Monday, January 11, 2016

I Don't Know Where I'm Going From Here, But I Promise It Won't Be Boring ~ David Bowie

 Look up here, I’m in heaven
I’ve got scars that can’t be seen
I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen
Everybody knows me now
Lazarus ~David Bowie

David Robert Jones was destined to be a glittery, innovative, artistic star. With Space Oddity and  The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, the world would never be the same. He would constantly metamorphose, never looking for permission, never asking forgiveness. He's created some of our generation's most iconic and almost cult classic songs. He stood along side other rock icons, Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger, played with Stevie Ray Vaughan and T Rex,  and gave us songs that should be considered a part of the gospels of rock and roll. 

David Bowie inspired artists and musicians alike. He epitomized inventing oneself over and over. And yet he was inspired by artists and musicians as well. Glam, soul, funk, rock, blues influenced his sound and his soul. 

Outside of music he acted and became a part of every 80's kid childhood as Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth. His characters were as unique as Bowie himself.

Even on his 69th birthday a few, short days ago, we received more wonderful music from him with the release of Blackstar. Re-invented again, the lyrics as gorgeous as ever, but haunting. His voice still glittery, shining and pure. He always knew and accepted his fame and wanted to be the best and that best was to be superhuman and a star. 

The world seems a little less glittery today but the stars a bit brighter. Our starman is now waiting in the sky. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Street Dogs ... Wrecking the Halls For Ten Years On

Punk is still alive and well in Boston. 2015 saw the tenth annual Wreck the Halls held this year at Allston’s Brighton Music Hall. For the first time, the Street Dogs played full albums for each show. Savin Hill, Back to the World, Fading American Dream were heard track by track, along with some fan favorites like Tobe's Got a Drinking Problem and Not Without a Purpose, along with band favorites by The Clash on December 18th, 19th, and 20th. 
Photo credit John Cetrino 2015
 With Mike McColgan on lead vocals, Johnny Rioux on bass, Matt Pruitt on lead guitar, and Lenny Lashley on rhythm guitar, the current lineup of the 12 year old band was honored on December 18th by Boston Mayor, Marty Walsh, who proclaimed the day Street Dogs Day in Boston. 

With the Boston Police Department Pipes and Drums kicking off Friday night, it was full on pogo time with moshing (co-ed), stage diving, and lots of oi's being thrown about. What was very evident, was how the band, who took a brief hiatus in 2012, is still growing in their fan base. Why? It has to do with their roots. 
Boston is a proud city, understatement of the century. Street Dogs is a band that supports not only Boston, but its workers, unions, and military. Their fan base are kids, adults, Boston born and bred Sox and Celtic fans, who work tirelessly for the City they love. It's a perfect match.
If you're not into punk so much, but still dig an album that Mick Jones and Joe Strummer could have written the lyrics for, check out FM 359, a side project of SD members McColgan, Rioux, and Sosa along with Rick Barton.They released Truth, Love and Liberty in January 2014 and according to Michael Rampa of Octane Magazine:
 Some are calling it a “humanitarian (non-religious) gospel Americana (punk) rock record”, While the influences are apparent , the resulting sound is unique and defies being categorized in any single genre. Whatever its label, this band has the potential to bring an unconventional sound into the mainstream  the way Mumford and Sons turned folk into chart gold. 
Truth, Love and Liberty has the punk attitude and Boston pride, but it is stripped down to the barest, yet fullest of sound. Give the  album a whirl, especially if you like a Celtic or Mumford and Sons sound.

Hopefully 2016 will give us some more touring and more tunes for the Street Dogs to follow up on their Record Day release of Street Dogs Crooked Drunken Sons. Heavy material, but definitely deserved of an audience. There are politics to discuss, unions to defend, and our heroes in uniform that need our support. This is the band to put lyrics to the issues and strike a chord (literally) with some of their listeners. Street Dogs write songs that matter. And Street Dogs write songs you should listen to.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Everything About You Is So F*I*N*E Fine

26 years later and each word comes back like the first day this album debuted. While their tenth album, it catapulted them off their previous album, Permanent Vacation. Hits like Angel, Ragdoll, and Dude Looks Like a Lady had them on the pop charts. While no stranger to fame, it would be Permanent Vacation and Pump that made them video stars. 

I also look back and think If my parents only knew what I was listening to! This album is filled with sex, sex, some serious heavy shit, and a little more sex. It's classic Aerosmith filled with ballads, driving rhythm(pun intended if you like), and quick tempo songs with the addition of horns and some didgeridoos. From the first beats of Young Lust to the final notes of What it Takes, its classic toxic twins Aerosmith. 

Young Lust
The opening beats speed along until you're hit full speed with Joey Kramer's drums and Perry's signature guitar. Perfect intro anthem for this album.

You don't learn what this title stands for until you watch the documentary on the making of Pump. And it so fits the attitude of this album and of the band at this time in their career. 
I feel like I'm hung up on the line
I'd die for you but we were partners in the crime
Everything about you is so f-i-n-e- FINE
Let's put our clothes back on
and by the way girl
What's your name again?
 One night stands, with standards, and obsessing about a woman in particular, FINE kicks of an album that truly is F#%ked Up * Insecrure *Neruotic  *Emotional

Goin' Down / Love in an Elevator
How many of you still think of this song when you get into an elevator. Innuendo packed and one of Aerosmith's classic songs, Elevator lives up to Aerosmith sexy reputation.

Monkey on My Back
Bluesy and the only time you hear the title (PUMP) whispered once the drums start. A song about the monkey on Aerosmith's drug and alcohol addictions, this song has serious message. 
Water Song >Janie's Got a Gun 
The band really had some heavy material to deal with on this album. A song about a young woman who kills her abuser, who happens to be her father, again Aerosmith brings attention to pressing matters on this album.

Dulcimer Stomp>Other Side
How Shakespearean? Just what is "the other side" Steven?

My Girl
A rocking love song about Sadie and how awesome she is. 

Don't Get Mad Get Even
What do you do when your girlfriend with her skirt hiked up to here?? A great revenge song. So much blues influence on this song and reminiscent of their song St. John. Lyrically, this is blues poetry. A song that should have been a hit.
Roll the dice get lucky 'cause they roll you for the dime
you got nothin' else to lose if you only lose your mind
when pleasure that is shallow causes trouble to be deep
you've been dusted with the devil while he sweeps you off your feet

Hoodoo>Voodoo Medicine Man
A fun digeredoo filled New Orleans-ish song. 
What It Takes
The ultimate Aerosmith song of anger and lost love. He still loves this woman, but she's run off several times. The final song on Pump is the perfect closure to an emotional album. It's mellow, like the sadness of watching your love get away, and knowing that really this is Aerosmith's last great album ... ooops, that slipped.