Saturday, October 21, 2017

Song Of The Week: 10/22/17







Song: "Having A Blast"

Artist: Green Day

Album: "Dookie"

Year: 1994

Place Of Origin: East Bay, California

Years Active: 1986 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Having A Blast" appears to be a song about pent up anger and frustration. The vocalist is so pissed off at everything and everyone that he's at a tipping point. So much so, the he feels he wants to destroy himself and others if they happen to be near him. In the end, it's more of a battle going on in his own head. Is he a psychopathic killer in a rage? Or is he just dealing with so many little things that seem to keep piling up and adding to his anger? With all the mass killings that have been happening around the world recently, "Having A Blast" almost has an ominous feel to it.

GREEN DAY DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1990 - 39/Smooth (Lookout! Records)
1991 - Kerplunk (Lookout! Records)
1994 - Dookie (Reprise Records)
1995 - Insomniac (Reprise Records)
1997 - Nimrod (Reprise Records)
2000 - Warning (Reprise Records)
2002 - Shenanigans (Reprise Records)
2004 - American Idiot (Reprise Records)
2005 - Bullet In A Bible (Reprise Records)
2009 - 21st Century Breakdown (Reprise Records)
2011 - Awesome As Fuck (Reprise Records)
2012 - Uno! (Reprise Records)
2012 - Dos! (Reprise Records)
2012 - Tre! (Reprise Records)
2014 - Demolicious (Reprise Records)
2016 - Revolution Radio (Reprise Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF GREEN DAY:

In 1986, Billie Joe Armstrong (guitar) and Mike Dirnt (bass) formed the band Sweet Children in the East Bay, California. The band became part of the rising punk scene at the infamous 924 Gilman St. in Berkeley, California. In 1988, the band signed on with Lookout! Records and officially changed their name to Green Day. In 1990, they released their debut album, "39/Smooth". That was also the year the drummer Tre Cool joined the band and that trio is still intact to this very day. After dropping the successful "Kerplunk" in 1991, Green Day signed to major label Reprise Records. Two longtime relationships formed at this time. Reprise has been the only label Green Day has known since their epic 1994 release "Dookie" and producer Rob Cavallo became intregal to producing the Green Day sound on most of the band's records. Speaking of "Dookie", can you say certified diamond?! That means more than 10 million albums sold worldwide!! Green Day, along with The Offspring, Rancid and Bad Religion, were at the forefront of a resurgence in punk rock music in the mid-90's. Though the record sales dropped a bit on their next few albums, 1995's "Insomniac" and 1997's "Nimrod" still achieved multi-platinum status. 2000's "Warning" saw a drop in sales and perhaps questions that maybe Green Day had run their course as a band. Then came 2004. Some ten years after "Dookie", Green Day dropped the punk rock opera known as "American Idiot". Selling over 6 million units worldwide, Green Day had reinvented themselves and became one of the the biggest bands in the world... again!! It's rare for a band to have that type of success twice in their career the way Green Day did. Often, music goes through phases and band's get caught up in that. Older bands get pushed aside for what is hot at the time. Green Day totally broke that mold with "American Idiot". 2009's "21st Century Breakdown" would be the last Green Day album that was a multi-platinum effort. In 2012, Green Day released three albums, basically a month apart from each other. "Uno!", "Dos!" and "Tre!" was an ambitious project but perhaps a little oversaturated. Collectively, all three albums have sold just under 2 million units. In 2016, Green Day released their most recent full length studio album, "Revolution Radio". Green Day is a killer band. Early on, they were snotty punk filled with teenage angst and as the years went on, they became a more politically charged band. At the forefront is the songwriting of Billie Joe Armstrong. Equally great at writing snotty pop punk anthems, personal lyrics and shining a light on some social issues, Armstrong is just a really talented songwriter. Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool are the backbone of the band, holding everything together. Not only were Green Day influenced by punk rock artists like Operation Ivy, The Ramones and the Sex Pistols, they were also heavily influenced by alternative acts like Husker Du and The Replacements as well as classic bands like The Who, The Kinks and Cheap Trick. They really laid the blueprint for melodic pop punk that influenced a slew of newer bands that came out after them. In my opinion, they don't have any bad albums. While some are better than others, I can say that I love all of their albums. It's really a testament to who they are as a band. Over 85 million albums sold worldwide. Five time Grammy Award winners. 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. Green Day, one of the best bands of all time!!

TEN GREEN DAY SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. J.A.R.
2. 2,000 Light Years Away
3. Suffocate
4. Going To Pasalacqua
5. Nice Guys Finish Last
6. Minority
7. Geek Stink Breath
8. Still Breathing
9. X-Kid
10. Coming Clean

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Song Of The Week: 10/15/17







Song: "You Need A Hug"

Artist: The Ataris

Album: "End Is Forever"

Year: 2001

Place Of Origin: Anderson, Indiana

Years Active: 1995 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"You Need A Hug" is a song that appears to be about someone who seems like they're always in a rut. They hate their job. They hate their life. They're always pissed off about something. The vocalist is the one who is constantly trying to cheer that person up and let them know that life isn't all that bad. There are some things that could be worse so lighten up a little!

THE ATARIS DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1997 - Anywhere But Here (Kung Fu Records)
1999 - Blue Skies, Broken Hearts...Next 12 Exits (Kung Fu Records)
2001 - End Is Forever (Kung Fu Records)
2003 - So Long, Astoria (Columbia Records)
2004 - Live At The Metro (self-released)
2007 - Welcome The Night (Sanctuary Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF THE ATARIS:

The Ataris formed as a band back in 1995. Though they are originally from Indiana, it wasn't long before they set up shop in California, a move they hoped would land them a recording deal. Their big break was when they passed a demo tape to the bassist of The Vandals, Joe Escalante. Escalante quickly signed the band to his own label, Kung Fu Records and the band released their debut album, "Anywhere But Here", in 1997. The band's popularity began to escalate a little bit with the relase of their next two albums, 1999's "Blue Skies, Bronken Hearts...Next 12 Exits" and 2001's "End Is Forever", the former featuring perhaps the band's signature song, "San Dimas High School Football Rules". In 2003, the band signed on with major label Columbia Records for the release of what would be the band's most successful record, "So Long, Astoria". Featuring a more refined sound, this album would feature the suprise hit single "The Boys Of Summer", which is a pop punk take on Don Henley's classic. That song would reach #20 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. "So Long, Astoria" would eventually be certified gold. The Ataris would leave Columbia and their next album, 2007's "Welcome The Night" would be distributed through Sanctuary Records. This album was a big departure in sound for The Ataris, featuring keyboards and cello on most songs. The albums was also distinctly dark and the pop punk anthems of their previous albums were gone. This seemed like a clear case of a band just over thinking things. Sometimes you just go with what works and pop punk songs are what works for The Ataris. The songs on Welcome The Night were really lackluster and seemed devoid of any spirit. As you can tell, not one of my favorite albums. From 2008 on, there were constant rumblings about a new album called "The Graveyard Of The Atlantic". This album would never come to fruition however. The title track would be released as a double single along with "All Souls' Day". Several other tracks would be released that were supposed to be on the album as well including four that popped up on the compilation album "Silver Turns To Rust", which happens to be the bands most recent release. It seems The Ataris have been trying to find themselves since the release of "So Long, Astoria". And when I say The Ataris, I'm talking about chief songwriter and guitarist Kris Roe. He is the only constant member of the band which has seen a slew of band members throughout the years. Perhaps that's the reason we haven't seen any new albums since 2007. There appears to be no cohesion in this band. At their best, 1996 to 2004, the band played catchy, pop punk songs with lots of pop culture references in the lyrics. At their worst, you have "Welcome The Night". Just a terrible album. I don't mind a band evolving, but don't totally throw away what made you special to your fans. The Ataris are pop punk not moody, slow rock. As for similar artists, I would say The Ataris sound is close to bands like MxPx, Fenix TX, The Starting Line, Midtown and Allister. The band played the Warped Tour in 2017, so maybe if the members can stick together, then new music will be on the horizon. Let's hope Roe returns to his pop punk roots and storytelling lyrics.

TEN THE ATARIS SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Summer Wind Was Always Our Song
2. The Saddest Song
3. San Dimas High School Football Rules
4. In This Diary
5. Boxcar (Jawbreaker cover)
6. I.O.U. One Galaxy
7. A New England
8. The Graveyard Of The Atlantic
9. The Boys Of Summer (Don Henley cover)
10. Rock N' Roll High School (Ramones cover)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Song Of The Week: 10/8/17







Song: "Father Son Picnic"

Artist: Slick Shoes

Album: "Rusty"

Year: 1997

Place Of Origin: Antelope Valley, California

Years Active: 1994 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

It should be noted that Slick Shoes is a Christian punk band. So in saying that, it appears to me that "Father Son Picnic" is about no matter what mistakes the vocalist has made in his life, that God, or "Father", has always showed him love and has always been by his side. The thing that makes me feel that the "father" is God and not the vocalist's own father is the line "faith in human beings never got me anywhere". His faith is in God. God never let him down.

SLICK SHOES DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1997 - Rusty (Tooth & Nail Records)
1998 - Burn Out (Tooth & Nail Records)
2000 - Wake Up Screaming (Tooth & Nail Records)
2002 - Slick Shoes (Tooth & Nail Records)
2003 - Far From Nowhere (SideOneDummy Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF SLICK SHOES:

Named after one of the many gadgets of the character Data from the movie The Goonies, Slick Shoes got their start in 1994. In 1997, they released an EP and also their debut full length album, "Rusty". This marked the beginning of a five year relationship with Christian punk label, Tooth & Nail Records. That five year span saw the release of 1998's "Burn Out", 2000's "Wake Up Screaming" and 2002's "Slick Shoes". In 2003, the band parted ways with Tooth & Nail, not because of religious reasons, but that their contract had ended. The band's most recent release was 2003's "Far From Nowhere" which was distributed by SideOneDummy Records. After touring in support of "Far From Nowhere" in 2003 and 2004, Slick Shoes went on a four year hiatus. During that time some members of the band worked on a side project called Sigmund. Since 2008, the band has been pretty sporadic. They played a few shows in 2008, then all was quiet for about three more years when they got together again in 2012 for a few shows. Again, not much news out of the Slick Shoes camp until 2017, when they opened for MxPx on their 25th anniversary tour. Word is that the band is actually, finally working on new music. Slick Shoes basically has that mid-90's, southern California skate punk/pop punk feel to their music. The biggest comparison to their sound that I can make is definitely MxPx. Both bands were considered Christian punk. Both bands started out on Christian punk label Tooth & Nail. And of course, they're both pop punk/skate punk bands. Along with MxPx, if you're a fan of bands like Rufio, Ten Foot Pole, Pulley or The Ataris, then you should check out Slick Shoes. These guys were young teenagers when they started out. All five of their full length albums are solid. My personal favorites are "Far From Nowhere", "Burn Out" and "Slick Shoes" though I like all of them. Nothing wrong with some California skate punk!!

TEN SLICK SHOES SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Now's The Time
2. For Better, For Worse
3. Angel
4. Feeble
5. Alone
6. Darko
7. East On Tracks
8. Joe's Sick
9. So Much More
10. Another Day

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Song Of The Week: 10/1/17







Song: "Alive"

Artist: Pearl Jam

Album: "Ten"

Year: 1991

Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington

Years Active: 1990 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Alive" is part autobiographical and part fiction. Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder has said that the first and third verse were based on the true story of his mother telling him that his stepfather was not his real father and that his real father had died. The second verse was the fictional part involving incest with his mother. "Alive" was the very first song that Eddie put lyrics to and the first song that Pearl Jam recorded as a band. It's part of the famous "Mamasan" trilogy, also including "Once" and "Footsteps", the three songs that were handed to Eddie on cassette by former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons. Pearl Jam had found their singer and the rest was history!. If you've seen the Pearl Jam VH1 Storytellers, Eddie tells a great story about "Alive", how the song had been a curse to him, with all the emotion of the news of his father and how he had to deal with it. But, he said over the years, the passion and energy that the crowd threw back to the band during "Alive" performances began to change the interpretation of the song. It became a celebration. The audience had lifted the curse!! Great story!! "Alive" is basically Pearl Jam's signature song. A definite anthem.

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)

CURRENT STATUS OF PEARL JAM:

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 has plans to release 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. 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!

TEN PEARL JAM SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

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, September 23, 2017

Song Of The Week: 9/24/17







Song: "Hooligan"

Artist: Kiss

Album: "Love Gun"

Year: 1977



IN MEMORIAM:

Scootchy!
(passed away on Saturday Sept. 23, 2017)



I never had to make a decision like I had to make tonight. To have the words "I have to put my pet to sleep" come out of my mouth really sucked. Pets are family. That's just how it is. And my cat Scootchy was my little buddy. Whenever I was trying to do something at my computer, here she comes, jumping on my desk wanting to be patted, getting right in the way of what you were trying to do. But once she stared at you with those eyes, your heart melted and all your attention focused on her. She was a nice piece of cat!! Almost nightly, when I went to brush my teeth, here she would come, jumping on the sink and annoying you, in a cute way! In fact, the picture I have of her on this blog post is her getting in the way of me brushing my teeth! She was a funny cat! I've had many animals but I never seemed to be as close to any as I was to Scootchy. I'm not a big show affection type person, but she had me wrapped around her little paw. As you can see, this post doesn't have a lot to do with my song of the week. I chose "Hooligan" by Kiss for a few reasons. One, it's sung by Peter Criss, The Cat!! And two, my little furry friend portrayed some hooligan type tendencies! Couches and desk chairs? She made quick work of those, so much so that all my furniture is covered in beach towels to hide the scratches!! Window screens? Good luck! Have any glassware up on counter tops? Nothing like being awakened at 3:30 in the morning to the sound of shattered glass and the little culprit goes buzzing by you at 100 miles per hour cuz she saw another cat outside!! So, I chose "Hooligan" with tongue firmly planted in cheek because, even though I held my little buddy as she took her last breath tonight, I will never forget the funny things Scootchy did. Some things were cute.. many things were devious!! She had a look about her when she was up to no good! So Scootchy, I'm going to miss you terribly. I will never forget you and how you made me laugh and smile. I'm sorry for having to make this decision tonight to let you go, but I couldn't see you struggling like you were. I couldn't see you struggle walking, not eating or not drinking. I hope you are somewhere in a better place and acting like your old playful self. I hope you forgive me for what I had to do. It is the last thing I ever wanted to do, but I am happy that I had to make this decision and no one else. When my time comes, I hope you are one of the first to greet me on the other side. I love you little buddy :(

Rest in peace:
Scootchy

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Song Of The Week: 9/17/17







Song: "Jumpin' Jack Flash"

Artist: The Rolling Stones

Album: "Jumpin' Jack Flash" single

Year: 1968

Place Of Origin: London, England

Years Active: 1962 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Jumpin' Jack Flash", according to Stones' vocalist Mick Jagger, is about getting away from the acid induced state that the band had been in during their previous album, "Their Satanic Majesties Request". From taking a read of the lyrics, to me it appears to be about rising above an abusive past. Each verse paints a picture of someone that has endured pain and struggle and abuse and starvation, but the chorus gives you a sense that he has made it through it and is better for it and he is alright now. Though "Jumpin' Jack Flash" was recorded during the "Beggars Banquet" sessions, the band decided to release it as a stand alone single. The song is their most played song in concert and one of the band's biggest singles of all time!

THE ROLLING STONES DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1964 - The Rolling Stones (London Records)
1964 - 12 x 5 (London Records)
1965 - The Rolling Stones, Now! (London Records)
1965 - Out Of Our Heads (London Records)
1965 - December's Children (And Everybody's) (London Records)
1966 - Aftermath (London Records)
1967 - Between The Buttons (London Records)
1967 - Their Satanic Majesties Request (London Records)
1968 - Beggars Banquet (London Records)
1969 - Let It Bleed (London Records)
1971 - Sticky Fingers (Rolling Stones Records)
1972 - Exile On Main St. (Rolling Stones Records)
1973 - Goats Head Soup (Rolling Stones Records)
1974 - It's Only Rock 'n Roll (Rolling Stones Records)
1976 - Black And Blue (Rolling Stones Records)
1978 - Some Girls (Rolling Stones Records)
1980 - Emotional Rescue (Rolling Stones Records)
1981 - Tattoo You (Rolling Stones Records)
1983 - Undercover (Rolling Stones Records)
1986 - Dirty Work (Rolling Stones Records)
1989 - Steel Wheels (Rolling Stones Records)
1994 - Voodoo Lounge (Virgin Records)
1997 - Bridges To Babylon (Virgin Records)
2005 - A Bigger Bang (Virgin Records)
2016 - Blue And Lonesome (Polydor Records)

The band has also released 23 official live albums which i'm not going to list here.

CURRENT STATUS OF THE ROLLING STONES:

When it comes to rock and roll, one of the most argued items is, who is better? The Beatles or The Stones? The Beatles were often perceived as the guys you wouldn't mind marrying your daughter. They wore suits, were clean and their music was almost, "happy". The Stones, on the other hand, were the guys you didn't want your daughter talking to. They were dirty. They were the wrong side of the tracks. The Beatles were heavily influenced by 50's rock and roll. Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard. The Stones were influenced by the blues, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and Willie Dixon. So, regardless of who you thought was or is better, both of these bands are at the pinnacle of rock and roll music, there's no questioning that. Also like The Beatles, The Stones first couple of albums featured mostly cover songs. Vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards began working harder together to form their own musical compositions. "Heart Of Stone", one of their first originals to become a successful single, gave the duo added confidence that they could write hits. In 1965, the band released another orignal song, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", and the band was set to soar. Along with The Beatles and The Who, The Rolling Stones also rode the wave of the British Explosion and became household names in their own country as well as across the pond here in the States. The Stones went through a bit of a psychedelic phase in 1966 and 1967 for their albums "Aftermath", "Between The Buttons" and "Their Satanic Majesties Request", perhaps trying to follow what The Beatles were doing at that time. Luckily, the band decided to strip down and get back to their roots in 1968, starting a four album run in four years that is considered the "golden age" of The Stones' career. "Beggars Banquet", "Let It Bleed", "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile On Main St." is simply The Rolling Stones at their best, blues inspired rock and roll. The late 70's scene was shifting musically, with punk rock and disco but The Stones still remained relevant with their 1978 release, "Some Girls". With a shift to new wave in the 80's, this decade would prove to be the most tumultuous for The Stones. A rift between Jagger and Richards which had been bubbling in the late 70's really came to a head in the 80's. There was thoughts that the band was going to break up it got so bad. The two seemed to make amends by the end of the decade the band went on a record setting tour to support their album "Steel Wheels". By the 90's, the releases were a bit more sporadic. They did release two albums in that decade, 1994's "Voodoo Lounge" and 1997's "Bridges To Babylon". It was the touring that really set the bar for The Stones by this point however. In the mid 80's, The Rolling Stones were almost seen as an act that wore out it's welcome, who's time has passed. In the 90's and 2000's, they now became an act that you must see before you die! In 2016, the band released their latest album, "Blue And Lonesome", which is a blues covers album. With all of the members of the band in their mid 70's, they still do massive stadium tours and they plan on releasing an album of all original music, perhaps next year. The band still boasts original lead singer Mick Jagger, original guitarist Keith Richards and original drummer Charlie Watts. Original guitarist and founder Brian Jones left the band after "Beggars Banquet" and drowned to death in his swimming pool in 1969. He was replaced by Mick Taylor from 1969 till 1974 when he left the band. Ronnie Wood, of The Faces fame, joined the band in 1975 and he's remained with them to the present day. Original bassist Bill Wyman departed the band in 1993. As I said earlier, The Rolling Stones are one of the most influential rock and roll bands of all time. Mick Jagger is the consumate frontman and Keith Richards oozes rock and roll. Every decades top bands were probably influenced by The Stones to the present day. For the band's first three decades together, they were literally almost releasing new music every year! An astonishing feat, especially considering how many hit singles were involved in all those releases. Multi platinum selling albums, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, one of the top touring acts of all time and one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. Nuff said!

TEN THE ROLLING STONES SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Sympathy For The Devil
2. Honky Tonk Women
3. Gimme Shelter
4. You Can't Always Get What You Want
5. Brown Sugar
6. Jumpin' Jack Flash
7. Under My Thumb
8. Tumblin' Dice
9. Beast Of Burden
10. Angie

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Song Of The Week: 9/10/17







Song: "Rearviewmirror"

Artist: Pearl Jam

Album: "VS"

Year: 1993

Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington

Years Active: 1990 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Rearviewmirror" appears to be a song about breaking free from an abusive relationship. Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder has said that the song reminds him of driving in a car and getting as far away from a bad situation as possible. It's like putting the past in the rear view. The song is connected to the song "Daughter", which is also on "VS". But, in "Daughter", the victim closes the shades, hiding the abuse that she is enduring. In "Rearviewmirror", the victim raises the shades, sees the light, and escapes her abuser. Simply put, one of the best Pearl Jam songs of all time!!

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)

CURRENT STATUS OF PEARL JAM:

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 has plans to release 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. 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!

TEN PEARL JAM SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

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