Aldo Nova/Aldo Nova(1982)

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My buddy Muc jumped all over this as soon as the lead off single Fantasy  was released back in early 1982 on the  album from which it came from simply titled  Aldo Nova. This debut sold huge amounts not just here in Canada but went Platinum in the United States as well!

Aldo was a solo artist he wrote and produced all the tunes here and basically does all the instruments himself!

Super Duper Nova!

Aldo Nova: vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, bass guitar, keyboards, synthesizers
Dennis Chartrand: acoustic piano
Michel Pelo, Roberto Biagioni: bass guitar
Michael LaChapelle, Terry Martel: drums, percussion
Daniel Barbe, Dwight Druck: backing vocals

Not only that but along with the  Producers Hat. Aldo also had a hand  in mixing and engineering the album as well! That’s keeping costs down in the  roaring 80’s!

Oh yeah here are the song’s and if you’re wondering Aldo wrote these all by his Lonesome!

“Fantasy” – 5:05
“Hot Love” – 3:54
“It’s Too Late” – 3:23
“Ball and Chain” – 4:01
“Heart to Heart” – 3:42
“Foolin’ Yourself” – 3:35
“Under the Gun” – 3:47
“You’re My Love” – 3:33
“Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” – 3:57
“See the Light” –3:56

Fantasy is a Classic Rock delight! Props to Aldo as he not only opens this album with a great track it was his lead off single as well and clocking in at over 5 Minutes must have made Radio DJ’s back than happy as they could tack on a few extra minutes where they could grab a Coffee or a Coke(AHEM!). Speaking of Coke. How about these lyrics.

Outta site, buy your kicks from the man in the white
Feels alright, powder pleasure in your nose tonight
See the men paint their faces and cry
Like some girl it makes you wonder why
City life, sure is cool but it cuts like a knife, it’s your life

Fantasy I will say hooks me with that piano/synth pace as soon as Aldo’s voice kicks in! There I said it! Basically its like the Piano on the studio version of Christine Sixteen but Aldo cranks it up to 78 rpm’s! Great guitar driven track…Love it. Posted a live clip of it below from 1982!

The rest of the album is a Hard Rock delight where at times I can hear Tom Scholz from Boston  in some of Aldo’s playing. Songcraft is huge on this album and Side 1 is huge!  Track after winning track.

Great Hard Rock Songs follow Fantasy and Aldo pulls no punches in rocking but I will go on record and say that Fantasy is the heaviest track on Side 1.  

Side 2 is still pretty solid  especially with the opener Fooling Yourself but it dips a bit towards the end but overall it’s a real good debut as Aldo was not only selling records but he scored the opening slot on Sam Hagar’s Three Lock Box Tour and I recall reading in Circus Magazine a monthly column written by Lou O Neil Jr where he wrote that he was giving Sam a run for his money! Whether that’s the case or not.  Aldo was making strides…

 

Iron Maiden/Ghost-June 16th 2017/St Paul Mn.

 

So my Brother Todd back in January of this year received an email saying that Iron Maiden  would be playing the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St Paul Minnesota on June 16th.

Todd was working up in the area of Hudson’s Bay(Manitoba) back in January when the pre sale happened so with crappy WiFi where he was working he drove 60 miles to get a decent signal and viola grabbed us two tickets which was good as all 15,000 tickets sold out in less than a few hours!

Todd was pumped that not only Maiden was showing up but they were bringing Ghost as an opener. Todd vouched for them but I was on the fence with Ghost as I tried watching some of their live stuff on YouTube but for some reason I could not grasp the concept of the whole Ghost shtick! Would they convert me?

Keep Reading…

So the day of the show we took off bright n early and headed to St Paul Minnesota which is right next door to Minneapolis Minnesota(Twin Cities the locals call it) and Todd was on the ball and got us a hotel within a 10 minute walk to the Xcel Center.

So about 3 hours before show time we headed towards the Xcel Center (where there was a bunch of Maiden fanatics hanging out by the doors a good 3 hours before door’s would open. We realised later why as the floor was general admission)which has a bunch of Burger N Booze establishments so we picked one and had a few beers and you knew Maiden was in town as there were a ton of Maiden shirts everywhere. Let me clarify that. A ton of dudes wearing Maiden T’s with a handful of woman wearing some as well…Kinda like being at a Rush show!

It was funny as once as we headed back to the Xcel Center on  the entrance side of the building that  we were going to enter into I  counted 7 poh poh cars and one K-9 Unit sitting right beside the Arena. Ha! Guess they were calling in extra’s for the Maiden show thinking there was going to be trouble! Strong Arm Of The Law!

Once inside and tickets scanned it was off for me to the Merchandise tables and there must have been about 12-14 different Maiden T’s (One T was an Xcel exclusive in which we snagged a few of those stat) There was another table set up that was selling a bunch of silk screen covers of albums. All the bases were covered! Todd was talking to a guy who drove in from Des Moines Iowa for the show and he bought a couple of these Maiden only Minneapolis T’s and told Todd that he puts a couple up on eBay and gets about $150 U.S per shirt as Maiden fanatics will pay for rare shirts!

At 730 pm sharp Ghost hit the stage opening with Square Hammer and I was hooked! What a great opening song and let’s for a second talk about these guys.

Ghost consists of 6 members with the  Lead Singer going by the name of Papa Emeritus while the 5 other fella’s names or well they call em Nameless Ghouls. Papa looks like during the first three numbers an anti Pope. Seriously but I will say he has a wickedly good voice that with an excellent band of musicians around him whoever the Ghouls in real life are. Opening number Square Hammer is a great track but it was the tune Absolution  that made me really take notice. This tune blends heavy and melodic rock with a smattering of Alice Cooper vocally mashed with the Keys of Deep Purple. The two Ghouls on guitars are a show upon themselves getting the crowd into it with their demonic like silver masks. Papa after awhile ditches the Anti Pope deal and goes for Think Andrew Loyd Weber with a mix of  Phantom Of The Opera. He even has quite a bit of humour at times between songs when addressing the crowd. Good to see these guys don’t take themselves that seriously except when it comes to the music its taken very seriously! I posted a clip of Ghost from St Paul playing the track Cirice. You can see how they have that edge throughout but can snap into a real melodic bit and snap right out of it. Great stuff.

I don’t think I have ever seen an opening act get this much stage space and a real good use of lights(purple and green dominated the set ) from a headliner. Than again it’s Maiden!

The crowd was stoked as this was Maidens first appearance in the St Paul/Minneapolis area in 17 years!

At 8:55 pm the opening keys of  UFO’s Doctor Doctor filled the arena and you knew once this song was over it was time for Maiden.

I have to say the whole Mayan like themed stage is very slick-looking and as it filled with smoke out appears Lead Singer Bruce Dickinson perched  above Drummer Nicko McBrain’s Drums and does his Capella opening to the first song of the night If Eternity Should Fail for a few minutes than   the rest of the Maidens hit the stage amidst a blast of pyro it is definitely show time.

It’s official I lose my shit!

Speed Of Light is up second and everyone is at the front of the  stage with Bruce handling his mic stand like a Fencer swinging his sword. Guitarist Janick Gers is a show upon himself.  Doing a bunch  of wind mill’s on his guitar like Townsend. The dude is a throwback to the late 70’s early 80s look complete with the bullet belt around his waist. Flinging his guitar around his neck/back,legs stretched out over the PA and at times tossing in a solo for good measure. Must mention I dig Bruce’s stage attire for this show. Cargo pants/Hoodie and Boots. The dude is hanging with Mayan’s!

Great to hear Nicko and Bassist Steve Harris lock in at the start of  Wrathchild.  Bruce lets off his patent Air Raid Siren scream and wow man the guy is so good! Childern of The Damned is played this night and right before Children, Bruce addressed the crowd and asked how many people at the show where born after 1982.  (The year COTD was released) The response was pretty loud as this is what Maiden wants to hear. Kids getting into Maiden from their parents and plus it keeps Maiden themselves from becoming a straight nostalgia act! Case in point there was Dad sitting beside me with his two young teenage son’s.

Death or Glory and The Red And Black from the current album Book of Souls are front and centre and Death And Glory is a great track with Bruce “Climbing Like A Monkey” as he gets the crowd into it(watch the video below) and Adrian Smith plays some real slick slide guitar during the solo. The Red And The Black is epic and clocks in at over 10 minutes with spectacular lights and a boatload of guitar solo’s!

1983’s classic The Trooper complete with Bruce in a red war jacket jostling a Union Jack Flag cranked up the crowds even more as this is one of those tracks that you will always be played. My brother who plays guitar says that Dave Murray is one of the smoothest Soloists out there as you don’t hear his picking and he flawlessly goes up and down the fret board during his solo’s. Todd also mentioned on the drive home between Ghost and Maiden we heard probably over 60 guitar solo’s between the act’s. An exhibition in axemanship I would say!

Powerslave encompasses everything I love about Maiden. Ripping verse’s huge chorus/total chill out in the  midsection of the tune and the solos of Smith/Murray bring the song back up and Nicko does those crazy rolls right before the song goes back into its final verse! Told Todd that this track takes me right back to when I first bought Powerslave the day upon its release back in 1984! Must mention as well the huge wall of fire upon Bruce’s entrance…Impact!

The Great Unknown with its melodic opening and  ramps up and ends with an extended melodic jam with all three guitarists getting there shot at playing some bluesy like riffs while Bruce works the crowd( all night Bruce was pointing to the front/back/upper deck’s all sections were acknowledged throughout the show)

Bruce soars vocally on the track Book of Souls and   basically is  a 13 minute Maiden Metal Masterpiece especially when  Nicko lifts the tune off into a crazy tempo during the solo and  here comes at least a 12 foot Eddie swinging at Janick before Bruce takes Eddie’s heart out and chucks it into the crowd! Steve Harris has written many classic tracks but this tune is one my fav’s. Like Powerlsave (song) it encompasses everything I love about Maiden!

Fear of The Dark has Bruce running back and forth behind Nicko on  and not missing a line  vocally. Endurance the man has! Janick throws down a great solo on FOTD. Love the last verse as the band just rip it up and just like that it’s time for …

Iron Maiden! The classic tune from the self titled 1980 release is performed and there’s Eddie behind Nicko rising up and Bam out comes the fire/pyro off of Ed’s noggin and just like that …the show is over!

Kinda….Encore please…

The stage goes red and The Number of The Beast is dialled up and you want a ton of fire set off look no further than this track complete with another round of Bruce’s Air Raid Siren wail at the start of the track. Love Smith/Murray’s solo’s and Harris when he razzle dazzles with that bass riffing after the guitar solo’s…

Blood Brothers is next and I’m going to post the video and Bruce actually thanks Dekes and Todd for showing up(kinda thanks us..check it out it’s at the beginning of the song about the minute and half mark)

Wasted Years closes the show and it’s a great Adrian Smith track complete with A Plus solo. Maiden end things on a high!

First of thanks to Todd for making this trip happen! Maiden is still the best live act around and considering Nicko just turned 65 it’s crazy that these guys are still playing at this level! The solo’s/vocal’s it’s like its 1985 again! No dip in anything folks!

Bruce mentioned that there putting this show to bed at the end of July and they will go away for a bit but will be back. So it’s not quite the end yet.

Umm… yeah when they come back…..Myself and Todd will be there again!

Long Live Maiden!

 

Iron Maiden/ Book Of Souls(2015)

Yes folks today I’m cheating with a repost of this review from April 2016! The reason? Well  I’m off to see Maiden Live in Minneapolis tonight(June 16th) and that’s thanks to my brother Todd who got us tickets on a presale as the show sold out in 2 days back in January! So thanx to Todd I’m outta here but fret not…Full Live Review….ASAP!

It wasn’t for the fact that Maiden after 35 years of albums would release a double studio album too psyche me out! Nope! It also wasn’t for the fact that Maiden as per protocol would have some tunes that clock in at 13 minutes and one at over 17 minutes! Nope…

It was the fact that in the credits as it listed the bands  names  their’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson credited with both vocals and piano!

Scccccreeeeeeech…..HALT! Yep my fine readers at Stick It In My Ear that is the difference between Maiden 2015 and Maiden 1985!

If you’re looking for Maiden speed metal  in Aces High from yesteryear just keep on trucking. They can still hold down the Metal Fort thank you very much but their sound has advanced proggy,epic in spots,a different kind of recording beast in 2015!

Just like how Rush stepped up and delivered a classic in Clockworks Angels back in 2012. Iron Maiden step up and deliver what I would say is there best album since Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son(1988)

Rush and Maiden have nothing left to prove but how they managed to step up and release such majestic epic recordings pushing  the age of 60 years young  is mind-boggling but yet for us Lovers of Hard Rock its a win win…..

Bruce Dickinson(vocals) Dave Murray,Janick Gers,Adrian Smith (all guitars) Steve Harris(bass) and Nicko McBrain (drums) are still alive and kicking into The Final Frontier(Ha!) ….No slouching around at Maiden HQ when Commander Harris is at the controls!

IF ETERNITY SHOULD FAIL- Ahhh so the proceedings begin with Bruce and some Voodoo Hoodoo Mayan like vibes. Yep all is fine with the Air Raid Siren and at age 57 his vocal pipes are as strong as ever  and why wouldn’t they be? Before too long the rest of Maiden shoots out of the gate and I like the production courtesy of Kevin Shirley who keeps things dry in other words he doesn’t overproduce  Maiden he keeps things sonically balanced. First thing is that I notice is Harris bass is mixed  down and not that twangy vibe like some sonic beef was added to the grill. Great chorus and Bruce’s vocals just sail over and Frigg his voice is outstanding. Dig how the song shifts into a Steve/Nicko mashup before the solos are launched by the Three Amigos on guitar. What a powerhouse opener as Maiden always deliver on the first song on each of their albums! Stand up and take notice Fokkers! Must also mention that I dig Bruces old creeper voice at the end of this song where he talks…”Good Day My Name Is Necropolis…….” Love it! Also a round of Hip Hooray for a close to 9 minute opener!

SPEED OF LIGHT- When I preordered this album from iTunes they dropped this tune Into my iPod! Read how at the age of 48 I still go Bonkers over these guys! …https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/iron-maidenspeed-of-light/

FYI- I posted a live clip of this tune from Mexico a few weeks back! Check out the crowd at the beginning as you see now nutty the crowd is with beer flinging through the air people just flat-out Rockin! Well done people of Mexico! Plus you see how a frontman aged 57 named Bruce has not lost a step like the frontman  he was at the age 27!

THE GREAT UNKNOWN- It starts off chill with some nice electric picking along with Bruce’s voice and then builds up into a heavy kick of Maiden Prog as Nicko sets the tempo with his driving Sonor drums and the chorus here is the money shot. Bruce soars vocally (Shocker! Not!!) and lifts the song as only he can do. Nice guitar work and as the song wraps up its back to where it began with some nice electric picking and Bruce’s voice!

THE RED AND THE BLACK- How about a 13 minute plus Maiden Attack as Bruce and Steve lead the charge from the get go and now about that guitar that cruises along with Bruce’s vocals during the verses. The Red And The Black has a bunch of music and it gets heavy proggy at the end and when you think it ends it keeps going and why not? Stop? Naaaa when the riffs are rolling keep em rolling! Nice interplay between all three guitars and I’m sure this song will go down a storm  when played live! As per protocol the song ends as it started!

WHEN THE RIVER RUNS DEEP-Kinda could have been on the Somewhere In Time album from 1986 me thinks! The song super charges ahead and theirs Nicko riding that Paiste Cymbal like no ones business. When the song crashes into the verse Maiden slip gears and crank it up with a slower doomed pace with some slick backing vocals perhaps Bruce doubling up but regardless When The River Runs Deep is a great track! Freight Train Maiden Full Steam Ahead!

THE BOOK OF SOULS- 10 minutes of the title track and if you want tempo change look no further! This track sweeps through all kinds of musical landscapes meshed with the Maiden Synth firmly entrenched in the background but not overstepping the boundaries of the guitars of Dave,Adrian and Janick. One of the things I love about  Maiden is right around the 5 minute mark the song does indeed shift gears and that’s thanks to Nicko as he does his smooth as silk drum n tom rolls and Maiden go into the zone and blast off with solos and its back to the Prog but Maiden Heavy Prog!

DEATH OR GLORY-A nice little ditty that kicks ass! It launches right out of the Maiden Gate with all hands on deck! Nicko is smashing the cymbals while the guitars play off each other and man oh man there’s the Air Raid Siren stretching his tonsils and laying down a great vocal. Believe it or not it’s a Maiden tune under 6 minutes! Video is posted so play it please!

SHADOWS OF THE VALLEY- The beginning riff is straight outta Wasted Years kinda and this tune would have fit nice and snug on side 1 of Somewhere In Time! Tons of Maiden synth fill the backspace along with Maiden ensemble! Great tune and better solos. Nice pace as well!

TEARS OF A CLOWN- A song inspired by Robin Williams (RIP)and its a fabulous piece of musicianship,lyrics and voice! It’s all here. Love the  Crispy Crunch sound of the guitars and the amped up Maiden Synth during the chorus. One great track but I have been saying that all along this review haven’t I!?

MAN OF SORROW-A mid tempo track that is paced once again by Nicko and the features a ton of Maiden triple guitar combo attacks and also features some real slick bass playing by one Mr Harris! Nice Cymbal riding at the end of this tune!

EMPIRE OF THE CLOUDS-And Here It Is …Piano! Ha! But well done and played by Bruce(what can the guy not do!) Cellos sweep across the backing of Bruce’s Piano playing and it’s a great hook! Nicko does his marching snare to Bruce’s vocals! Amazing that Bruce composed this tune about a Military Airship ( to understand the scope of this the Titanic could have fit in this Airship!)pre Hindenburg and can keep the song and more importantly us the listener interested as the song clocks in at 18 minutes! Yep 18 minutes! It’s a journey it’s not Metal but Maiden keep it moving as for the first time ever in Maiden History the piano drives the tune!  Epic comes to mind! I know people were going on about Bruce only writing a couple of tracks for Book Of Souls. This qualifies as about 3 plus tunes! Give the guy a break! Ha! Fantastic song! It ends how it started with Bruce at the piano!

Holy Heck Maiden show up yet again and knock me on my ass! A double bubble epic album release. If you’re a reader at Mikeys site you know this was my Numero Uno #1 of album releases in 2015! No one came close!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is This Live?/ Christopher Ward (Book Review)

Being a teen in the 1980s.  MuchMusic was a big deal in my world as it was  Canada’s 24 Hour Music Video Cable Channel that at the time played well Music Video’s before all these channels delved into reality like programming and blah blah blah and well to be honest  I got older which is the biggest problem of all! Ha!

Christopher Ward who wrote this book was also one of the original MuchMusic Video Jockeys as well. Chris goes into great detail about the origins of MuchMusic with the two fella’s that started it. One being Moses Zanier and John Martin

These two guys couldn’t get along but they somehow managed to work together and make MuchMusic a household name in Canada back in 1984 and  hitting the 1 Million subscriber mark in 1987!

First ever video played at MuchMusic? That would be The Enemy Within by Rush!

Ward does a nice job of interviewing for  this book all the VJ’s that we would always see everyday on the telly. Steve Anthony/JD Roberts/Erica Ehm/Laurie Brown/Master T/Michael Williams/Denise Donlon/Terry David Mulligan/Theresa Roncon and many others. They are all present and accounted for in this book!

Actually one of the funniest interviews I had ever seen on Much was when Ed The Sock interviewed Hugh Dillion from the Headstones. I posted the clip of Hugh VS Ed below…(Interview is after the song) The best is when Hugh says he can’t believe he’s having a “serious discussion with a sock!”

Tons of pics are included with visits of RockStars like Duran Duran/Boy George/Motley Crue/Alice Cooper/Platinum Blonde/Robert Plant. Basically if you were selling records in the 80’s you were on MuchMusic!

Christopher also asks the Vj’s the worst interviews that the VJ’s had and to no one’s surprise Gene and Paul(KISS) make a cameo!/Chris Issak/Mariah Carey/Ramones  to name  a few others are mentioned  among others  but it did not surprise me to see KISS here as they always did the sexual innuendo’s especially with the lady VJ’s! The Best interviews? Well, buy the book folks!

TV shows on Much are talked about like Rap City/Electric Circus /Electric Circus/Mike & Mike’s X-Cellent Cross Canada Adventure The Wedge/Big Ticket and my personal fav The Power Hour which ran from 1984-1991 ( I would always have my VCR set from 4-5 pm every Thursday!)and then was reduced from the power hour to a half hour show. Than again the musical climate was shifting in the early 90’s….watch the clip for a good two  minute flashback below!

Tons of Canadian acts of course are featured with Ward asking them how the impact of video helped them along with their careers! Northern Pikes/Sloan/Honeymoon Suite/Gowan/The Pursuit OF Happiness are just a few of the acts that are covered.

Ward himself talks at detail how his career as Alannah Myles songwriter had taken off in 1990 and how a decision had to be made as to whether to stay on TV or quit and move to Los Angeles to break Myles career in the U.S! It’s a great inside look at the music business on how a new artist can hit it big.

I will add this is a great read almost like a huge 329 page scrap-book of a time we will never ever see again…. But Ward captures it brilliantly!

For us Canucks, MuchMusic was a big part of growing up in the 80’s and Christopher Ward takes us all on journey though the inner workings of the Nations Music Station MuchMusic!

Must own folks!

 

Headstones/Little Army (2017)

So Hugh Dillion and his bunch of Honchos. That being Trent Carr/Tim White and some new hombres Steve Carr / Rick VanDyk and one who goes by the name of  Lyle have pumped out a new 12 Song Album that these guys are calling Little Army. 

Judging by the cover they look like an army of Old Dude Misfits but these ‘Stones still have a enough juice in the tank to Kick Yo Ass!

Just 4 years ago Headstones released the excellent Love & Fury album that even dented into my Top 5 listening for the year 2013 over at Ladano HQ’s! Yeah man it was that good!

So here we are in 2017 at the halfway point of the year and this is a new band(kinda) with a new sound (kinda) and whats for certain is Hugh is still pissed(definitely,not kinda) …. well read on….

So for the first time in Headstones history a second guitarist and a keyboardist are added and to be totally honest with all of you’s out there I kinda(ha) hemmed and hawed about this as that is the one thing I always dug about these guys as they were just a ripping good time 4 piece in your face with a hard smack of Hugh’s right hand smacking you across the side of your noggin attitude thingy…

And now keyboards? Fuck??! But the keys add a texture still buried under Trent and Rick’s guitars but still there for the taking…

Yeah I’m ok with it! Like Hugh cares what this Hillbilly(MYSELF) thinks in Tbay! Ha!

From Kingston Ontario…….Headstones!

Devil’s On Fire opens the album and its Hugh firing actually the whole band is rocking and making a statement to the listeners out there that the Headstones are back so deal with it! Quick uptempo paced tune! Love Dillon’s attitude as by the second verse he sound’s pissed which comes in handy as he can ramp up and blow hell fire into the harmonica so basically if the Devil Is On Fire not too far behind is Hugh and Crew!

The rest of the albums 11 songs follow the same (kinda) blueprint of yesteryear Headstones. But don’t kid yourselves into thinking it’s just another same ol same ol. Nope it’s a kicking good time album. I like the fact that the guitars sound clean not all dirty and distorted out a different sound that is used on Broken  and the title track Little Army in which Hugh loses his shit literally lyrically about the cold hard truth. Mid tempo like burn of a track!

Timbo on the bass and Lyle the  drummer  drive the start of Sunlight Kills The Stars with some psycho like piano playing tag along with Hughs vocals! A different sounding track but make no mistake this is still rock!

For Your Consideration is a buck and 44 second tune. Ripping down the Dillion express and the wheels are coming off. I always liked when the Headstones do this kind of stuff. Short and to the point with a punch in the face added as well! Yee Haw!

Whoah we are now talking! Dead Again is a killer tune that harkens back to the Teeth And Tissue days mixed with a modern twist. ‘Gutless Fuck’ Your sucking the life out of me!” Hollers Hugh and just like that he gets all amped up during the chorus and chills out during the verse! Hughie is in fine form here folks! The days of onstage smoking and spitting may be gone but he still has that edge..

Captain Of The Shit Out Of Luck has to be contender for coolest song title of 2017! The song as well is a straight ahead rocker with more cool harmonica mixed with the guitars make this a mashup of epic proportions. It’s good to see that were at the halfway point of the album and this track and Dead Again keep that vibe going and making you the listener wanting more!

View Form Here takes the previous two shit kicker of tracks and chills out with Steve and his keys keeping pace with Hugh and its a good tune. Give it up as they could have written 12 Smile And Wave tracks but what would that get em? Your right 12 Smile And Waves!

HeadStones go back in the archives as Hugh sings the tale of finding a postcard from 1989 and smoking dope from a corn cob pipe from a place called Kingston. My 5 cents is the fact that this will be the next single or close to it and I can giggle at work when I hear Hugh chime the line”Smoking dope from a corn cob pipe!” when the song is played on the radio. Of course with it being so damn catchy it will probably stick around in my noggin for hours after….Ummmm maybe this isn’t a good thing! Damn it… this is good track. Very autobiographical!

From Kingston were on a road trip with the Headstones and were off to Sunny California ! Well not exactly..,,Hugh kinda sings the tale of one getting caught up cruising around at night in the lights in Los Angeles. Keys drive this tune over the guitars (kinda) and that’s alright as Hugh takes this song over…There is a story here folks!

Oh boy here’s one called Done The Math.  A mix of piano/electric guitars and drums. Hugh sings and kinda talks his way through this tune.  Something about combinations/misdirection and social deceptions! Wowzers….deep!

Don’t Think At All ends the 12 song 39 minute album in typical Headstones fashion. Trent and Rick built this song and combined with the drums this is an end of the album stomper track! Hugh name drops a ton of cities throughout. Hugh is like a singing version of Goggle Maps! Next stop ….Hughs Fist…My Face!

Great Friggin Rock Record!

These guys have never played it safe. Back in the  mid 90’s through to the early 2000’s when Headstones would roll into Tbay these cats did not give a Fuck about anything. Dangerous came to mind as would our fair city be the one to drive Hugh off the cliff. No it never happened but it made going to see them an interesting show as they always delivered live..

So with Little Army they are once again not playing it safe. Doing it how they want and fair enough and seriously man would these guys really care…

That’s what I dig about the Headstones!

Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes/Live At The Greek(2000)

 

Will they or won’t they?  That is the question that is always asked about Led Zeppelin reuniting for shows or a tour since when? Pretty much a  week after Zep Drummer John Bonham passed away back in December of 1980.

Course Zep did the Live reunion album Celebration Day back in 2007 with Bonham’s son on the drums Jason. 

For me though personally If it was to happen the drum stool should be filled by Black Crowes Drummer Steve Gorman!

Let’s rewind a bit back here….

Zep Singer Robert Plant I think maybe not so much now but I recall back around 1990 or so when Robert released the great Manic Nirvana album that year. It was announced that Plant was going to be playing a bunch of Canadian Dates with Winnipeg Manitoba being one of those dates around late September or so.

To get to Winnipeg from Thunder Bay is a 8-9 hour car ride. There is a true story floating around this site that Tbone got us to Winnipeg in just over 5  hours!(True Story)…

Anyhoo….

Myself and Tbone had a decision to make as ZZ Top was in Winnipeg as well around the first part of October.  We decided to skip Plant’s show and go and see ZZ!(review of that show you can find on this site).

Our reasoning was with the massive 4 CD Zep Box set coming out before Christmas that year surely Plant/Jimmy Page/John Paul Jones would rake in a huge total dough payout and play the 50,000 seaters in 1991 right?

Wrong-o! Course it did not happen and Page got frustrated and recorded the pretty cool Coverdale/Page album which irked Plant who just kept doing his solo stuff and so it went….

Gonna happen/Not gonna….until the one-off in 2007…

Too be honest I hope it never happens now but back in the early 90’s I was all for it!

Which leads to this …

So Jimmy takes his Sunburst Gibson Les Paul and hooks up with everyone’s favourite Weed Heads Chris & Rich Robinson along with Steve-o on the Drums/Sven Pipien on Bass/Eddie Harsch (RIP) on keyboards and Audley Freed on guitar.

What you get here is Jimmy and the Crowes covering 13 Zep Tracks and 7 covers over a double disc.

This is a fantastic live album and hey great job by producer Kevin Shirley to mix the three guitars and making it sound cool and distinct!

Celebration Day opens the disc and Gorman flexes his rock muscle on those drums. Steve plays flawlessly throughout the album. Sick Again and the Lemon Song feature some real powerful smashing the skins but Gorman keeps himself in check. He’s a monster live and I can say that as when the Crowes showed up in Tbay back in 93. Gorman played the whole set on a small set of drums with his slick combed back hair,tailored suit and shades! Basically he looked like he just came out of some high-rise  Wall Street building but  keeps an ass kicking beat behind the Robinson Bro’s!

Chris vocally is on the money as well. Taking the gig seriously as well as he should as  he’s singing Plants lyrics! One of Chris’s best vocals is the classic Zep track Hey Hey What Can I Do. That is what is cool about this is at the time there was not too much official Zep Live stuff floating around(of course now there’s all those BBC Sessions and another Box set that was all live stuff). Another highlight is Custard Pie.

A ton of Zep songs are dialed in by these guys and kudos to the Crowes as their music chops are tight on this release. Page flings his brilliance with a nice added touch of the guitars from Rich and Audley never getting in the way.

Some covers as well like Shapes Of Things To Come/Shake Your Money Maker and Tbone’s favourite Sloppy Drunk are CroweFried!

Kudos to Slim Jim as he amped back up along with some Crowes and they  deliver a great live souvenir

 

No Sleep Til Sudbury/Brent Jensen (2014)

 

Not to often I can say I have read the same book 3 times over cover to cover. But when it comes to Brent Jensen’s spin on his life growing up in Sudbury as a teen in the 80’s listening to Metal this book resonated with me on a whole other level and I will tell you all why its been read that many times!

For followers of this Blog(I thank you) you may be asking why now are you reviewing this book as you have already reviewed Brents other two fabulous novels in Leftover People that chronicles and documents Brent’s U.S.A Book promo tour for No Sleep with an American Writer Named Chris Long(Knock Knock) and Brent’s latest book All My Favourite People Are Broken which Brent journeys into the forest(literally) to a cabin with a buddy named Garvey and they put the iPod on random and dissect all kinds of music between them. Both Leftover and Fav People are highly recommended and have both have been reviewed here!

I first came across No Sleep via the Bravewords website and once i read about the fact that some dude basically wrote about the whole genre I grew up to and worshipping all things Metal, I clicked quicker than you can say Dogs D’Amour and No Sleep was delivered straight to my mailbox.

Once I opened the book and seen the Contents and Titles of Chapter 1 – A Shout Out to the Devil as well as Chapter 5- Metallica,Slayer,Raven,and…Dokken? Chapter  6-Living on a Thrash Metal Prayer I knew I would be immersed in this book and it’s safe to say I read it within 2 days. I was hooked never being a junkie this 295 Page Book blew me out of the water and became my needed fix. It wasn’t before too long that I sent Brent an email telling him what I thought of his book and how it basically summed up my musical habits here in Thunder Bay within the same decade that Brent wrote about.

Brent emailed back and Like I have said previously I probably came across as some blabbering lunatic or a fruit loop to be honest  going on how great of a read this book was. I also didn’t want to come across as some ass kisser. (Ha…maybe I did?!) but the damage had been done as Brent had emailed back.( Thanks Brent for not putting a restraining order out on me!)

In the book Brent you can see how music is the foundation of one growing up. You read all about Mr Jensens first concert which was Iron Maiden/Twisted Sister back in December 1984 at the Sudbury Arena. Brent delves into everything about the show on how it wasn’t even marked on their tour program. How Lead Singer Bruce Dickinson said Maiden would come back.(Maiden never did) and you can sense the reason how this show would come full circle for Brent. More on that later!

It’s cool that Brent talks about the next two concerts he seen which was Metallica/Metal Church & Kick Axe? in December of 1986 and Alice Cooper/Sword in 1987 all in Sudbury.

Kerrang the British Metal Magazine had a huge impact on both of us as it was basically written by a bunch of Hooligans who had a real flair on capturing Metal at the time in the roaring 80’s unlike the American Magazines like Circus & Hit Parader which as Brent describes them as ‘Handlers for the Record Company’s”  in other words they just gave hand jobs to get the bands as the articles were bullshit! (ask Axl Rose) Kerrang was real deal  the only knock it was always on import for $5 every two weeks yet the real plus was what you were reading was pretty current.

A ton of bands are reviewed from Brent own cassette collection. You name any band and Brent gives a paragraph or three to them.  Cinderella/Keel/Krokus/Saxon/Tesla/Van Hagar/Danger Danger/Vain/Sleez Beez many more acts are written and explained in detail and how they resonated in Sudbury. Tesla is one band that is written about and you see how it was a long process on how they finally won over Brent.

Must also mention that there is a Top 5 list of song’s Brent never ever wants to hear again. Ha…I can’t divulge all the sordid details now can I?

One of my favourite chapters of the book is titled So Much For Hollywood where it is reviewed when the Blaze Bailey fronted version of Iron Maiden played Hamilton. I won’t say wether its a good review or a bad review but its friggin hilarious! Also in this chapter Brent discusses when old members return to their bands after splitting. One of the best analyzations of this is Aerosmith where Brent writes and I quote him..

“There is Old Aerosmith and there is New Aerosmith. Old Aerosmith is that slutty Jezebel  that would take you upstairs to deliver the groceries at the end of a sloppy late night boozefest. New Aerosmith was the beautiful prom queen with great smelling hair you were proud to bring home to Mom. Both got your rocks off but one cut through the artifice and did it on a much more primal level.”

That paragraph sums up Aero verbatim! Pure Brilliance!  Wish I wrote that!

No Sleep comes Full Circle when Maiden announce there Powerslave 2006 Tour! Once you read this book you will know what I’m talking about here!

Don’t let the title of this book fool ya friends, You can be from anywhere in the world and relate as we are all fans of the genre of music.

Geez,how many dudes from Sudbury can actually say they had the personal emails of Tommy Lee and Wolf Hoffman at one point?

Such a Great Read is No Sleep Easily one of my all time fav’s Get it!

(I must also mention that Brent is now doing a No Sleep Til Sudbury Podcast that you can download on iTunes for free and it’s a great listen as Brent Interviews people in the music industry and just plain music fans on the songs that make there skin vibrate! )

Rock Album, Concert Reviews And The Odd Book Review