New Music Friday

It might be hard to believe but 82 year old Leonard Cohen has been more prolific than Lady Gaga.

Although Lady Gaga released a covers album with Tony Bennett in 2014, it’s been three years since her last album of original material was released.

Meanwhile Leonard Cohen is releasing his third album of original material since 2012.

Lady Gaga is wisely sticking to being herself and not letting costumes and overproduced songs get in the way of her talent.  I like this first single and apparently so do 36 million people who have already viewed this video in only a month.


Leonard Cohen continues to explore what it’s like to be an elder statesmen in a pop-centric world.  In other words, it’s pure brilliance.


Lady Gaga "Joanne" Leoarnd Cohen "You Want It Darker"

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Get Out

Bob Dylan might have just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for literature and played Desert Trip last week but this week we get to see another Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame icon and winner of the National Book Award, Ms. Patti Smith.

Patti Smith by Lynn Goldsmith 1976

Patti Smith photo by Lynn Goldsmith 1976

Patti plays a show tonight honoring the 40th anniversary of Horses at the Teragram Ballroom. On Saturday she’ll be in Santa Ana for Beach Goth Fest and on Sunday she opens for Bon Iver at The Hollywood Bowl.

Watching this clip reminded me of one of my favorite all time Saturday Night Live characters, Candy Slice as played by Gilda Radner.  Enjoy!

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Innovators/Imitators 2017 Rock Hall Nominees

The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees were released so that means I’m disappointed knowing The Cure, The Smiths, Nine Inch Nails and Devo are not even invited to the dance.

That said, it’s time for the 6th Annual Let’s Not Get Carried Away Innovators vs. Imitators to determine who deserves to get in. This method is based on My Morning Jacket’s “Wordless Chorus”. The line goes “We Are The Innovators, They Are The Imitators”.  So let’s begin with the theme song.


Bad Brains


Innovators: Like the Velvet Underground, anyone that bought their debut album immediately formed a band.

Chaka Khan


Imitator: Return nominee.   Love dancing to her music but doesn’t move the needle on inventive music



Imitator: This is getting to be a joke.  They’ve now been nominated 11 times.  It’s time to get them in or like the Baseball Hall Of Fame just admit they won’t get in and stop nominating

Depeche Mode


Imitators: No synth pop band should be allowed in until The Cure are in The Rock Hall

Electric Light Orchestra ELO


Innovators: It pays to tour and remind people of your legacy.  Jeff Lynne is also the only Traveling Wilbury not yet in so I think he’ll get the nod.

The J. Geils Band


Imitators: I think even lead singer Peter Wolf would admit their music was a tribute to the blues greats that came before them.

Janes Addiction


Innovators: If Guns N’ Roses can get in with two albums then so should Jane’s Addiction. They brought inventive guitar rock to the mainstream Alternative format and opened up doors for bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam

Janet Jackson


Imitator: Like Jane’s Addiction it was two albums Control and Rhythm Nation that are to be celebrated but I don’t think it’s enough to get into the Hall

Joan Baez


Innovator: How is she not in yet?  I saw this opening line in the AllMusic bio and couldn’t agree more, “The most accomplished interpretive folksinger of the 1960s, Joan Baez has influenced nearly every aspect of popular music in a career still going strong.” It’s embarrassing it’s taken this long for her to get recognized.

Joe Tex


Imitator: I pulled up “I Gotcha” on YouTube and it put an immediate smile on my face but I think James Brown and Sam Cooke were the true originals in the soul genre.



Imitators: Talented musicians fronted by a uniquely talented vocalist that made good pop/rock songs.  Nothing wrong with that but their song catalog is not close to innovative music



Innovators: This might be their 3rd time trying to get in. I think their tour earlier this year reminded everyone of their relevancy. They are the robots!  Let them in!



Imitators: Probably most known for cursing on “Kick Out The Jams” You can’t get more rock and roll than that.  Still not enough to get in.

Pearl Jam


Innovators:  Sure there were bands that came before them and might have been considered more innovative but there’s no denying their passionate music and equally passionate fan base.  I can’t imagine Rolling Stone magazine dropping the ball on this one and not letting them in on their first try.



Imitators: A good rock band.  Led Zeppelin taught them it could be done way better.

The Cars


Innovators: The Cars debut is still one of my favorite albums of all time.  Ric Ocasek is an under-appreciated song writer and producer and Ben Orr’s vocal on “Drive” is one of the most perfect things ever. Plus, I still think “Moving In Stereo” is the best use of a song for the movie “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” (as everyone probably knows clicking on this scene is obviously NSFW)

The Zombies


Imitators: I would not be upset if they got in but 3 top ten hits and one brilliant album is still not enough to ensure enshrinement into the Hall

Tupac Shakur


Innovator: If Dylan can win the Nobel Peace Prize, perhaps it’s not out of the realm of possibilities the Tupac could be recognized in 2045 for his writing.  He is a true innovator,  his words continue to inspire generations just now discovering his music and he should get in on the first ballot.



Imitator: I thought they might get in last year.  Their music is innovative but in the year of Joan Baez, Jeff Lynne, 2PAC, Pearl Jam and Jane’s Addiction , they’ll most likely be waiting until next year.

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2 For 2uesday

I rarely post about new bands just because it’s impossible to make an impression with one listen and no knowledge whatsoever on the band.  Once in a while though it’s fun to acknowledge that perhaps a band has potential and is worth your attention.

Secret Cameras


The band Secret Cameras hails from London and their first single “Going Places” is a nice combination of Gary Numan type synth pop and the driving rock sound of one of my favorites of the past decade, Secret Machines (is it a coincidence they share the “secret” name?).  The band is just getting started with an EP to be released in early 2017.  Hopefully they’ll make it out to the States next year.

Miniature Tigers

Sometimes a clever sample catches my attention.  Such is the case with Brooklyn’s  Minature Tigers.  They sample Millie Small (probably known best for the 1964 song “My Boy Lollipop“).  The band used Millie Small’s song “What Am I Living For“.  

As band frontman, Charlie Brand explains- “My friend Jeff Whitman turned me on to Millie Small when we were having dinner one night. I became obsessed with her incredible voice. I started chopping her song “What Am I Living For” up and sent it to Rick. He added those piano chords and some vocals and sent it back to me to finish.”Brand adds, “Mae (Whitman) gave me the line “Sleep more / Drink less / Find a better therapist” which led to the theme of the song. This song to me is really a big collaboration with my friends and loved ones.

Their album “I Dreamt I Was A Cowboy” comes out on October 28.

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Sir Roderick Stewart and Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart

Absolutely mind-blowing. Deeply honoured to be Sir Roderick Stewart.

A photo posted by Sir Rod Stewart (@sirrodstewart) on

Last week Rod Stewart was honored for his services to music and charity and knighted by Britain’s Prince William at Buckingham Palace. He will be known as Sir Roderick Stewart.

Also last week, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature. According to the Swedish Academy, Dylan won “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

One of the finest song interpreters of Dylan’s just so happens to be Sir Roderick Stewart.

Below is a Spotify playlist of Rod’s covers of Dylan.

This one wasn’t available on Spotify but should still be included.

Love Minus Zero/No Limit

Touchmix 30

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New Music Friday

If there was going to be one band that should release a new album in Rocktober it should be Kings Of Leon.

The band has been unapologetically rock-based for its entire career.  They are carrying the rock torch and not putting up a wall to keep out anyone deemed unworthy from enjoying their music.

That said, the new album from Kings Of Leon is called WALLS (I’m sure the title is pronounced with tongue firmly placed in cheek).  It’s actually an acronym for We Are Like Love Songs.

Their sound on this new album is bigger.    In an interview with USA Today, lead singer Caleb Followill says about their new producer Markus Dravs whose credits include work with Arcade Fire, Coldplay and Florence + The Machine…

“He came here and listened to some demos. The things he had to say weren’t 100% positive, so we were like, ‘We’re not gonna work with him.’ Then we found another guy but he wanted us to record in upstate New York in the wintertime. “So,” the singer says, with a deadpan look, “we were like, ‘Markus will work after all.’”

The sound of their first single reminds me of U2’s “Beautiful Day”

Fly that rock flag!

Kings Of Leon "Walls"

Kings Of Leon “Walls”

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Get Out

Are you going to the second weekend of Desert Trip but you think 3 days isn’t enough?  Rest assured there are a few options for you Thursday entertainment.  By the way, it looks like the first weekend of Desert Trip was a big success as prices on StubHub are going for a higher price then the first

Prefer to see Neil Young from 100 feet instead of 1/2 mile away?  Go to Pomona and see him in a theatre setting. As of this writing pit tickets are available

Neil Young and Promise of the Real

Neil Young Fox Theatre Pomona

Van Morrison

If Desert Trip is going to be an annual event,  I would put Van Morrison near the top of the list to play next year.  Added bonus for this Bowl show is the still dynamic Tom Jones.

Van Morrison, Tom Jones Hollywood Bowl

Ween Hollywood Palladium

This could be the biggest show.  It’s the return of Ween!  See them now when you can!

Ween Hollywood Palladium


Our LA girls have discovered the love of disco.  This should be a fun night.

Warpaint Fonda Theatre

Margo Price Troubadour

I saw her at Hotel Cafe earlier this year.  See her at the Troubadour now as she’ll probably be playing the Wiltern and Stagecoach in 2017

Margo Price Troubadour

Rick Astley

Never go give up on this guy.

Rick Astley  The Theatre at Ace Hotel





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Rocktober songs

Image result for rocktober

You think I would let this month pass without mentioning the fact that Rocktober is upon us?

Unless your band’s name is Twenty One Pilots, it’s not a great time for Rock.  LA Alternative Rock  station KROQ is sagging in the ratings.  And although 90s rock is still selling thanks to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay and Green Day, Twenty One Pilots are the only young rock band currently in the Billboard top 10. They are also the only young rock act in the  StubHub list of top selling live acts and in the top 10 for Spotify streaming hits for their song “Heathens

Rock music is still around you just got to look for it.  Here are five  rock songs I dug up.  Rock on!

Wilderado “Morning Light”

San Cisco “B Side”

Slothrust “Rotten Pumpkin”


Sunflower Bean “Come On”


Honeyblood “Babes Never Die”

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2 for 2uesday

Just when you think the protest song has disappeared along comes Dave Eggers who is curating a project called 30 Days 30 Songs.

Eggers started the project after attending a Trump rally in Sacramento for The Guardian. “While the audience was waiting for Trump to appear, I was pretty surprised to hear music by Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and Queen,” Eggers continues. “None of these musicians support Trump, of course, so it occurred to me that this election would benefit from the timely resurrection of the political protest song.”

The first song is “Million Dollar Loan” by Death Cab For Cutie

The song for today is “Can’t You Tell” by Aimee Mann.

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5 Things That Made Me Smile This Weekend

Image result for music smile

There are so many insane things going on in the world currently but 5 things appeared this weekend to bring a smile to my face.

Patton Oswalt lip syncing his way through Weezer‘s “I Love The USA”

Bruno Mars new single “24K Magic”

Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s reworking of Hamilton’s “My Shot”

Paul McCartney performing “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” for the first time ever with Neil Young providing the guitar solo at Desert Trip.

Last but certainly not least is this Florida Man rocking out to Slayer during Hurricane Matthew

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