As you may know, Pearl Jam is being inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. This seems a bit weird as the band is one of those musical acts that have never really went away. What I mean to say is that they are the rare entity that has remained relevant for the better part of 25 years. They perfectly melded the pure rock of Van Halen with the punky spike of The Ramones, with the earthiness of Neil Young. They came at a time when there was no apex, so they invented one, and did it well. The band has toured relentlessly, released numerous above-average records, and survived the music business with little to no marketing, which is no small feat.
After a rocking March, we’re in for another great month for Rock And Roll Animals who love live Rock ‘n Roll There are a few interesting shows headed to Central Florida, as well as a cool festival in a beautiful part of the state.
Yup, they’re still together after six weeks on the road. I’m surprised, but that’s good news for Floridians. They’re one of the rare big acts to hit all three major Central Florida venues. Thu, Apr 12 in Orlando at Amway Center, Sat, Apr 14 at Tampa Bay Times Forum and Mon, Apr 16 at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. When they are on top of their game they are one of the best acts around.
4/12, Daughtry – saw him just after his American Idol success and the band put on a good show. He’s at The Hard Rock Cafe for those folks not headed out to see Van Halen.
4/13, Marshall Tucker – the classic rockers are at The Orlando Jai Alai. Interesting venue selection, but sometimes these shows are nice surprises.
4/19 – 4/21, Florida Music Festival – Diverse festival at locations around the area. The Dirty Heads, Filter and Candlebox are the big attractions, but there’s tons of offerings for new and emerging artists, too such as two of our favorites The Dropa Stone and Jackie Bristow. Check out their site here: Florida Music Festival
4/25, Say Anything – they’re at The Beacham with Kevin Devine and Fake Problems
4/26, Lit – this month’s Velvet Sessions at Hard Rock Hotel is a good one. These guys rock and put on a great show. And you know how much we love this intimate little gathering place.
4/11. Daughtry – Ruth Eckard Hall in Clearwater
4/12, Marshall Tucker – this time they hit the fairground circuit with WAR. Sounds cool to us; Manatee County Fairgrounds
4/20, Candlebox – they hit Jannus Live in St. Pete.
4/20, Dick Dale – this one is intriguing. Dick Dale is the greatest surf rock guitarist ever, and is just basically a guitar god. He’s at State Theater in St. Pete.
4/21, Filter – Another good live act with a powerful show. You can catch them at State Theater, too.
4/24, Elvis – This guy is hit or miss. We’ve seen Mr. Costello rock and also seen him kind of suck. If you want to roll the dice, he’ll be at Ruth Eckard Hall in Clearwater.
4/27, Lit – State Theater
4/28, 98 Rockfest – The Tampa Bay Times Forum will be rocking. Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch and Evanescence headline this big show.
4/28, Sister Hazel – Gainesville rockers head West. They usually put on a solid show.
4/28. Greg Lake – fantastic and under-appreciated musician. Highly recommended. He’s also at The Capitol Theater in Clearwater on the 30th.
4/6, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – Fun, fun stuff, and a BIG sound. They are a blast and you can see them at Cafe Eleven
4/10, Candlebox – Maverick’s
4/15, Daughtry – Moran Theater
4/27, Elvis Costello – Florida Theater
4/28, Rise Against – Help is on the way, Jacksonville! Get your hard rock fix at St. Augustine Amphitheater
4/29, Greg Lake – continues criss-crossing the state; he’s at Florida Theater
4/29, Welcome to Rockville – take Tampa’s 98 Rockfest and kick it up a notch or two by adding Korn and P.O.D. Powerful. They’ll all be at Metropolitan Park.
Rock By The Sea
How about a rock festival with a good line-up, a great cause and a fantastic location? It’s Rock By The Sea in Panama City. Sister Hazel and Shawn Mullins are two headliners, but we’re really stoked about Stroke 9. These guys rarely play in Florida and are phenomenal live. They alone might be worth the trip. Get more information on the festival and this year’s charities at: Rock By The Sea
The Best of Van Halen
Let’s be honest, the real Van Halen is the band we knew and loved in the seventies and eighties. We’re talking, Diamond Dave, Alex and Eddie and Michael Anthony. All of the other incarnations were weak imitations of the real thing. With that being stated, I took a look at the best Van Halen songs of the David Lee Roth era, which by default included the aforementioned line-up. Many of their best songs include brief intro songs – for those tunes, I’ve included both titles.
Only six albums over six fantastic years, from 1978 to 1984, but so many great tunes to sift through.
(You can click on each title to hear a snippet of the song or order from iTunes)
Bonus Track: Happy Trails – Diver Down – this one closes out the album, and is a happy singalong in perfect four part harmony and a damn near perfect way to close out what proved to be a great album.
12. Runnin’ with the Devil – Van Halen – the first track off of their first album. Great bass and harmonies from Michael Anthony, and the first of many great Eddie guitar solos. The perfect start to a perfect album side.
11. Eruption / You Really Got Me – Van Halen – the band’s first single and the second song off of their debut. And, no, I am not just going to run through all of the Tracks on the amazing debut album. The band learned a few Kinks song as they started out and this one was probably their best.
10. Cathedral / Secrets – Diver Down – Starts with a clever instrumental featuring Eddie’s playing around with his guitar – using the delay and fast-rolling the volume knob to emulate church organ sounds. “Secrets” has got a great bass driven beat and some nice bluesy vocals from David, who got some of the lyrics from old Indian greeting cards.
9. Panama – 1984 – Another fun video, this song was actually written about fast cars. Panama is reportedly the name of a car. The music is great, but this is really a showcase for David’s vocals.
8. Intruder / (Oh) Pretty Woman – Diver Down – Another great cover version from the guys, this time putting a nice spin on Roy Orbison’s classic. The instrumental intro featuring Alex’s powerful drumming is as good as the song itself.
7. Hot for Teacher – 1984 – It’s an incredibly fun song about a kid’s crushes on his hot high school teachers, and two decades before Debra Lafave’s notoriety. It’s David Lee Roth and Alex at their best. This one beats out fellow 1984 hit “Jump” as their best video.
6. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love – Van Halen – Great guitar intro that Eddie started as a punk rock parody. It’s a fun song about casual sex and it absolutely rocks from start to finish. You have to love the lyrics: “You’re semi-good looking.”
5. Ice Cream Man – Van Halen – Another great cover song, this one a bluesy cover of John Brim’s 50’s hit. This one actually features David on acoustic guitar for the first verse. It’s the best example of the band’s, especially David’s, love of classic Blues.
4. Little Guitars – Diver Down – Eddie on a miniature Les Paul. On the intro he offers up some amazing finger picking (with his pick) in a beautiful solo. After that, it’s straight forward rock and roll with a bit of Flamenco feel to it. One of Eddie’s most diverse and entertaining songs.
3. Everybody Wants Some!! – Women and Children First – The song starts out with some tribal beats and Eddie on the whammy bar, then the guitar thunders into the song. From there it’s just straight forward kick ass rock and roll.
2. And the Cradle Will Rock… – Women and Children First – The fantastic beginning is Eddie on guitar and Wurlitzer piano as well as a Leslie rotation speaker cabinet to get that cool dopler effect. Cool stuff, and it absolutely rocks throughout. Definitely one of Eddie’s most complete and diverse songs. Crank it up!
1. Unchained – Fair Warning – The album was mediocre, but this song is just about perfect. Love the interlude where David and Producer Ted Templeman trade a few barbs, as well. This song epitomizes the DLR era. David’s vocals are spot on, Eddie’s guitar riff is perfect, and Alex and Michael are great, too.
There you have it. Twelve amazing songs and I’m sure I left out a few great ones, especially off of the first two albums: songs like “Jamie’s Cryin'” “Little Dreamer,” “Beautiful Girls” and “Dance the Night Away.” As I reflect on these choices, it’s interesting to note that my Top 3, are all of what I felt were their two weakest albums…
Let me know your thoughts.
Rock On – Cretin
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.
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.
- The Last Royals
- Adam Ant
- Alice In Chains
- Bad Religion
- Suicidal Tendencies
Just a few random thoughts:
- In an interview earlier this week with Eric James of The Last Royals, be mentioned Arcade Fire being the band at the top of their game right now. Hard to argue with that. I love the band and was happy to see them win the Grammy for Album of the Year for their album Suburbs earlier this year. Although Suburbs is indeed Grammy worthy. I think their 2008 release Neon Bible is better yet. For fans of the band, SiriusXM’s and the band are sponsoring a free show in Montreal on September 22nd. If you are not in the area, the show will also be broadcast live.
- Say It Isn’t So – Van Halen is really planning a tour and new album with David Lee Roth, and without Michael Anthony? No way this turns out good. I’m a big fan of reunion tours, but this one just seems destined for disaster.
- Former Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri was charged with four felonies after a fight with his ex-girlfriend turned into a four-hour standoff with police. Oliveri was holed-up with his ex-girlfriend inside his apartment. When the 39 year-old was taken into custody, the police found a full-loaded rifle along with cocaine and meth-amphetamines. Not smart – it’s getting easy to understand why he was tossed from the band. He’s looking at 15 years in prison.
- You’ve heard us mention The Dodos a duo out of San Francisco and their unique version of rock and roll. Well, they’re offering free tickets and downloads at their website. Check it out at: The Dodo’s
- One of our Twitter followers sent us a link to listen to some new music from a Finnish band: Siberian Jay. It’s a little raw and under-produced, but there’s lots of potential there. Check it out, and thanks to FooFightHans for the suggestion. Follow us at Twitter: rarasfarm or Like us on Facebook to keep in touch and get immediate site updates.