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Saturday
Jul212018

Shots Fired Sunday: Scab Edition 

Happy #ShotsFiredSunday everyone!

Here's another sacred cow to dismantle. There are too many scab versions of bands we love these days. Great White (and thus Jack Russell's Great White), RATT and Quiet Riot are pretty big offenders. Whenever I write about one of those bands, I inevitably get some angry comments and more than one person uses the word "joke." So maybe we should call a spade a spade and just call these versions for what they are: scabs. Is it time for us to stop supporting these scab versions of bands we love? If we quit paying to see nuRatt, will Stephen Pearcy and company knock it off and come to their senses? Probably not.


Tell The World: The Very Best Of Ratt


It's impossible to replace dead members so I do have sympathy for that, especially when that person was the lead singer as in Quiet Riot's case. But the ones left behind are professional musicians. Wouldn't it be better to create a new project? Another big issue here is that by putting a stake in the ground and saying "No More!" to scab versions of these bands, it means we're cutting off a part of our history. We're stuck in a time where RATT, for example, was the core five guys playing "Round and Round" live in 1987. There are very few bands that have been around for decades that maintain the core group of members from the beginning. Music is work and you have probably changed jobs a few times, too. So where does that leave us? I'm honestly not sure. I continue to write about the bands I've loved for decades because I don't want to let them go. Maybe I should. 


Saturday
Jul212018

Avenged Sevenfold Cancels Tour

You hate to see this happen. Avenged Sevenfold was forced to cancel its tour before it even started because singer M. Shadows got a horrible viral infection. I feel sorry for the band and also the fans who had tickets for this tour. I'm a big A7X fan and I've seen them live many times. I love their guitar work!



Friday
Jul202018

'Personal Jesus' - The Def Leppard Cover

Def Leppard hung out in the Spotify studios recently and recorded a cover of the Depeche Mode classic "Personal Jesus." It's an interesting little take from Def Leppard and good music to roll us into Friday.


I have my chiropractor appointment today, finally! Hopefully I will get some relief for my back. I was able to bend over yesterday so I think things are progressing the right way!


Thursday
Jul192018

Guns n' Roses Release Lyric Video For 'Move To The City'

Guns n' Roses just released a lyric video for the acoustic version of "Move To The City." It's from the new Appetite for Destruction Locked and Loaded box set.

This is a great track to add to your collection for sure. An interesting take on a classic song. The track always reminded me of 70s era Aerosmith. It must be that Izzy Stradlin writing!


Appetite For Destruction [Super Deluxe Edition]


Wednesday
Jul182018

'Sing For The Day'

A little news from my inbox:

 

July 17, 2018 -- SING FOR THE DAY!, TOMMY SHAW’s solo 2016 concert performance with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra made a grand debut on four of Billboard’s charts last week, including #5 on the “Classical Albums” chart. It also debuted at #5 on the “Classical Crossover Albums” chart, #6 on the “Top DVD Music Videos” chart, #8 on the “Music Video Sales” chart, and #49 on the “Rock Albums” chart. SING FOR THE DAY! was released June 29 via Eagle Rock Entertainment on Blu-ray, CD, and Digital Audio / Video. It jumped to #2 in its second week on the “Top DVD Music Videos” chart.
 
“I’ve gotten used to being part of the Classic Rock family of bands,” explains SHAW, “but the news of debuting at #5 on the ‘Classical Albums’ chart is something I never anticipated! It was a magical evening of music I’ll never forget.”
 
Filmed before an enthusiastic audience at the intimate Waetjen Auditorium in Cleveland, SING FOR THE DAY! presents unique versions of such classics as “Blue Collar Man,” “Girls With Guns,” and “Too Much Time On My Hands.” Under the direction of principal conductor / founder Liza Grossman, with accompaniment by guitarist/musical director Will Evankovich, the Cleveland-based Contemporary Youth Orchestra blended seamlessly with Shaw to create a one-of-a-kind experience. The songs of STYX / TOMMY SHAW / Damn Yankees are infused with the energy of the finest high-school-aged musicians in Ohio, as evidenced by such performances as the epic duel between SHAW’s guitar licks and a prodigious young violinist / CYO alum Lavinia Pavlish on “Renegade.”
 
Additionally, the set includes a special version of the STYX classic “Crystal Ball” featuring the debut of a lost verse that was never recorded.
 
As TOMMY SHAW says, “SING FOR THE DAY!, a retrospective look at some of my favorite songs I’ve written and co-written, performed with  Contemporary Youth Orchestra, now remixed in glorious 5.1, takes them all to a higher place I’d never imagined."
 
This show also marked the 10-year anniversary of STYX’s original 2006 performance with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra -- One With Everything (previously released via Eagle Rock Entertainment on multiple formats).
 
It was truly a night to remember, as SHAW notes: "It was so much bigger and more everlasting than any of us imagined it would be."
 
In addition to the full 13-song set, the SING FOR THE DAY! Blu-ray includes 96K stereo audio of four songs with TOMMY SHAW and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra not included in the program -- “Down That Highway,” “The Great Divide,” “I’ll Be Coming Home,” and “The Night Goes On” -- soundtracking a slideshow of photos from the show, rehearsals, and behind-the-scenes.
 
The high chart debuts are no doubt thanks in part to AXSTV’s “Saturday STYX” block of programming that aired on June 30, headlined by insightful conversations and classic performances. The day began with “The Big Interview” for a sit-down with Dan Rather, TOMMY SHAW, JAMES “JY” YOUNG, and LAWRENCE GOWAN to discuss the band’s legendary career, the creative process behind some of their most enduring songs, and what drives them to keep performing. Next, STYX joined The Red Rocker for an epic hangout session backstage at The Venetian in Las Vegas in “Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar.” Then, the band sailed into Sin City for an unforgettable career-spanning set in “STYX: Live At The Orleans Arena Las Vegas,” followed by “Sing For The Day!”
 
“TOMMY SHAW’s performance with the incredibly talented Contemporary Youth Orchestra and led by Conductor Liza Grossman was truly a landmark event,” said Evan Haiman, Vice President Of Programming And Development, AXS TV. “Our team at AXS TV was honored to have been a part of this outstanding one of a kind program, delivering the special to a passionate audience of classic rock connoisseurs across the country, and bringing increased awareness to these gifted students.”

In further STYX news, the highly anticipated reissue of their critically acclaimed first new studio album in 14 years, THE MISSION, will be released July 27 via Alpha Dog 2T/UMe. The two-disc package will include a CD of the original album, as well as a Blu-ray of THE MISSION mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound by singer/guitarist TOMMY SHAW and producer Will Evankovich accompanied by stunning visualizations for each of the album’s 14 songs based on the album artwork. Other extras on the Blu-ray include: “The Making of The Mission Documentary” of exclusive interviews of SHAW and Evankovich, four music videos—“Gone Gone Gone” (official video), “Gone Gone Gone” (video created by NASA), “Radio Silence” (lyric video) and “Radio Silence” (live video from Syracuse, NY)—and three hi-res audio playback modes. 
 
"THE MISSION, a concept album of all new music, is a trip,” declares TOMMY SHAW. “Now it’s coming to you in 5.1 Surround and you’re cordially invited to strap yourselves in and take that trip with us, then take it again!”
 
THE MISSION was released June 16, 2017 and debuted on various Billboard charts, including: #6 Top Rock Albums, #11 Physical Albums, #11 Vinyl Albums, #13 Current Albums, #14 Top Albums, #16 Retail, #17 Mass Merch/Non-Traditional, #29 Digital Albums, and #45 Top 200 Albums (includes catalog and streaming).
 
 
Tuesday
Jul172018

It's Only Tuesday

I woke up this morning pretty sure it was Wednesday. I was kind of pumped because that meant that Big Brother would be on and the week would be half over. But no, it's only Tuesday.


See, my back pain just isn't letting up. It hurts to drive, to walk, to breathe. I am numb on my left side. Typing sucks. I spent all of last night, flat on my back watching the Big Brother live feeds (this is different from the network show). On Saturday night, I opened my creaky wallet and bought a new chair for my bedroom. This will allow me to be better propped up while typing, reading and listening to music. I can also sleep in it if necessary. I also broke down and made an appointment for a chiropractor, something that absolutely terrifies me. I droop on one side now, so I decided I didn't have much choice. We'll see how that turns out.


Some interesting comments yesterday regarding my notion that Def Leppard is the biggest band of the 80s next to Guns n' Roses. Sorry folks, they just are - in album sales, money earned from endorsement and touring and current relevance. I didn't think this would be a controversial opinion but in a world where everything sets everyone off now, I'm not surprised. Wake me when another glam band becomes a multi-diamond selling artist. Sorry, Bon Jovi only has one of these (Slippery When Wet). Def Leppard has two (Pyromania and Hysteria). There are only 22 artists with more than one diamond selling album. Van Halen has two but I don't count them as a glam band. Never have, really. I do love them all the same. I still argue Def Leppard was - and is - bigger than Van Halen but that might be a better post for #ShotsFiredSunday.


Fun random fact: Garth Brooks has seven diamond selling albums, which is more than the Beatles. Insanity.


Van Halen - The Best Of Both Worlds


Monday
Jul162018

Another Record for Guns n' Roses

This record alert comes to us via Forbes. Apparently, GnR is the biggest musical act on YouTube for both the 1980s and 1990s. "November Rain" is the first video from the 90s to reach a billion views.


That's pretty damn impressive. I don't think there can be any argument: GnR were and remain the biggest act of the 80s metal and rock heyday. The only other band that comes close is Def Leppard. I read Forbes a lot (a hobby of mine is investing and finance) so it was totally cool to see an article about Guns n' Roses in that magazine.



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