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Category Archives: music reviews

reviews of music, songs and albums

Yahoo! Live: YES at the SAN JOSE CIVIC

YES-sane-jose-civic-8-20-14

Not the droid you’re looking for.

I watched YES stream from the San Jose Civic on Yahoo! Live featuring the somewhat ragtag combo of Jon Davison (vocals) and Geoff Downes (keyboards) joining YES regulars Alan White, Chris Squire and thy lord Steve Howe.  (Worship no guitar players before Steve Howe.  Amen.)

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"The Final Countdown" by Europe (music review)

After discussing “The Final Countdown” by Europe with my buddy, I decided to take a deeper look into the lyrics and the music video. Read the rest of this entry

You know you’re old when you have to Google to figure out what "Weird Al" Yankovic is parodying

I am sorta wishing I had a 12 year old kid right about now – their friends could taunt my imaginary child with such jabs as “Your Daddy’s so old he has to do a Google search to figure out what “Weird Al” Yankovic is parodying!” (In response to which I imagine the other kids would shout, “Oh snap!” but probably not, because it’s not the 1990s anymore.) This seems to be official confirmation that I’ve let pop culture pass me by, and this message comes from “Weird Al” Yankovic… who is twenty years my senior. Read the rest of this entry

Talk – a YES album music review

I haven’t broken out Talk in a long time. This was the 1994 effort by one of my favorite all time groups, YES, featuring Chris Squire, Alan White, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye, which was the approximate lineup for the group from the early 80s to the mid 90s. For some reason, of the four albums from this period, this one sticks out to me in a way I struggle to articulate, but I’m gonna try. Read the rest of this entry

YES, Syd Arthur live at Radio City Music Hall July 9, 2014 (music review)

yes-radio-city-music-hall-july-10-2014-review

photo by Dr. Girlfriend

As one would gather from the title, we saw both YES and Syd Arthur live at Radio City Music Hall this past July 9th. I’m something of a YES Head – I have almost all of their studio albums (I don’t have the most recent two because of a reason I’ll explain shortly) and most of the live albums as well as several of the concert DVDs. This is a band that by and large not only knows what I want, but their music is so interesting, I can listen to it a million times over and still be fascinated. On this tour, they’re describing their set list simply as playing two of their most popular albums in entirety as well as a few greatest hits and some new material. There’s an issue with the current lineup (again, explanation coming shortly) that almost kept me away from the show, but I haven’t seen these guys in person in… maybe 10 years, so it was time to revisit with one of my all time favorite bands. Read the rest of this entry

The Drumming of Andrea Vadrucci aka Vadrum (Attention Must Be Paid)

The Drumming of Andrea Vadrucci is something I’ve been enjoying for many years and I’m ashamed at how long it’s taken me to finally do an Attention Must Be Paid on the one known as Vadrum. Read the rest of this entry

"Spring Break Anthem" by The Lonely Island is the best new song I've heard in a while

It’s rare that one song can accomplish so much all at once, but that’s exactly what The Lonely Island’s "Spring Break Anthem" has achieved. Read the rest of this entry

what's this song called? a jazz standard name search

Long story short, I’m trying to find out the name to a specific jazz tune, but I’m having no luck Do you know this melody? Help a brotha out!

Jim Carrey sings “I Am The Walrus” while George Martin looks on, does nothing to stop it

I didn’t bother to look up why this happened: Jim Carrey covered “I Am The Walrus” with Beatles producer George Martin helping out. I’m just going to let this exist and not ponder why.

It goes exactly the way you’d expect it to. Hey, it’s Jim Carrey doing Jim Carrey stuff. If you let that dude in the room, he’s going to do what he does. It’d be like hiring Al Pacino and then complaining he yells all the time. Read the rest of this entry

“Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon (What the hell is this song about anyway?)

I’ve tried to unravel a fair share of song lyrics in my time, but now, I’m upping the ante and doing my best to decipher music videos.  This time, I’m taking a look at “Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon and… well, I may have bit off more than I can chew, because this video is baffling.

I’ve been doing the “What the hell is this song about anyway?” feature for a while, but now seemed like the time for it to jump from the written form to a video series.  Right now, it feels like I’ll be staying with 1980s music videos, but who knows what the future will hold?  Certainly not me.  If you’d like to check out more of our videos, visit our YouTube Channel! Read the rest of this entry

Turn (AMC series) mixed with “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by The Byrds

AMC has a new show out called Turn; it’s about American Colonial spies during the Revolutionary War against the British.  I decided the trailer would mix well with “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” which was written by Pete Seeger, but I’m using The Byrds version here.  The only things I edited was the start sync with the video and music as well as rocking that “AMC something more” title card back and forth until I got a sync-out with the music that I liked.

An Extremely Awkward Stone Gossard Interview

In what is sure to be a stunning development to all, Pearl Jam’s You Tube channel is now dropping new content weekly.  And its content includes lots of stuff like this Stone Gossard interview. Read the rest of this entry

"Too Close" by Next (what in the hell is this song about, anyway?)

"Too Close" was released in 1997 by Next. It’s got a smooth, slick sound and full harmonies. I’ve never been one to have a great grasp on what people are actually saying, but "You’re making it hard for me" got my attention and I decided I needed to take a closer look at the lyrics.

I wonder if she could tell I’m hard right now, hmmm

OK, so much for metaphor. Guess we’re not burying the lead here, huh? I guess when they sing "You’re making it hard for me," they’re talking about ‘ol Mr. Penis.

Yeah, come on, dance for me baby, ha ha, yeah
Ut oh, you feel that? Alright
Come on, don’t stop now
You done did it, come on, uh, yeah, alright, hold on

"You done did it" kinda sounds like he’s blaming "baby" for his erection and she is now responsible for said erection. I gotta tell you, guys, I don’t think that argument is going to hold up at the club, at home or in court. Read the rest of this entry

"There can be only one" Highlander movie review!

There is so much to like about Highlander - and yet, the movie is kinda silly. In many ways, it’s the perfect 1980s action-adventure-fantasy flick as it checks off the boxes while pushing the limits of the genre and is still careful not to go too far. It’s Godfather II styled interwoven past and present story telling is ambitious and a bit grand for a movie about guys who are compelled to cut each other’s heads off, but that’s 80s movies for you.
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Creed is the Name of a Band that Still Sorta Exists

Why I’m writing about Creed is going to take a while to explain.  I’ll do my best to make sense of it all.

It all started when I was editing the Green Lantern movie review post.  I was fixing a grammatical error when I noticed this:

sinestro creed

Lemme zoom in for ya.

sinestro-his-eyes-wide-open

I thought, “Holy potato balls!” and nearly did a spit take all over my monitor.  The fragment, “with arms wide open” was a line from the Creed song of the same name, but as soon as I think Creed, I remember their up tempo hit, “Higher.”

This reference hadn’t been relevant for over ten years when the post was originally published, and now, it seemed even more ridiculous.  I made the decision to delete it, but I didn’t – I never shall.  I just kept looking at it and thinking.

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Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Broadway review

Oh Spider-Man, you’re so friendly and neighborhood…ee. Our relationship has never been great, but this… This makes The Amazing Spider-Man look like Citizen Cane. The “this” in question is Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which closes on January 4th here in New York City. Read the rest of this entry

“Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney” – the Unholy Grail of Christmas Carols

Why, why, why does this exist?  Why would Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song,” the “Queen of Jazz,” why, I ask you all, why would “Lady Ella” record such a song?

Santa Claus got stuck in my chimney,
Stuck in my chimney, stuck in the chimney
Santa Claus got stuck in my chimney
When he came last year

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Oh Hai, Radio Stations that only play Christmas Music; why you playin' "Linus and Lucy?"

When it comes to Christmas Albums, the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas is at the top of the heap. And, since, it’s a soundtrack, the album includes the signature song from the Peanuts specials, that being "Linus and Lucy." And here’s where we run into an issue. Read the rest of this entry

Gary Hoey's cover of "You're a mean one Mr.Grinch"

If you’re not familiar with Gary Hoey’s hard rock covers of Christmas songs… well, get familiar with them, because they rock! Very Hard! You can hear a whole bunch of his rocking tunes .

"Holy Grail" – the end of life as I know it (music review)

What… what the hell?

I presume that at this point, you’ve listened to "Holy Grail," the new jam dropped by Jay Z (featuring Justin Timberlake?!?) and have, accordingly, beheld that which occurs at about the one minute mark. This, to me, (along with the incessant use of ‘uh!’) is baffling.

Now the word "baffling" may imply something I have no intention of conveying, so let me first clear up exactly how I feel about "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Read the rest of this entry

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