Money (That's What I Want)
Ok the Stones and Bon Jovi were never exactly the 'alternative face of music', their ambition and optimizing of earnings are not the best kept secrets in the world, but I don't recall so many 'fleece the public' packages on offer for tickets as at this years shows! The 80's was the age of merchandise, the 2010's the gig ticket. I don't know if it is a symptom of the desperation that corporate music is slipping to, but tickets for their Hyde Park gigs (a gig that for the Stones in '69 was free) are now selling for anything from £200 to £10,000. For Bon Jovi you can get suitably named Diamond Circle VIP, Rock-Star Red Carpet VIP, Hot Seat VIP tickets, whilst the Stones are doing something similar to optimise earnings in their final few years. The options include Dinner Packages, General Admission (nothing new in either of those) - but Tier's 1 - 3, then the 'Rock Garden' (also tiered!) and if the 'Unwind Backstage' package doesn't tempt you - perhaps live the dream with the 'Kings of Rock' package! And only this week you could have seen the Stones for about £10 at their usual intimate warm up show, this year at the LA Echoplex nightclub (what i wouldn't have given for was a chance to see that!). But having seen them before on Arena tours I certainly won't be rushing to go. The set is pretty standard and formulaic with almost the same generic moves. Miss You will feature part way through, Keith will do a 2 song interlude which will probably feature Connection, and Jumpin Jack Flash, Brown Sugar and Satisfaction will close the show. It is still a great experience - and anyone who hasn't seen them i would say pay - but as with lot's of things in life - once is enough.
Ode to Tulisa Gentry
What a celeb driven world we live in. Tulisa - the cheryl cole clone - has been voted sexiest woman by FHM or someone! Firstly this must be a typo - secondly if she is not a poor man's Cheryl - then she is an EXACT copy of Bobbie Gentry of Ode To Billie Joe fame!
Poor Man, Long way from home.
Perhaps a bit harsh, but my post recently about Poor Man's version of .... bands prompted a few cutting remarks - about other bands and the ones i chose. Thanks for all the other suggestions. I will be commenting on them in the future (which based upon the regularity and efficiency of this blog will be the year 25 25 and Zager and someone said).
But i have been listening to a few artists recently who i had read about and can now conclude -
Paul Davis (American 70s singer songwriter who died in 2008 - not the Happy Mondays musician) was a pale imitation of Billy Joel - almost down to every refrain!
The soulful but very generic plastic success that is James Morrison is beginning to move from boyish insipid to sound like a poor man's Terence Trent D'Arby on his new singles (why am i listening to these? I don't know!) But if you don't know TTD's Sign your name - download it now and give that classic LP a spin! Even better check out some cheesey vids on youtube!
I Can't Get No
Dublin for most bands (because of geography really) is either the first - or mostly the last night of a (European) tour. That can be a blessing or a curse.
It is a tough balance to strike for a touring band. The last night of a tour can and should be firstly a cause for celebration, as well as a celebration in itself. However as well as having overcome the first few nights nerves and teething problems you then run the risk of falling into the formulaic trap bordering on the apathy of ‘going through the motions’.
How do you overcome that? I know when I worked a 40 hour week I was bored stiff of my daily and weekly and even monthly routines! As much as 'Satisfaction' is a classic song, without a doubt, the Rolling Stones must be sick to the back teeth of performing it perhaps 200 nights some years! If i was sympthising then it would be the smallest violin in the world I'd be playing, but still it must be mind numbingly boring to know that for perhaps 1000 minutes of the year you are playing that song!
I'm back, from outer space, finally doing another blog after another 6 week absence! Talk about mr clockwork! (ha ha).
Is it really true that Neil Diamond has released 37 ! Greatest hits since he began his career? (30daysout.wordpress.com/.../review-the-very-best-of-neil-diamond-by-neil-diamond/) how can the money men justify this! Are there really that many bored housewives out there? I must admit i an a big fan of Neils (and own a double cd greatest hits from the 90s) but how can the record labels justify fleecing the public? Especially as you really need more than just a greatest hits by a man who is such a great songwriter! Though you could live without some of his movie work!
How many do you need? Take what you need and leave the rest (But they should never have taken the very best!)
We are now in the dawning of a new age which was unthinkable over ten years ago really. You can now download 333 copies of The House Of The Rising Sun (http://bitsnoop.com/333-houses-of-the-rising-sun-q3903820.html) or if that doesn’t take your fancy someone else has collected 500 covers of Yesterday of, as he put it ‘varying quality’ Such amazing consolidation of music, whilst illegal, would have been inconceivable years ago – and also prohibitively expensive! The wonders of modern technology!
Not only is there a conspiracy to get people to believe that Bob Marley performed a version of red red wine (discussed elsewhere on this site) – but not I see someone is trying to pass off that the Rolling Stones have done a cover of The House of the Rising Sun. http://www.metrolyrics.com/house-of-the-rising-sun-lyrics-rolling-stones.html (there are more links – I won’t paste them as well! It will on continue the problem. But the to compound the problem – some idiot on the net is spreading that it was a song originally done by the Doors!!
It's scary what may enter into 'fact'!
I Listen to EVERYTHING!
I am amazed, stunned and not a little bit disappointed. Reading the paper today some randomer (who I probably should know – as they are clearly a celebrity of some kind) was asked what music they listened to. A reasonable and interesting question. The answer to which I always read even if I skim the rest of a feature or soundbite. They answered (as most people would) ‘Oh I listen to everything’. Which is a fine answer – and perhaps I am being too train spotty here - but then by way of example felt the need to say “…… JLS, One Direction and Mary Byrne.” as if this covered everything !! Wonderful. Absolutely fucking wonderful. There are millions of albums available out there – and thousands of new ones released every week. They range from the heaviest hardcore metal to the most minimalist classic music (that is not really the full range, but you get the idea) and instead we have been reduced to X factor pop wannabes capturing everything in the whole spectrum of music! What am I up against!
Was listening to Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown today – do yourself a favour. That is not really pushing the boat out – but it is better than the three mentioned above!!
Too Many Giggs!......
I never thought it would happen, With me and gigs ... so many gigs coming up and i am probably not going to get to them all. Decisions decisions. I am loathed to miss any gigs unless i have to - I have been blown away by so many bands who i nearly missed - both support acts and artists who i was ummm ing and errrr ing about going to see. If it hadn't been for a chance gig i would never have seen the AMAZING Michael Weston-King. The only pity in that case (and in the case of Loudon Wainwright) is that their albums just don't do the person justice. To see them perform in the flesh is so amazing, yet the majority of their LP's leave me cold! So if Michael Weston King is touring his 'I didnt raise my boy to be a soldier' album near you - any time soon, don't pause to listen to the album JUST GO!!!!!!
An Alien, A legal Alien. An Englishman in Dublin.