“Blackstar” is a message to you from David Bowie

Blackstar_album_cover

 

We all have our Bowie memories and our favorite songs or shows or moments where he helped us through a tough time. There are so many great ones to recall, the very first time you heard “Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am” come blasting out of the radio, or the day you heard “Changes” and it dawned on you that you had changed from being the misunderstood youth to the attempting to understand parent. From ”TVC 15” and “Boys Keep Swinging” on SNL to Live Aid to singing with Bing Crosby at Christmas, to Eno in Berlin, to marveling at how the song “Heroes”, which never even cracked the Billboard Hot 100 in 1977 has grown and grown over time to be a universal song or empowerment. There is just so much…

But wait! There’s More.

Released just 2 days before his death, David Bowie’s final album “Blackstar” is a brilliant last act.  Recorded with the help of some stellar musicians and featuring lyrical and sonic moments that sounded great on Saturday afternoon and now on this chilly Monday are hauntingly perfect. It’s a VERY good album. It is stunning and chilling, and yet uplifting and thrilling.

I’m not going to quote lyrics here. I want you to hear and feel them directly.  I’m not going to break it down track by track, I’m not writing a review. I am just saying, when you are ready, after you have listened to your favorites from the past and walked down memory lane,  put on your best headphones, sit down in a comfortable chair, bring some Kleenex just in case, strap in and Sit with this album.

You know, the way we used to do it.

Listen to a whole damn album and let it inhabit your brain

Take this final trip, just you and David.

 

 

“Desire” Holy Crap! 40 years???

Desire

In the 1970’s as a 1960’s informed and inspired teenager, I latched onto the music and message of Bob Dylan. I  had worn the grooves out on “Before the Flood” and “Blood on the Tracks” when, on this date in 1976, Bob Dylan’s  album, “Desire”, was released. I had heard all about the recording in advance via Rolling Stone and my local progressive FM radio station, Starview 92, and knew the story of Ruben “Hurricane” Carter and was excited to hear that song and the full album.

Within days I purchased my own copy at Mailman’s Department Store and listened to it over and over, absorbing all the brilliant word play and being mystified by some of the references.  Initially the opening track “Hurricane” was my favorite song. But it is the second song “Isis” that grew to be not just my favorite on the album, but one of my favorite songs by anyone, ever.

Isis is truly epic, a long song of love won, lost and regained, of adventure promised and dreams dashed, of howling winds and outrageous snows. As much as I love this song, the live version from the Rolling Thunder Revue Bootleg series album is so much better. Recorded in the Fall of 1975, over a year earlier, this version crackles with an intensity far beyond the studio recording. The beat drives harder, the violin soars higher and the vocal performance is one of the best he ever recorded.

Meanwhile, back on Desire… “Mozambique” follows and it is kind of palate cleanser, a light hearted song about being on a sunny beach with lovely people, and seeing how many things rhyme with “ique”.

“One More Cup of Coffee” returns to the emotional intensity. A man has to do what a man has to do, but one more cup of coffee before I go… into the valley below.

“Oh Sister” closes side one and I never really liked it that much. I listened again today and still… not so much.

Side Two opens with “Joey” a 9:14 long story of the notorious New York gangster “Crazy Joey” Gallo. At the time, this song perplexed me. “Why would he devote 9 minutes to a long slow song about a murdering mafia guy?” I didn’t get it then, but I get it now.   I do recall being in Little Italy one day back in the 1980’s and walking past Umberto’s Clam Bar, the spot where Joey was killed, and thanking Bob for the education.

“Romance in Durango” and “Black Diamond Bay” both have their charms, but the album closer, “Sara” a love of a lifetime song to his then wife is the revelation for me. The marriage was a rocky one, and this song, like no other Dylan song before or since is direct and personal and without persona or artifice.  He was trying hard to hang on and this song put it all on the line, but a year or so later the marriage finally fell apart for good.  At age 17, this song was a bit of a bore to me, 40 years later, it just blows me away.

Great art stands the test of time. Often that means that new listeners can appreciate something created long before they lived, like the music of Mozart or Miles Davis or the Beatles. But on a personal level, music that stands the test of time doesn’t mean that it takes you back to where you were and who you were when you first encountered it. It means that the art meets you where you are now. The lyrics resonate in new and often more powerful ways, the familiarity of an old favorite is imbued with new meaning, the song is ALIVE.

So, yeah. “Desire” stands the test of time.

Today Rolling Stone is also writing about this classic. Read the cool stories about the making of the record. 

Today in Music History – October 22

On this day in 1976, after narrowly escaping a run-in with Woody Allen outside of Elaine’s, Steve Miller was arrested by the music police and had his poetic license suspended for one year for the awkward rhyming of “Texas” with the grammatically incorrect “facts is” as well as  “other people’s taxes” in his hit song “Take the Money and Run”.

 

Epilogue: As of 2013, Steve Miller is still taking the money and running, albeit a bit more slowly. Asked to comment on this article Miller said “Hoo Hoo Hoo!”

Baltimore Singer/Songwriter Shelby Blondell Releases Debut EP

Summer 2013 kicks off with the upbeat and soulful sounds of Baltimore’s Shelby Blondell. Just off the heels of opening for 90’s pop sensation Aaron Carter at the Baltimore Soundstage, Shelby’s studio debut is finally out for the masses to enjoy. “Fly” features 5 songs, each in a unique style. Elements of folk, country, and pop, combined with Shelby’s standout voice create a fresh, yet familiar compilation of genres.

This release has been a long time coming. Shelby has been writing and performing for over 3 years, and in a world of abundant trivial radio-pop, “Fly” is a breath of fresh air.

“I Write my music not only because I absolutely love doing it, but I write songs with a background to them.” – Shelby Blondell

Hear samples on the EP’s album page on iTunes, and then download them into your Summertime playlist. You won’t regret it.

“Fly” on iTunes

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A Day To Remember Spring Tour Dates

A day to remember

A Day To Remember will be going on tour this spring with  Bring Me The Horizon,We Came as Romans, and Pierce The Veil. 

03/10 | Philadelphia, PA | Electric Factory
03/11 | Philadelphia, PA | Electric Factory
03/13 | Worcester, MA | Palladium
03/15 | New York, NY | Irving Plaza (no BMTH, WCAR, or PTV)
03/16 | Pittsburgh, PA | Stage AE
03/18 | Buffalo, NY | The Rapids
03/19 | Montreal, QC | Metropolis
03/20 | Toronto, ON | Sound Academy
03/22 | Detroit, MI | Royal Oak
03/24 | Chicago, IL | Congress Theater
03/25 | Minneapolis, MN | Epic
03/26 | Kansas City, MO | Beaumont
03/27 | Denver, CO | Fillmore
03/29 | Salt Lake City, UT | Saltair
03/30 | Spokane, WA | Knitting Factory
03/31 | Seattle, WA | Showbox SoDo
04/01 | Vancouver, BC | Vogue
04/02 | Portland, OR | Roseland
04/03 | San Francisco, CA | The Warfield
04/05 | Fresno, CA | Woodward Park Amphitheater
04/06 | Los Angeles, CA | Palladium
04/07 | San Diego, CA | Sports Arena
04/08 | Phoenix, AZ | Marquee Theater
04/09 | Phoenix, AZ | Marquee Theater
04/11 | Tulsa, OK | Brady Theater
04/12 | Austin, TX | ACL Live
04/13 | Houston, TX | Warehouse Live
04/15 | Atlanta, GA | Masquerade Outdoor
04/18 | Tampa, FL | Jannus Landing

http://www.facebook.com/notes/a-day-to-remember/marchapril-us-and-some-canada-tour/481255711660

All Time Low Full Spring Tour Dates Released

All time low dates
With the pre-sale starting tomorrow at 3 pm the dates were bound to come out sooner or later. We here at Dad's Car Radio are planning on going to two shows in the area, but of course these being close to home for the punk-pop quartet, they'l definitely be selling out fast. There is also a high chance the band will be playing Bamboozle, considering that there is no show May 1st or 2nd, and that they'll be in NYC on the third. Time will tell and if you are a member of The Hustler Club, here are the presale details.

The package costs $69 (how convenient) and here's what you get:

– A General Admission Ticket

– One Deluxe Edition Pre-order of the new ATL album “Dirty Work”

– One CD Booklet with alternate cover art (only available through this pre-sale)

– One Limited Edition Tour Litho, signed by the band

An Interview with Tigerface

 Tigerface

http://www.myspace.com/tigerfacemusic

How and where did the band get its name?

It really just came out of nowhere from one of our old band members. It was around the time a lot of "The" bands were doing well and I know we didn't want to be a "The" band although The Tigerface sounds pretty epic.

 

How long has everyone been playing their respected instrument?

Chris has been playing guitar for 12 years and drums for about 15 years. Ari has been playing keyboard/piano for 20 years.

 

Who are your musical influences?

It actually varies quite a bit between us both which makes it difficult to even name a few specific artists. However, some of the genres that have influenced our writing the most are older emo, synth pop, new wave, indie rock, and even certain types of metal.

 

Congratulations on being featured as an unsigned artist of the month by Alternative Press! How did that feel being recognized like that?

It is definitely a huge honor. They always pick such great artists for that column, including artists who are everywhere now so we take it as a huge compliment.

We have both always really loved and respected Alternative Press so this was really exciting for us. AP has always been our favorite Indie music magazine so being featured in it was truly an honor. We both grew up loving the new music Alternative Press presented to their readers so actually being recognized by them is amazing.

 

Has anything changed since then? 

We have made a lot of great new fans and contacts since the article came out. We are definitely grateful for all the exposure. It has given us a better insight into our music, both professionally and creatively, which has helped a lot with writing the new songs for our E.P. that we are currently working on.

 

Who are your musical guilty pleasures?

We both have so many its kind of funny. Chris likes some Symphonic Black Metal as well as Tori Amos and Ari likes Journey and a lot of the cheesy 80s music.  Our guilty pleasures do actually influence our writing which in turn helps to keep things fresh and interesting when we collaborate.

 

What do you imagine people doing when listening to your music?

I imagine people getting ready for a battle. We also imagine anything that could be considered epic would be ideal too.

 

What is your favorite non-profit organization and why?

Save the Music – This non-profit organization has been restoring the music education programs in schools across the US since 1997. Save the Music helps many schools that have experienced budget cuts restore their musical education program. As we both began playing music at an early age we realize how important of a role music plays in early childhood education. Music education not only teaches kids how to play an instrument, it teaches them life skills and inspires creativity at a crucial stage of children’s lives.

 

You have to creature a super tour with you and three other bands, who

is coming with you?

Appleseed Cast

Jimmy Eat World

Sigur Ros

 

What’s next for the band?

We will be heading into the studio at the beginning of the year to start working on our third EP. We will also be adding two new permanent members to the band around that time. We will be out playing a ton of local shows all around our Arizona while recording the new album so come check us out! Once the album is finished we will be doing a couple regional tours to promote the new EP. We plan to hit a lot of cities we haven’t been before which is very exciting!

 

Taylor Momsen Covers Cee Lo’s ‘Forget You’

Today on BBC radio Taylor Momsen covered Cee Lo Green's hit song Forget You. Give it a listen and you can [download] it by following that link. 

 

AP Tour Bands Announced with Black Veil Brides and D.R.U.G.S. Headlining.

Well sometimes you CAN trust rumors! Black Veil Brides and D.R.U.G.S. Are headlining the spring AP tour, with support from ISeeStars, Conditions, and VersaEmerge. All bands were revealed today off of fan twitters and re-tweeted by the official AP tour account.

AP Tour Bands Announced with Black Veil Brides and D.R.U.G.S. Headlining.

AP Tour Bands Announced with Black Veil Brides and D.R.U.G.S. Headlining.

AP Tour Bands Announced with Black Veil Brides and D.R.U.G.S. Headlining.

AP Tour Bands Announced with Black Veil Brides and D.R.U.G.S. Headlining.

AP Tour Bands Announced with Black Veil Brides and D.R.U.G.S. Headlining.

Hey Monday Perform “I Don’t Wanna Dance” Acoustic

Recently Hey Monday spent some time over at Smart Punk and did a live acoustic performance of I Don't Wanna Dance. Check it out above and make sure to get Hey Monday's new EP now.