Monday, April 30, 2007


As a proud subscriber of XM satellite radio, I encourage you to read and enjoy these stats on the "positive" 1Q2007 that the company experienced. No MBA required.

XM Satellite Radio has announced its results for the first quarter of 2007, and the company says that revenue jumped 27 percent year-over-year to $264 million, compared to $208 million in the first quarter of 2006. XM's first quarter net loss narrowed to $122 million, representing an 18 percent improvement compared to 2006. Furthermore, XM ended the first quarter of the year with more than 7.9 million subscribers and just recently surpassed the 8 million mark. It recorded gross subscriber additions of 868 thousand and net subscriber additions of 285 thousand in the first quarter.

"During the quarter, we improved our retail performance, experienced strong OEM gross additions, extended our distribution agreements with Toyota and Honda, enhanced our customer service, maintained our churn rate at approximately 1.8 percent for the third consecutive quarter and strengthened key financial metrics for our business," said XM CEO Hugh Panero. "These results were driven by the operational initiatives we put in place over the last several quarters."

Read the rest here.


It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw

AM Gold rockers America are back with a new album and a massive set of tour dates that take them through April 2008. Principal group members Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell comprise the backbone of the reunited band. They are the writers of some of the best soft-rock acoustic tunes ever created in 'Horse With No Name', 'Ventura Highway', 'Sister Goldenhair', 'Lonely People', and 'Tin Man'. I would have loved to have caught America on their summer tour, but they're sharing the bill with perennial summer tourers Chicago. Unless Peter Cetera is on board, I'm not going to see Chicago.

Interestingly, Ryan Adams and James Iha participated in the recording of the band's new album. How's that for some hipster cred? I had the pleasure of scaring the crap out of Mr. Iha, with my knowledge of his work on this disc, when my friend Erik cornered him outside an East Village eatery and then called me over to say hello. After unleashing this little known fact to James about his recent work with America, he must have been thinking about ringing the stalker alarm. Full disclosure: It was one of the weakest handshakes I have ever experienced.

This clip features America's performance on Letterman from 1/15/07, with Ryan Adams and Ben Kweller in tow.

Return of the Rage

Rage Against The Machine came back from the dead last night to close the final day of this year's Coachella Festival. There are a few low quality clips on on YouTube already. This was the best of the bunch. I can't claim to be a huge RATM fan, but I know the hits and they're great high energy tracks.

From here, Rage have three announced dates on this 'short-lived-for-now' reunion tour as part of the stellar Rock The Bells hip-hop festival.

That lineup includes:
Wu-Tang Clan
Rage Against The Machine
Cypress Hill
the Roots
Public Enemy
Mos Def
Sage Francis
Jedi Mind Tricks
Immortal Technique

The dates are:

Sat 07/28/07 @ Randall's Island, New York, NY
Sat 08/11/07 @ the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino, CA
Sat 08/18/07 @ the Covey Cove Parking Lot in San Francisco, CA

Also, there are some additional artists that will make appearances at one or more stops:

MF Doom
Living Legends
the Coup
Brother Ali
Mr. Lif
Grouch & Eligh
Hangar 18
Lucky I AM

That's How You Blog A Festival

Uncut writer Allan Jones provides his observations and thoughts from yesterday, Day 3, at the Coachella festival. He equally praises and rubbishes the acts from the final day, all the while entertaining with his commentary.

Stumbling onto site today someone told me that it was 107 degrees yesterday but it’s only 105 today. So that’s alright then. What’s that sound, floating across the polo grounds? Lush, harmonised, laid back, Californian… yes, it must be The Feeling from, er, Lowestoft or wherever the heck. Anyway, they do Buggles’ ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ as I order my first beer of the day so it can’t all be bad.

Who’s mooching? Cameron Diaz, Tommy Lee, Paris Hilton and Courtney Love (day three girl, what on earth took you so long?). No sign of my new mate Danny so I head over to check out Grizzly Bear in the smallest tent here, the Gobi. The Bear are, I guess, post rock. Which means they’re the band Thom Yorke and Michael Stipe would like to be in if they didn’t have bills to pay.
Read the rest.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

All a Blur

Ever since spending an extended amount of time in London in the late 90's, I've been a fan of Blur. I haven't delved too much deeper than their greatest hits, but it's an excellent set of songs that provide a look into British life at that time. As a bigger fan of Oasis, I'm very much aware of the very public media-fueled battle between the Gallagher Brothers and Blur at the height of the Britpop movement. With Damon Albarn now having reached unexpected superstar status with the mega-selling Gorillaz and The Good, The Bad, and The Queen, a reunited Blur could be the band's first opportunity to really get noticed here in the States.

British rockers Blur will finally decide this year if they will reunite or split. The Parklife chart-toppers, who went focused on solo projects after guitarist Graham Coxon acrimoniously left the group in 2002, will reform to record some trial songs this August.

Bassist Alex James says, "We're all heading into the studio together this summer. Graham's coming too. We're gonna see if we've still got it. If not, I think we'll just call it a day."
The song that introduced me to this band, released in February 1999 in the UK, while I was living there, was Tender. It is the first track on their sixth album 13. The single reached #2 in the UK singles chart - kept off #1 by Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time".


Van Zant: Southern Words to Live By

On May 10, 2005 Johnny and Donnie Van Zant released a country album called Get Right With The Man which featured the hit single "Help Somebody". I don't remember when I first heard the tune by the brothers of late Skynyrd vocalist Ronnie, but it was on the radio one morning, and I liked it right away. Its not the best song musically and certainly falls short of classic Lynyrd Skynyrnd, but it maintains the lyrical honesty that I loved Skynyrd for. Along the lines of "Simple Man," "On the Hunt," and "All I Can Do Is Write About It," the song has lyrics that serve as advice coming from someone who has lived long and hard enough to have words to share with the rest of us. I just watched the video on CMT, and listening to the words again, I couldn't help but be reminded of the Jason Isbell-penned tune "Outfit" by the Drive By Truckers, which is another tune with southern words that we all should live by.

Van Zant
Help Somebody
Get Right With the Man

Just some of the advice provided by the lyrics of this song:
1. "You don't need nothin' if you can't make it with your own two hands"
2. "The devil dreams on an idle horse"
3. "Don't get too high on a bottle, and get right with the man."
4. "Stick to your guns if you believe in something, no matter what, cause it's better to be hated for who you are than beloved for who you're not."
5. "Never tell a joke that ain't that funny more than once"

Read the full lyrics here.

Basement Tapes Mini-Tour: By the Time We Get to Woodstock

The entire Weightstaff is going on a roadtrip. Where are you going to be on June 28th and June 30th? Our first stop is seeing Levon Helm and his Midnight Ramble cats playing down under the stars in Central Park as part of the Summerstage lineup on 6/28. If you didn't catch Levon at the Beacon for what has ended up in my "shows of a lifetime - 5 gold star" category, you must not actually like music if you miss this second chance.

Next stop is Bethel, NY on 6/30 to catch Bob Dylan finally play the Woodstock concert site! This show is at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a 16,800 capacity amphitheater on the exact same hallowed ground of the original festival. This place is supposed to be beautiful. I can already feel the mystique and pleasure of seeing Bob walking out on stage with the ghosts of Hendrix, Joplin, Jerry, Danko, and Manuel flying around. If there truly is a higher being, somewhat local resident Levon Helm with grace us with his presence.

Who's comin with us?

Did you know: Bob Dylan was in negotiations to play the original Woodstock, however he had to pull out as his son was taken ill. He also was unhappy about the number of the hippies piling up outside his house near the originally planned site. He would go on to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival two weeks later (Wikipedia).

Check out: A great site which discusses the location of the Woodstock festival (actually 50 miles from the town of Woodstock), Bob Dylan's significance to the area, and the road the promoters took to secure the site.

Robbie Robertson in the JamBasement

Principal songwriter and resident egomaniac, Robbie Robertson, gives an interview to JamBase about his history in The Band. The article also includes quotes from Warren Haynes, Dave Schools, Jason Isbell, and Trevor Garrod (from Tea Leaf Green) regarding The Band's influence on them. Isn't it great how The Band is finally getting the recognition they so greatly deserve. Everyone from the Allmans to Phil and Friends to Trey to Derek Trucks Band are covering their tunes extensively.

Robbie Robertson in the Salon

Principal songwriter and resident egomaniac, Robbie Robertson, answers three questions for Salon magazine. What I am finding more interesting than Robbie's responses are the heated comments from readers. Be sure to check those out after reading the article.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Weight's Mental Health Rx: 'End of the Line'

Are you where you thought you would be at your age? When you look around, is this what you pictured for yourself? Do you wake up with the one you want to wake up next to? Or do you not wake up with anyone at all? Life can be challenging, cruel, and unforgiving. Most of all it can be unfair with things not settling the way you had planned.

I think it's safe to say that Dylan, Harrison, Petty, Orbison, and Lynne have seen and lived it all. George Harrison had his wife stolen by Eric freakin Clapton, who was his best friend! One of the songs that gets me through rough times, and that's what great music does, is The Traveling Wilbury's 'End of the Line'. Its a hell of a pick-me-up from some of the best psychiatrists in the business:

Well it's all right, even if you're old and grey
Well it's all right, you still got something to say
Well it's all right, remember to live and let live
Well it's all right, the best you can do is forgive

Well it's all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it's all right, if you got someone to love
Well it's all right, everything'll work out fine
Well it's all right, we're going to the end of the line

Oh yeah, here is where the news comes in:

The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 & 3 To Be Re-Released June 12, 2007
[Ed. Note: After being out of print, and unavailable, for over 10 years!]

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Just another Blogger Hyping a YouTube Video

Alright, I'm game. I accept my role as another blogger who is posting a video clip that he heard about via the net, that he wants other people to hear about via the net. I guess this is it. The new world of marketing is upon us. I just put another bullet into the major labels. I feel so used.

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip 'Thou Shalt Always Kill'

The Weight Streetscene - Tribeca Film Festival Promotions Dept.

The Weight's highly skilled, highly compensated crack team of paparazzi caught this unbelievable scene this morning on Third Avenue in Manhattan. There was actually FREE popcorn being given out to pedestrians in order to promote the Tribeca Film Festival, which began last night.

Learn more information here: Tribeca Film Festival

A-ha, hahahaha

Family Guy is simply the best, most creative show on television...Well, outside of Name That Tune reruns starring Jim Lange. Enjoy...

Phil Spector: Unchained Biography

One thing Phil Spector is certainly guilty of is killer honesty. That, and trying to convince the world that the dead and decaying look is in style. Apparenty Phil has an authorized biography coming out, which contains numerous interviews taken just weeks before he allegedly committed murder on the grounds of his mansion. Let's just say he must have an ego the size of the Wall of Sound. Some excerpts, from today's New York Post - Page Six, include:

* Michael Jackson is "the most depressing, heinous thing," Spector said. "Starting out life as a black man and ending up as a white woman. What's that all about? But the King [of Pop]? He's no King . . "

* On Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys leader and songwriting legend who battled mental illness for years, Spector declared, "I don't feel sorry for Brian Wilson. I never thought he was that talented to begin with . . . I'd be more impressed if somebody with a brain idolized me."

* Oasis, the British band fronted by Liam and Noel Gallagher, are "jerks."

* On Tina Turner: "I made her famous, and she resents that . . . But give it up, for God's sake . . . Why say, '[Bleep] you.' Just leave me alone."

* Bruce Springsteen, who borrowed the "Wall of Sound" technique for his breakthrough hit "Born to Run" in the 1970s, "should have paid me royalties . . . Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery until it becomes plagiarism." Spector also said the Boss' career is stale: "He's protected himself with three new songs and 25 old ones."

* On Motown founder Berry Gordy: "I don't see Berry doing very much. Wrote some good songs, 'Money' and all of that. But beyond that I feel there were more talented people in the organization."

* And on "American Bandstand" legend Dick Clark: "That's where payola started. Everybody around Dick Clark went to jail, except for Dick Clark."

When Brown asked Spector who his closest friends were, he presciently replied, "My attorneys."

If he was this honest at his trial, I think he may have a problem.

Feelin' Greedy

A star-studded cast of performers and presenters has been confirmed, with more to come, to pay tribute to Paul Simon as he receives the first annual Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on Wednesday, May 23 at 8 p.m. at the Warner Theatre located at 1299 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C.

Performers include Yolanda Adams, Marc Anthony, Dixie Hummingbirds, Jerry Douglas, Art Garfunkel, Philip Glass, Alison Krauss, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lyle Lovett, Stephen Marley, James Taylor and Buckwheat Zydeco. Presenters include former poet laureate Billy Collins, Bob Costas and Lorne Michaels.

The event will be broadcast in high definition on Wednesday, June 27 at 9 p.m. EDT on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings).
I was all excited about DC getting its shot at one of these shows that normally ends up in New York or LA. Upon doing some research on ticket pricing, I realized that I would not be attending this event. Seats in the orchestra start at a whopping $750.00!! As Don King would say, "Only in DC." For that much money, Simon and Garfunkel better be backed by Pink Floyd, the Beatles (including Pete Best), and James Brown. The cheapest seat in the house is $150.00. I'll stick to watching it on TV.

(Everything He Does) He Does It For You

I wonder whether Bryan Adams refuses to continue his concerts when drunk concert attendees start yelling out requests for Whiskeytown songs?

For those who care, Canadian Music Hall of Famer Bryan Adams tourdates:

August 2007
2 - Philadelphia, PA - Mann Center
3 - Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavilion
4 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
5 - Pittsburgh, PA - Amphitheater at Sandcastle
7 - Toledo, OH - Toledo Zoo
8 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
9 - Indianapolis, IN - White River State Park
10 - Cleveland, OH - Tower City Amphitheater
11 - Darien Center, NY - Darien Lake

Not So Young Dude

Kool Moe Dee called. He wants his glasses back.

Ian Hunter recorded 'All The Young Dudes' 35 years ago with his band Mott The Hoople after receiving it from David Bowie. The story, according to Wikipedia goes:

"Regarded as one of glam rock's anthems, the song originated after Bowie came into contact with Mott the Hoople's bassist Pete "Overend" Watts and learned that the band was ready to split due to continued lack of commercial success. When Mott rejected his first offer of a composition, "Suffragette City" (from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars), Bowie purpose-designed and wrote "All the Young Dudes" in short order, allegedly on the floor of a London flat in front of the band's lead singer, Ian Hunter."
As leader of MOTT THE HOOPLE and highly renowned solo artist, IAN HUNTER has produced a matchless repertoire of music combining homage, honesty and killer hooks. He was one of the toughest and most inventive writers of the early 70s paving the way for punk rock with his thought provoking and gritty songs. As a solo performer he has also succeeded with an eclectic catalogue of superbly intelligent albums and a dedicated following.

Album release date: 4th June 07

First ever UK acoustic shows:

13th May - GLASGOW - King Tuts - SOLD OUT
14th May - BIRMINGHAM - Glee Club - SOLD OUT
15th May - LONDON - The Pigalle Club - SOLD OUT

Full band dates now confirmed for October 2007:

20th – GLASGOW - Fruitmarket
21st – NEWCASTLE - Carling Academy
23rd – OXFORD - Zodiac
24th – LIVERPOOL - Carling Academy 2
25th – BILSTON - Robin2
26th – SOUTHAMPTON - The Brook
28th – LONDON - Sheperds Bush Empire
30th – BRIGHTON - Komedia


Ian Hunter turns 68 on June 3rd. Not so young.

Mott the Hoople
All The Young Dudes

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Globetrotting Generals Return to Harlem

I was very happy to read this morning that the Soul Generals will continue to 'make it funky' as a tribute to their fallen leader. These will be some incredibly powerful, emotional shows.

James Brown's long-term backing band The Soul Generals are to stage a series of concerts honoring the late Godfather Of Soul throughout the remainder of 2007. The 17-member band, who played with Brown for 20 years before his death on December 25, will first take the stage at the Apollo Theater in New York on what would have been the Sex Machine star's 74th birthday on May 3.

Brown recorded three classic live albums at the venue, which also hosted a celebration of the singer's life following his death.

The Soul Generals have no plans to replace their late boss with another singer - band members will take turns fronting the group.

Brown's son, guitarist and band leader Daryl Brown says, "We're the only ones who can keep his legacy alive. It'll be a tribute to him for the rest of the year."
Source: Starpulse

James Brown- Get Up Off That Thing

Feelin' Alright: Belushi vs. Cocker

Joe Cocker shares the SNL stage with the late great Jon Belushi (as Joe Cocker), singing Dave Mason's 'Feelin' Alright' (a song Dave sang with the Allman Brothers Band during their recent Beacon Theatre run). Belushi puts forth one of the most complete impressions I have ever seen. And on top of that, it's a fantastic musical performance from both men, as well as the band.

Did You Know: Joe Cocker performed 'I Shall Be Released' as song 4 of his 5 song set at Woodstock. Song 5 was of course his legendary cover of the Beatles 'With A Little Help From My Friends.'

Apollo Theater: To Be Converted into Staples

Well, at least it will be for a few nights in May. Legendary gospel and soul singer Mavis Staples will be at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem on May 14th and 15th to perform alongside guitarist Ry Cooder. He's no Pops Staples but he will have to do. Ry produced her latest album entitled We'll Never Turn Back which came out yesterday, April 24th. I've never been to The Apollo but I'm seriously thinking about going to this show. I may have sinned once or twice, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to attend.

In honor of the upcoming shows, check out this attached concert link. It just works on so many levels. The venue is the Apollo. You have Mavis Staples, Little Richard, Al Green, and Patti Labelle (who makes the others look like backup singers - watch it and you'll know what I mean) being introduced like its an episode of 'The Price is Right'. You have Billy Preston playing keyboards. The New Jersey Mass Choir appears from out of nowhere. And the subtitles are in Japanese. Also, you get a sweet earful of gospel and soul music that could wake the dead or bring sinners (ahem, such as myself) to their knees. YouTube was invented to discover clips like this.

I also added the video of Mavis and the rest of The Staples Singers performing 'The Weight' from The Last Waltz. After all, how could I resist posting another version of our namesake. I had the pleasure of witnessing Mavis recreate her unbelievable performance of 'The Weight' during the 2005 Jammy awards when she performed alongside Huey Lewis, Umphrey's McGee, and Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck). I would have preferred Lil Richard, Rev Al, and Patti, but what are you gonna do?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Ozone and Turbo. If these names don't immediately say to you Greatest Movie of All Time, you're too young to have seen the two Breakin' epics. Because if you had seen them, you'd know exactly who I was referring to.

I don't fully remember the context of when I first saw Breakin' or Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, but I know it was a long time ago and I know it was life changing. I expect that many others were equally impacted by this breakdancing movie franchise.

Allow me to take you back to 1984. A time when hip hop was still in its earliest stages and Jay-Z and Nelly were still in grade school. This clip features a key moment in Breakin' where Ozone and Turbo participate in a dance-off with Electrorock, the baddest breakers in town. A young, but not too young, Ice-T shows off his rhymes as the battle's MC. This was Ice's first movie role and came seven years before his acting breakthrough in New Jack City. I've also read tonight that this movie features an appearance from a very young Jean Claude Van Damme.

In Breakin 2, Ozone and Turbo are back to help the community dance their way into saving Miracles by raising $200,000.00. Never before and not since this movie has dancing on a bulldozer meant so much.

Doing some additional research to add to this post, I came upon this interview with Michael Chambers (Turbo) from what appears to be 2006. In it, it reads:

You’re also possibly in production with "Breakin 3: Breakin Revolution"?

I have nothing to do with that yet. I got a proposal online from someone saying they have a treatment for "Breakin 3" and would I be interested? I don’t hold my breath on those things. If they give me a money offer or a script that is decent that’s fine. If everything looks good then I’ll give it a green light.

I will tell you what I have been working on with the writer and creator of the movie "Breakin". We’ve been making appearances at these art cinemas where they screen the movie. We’ve been traveling around the country with a Q&A thing. Our next one is supposed to be in Texas.
Breakin' 3!!?!?! Fingers crossed.

This just keeps getting better:
"The King of Pop" Michael Jackson hired Chambers from 1983 to 1991 as his personal dance instructor working on various popping and street dance. Some of Michael Jackson's signature dance moves were taught and developed by Chambers including the moonwalk. First Lady Nancy Regan invited Chambers to the White House to take part in the "Stop the Madness" Anti-drug campaign and was the lead actor in the film that included Whitney Houston and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Chambers is honored to be the first hip hop entertainer invited to the White House. Hollywood continued to cast Chambers and his signature dance style know as "Liquid Animation" opposite Keanu Reeves in "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey," playing, good robot Bill and as Urkel-bot for the hit sitcom Family Matters."

National Lampoon's Festival Vacation

Congrats to Les for this noteworthy news. I haven't seen his movie yet, but I'm very much looking forward to doing so.

Former Primus frontman Les Claypool's moviemaking ambitions have been given a huge boost - his new film comedy has been bought by the National Lampoon Company. Claypool will make his directorial debut with Electric Apricot - a film about a jam band's efforts to perform at a fictitious rock festival, modeled on the Lollapalooza shows.

The project marks the first time National Lampoon - famous for films like Animal House and Vacation - has bought a feature film.

Source: Starpulse

Monday, April 23, 2007

He Ain't Hervey...He's My Brother

Thanks to DVR technology, I'm able to enjoy many of the shows that air either while I'm at work or sound asleep. Recently, I've added another program to my list of weekly recordings -- The Wonder Years. Arguably the greatest show of the 80's-90's, and one of my personal favorites, The Wonder Years featured the wit and wisdom of Daniel Stern, the boyish charm of Fred Savage, the comical antics of Josh Saviano and perhaps most notable, the brutal honesty of Jason Hervey. He was cruel, he was ruthless, yet he was the most believable amongst the cast of characters. You rooted for him as much as you rooted against him. He made terms like "scrote," "squirt," and "butt-head" fashionable for friends and bullies alike. Indeed, my favorite episodes were the ones that centered around Wayne.

Recently I wondered what became of Mr. Hervey. Did he take up body piercing? Did he pursue a career in financial planning? Did he open a pastry shop in New Hampshire? Did he embrace Scientology? As it turns out, Jason did no such things.

So after about five minutes of internet research, I finally learned what became of my once surrogate older brother:

After more than 5 years at Mandalay [Mandalay Sports Action Entertainment] and growing that division [professional wrestling], Jason had a short lived stint as a Chief Marketing Officer at a Fortune 500 company. Jason then returned to his roots in the entertainment business by partnering with long time friend,colleague and former President of Time Warners "World Championship Wrestling" (WCW) Eric Bischoff to form Bischoff Hervey Entertainment (BHE TV, LLC) Bischoff Hervey Entertainment specializes in content creation and production for various broadcast outlets, licensing and merchandising and innovative brand integration solutions. Jason and his family currently reside in Scottsdale, Arizona and Los Angeles, California.
Impressive! Jason, if you're out there, The Weight would love to hear from you...butt-head!

D.S., Weightstaff


You Got The Music In You

We've all been there. You're in a bar and the current song ends. The optimism of a new track comes over you. The song starts with the sounds of a synthesizer playing an even note that you know you've heard before but you can't place it. Then the bassline kicks in dum dah dum dah dum dah dum dah. You know you know this one, but what is it again? Then....the drums kick in and shortly thereafter the unmistakable oh-wah oh-wah oh-wah oh-wah Frampton-esque guitar intro enters the mix. Now you know exactly what it is, at which point you feign disgust at yet another playing of this track that you've heard ten thousand times before. "Nobody actually likes this song," you think to yourself. "Not again." And then the verse starts:
Tommy used to work on the docks
Union's been on strike
He's down on his luck
It's tough, so tough

Your foots starts tapping. You don't really know the lyrics to this part, but for some reason you're trying to recall them. But why, you hate this song...and this band...right?
Gina works at a diner all day
Working for her man
She brings home her pay
For love, for love

You're now mouthing the lyrics, trying to piece them together from memory, even though you don't know them. And then...the build starts. You can feel the tension of the verse leading into the chorus. You don't know why, but you're certain that you're going to sing those words when they start. You just can't help it...
She says
We've gotta hold on
To what we've got
It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not
We've got each other
And that's a lot
For love, we'll give it a shot

At this point, absolutely EVERYONE in the bar, including you, is singing and pointing their fingers in the air to accentuate the words. They just can't help it...
Oh, they're halfway there
Oh, living on a prayer
Take my hand
We'll make it I swear
Oh, living on a prayer

For those few minutes, you're not thinking about anything other than how great this song is and how much you love singing out loud in public. It continues...the killer guitar solo, more verses, more choruses...sweet anthemic, sing-along, powerful choruses. You haven't had this much fun in a long time.

And then it ends...and you don't know what got into you. But you're still buzzing from the experience.

So it is until next time, when that keyboard intro starts and you just can't put your finger on what the song is, but you know that you hate it.

You may not be in a bar right now...and if you are..."cheers"...but play this one loud and don't be shy cause you know you love it.

Ryan Adams Still 'Dead'

Based on this video clip of Ryan Adams performing the new track "Goodnight Rose" on the Henry Rollins show, it appears that he has not abandoned the Grateful Dead direction he started with the release of Cold Roses. No complaints here. The track appears on his forthcoming studio album "Easy Tiger."

Thank to Uncut for the tip on this link

Just A Man I Met In The Men's Room

It's not too often that you get to post a legitimate story about a man you met in the men's room. This is my chance. After seeing a very familiar face that I couldn't place in the men's bathroom at the Union Square cinema after a viewing of Neil Young's concert masterpiece "Heart of Gold," weeks later I learned it was movie star William Fichtner. He's appeared in such movies as Armageddon, The Perfect Storm, and Crash. It almost topped the time I rode the escalator with Jamiroquai's Jay Kay in a Times Square multiplex on my way to the top floor to see Festival Express. (He was going to see Fahrenheit 9/11)

Prison Break actor William Fichtner is the latest star to join the cast of upcoming Batman movie The Dark Knight. Fichtner will join Christian Bale, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman and Michael Caine in the follow-up to Batman Begins.

The 50-year-old will play a bank manager in director Christopher Nolan's sequel, according to website

Source: Starpulse

Separated at Birth

Is it me or was Lou Reed born to be a Simpson's character?

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

What was I thinking? Why didn't I go? Will he ever come back?

These questions haunt me daily. The daydream is recurrent, the regret is perpetual. Over a year later, I'm still unable to forgive myself for choosing not to see David Gilmour at Radio City Music Hall during his last (hopefully not ever) tour. Now that the time is gone and the song is over, I thought I'd something more to say for myself... Instead, I just ask: how the fuck did this happen??

I grew up idolizing the guy. There was NO ONE cooler than David Gilmour. I remember when I discovered Meddle in my father's then defunct vinyl collection and wondered why these "sounds" didn't come out of MY guitar. While in high school, my band ALWAYS paid homage to Pink Floyd at the talent show competition. Hell, I still listen to Dark Side, in its entirety, at least once a month. And do I dare mention the "non-sexual man-crush?" Okay, a little too much information there...

So in 2006, when people asked if I was going to any of his NYC shows, I rationalized (albeit poorly):

"I'm waiting for 'The Floyd' to tour -- there are credible rumours that it will finally happen."
Still no Floyd dates, nor is there any remote possibility of the original members touring in the near future;

"I heard he plays mostly new material."
Hmmm..."Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Time" aren't "new;"

"I don't want to watch unknown studio musicians play "Echoes" -- it's sacrilegious!"
Rick Wright manned the keys for the tour, Dick Parry handled the sax (he performed the original sax solos on Dark Side), and Nick Mason joined for an encore in London.

"The ticket price is outrageous! I'm not paying that kinda money to see a solo act!"
Ticket to see David Gilmour: $110.45
Budweiser inside of venue: $6.50
Cab ride home: $7.90
Experience of seeing the greatest living guitarist in a setting as intimate as Radio City: Priceless.

Yes, I know, I screwed up -- royally -- and now I have to live with it. Unfortunately, the closest I'll have to seeing the shows is the DVD scheduled for release later this year.

So what have I learned from all this? Well, from that date forward, I vowed never to miss a show because it was a "solo tour" or because the ticket price was a little steep. Guys like Gilmour are LEGENDS. Do I dare ask myself if I would have skipped Lennon at MSG merely because he was playing with the Plastic Ono Band? Or Richard Manuel sans The Band at Saugerties in 1985? We ain't getting any younger people, and neither are they. Before we know it, there will be no more Levon Helms, Paul McCartneys, or even David Gilmours... My advice: go see Bob Dylan, despite what you hear about his recent tours; don't miss Clapton the next time he plays live -- even if it is an arena tour; and be sure to check out Phil Lesh or Bobby Weir before the remaining members of the Grateful Dead are, well, dead.

D.S., Weightstaff

p.s. On April 9, 2007, IrelandOn-line reported that Roger Waters dismissed speculation that the band would be re-united once again for the Live Earth show in July, 2007 -- Wikipedia

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Strange Days: Entourage

I know this is going to be hard for some of you. This is pretty much on par with learning there is no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. But here it is...apparently Johnny Drama is not a real person. I know, I know. I'm sorry. He is played by a guy named Kevin Dillon. This guy should be up for some kind of Nobel Prize of acting. You know how I figured this out? Doors movie, on cable, on last night. Apparently this Kevin Dillon character was the one that played The Doors drummer John Densmore. Check out the pic.

Shocking, I know. I swear I won't mention anything about the Tooth Fairy. Props to Joe for the catch.

Glastonbury Sells Out ... Again

177,000 tickets sold with no lineup annouced. That is incredibly significant. Some people consider Bonnaroo to be too oversized at around 80,000. I'm not sure I can imagine a festival that was more than twice that number. It seems obvious that they could sell even more tickets to Glasto with this latest allotment selling out in only two and a half hours. They must be doing something right over there across the ocean.

Music fans who thought they had missed out on the chance to go to this year's Glastonbury Festival were celebrating after snapping up thousands of returned tickets.

The booking phoneline was predictably swamped with calls from people desperate to get their hands on the sought-after tickets after they went on sale at 9am on Sunday.

By 11.30am all the tickets, which were either unwanted or cancelled, had been sold.

"They've all gone now and that part of the process is over," a spokesman said.

"We're quite relieved about it and it seems to have been successful.

"We can now look forward to June 1 when the line-up will be announced."

Fans snapped up 137,500 tickets in a record time of less than two hours when they went on sale earlier this month.

An extra 27,500 revellers were able to get their hands on the sought-after tickets this year after organisers won approval to boost the capacity to a record 177,000.

But it did little to satisfy the huge demand for the festival, as hundreds of thousands of revellers were left disappointed after missing out on the £145 tickets.

Organiser Michael Eavis previously said up to 20,000 tickets could be up for grabs on Sunday, but the exact numbers available were not immediately specified.

Check out this clip, from Glastonbury 2005, of the great Elvis Costello performing the seminal "Allison" into the other Elvis' "Suspicious Minds".

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Yourcodenameis: GreatShow

The Weight favorites Yourcodenameis:milo get some positive press from NME.

Brit punkers play thrilling set

Yourcodenameis:milo awed the audience with their set on the second day of the Camden Crawl.

The Newcastle rockers play the likes of 'Understand' and 'Wait A Minute' at The Oh Bar on the closing night (April 20) of the indie jaunt. Singer Paul Mullen told the excited crowd : "It's really great to be here."

Earlier Statik DJ'd at the Bullet bar. He dropped the likes of Klaxons 'Atlantic to Interzone', Bloc Party's 'She's Hearing Voices' and Radiohead's 'Idioteque'.
Source: NME

Spreading Holiday Cheer: Hi Lo Game Edition

To celebrate the holiday just yesterday, and also to give a shout out to Mr. Bob Barker who will be retiring in June after 35 years at the helm of 'The Price is Right', please do yourself a favor and check out this clip. Its worth the entire 4 minute investment. Thanks College Humor.

And considering we like to keep the news flowing here on 'The Weight', some programming to note in the coming weeks:

Emmy Award winner Bob Barker will be honored with two final primetime specials this May, paying tribute to his 50 years in show business and his upcoming retirement after 35 years of hosting The Price Is Right, the longest-running game show in television history. The specials will be broadcast Wednesday, May 16 and Thursday, May 17 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

On Wednesday, May 16, CBS will present The Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular," Barker's final appearance in prime time hosting the show he has led since 1972. In this special primetime edition, contestants will have the opportunity to win bigger prizes and the chance to spin the wheel for $1 million.

On Thursday, May 17, Bob Barker: A Celebration of 50 Years on Television will include Barker's reminiscences about his 50 year career on television and his 35 years on "The Price Is Right," in addition to highlighting some classic games from the long-running show.

Bob Lefsetz: Genius at Work

I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Bob Lefsetz. Bob writes passionately, intelligently, and from a world-weary and no bullshit perspective on all styles of music and pop culture. He sneaks in his views on life, relationships, love, and everyone's need to connect. And he is also my hero. Get turned on and read/subscribe to his newsletter at:

The following is from Bob's post on 4/20/07 and used without his permission. (Keep in mind Bob is not a jamband aficionado. He's just a music lover at heart who "gets it"):

It started with the Dead, then the Allman Brothers took up the torch. And Phish and the Dave Matthews Band carried the flag forward. It was about playing more than records. It was about going to the shows and being carried away by the music, not the PRODUCTION!

It wasn't a once a year event. It wasn't Madonna backed up with dancers and vocals on hard drive. It was a bunch of twenty and thirtysomething musicians. Wearing onstage the same duds they inhabited offstage. They took the stage and plugged into their amps. And music started to come out. They didn't start with their big hit. They didn't HAVE a hit. They were reinventing it every night. Trying to create a unique experience, that satiated both them AND their audience. Otherwise it's boring! Isn't playing the same songs in the same order over and over again boring? Isn't that more akin to theatre than music?

But this scene. The mainstream press didn't get it. After all, these acts, except for ultimately Dave Matthews, they didn't sell any RECORDS! Therefore, they couldn't be that GOOD!

But tell those who went to see these acts live. Those still going to Bonnaroo. They're POSSESSED! There's a joy at the show that is the ESSENCE of the music experience.

I saw Robert Randolph on the Grammys. How is that supposed to translate? Has music EVER been good on TV? Especially played in a barn with a million other genres? Well, maybe the Beatles were great on Ed Sullivan, but it was something new, it wasn't an awards show circle jerk.

And I saw Robert Randolph gigging with the Allmans at the Beacon last year. Truly good. But that was the Allmans' gig.

Late Wednesday night, I was driving in my car, pressing the buttons on my XM radio, and I came across ['Love is the Only Way In' by Robert Randolph and the Family Band] on XM's Cafe.

I found myself shimmying and shaking in the seat of my Saabaru. When I got to my destination I couldn't turn the radio off. I couldn't get Strasburg out of my brain, how he was RIGHT!

I was in the groove.

You can't break music like this on television. Certainly not on Top Forty radio. Call-out research can't quantify it, it's not something intellectual, but something you FEEL!

Shit like this gives me hope, makes me want to go to the gig. Because it's about the music, the experience. That's the way it used to be. You were INVOLVED!

But now all the old systems have broken down, we're rebuilding. And we've got to start with not how you look, not whether you fit the slot, the niche, the potential marketing possibilities, but the MUSIC!

You've got to concentrate on the music. It's got to reach people in their heads and hearts. And if it does, you're on the road, to success, to riches.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Phil Collins Lends A Hand

I've always been a fan of Phil Collins. He's gets a bad wrap from some for being too pop-oriented, but I would argue that he's responsible for some of the biggest and best hits in modern music history. Reading Rolling Stone's blog about the all-star gathering for the late Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, it states that:
Later, Phil Collins performed a solo piano version of “In the Air Tonight” (leaving out the drum fills that Ertegun famously convinced him to add) and then sang “Follow You, Follow Me” with his Genesis bandmates.
The article also states:
"Robbie Robertson and all three surviving members of Led Zeppelin were also on hand, but they didn’t jump on stage"
That might be the closest we ever get to a reunion from 3/4 of Led Zeppelin.

Without having footage of that specific performance from earlier this week, I dug into the YouTube archives to unearth Phil's solo piano performace of "In The Air Tonight" from the 40th Anniversary celebration of Atlantic Records in 1988:

That's When I Handed It To Liz

"For the first time ever, Phish real music ring tones and ringback tones are available to millions of the loyal followers the band has attained throughout over 20 years of touring.

Beginning today, the band's mobile content will be available exclusively through Verizon Wireless for a limited time of four weeks on Verizon's digital storefronts including VZW Tones Deluxe application on Get It Now-enabled phones and Verizon Wireless customers can also text "PHISH" to 8913 to purchase a selection of LivePhishRingtones straight from their phones.

The first batch of ring tones and ringbacks come from the extensive online Live Phish catalog at, culled from classics such as 12/29/97 (c'mon, who can resist that "Tube"?), 11/14/95, 12/01/95, Colorado '88, and The White Tape. Ring tones and ringbacks include fan favorites like "Fluffhead", "AC/DC Bag", "Cars, Trucks, Buses", "Run Like An Antelope", "Golgi Apparatus" and many more.

"Our fans have been requesting that we make ring tones available," says Page McConnell. "Because we retained ownership of our live concerts and music catalog we've been able to keep up with the technology of distribution. We were the first band to make live concerts immediately available for download and we're very excited now to be moving into mobile distribution of our live content."

Beginning May 18th, 2007, all content will be made available at and all major phone carriers. More details will follow. To browse the ringtones currently being offered, please click here."


Light Up or Leave Me Alone

Happy 4/20 y'all:

What better way to celebrate this day than with a very special performance of Traffic's 'Light Up or Leave Me Alone' by Page McConnell's Vida Blue from 12/31/01, featuring Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon on guitar. This super funky extended version of the early, early Phish cover is 4/20-tastic.

Grand Central and the Nocturnals

Time - 5:00 pm, 4/20/07
Band - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Venue - Right Outside My Office!!

I just got back to my desk at work after I wandered outside, oh about 500 feet from where I sit, to check out one of my favorite groups, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Grace and the dudes were playing right next to Grand Central Station on Vanderbilt Avenue in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. This is the second year in a row that I can see tunes right out my window in late April as part of the Green Apple Music Festival. Last year I checked out Mickey Hart and Billy Kreutzmann banging out a drum circle during 'Not Fade Away' with about 300 people and um, Walter Kronkite.

This year it was my chance to see Grace Potter who was part of a pretty full schedule with more bands at the same spot tomorrow. I first saw Grace at last year's Jammy's and saw her with the rest of her group at All Good last year in West Virginia and was very pleasantly surprised. Did I mention that Grace sings like Janis Joplin, the group can funk it up like 'Papa was Rolling Stone' era Temptations or bring out the rock like Neil and Crazy Horse, she plays a mean Hammond organ, and she's hot!! I'll be seeing her again soon at the Mercury Lounge on May 22nd. And you should too.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Stop the Bus

Live at Red Rocks

The Weight Reaches 2000!!!

At some point, I'm going to stop posting about the milestones that we reach on this site. But for now, they continue to excite me. As a result of our reporting live from inside SOB's for Phil Lesh and Friends two night stand in New York City last week, amongst other things, we have climbed to 2,000 unique visitors to this site since inception less than three months ago. Thank you to everyone who has helped us achieve this and we hope you keep coming back for more. To celebrate another milestone, let's all meet up at Disco 2000. I'll see you there...

Different Class is a 1995 album by Pulp. It was released at the height of Britpop, and led to the band being regarded as a part of that movement. Two of the singles on the album – "Common People" (which reached number 2 in the UK singles chart) and "Disco 2000" (which reached number 7) – were especially notable, and helped propel Pulp to UK-wide fame.

The album was the winner of the 1996 Mercury Music Prize. In 1998 Q magazine readers voted Different Class the 37th greatest album of all time; a repeat poll in 2006 saw it reach number 85. In 2000 the same magazine placed it at number 46 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2004 it was voted number 70 of Channel 4's 100 greatest albums.

Disco 2000
Different Class

Thursday, April 19, 2007

MythBusters: Loving You is Sweeter Than Ever

On the somewhat recently released Band box set, the boys play a song called "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever." The track is one of my favorites of the entire suite. I just figured it was a song from their back catalog and I'd continued on with that premonition ever since I'd heard it.

Just last month at the Allman Brothers Beacon Theatre show I attended, Susan Tedeschi sang lead vocals on a song that sounded oh so familiar, but I couldn't place it during the concert. I later concluded that it was The Band's "Loving You is Sweeter Than Ever." What were the odds that the Allmans would cover two songs by The Band in one night [they also played The Weight]?

This evening, I busted the myth that this was a song written by The Band. It turns out the song was co-written by Stevie Wonder and originally appeared on an album by the Four Tops in 1966. Based on the below list, quite a varied set of artists have covered this song. Not included, but who also recorded the track over time, are The Band, Eric Clapton, and Elton John.

Artist: Four Tops
Written by: Stevie Wonder, Ivy George Hunter
Language: English
First release: On audio album On Top (1966)

Cover hierarchy
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever by Four Tops (1966)
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever by Alan Price Set (December 1966)
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever by Diana Ross & The Supremes (November 1969)
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever by Bryan Ferry (October 1973)
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever by Nick Kamen (1987)
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever by Michael McDonald (October 26, 2004)
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever by Susan Tedeschi (2005)

Listen to Susan Tedeschi's version of this oft-covered Stevie Wonder-penned song:

Simon, You're A Rich Man

According to the exclusive list, which will be revealed in full on ITV1 tonight, Cowell's fortune has grown by a massive £40 million over the past 12 months.

The ballooning wealth of the X Factor and American Idol judge means that the 47-year-old now sits at 700th position on the list – up from 944th place last year.

With an estimated fortune of £100 million, Cowell is now officially pop's highest climber in the rich list chart, overtaking former Take That star Robbie Williams, whose successful solo career has helped him net some £95 million - £5 million more than last year.

A total of 37 professionals from the music industry are included on the list, although at 33, Williams is one of the youngest artists to receive a mention, with no pop star under the age of 30 ranked among Britain's richest individuals.

Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney also unsurprisingly makes the grade, ranked 102nd on the list with a fortune estimated to stand at £725 million.

Source: Contact Music

Arctic Monkey's in the Live Lounge

Arctic Monkey's will shortly be flying into America for a tour in support of their second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare. Their New York and DC shows sold out very quickly and I expect the rest of the tour most likely has too. The UK's BBC Radio 1 has made available their interview and performance for the station. As every artist who performs for host Jo Whiley in the Live Lounge, they cover another contemporary artist's song. They choose to play Amy Winehouse's You Know I'm No Good.

Check it out here


Thanks to WeightFan Erik for the tip on this video from Brighton-based Go! Team. This is the best music video I've seen in many years. I've probably watched it 6 times today and I still want to start it over each times it's done. It's to the 80's what Sabotage was to the 70's.

Deftones - Say It Ain't So

I was discussing Weezer's 'Say It Ain't So' with a coworker and he informed me that Juliana Hatfield had done cover of it. So that got me to searching online for her version. And instead of finding the version I was looking for, I came upon the Deftones' live cover of that very same song. The lead singer sounds exactly like Rivers Cuomo and its really not half bad. They slow the song down considerably, bring in metal guitar effects, and it works for me.

Doing some additional research on the band, I found:

Deftones are a Grammy award-winning experimental alternative rock band from Sacramento, California.

Moreno's poetic lyrics—described by a Time magazine critic as "furiously intelligent"—are often evocative, yet sparse enough to allow for multiple interpretations. Moreno has cited Morrissey, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, The Cure's Robert Smith, Bad Brains' H.R., and Depeche Mode's David Gahan among his favorite singers, and, beyond an occasional similarity in vocal technique, these singers' sweeping sense of drama is often evident in Moreno's vocals.

The album, Saturday Night Wrist, features a song titled "U,U,D,D,L,R,L,R,A,B,SELECT,START", an obvious reference to the Konami code, which is normally represented as (U, U, D, D, L, R, L, R, B, A, Start).

Source: Wikipedia
Everyone knows its Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, B, A, Select, Start. I can't believe they got that wrong. Losers.

Say It Ain't So

You Gotta Be Kidding Me

Just when you thought Beyonce couldn't get more annoying...

Beyoncé is being sued by singer Des'ree following allegations that she did not get permission from Des'ree to cover a song called 'I'm Kissing You'.

TMZ says the suit, which was filed yesterday in New York, claims that a deal to use the song did not come to fruition, but Beyoncé went ahead and re-recorded the song and made a video.

Des'ree, who is most famous for her 1994 hit 'You Gotta Be' is seeking to put a stop to the distribution of the song, video and Beyoncé solo album 'B'Day- Deluxe Edition' on which the song appears and is called 'Still In Love (Kissing You)'.

Source: NME

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Panic! in the District

Photo courtesy of Charles Ton
Not only did Widespread Panic come into the nation's capital and put on two stellar concerts earlier this month, they also brought with them their fine fanbase, the spreadheads. Tickets for this small theater show were very evidently rare given the number of people out front looking for a miracle. Fortuntately for the ticketless, there was plenty of nitrous to go around. That's right folks, within actual sight of the home of our President, in downtown DC, there was a working tank on the sidewalk right in front of the theater and NEXT TO A POLICE CAR. Gotta love it.
As a side note: The band has never sounded better to me and I have been seeing them for around ten years. Jimmy Herring has ignited this band and they are really starting to take off. The rest of the band spends most of the show just watching him, clearly thinking that they made the right decision in replacing Houser-replacement George McConnell [no relation to Page].

Just When You Thought You'd Seen It All...

This one is dedicated to all the haters who said white people couldn't rap...or dance...

Wow, just wow...

The Zimmers - "My Generation"

To the creators of this video....well done mates. This is great.

"My Generation" is a novelty. Not far afield from the jokes that used to cross the Net transom back in the nineties. But the mania, the rabidity with which this story has spread, is utterly fascinating.

Sometime in the last week I started getting links. Today I must have gotten five. And I’ve yet to see a story in the straight press, yet to see a story on TV. And aren’t those the media that break stories? Isn’t it about massaging gatekeepers to get them to say yes, to get your story out?

Not anymore. Now you can bypass the entire system, and go straight to the public, your target audience. And if what you’re purveying is interesting, that audience will do all your marketing for you."
Read Bob Lefsetz's entire analysis of this video and its significance.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

All Things Reconsidered: The Breakup Of Phish

From the NPR Archives, listening to this short audio clip this afternoon, I was brought back to the days of my obsession with Phish. Looking back, it all seems like a phase I was going through, but I don't regret any of it. That band made me the fan of music that I am today. Right up until Coventry, even though some nice Vermont rangers with rifles didn't let us in [shoutout to the Regal Cinema in New Rochelle, NY], I remained a loyal phishhead. I don't listen to them all too often anymore, but whenever I do, it's a treat and a reminder of the days when I had less responsibility and more freedom than I do now.


Bemoaning the End of the Phish Road Trip

All Things Considered, August 11, 2004 · Commentator Alison Klayman is an admirer of the Vermont band Phish. The group is ending its career this month, and Klayman is sad. She's a relatively new "phishhead." She paints a picture of what a Phish concert is like. Many fans take drugs, bond and take part in enhancing the performance.

Listen here

Outback Country

It appears that Keith Urban isn't the only Australian who can sing country. Bernard Fanning, former lead singer of Aussie rockers Powderfinger, who I've covered here in the past, leads this performance of his "Watch Over Me" at the 2006 Australian Recording Industry Assocation awards. The vocals on here remind me of Alison Krauss and Union Station, a band that I happen to think are fantastic.

I'm taking a bit of a risk here in putting up a tune like this, but I believe in it as a great song. There is a time and place for full on rockers like AC/DC and The Who, but there is also a place for acoustic strumming and harmonized vocals. It's not too far off from Ryan Adams and Gillian Welch.

Artist Spotlight: Ruthie Foster

Attending a Friday night Allman Brothers concert at the Beacon Theatre last month, I walked away blown away by Susan Tedeschi. Even on a stage full of legends, it was her that I left talking about. In all honesty, it's not often that I'm "blown away" by female singers. With her vocals on The Band's "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" and "The Weight", as well as Derek and The Dominos' "Anyday", and Grateful Dead staple "Lovelight", she received some of the biggest applause of the night. And deservedly so.

Less than one month later, I am yet again blown away by another female vocalist. This time it is the phenomenal Ruthie Foster. I first discovered her on XM Radio at which time I saved her track for later listening. Since I've returned to that song, I have listened to it constantly. She has a beautiful, soulful, natural vocal that reminds be very much of Susan. It's a little less whiskey-soaked and a little more soul/gospel, but the similarities are definitely there.

Doing some additional research on her, I learned that Ruthie is not all that disconnected from the bands we've already covered here on The Weight. Her latest album was produced by New Orleans' Papa Mali and she sang backup vocals on Gov't Mule's High and Mighty album.

But Papa Mali had an entirely different kind of Ruthie Foster sound in mind when recording commenced at Austin’s Congress House Studio, and Foster was delighted to discover that his vision tapped deep into her own roots as a music lover. Together with a crack band including drummer George Sluppick (Mofro), bassist Glenn Fukunaga (Dixie Chicks, Terri Hendrix) and Hammond B3 player Anthony Farrell (Greyhounds), they set out to make an honest to goodness classic soul album. The kind that, in a different era, with a different singer, could just as easily have been called The Phenomenal Sam Cooke.

“A lot of folks don’t know this, but that really is my background,” says Foster. “I come from a deep background of old soul and blues and even R&B. Early on, long before I ever got into the folk thing, I was doing more soul on acoustic guitar than anything else. And that’s always been a part of the sound that I have.”

Visit her Myspace site for some additonal tracks. You will not be disappointed.

Never Ending Tour: Glasgow

The fact that Bob Dylan is still playing concerts makes me believe that everything is still OK in this world. He has no obligation to stay on the road, but Bobby continues to play shows on his never-ending tour to sold out crowds all over the world. You really don't know what you're going to get from him and his band on a given night, and that is exactly why he continues to sell tickets.

That, though, is part of what keeps Dylan’s shows so vital. While the Stones, bless ‘em, whip through sets like a machine, with Dylan the rough, bleeding edges and moments of confusion and uncertainty are still allowed.

Read the full review of Bob Dylan's 4/11/07 concert in Glasgow from Uncut.


1. Cat's In The Well
2. It Ain't Me, Babe
3. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
4. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
5. The Levee's Gonna Break
6. When The Deal Goes Down
7. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
8. John Brown
9. Rollin' And Tumblin'
10. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
11.Spirit On The Water
12.Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
13. Ain't Talkin'
14. Summer Days
15. Like A Rolling Stone
16. Thunder On The Mountain
17. All Along The Watchtower

Monday, April 16, 2007

Don't Rock The Jukebox

You're in a bar. You start to notice that they're playing great songs in there. You realize that those great songs are coming from the jukebox over in the corner. You walk over to that jukebox, put your money in, and painstankingly agonize over which songs you want to entertain the patrons of that bar with. You finally come up with the perfect mix of four songs for your dollar and mosey on back over to your friends. The next song comes on....and it's not yours. But that's OK because you just put your money in. You would never expect your song to be played right after you put your money in. The next song comes on [not yours] and then the next one [not yours] and the next one [not yours]. You start to wonder just how many people have put in money ahead of you. You start paying attention to nothing other than the songs that are playing, but you're trying also to not make it seem like you care so much. Time continues to pass and your songs still haven't been played. Your friends have now agreed that this is going to be their last game of pool. But it's no big deal cause your four songs will only take about 20 minutes and their game will take at least that they have to pack everything up. Their game wraps up and still nothing that you picked has been played. Balls are racked, cues are returned, tabs are closed, jackets are put on, you're walking to the door...and then as if the punchline to this cruel joke has been revealed, the first of your four songs starts as your party is walking out the door. Your chance to play DJ has passed. You start to accept that the people who remain, who you don't know, are going to really enjoy the next 20 minutes of killer tunes you picked out just for them. At least you have that.

So since I was not there to hear my songs played last night, I will provide you with the one of four I remember. At least I have that:

Say It Ain't So

Cold Case: JMJ

Nearly five years after the unsolved murder of Run-DMC DJ Jam Master Jay, police may have a lead.

According to a report in the Boston Herald, an unnamed witness has told police that Ronald "Tinard" Washington, 43, was an accessory to the murder of Jay (born Jason Mizell), who was shot to death in his Queens, New York, studio on October 30, 2002 (see "Jam Master Jay, Run-DMC DJ, Killed In Shooting"). Last week, Washington was convicted of six armed robberies for holdups he committed in November 2002.

The witness said that Washington confessed to his role in Jay's murder, as well as the 1995 murder of Randy "Stretch" Walker, a close associate of late rapper Tupac Shakur, who co-wrote several tracks that appeared on his posthumous Loyal to the Game release.

However, while Washington told the paper he expects to be charged soon as an accessory in Jay and Walker's murders, he denied being involved in either slaying.

"They want to blame me for all the blood in rap," Washington said.
Read the full story here from VH1 News.

From the first tape I ever bought, RUN DMC's Raising Hell, here is "My Adidas". It still sounds as [funky] fresh as it did the day I bought it in 1986.

Lil' No More

Rapper Percy 'Romeo' Miller has put his music and film career on hold after signing for his university basketball team. The 17-year-old, who is studying a degree in business administration at the Universities of Southern California, signed for the Trojans last week.

According to, the son of millionaire music mogul Percy 'Master P' Miller is the first hip-hop star to receive a full athletic scholarship.

Source: Starpulse

Best Show Ever

Does the name Wesley "Two Scoops" Berry mean anything to you? How about Rico Constantino or Mark Ortega? If those do nothing for you, how about:

Lace #2

They were more than just American. They were more than just Gladiators. They were rockstars. The names immediately bring to mind Saturday mornings watching what was the most exciting television show I'd ever seen. Everyone watched it. Back during the peak of it's popularity, I even had the extreme pleasure of getting tickets to see the touring version of the show. Local challengers battled the Gladiators right in our arena, in the very same games we watched on TV. It was a highlight of my life. And now I, and you, can relive those Saturday mornings every day of the week.
ESPN Classic now owns the rights to American Gladiators, and the show joined the regular weeknight lineup on April 2, 2007 with daily airings of the show at 7 PM Eastern Monday-Friday and weekend airings Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9AM and 10 AM Eastern. The series premiered on the channel with a seven hour marathon from 1PM-8PM Eastern on Saturday, March 31st, 2007.

The Assault
Breakthrough & Conquer
Human Cannonball
The Wall
Hang Tough
The Maze
Sky Track
The Eliminator

They just don't make 'em like they used to....

Tour of the Year

Cause you're toys boys, I'm the Real McCoy
I'm really gonna enjoy seeing you destroyed
If I was Fred Flintstone I'd probably own all of Bedrock
If I was a criminal I'd probably own a cellblock
If I was in the Navy I would own the sea
But I'm a poet so I own the whole rap industry

What rapper, who wrote these lyrics, has announced that he is going out on what will certainly be a sold out arena tour later this year?

Source: Starpulse

Slash Reads The Weight

After just recently posting my hopes that GnR and STP would reunite, the NME comes out with this story about that very thing. It must be that Slash was inspired by us. Or could it just be that he is working the PR machine just in time for his band to begin their US tour.
Slash has admitted that he wants his band Velvet Revolver to stop playing songs by Guns N Roses and Stone Temple Pilots, and would instead like the two groups to reunite.

Slash also announced to Chilean magazine Rock & Pop that he intends to drop Guns N Roses and Stone Temple Pilots songs from the setlist later this year.

However speaking to the Brazilian branch of MTV, the star, who left Guns N Roses in 1996, said reunions of both bands are a possibility.

"I'm not saying never," he explained. "You know, I was saying it would be a good idea to get, just for a couple of shows, to get the original STP and the original Guns N Roses just to do a couple of shows for the fun of it."

Meanwhile, Velvet Revolver's US tour begins on May 4, though their second album 'Libertad' has had its release pushed back from early June this year to later that month.

The first single from the LP will be called 'She Builds Quick Machines'.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

"Crazy" Joe Walsh Goes Country

Looks like "Crazy" Joe may be switching out Rocky Mountain Way for Rocky Mountain High.

Kenny Chesney has invited former Eagles star Joe Walsh to join his touring band. The Rocky Mountain Way singer/songwriter will join Chesney on the road for Flip Flop Summer Tour 2007 shows beginning in Las Vegas next month.
Source: Starpulse

Let's all take a moment to get funked up, James Gang style:

James Gang
Funk #49

Cat Power Tourdates

I guess you could call it a guilty pleasure. Although I'm certainly not alone in my fondness for Cat Power, as she has received top praise from countless critics over the last few years. She has been through quite a personal journey over that time and has overcome significant obstacles to be able to have gained the success that she has today. I would have been a fan of hers otherwise, but it is the added backstory that makes me appreciate what she has achieved even more.

As some background on her highly publicized battle with alcoholism, from Wikipedia:
In the winter 2006 edition of Venuszine, Cat Power was the cover story, giving a candid yet heartfelt interview about the cancellation [of concerts in Paris and London] earlier in the year. What results is a detailed, blow-by-blow account of a mental breakdown that resulted in a stay in Miami's Mount Sinai Medical Center psych ward. During this time Marshall was abusing alcohol, as well as contemplating suicide.

An intervention finally came when close friend Susanna Vapnek, a painter from New York, flew down to Miami and checked Marshall into Mt. Sinai. This led to a huge turnaround: "On the fourth day, I forced myself to look in the mirror... I was telling myself that it was going to be OK- that, either way, I could accept whatever I was going to see. And I opened my eyes and I was myself, who I was... I saw my freckles, brown eyes, messed-up teeth... but I was so happy to see those fucked-up teeth and those freckles. I was like 'It's me!' I was so fucking happy. It was like, damn, I was back. I realized that I am sane, smart, funny, friendly, nice, and that I've got a lot of things I want to share with my friends. I realized that being in there wasn't me."
If you live close to one of these cities...or even if you don' yourself a favor and attend one of her upcoming gigs:

Brooklyn, NY - McCarren Pool (July 7)
Boston, MA - Avalon Ballroom (8)
Northampton, MA - Pearl Street (9)
Toronto, Ontario - Phoenix (10)
Detroit, MI - Majestic Theatre (13)
Chicago, IL - Union Park (14)

You can also listen to her entire live set from DC's 9:30 Club, as part of NPR's ongoing broadcasts from the venue. In addition to Cat Power, her backing band the eight-piece Memphis Rhythm Band, are the perfect compliment to her, bringing a 70s southern soul vibe complete with brass, strings, and hammond organ.

Cat Power
Lived in Bars