Tag Archives: beatles

The Last of the Original Ramones

ramones

R.I.P. Ramones

I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh…

Tommy Ramone succumbs in his battle against bile duct cancer, and the first thing I think of is The Beatles?

I know, it seems kind of crazy, but to me, it all makes sense.

In a way, The Ramones, were my Beatles. No, I am not saying they were as talented, prolific, famous, charming, and damn sure not as good looking. Nope, but these ugly bastards were wonderful in their own right, and in their own way genre-defining, as well. I love and appreciate all that The Beatles did, but I LOVED The Ramones.

By the time I was aware of The Ramones, Tommy had already been replaced on drums, in what became one of those infamous Spinal Tap-like revolving door positions speckled throughout rock history.

Tommy wrote and played drums on the band’s first three albums, during that chaotic creative outburst that spanned 1976 and 1977. The debut offering, eponymously titled, was churned out in one week, cost less than ten grand and actually mimicked some recording techniques used by the Beatles.  But this music was just a wee bit different.

From Johnny’s piercing opening guitar riff, Tommy’s violent drumming, and Joey’s first lyrics “Hey Ho, Let’s Go,” the first track, “Blitzkrieg Bop” grabbed you by the ears and demanded attention.  It was a breakneck punk anthem-in-the-waiting and the sign of things to come on the album and in the future. It was splattered with raw, powerful, aggressive punk. But it wasn’t all high-powered punk, as the album also offered the tender “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” a yearning ballad penned by Tommy.

Their music was often violent, sometimes political, usually thought provoking, occasionally funny and constantly captivating.   They poured out a dozen albums in their tumultuous two decades together, music often covered by diverse artists, and inspiration for countless punk bands in the years to come.

The band members, who were all unrelated, fought like brothers.  I’ve read enough about the band to realize that in the end, they actually did hate each other and that antagonistic relationship permeated their time together. But, that friction led to good, edgy, passionate music.

Wiry thin frontman, Joey (think a thinner, uglier Howard Stern) was the face of the band. Decked in shredded jeans, an omnipresent leather jacket and dark shades, he was a loner and all around cranky dude. He was, well how do you say it… a dick when he performed. I saw him shove a few fans off of the stage and clock a few with the business end of a mic stand. But he had undeniable charisma.  He got most of the attention, and I think that added to the band’s friction, as he did minimal writing, and had questionable musical talent, but I loved watching him on-stage. And, I was not alone.

I’m tough to please at live concerts, but I caught these ruffians a handful of times and always left the night with a huge smile plastered on my face. I sang along to all of their crazy lyrics; I hate to dance, but never stopped bouncing around at a Ramones show; and I stage dove exactly once in my 500 or so concerts – yup, at a Ramones show.  Their sets were short, energetic and absolute mayhem; damn near rock ‘n roll perfection.

After Tommy left the band, frustrated by poor record sales, the others pounded out a dozen more albums and a slew of memorable hits. The record sales came later, as a direct result of their killer live performances.  They took an unusual approach on their fifth album, End Of The Century, where they collaborated with legendary producer Phil Spector. The result? A big Motown influenced sound, with another handful of killer tracks. Again, they pushed the envelope, and opened up fertile new ground for punk performers.

Not all rock critics and fans loved the band and their music, but the great majority could not deny the critical role they played in rock history.

Just put me in a wheelchair get me to the show
Hurry hurry hurry before I go loco
I can’t control my fingers I can’t control my toes
Oh no no no no no

If you’re a fan of rock music and you don’t own any Ramones, grab the album linked below this post. If you’ve already got your Ramones library well-stocked, take a few minutes and get your fix. You’ll be guaranteed to start your week off in a better mood.

I’ll leave you with this little sound check from the song where I grabbed my moniker.

All good cretins have gone to heaven; long live The Ramones!

Rock On!
Cretin

Paul McCartney Amazes as he Kicks Off US Tour


Paul McCartney Out There Concert Review

Paul McCartney kicked off his U.S. Tour at the Amway Center last night, and the show was spectacular. He made his first visit to Orlando in thirty years a memorable one; a show that was amazing in every sense of the word.

  • 165 minutes of amazing hits.
  • 38 songs.
  • 25 Beatles songs.
  • A dozen priceless stories.
  • At least 5 Beatles songs never before played by McCartney in the US.
  • 2 encores.
  • 1 amazing genre defining show.

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I’ve been attending rock shows for many years, and have probably seen a thousand rock artists perform live.  I was too young to catch The Beatles and somehow never caught Sir Paul. Saturday night in Orlando, I realized what I’ve been missing all these years. Simply put, it is just one of those shows that needs to be in any rock and roll animal’s concert-going portfolio.

“Oh my, that man is 70 years-old”

Uncharted charisma, boundless energy, superb musical talent, a liberal sharing of his immense library of timeless hits and a voice that is still one for the ages; it’s a sure-fire recipe for success.

This is a show and a tour that any rock fan of any age needs to attend.  At seventy, there likely won’t be many more chances. And, regardless of the age, he puts on a performance absolutely better that almost any artist on the road today.

As an honest confession, I started the show as a reporter, but less than an hour into the spectacle, I had changed my perspective to “Screw it, I am going to just sit back (or stand up), enjoy this evening and soak it all in.” And damn sure, that’s exactly what I did.

Now, before I get into the details, here’s a spoiler alert: If you are going to see the show soon and want to be surprised, now might be a good time to stop reading.  The setlist is provided here if you’d like to check it out.

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Paul McCartney at Amway Center
Paul McCartney at Amway Center in Orlando

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Show Recap:

It didn’t take long to get the sold out Amway Center crowd on their feet. McCartney and his band mates took the stage to a rousing welcome and kicked into a smashing version of “Eight Days A Week,” a song Paul has rarely played, and not once since 1965! Not quite Beatlemania, but the crowd was instantly at near-fever pitch. He followed that with a powerful version of his Wings hit “Junior’s Farm” and the electricity never left the show.

The stage set-up was fitting for a rock show of this magnitude. Their was a large video screen behind the stage, flanked by two smaller ones for fans to the sides of the stage. However, the coolest video feature was a stage floor that was fully animated, adding an extra level of interactive entertainment to the experience.  The lighting was fantastic and the pyrotechnics excellent.

Throughout the evening McCartney showcased his broad musical talent. At various times, we saw him play an assortment of guitars, bass guitar, ukulele, piano and keyboards. Although the show is all about McCartney, he has again surrounded himself with a superbly talented band. Guitarist Rusty Anderson and the versatile Brian Ray traded off nice leads all night, while keyboard player Paul Wickens and Drummer Abe Laboriel were excellent, as well.  Most of the players have been touring with McCartney for years and they were extremely tight on stage.

McCartney dug deep into his robust catalog for a few other Beatles songs he had never played before in the United States.  We heard the American debuts for “Your Mother Should Know,” a rollicking version of “All Together Now” and a cool take on John Lennon’s masterful “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” He pulled out “Lovely Rita” during the first encore set and also played his seldom heard classic “Another Day.” Lots of unexpected treats for the fans from Florida.

During the bluesy Wings rocker “Let Me Roll It” we heard the now familiar tribute to fellow lefty Jimi Hendrix, and a nice long snippet of “Foxy Lady,” where McCartney nailed Jimi’s solo.  He again shared a nice story about how Hendrix opened his 1967 tour with a version of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” just two days after the album was released. It’s a story, like a few others this night, that we’ve heard before. But, Paul, a master story-teller is like that beloved uncle sharing the same old stories and still bringing a smile to your face every time. We heard some new tales, too, including a few humorous stories from his recent Brazilian tour and the virally famous grasshopper incident. As McCartney said, “just Google McCartney Grasshoppers” to see it.

An hour into the show, McCartney grabbed an acoustic guitar and moved to a small platform in front of the main stage, while the band took a short break.  As he played the Civil Rights-era anthem “Blackbird,”, the stage elevated about twenty feet. Before descending, he also offered up a poignant version of his John Lennon tribute “Here Today.”  There were some minor sound issues on the latter, but still a highlight moment.

He pulled out the ukulele for a cool re-imagined version of “Something,” sharing a story about jamming on duel ukuleles at George Harrison’s place. He then shared Frank Sinatra’s timeless quote that “Something” is “the greatest McCartney/Lennon song ever written!”  Great compliment, but as Paul noted,”George wrote it.”

Towards the end of the main set, we heard a few popular Wings’ songs. “Hi, Hi, Hi” was a fun surprise and another one not often played by McCartney, and was followed up by a killer version of “Band on the Run.” From there it was “Back in the USSR,” an electrifying “Let It Be” and the explosive “Live and Let ie.”  He closed the set with an extended sing-along version of “Hey Jude.”

Over the course of the two encores, he offered up eight more Beatles classics, including “Day Tripper,” “Get Back,” a tender solo version of “Yesterday” and a heavy, powerful rendition of “Helter Skelter,” where the video boards and stage were fantastically animated.

As we neared the three hour mark, it was the familiar closing medley of “Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End,” the fantastic culmination of “Abbey Road” and a fitting end to a magnificent night in Orlando.

Rock On!
Cretin

 


Paul McCartney’s Orlando Setlist


Paul McCartney Amway Center Setlist

Paul McCartney kicked off his US Tour in Orlando last night, and the show was spectacular  He made his first visit to Orlando in thirty years a memorable one, featuring 38 songs in a three hour set, including 25 Beatles songs!  Below is the setlist.  Follow Us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to get notifications when the show review is published.

Here’s the Show Review

And our Paul McCartney Amway Center Photos

Setlist
Eight Days a Week (The Beatles song)
Junior’s Farm (Wings song)
All My Loving (The Beatles song)
Listen to What the Man Said (Wings song)
Let Me Roll It (Wings song) With a nice piece of Foxy Lady thrown in
Paperback Writer (The Beatles song)
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five (Wings song)
The Long and Winding Road (The Beatles song)
Maybe I’m Amazed
Hope of Deliverance
We Can Work It Out (The Beatles song)
Another Day
And I Love Her (The Beatles song)
Blackbird (The Beatles song)
Here Today
Your Mother Should Know (The Beatles song)
Lady Madonna (The Beatles song)
All Together Now (The Beatles song)
Mrs. Vandebilt (Wings song)
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles song)
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (The Beatles song)
Something (The Beatles song)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles song)
Hi, Hi, Hi (Wings song)
Band on the Run (Wings song)
Back in the U.S.S.R. (The Beatles song)
Let It Be (The Beatles song)
Live and Let Die (Wings song)
Hey Jude (The Beatles song)

Encore:
Day Tripper (The Beatles song)
Lovely Rita (The Beatles song)
Get Back (The Beatles song)

Encore 2:
Yesterday (The Beatles song)
Helter Skelter (The Beatles song)
Golden Slumbers (The Beatles song)
Carry That Weight (The Beatles song)
The End (The Beatles song)

Paul McCartney is Headed to Orlando

Paul McCartney Concert Announcement

The world’s biggest rock icon is coming to Orlando – Paul McCartney has announced that he will be kicking off his all-new 2013 “Out There” tour right here in Central Florida at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on May 18th. This is a huge coup for the Amway Center, which is a great arena to catch a show. It’s also one of the few locales where you won’t be in an outdoor stadium environment, which will offer local fans a rare intimate setting for the Beatles’ legend.

McCartney is famous for his three hour rock spectaculars and has been creating amazing rock experiences for fifty years. At a spry 70, he still puts on a great show, and is a performer that just can’t be missed. This trip will be McCartney’s first performance in the city in twenty years, and will be his only Florida performance on this tour.

McCartney’s “Out There” tour is a brand new, never-before-seen production featuring hours of material from the greatest catalog in rock history. McCartney will be performing songs spanning his entire career: as a solo artist, member of the Beatles and from his days with Wings. Simply put, it’s a show that can’t be missed by any rock fan.

See below for ticket information

From the press release:

The McCartney live experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity. For approximately three hours, many of the greatest moments of the last 50 years of musical history–not to mention the soundtracks of entire lives–are magically brought to life as only McCartney’s can do. Last year marked 40 years since McCartney’s premiere tour as a solo artist and these past four decades have seen him play in a staggeringly impressive range of venues and locations, including outside the Coliseum in Rome, in Moscow’s Red Square, at the White House, a free show in Mexico to over 400,000 people and even a performance beamed into outer space. Having played with his peerless band of Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens (keyboards), Rusty Anderson (guitar), Abe Laboriel Jr. (drums) and Brian Ray (bass/guitar) for over ten years, Paul never disappoints.

Paul McCartney Out There Tour hits Orlando
Paul McCartney Out There Tour hits Orlando

McCartney is throwing himself into 2013 with full force following yet another landmark year in 2012, which saw him conclude his record-breaking “On The Run” tour, release his Grammy®-winning “Kisses On The Bottom” album, accept a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, play at both the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics Opening Ceremony, be named MusiCares Person of the Year and headline 12-12-12 The Concert For Sandy Relief–to highlight just a few memorable moments. With the “Out There'” tour and a new studio album in the works, it looks like 2013 will show no signs of McCartney slowing down.

Ticket Information

  • Tickets on sale beginning Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster.com.
  • American Express® Card members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Tuesday, April 9 at 10 a.m. through Thursday, April 11 at 10 p.m EDT.

Follow us on Twitter, or Like us on Facebook to keep informed of all the latest news.

Rock On!

Mike G

PAUL McCARTNEY – OUT THERE U.S. TOUR 2013 (more dates will be added soon)

May 18 – Orlando FL – Amway Center
May 22 – Austin TX – Frank Erwin Center
May 26 – Memphis TN – FedEx Forum
May 29 – Tulsa OK – BOK Center
July 9 – Boston MA – Fenway Park
July 12 – Washington DC – Nationals Ballpark
July 19 – Seattle WA – Safeco Field

The 25 Greatest Rock Albums Ever, According to Me


A few years ago, I started jotting down thoughts about the seminal albums of my lifetime, the pieces of musical genius that helped shape my musical being.  What better time to dig out that list and freshen it up, as RARA’s Farm posts our one hundredth article.

As a self-described rock ‘n roll freak, there were many fantastic albums to choose from, but what set these apart was that every song on every album was great. Not just one great “side” for you old timers. I will admit first that for most of these, there’s no great deep personal meaning, and for some, I don’t even know the lyrics – but hey, I liked the MUSIC, and it’s my list…

My self inflicted rules: No compilations, which ruled out Bob Marley, The Baby’s, Ramones and the Beautiful South; and no live albums eliminating Neil Young, Johnny Cash and Cheap Trick. Also, I only allowed myself one from each artist. So, with all of those considerations, I think what follows would better be described as 25 Great Albums, not quite the 25 Greatest.

The albums are listed in the order that I fell in love with each of these masterpieces. You can click the iTunes link after each album to check them out yourself.

Moody Blues – Days of Future Passed – my Uncle turned me on to this one and it was my first taste of album rock – a great suggestion by a smart man. Classic rock with a full orchestra, and some pretty diverse stuff. This psychedelic treat is an amazing headphones experience. It was a tough choice between this and Long Distance Voyager, only because Voyager bridged the gap from my Aunts’ and Uncles’ musical era into the 80’s and was the first big concert I attended. Days of Future Passed - The Moody Blues

Who – Who’s Next – sure I was first attracted to “They’re all wasted” from “Baba O’Reilly,”  but this album is packed with nothing but great rock, “The Song is Over” never gets enough credit – but it’s my favorite Who song of all-time. Most of these songs were penned for Lifehouse, Pete Townshend’s failed follow-up to Tommy. This was Townshend’s first major foray into integrating synthesizers and it works perfectly. Who's Next (Remastered) - The Who

Queen – Night at the Opera – My brother loved this album before I did. I actually liked the non-Freddy tunes at first, like Roger Taylor’s “I’m in Love with My Car”, or Brian May’s “39,” but later came to appreciate Freddy’s pure genius on songs like “Love of My Life” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Another very diverse collection. I’m bummed that I never got to see these guys live. A Night At the Opera - Queen

Kansas – Leftoverture – this album was the second album I heard where everything seemed to fit together perfectly (after Nights in White Satin). The best album ever for headphone listening – can’t imagine how many times I fell asleep to this one with those soup bowl sized headphones still on, as the eight track continuously clicked through the tracks. To give you an idea how good this one was, “Carry On My Wayward Son” is the only hit, but probably my least favorite song on this great concept album. Leftoverture - Kansas

Bruce Springsteen – The River – I loved everything Bruce did before this and a few after. With so many great albums, this was a tough decision – but this is a rarity – a double album where every track is strong. The album featured Bruce really diving into relationships and telling stories we could all relate to. “Sherry Darlin,” “Ramrod,” “Crush on You” and “I Wanna Marry You” are in my all-time list for Bruce. Born to Run didn’t exactly suck either. The River - Bruce Springsteen

Cars – Cars – an amazing debut album, and although they followed this with many hits, they never came close to a collection as complete as their initial effort. This is a rarity on the list, an album that I admire, performed by a band that just sucked live on stage. Absolutely love “All Mixed Up/Moving in Stereo,” and not at all because of the Fast Times flashback… The Cars - The Cars

Tom Petty – Damn the Torpedoes – This was fabulous the first time I heard it and grew better every time I listened to it. I remember playing this often when I first moved away from home to live at college, and the familiar feel eased the transition. Such a smooth diverse album. It starts off with “Refugee” and EVERY song after is better. Great stuff! Damn the Torpedoes (Remastered) - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Meatloaf – Bat Out of Hell – Meat sure could sing, but the arrangements and musicians on this album overshadow his great voice. This is one of the few where I knew every word to every song. These are still classic and timeless party songs, including Phil Rizzuto’s captivating play-by-play and the perfect boy/girl trade-offs of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” And, “No,” you don’t sound just like the record when drunkenly singing this at late night karaoke! Bat Out of Hell - Meat Loaf

Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – My first words as an infant were actually “Yeah, Yeah. Yeah,” from their 1963 hit “She Loves You,” but I never realized how great the Beatles were until I got this album. McCartney and Lennon at their best, but this one also features Ringo’s best “With a Little Help from My Friends.” The way the album ends with “A Day in the Life” is the best ending to any album EVER, which is appropriate, as this just might be the best of the best, from the best. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here – I loved all of their efforts, including The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon and 1990’s under appreciated Division Bell. But this one, a tribute to the mercurial Syd Barrett is their most musically packed. This classic features “Have a Cigar” and “Welcome to the Machine;” then there’s all nine parts and 26 plus minutes of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,”  just amazing… Wish You Were Here (Remastered) - Pink Floyd

The Alarm – Strength – One late night on my first shift on college radio I popped in the cart for “68 Guns” and fell in love with this unknown band – two years later, they released Strength, and played close by. I skipped the show because the $3.00 price tag was the equivalent of 30 beers at the Bus Stop – figured I’d have plenty of other chances. Unfortunately a few years later Mike Peters walked off the stage in the middle of “Blaze of Glory” and they were done. This album features the classic “Spirit of 76,” and the song I walked down the aisle to: “Walk Forever by my Side.” Strength 1985-1986 (Remastered) - The Alarm

REM – Reckoning – yeah, I confess that I don’t understand the lyrics to half of these songs – but does anybody? Every one of the tracks off of the band’s second album is a memorable ditty. Simple, catchy and fun. My first “go to” album as a college DJ. “Pretty Persuasion,” “So. Central Rain (Sorry)” and “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville” were the classics, but “Harborcoat” and “7 Chinese Bros.” were just as good. Reckoning - R.E.M.

Prince – Purple Rain – Truthfully, a girl named Nikki turned me on to this one, but I did not meet her in a hotel lobby…  Before this, I thought Prince was a flash-in-the-pan pop star. This album proved he was a rock legend, and that my first impressions were pretty pathetic and way off-base. Solid from the first note of “Lets Go Crazy” through the final chords of “Purple Rain;” and it includes my all-time favorite Prince song, “Baby I’m a Star.” Purple Rain (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) - Prince & The Revolution

Alice Cooper – Schools Out – Didn’t listen to this until long after it was released when I stumbled across it on my late night Heavy Metal show. It’s another great concept album, with lots of creative stuff complementing the title track. “Public Animal #9” is pure rock, and “Grande Finale” is fantastically diverse! Mr. Furnier never got enough credit for being a great musician, and this classic never gets its just due. School's Out - Alice Cooper

Dire Straits – Love Over Gold – 5 songs. “Industrial Disease” is the only one that ever got any airplay – but this is packed with amazing guitar work from Mark Knopfler. The 14 minute “Telegraph Road” is one of my Top 10 all-time songs, and one of the great drum songs of all time from Pick Withers. It was hard not selecting Brothers In Arms, too. Love Over Gold - Dire Straits

U-2 – The Joshua Tree – I loved Boy, too, and Achtung Baby and Unforgettable Fire, and… This one edges them out because the non-hits are better, including “Trip Through Your Wires,” “Running to Stand Still” and “Red Hill Mining Town.” The album was driven by the band’s new found infatuation with America, but starts off with an amazing song about Belfast, a place where the streets had no name. The Joshua Tree (Remastered) - U2

Thrashing Doves – Bedrock Vice – I’m about to leave the Chestnut Cabaret after an energy packed Chasers show, and these “kids” get on stage pimping their first album. I decide to hang around and loved their stuff. If you ever see this one in a bargain bin grab it. “Biba’s Basement” and “Beautiful Imbalance” were addictive, but “Jesus on the Payroll” was the most intriguing. Definitely the most obscure album on the list, but it’s an unknown treasure.

Paul Westerberg – 14 Songs – I know this will piss off Replacement fans, but I think this is better than any of his efforts with the quartet from Minneapolis. The first time I listened straight through I assumed this was a greatest hits CD – lots of great stuff. “World Class Fad” is tremendous and “Things” is a beautiful ballad. 14 Songs - Paul Westerberg

Barenaked Ladies – Gordon – I bought it for “$1,000,000” – but there were so many more valuable tunes in store. “Enid,” “Grade Nine,” and “Yoko Ono” are just a few of the fun ones.  The album also features the magnificent “Brian Wilson, and some of BNL’s most touching stuff.  The best song is the under-appreciated “What a Good Boy.” Gordon - Barenaked Ladies

Stroke 9 – Nasty Little Thoughts – another band I found by mistake. They opened for someone else – I think Lit – and I loved their stuff. Yup, this is the one with “Little Black Back Pack,” but it’s packed with a bunch of other great tunes. Still amazed this band never took off. On this album, we also get to listen to “Letters,” “Washin’ and Wonderin'” and my favorite S9 tune, “Not Nothin’.” Nasty Little Thoughts - Stroke 9

Flogging Molly – Within a Mile of Home – They admittedly get extra points because of my Irish romanticism. I love the diversity on this one, and the lyrics touch my soul. “Factory Girls,” with a guest spot from Lucinda Williams is a great ride. We get to see the band stretch themselves in new ways, and it works throughout.  “Tobacco Island” is a historic flashback sure to get your Irish up. Within a Mile of Home - Flogging Molly

Green Day – American IdiotDookie and Nimrod were great, too, but I selected this one because it showed how the band was growing and adjusting to the times, and because it absolutely kicks ass. The album is written around a fictitious character “Jesus of Suburbia” and his trials and travails.  The title track is great, and one of a handful of true classics, including “Are We the Waiting,” “Holiday” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”  The non-hits include some of the band’s most creative efforts to date, as well. American Idiot - Green Day

Muse – Black Holes and Revelations – One of the first songs I heard on XM’s old Alternative Rock station Ethel was “Starlight.” I went out and bought the album the following day, and it is packed with hard charging rock and roll, pre-Twilight fame. The final track, “Knights of Cydonia” is one of the best songs of the new century. Black Holes and Revelations - Muse

Arcade Fire – Neon Bible – This one is a reflection of the times – The first selection on this list where I don’t own this album, but instead have the MP3’s. Haven’t seen them live yet, but I’m sure they’ll blow me away. From “Black Mirror” to “My Body is a Cage” – they are all powerful songs. Funeral, their debut album, was another great collection. Neon Bible - Arcade Fire

Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend – A surprise quirky Indie-Rock hit in 2008. This eponymous debut album was packed with gems that dominated Indie and Alt-Rock radio for a few years.  “A-Punk” was the biggest hit, but there were plenty of other excellent tracks. “Oxford Comma,” “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” and “Walcott” highlight the band’s diversity. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

Just missed – The Clash – London Calling – should have been a single album, there are a dozen or so great songs, but they unfortunately stretched it out to 4 sides, and Armed Forces by Elvis Costello – loved the songs and sang along, even though I still have no idea what “Green Shirt” and “Good Squad” were about…

So, there you have it – a bit longer than I thought, but that was fun for me. If you made it through the entire list, thanks for your patience, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below…

Rock On!
Cretin

2012 – Not Just the End of the World

I took a quick tour around the internet to capture some of the items we have to look forward to before the impending end of the world.

Follow @rarasfarm

Here’s a primer for the next few months:

  • In the first five weeks of the year, both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr release new albums.
  • As they announced from Times Square on New Years Eve, Van Halen will release their first album with David Lee Roth since 1984 (that’s 28 years for those of you counting at home). They’ll release their first single and start selling tour tickets on January 10th.  The odds of them finishing the tour? 12:1.
  • Albuquerque’s The Shins  will release their Fourth album, Port of Morrow this March

Heavily anticipated 2012 releases with unknown dates:

  • Punk legends Green Day, The Offspring and Rancid all have new stuff on the way.
  • Six of today’s top bands will return to the charts in 2012: Muse, The Killers, Queens of the Stone Age, The Strokes, MGMT and Linkin Park
  • Classic Rock fans will see new albums from legends Bruce Springsteen, Rush, Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Guns and Roses (Slash has an album on the way, too).
  • Hard Rockers Metallica, Alice in Chains and Marilyn Manson deliver new goods.
Two RARAs Farm favorites have new albums o the way:
  • Lovedrug
  • The Last Royals
A few other artists who may be of interest to RARAsFarm readers:
  • Adam Ant
  • Alice In Chains
  • Bad Religion
  • Garbage
  • Keane
  • Kiss
  • Queensryche
  • Soundgarden
  • Suicidal Tendencies
All told, lots to look forward to, while we still can, of course…
Mike G – January, 2012