Category Archives: Music News

Focused specifically on what’s of interest in the world of Rock News.

Random thoughts – On the way to DC

Just some random thoughts on a Sunday night:

As I hear more about the tragic news out of Norway, I can’t help thinking of the lyrics to Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks. ” I realize that song probably is a glimpse into some young guys struggles fitting in with society vs. the nut case in Norway. Nonetheless, my mind keeps going there…

Lots of talk about the budget issues in the US gets me thinking about the song “Money.” I knew that Barrett Strong recorded it originally back in 1959, and I have the 45 to prove it:)  But, so many other great versions have come along. Out of curiosity, I looked at Wikipedia and they list over 70 single versions of the classic.  The Who, Beatles and Zeppelin all recorded versions you’ve probably heard. My favorite: The Flying Lizards. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_iQZiVD_zA&feature=related

I fly out of DC Wednesday and miss by a few hours a chance to see the Eels at the iconic 930 club. If you live in the area, check out the show – it should be a real Hootenany.

So, with Amy Winehouse’s death, there’s more attention to this phenomenon where famous musicians die at the age of 27. Listen to the list of names: Brian Jones (Rolling Stones), Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Ron Pigpen McKernan (Grateful Dead), Kurt Kobain and now Amy. And, there are a bunch more only slightly less famous. Lesson for you young rockers: lay off the drugs and alcohol(at least until your 28th birthday).

This weekend I got the new EP from the Last Royals in preparation for a feature on the talented new band from New York. Great stuff – check it out at thelastroyals.com

Finally. We’ve added all of the country’s largest cities to our “On The Road” Section of the website.  Now we need your help fleshing out the info for your fellow rockers. You can find the link at the top of this page, or get there by clicking here: ON THE ROAD.

Radio Review – Underground Garage

Tractor Tunes are our 30 minute radio station reviews. So, grab a PBR, slide on your headphones, hop on the tractor, and decide if this one is for you…

Sirius XM’s Underground Garage, Channel 21

Another journey into one of Sirius XM’s commercial-free music channels.  This station is just a little bit different than anything I’ve heard anywhere else; different in a good way. They describe their music as “The Coolest Rock and Roll Records Ever Made.” HOnestly – it is pretty damn cool stuff.

They dig deep into their music library and constantly unearth cool garage bands we never hear anywhere else, and toss in some deep cuts from more popular bands, as you see below with the Kinks. They also feature newer tunes, such as the ones from Social D and Joey Ramone in the sample below.

Just look at the diversity of artists to see how interesting this station is.

All of the DJ’s truly add to the experience. On this Saturday morning it was Bill Kelly behind the microphone, and he shared interesting and often little-known factoids about each song and artist – definitely high value-add information!

  • New York City – Joey Ramone 
  • Dedicated Follower of Fashion – Kinks 
  • Alligator – Foxboro Hot Tubs 
  • Social Distortion – Machine Gun Blues 
  • Sparklers – Ain’t No Friend of Mine
  • Pop – Down on the Boulevard
  • Otis Redding – That’s How Strong my Love is
  • Grip Weeds – Ready and Waiting
  • Smithereens – Rings on her Fingers

Stats:
Date: 7/9/11
Music: 95%

Chatter: 5%
Commercials  0%

Bonus Tip: Breakfast with the Beatles on Sundays at 9AM.


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Gabba Gabba Hey from the Grave

Heard Joey Ramones’ new release “New York City” the other day. It’s a cool tune reminiscent of late Ramones stuff, and I think we’ll see it become an anthem of sorts for the Big Apple – if it ever gets any airplay, and that’s a big “if.”. This one actually has the potential to be a hit. Interesting stuff considering Joey died more than 10 years ago. Heard it twice on Sirius XM’s, Little Steven’s Underground Garage in the past few days, but can’t find it on the web.  If I recall correctly, this album has been tied up in legal proceedings for about  five years. Sure, hope it sees the light of day.

Found a very cool live Foo Fighters song on Youtube. This one features the Foo’s drummer Taylor Hawkins getting behind the mike and stepping out in front of the band, while Roger Taylor slides into his seat behind the drums, and Brian May joins them on-stage for a cover of Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down.” It absolutely rocks, and would have made Freddie proud. Check it out here!  I’ve seen the Foo Fighters a few times, and truly believe Taylor could someday front his own band similar to the leap Dave Grohl took after Nirvana.

My current favorite new tune is “Crystal Vases” by The Last Royals. They’re a new duo out of Brooklyn New York, and this first tune is a killer.  If you live around Brooklyn, check them out at Pete’s Candy Store on July 25th. If you don’t live around New York, you are out of luck, as nothing else is planned at this time.

 

The Muppets are Coming – and that’s Good News, Rockers

Muhna-Muhna!

Hey, who didn’t love the aforementioned tune, or Rainbow Connection, or the Muppets theme? Now imagine them performed by some of the best bands playing these days. It sounds like we are still a few months away, but here’s the track listing for The Green Album to whet your appetite.

  1. OK Go: “Muppet Show Theme”
  2. Weezer and Paramore’s Hayley Williams: “Rainbow Connection”
  3. The Fray: “Mahna Mahna”
  4. Alkaline Trio: “Moving Right Along”
  5. My Morning Jacket: “Our World”
  6. Amy Lee: “Halfway Down the Stairs”
  7. Sondre Lerche: “Mr. Bassman”
  8. The Airborne Toxic Event: “Wishing Song”
  9. Atreyu’s Brandon Saller and Good Charlotte’s Billy Martin: “Night Life”
  10. Andrew Bird: “Bein’ Green”
  11. Matt Nathanson: “I Hope That Something Better Comes Along”
  12. Rachael Yamagata: “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday”

A few thoughts:

  • Rainbow Connection, with Weezer and Haley Williams – that’s just cool.
  • OK Go playing the theme – nice!
  • The Fray doing Mahna Mahna – I’m thinking that’s going to be a fun one
  • Sondre Lerche – I just love his voice. It will be very interesting hearing him do this cheerful ditty
  • Airborne Toxic Event – Predicting that this will be my favorite.

While you bide your time waiting for the album, I’ll leave you with this wisdom from Kermit: “Time’s fun when you’re having flies.”

 

On the Road Feature

Hey Animals – We’ve started a new feature called On The Road.  You can get there by clicking the link in the very Top left portion of the page, or by clicking here: On the Road.  Our goal is to give a quick one page city guide for our fellow Rock and Roll fans.

On the On The Road page, you’ll also find a quick link to the current tour schedule for each of our 48 featured cities.  It’s a nice feature you can leverage any time you hit the road.

We’ve put together a sample for Orlando if you’d like to check it out.  Our goal is to have this guide built as a collaborative effort between all of you and our editors.  Take a peek at the Orlando page and contact us at Rarasfarm to get the ball rolling. The templates for each city will be similar, but you can contribute even if you only have one tidbit to share.  And, we’ll keep updating them over time as we continue to get new information.

So, take a few minutes to think about your city and send your contributions it into us. We’ll give you credit as you help us improve this community!

Thanks!

There’s Another Big Man in Rock ‘n Roll Heaven

Another sad day for fans of rock music and Jersey boys like myself.  Clarence Clemons passed away in Florida yesterday, a week after suffering a massive stroke.

Bruce Springsteen to me was always Bruce Springsteen AND THE E-STREET BAND.  I’ve seen Springsteen numerous times in my life, but only while he toured with the rest of the band, as Springsteen without the E-Street band just wasn’t “The Boss.”  No one was more integral to the E-Street sound than Clarence Clemons.  The Big Man was a big presence on stage and a big part of the E-Street Band sound.  “Jungleland” and “10th Avenue Freeze Out” highlighted his powerful and beautiful sax solos. Though they were early Springsteen hits, the crowd always clamored for them, mainly to hear the Big Man’s work.

My first Springsteen show was 30 years ago during The River tour.  I loved everything about the nearly 4 hour show, but walked out amazed by the passion and skill of the E-Street band, with the Big Man, Mighty Max and Professor Roy Bittan first and foremost.  They were the power behind the might E-Street Band.

Over the years I’ve seen the band a handful of other times, and watched them change musical direction just as many times.  But, the mighty sax of Clemons was a constant.  I’ll forgive him for the poppy 80’s hit “You’re a Friend of Mine” with Jackson Brown, and his horrendous red leather outfit.  But, even there, that sax was perfect – just beautiful stuff.

The last time I saw the band was aweek after Danny Federici passed a few years ago, when the band started out the show with “Blood Brothers” and a moving video tribute to Danny. It turned out to be a huge celebration of his life and his contributions to the E-Street Band. Clarence sounded great that night, but you could tell the years were catching up. He was, well, showing his age.  I wondered if I’d ever see him on-stage again. I was thinking retirement, not his untimely death.  Somehow if there’s a next E-Street Tour, I’m just not sure they’ll be able to do the same justice for Clemons, absent his fantastic saxophone.

I’ll leave you with this nugget.  This song used to be the bed for my classic rock show back in college, and features the keyboards of Danny Federici and the might saxophone from The Master of Disaster, Emperor of the World, King of the Universe and Mayor of Half of Bayonne – The Big Man himself: Clarence Clemons.

Clarence and Danny

 

Random Musings

The Dodo’s from the Bay Area have a great distinctive sound, that I just can’t get enough of.  For a nice example of this duo’s catchy stuff, check out “Black Night” off of their recently released third album No Color. They’ll be playing around home later this summer, then starting a tour in the South in early September.

The Beastie Boys recently released a new tune featuirng Santigold.  I would never have pictured this pairing, but it works on “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win.”  Check it out at: Beasties.

I recently added a few cool videos to our YouTube Playlist.  You can search for it at YouTube, under Rara’s Farm – Fun.  Here’s my current favorite, and it is a fun flash from the past featuring Keith Moon.  Here’s Keith hitting some high notes!

Radio Review – Alt Nation

Tractor Tunes are our 30 minute radio station reviews. So, grab a PBR, slide on your headphones, hop on the tractor, and decide if this one is for you…

Sirius XM’s Alt Nation, Channel 36

Ah, the beauty of commercial-free radio. Alt Nation claims to play the latest alternative rock releases.  Not sure they live up to the “latest” but the selection is a pretty damn good mix of Alternative Rock.  Here’s what we heard on a recent Wednesday morning:

  • Radiohead – House of Cards (2009)
  • Naked and Famous – Punching In A Dream (2011)
  • Blink 182 – Feeling This (2003)
  • Last Royals – Crystal Vases (2011)
  • Arcade Fire – Rebellion Lies (2004)
  • Vampire Weekend – White Sky (2010)
  • Metric – Help I’m Alive (2008)
  • The Heavy – How You Like Me Now (2009)

Overall, a nice selection and an excellent way to ease into a work day, or battle through rush hour, or milk the cows.

Regan is the morning-drive DJ, and he’s entertaining; feeding us interesting tidbits about the artists played. As an example, he shared that the Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend recently played basketball against each other.  The interruptions are minimal and welcome.

Stats:
Date: 6/8/11Music: 97%
Chatter: 3%
Commercials  0%

To quote Sum 41: All Killer, No Filler.

Bonus Tip: Listen Saturday’s at 1PM for the Alt-18 Most Requested Countdown.

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