Tuesday, 30 June 2009

scribbles week 26 - Fireworks on Glastonbury

Well of course the biggest news was the death of Michael Jackson. But there were some nice things to enjoy as well fortunately. Glastonbury had a killer line-up with some epic moments. And there are some scribbles about Dirty Projectors and Beastie Boys.

What a great weekend they must have had at Glastonbury: Spinal Tap, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and of course the return of Blur:

And as festivals go sharing is caring so there were some guest appearances like Bruce Springsteen joining Gaslight Anthem:

Neil Young and Paul McCartney share stage
And not only in Glastonbury but also later in London Paul McCartney joined Neil Young in "For a Day in the Life":

Dirty Projectors in car accident
Their van flipped while on their way to Toronto. Fortunately they are all alright and no-one was seriously injured.

Beastie Boys name new album and release date
Beastie Boys have revealed the name for their new album: "Hot Sauce Committee Part 1". It will be released September 15.
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Saturday, 27 June 2009

Now That's What I Call A Chicken!

Chickenfoot in De Waerdse Tempel Heerhugowaard, 26 June 2009 (Ronald says 4 out of 5)

Before their record was even out I decided it was probably worthwhile checking out the new band Chickenfoot. I didn't find their album disappointing at all so I was looking forward to this gig a lot. You don't get to see musicians like Joe Satriani, Chad Smith, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony all on the same stage every day!

So we went out of the big city and headed north to the Waerdse Tempel in Heerhugowaard (what the f**k!?). After we waited in the car for the pouring rain to stop, waited in line to get in, waited in line to buy coins and waited in line to get our first beer it didn't take long for the support act "Real Men Don't Dance" to warm us up. Although the three guys try their best it's the tropical temperature in the concert hall that warms up the most. Time for them to make way for the real stuff!

Right from the start it's clear the guys from Chickenfoot are here to have fun. The band's sign is present on every instrument that all look brand new. Time to put some marks on it! They start out by playing the first three songs of the album and that means full force from the start. It looks like they're definitely enjoying themselves. Constantly looking for eye-contact with the other band members, big smiles and small encounters with fans in the crowd. Joe Satriani is playing his riffs very convincing (what would you expect) and Chad Smith is beating the crap out of his shiny new set (according to Sammy Hagar he literally beat it to pieces the other night). Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony are singing together and being best friends. Especially Chad Smith and Joe Satriani are challenging each other and get out the best this way. The guys are joking a lot among each other and Chad is making funny faces and throwing drum sticks in the crowd. Some people must have caught more sticks than I have in my sticks bag! After around five or six songs I'm actually getting the feeling the whole thing may even get a bit too cheesy.

But then they knock out some more killer riffs and power grooves to make me feel all well again. Some songs sound as if they're jamming and Hagar explains one of the songs (I think it was "Turnin' Left") originally was a 45 minute jam. The better songs of the album like "Soap on a Rope" and "Sexy Little Thing" (as I wrote in my album review) also stick out live. They're just songs with more balls. At times I hear Aerosmith and there are there are even some moments that remind me of Led Zeppelin. Hagar mentioned at the start that they would play songs from their record the first half of the show. After a short break they return and they start playing the first ever song he wrote when he was playing with Montrose. Their last song is Deep Purple's "Highway Star" to end the show in style.

This leaves me happy since I just have seen a solid rock show with great musicians having lots of fun. So what if it's all a bit old and cheesy. So what if it's a bit too much 80s and nothing world shocking. It was fun and it felt good!
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Friday, 26 June 2009

Long Live The King

Today is a sad day for music. Last night The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, died at 50 years old. His music will live on. RIP Michael. Read more!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

This Foot Is Made For Rocking

Chickenfoot - Chickenfoot (Ronald Says 3 out of 5)
When I heard about Chickenfoot I was pretty excited. The members of this supergroup sure promised a lot. The funky Red Hot Chili Peppers rock drummer Chad Smith and guitar hero Joe Satriani joined forces with Van Halen veterans singer Sammy Hagar and bass player Michael Anthony.

Jamming together without Satriani they decided to start playing gigs. However Hagar didn't like the combination of singing and playing the guitar at the same time so they needed a decent guitar player for their album. So why not get one of the legends?

Of course with these guys you expect a lot of fireworks but unfortunately this only happens on some rare moments. So is it dissappointing? Not really since it's a decent rock album. Songs like "Soap on a Rope", "Sexy Little Thing" and "Turnin' Left" are pretty good rock songs. Solid grooves and Satriani brings out some great riffs. Other songs definitely are less and remind me of Bryan Adams like soft rock ("My Kinda Girl") or Scorpions 80s rock (cheesy ballad "Learning To Fall").

Of course I wasn't expecting brilliant and poetic lyrics but some are really just too easy. As always Hagar is very generous in shouting "Yeahs" in every song but in "Get it Up" this really gets too much. However when I listen to it I can picture these guys having lots of fun playing these songs (yes, even Satriani). But no one really expected the masterpiece of the decade. Chad Smith shows where he's coming from and lays out some solid rock grooves with Michael Anthony while Satriani works his magic and shows he's perfectly capable of playing in a 'normal' rock band without the need to go freaky all the time.

So if you're into some good old 80s style rocking this album will do it for you. And there's nothing wrong with that. I wonder how this will all sound live and will find out tomorrow night so expect that live review in a few days. Did you listen to this album? Let me know what you think of it and leave a comment.
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Soundgarden reunion?

So this week there were rumours about an upcoming Soundgarden reunion. Although a bit vague: "I talked to this guy and he knows people and they..." could it be true?

Several sources reported this rumour where all previous members of Soundgarden including Chris Cornell supposingly were talking about a reunion next year. They were all referring to a Kerrang! magazine article that mentioned Shinedown singer Brent Smith talking about it.

However today Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd denied this in response to a text message according to a Daily Swarm post (picture taken from Daily Swarm):

They sure had me hoping for a while. I sure would like to see Soundgarden coming back together. Maybe where there's smoke there's a fire? I guess time will tell. Wouldn't you like to see this reunion? Let me know what you think and leave a comment.

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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Johan Celebrates 12,5 Year Anniversary with 4th release

Johan - 4 (Ronald says 4 out of 5)
Faster than any of their previous records Johan released a new album. Their fourth in 12,5 years. That's not really productive but for Johan you know it's quality above quantity. The first three albums were all beauties so the stakes were high for this one! It's been out since beginning of May but I just found the time to finally review it.

When you hear the first track you immediately notice that they didn't make many changes to their sound. But songs like "In the Park" and "The Receiving End" do sound a bit more rough than we're used to but without loosing that unique mellow sound. Those real Johan songs are still present though like "Comes a Time". In "Maria" it's not Jacco de Greeuw singing but guitar player Maarten Kooijman. And this works very well. They also include some horns and strings ("Alone Again") now and then to broaden the spectrum.

So "4" doesn't sound surprisingly different but has some nice subtleties to make it all worth while. Maybe a next time it will start getting old but for now it's an album that doesn't disappoint at all.
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Sunday, 21 June 2009

Scribbles week 25

Last week's scribbles include news about Living Colour, Beck and David Lynch.

Living colour are working on their first new album in five years
The new album is called "The Chair in the Doorway" and is set for release on September 15. A world tour will follow.

Becks and some of his friend musicians will be covering classic albums
It is part of his Record Club project and he will try to release a song every day on his website. The first record he will have a go at is Velvet Underground & Nico.

Woman ordered $1.9 million for illegal downloading
The 32-year old woman was fined for sharing 24 songs online. The RIAA must be really proud of themselves.

David Lynch releases rock album
The seven songs were recorded in 1994 and Lynch wrote the lyrics. The album called "Fox Bat Strategy: A Tribute to Dave Jaurequi" is due for June 30.

Members of New Order and Blur are forming new supergroup
The new band will be called "Bad Lieutenant" and are planning to release their first album in October.

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Sunday, 14 June 2009

Blur back on track

In 1988 Blur played their first show in the East Anglian Railway Museum and Saturday it staged their first reunion show for friends and relatives. They played a lively 2 hour set whipping out 28 songs including their big hits.

It was the first gig in a series of warm up shows before playing some big events like Glastonbury. The guys from the YouTube were there as well so you can find some very nice high quality clips there:

Here's the setlist of the show:
She's So High
Girls & Boys
Tracy Jacks
There's No Other Way
Trimm Trabb
Coffee & TV
Country House
Charmless Man
Colin Zeal
Oily Water
Chemical World
Sunday Sunday
End of a Century
To the End
This Is a Low
Song 2
Out of Time
Battery in Your Leg
Essex Dogs
For Tomorrow
The Universal
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Old and new scribbles

I plan to post news scribbles more frequently from now on since they tend to grow old fast. Anyway here's some news about Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, Arctic Monkeys and more!

NIN's Final Concert
Trent Reznor told the crowd at the Bonnaroo festival that it was the last NIN's gig in the USA ever.

Smashing Pumpkins find young drummer
Billy Corgan says they're trying out a new drummer to replace Jimmy Chamberlin who left a few months ago. And this one is ready for the future since he's only 19 years old!

Arctic Monkeys announce new album
Arctic Monkeys have announced the title for their upcoming third album. It will be called "Humbug" and is scheduled for release end of August.

Jack White plans for solo album
Jack White still isn't out of ideas and appearently had some spare time so he's planning for a solo album.

Pearl Jam will release new album through Target
Pearl Jam will release their upcoming album without a label and are working together with Target for distribution. They will also sell it through their fanclub site and some independent online record stores.

Brandon Flowers joins Bruce Springsteen on stage
Brandon Flowers of The Killers joined Bruce Springsteen on stage at the Pinkpop festival in the Netherlands and he was all smiles.
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Thursday, 11 June 2009

Faith No More for Epic comeback?

Wednesday night 90s rock band "Faith No More" returned to the stage after 11 years. Mike Patton and his band mates played the Brixton Academy in London. Read more over here and watch a clip below. Can't wait to see them on the Lowlands festival in August.
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Wednesday, 10 June 2009

New Killers video for "A Dustland Fairytale"

The Killers have released the video for their new single "A Dustland Fairytale". It's a movie like clip that reminds me heavily of "Rebel Without a Cause" (or any other movie situated in the late 50s). It hardly features the band itself. Let me know what you think of their video by adding a comment.

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Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The Boss Still in Charge

Pinkpop Festival at Landgraaf, 30 May 2009
This year was the 40th edition of Dutch festival Pinkpop. And of course this called for a celebration so organizer and Mr Pinkpop Jan Smeets was able to book no one else than The Boss himself as the headliner of the first day of the three day festival.

Since festivals are costly these days we only got ourselves tickets to that first day and this turned out to be a good choice. But first we had to face the traffic gods that turned against us and we ended up in heavy traffic jams because of accidents, cars on fire and fully choked access roads to the festival. Unfortunately we couldn't make it to the festival in time and had to miss the first bands. When we finally made it Chris Cornell was already halfway his set and just finished one of my favourite songs "Hunger Strike". But the nice weather and my old friend Mr Beer made me feel happy within no time.

Chris Cornell (Ronald Says 3 out of 5)
One good thing we came in late was that we didn't have to make it through songs of Chris' latest album once more. It was a good choice of him to mix new and old songs into his set. Once he started playing songs like "Spoonman", "Cochise" and "Black Hole Sun" things seemed ok. So he experimented with Timbalake and it failed. So maybe the Soundgarden days and grunge are outdated. He's still one of the best rock singers out there even though he cannot sing as high as he used to. I'm sure he will come back with a killer album next time. In the meantime I'll settle for the old stuff.

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (Ronald Says 3 out of 5)
Mix songs by artists like Elton John and The Beach Boys with punk and this is what you get: a crazy bunch of musicians in cheesy outfits having the time of their lives. It still feels like a gimmick and gets a bit boring in the end. Of course it's all a bit of a joke to the musicians who are also playing in bands like NOFX and Foo Fighters. But they seem to enjoy it a lot and so do most of the people.

Elbow (Ronald Says 3 out of 5)
I read so many good things about this band however their album "The Seldom Seen Kid" just isn't my cup of tea. I saw a bit of their show last year on the Lowlands festival and wasn't too impressed. So what's everyone raving about? Here was my chance to find out again and I still don't get it. I guess I'm just not really into it. However their songs are decent and their performance solid as a rock.

The Killers (Ronald Says 4 out of 5)
I really like their first album "Hot Fuss" but the later albums not so much. Too much Vegas style I guess and so were their shows. But they've grown over the years and they played a very good set. It proved to me once more though that the songs of the first album are just better than the rest. Songs like "Mr. Brightside", "Somebody Told Me" and "All These Things That I've Done" just seem to rock more. Singer Brandon Flowers was all smiles throughout the whole set maybe because his big example Bruce Springsteen was watching and seemed to approve?

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (Ronald Says 5 out of 5)
Of course it's nice to book a big name like this. Tickets to the first day sold out in no time and it will generate lots of publicity. However it will drain your budget and minimize the other bands to support acts. And the big headlines might live up to the expectations. But not to worry this time. Bruce's performance was legendary and will be remembered long after. The band sounded tight and solid and Bruce was exactly what you would expect: charismatic, lively, all over the stage, striking his characteristic poses while the sun was setting. Every camera shot on the big screens seemed to be magical.

He played new and old songs in a well-balanced set and even found a Dutch Courteney Cox to dance with him during "Dancing in the Dark". The Killers singer Brandon Flowers joined him to sing "Thunder Road" and was as happy as a kid with its Christmas presents and didn't seem to believe he was actually standing there with his big idol. I was glad to be part of this almost three hour performance. Jan Smeets couldn't have made a better choice for the perfect anniversary gift.
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