Saturday, March 17, 2018

Song Of The Week: 3/18/18

Song: "Rearviewmirror"

Artist: Pearl Jam

Album: "July 3rd 2003 Mansfield, MA" bootleg

Year: 2003

Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington

Years Active: 1990 - present


"Rearviewmirror" is a song about gathering up the courage and strength to finally get away from an abuser. Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder has said that he feels like the song is being sung from a car and driving as far away from a bad situation as you can get. The song has a connection to the song "Daughter", both studio versions are featured on the 1993 Pearl Jam album "VS". One key line in "Daughter" is when Eddie sings "the shades go down". In that song, the abuse is being hidden and the person feels trapped by the situation. In "Rearviewmirror", Eddie counters with "finally the shades are raised". Hence, the person has finally decided to get out of the abusive situation and get as far away from it as they can. This version I chose for my song of the week was performed live in Mansfield, MA on July 3, 2003. A show I was at!!

PEARL JAM DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1991 - Ten (Epic Records)
1993 - VS (Epic Records)
1994 - Vitalogy (Epic Records)
1996 - No Code (Epic Records)
1998 - Yield (Epic Records)
1998 - Live On Two Legs (Epic Records)
2000 - Binaural (Epic Records)
2002 - Riot Act (Epic Records)
2003 - Lost Dogs (Epic Records)
2004 - Live At Benaroya Hall (BMG Records)
2006 - Pearl Jam (J Records)
2009 - Backspacer (Monkeywrench/Universal Music Group)
2011 - Live On Ten Legs (Universal Music Group)
2013 - Lightning Bolt (Monkeywrench Records)
2017 - Let's Play Two (Republic Records)


Pearl Jam came from the ashes of Mother Love Bone and exploded on the Seattle music scene in 1990. The band's debut album "Ten" is a landmark album which has been certified diamond. What does that mean? It means that album has sold massively worldwide! It also propelled the band to superstardom, almost before they knew what had hit them. At the forefront of the grunge explosion of the early 90's, along with bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, Pearl Jam kept the heat on with their next two releases, 1993's "VS" and 1994's "Vitalogy". The pressures of being that big, that fast began to weigh on the band, especially vocalist Eddie Vedder and the band made a conscious effort to start pulling back the reigns. No more videos and less media obligations. They also did a 180 on their next album, "No Code". This was a much softer, more experimental side of the band and really an effort to change it up musically. Battles with Ticketmaster and going into a shell of sorts began to alienate the band from some of it's fans. The band itself was having some inner struggles and wondering if they were even going to co-exist much longer. Luckily, 1998's "Yield" was a return to form for the band. It also marked a full band collaboration whereas Vedder really took over creative reigns on "Vitalogy" and "No Code". From this album on, every band member would contribute to all future Pearl Jam releases. The early 2000's were a bit of a weird time for the band. "Binaural" and "Riot Act" were both good albums but seemed to be lacking something. The band also began offerering their bootlegs from every show available at this time, beginning with the "Binaural" world tour. Their bootlegs continue to be offered through their website to this day. This period also marked the biggest tragedy that the band was a part of, the 2000 Roskilde tragedy where 9 of their fans were trampled to death during their performance. In 2006, the country was becoming more and more split over the actions of the Bush administration post-9/11. The scene was ripe for a band like Pearl Jam to get their creative juices flowing and write what is perhaps their most political album yet, the self-titled "Pearl Jam", sometimes referred to as "Avocado". This album was a breath of fresh air to me. Urgent and hard hitting, an album with a definitive purpose. 2009's "Backspacer" is probably the band's most positive and fun album. The band's most recent effort was 2013's "Lightning Bolt". This album proved that Pearl Jam is still relevant in an ever-evolving music scene. The band also released a live album/dvd in the fall of 2017 called "Let's Play Two", which chronicles the band's two performances at historic Wrigley Field in Chicago in 2016. More good news out of the Pearl Jam camp in 2018 is along with a tour of South America and some stadium dates in the United States, the band also released a brand new single in March titled "Can't Deny Me". The song is said to be part of a brand spankin' new studio album that could be released later this year! Pearl Jam's sound is a culmination of a slew of influences from The Who, The Ramones, Kiss, Neil Young, Dead Kennedys, Pink Floyd and many, many more! Of the 4 major grunge bands to emerge from the early 90's, Pearl Jam's sound always commanded arena crowds. Their music is powerful. Their lyrics personal and emotional. They have influenced hundreds of rock bands who came after them. They are equally comfortable playing arena anthems ("Alive"), acoustic ballads ("Elderly Woman"), punk influenced hardcore ("Mind Your Manners") and groove laced stompers ("Evenflow"). The band takes more time between albums as they tend to focus more time on their growing families as well as keeping busy with solo and side projects, but they always get back together to tour all over the world and their shows are always epic and must see performances that rival Springsteen and the Grateful Dead. I'd say they are overdue for a new album. Perhaps the band will be inspired by their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2017 or the current political turmoil in the United States and drop another aggressive album with a purpose!


1. Alive
2. Release
3. Yellow Ledbetter
4. Corduroy
5. Rearviewmirror
6. Go
7. Given To Fly
8. Not For You
9. In My Tree
10. Light Years

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Song Of The Week: 3/11/18

Song: "My Wall"

Artist: Ten Foot Pole

Album: "Rev"

Year: 1994

Place Of Origin: Simi Valley, California

Years Active: 1993 - present


"My Wall" appears to be a song about trying to suppress the youth's creativity and individuality, especially in the form of street art or graffiti. Those who build the department stores and plaster their windows with advertisements look at the kids with the spray paint as a nuissance and degraders of property. But really, who is the one that is ultimately degrading the property? Where once was green grass is now a paved parking lot. Where once there were trees is now a mall. The young punk spray painting underneath bridges had nothing to do with that but, they have the money so they make the rules.

TEN FOOT POLE DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1993 - Swill (Ten Foot Records)
1994 - Rev (Epitaph Records)
1996 - Unleashed (Epitaph Records)
1998 - Insider (Epitaph Records)
2002 - Bad Mother Trucker (Victory Records)
2004 - Subliminable Messages (Go-Kart Records)
2017 - Setlist (Cyber Tracks Records)


Ten Foot Pole formed as a band back in 1993 in southern California, but their roots date back to a band called Scared Straight. That band featured Scott Radinsky on vocals and Dennis Jagard on guitar. After going through line-up changes and not wanting to get lumped in to the straight-edge scene with a name like Scared Straight, the band changed their name to Ten Foot Pole. After self-releasing "Swill" in 1993, the band hooked up with legendary punk label Epitaph Records and dropped "Rev" in 1994. At this point, the band felt like they were gaining steam, especially with the punk rock resurgence happening in music at the time. The problem was that Radinsky's first priority was being a Major League Baseball pitcher and the band would have to work around that. Ultimately, the band and Radinsky decided to part ways and Jagard would take over vocal duties along with playing guitar. The first album featuring Jagard on vocals would be 1996's "Unleashed". This was a solid album but it definitely took some time for the band's hardcore fans to get used to Jagard singing the songs. Scotty Radz had a much more powerful voice. 1998's "Insider" would be Ten Foot Pole's last album with Epitaph Records. The video for the song "The Getaway" did get some pub on alternative video shows. The band signed on with Victory Records for their fifth release, "Bad Mother Trucker" in 2002. I saw this as kind of a down album for the band. But, the 2004 album, "Subliminable Messages", was awesome! I felt that Jagard finally felt comfortable on vocals on this album and he sounded strong. Ten Foot Pole was probably at it's low by the time "Subliminable Messages" was released but in my mind, this is the band's best album to date. After this album, however, Ten Foot Pole went on a long hiatus. Though they never disbanded. They popped up to play a few shows here and there between 2009 and 2015 but new releases were non-existent. In 2017 however, Ten Foot Pole released the album "Setlist". This was basically a compilation of new renditions of old songs and also featured a few new tracks as well. Ten Foot Pole is one of many southern California punk bands that mix skate punk with a little hardcore. For similar artists, I would say Strung Out, No Use For A Name, Lagwagon, 88 Fingers Louie and of course, Pulley. Pulley, for those that don't know, is the band that Scott Radinsky formed soon after he was let go from Ten Foot Pole. Awesome band!! For me? Ten Foot Pole never rose to the status of a No Use or a Lagwagon or a Pulley. They always seemed like a secondary band to those. But that doesn't mean they aren't pretty damn good. Maybe this "Setlist" album they just dropped is giving the band the creative juices to get back in the studio and drop a proper new album in the near future. I know Jagard is pretty set working in the industry as a sound engineer, but perhaps he has enough free time to work on new TFP material. Fingers crossed!!


1. Wake Up (And Smell The Fascism)
2. The Getaway
3. My Wall
4. Seven
5. A.D.D.
6. Kicked Out Of Kindergarten
7. Broken Bubble
8. Scars
9. Armchair Quarterback
10. Plastic

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Song Of The Week: 3/4/18

Song: "Killing Floor"

Artist: Jimi Hendrix

Album: "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" box set

Year: 2000

Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington

Years Active: 1963 - 1970


"Killing Floor" is a classic Chicago electric blues song that was written by and originally performed by Howlin' Wolf in 1964. The version I chose for my song of the week is covered by the legendary Jimi Hendrix, who performed the song live many times, especially early in his musical career. The Hendrix version is much faster and more ferocious than the Howlin' Wolf version and Jimi would often make "Killing Floor" the opener in his early sets. The song itself is based on a true story. One of Howlin' Wolf's seven wives had found women's clothing on his tour bus. Next time she saw him, she fired a shotgun at him and he was hit with buckshot. Basically, he was saying that he should have gotten out of this messed up relationship long before it got to that crazy point where the woman is trying to end his life!!

JIMI HENDRIX DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1967 - Are You Experienced (Reprise Records)
1967 - Axis: Bold As Love (Reprise Records)
1968 - Electric Ladyland (Reprise Records)
1970 - Band Of Gypsys (Capitol Records)

*After Jimi Hendrix died, there were a slew of post-humous releases, some good, some bad. Producer Eddie Kramer and drummer Mitch Mitchell finally got the chance in 1997 to make what they felt would have been Jimi's proper fourth studio album when they put together "First Rays Of The New Rising Sun". There are several other compilations and live releases that are out there but I would say "First Rays" is the definitive one to get.


Born in Seattle, Washington, Jimi Hendrix began playing guitar at the age of 15. After a brief stint in the military, he moved to Tennessee. After performing in several bands, he got a gig as the guitarist for the Isley Brothers and later worked with Little Richard. Jimi, however, was getting sick of just being in a backing band and had visions of being bigger than that. He moved to New York and formed a band called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. At one of his performances, Linda Keith, girlfriend of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, told Chas Chandler of Animals fame to come and see Hendrix perform. Chandler had Jimi's ticket. And that ticket was to go to England. While in England, Chandler helped Hendrix form a band, The Experience, with Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. Before The Experience even had an album out, Hendrix convinced Eric Clapton to let him join Cream on stage to which Clapton agreed. Hendrix jammed with them on a ripping rendition of Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" that literally blew Clapton away. In 1967, The Experience dropped their first album, "Are You Experienced". The album took off in England, with top singles like "Purple Haze", "Hey Joe" and "The Wind Cries Mary". Jimi's success in the States took a bit longer. It wasn't until his masterful performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival that Jimi became a legend. His blistering set ended with what Jimi described as sacrificing the thing he loved when he set his guitar ablaze. It's an iconic moment in rock and roll history for sure. When Jimi dropped his second album, "Axis: Bold As Love", he wanted to continue being creative in the studio but felt cramped by time constrictions and an ever growing studio expense. This led Jimi to think about creating his own studio which he would in 1970, called Electric Lady Studios. For the recording of "Electric Ladyland" the album, the relationship between Jimi and Chas Chandler was basically on the outs. Chandler stepped down as producer on that album and Jimi handled the board with the help of Eddie Kramer. "Electric Ladyland" was Jimi's most experimental album to date and it also featured his first top 40 hit, a cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower". "Electric Ladyland" was also Jimi's only album to reach #1 on the charts. The Experience as a band was beginning to falter however. Redding would eventually quit and Mitchell was eased out. Jimi began performing with Buddy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums in what Hendrix would call the Band of Gypsys. This band would release a live album to fulfill an old record deal which featured the epic "Machine Gun". All the songs on that album were recorded from four different shows at the Fillmore East in New York. By January of 1970, the Band of Gypsys were no more and the plan was to reunite The Experience. Hendrix, however, decided against bringing back Noel Redding and the band moved on with Mitchell on drums and Buddy Cox on bass. Sporadically, Jimi was working on new material for his fourth studio album. He only spent four days at his newly designed Electric Lady Studios before having to depart to England. In those four days, he recorded the song "Night Bird Flying". Jimi was not too happy to be touring in Europe at this time and longed to create music in his new studio. The tour was marred with bad performances and cancellations. Jimi's last concert was performed on September 6, 1970 at the Isle of Fehmarn Festival in Germany. The band travelled back to London after that show. Jimi's last public performance would be when he jumped on stage to jam with Eric Burdon and his new band War at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho. Jimi would die less than 48 hours after this jam session. On September 18, 1970, Jimi's girlfriend at the time, Monika Dannemann, woke up to find Jimi breathing, but unresponsive. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead about an hour and a half after she called emergency. Autopsy results showed that Jimi Hendrix aspirated his own vomit and died of asphyxia while intoxicated with barbiturates. At just 27 years old, Jimi Hendrix had left this world. Jimi Hendrix is a virtuoso in every sense of the word. He changed the way electric guitar would be played. Before Hendrix, guitarists used to try to avoid feedback. Hendrix embraced it. Hendrix was innovative when it came to incorporating wah pedals and phase pedals. Hendrix could be as gritty a blues player as there ever was yet he could play beautiful, rhythm and blues at the same time. He could go psychedelic or he could stomp you with the heaviest of hard rock songs. He was an innovator, a genius and a musical mastermind. Rock and roll history would not be complete without some of Jimi's signature moments. Stealing the stage from a legend like Eric Clapton at a Cream show. Setting the bar as high as it can go with his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. Playing Sgt. Pepper's live at a show in which Beatles members Paul McCartney and George Harrison were in attendance. Sgt. Pepper's came out just 3 days before that performance and Jimi nailed it! Closing the infamous Woodstock Festival in 1969 with a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner with enough feedback to make it sound like rockets were blasting across the morning sky! Jimi Hendrix is a legend. The greatest rock guitarist ever! It's amazing how big his impact is on rock and roll when you consider most of his material was created in a four year span. It makes you wonder how much more Jimi had to offer and what other creative grounds he could have broken if he had not died so young.


1. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
2. Purple Haze
3. All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan cover)
4. Little Wing
5. Fire
6. Red House
7. Castles Made Of Sand
8. Bold As Love
9. Highway Chile
10. Like A Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan cover)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Song Of The Week: 2/25/18

Song: "Anyone For Tennis"

Artist: Cream

Album: "Anyone For Tennis" single

Year: 1968

Place Of Origin: London, England

Years Active: 1966 - 1968


"Anyone For Tennis" is really a juxtaposition of a song. The song is actually a scathing commentary of the Vietnam War, specifically how the governments lie and portray an image that is far from reality. Reality was that the war was horrific, to both sides yet the government was trying to spread positivity through messages of victory. The juxtaposition is in how the song was written and sung. It's performed as a happy song with catchy melody and poetic lyrics but those lyrics are quite dark, contrasting the happy melody. "Anyone For Tennis" is Eric Clapton tapping his inner Beatles or Grateful Dead. The song was recorded during the sessions for Cream's 1968 album "Wheels Of Fire" but didn't make the album, instead released as a single.

CREAM DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1966 - Fresh Cream (Reaction Records)
1967 - Disraeli Gears (Reaction Records)
1968 - Wheels Of Fire (Polydor Records)
1969 - Goodbye (Polydor Records)
1970 - Live Cream (Polydor Records)
1972 - Live Cream Volume II (Polydor Records)
2003 - BBC Sessions (Polydor Records)
2005 - Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6 2005 (Reprise Records)


Cream was a supergroup formed back in 1966 in London, England. They got their name because all the members were hailed as the "cream of the crop" when it came to performers. Those members included Eric Clapton on guitar and vocals, Jack Bruce on bass and vocals and Ginger Baker on drums. Each member contributed to the songwriting of the band. Cream released their debut album in 1966, titled "Fresh Cream". This album would reach #6 on the U.K. charts. The band's next album, 1967's "Disraeli Gears", would be a top 5 albums on both sides of the Atlantic. This album featured monster singles in "Strange Brew", "Tales Of Brave Ulysses" and "Sunshine Of Your Love". The band's third album, 1968's "Wheels Of Fire" would be the very first platinum selling double album. It featured the mega hits "White Room" and "Crossroads". Though Cream was very successful and hailed as one of the best and most important acts of the late 60's, tensions were rising to the surface within the band, mostly because of the tenuous relationship between Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. It got to the point where the tensions were affecting the band's live performances and after a farewell tour of the United States and two shows at London's Royal Albert Hall, the group decided to call it quits in late 1968. The band did record enough material to put out one last album as well, 1969's "Goodbye", which features the song "Badge" which George Harrison of The Beatles co-wrote with Eric Clapton. Post break-up, Cream released four live albums, "Live Cream" and "Live Cream Volume II" focused on the performances in the 60's. 2003's "BBC Sessions" was recordings of their performances at London's famous BBC. and in 2005, the band reunited for four performances at London's Royal Albert Hall which were recorded and released as a live cd/dvd package. The band also reunited for a few shows at New York's Madison Square Garden in 2005, but those shows were marred with some of the same problems that basically destroyed the band back in 1968. The only other time the band performed together was at their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. On October 25, 2014, bassist Jack Bruce died due to complications of liver disease thus closing the book on Cream forever. Cream was a juggernaut! Though they were a band for only two years, they left a lasting impact on rock and roll music. Though based in American blues, Cream did branch out in other genres, including some psychedelic rock. The band was volatile however. Bruce and Baker just couldn't see eye to eye and Clapton wasn't happy about drifting away from the blues which was really his calling. In their short time, they managed to influence the future of rock and roll. Led Zeppelin was clearly influenced by Cream and the legendary Jimi Hendrix was a huge fan of the band and specifically the guitar playing of Eric Clapton. In fact, Cream and Hendrix really were the originators of incorporating the wah-wah pedal in rock music. Cream proved that a power trio could sound huge! Selling more than 15 million albums worldwide, Cream is most definitely one of the greatest rock and roll acts of all time!


1. Strange Brew
2. Crossroads (Robert Johnson cover)
3. Tales Of Brave Ulysses
4. Sunshine Of Your Love
5. White Room
6. I Feel Free
7. Badge
8. Anyone For Tennis
9. Sitting On Top Of The World (Mississippi Sheiks cover)
10. Spoonful (Willie Dixon cover)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Song Of The Week: 2/18/18

Song: "Telling Them"

Artist: Social Distortion

Album: "Live At The Roxy"

Year: 1998

Place Of Origin: Fullerton, California

Years Active: 1978 - present


"Telling Them" is a song that appears to be about the pent up anger and frustration of a young punk! To put it bluntly, it's about not giving a fuck! About rules. About what your parents say or think. This is an anti-establishment song. The only place the vocalist feels alive is with his punk friends at the punk shows. I believe this is autobiographical Mr. Ness! The version of "Telling Them" I chose for my song of the week is a live version from the band's 1998 album "Live At The Roxy". If you want to check out the original, you can find it on Social Distortion's debut album, 1983's "Mommy's Little Monster".

SOCIAL DISTORTION DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1983 - Mommy's Little Monster (13th Floor Records)
1988 - Prison Bound (Restless Records)
1990 - Social Distortion (Epic Records)
1992 - Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell (Epic Records)
1995 - Mainliner: Wreckage From The Past (Time Bomb Records)
1996 - White Light, White Heat, White Trash (Epic Records)
1998 - Live At The Roxy (Time Bomb Records)
2004 - Sex, Love And Rock 'n' Roll (Time Bomb Records)
2011 - Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes (Epitaph Records)


Social Distortion is an Orange County, California punk band that got it's start back in 1978. The constant in the band is chief songwriter and guitarist Mike Ness. The original incarnation of the band featured Rick Agnew, Frank Agnew and Casey Royer who would leave Social D. to help form the Adolescents. Around this time, Ness also met Dennis Danell. Danell was originally the bass player but very soon switched to guitar. Ness and Danell were the two constants in the band right up to Danell's death in 2000. Besides those two, the band has been basically a revolving door of members. Social Distortion's first release would be the single "Mainliner/Playpen" in 1981. The first full length album would be 1983's "Mommy's Little Monster". Following this album, Mike Ness began to develop a pretty serious drug habit. Finding himself in several rehabs and at times in jail, by 1985, he became serious to kick his habit and gain some control of his life and his musical career. 1988's "Prison Bound" began to show the influences Johnny Cash and The Rolling Stones had on Ness. The mixture of punk, country and blues began to be termed "cowpunk". Signed by major label Epic Records in 1989, Social D.'s self-titled album in 1990 really put the band on the map. The singles "Story Of My Life", "Ball And Chain" and the Johnny Cash cover "Ring Of Fire" became instant classics and really caught buzz on the college radio scene. 1992's "Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell" continued with that punk/rock-a-billy style but 1996's "White Light, White Heat, White Trash" would be Social Distortion's heaviest effort. This album brought the hammer and featured one of the band's biggest singles, "I Was Wrong". In what would be a recurring theme, the time between Social Distortion albums would start getting longer and longer. In the 8 years from the release of "White Light..." and 2004's "Sex, Love And Rock'n'Roll", Ness would release two solo, country/folk albums, a live Social D. record would be released and tragedy would strike the band when long time member Dennis Danell passed away on February 29, 2000. Many of the songs on "Sex, Love And Rock'n'Roll" were written about Danell including "Don't Take Me For Granted" which is just a total kick ass song. Again, it would take 7 years until their next record, 2011's "Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes". For this album, Social D. hooked up with long time, iconic punk rock label Epitaph Records. Though the band has long layoffs between albums lately, that doesn't mean that they are not putting themselves out there. Social Distortion is constantly touring and unlike most bands, they do not shy away from playing new material live, well before the songs see an official release. Ness has said that the band is very comfortable doing this as it let's him know what songs cause the best reactions from fans. The most recent news is that the band is in pre-production for a new album but a lot of the material is in it's infancy stage, so perhaps a new Social Distortion album in summer/fall of 2018? Social Distortion is really the innovators of the punk rock/punk-a-billy/cowpunk style. Their sound kind of covers many generations of music. Their base sound is punk rock, but you can hear elements of 50's rock and roll and country, 60's blues inspired rock, 70's glam rock, 80's hardcore punk and 90's more melodic punk. They mesh these styles so effortlessly in their sound. Social D. has become one of the better selling punk bands out there. They are accepted and respected by other musicians I believe because of their originality. They really don't sound like anyone else. Their sound is their own and that's pretty impressive in and of itself. Social D. makes great songs, great albums and are incredible when they perform live. In my mind, one of the best bands around, and not just punk bands, all genres. One of the best.


1. Story Of My Life
2. Machine Gun Blues
3. Prison Bound
4. I Was Wrong
5. Don't Take Me For Granted
6. California (Hustle and Flow)
7. Far Behind
8. Under My Thumb (Rolling Stones cover)
9. Ring Of Fire (Johnny Cash cover)
10. When She Begins

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Song Of The Week: 2/11/18

Song: "Regeneration"

Artist: Stone Temple Pilots

Album: "Shangri-La Dee Da"

Year: 2001

Place Of Origin: San Diego, California

Years Active: 1989 - present


"Regeneration" is a song that appears to be about media lies. Specifically, STP frontman Scott Weiland is calling out media outlets for basically declaring him dead, or soon to be dead, most likely because of his past drug abuse. At the time STP were writing "Shangri-La Dee Da", Weiland was done serving prison time do to drugs, had sobered up, created a family and was ready to record new music and tour with his bandmates. The irony of the song is that eventually, the media turned out to be right and Weiland died of a mixture of alcohol, pills and cocaine in 2015.

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1992 - Core (Atlantic Records)
1994 - Purple (Atlantic Records)
1996 - Tiny Music...Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop (Atlantic Records)
1999 - No. 4 (Atlantic Records)
2001 - Shangri-La Dee Da (Atlantic Records)
2010 - Stone Temple Pilots (Atlantic Records)
2018 - Stone Temple Pilots (Altantic Records) *March release date


Originally called Mighty Joe Young, Stone Temple Pilots formed as a band back in 1989. Featuring vocalist Scott Weiland, bassist Robert DeLeo, guitarist Dean DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz, the band began trying to be heard in the San Diego music scene. With the Seattle grunge movement on the verge of exploding, Atlantic Records was quick to sign STP. In 1992, they released their debut album "Core". Behind the hit singles "Plush", "Wicked Garden", "Sex Type Thing" and "Creep", this album would go on to achieve 8X Platinum status! The band's next album, 1994's "Purple" was another juggernaut, achieving 6X Platinum status and featuring the singles "Interstate Love Song", "Vasoline" and "Big Empty". You also felt that frontman Scott Weiland was really finding his voice on this album. I always felt "Core" was the band trying their best to be "grunge" when in reality, they were not grunge. In fact, they were more L.A. glam rock than grunge. Their third album, "Tiny Music...Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop", proved this even more. Another platinum selling album featuring songs like "Big Bang Baby", "Lady Picture Show" and "Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart". In 1999, the band dropped an album that brought back some of that heavier edge of "Core" with the release of "No. 4". This would be the band's last platinum album. 2001's "Shangri-La Dee Da" saw a dramatic drop in record sales compared to the band's previous four efforts. There were also heightening tensions in the band, mostly related to the on again off again drug problems of Weiland that always seemed to cause instability within the band. This began a six year hiatus for STP from 2002 till 2008. During those years, Weiland went on to form a supergroup with members of Guns N' Roses called Velvet Revolver and the DeLeo brothers formed a short-lived group with Filter frontman Richard Patrick called Army Of Anyone. In 2008, Velvet Revolver and Army Of Anyone pretty much dissolved and the members of STP decided to give it another shot. After playing some festival shows, the band recorded their sixth studio album, "Stone Temple Pilots" and released it in 2010. The band had big plans for the 10th anniversary of "Core" including reissues, coffee books and a possible DVD, but tensions again started to frustrate the band. In 2013, things came to a head and Scott Weiland was fired from the band. This in turn led to several lawsuits as to who actually owned the name of the band, eventually settling with the DeLeo brothers and Kretz maintaining the moniker. Weiland in turn formed a new band called The Wildabouts and basically did his own 10 year anniversary of "Core" tour to celebrate that album. Meanwhile, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington joined STP for the recording of a new EP, called "High Rise" and a subsequent tour. On November 9, 2015, Bennington announced he was leaving STP in order to focus on his main project Linkin Park. A little less than a month later, on December 3, 2015, Scott Weiland was found dead on his tour bus while on tour with The Wildabouts. Give it to the remaining three members of STP, these guys are resilient. They've been through a lot in their musical career and they keep moving forward. In 2017, Chester Bennington committed suicide. You would think the DeLeo brothers and Kretz would just throw their hands up and feel like this band was just not meant to sustain but eventually they brought in Jeff Gutt to be their new vocalist, winning the spot after the band received a slew of tryouts. The band, with their new singer, released their first song together called "Meadow" which will be featured on the band's upcoming second self-titled album which will hit stores in March of 2018. Stone Temple Pilots are a rock solid band. They got some slack early on for being grunge rip offs but make no mistake, they are their own band and they are far from rip offs. They weren't as gloomy as their grunge contemporaries. In fact, they were much more glam and progressive. Their influences show in many of their songs. You could hear The Doors, David Bowie, Sex Pistols, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick and Nirvana in their sound. Obviously, Scott Weiland is a huge part of the band's sound and style. While Bennington and now Gutt are good, Weiland was and is the voice of this band. It's going to be tough for the remaining guys to contribute lyrically to this band now that Scott is gone because his lyrics are such a big part of who Stone Temple Pilots are. But i'm willing to give the new guy a shot because musically, the sound is still there. The STP sound is unescapable when these guys get together. Gutt's vocals are eerily similar to that of Scott's. Hopefully, the lyrics can at least come close.


1. Interstate Love Song
2. Plush
3. Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart
4. Big Bang Baby
5. Sour Girl
6. Big Empty
7. Down
8. Out Of Time
9. Hollywood Bitch
10. Between The Lines

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Song Of The Week: 2/4/18

Song: "Hey Hey What Can I Do"

Artist: Led Zeppelin

Album: "Immigrant Song" single

Year: 1970

Place Of Origin: London, England

Years Active: 1968 - 1980


"Hey Hey What Can I Do" is a song that appears to be about a man who wants a relationship with a girl he adores, but she's not quite ready to commit. The man values tradition when it comes to a relationship. The woman is all about playing the field and is not about to settle down with anyone. At the end, the man sees that he is not going to have her without sharing her so he decides to move on. How good was Led Zeppelin? "Hey Hey What Can I Do" is a b-side, not making any of their albums!! Most bands would kill to have this song as their biggest hit!! For Zep, a b-side!!

LED ZEPPELIN DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1969 - Led Zeppelin (Atlantic Records)
1969 - Led Zeppelin II (Atlantic Records)
1970 - Led Zeppelin III (Atlantic Records)
1971 - Led Zeppelin IV (Atlantic Records)
1973 - Houses Of The Holy (Atlantic Records)
1975 - Physical Graffiti (Swan Song Records)
1976 - The Song Remains The Same (Swan Song Records)
1976 - Presence (Swan Song Records)
1979 - In Through The Out Door (Swan Song Records)
1982 - Coda (Swan Song Records)
1997 - BBC Sessions (Atlantic Records)
2003 - How The West Was Won (Atlantic Records)
2012 - Celebration Day (Atlantic Records)


Formed in 1968 out of the ashes of The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin signed a deal with Atlantic Records before the label even saw the band play. Atlantic also gave Zeppelin total creative freedom when it came to recording their music. With the release of their debut self-titled album in 1969, Led Zeppelin took blues driven songs, amped them up, and gave them a heavy bottom, thanks to the drumming of John Bonham. In the very same year, Zeppelin released "Led Zeppelin II". Recorded during breaks from touring, "Led Zeppelin II" is an iconic album. From the opening riff of "Whole Lotta Love" to the fiery "Bring It On Home" to close out the album, "Zeppelin II" would mark the first time a Zeppelin record would reach #1 on the Billboard charts. It would not be the last however. In fact, the next six studio albums that Zeppelin would release would hit #1. 1970's "Led Zeppelin III" showed a departure in style and the diversity the band had. This album almost had a folksy feel at times, featuring more acoustic guitars on the majority of songs. Then there was 1971. An album with no title, most often called "Led Zeppelin IV" by fans, exploded on the music scene. This album incorporated heavy songs like the first two albums and some acoustic tracks like "Zeppelin III". Side 1 says it all. "Black Dog", "Rock And Roll", "The Battle Of Evermore" and "Stairway To Heaven"!! Are you shitting me?!! And Side 2 is no slouch either with tracks like "Going To California" and "When The Levee Breaks". This album is closing in on reaching 3X Diamond status!! What does that mean? That's almost 40 million sold!! Zeppelin was officially the king of the hard rock mountain at this time. The band's next two albums, 1973's "Houses Of The Holy" and 1975's "Physical Graffiti" have also achieved Diamond status, over 10 million sold for each. Injuries suffered during a car accident made it virtually impossible for lead singer Robert Plant to tour after "Physical Graffiti" was released so the band put out a video and album titled "The Song Remains The Same", highlighting live performances and behind the scenes footage featuring all the band members. While recording their next album, 1976's "Presence", Plant was still confined to a wheelchair. Jimmy Page, guitarist for the band, was also falling into a heroin addiction at this time as well. You can see it was affecting the band not only on "Presence", but also on their next album "In Through The Out Door". Jimmy Page, who was so actively involved in the songwriting processes of all the albums up to "Presence", was not putting as much into the band as he was before. "In Through The Out Door" is basically a Robert Plant and John Paul Jones (bassist, keyboards) album. While both albums have some great tracks, "Achilles Last Stand" and "Fool In The Rain" to name a few, they both seem to be missing some teeth that their earlier albums had. On September 25, 1980, tragedy struck the band when John Bonham died from choking on his own vomit after a full day of heavy drinking. That was the day that Led Zeppelin ended as the remaining band members refused to replace Bonham out of respect for him as a friend and from the fact that he was basically irreplaceable in that band. Zeppelin released "Coda" in 1982 which basically featured some unreleased tracks mostly recorded earlier in the band's career. Led Zeppelin only reunited on four one-off occasions. 1985's "Live Aid" concert. 1988's Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary show. 1995's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. And probably the biggest event for the band, the 2007 Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert which featured Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham's son Jason for a full on concert at London's O2 Arena. This show would be captured for a CD/DVD release called "Celebration Day". This unfortunately would mark the last time that Led Zeppelin has performed together. Rumors are that Page, Jones and Jason Bonham wanted to do a full Zeppelin tour and possibly even create new music but for whatever reason, Plant does not want to commit to that. Many say that The Beatles are the most important band in rock and roll and I can agree with that. But when it comes to hard rock? Led Zeppelin is the most important band to that genre. Zeppelin had an edge and a mystery about them. They almost felt dangerous. They took American blues and injected an aggression and a sexual tension into it. They had the ability to change styles from blues, to metal, to hard rock, to folk, to Indian inspired music. Robert Plant is the epitome of a front man. He had crowds eating out of the palm of his hands and he could channel Janis Joplin with his screams. Jimmy Page, one of the most influential guitarists of all time. The riff master!! Bluesy and powerful. One of the most iconic songwriters of all time. John Paul Jones. Underrated. Slick bass player and superb multi-instrumentalist. John Bonham. The backbone. One of, if not the greatest drummer of all time. Heavy on the kit. Ferocious drummer. The albums. Zeppelin's first six albums could be on any "best of all time" list. You talk about front to back, every song is killer, amazing music. I'm gonna list my 10 top songs at the bottom of this blog, but those could change daily really. This band just has so many awesome songs! Simply put, Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest musical artists of all time!


1. Immigrant Song
2. Kashmir
3. Whole Lotta Love
4. Travelling Riverside Blues
5. When The Levee Breaks
6. The Battle Of Evermore
7. Going To California
8. What Is And What Should Never Be
9. Over The Hills And Far Away
10. Thank You