Tag: Eddie Van Halen

Graphicity: What Makes Van Halen Great?

Graphicity: What Makes Van Halen Great?

Funny Stuff, Music
I've been listening to A Different Kind of Truth regularly since it came out. Despite being an excellent album, I still read a lot of griping from Van Halen fans about how it's not really Van Halen because Michael Anthony's not there. I can see where they're coming from, but I think that's stretching things a bit. But really, people have been arguing about Van Halen for years. If it's not Michael Anthony, it's the vocalists. So I decided to go through the Van Halen catalog and perform a scientific analysis of their sound. I wanted to know -- what really makes Van Halen tick? What, more than anything else, really makes a Van Halen record sound like Van Halen? Is it Mikey's signature background vocals? Eddie's guitar pyrotechnics? Alex Van Halen's thunderous drumming? David Lee Roth's ...
Track By Track: Van Halen — A Different Kind of Truth

Track By Track: Van Halen — A Different Kind of Truth

Music
Because I dread the thought of writing yet another album review where I spend hundreds of words trying to frame an album in the proper context, or where I try to find yet another way to write about chord progressions, I’m just going to take it one song at a time and share my first impressions. So here we go with the long-awaited Van Halen album, A Different Kind of Truth. Let's do some level setting here before I get into this album. I have developed a belated appreciation for the Sammy Hagar era of Van Halen, but I am first and foremost a fan of the original lineup. Those first six albums are immortal. I've been a David Lee Roth fan for years, and like all of his solo albums. I make no apologies for this. I was inclined to like A Different Kind of Truth, and not assume it would
Listening booth — Van Halen, “Tattoo”

Listening booth — Van Halen, “Tattoo”

Listening Booth, Music
The day is finally here kids! It's the first song from a David Lee Roth-led Van Halen since 1996, and the first single for a DLR-led VH since 1984. From A Different Kind of Truth, it's "Tattoo." First impression? Well the video is clearly an afterthought so no point dwelling on that. As for the song, it's decent but not mind-blowing. It's clear that Dave had a hand in the arrangement and writing as the verses sound like his solo stuff, particularly from the DLR Band album. The rest reminds me of Balance-era Van Halen. I hope Alex brings it a little more on the rest of the disc, as he sounds rather plodding here. And it's still weird to not hear Michael Anthony singing those background vocals, but what are you gonna do? I'm still going to buy the super duper deluxe version ...
Listening booth — Van Halen, “I’m So Glad” (Caracas, Venezuela 1/16/83)

Listening booth — Van Halen, “I’m So Glad” (Caracas, Venezuela 1/16/83)

Listening Booth, Music
Guess what? I got Van Halen fever, and the only prescription is... more Van Halen! So here's one of my favorite VH boots, from the Diver Down promotional tour (dubbed the Hide Your Sheep Tour). It's I'm So Glad, a mono soundboard show sourced from the first night of the South American leg. It was the first of three shows in Caracas, Venezuela. The sound quality isn't fantastic for a soundboard, but it's a great setlist and the band is totally raging. I'm sure that playing in South America for the first time lit a fire under their collective asses. Eddie is in peak form as you would expect, while Alex and Michael are rock-solid as usual. As for Diamond Dave? Well, Dave is Dave. You know what to expect when you go to see VH with him as frontman, so you either love it or hate it. I lov
So this is the new Van Halen song I guess. (“She’s the Woman”)

So this is the new Van Halen song I guess. (“She’s the Woman”)

Music
As most music fans know by now, Van Halen played at the Cafe Wha? last night to get things going in anticipation of their upcoming album, A Different Kind of Truth. I spotted a picture of the setlist on Twitter and my eyes were drawn to a tune called "She's the Woman." Hmmm, I thought to myself, that name sounds familiar. And sure enough, it's actually a song that pre-dates the group's debut LP and has circulated in demo form among VH fans for years. Here's what it sounded like circa 1976: VH fans will doubtless recognize the main riff and bridge here, which was used in the all-time classic track "Mean Street." I haven't heard a clip from the 2012 version, so I can't say how much of the original is intact. I have to imagine that Eddie wouldn't quite so lazy as to duplicate th...
30 for 30 — Our Favorite MTV Music Videos of All-Time

30 for 30 — Our Favorite MTV Music Videos of All-Time

Featured Posts, Music, TV & Radio
It seems like forever since watching videos on MTV was a regular part of our lives, but once upon a time it was. We could go on and on about how the station -- which turns 30 on August 1 -- turned to crap years ago for one reason or another, or about how the "M" in MTV seems to stand for Mook now, but let's not go there. Let's make this post a happy remembrance, one in which we celebrate what was rather than lament what isn't. So in that spirit of celebration, here is a list of our 30 favorite music videos of the MTV era (which kicked off on August 1, 1981). Not the best videos, necessarily, but the ones that had the most impact on us. Oh, and for you ranking junkies -- sorry, this is strictly in alphabetical order. 1. Daft Punk, "Around the World" In college we had a primitiv...
Cross-pollination: My favorite instrumentals (on Popdose)

Cross-pollination: My favorite instrumentals (on Popdose)

Blogstuff
It's been a long time since my last super-awesome Popdose mixtape, so I decided to jump in again. I imagine this week's mix would win the approval of Eddie Van Halen, noted hater of lead singers (he did coin the phrase Lead Singer Disease after all). Of course my inclusion of one of VH's lesser-known tracks ("Sunday Afternoon in the Park") helps. Here's one track that didn't quite make the cut, although it is certainly as worthy as the others. It's "The Sheltering Sky," from King Crimson's Discipline. And yes, I threw Kiss into the mix. Related articles The Popdose Podcast: Episode 18 (popdose.com) The Popdose VIDEO Interview: Nick Offerman ("Parks & Recreation") (popdose.com)
Movies That Defined My Youth, Part 3

Movies That Defined My Youth, Part 3

Movies
Waaaay back in 2007 I looked back at five flicks that made a big impact on me during my formative years. The next year I ran through four more. And today I drag out another five. Let's reminisce! Better Off Dead (1985) — There is not one part of this movie that isn't 100% awesome, even more than 25 years later. This Savage Steve Holland masterpiece was perfectly cast and written, which makes its more surreal vignettes feel like integral parts of the movie instead of just absurd asides. It never really sunk in when I was a kid that this was a pretty dark film. Hell, the lead character (John Cusack as Lane Meyer) spends most of the it trying to kill himself. Over a breakup. Fortunately he fails and gets to see an Eddie Van Halen-esque hamburger wailing a Frankenstrat to "Everybody Wants S
Listening Booth – Van Halen, “Crossing Over”

Listening Booth – Van Halen, “Crossing Over”

Listening Booth
This track won a coveted spot on one of my mixtapes back in 2007, and I'm bringing it back again.  It's a gem of a song from the Sammy Hagar era of Van Halen, although you wouldn't know it from how it was marketed (it wasn't).  It's the brooding and emotional "Crossing Over", a b-side from the Balance album. The whole song is very atypical of the era, which makes sense since it was written by Eddie while David Lee Roth was still in the band.  But to his credit, Sammy does a fine job here.  The payoff is the extended outro/fade. Here's "Crossing Over", via YouTube.