Halloween New Music Friday

While it’s hard to beat “Monster Mash”, “Thriller”, “Ghostbusters” or anything by Danny Elfman as the ultimate Halloween song, that doesn’t stop people from trying.  The thing that endures and keeps people these songs after all these years is that while the theme is spooks, the tone is always fun.  Here are five songs from 2014 I found that have that sense of fun, while still being slightly creepy. Happy Halloween!

Jamie T “Zombie”

Primus “Pure Imagination”

Flaming Lips “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” (careful there’s language issues)

Ghost Town “You’re So Creepy”

Melanie Martinez “Dollhouse”

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Got Out Halloween Edition

Halloween is here which is great news as everyone tries to outdo each other to create the ultimate Halloween experience.  Here are a few things you might want to do after you’ve raided your kids Halloween treats.  Click on the photos to get all the information.

Queens of The Stone Age are doing it up right at The Forum.  That’s right, there’s going to be a Mariachi Band!!!

Queens Of The Stone Age Halloween 2014 show

Saturday and Sunday, Danny Elfman does an encore of his shows from last year by putting on two shows on Saturday and Sunday at The Nokia Theatre.  Hopefully this will start to become a tradition like Oingo Boingo Halloween Shows in the 80s.

Danny Elfman's Music From The Films Of Tim Burton

At the Walt Disney Concert Hall you can see the 1922 film “Nosferatu” while Clark Wilson provides the accompaniment with the pipe organ.

Nosferatu Walt Disney Concert Hall Halloween 2014


Finally for those of you that can’t get enough Mariachi Music there is the Dia De Las Muertos on Saturday November 1.  The theme this year is Quinceañera!   This is going to be a party! It’s at the Hollywood Forever cemetary.  These people have been dying to meet you.  Enjoy!

Dia De Los Muertos 2014

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The Beatles and Halloween

Sure, The Beatles didn’t invent rock and roll or films or fashion but they certainly made it more fun and that can also be said for their stamp on Halloween.

Beatles costumes Beatles groucho faceJohn Lennon Halloween CostumeRingo Starr Halloween CostumePaul McCartney Halloween costumeGeorge Harrison Halloween costume Ringo Starr  pumpkinBeatles pumpkin  John Lennon PumpkinGeorge Harrison pumpkin George Harrison with skeleton friend Four Eyed Beatle George HarrisonSean, John & Yoko Halloween  Maureen Starkey, Ringo, John, Paul & Jane Asher  Paul McCartney journalist   Ringo and  Thomas the Train John Lennon Halloween 1980

This also gives me the opportunity to post this forgotten gem from John Lennon’s Walls & Bridges album

and with John there also must be Yoko. Here’s “Voice Piece For Soprano”

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New Music Tuesday

Taylor Swift "1989"

Halloween week means the Princesses and Freaks are coming out.

Just in case you live under a rock, you might not realize that Taylor Swift has a new album out this week.  Unlike Beyoncé and U2 that used the element of surprise to release their past albums, Taylor is doing it like it’s 1989.

Taylor has been hitting the talk show circuit in the hopes that the public will be waiting on the release date with credit cards in hand to purchase the all pop/no country album from the former Country Music Princess.  And just what has Taylor been talking about?  Well her cat, named Olivia Benson of course.

Now here’s John Cleese making fun of Olivia Benson, much to the horror of Taylor Swift.

The big question of course is, “Can Taylor Swift save the music industry?” There has yet to be a platinum selling album in 2014 and Taylor is the last hope to break the string.  The best first week sales so far belong to Coldplay “Ghost Stories” with 338,000 , Eric Church with 288,000 and Jason Aldrean with 278,000.  I’m sure Taylor will beat Coldplay’s mark but by how much and will it be considered a disappointment if she only sells 400,000 units?  If the results are disappointing, I’m sure Taylor will just “Shake It Off”

For those of you that prefer the Freaks as compared to Taylor’s Geek character, you have two choices.   First is The Flaming Lips and “fwends” doing a re-creation of The Beatles “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.  And then there’s Primus with a re-creation of the music from Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.  Depending on your freak level you will probably enjoy both of these efforts.  Enjoy!

Here’s the Flaming Lips and former country and pop princess and now freak Miley Cyrus performing “A Day In The Life”

Not to be outdone, I present Primus with The Fungi Ensemble performing “Pure Imagination”

The Flaming Lips "With A Little Help From My Fwends" Primus & the Chocolate Factory With The Fungi Ensemble

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1984: The Greatest Pop Culture Year

1984I’ll admit that I’m biased but as I look back 30 years it’s really hard to top 1984 in terms of Pop Culture influence.

Television had the Thursday lineup of The Cosby Show, Family, Cheers, Night Court and Hill Street Blues.  It was the first year for Miami Vice.  It was also the year of this take down of Synchronized Swimming

Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton started playing in the NBA.  Doc Gooden and Roger Clemons started their pro baseball careers.  Mario Lemieux started his NHL career.  It was the year of the Doug Flutie Hail Mary pass and the year of the Olympics in Los Angeles.

As far as movies are concerned, how about this list of influential and still relevant movies?

Beverly Hills Cop


Karate Kid




Sixteen Candles

The Terminator

Nightmare On Elm Street

Blood Simple

But this is a music blog so here are my ten favorite music moments from 1984

1) This Is Spinal Tap

2) The first MTV Video Music Awards hosted by Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler

3) This performance of “Once In A Lifetime” by the Talking Heads from their concert film “Stop Making Sense”

4)This Jackson’s Pepsi commercial that pretty much encapsulates Michael Jackson fever.

5) Prince “Purple Rain”

6) Van Halen’s Jump

7) Madonna’s “Borderline”

8) Bruce Springsteen goes “Dancing In The Dark” with Courtney Cox

9) ZZ Top “Legs”

10) The albums The Smiths self-titled, R.E.M’s “Reckoning U2 “The Unforgettable Fire“, The Replacments “Let It Be

Bonus: Unfortunately, this also happened in 1984. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you a singing Sylvester Stallone (with assistance from Dolly Parton) in the movie “Rhinestone”. Yes, this was an actual thing.

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Free Music Friday

As usual, Amazon has a nicely diverse lineup of music to download for free.  I was drawn to the country twang and introspective songwriting from both Doug Seegers and George Stanford.  You might go for more of the indie dance rock from Avi Buffalo, Peaking Lights or Wild Cub.  In any event it’s worth downloading these 19 songs and finding a new favorite song.  Click on the photo to get the music.

Amazon Artists on the Rise October 2014

Pretty Much Amazing has their update on their regular feature 10 Downloads you won’t regret.  Do it without any remorse.

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Get Out

bob dylan, quotes, sayings, feeling, today, futureBob Dylan comes to town for three nights at the Dolby Theatre.  Tenacious D’s curated comedy cavalcade Festival Supreme comes to The Shrine on Saturday.  In honor of both events I give you some of  funnyman Bob Dylan’s quotes and lyrics.

“I almost didn’t make it tonight. Had a flat tire.  There was a fork in the road.

Quote on stage June 22, 1999 Hollywood Bowl

“I wanna say hello to all the ex-hippies in the audience tonight.  I’ve never been a hippie myself but I’m an honorary hippie”

Quote on stage June 14, 1999 Eugene, OR EMU Ballroom

“If I wasn’t Bob Dylan, I’d probably think that Bob Dylan has a lot of answers myself”

Playboy Magazine interview March 1966

“Yippee! I’m a poet, and I know it. Hope I don’t blow it.”

“I Shall Be Free No. 10″ from Another Side Of Bob Dylan

“I think of myself as more of a song and dance man”

San Francisco Press Conference December 1965

“You know it balances on your head, just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine”

“Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” from Blonde On Blonde

“Now, I don’t care just what you do
If you wanta have a picnic, that’s up t’ you
But don’t tell me about it, I don’t wanta hear it
’Cause, see, I just lost all m’ picnic spirit
Stay in m’ kitchen, have m’ own picnic . . .
In the bathroom

“Talkin’ Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues” from The Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3

“The pump don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles.”

“Subterranean Homesick Blues” from Bringing It All Back Home

Half of the people can be part right all of the time
Some of the people can be all right part of the time
But all of the people can’t be all right all of the time
I think Abraham Lincoln said that
“I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours”
I said that

“Talkin’ World War III Blues” from  The Free Wheelin Bob Dylan

“Here’s a foreign song I learned in Utah”

“Talkin’ Hava Negeilah Blues from The Bootleg Series Vol 1-3


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Platinum Albums

People are decrying the fact that in 2014 not one album has sold one million copies to be certified platinum and therefore the music industry is dead.  The fact is more music is accessible than ever before with just a click of a button.  Have you heard that Billy Idol and Cold War Kids have album out?  Do you know Sleater-Kinney is back in action?  Hey did you want to see Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors at The Troubadour?  Never heard of them? Watch this video.  It might make you want to go check them out.

Nirvana "Nevermind" Platinum

Of course all this new music means most likely when you go to a show, the entire audience isn’t singing along because people no longer spin their albums over and over again.  I think this is where radio succeeds in that you have a favorite radio station; they play your favorite song; you memorize the lyrics, you buy a ticket to the show and sing along with everyone else.  The best moments in concert happen when collective strangers share their love of a song.

That said, I’m going to go see Queen Of The Stone Age at the Forum.   Twenty years ago, 20,000 people would be singing in unison because they all owned Nevermind and they paid $14.99 for the right to own that album.   Queens of The Stone Age do not have an album that has sold more than half a million copies. QOTSA can fill up the Forum because of their amazing live show and yet I’m sure there will not be any sing along moments.  Though I’m pretty sure we’ll all be singing the “Feel Good Hit of The Summer

The point is there will no longer be a Tapestry, Rumors, Thriller, Jagged Little Pill or 21, a collection of songs that entire nations seem to own. It’s the end of an era which is kind of sad.  The good news is you can now easily discover music that is uniquely for you and that’s probably why there are no longer platinum albums.

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New Music Tuesday

The Divas return with their unique take on the classics.

Aretha Franklin “Sings The Great Diva Classics” Aretha is here to remind everyone she’s the true original.  The first single is a mashup of “Rolling In The Deep/Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with mixed results.  I think it needs to be a little more restrained but I’m not going to tell The Queen of Soul that she needs to hold back.  I think that’s why she calls this song “The Aretha Version”

I much prefer this jazzy/disco version, I’m sorry Aretha Version of “I Will Survive” mashed into Destiny’s Child Survivor turned out.

Annie Lennox “Nostalgia As Annie explains, she wanted to take these classic songs and put her contemporary spin on it.  I think Annie is one of the best interpreter of songs of the past thirty years and she certainly brings her unique vocal stylings to the forefront including this version of Screamin’ Jay Hawkin’s “I Put A Spell On You” as she takes the female perspective of this song

Here’s Annie talking about each song from her new album

Aretha Franklin "Sing The Great Diva Classics" Annie Lennox "Nostalgia"


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Fall Classic Songs


Oh, it’s on! The Boys in Blue that are not the Dodgers are playing the boys in pumpkin Orange.

It’s so on that artist Matthew West has created a Kansas City Royals championship song and it’s actually not too bad.  It’s a mash up of Lorde’s Royals with the back beat of Queen’s “We Are The Champions”

And of course, there’s the home spun creations.  May I introduce you to JFlex and TKT of the 816.

It’s so on the San Francisco radio station 96.5 KOIT has bared Lorde’s “Royals” from being played on the air until after the World Series. KFOG (104.5)/SAN FRANCISCO posted on FACEBOOK, “No offense, LORDE, but for the duration of the WORLD SERIES, KFOG will be a ‘Royals’-free zone. We’re sure you understand.” This prompted its KANSAS CITY-based  KZPT (99.7 THE POINT) to put the song into the station’s “highest rotation.”

Appearing in three out of the five past World Series and winning it in 2010 and 2012 this is kind of old hat for the Giants.  The Royals last won the World Series in 1985.    Nevertheless, Hot Buttered Rum realizes they win every other year and have created a song around their Championship run “SF Giants Bluegrass Fight Song”

And of course, there’s Steve Perry  karaoking his way through “Don’t Stop Believing during the 8th inning of the Giants post season games

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