Archive for the ‘Rolling Stones’ Category

Protest Songs

November 18, 2007

 

Boss 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know, I like Bruce Springsteen.  I really do.  I have 8 of his albums plus a box set.  I have seen him in concert twice.   I really like Jackson Brown as well.  CSNY, also.  I really enjoy many rockers who write protest songs.  I just picked up the latest Eagles album and there are some on there.  It’s still a good album. 

Well, listening to the Eagles album got me thinking about these songs.  I really don’t mind the generic protest songs.  CSNY have a great song called “Clear Blue Skies”.  Yeah, it’s an environmentalist song but it is still very good.  I am a Patriot by Jackson Brown is another good one.

 I gotta tell ya though…the protest songs I hate are the specific ones.  Neil Young singing “Impeach the President” or “American Skin” by Springsteen just irk me.  Be as general as you want.  Sing about anti-capitalism or wars in general but don’t go singing about pulling our troops our of Iraq or the Rodney King verdict.  What happens then is that 30 years down the road you try listening to that song and it just sounds so lame. 

“Street Fighting Man” by the Stones is a great song that transcends time.  Yeah, it was written about the war in Vietnam but is doesn’t get specific so you can listen to that song and it can apply to any time frame, not just the 60’s. 

Oh, and while we are at it, no one wants to hear you preach at a concert.  Just shut-up and sing.

 

 

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Piano Players

August 20, 2007

Piano 

Mick Jagger does it.  So does Springsteen.  Seger, Sheryl Crow and, I am sure, others do it as well.  It drives me crazy!!!!  It’s nothing but showboating by an artist that just needs to show up to be THE show.  What do they do?  They play the piano.  Take Springsteen for example.  He has the whole E-Street band to back him up which includes a keyboardist.  So, what does Bruce do during one song.  He has the keyboardist step backstage and Bruce goes over and plays the piano for a song.  WHY?  Does the other guy not know that song?  No, it is just to show everyone that he can also play the piano. 

 As I said, Mick does it as well.  They even bring out an extra one for him and he plays along with the regular keyboardist (Chuck Levell). 

 Sure, it’s not a big deal but it still looks so tacky and staged. 

 Anyway, let’s get a moratorium on this!!

The Essence of a band

April 20, 2007

The question here  is: When the “essence” of a band leaves, is it still THAT band.  Take Lynyrd Skynyrd for example.  They are still touring but when Ronnie Van Zant died back in the 70’s, that, for all intents and purposes, ended the band.  The group that is touring now is only Lynyrd Skynyrd by name.  The Marshall Tucker Band is another good example of this.

Van Halen is a puzzler.  When Roth left in 1985, did Van Halen end?  I would argue no.  Roth AND Eddie Van Halen were both the essence of VH.  I would even argue that Eddie more so than Roth was the true essence of the band with his signature guitar playing.  If it was Eddie that left, then IMHO Van Halen would have ended.  I think that VH with Sammy was just as much Van Halen as with Roth, just different.

Take Mick or Keith from the Stones and you no longer have The Rolling Stones.  Brian Jones, Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman make no difference.  These  days though, after over 40 yrs of rocking,  take Charlie out and I don’t think you have the Rolling Stones anymore.  Maybe 10 years ago you would have but not now.

J. Geils Band without Peter Wolf?  Nope.

10,000 Maniacs without Natalie Merchant? No dice

Fleetwood Mac without Christine McVie?  Sure. 

ACDC without Bon Scott?  Sure, esp when they got a guy who sounds exactly like him!

I do like how Queen did it.  Of course Queen without Freddie  Mercury is not really Queen but they wanted to get out and rock some more so they got Paul Rodgers from Bad Company and they called themselves Paul Rodgers + Queen.  Not just Queen. 

Anyway, how about a 30 year moratorium on bands that keep going without their essence?

Hip Hop/Sampling

March 3, 2007

 I love music.  Mostly classic rock but my tastes are pretty varied.  I go from the Rolling Stones to Johnny Cash.  10,000 Maniacs to The New York Dolls.  Buddy Holly, Steely Dan, Alanis Morissette, Warren Zevon, Dusty Springfield, Jerry Lee Lewis, Van Halen, Amy Grant, Bob Seger, Carole King, Harry Connick Jr, Liz Phair, Robert Cray, Ted Nugent, Rebecca St. James, Jewel, U2, Tom Petty and The Who are just a few of the artists I enjoy.  My Ipod has over 2500 song on it from a huge variety of artists.   I don’t listen to much new music out there.  I am mostly stuck in the 60’s and 70’s however there are a few “new” groups or artists that I like.  Sheryl Crow, Foo Fighters, The Ataris to name a few.  However, as you can see, even some of those are over 10 years old in terms of being new.  There are a few reasons I like these groups.  One is they play old school music – loud guitars with hook riffs, rocking drums and great lyrics.  Another is they write their own music which cannot be said of many of these Hip Hop stars.   Where has all the original music gone? 

What do the Beastie Boys, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mike Oldfield and Erasure have in common?  They all use Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” intro in their songs.  “Funky Cold Medina”   by Tone Lōc samples no less than 5 songs from classic rock artists.  Will Smith is given all these awards and accolades yet the majority of his hit songs are just samples.  He sampled the Clash song “Rock the Casbah” in his song Will2K and is praised for producing some new and great party jam song.  Give me a break!  These slackers ran out of original ideas long ago so they had to go and get some good songs and sample them.   If you get permission to sample one of these songs, that is fine but please don’t go and call yourself creative.

Speaking of permission, many of these flunkies don’t even get permission but just out and out steal.  Many artists of the original song don’t bother to pursue it legally but some do. The Rolling Stones are very litigious and protective when it comes to their music and well they should be.  They spent the time and effort to write the original song and then some slacker comes along and just steals it out from under them.  When the Stones wrote “Anybody seen my Baby?” they noticed that it sounded a lot like “Constant Craving” by K.d. Lang.  They immediately gave her a song writing credit on the album.   They didn’t try to make up excuses or anything. 

My wife put it well in that when you hear a new song on the radio, many times you think you like the song but you probably are just hearing the original song in the background and THAT is what you really like. 

 Here are some quotes from some of these hacks:

“Cutting and pasting is the essence of what hip-hop culture is all about for me. It’s about drawing from what’s around you, and subverting it and decontextualizing it.” —DJ Shadow

“I can take a Led Zeppelin drum loop, put a Lou Donaldson horn on it, add a Joni Mitchell guitar, then get a Crosby, Stills & Nash vocal riff.” —Prince Be 

“Sampling’s not a lazy man’s way. We learn a lot from sampling, it’s like school for us. When we sample a portion of a song and repeat it over and over we can better understand the matrix of the song.” —Daddy-O

And the winner for the most intellectual and genius quote is………

“Sampling artistry is a very misunderstood form of music. A lot of people think sampling is thievery but it can take more time to find the right sample than to make up a riff.” —Prince Be

It’s a form of music???  Hey! Mr. Prince!  What these original artists do is called WORK!  It’s called creativity.  What you do is just plain lazy.

I’m sitting here and listening to The Who “Love, reign o’er me”.  What a great, original song.  Classic!!  I never get tired of that song and it’s 30 years old!!!!  Townshend wrote that song when he was in his 20’s!  That is talent!  Prince Be, Willie and Puffy could only hope to write a song that good.

Now, can we please get a moratorium on any new song that includes a sampled song?  Also, please don’t give any awards to these hacks either.  The last thing they need is to be given accolades for “Best new song” when the song actually has samples in it from 40 years ago!!

Frivolous, Ridiculous and Stupid Lawsuits

January 25, 2007

I think everyone can agree this ranks up there as something that must be stopped.  Suing people and companies is quite old but recently, within the past 20 years, it has simply gotten out of control.  I found a great site that lists many of these stupid ones.

A few examples:

  • Due to 28 seconds of turbulence on an American Airlines flight in 1995, some passengers are $2 million richer.
  • A store worker in WV got 2.2 million after she injured her back opening a jar of pickles.
  • Bill Wyman, formerly of the Rolling Stones sued a man who for using his name.  Problems is, this guy was BORN Bill Wyman.  The Bill Wyman who was a Rolling Stone was born with the name William George Perks and just adopted the stage name of Wyman.
  • A man was  found naked and dead on the back of a Killer Whale at SeaWorld.  Guess he snuck past security.  Anyway, his parents are suing saying that the Whale was portrayed as a lovable stuffed toy and not the killer it is.
  • McDonalds…hot coffee…’nuff said

Ok…I think we all can agree we need a permanent moratorium on these sort of suits…either that or get some Judges in office who were actually born with a brain and know when to throw this sort of junk out.

Rolling Stones

January 23, 2007

Mick

Yes.  They are old.  We know that.  They have been rocking for 45 years strong and show no signs of stopping.  Each tour they continue to show they truly are the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the WORLD.  Did I point out they are old and we know that?  Since we all know that, let’s have a nice 45 year moratorium on old jokes.  They are, pardon the pun, getting old.  Especially from people who are of similar age themselves. You know, I thought they were funny as well….but they are OLD.  If I kept telling you the same joke every year, would it get better? 

I could understand if they couldn’t perform anymore or sounded horrible or looked…well…they don’t really look that good anymore, I will admit that but they do still look cool.  Anyway, if they could no longer perform, fine, I would welcome more jokes but they can still rock better then many of the young punks out there.