Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Believe in John

While watching the 2-hour John Lennon "Imagine" documentary on VH1 Classic tonight, on came John's song called "God". Sure, I've heard the song before and I knew about the "I don't believe in Beatles part", but I don't know that I've ever really paid attention to all of the lyrics before. This song must have caused quite a stir when it was released in 1970, the same year the Beatles officially broke up. Take a look at this clip of the video and really pay attention to the words. Of all the lines, I find it most shocking that he sings "I don't believe in Zimmerman."

God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain
I'll say it again
God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain

I don't believe in magic
I don't believe in I-ching
I don't believe in Bible
I don't believe in tarot
I don't believe in Hitler
I don't believe in Jesus
I don't believe in Kennedy
I don't believe in Buddha
I don't believe in Mantra
I don't believe in Gita
I don't believe in Yoga
I don't believe in kings
I don't believe in Elvis
I don't believe in Zimmerman
I don't believe in Beatles
I just believe in me
Yoko and me
And that's reality

The dream is over
What can I say?
The dream is over
I was the Dreamweaver
But now I'm reborn
I was the Walrus
But now I'm John
And so dear friends
You'll just have to carry on
The dream is over

Monday, July 30, 2007

R.I.P., Bill Walsh

Sadly, after a long bout with leukemia, legendary 49ers coach Bill Walsh died today at age 75.

One of the NFL's all-time greats, he will be truly missed...


Sunday, July 29, 2007

More Zep Rumors: Where There's Smoke...

The surviving members of Led Zeppelin are in talks to reform and play live in 2008, according to reports.

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones are said to be discussing plans to tour together for the first time in almost 30 years.

The news comes as the rock legends confirm news of a new greatest hits collection, the 24-track "Mothership" compilation, which has been specially chosen by the group.

Led Zeppelin last toured in July 1980, just months before the death of founding drummer John Bonham, playing again with numerous one-off shows in the intervening years.

Source: music-news.com

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Rich(ards) Get Richer...

Apparently, years of doing large amounts of cocaine and engaging in outrageous conduct wasn't that bad an idea after all. According to NME, several publishing companies have started a bidding war over the upcoming autobiography of Stones guitarist, Keith Richards. It is reported that Keef was already offered a 7.3 million dollar advance for his memoirs; that is 3.5 million pounds people -- 3.5 million pounds!

I'm looking forward to the book signing tour; maybe Johnny Depp will appear as Captain Jack Sparrow and sign some books too...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Crazy Little Thing Called...Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud?

Holy black hole, Batman! Queen founding member and virtuoso guitarist, Brian May, is on the road to completing his Doctorate in, of all things, astrophysics. May, 60, is planning on submitting his thesis entitled, "Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud" to London's Imperial College.

I'm all for a supergroup of supernerds -- Brian May, Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), and Dexter Holland (The Offspring)...who's with me?

For the full article click here

Monday, July 23, 2007

(GNR - Axl) to Reunite in LA

This should be a pretty cool event, even if Axl doesn't show up. Looks like we're one step closer to seeing the full band reform though. So who do you think will reform first? The full Guns N' Roses or Pink Floyd?

Guns N' Roses' original line-up will reform to mark the 20th anniversary of the band's album Appetite For Destruction - but without lead singer Axl Rose. Drummer Stephen Adler claims the event will take place at Los Angeles' Key Club on July 28 - and include original members Slash, Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan.

The Key Club's website advertises performances by the drummer's band Adler's Appetite and L.A. Guns - the band that spawned Guns N' Roses.

Adler writes on the site, "I'll be down there with my band and Slash, Izzy (guitarist) and Duff (bass) will be there too. It's gonna be great."

Although Rose is not expected - Adler insists a full reunion will eventually happen: "Axl and I spoke to each other in Las Vegas recently, and I know there's a chance. It's just too big. Whatever the Stones make when they play, we'd triple it. It'd be ridiculous not to do it. He can't be that goofy."

Source: Starpulse

Vegoose 2007: The Goose Is Loose

The third annual Vegoose Music Festival will take place during the weekend of Oct. 26 - 28 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Initial Artist Lineup Revealed:

Rage Against The Machine
Daft Punk
Iggy & the Stooges
performing the album Fun House
The Shins
Cypress Hill
Queens of the Stone Age
Public Enemy
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Umphrey's McGee
Thievery Corporation
Ghostface Killah & The Rhythm Roots Allstars
Blonde Redhead
Gogol Bordello
Ghostland Observatory
Pharoahe Monch

The Band at Grand Central?

Okay, so not really. But I did hear "Chest Fever" at Modell's Sporting Goods on 42nd and Vanderbilt...pretty random, right?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wilco at Bonnaroo 2007 - Impossible Germany

Wilco, bringing along tracks from their masterful new album Sky Blue Sky, was one of my favorite sets at this year's Bonnaroo festival. Playing to what was a somewhat subdued, weary crowd on the festival's fourth and final day, Wilco was slotted perfectly to offer us their brand of laid-back country/prog/rock. This peformance of 'Impossible Germany' provides an excellent view into what was a fantastic set that led us to buy this album for the ride home.

20 Years After: Sly Stone Returns to the UK

Read Uncut's review of Sly Stone performing with his sister Vet and The Family Stone at the Lovebox festival in London this weekend. Sly actually shows up to sing four songs with the group, despite leaving the stage midset for "a piss".

Phil's Setlist from 7/21/07

The Independent - San Francisco, CA
July 21, 2007

Set 1:
Loose Lucy
*I'm So Gone
Friend of the Devil
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
*Seven Jealous Sisters
Franklin's Tower

Set 2:
The Golden Road
Viola Lee Blues
*So Hard To Find My Way
New Speedway Boogie
*Down in the Valley Woe
Cryptical Envelopment>
The Other One
Mountains of the Moon
I Know You Rider

E: Donor Rap/Intros, Box of Rain

*1st time played, Jackie song

Phil Lesh (bass, vocals)
John Molo (drums)
Jackie Greene (guitar, vocals)
Larry Campbell (guitar+)
Steve Molitz (keys)
Barry Sless (guitar)

A few comments have been posted over at the PhilZone discussion board about last night's show including:

"The energy of the crowd and the anticipation before the Band hit the stage was HIGH. The audience brought their A game, and were ready to get down, and the boys didn't disappoint! Starting with a rocking Loose Lucy and ending with a sentimental Box Of Rain, the musicians tore into the tunes with such energy, passion and SWEAT, and the audience became one big frenzied, smilin' mass. Reminded me of the days of the Stone when Jerry worked his magic. Jackie Greene command the stage with his passion for the music. Shouting DON'T YOU LET THAT DEAL GO DOWN, Jackie Greene sang it like he meant it, and lived it. The emotion he brings to the music is reminicent of the days of old, but he brings his own style and interpretation that makes it all new again. I can't get enough. Team Phil hit a home run last night, just wished that Barry Sless could have been able to do more than just pinch hit. Phil looked dapper in his button down shirt, but turned into a madman by the second set, the sweat was dripping off him, he was as energized as I've ever seen him, and squeezed every ounce of energy of his bandmates and his audience. Thank you for a real good Time!!!"
--By Jubilant (Nancyinthesky) (

Jackie Greene: Phil's New Friend

I first became aware of Jackie Greene while attending his set on the Sonic Stage at Bonnaroo some years back. I was instanstly enraptured with the maturity of this "kid." Jackie is still a young guy, but you'd never know that from listening to his worldly lyrics of life, love, and pain.

Jackie has already performed a few gigs as one of Phil's friends, and now he is listed as a touring member of the band. Much like he did with Ryan Adams, Phil appears to be taking another young, talented singer/songwriter under his wing. I saw Phil play live with Ryan and I would like to see what how Jackie is able to contribute what is now a group of veterans who know the Dead catalog inside and out. It remains to be seen how the Deadheads will take to Jackie (it took quite a while for them to embrace Ryan), but I hope it works out for the best.

This message was posted to Jackie Greene's website just today:
Hello all,

I guess it's not much of a secret anymore, but I thought I'd give an "official" word about it.

I have been lucky enough to be asked to join Phil Lesh & Friends this fall for an extensive american tour! We will be starting in late September and rolling right up to November. We will be playing some fantastic venues and it will be LOTS of fun.

I feel very honored to have been asked to take part in such a remarkable band. I am truly in awe of each of their talents. Amazing!

We will be playing some of my tunes on this tour as well. And of course, lots of Grateful Dead tunes! I'm having a wonderful time learning and singing these great songs. It's truly a magical time. I feel blessed. I hope you'll join us out there."
If you havent heard much of Jackie, or even if you have, check out this performance of his original tune, "Sweet Somewhere Bound".

Phall Tour!!

Phil and Friends are heading back on the road this fall with a primarily midwest and east coast set of dates, ending in a surprising 9-night run at The Nokia Theater in Times Square (including Halloween). Phil's Friends this time around are: Phil Lesh, Jackie Greene (a favorite of The Weight), Larry Campbell, John Molo, and Steve Molitz.

The full dates are:

Sat-Sep-22 Santa Barbara County Bowl Santa Barbara, CA
Sun-Sep-23 The Greek Theater Berkeley, CA
Fri-Sep-28 The Phillmore Denver, CO
Sat-Sep-29 Red Rocks Amphitheater Denver, CO
Sun-Sep-30 Paolo Soleri Santa Fe, NM
Tue-Oct-02 The Pageant St. Louis, MO
Wed-Oct-03 Uptown Theater Kansas City, MO
Fri-Oct-05 The Riviera Theater Chicago, IL (18+ only)
Sat-Oct-06 The Riviera Theater Chicago, IL (18+ only)
Sun-Oct-07 The Riviera Theater Chicago, IL (18+ only)
Tue-Oct-09 The Orpheum Theater Boston, MA
Wed-Oct-10 The Orpheum Theater Boston, MA
Fri-Oct-12 Tweeter Waterfront Camden, NJ
Sat-Oct-13 Charlottesville Pavilion Charlottesville, VA
Sun-Oct-14 The Echo Project Atlanta, GA
Tue-Oct-16 Lyric Opera House Baltimore, MD
Thu-Oct-18 Shea's Performing Arts Center Buffalo, NY
Fri-Oct-19 Mohegan Sun Arena Uncasville, CT
Sat-Oct-20 Glens Falls Civic Center Glens Falls, NY
Sun-Oct-21 War Memorial at Oncenter Syracuse, NY
Wed-Oct-31 Nokia Theater Times Square New York, NY
Thu-Nov-01 Nokia Theater Times Square New York, NY
Fri-Nov-02 Nokia Theater Times Square New York, NY
Sat-Nov-03 Nokia Theater Times Square New York, NY
Mon-Nov-05 Nokia Theater Times Square New York, NY
Tue-Nov-06 Nokia Theater Times Square New York, NY
Thu-Nov-08 Nokia Theater Times Square New York, NY
Fri-Nov-09 Nokia Theater Times Square New York, NY
Sat-Nov-10 Nokia Theater Times Square New York, NY

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Getalife, Bon Jovi

Geezer/rocker Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.), is reportedly taking legal action against a New Jersey energy drink maker, Mijovi for alleged "name infringement." Bon Jovi claims that the name of the company and its various slogans ("itsmilife" and "itsmijovi") are too similar to his own name and his song, "It's My Life." According to Marcus Carrington, owner of Mijovi, the drink is named after his girlfriend, Jovita and has absolutely nothing to do with the band. Makes sense to me...

Are you kidding me, JBJ? Don't you have a second-rate football team to worry about? Did all that plastic surgery mess with your brain? Maybe having your name in the marketplace will help your dying music career (see e.g. Rolling Stone). Grow up...

For the full article, click here

Friday, July 6, 2007

Bob Dylan: Tangled Up in Woodstock

History was trued up when Bob Dylan set foot on the stage of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Saturday for his set on "the former" Yasgur's farm, i.e. the hallowed ground of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts festival. It just happened to be 38 years late as Dylan famously did not play at Woodstock, even though he lived in the town of the show's namesake (which is actually located approx. 50 miles away - we made that trip too as any proper music fan would do on a music pilgrimage such as this). Rumor has it that Bob's disdain for the hippies that would constantly show up on his property and disrupt his privacy were to blame for his famous snub of what many will argue, and rightfully so, was the greatest concert/happening of all time.

But that just furthers the fact that Bob Dylan is a master of slight of hand. He appears to enjoy playing/saying things (or in the case of Woodstock or his lack of strapping on a guitar of late, not playing things) that are truly unexpected and many times leave audiences purplexed, annoyed, or at best, mildly dissapointed.

Perhaps the most famous of his attempts to invoke thought and mind expansion, rather than allowing his audience to enjoy a riskless but well-received set, was Bob's decision to "go electric" when the audience was, lets be honest, a pretty angry bunch of folkies. I thought they were supposed to be peaceful and loving, but oh well. Even since that time, Bob has confounded his fans and has had ordinary, non-believer critics yelling to the masses of his irrelevance. There was Bob's shot at gospel music and actual conversion to Christianity (I happen to love the song 'Gotta Serve Somebody'), there was his foray into full-blown country with Nashville Skyline and a duet with Johhny Cash, there was a reversal of sorts with Dylan penning the not-so-subtle lyrics (which were not his forte) when writing of love sickness, heartache, and downright paranoia on Blood on the Tracks, and Dylan's surprising return to protest songs with the long form, and college singalong favorite, 'Hurricane'.

Then there is the present, and my personal experiences with Bob Dylan. I've seen Bob numerous times and have been one of the dissapointed of late. In fact, after the latest show at The Beacon in NYC, I had written off seeing Dylan in concert anymore. His complete lack of playing guitar or playing his songs that were in any way, shape, or form recognizable was beginning to affect my love of his music overall. Its one thing to challenge your audience, its something entirely different to completely confuse them. BUT, when you hear Bob Dylan is finally going to play in Bethel, NY, the actual site of Woodstock, at a brand new venue which is only 90 miles or so from my apartment, I'm gonna go. So, apparently, did the rest of the Weightstaff. ROADTRIP!!

After stopping in the Town of Woodstock and having lunch, we set our sights on Bethel. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for our GPS as the address was "not in range". The first thing we drove by once finding and arriving at the site was a plaque comemmorating the original festival. Wow, I got chills at that point and knew we were in for a treat. Apparently so did a large portion of folks because there were enough baby boomer's Volvo and BMW SUV's to choke Al Gore. The venue was truly stunning. Wonderfully landscaped, entirely "wanderable" meaning there was little confinement as there is in traditional outdoor venues, enticing food options, and the holy grail of outdoor venues: Really Clean Bathrooms! If this venue isn't on your radar, change that fact immediately.

After Jimmie Vaughan's opening set (yes, the brother of Stevie Ray) was delivered, and apparently only enjoyed by true blues afficianados, which was pretty obvious due to the chatter and lack of participation when Vaughn attempted to get the audience to clap, Mr. Dylan took the stage. Would he deliver a completely typical set? Would he even acknowledge where he was? Did he even actually KNOW where he was? All of these questions were answered over the course of the night. When you are batting approximately .375 when putting together a Dylan setlist at a show these days, you are truly in Ted Williams territory. It takes a master Dylan-ophile to get this right and we were greatly assisted with Dylan playing so many true treats with ultimately recognizable lyrics. The set included something for everyone. The boomers got "Blowin in the Wind" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'", the casual fans got "Highway 61 Revisited" and "All Along the Watchtower" the more adept fans could enjoy "Tangled Up In Blue" and "Its Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) and the hard core devotees got "Blind Willie McTell" and "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll". Bob was in great spirits, the band was typically "studio musician" stellar, and our feet were on the mecca of concert sites. All in all, it was a perfect day. And lo and behold, my wish came true. Bob addressed the audience. Not just to introduce the band (which he did) or chat up the last song of the night (which he did - it was "All Along the Watchtower"), but to deliver a line of historical significance noting where he was and what he was about to play:

"It’s nice to be back here. Last time we played here we had to play at 6 in the morning, and it was a-rainin’, and the field was full of mud.”

A line fueled with mythology, humor, half-truths, ghosts, and music. Kind of like the man on stage.

Bob Dylan
Bethel, New York
Bethel Woods Center For The Arts
June 30, 2007

Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat/The Times They Are A-Changin/I'll Be Your Baby Tonight/It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)/Just Like A Woman/The Levee's Gonna Break/The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll/High Water (For Charlie Patton)/Spirit On The Water/Tangled Up In Blue/Blind Willie McTell/I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)/When The Deal Goes Down/Highway 61 Revisited/Blowin' In The Wind/ENCORE:Thunder On The Mountain/All Along The Watchtower

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Levon Helm Band: American Hero

What a concert it was last Thursday night in Central Park. Levon Helm, Amy Helm, Jimmy Vivino, Larry Campbell, and Friends put on a rock n' roll show that featured Band classics and rock n' roll classics. Levon was clearly having the time of his life, which I imagine he does every time he hits the stage these days. Even with the cold rain that was falling throughout the concert, those of us in attendance had the time of our lives as well.

The Levon Helm Band is the only act remaining that allows us to see a member of The Band performing an extensive set of their own tunes. And it was not long ago that Levon was not able to muster up more than a whisper, with his voice diminished by cancer treatment. It is a miracle that Levon is now both healthy and able to bless us with his iconic singing voice. Songs played throughout the show included "The Weight", "Ophelia", "The Shape I'm In" and a show closing "W.S. Walcott Medicine Show."

Watch the video of Levon drumming and singing on "W.S. Walcott Medicine Show."