When Popdose Grand Poobah Jeff Giles asked me to write a list article for his site, I couldn't say no. The only question I had for him was, "what content restraints am I working under?" He said, "none." I'm sure he'll come to regret that answer in the coming weeks, but hopefully not now. For today my chosen topic is music autobiography, or musiphy as it's known in the industry. We've seen some great ones in recent years -- Mötley Crüe's The Dirt, Ace Frehley's No Regrets, and Bob Dylan's Chronicles just to name three. But what about all the legendary musicians we haven't heard from yet? Like James Hetfield of Metallica, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, or... well, you can read all about that on Popdose.
I haven't posted much of anything about the ongoing soap opera in Queensrÿche land, mostly because it's all too depressing for this long-time fan to contemplate. But for those not in the know, vocalist and band co-founder Geoff Tate was fired from Queensrÿche about a month ago. Queensrÿche then went out and got a new singer. I figured Tate would leave well enough alone and just go for a solo career. I was kind of excited about this prospect, actually. But nope, turns out we now get to deal with two Queensrÿches. That's right, Tate put together his own version of the group -- this one featuring former Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, and Whitesnake bassist Rudy Sarzo, ex-Ratt drummer Bobby Blotzer, and former Megadeth guitarist Glen Drover. Maybe this band will be good, maybe not. But the f
As I've mentioned previously in this here blog space, I've largely gotten out of the album review game. Unless a record really moves or I have something I really need to say, I'm gonna just wait to the customary year-end period to share my thoughts. But if you're impatient, you can always subscribe to my in-progress Spotify playlist. That said, here's a rundown of some records released in 2012 that I've been digging on, either a little or a lot (along with song clips where appropriate). The Beach Boys, That's Why God Made the Radio Django Django, Django Django Air, Le voyage dans la lune Ryan Shaw, Real Love Prong, Carved Into Stone Rush, Clockwork Angels Storm Corrosion, Storm Corrosion Jack White, Blunderbuss Imperial State Electric, Pop War Lambchop, Mr. M The Ex...
I can hardly wrap my mind around the fact that it's 2012 and I'm listening to a new Beach Boys album. And by "Beach Boys" I don't mean Mike Love and whatever people he isn't suing at the moment, but THE BEACH BOYS. With Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike, Bruce Johnston, and -- for good measure -- David Marks! Let that sink in for a minute. But the real shocker? That's Why God Made the Radio is no feeble cash-in, my friends. This is a legitimately good album, easily the best the group has released since I was in nursery school. Granted, they haven't really been setting the bar very high over the last 30-plus years, but you get the idea. I think most hardcore fans would've been happy with the long-awaited SMiLE box set, but then they had to go and top that by pulling off the most improbable
My latest article for Popdose -- and one that I'm pretty proud of -- went live yesterday. It's the Popdose Guide to the Beach Boys, a piece I started putting together this past spring. It's a lengthy read (make sure to check out both pages), although I would have been perfectly justified in making it twice as long as the finished product. And of course, as soon as it was published I thought of a dozen things I wanted to say or change. But that's life as a writer I suppose. Still, the response has been overwhelmingly positive thus far and for that I'm grateful. One of the aspects of writing the Beach Boys piece that I enjoyed was the chance to really dig into their later 1970s output. I'd avoided a lot of it since I became a fan about a dozen years ago, mostly because of the albums' poor
With her tragic and untimely death, Amy Winehouse became the latest member of a grim group -- the so-called Club 27, whose only entrance requirement is to be a famous musician and to die at age 27. The club also includes legends such as Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Kurt Cobain. This got me to thinking -- is it really true that the brightest stars burn out the earliest? Or does it just seem that way because of our fascination with stars who die young? Curious, I decided to conduct a little research so I compiled a list of famous and influential dead musicians. Of course that list could be limitless, depending on your standards for fame and influence. I ultimately opted to use Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, first published in 2004/05 and...
Ask a dozen people to define the term "power pop" and you'll likely get a dozen variations of the same concept. For my part, any music with killer melodies, crisp songwriting and arranging, and (usually) big guitars probably qualifies. Or to get more specific, here's what the All Music Guide says: Power Pop is a cross between the crunching hard rock of the Who and the sweet melodicism of the Beatles and Beach Boys, with the ringing guitars of the Byrds thrown in for good measure. Yeah, that's about it. So anyway, power pop probably offers more value for your listening dollar than any other style I can think of. Here is but a handful of some of the most choice power pop ever committed to tape. 1. Nick Lowe, "So It Goes" (from Jesus of Cool, 1978) — Power pop aficionados will recogn
At long last, I present the conclusion of my list of 20 albums that have had the most impact on me and my love of music. For a brief refresher, you can check the back half of the top 20 here. But for your convenience, here's the list: #20 — Queen, The Game #19 — Seals & Crofts, Summer Breeze #18 — Kiss, Creatures of the Night #17 — Iron Maiden, The Number of the Beast #16 — Run-D.M.C., Raising Hell #15 — Kiss, Alive! #14 — Rush, A Farewell to Kings #13 — Miles Davis, Kind of Blue #12 — Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pictures at an Exhibition #11 — various artists, Jazz Master Files OK, now that we're all caught up, let's finish this thing already. As a reminder, this is no particular order but I know people love countdowns so there you go. #10 — Genesis, Duke If Rus
It's just an extravaganza of music reviews on the Suit this week, no? Here's three more we didn't want to go without mentioning. The Go! Team — Rolling Blackouts (Memphis Industries) Wow, has it really been seven years since Thunder, Lightning, Strike came out? That hardly seems possible. The Go! Team did release an album between then and now, Proof of Youth, but it never even appeared on my radar. Luckily this album did, because I like it a lot. The opening track, "T.O.R.N.A.D.O.", is a 20-megaton blast of what makes the Go! Team so fun — big beats, clever orchestration, and of course those cheerleader vocals. The fun doesn't really let up over the course of a baker's dozen tracks. While a lesser outfit might be tempted to let the layered, dense arrangements do all the heavy lift