity he was expecting from the crowd. During the finale of his show he was attempting to force the audience to chant "Zom-Bee, Zom-Bee, Zom-Bee," and thankfully the modest Midwestern crowd didn't buy into such self-serving nonsense. (When you have to force people to scream your name, the state of your irrelevancy should be clear.)
Needless to say, Zombie came across as pompous, and he appeared forgetful that he was only the opening act. The crowd was there to see headliner Ozzy, and they did not want to put up with the self-promotion of his B-movies and songs about monsters---songs, mind you, whose only distinctions are changes in tempo and the insertion of differing sound samples. In all, Zombie's show was one big joke fest. Thankfully, once Ozzy emerged he saved the show (and perhaps the day).
Stay tuned for my review of the Ozzy show soon!