Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Uh, WTF?

Earlier this month, [Miley Cyrus] signed a seven-figure book deal with Disney-Hyperion Books to publish her memoirs next spring.

Heading says it all...And please, those "art" photos weren't nude shots, you aren't sexy, and showing your back does not warrant saying Annie Leibowitz took advantage of you. You'll be duetting with your daddy at county fairs in no time.

Fate of Vegoose Uncertain

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Vegoose may be dead. This fall would have been the fourth offering of the festival. There will certainly be more than a few casualties resulting from the current US festival battle for dollars, but Vegoose seemed to have a pretty good niche with its Vegas location and Halloween theme. Maybe now with the Outside Lands festival, the guys at Superfly decided to retire the Goose. We'll keep our eyes out for more news on this.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hauntingly Beautiful - Coldplay's 'Fix You' by Young at Heart

First the Springsteen eulogy and now this, sorry for the slightly depressing undertones, but this cover of Coldplay's 'Fix You' by is more moving than the Johnny Cash version of 'Hurt'. Unreal.

Young At Heart Chorus is a travelling chorus from New England, USA, with members ranging in age from 71 to 93. The original troupe was formed in 1982 in Walter Salvo House, Northampton, Massachusetts.

Fred Knittle, the lead singer here, suffers from breathing difficulties associated with congestive heart failure. He had been meant to be singing in a duet with Young@Heart chorus member, Bob Salvini but was left to sing alone when Bob died of a heart attack.

Fred Knittle was born in Utica, New York in 1925 and, as the son of a poor barber, he lived through the depression years. From 1944 to 1946, he served with the United States Army Infantry in Italy, the Philippines and Japan. He came back and attended Syracuse University, graduating in 1950. He first worked as an executive for the YMCA in New York and Chicago, before accepting the position of Vice President for Development at The Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts. On his retirement, he joined the Young@Heart Chorus and, for the first time, began singing in public. He facetiously says that, as a member of the Chorus, he went with them from continent to continent until he became incontinent, and then had to retire. While no longer traveling with the Chorus because of his breathing problems, he will accept an occasional opportunity to sing with the group at a special event.

AND HE IS A BADASS ROCK 'N' ROLL STAR (TheWeight creative license with the bio)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Original Warrant Lineup To Play First Shows in 14 Years

From frontman Jani Lane's Myspace site.

Warrant will appear for the 1st time "all original members" in 14 years at The Wild Horse in Nashville 5/17 and Northern Lights Casino in Walker, Minn. on 5/18. This should really be a lot of fun! I encourage all the "die hards" to do your best to be at one of these very special, dare I say it, historical shows. Thanks for all the overwhelming support!! JL

I have to admit that I am hardly familiar with any Warrant songs outside of Cherry Pie and Heaven, but I'm a sucker for stories about band's reuniting after long periods of time. The last time this lineup recorded together was in 1992, the same year the Chili Peppers released 'Under the Bridge' and Arrested Development sang about 'Tennessee.' I am far more familiar with Jani Lane's 2005 appearance on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club than I am with this band. If you've seen images from Jani appearing on the show, you're as aware as I am that he really let himself go. Apparently rumors of this reunion first starting appearing online back in December, but not anywhere I read. If you are one of the Warrant "die hards" and you didn't know about this, its time to book your ticket to Nashville. Last month, Warrant announced on its official website that it will co-headline with Cinderella on a summer tour.

It has also been announced that the band will perform a "plugged-in" set on the nationally syndicated radio show "Rockline", hosted by Bob Coburn, on Wednesday, May 7 at 11:30 p.m. EST/8:30 p.m. PST. You can find a station near you or to listen to the show live via the Internet via http://www.rocklineradio.com/.

Let's all take a trip back to 1991 with a concert video of Warrant performing "Heaven." Listening to this reminds of taping songs off of the radio in my bedroom. I wish I still had some of those tapes.

I Told Myself I Wouldn't Cry - Bruce's Eulogy for Danny

I don't care how emotional I can be, reading something online doesn't typically lead to tears. A shocking elimination on 'The Bachelor' maybe, but not from reading a posting on a web site. I thought I was stronger than that.

BUT, when you are reading Bruce Springsteen's eulogy to his fallen friend and fellow E-Streeter Danny Federici...that is tough stuff. Attending a Bruce show (and I'm an appreciator, not a diehard) is truly an uplifting and therapeutic experience with a smattering of soul searching thrown in. With songs of childhood reckless abandon, unrequited love, and running from the drudgery of everyday life, Bruce brings his fellow concert participants into a "let's leave our crappy lives behind and head for the open road" kind of mindset. And THAT is VERY powerful stuff. (Especially for people in New Jersey, but that post is for another time.)

With the shit on television, and the mindless websites junking up our minds, not many things are "real" these days. When Mariah Carey out-lipsynching Ashlee Simpson is newsworthy, we are in trouble. But Bruce lays it out there and people respond. So how can someone so known for opening his heart and soul be prepared to put his love for his friend into a speech? It is probably impossible. But he did it, and it is every bit as heartbreaking, funny, joyous, rebellious, and moving as one of his concerts. And that, my friends, is the sign of a true artist.

Here is an excerpt which I just loved:

In the studio, if I wanted to loosen up the track we were recording, I'd put Danny on it and not tell him what to play. I'd just set him loose. He brought with him the sound of the carnival, the amusements, the boardwalk, the beach, the geography of our youth and the heart and soul of the birthplace of the E Street Band.

Then we grew up. Very slowly. We stood together through a lot of trials and tribulations. Danny's response to a mistake onstage, hard times, catastrophic events was usually a shrug and a smile. Sort of an "I am but one man in a raging sea, but I'm still afloat. And we're all still here."

I watched Danny fight and conquer some tough addictions. I watched him struggle to put his life together and in the last decade when the band reunited, thrive on sitting in his seat behind that big B3, filled with life and, yes, a new maturity, passion for his job, his family and his home in the brother and sisterhood of our band.

Finally, I watched him fight his cancer without complaint and with great courage and spirit. When I asked him how things looked, he just said, "what are you going to do? I'm looking forward to tomorrow." Danny, the sunny side up fatalist. He never gave up right to the end.

Amazing. Grab a couple tissues and read Bruce's eulogy to Danny Federici here.

Wilco Under a Sky Blue Sky (...at night...in Brooklyn)

With The Verve and Crowded House going half price, I was beginning to question if every band I wanted to see had crappy demand for tickets. But, I had a strong suspicion that my interest in seeing Wilco outdoors in Brooklyn at McCarren Pool was shared by a couple other of the hipperazzi. Looks like I was right. The show sold out in under a minute (update: few tix trickling out until around 12:10 according to BrooklynVegan). And yes, I got tix. Thankfully!

I have only seen Wilco play live at Bonnaroo (2004 and 2007). And in '07, I left the festival with every song still banging around in my head. The drive home from Manchester involved stopping in a random mall on the border of Virginia and Tennessee and picking up the 'Sky Blue Sky' album and falling in love all over again (I love random concert road trips!). And now finally I can see the group without packing my bags for Tennessee. Actually, it kind of is a road trip. The last concert I ventured into Brooklyn to see (I don't leave Manhattan for shows nearly enough) was for Woolly Mammoth at North Six (now defunct) back in 2003.

So what are shows at McCarren Pool like? Is it awkward getting splashed while you are trying to listen to 'Jesus, etc'? And how can I keep my hipster cred while wearing a damn life jacket?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

Although we here at The Weight rarely delve outside the world of music and pop culture, this was just too good [or sad depending on your emotional disposition] to pass up:

"The owner of a wild animal training center where a grizzly bear killed a handler says the animal is a 'loving, affectionate, friendly, safe bear,' but he is at a loss to explain how a 'simple routine' turned tragic."

Maybe because it's a FUCKING BEAR!

For the full article, click here

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Guess the Pyscho

Can you guess what jealous sicko wrote the following:

Well I'd rather see you dead than to be with another man/ You better keep your head or I won't know where I am / You better run for your life if you can / hide your head in the sand / catch you with another man and that's the end

Well you know that I'm a wicked guy and I was born with a jealous mind / And I can't spend my whole life trying just to make you toe the line /
You better run for your life if you can / hide your head in the sand / catch you with another man and that's the end

This came up on my iPod and I found it pretty disturbing. I took a wee bit of creative license with the lyrics, but it worked for me, dawg, so that's that. (By the way, I know this isn't that tough. But you when you actually read the words rather than humming the melody, you realize someone needed a hug.)

Click the link for the answer HERE

Grateful Dead Not Playing Concert, Storing Stuff Instead

The Grateful Dead camp decided to make an official statement ahead of their Thursday press conference in order to debunk any Internet rumors about their playing live shows in the near future. I can't believe that there would be sites out there spreading such unsubstantiated speculative rumors.

As it turns out, they are simply donating some artifacts to UC Santa Cruz.
She [Eileen Law] also kept press clippings dating back to the band's inception in '65, photographs, tickets, back stage passes, handbills, promotional materials, business records, stage backdrops, posters, T-shirts and other Grateful Dead merchandise, issues of the band's erratically published '70s newsletter and the more regularly published Grateful Dead Almanac that began in the '90s, copies of all the band's posters, vinyl albums, CDs, videos, all the awards and the books written about the band, show files, cassette tapes of the hot line messages announcing tour dates, publishing information, thousands of fan-decorated envelopes mailed to the band's ticket office, even all the guest lists that went to the venues the band played.

Read the full news here from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Will Bloggers Be the Record Labels Of the Future?

Digital Music News asks this question and presents their version of the future of the music business, as filtered through the blogosphere. Oh boy...did I just use blogosphere unironically? Damnit!

Blogs will be Record Labels, and Bloggers will be the new Music Moguls - BlogJs anyone?

The More You Know: ZZ Top

The origin of the band's name was not officially known for many years. Some theories included: the two brands of rolling paper, Zig-Zag and Top; a tribute to blues legend Z. Z. Hill; and/or Billy Gibbons seeing the two words running together on a dilapidated bill board. The real origin, as told by Billy Gibbons and also recorded in his book Rock + Roll Gearhead, is derived from the name of blues master B. B. King. They wanted to call themselves Z.Z. King but sounded too similar to their blues legend hero. They figured that "King" was at the "top" so thus settled on ZZ Top.

Next year, ZZ Top will celebrate their 40th anniversary as a band, and they have never had a change in lineup! According to music-news.com, they will soon be releasing their first-ever live concert on DVD and Blu-Ray. How great would these guys be at Bonnaroo? I wonder if they've ever been asked.

Tour Bells Ring

The Rock The Bells festival will be on the road this summer for ten dates in North America. I'm not the world's biggest hip hop fan but I know that this lineup is stellar. There will be a lot of people excited about this one. Smartly, they will only take place on weekends.

Pre-sale tickets will be available May 14th - 16th via http://www.guerillaunion.com/, and then to the general public on May 17th.

Rock The Bells 2008
19 Chicago, IL
20 Toronto, ON
26 Boston, MA
27 New York, NY

2 Miami, FL
3 Philadelphia, PA
9 Los Angeles, CA
16 San Francisco, CA
23 Denver, CO
30 Vancouver, BC

Axl and Slash Together Again?

Is the time finally right for a reunion of the original Guns n' Roses?

With lead guitarist Robin Finck leaving Axl and GnR 2.0 behind earlier this month to go back on tour with Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails for the first time since 2000, Axl will be looking for a new lead guitarist. And with the departure of Scott Weiland from Velvet Revolver, Slash and company are short a lead singer.

Rumors have been numerous about possible reconciliations between Axl and Slash over the years, so why not put the past behind them and get the old band back together now. It would be the biggest story in music if these two icons decided to reform the original Guns n' Roses.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Grateful Dead Annoucement Coming

Grateful Dead Press Conference

This Thursday, April 24 at 11AM PT

Watch The Live Web Stream Here on Dead.net Courtesy Of iclips.net

The rumors are flying between more Obama shows, a full scale Terrapin Station style reunion, or an announcement that they're donating some artifacts. Since it's being billed as a "Grateful Dead" conference, this could certainly be newsworthy. Here's to hoping its some kind of performance, preferrably with Bruce Hornsby.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Weight - Status Update

To keep a little momentum going here at The Weight after we've been slacking a bit, I thought we would try something a little different. I've been spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook (probably to the detriment of this site) where I get to update my "status" with such inane things as: Ryan 'is currently eating a sandwich' or 'needs to use the bathroom'. So I thought we would use the same logic on this here site:

The Weight is:

wrapping up watching David Cook sing Mariah Carey for the fifth time on repeat. And is slowly realizing his Fantasy Idol bracket is getting busted up perhaps for good this time.

wondering how in the world critics ever considered Kings of Leon the Allman Brothers version of The Strokes...you know who you are.

can't wait for Steve Winwood at the infinitely small Blender Theater in Gramercy.

recalling his first Phish show in '95 after reading Hidden Track's Scotty B's recounting of his phirst show at the Beacon. And doing the math that it was about 13 years ago. Apparently, the first live Phish song I ever heard was Cars, Trucks, Buses but will only remember Wilson as the show opener (even though it was the second song) because that moment changed my life.

wondering why Jack Johnson is headlining everything except my apartment but still can't get himself to dislike the guy

thinks Erykah Badu's song 'Bag Lady' is the greatest psychiatry-oriented self-help song ever and thinks it would fit with Freud and Dr. Phil's best

What's your status?

Kid Rock Borrows Classics from Library

Kid Rock has gone and done it and written the perfect summer anthem for our times. He completely ripped off the Warren Zevon classic 'Werewolves of London' and added some useless lyrics which do nothing but embarass the Zevon estate (except for the big check he probably wrote them). And if that theft that would have made even David Cook blush wasn't enough, Mr. Rock went ahead and spliced the 'Sweet Home Alabama' riff right into the chorus. Wow, he is really laying out the bucks due to what must be a lack of creativity to get onto the radio. The song is even called 'All Summer Long'. Did Will Smith help you with that title? As a quick FYI, the song was written for his 'Rock and Roll Jesus' album which came out in October '07.

Granted I heard the song listening to Sirius Hits Channel 1, which considers an endless loop of Miley Cyrus, Avril Lavigne, Leona Lewis, and Linkin Park to be worthwhile, but I at least want to think the generic pop music I listen to isn't watered down by riff rip offs from the '70's.

Here is a nice analysis from the Chicago Darch-Times of the Kid "borrowing" from his heroes:

11 Apr '08 - How Kid Rock 'borrowed' Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London

In case you didn't know: for over half a century now the music industry is the place to be if you wanna make shitloads of money without any real talent. Already sixty years ago playing just an instrument pretty much did the trick. One just took the song someone else had come up with, recorded their own version of it, called it a cover, et voila. The bucks were rolling in. Back in the nineties it became even easier. One just took a big hit from years earlier, and used that just as a sample, to make your own boring product juicy and catchy. Of course it worked. And even more bucks were rolling in. Ya think that was the end of it? Hell no. Kid Rock just came up with the mash up. Just take the music from one song (don't even replay it, just use the original music) and put the lyrics of another song to it. Et voila. Rock took the music of Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London and put some Bob Seger lyrics to it, and thus came up with All Summer Long. Worst thing of all: I really like the song.

Kid Rock
Rock and Roll Jesus Album
All Summer Long

Monday, April 14, 2008

An Appreciation of Country Music

Weightstaff Note: New posts on The Weight have been few and far between lately. Having to turn the lights on in The Weight office tonight, with no other staff around, was kind of depressing. We let our secretary go because of nothing left to do or file and the maintenance guy stopped showing up because there was no trash to throw out. So I'm hear to try to breathe new life into this thing.

I was one of those people who, when asked what kind of music do you listen to, would proudly answer everything EXCEPT country. Country music seemed backwards and backwoods and steeped in the tradition of those with an IQ less than their age. But what I have come to learn about country music, is that real country music (I'm looking unenthusiastically at you Carrie Underwood), is about the truth and bared soul of American men and women who are just looking to get by and make sense of relationships, careers, and the meaning of life. And it appears country music embodies an authenticity representing the hopes and dreams, shattered or otherwise, of those who sing and play it.

What truly sparked my appreciation for country probably was Ryan Adams and his Heartbreaker album. Ryan's somewhat faux country drawl, especially on 'Oh, My Sweet Carolina' duetting with Emmylou Harris, was beautiful, fragile, poignant, funny, and uplifting. Ultimately, it was very unapologetic and unironic country music. From Ryan Adams, I began to see the beauty, spirit, and honesty in The Rolling Stones country tunes (Gram Parson's influence), The Band's more traditional songs, and pretty much all of the songs on American Beauty and Workingman's Dead by, well, The Dead. So if I get asked what kind of music I listen to nowadays, now I just answer: I listen to everything except for music that sucks. I try not to put anything into boxes.

Keith Richards and Norah Jones
at Return to Sin City, A Tribute to Gram Parsons
Love Hurts

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rage Against Springsteen

Tom Morello made a surprise appearance mid-set during Monday night's (4/7) Bruce Springsteen concert in Anaheim, CA.

Morello, who in the past recorded and performed a noteworthy cover of Springsteen's "Ghost of Tom Joad" with his band Rage Against The Machine, helped Springsteen and the E Street Band reinvent the song as a full-blown rocker.

Morello's extended guitar solo on the song built to a stunning climax with sonic pyrotechnics that should add to bootleg interest in the show.
Source: Livedaily

Having seen Tom Morello perform as The Nightwatchman, it is easy to see that he was heavily influenced by the songwriting and performing Bruce Springsteen. I loved reading today that Tom was able to show off his skills in this setting in front of a crowd that probably had never heard of him. Fortunately the video appeared on YouTube and we can all see it for ourselves.

Interminable Tour ContinĂșa

This summer Bob Dylan's never ending tour will hit a bunch of European cities I've never heard of. I think it would be quite an incredible experience to see him play some of these cities that he has most likely never played before and those that rarely see an American artist. I got to see him play a show at the site of the Woodstock festival last year and, in my mind, it was a magical night. There is still a feeling that is difficult to describe about being in the presence of this legend and that positive feeling would just be magnified in these far away places. May the never ending tour never end.

Reykjavic Egilshollin (May 26)
Odense Fyn Arena (28)
Stavanger Viking Stadium (30)
Helsinki Hartwall Arena (June 1)
Saint Petersburg Arena (3)
Tallinn Sakey Hall (4)
Vilnius Siemens Arena (5)
Warsaw Stodola (7)
Ostrava Cez Arena (9)
Vienna Stadhalle (10)
Salzburg Arena (11)
Bergamo Lazzaretta (16)
Aosta Castello Borgia (18)
Grenoble Palais des Sports (19)
Toulouse Zenith (20)
Andorra la Vella Campo de Futbol Muni (22)
Zaragoza Feia de Muenstras (24)
Pamplona Plaza de Toros (25)
Vigo Recinto Ferial (27)
Avilla Parque Natural de Gredos (28)
Valencia Auditorio Ciudad (July 1)
Cuenca TBC (2)
Murcia Plaza de Toros (4)
Jaen Recinto Ferial (5)
Madrid Rock in Rio (6)
Jerez Campo de Football Muni (8)
Merida Plaza de Toros (10)
Lisbon Optimus Live (11)

Get Off Of My Face

I'm not sure how reliable IrelandOn-line.com is, but a recent article on the site revealed that Mick Jagger was not entirely happy with Scorsese's [over]use of closeups in Shine A Light. According to the article, Jagger felt that "it [the closeups] was a little bit too much....I didn't care for it too much. Boring. It didn't look very good."

Sounds more like seeing all of the wrinkles and years of bad dental-work magnified on a 50-foot screen was a bit much for the 64-year old legendary frontman.

I, on the other hand, thought the film was just short of brilliant.*

For the full article, click here

*Because it's technically a "film," I've decided not to post a review to avoid any spoilers. That being said, see the movie!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Floyd Drummer Hints at Possible Reunion Show

This story hasn't exactly taken the media world by storm quite yet, leading me to question its signifigance, but I'd certainly rather read something like this than hear another story about how Roger Water is an asshole:

Rock veterans Pink Floyd will reunite again - but only for charity, according to drummer Nick Mason. The British star claims the band, which regrouped for a one-off reunion for 2005's Live8 gig, is currently trying to source a good charity to support before it sets any more concert dates.

Source: Starpulse