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15 May 2008

Fat Amy Returns! Bob Guiney In Concert

Those of you that know me may remember that I've been a fan of the band Fat Amy since the mid 90s.  I built my first real web site for Fat Amy, back in early 1996 and was the webmaster for Fat Amy - and subsequently the Bob Guiney Band - until just earlier this year.  Bob was on the Bachelorette and then he was chosen to be The Bachelor (season 4) and has had a nice TV career ever since. 

Not your average 15 minutes of fame.

What many of the Bachelor/Bachelorette viewers didn't know is that Bob was in music long before he went on those shows.  Fat Amy released several studio albums and had a nice following in the midwest and toured from coast to coast before they went on Hiatus around the turn of the century.  Things got quiet while Bob made a living as a mortgage broker until his appearance on The Bachelorette in 2003.

Anyway, Bob got back together with some of the members of Fat Amy, and recruited a few other band members from the Michigan scene, and released another album with Wind Up Records as the "Bob Guiney Band".  Some of the songs on the album were previously unrecorded Fat Amy songs, some were previously recorded Fat Amy songs (re-recorded with the new band), and some new songs as well.  BGB toured the nation in support of this album, but Bob has been so busy in the TV world that the music side of things, in terms of the BGB, was mostly on the shelf.

Well, it looks like the band is getting back together for their first show in several years - they're playing a place called The Wolf Den, located in the Mohegan Sun Casino/Hotel in Connecticut.

If you're in or near Connecticut, you should go check it out!

For more details, visit www.bobguiney.com


Posted by rickroot at 1:48 PM | Link | 0 comments
09 April 2008

Brian Vander Ark and Edwin McCain Gig Together

So my friend-in-fandom Trudi posted on the Brian Vander Ark Fan Forums that several of Brian's new announced tour dates are gigs in which he is opening for Edwin McCain.  I've been listening to Edwin McCain *ALMOST* as long as I've been listening to Brian and The Verve Pipe - I discoverd TVP in late 1993 and probably discovered Edwin McCain in 1995, maybe 1996.  I've got four of his albums - Honor Among Thieves, Messenger, Misguided Roses, and Lost in America.

You may remember Edwin McCain for his biggest hit "I'll Be" which was featured for a while as the theme song to the TV show Dawson's Creek.  He also broke into the Top 40 with a song called "I could not ask for more" but that was more popular as a country song by artist Sara Evans.

Anyway, he's a fantastic singer and I've always enjoyed his music.  I'm half tempted to buy a plane ticket to chicago to see the House of Blues show... or perhaps a road trip to Cleveland, and a little side trip to Cedar Point would be in order.... hmmm...


Posted by rickroot at 8:25 PM | Link | 0 comments
28 March 2008

Def Leppard Rocked the House in Greensboro!

So, me and Doug and Crazy John went to the Def Leppard, STYX and REO Speedwagon concert last night.  I'm a member of the Def Leppard fan club so I bought us floor seats near the front (row 19).  The stage setup during the DL show included a catwalk and a round "outer stage" the came all the way out to about row 13-14.   They played a couple of slow songs in the middle of the concert and did them acoustic, and four of the band members (obviously not the drummer) came out to the catwalk stage.  I went to the restroom during the "slow" set =)

They played a lot of songs from High N Dry (1981) - Let It Go, High N Dry, Bringin' On The Heartbreak, Switch 625, and Mirror Mirror - probably the most well represented album along with Hysteria.  And of coruse they played stuff from Pyromania (Photograph, Rock of Ages), but for me the coolest thing was hearing a live version of the instrumental "Disintegrate" from 1999's Euphoria.

I was a Def Leppard fan in the 80s, of course.  Hysteria was released when I was 15, and spent two years on the billboard charts.  But I never saw Def Leppard back then, I didn't get out to many concerts at all, really.  But I've now seen them 3 out of the last 4 years - in 2005 with Bryan Adams, in 2006 with Journey, and this year with STYX and REO Speedwagon.  I actually had tickets to last year's Raleigh date with STYX and Foreigner but wasn't able to make it.  But this is a band that I'll probably go see every time they tour.  They really put on a great show, and they still know how to rock.

All three shows I've seen, they've ended by saying "Don't forget about us, and we won't forget about you."

This is me not forgetting!  See you in NC next summer!

Posted by rickroot at 6:15 AM | Link | 0 comments
26 March 2008

Brian Vander Ark Forums

If you've been reading my blog you know I'm an avid fan of Brian Vander Ark, former lead singer of The Verve Pipe and current solo artist.

I recently launched a web site for Brian Vander Ark Fans and, to be perfectly honest, I'm blogging about it to help search engine rankings. =) There are forums for the Verve Pipe, but they really suck. I thought we needed our own place to discuss Brian's olo career, and since he's released 6 albums now (3 studio, and 3 live), he deserves it.

So go check out BVAfans.com.

If you're not familiar with Brian, check out his myspace for audio samples, and his website.

Check out the video for "The Heart That Keeps You", a song from his 2006 album "Angel, Put Your Face On".

Do it for the music, man!

Posted by rickroot at 10:32 AM | Link | 0 comments
04 February 2008

Brian Vander Ark's New CD

It's pretty awesome.  Of course it's not in the CD databases yet so if you rip your copy you'll probably have to type in the track names and such.

I've scanned the covert art and such... if you'd like to borrow it for your own purposes, have at it!

Front Cover - my mom says he looks good with short hair!

Brian Vander Ark - Brian Vander Ark (front cover)

More artwork after the click....

Posted by rickroot at 7:54 AM | Link | 0 comments
08 January 2008

Brian Vander Ark - New Studio Album!

As you all know, I'm a big Brian Vander Ark fan.  The former lead singer of The Verve Pipe just finished his third studio album and it's available for pre-order now.

Just go to www.myspace.com/brianvanderark and click on the big pre-order banner at the top.

While you're there, listen to some of the new songs from the new self-titled album, and a few from his second official "bootleg" CD of last year's "Lawn Chairs and Living Rooms" tour (Brian performed at my mom's house in Fuquay-Varina, NC as part of this tour!)

Check out this "Behidn the Scenes" video too:

Behind The Scenes - Album 2008

Add to My Profile | More Videos


Posted by rickroot at 6:26 AM | Link | 1 comment
24 August 2007

Chin Dong: Vote for my friend Tony's jingle!!!

So, my friend Tony wrote a jingle and entered it in a contest.

Please go here and vote for his jingle, it's called "Chin Dong"



Posted by rickroot at 9:16 PM | Link | 1 comment
23 July 2007

My afternoon with Brian Vander Ark

A few weeks ago, I got an email newsletter from Brian Vander Ark. You may know of him as the former lead singer and songwriter for The Verve Pipe, a Michigan band from the 90s that had a Billboard #1 called "The Freshmen" in 1997. Brian has been solo for a couple years now, and has released two studio albums and two live recordings. His email says he's signed up "legendary producer Bill Szymczyk" to produce his third studio album. Mr. Szymczyk produced "Hotel California" for the eagles, among others.

But the bad news - touring the country in the air stream with his pianist, his wife, and his 2 year old child, was more about building a fan base than making money, so he had no money to record the new album.

His solution - an unusual one to say the least - was to spend the months of July and August playing in living rooms and at back yard BBQs - birthday parties and family gatherings of his most dedicated fans. Dedicated in that they'd be willing to fork out some $$ for him to do so.

Yesterday afternoon was my turn. Brian had scheduled 2 shows in this area, so he flew into RDU from Grand Rapids, rented a car and got a hotel room near the airport... then headed out to my mom's house in Fuquay-Varina (about 10 miles south of Raleigh). For me, it was a birthday party - but I really didn't need an excuse. Those of you who know me know that I've been spouting off about The Verve Pipe - and Brian - since 1993. After getting a little mixed up thanks to mapquest, and with some help on the phone from me, he found his way out to the house around 4 o'clock. I gave him the tour, he talked with some family members, enjoyed my dad's huge garden train (his setup is probably around 3000 square feet!). We started the show around 4:30. Brian brought only an overnight bag and his Gibson guitar. He sat in a chair on the patio, and we all sat in lawn chairs nearby, or on the stairs up to the house. Brian played for about an hour, being interrupted between songs by my daughters fascination with his guitar (he let her strum it a few times and was very good natured about it).

After he was done playing - around 5:30, I lit up the grill and started pulling meat out of the cooler. After Brian saw the package of Beddar Cheddar smoked sausages, his eyes got wide and he exclaimed how good they were, so I offered him one, and he naturally accepted. He played another song or two while I was cooking, and then we worked on getting him some directions to his next gig in Chapel Hill, which was at 7 o'clock. Finally got him on his way around 6:15pm, and I guess he made it to Chapel Hill about 5 minutes late.

It was one of the coolest experiences of my life, and worth every penny of the $$$ it cost me to have him come down and play.

On his web site, he wrote the following in his journal entry after doing several such shows last weekend:

after this amazing weekend, i have such little desire to go out and bang my head on the wall in places that could care less that i was there. this is a DRUG. this is what it should be about. it's just music, being played on an acoustic guitar. why do we need a stage, and lights and amplification? why do we need that seperation between performer and crowd? i get very little satisfaction out of it. i don't need to be four feet above everyone's head as i play. just give me a living room, and chair, and some fans, and i'm the happiest songwriter, ex-rockstar that ever lived.

You could argue that playing birthday parties is lame. I think, if some musician played private parties only for teenage girls whose rich parents could afford it.. well, that might be lame. But you can't read the above comments and not have anything but great respect for him - and his reasonings for doing these shows.

Only you know what great music is. Don't let recording executives or corporate radio statiosn tell you what's great.

I'll be posting pictures from the party soon - respond to this blog entry if you'd like to see them.  Make sure you click the "subscribe" button when you reply.

Posted by rickroot at 12:19 PM | Link | 2 comments
18 June 2007

Folk Rock Chicks - Playlist

I made a playlist the other day titled "folk rock chicks" and I think it's pretty good.

Making this playlist reminded me how hot Lisa Loeb is.

Foolish Games
Standing Still
Lisa Loeb
I Do
Lisa Loeb
Sunny Came Home
Shawn Colvin
Natalie Imbruglia
Natalie Merchant
Natalie Merchant
You Were Meant For Me
Kind & Generous
Natalie Merchant
Tori Amos
Cornflake Girl
Tori Amos
Fiona Apple
Only One Too
These Are Days
10,000 Maniacs
Who Will Save Your Soul
Closer To Fine
Indigo Girls
The Cranberries
The Cranberries
The Cranberries
Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?
Paula Cole
Building A Mystery
Sarah McLachlan
Sweet Surrender
Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan
Soak Up The Sun
Sheryl Crow
The First Cut is the Deepest
Sheryl Crow
Strong Enough
Sheryl Crow
All I Wanna Do
Sheryl Crow
If It Makes You Happy
Sheryl Crow
My Favorite Mistake
Sheryl Crow
Leaving Las Vegas
Sheryl Crow
Everyday Is A Winding Road
Sheryl Crow
Steve McQueen
Sheryl Crow
Strong Enough
Sheryl Crow
A Change Would Do You Good
Sheryl Crow



Posted by rickroot at 7:24 AM | Link | 1 comment
09 May 2007

What's Missing from my 80s Playlist?

So, I've got this 80s playlist that I listen to a lot.  It contains some of my favorite 80s dance tunes.  This list is not meant to be an all encompassing list of great 80s songs.  In otherwords, no hair bands, no regular pop music (you know, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, and the like)... I guess it's mostly new wave and club music.

What else should go on this playlist?  Sadly, Rhapsody doesn't have "The Politics of Dancing" so don't suggest it.  It'd be on there if they had it!

1. Oh Yeah - Yello
2. Pump Up The Volume - M/A/R/R/S - Colourbox
3. West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys
4. She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby
5. Don't Go - Yaz
6. Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
7. What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) - Information Society
8. Cars - Gary Numan
9. Chains Of Love - Erasure
10. Enjoy The Silence - Depeche Mode
11. Something About You - Level 42
12. I Ran (So Far Away) - A Flock Of Seagulls
13. Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell
14. Everybody Have Fun Tonight - Wang Chung
15. Obsession - Animotion
16. Word Up - Cameo
17. Super Freak (Part 1) - Rick James
18. Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go - Soft Cell
19. It's My Life - Talk Talk
20. Blue Monday - New Order
21. Talk Talk - Talk Talk
22. Don't You Want Me - Human League
23. Our Lips Are Sealed - Go Go's
24. Let It Whip - Dazz Band
25. Freak-A-Zoid - Midnight Star
26. No Parking On The Dance Floor - Midnight Star
27. Rockit - Herbie Hancock
28. You Dropped A Bomb On Me - The Gap Band
29. Weird Science - Oingo Boingo
30. Walk The Dinosaur - Was (Not Was)
31. Friends - Whodini
32. Freaks Come Out At Night - Whodini

Posted by rickroot at 12:36 PM | Link | 1 comment
30 April 2007

Brian Vander Ark - The redBrick Interview

I wanted to share some more about Brian Vander Ark, and I found the following on YouTube... there's quite a bit more where it came from too....

Posted by rickroot at 10:16 AM | Link | 2 comments
29 April 2007

Brian Vander Ark Meets the Best Ribs in Raleigh

This isn't really a restaurant review.  But Karen and I went to a place in Raleigh tonight called Hideaway BBQ to see one of my favorite musicians perform - Brian Vander Ark (myspace). 

But since I did have some food, and I was very impressed, I'll talk about it first.  I actually already haddinner this evening - cajun baked tilapia, steamed brocolli and a small serving of leftover macronia salad - so I wasn't real hungry.  But this was a cool looking restaurant that specializes in all things barbequed, and since I'm a lover of ribs, I couldn't resist.

Since I'm low-carbing, and I didn't want to totally blow it, I did manage to avoid the basket of fresh hushpuppies placed on our table shortly after we sat down.  I probably would've eaten all of them.  Anyway, I ordered an appetizer plate of ribs, and that was it.  Well, that and a couple shots of Patron Tequila).  The ribs were awesome - easily the best I've had around here!  I had some of Karen's cole slaw too, it was pretty good.  I look forward to eating at Hideaway BBQ sometime, although it's up on the north side of Raleigh off Capital, a good half hour drive, and we don't get up there much.

Now, onto the show.

As I said, Brian Vander Ark was performing, along with his musical friend Randy Sly on the digital piano.  His lovely wife Lux and his 20 month old daughter were there too, mostly hanging out in the Airstream parked outside.

The crowd was small, but the sound was fantastic.  I mean REALLY good.   Brian played a bunch of songs from his two studio albums, and at my request he played "Out Like A Lamb" from Pop Smear (The Verve Pipe's second album).  He also played "Whiter Shade of Pale" and Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road", which I personally think Brian sings better, but then I've never been a big Springsteen fan.  Thunder Road is a great song though.  He also played "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", and the original lyrical version of "Local Boys Done Good" from Underneath.  I can see why the record label made him change the lyrics, although when I asked him why they bothered to ask him to change the lyrics when they (the label) had no intention of marketing the album...well, Brian said "Good Question!"

Really enjoyed the show as always, and we might go see him Saturday (May 5) at The Laundro-Lounge in historic downtown Wilmington.  (Those of you who aren't familiar with the area, I think we're required by law to use the word "historic" whenever referring to downtown Wilm... er.. historic Downtown WIlmington)

Posted by rickroot at 9:29 PM | Link | 0 comments
01 April 2007

Kermit does Nine Inch Nails

Okay, this is kind of disturbing.

It's Kermit the Frog, sitting on a chair - MTV Unplugged style - singing "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails.

Without further comment...

If that doesn't load, click here.

Posted by rickroot at 7:42 PM | Link | 0 comments
27 March 2007

The era of Album Rock is long gone..

The 70s was known as the era of Album Rock.  Bands put out great albums, and some of them weren't necessarily the world's most radio friendly, but they were great albums that had themes and flowed from track to track smoothly.  You could tell what the artist was going for.  These "Albums" were more about the artist making their music than the record label trying to make money.

Not that Pink Floyd didn't rake in the dough.

Pink Floyd was one of the great album artists of all time - in large part due to the creative control that Roger Waters exercised over the band.  Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall are two great examples.

I can't claim that I blogged this years ago (but look at this), however I did have a conversation with my friend Jason a few weeks ago on the topic.

The album era is long gone, and not only that, the era of albums may be coming to a close.  And the New York Times agrees with me.

"Albums" in the 80s and 90s were just collections of songs which usually consisted of a hit or two and then "filler" which the record label had to pay for to justify releasing an album.  In the day of internet music, with people buying only the songs they're interested in thanks to ITunes, or just listening to the songs they want via some subscription service like Rhapsody (my favorite), what's the point of releasing the "filler"?

I think as we move forward, we're going to find musicians recording and releasing songs - not albums.  Record a song, put it up on myspace, blog about it, and watch it go.  Radio stations don't get albums anyway, do they?  The only Billboard chart actually based on album sales is the Billboard Album Chart.  Talk about irrelevant.

Posted by rickroot at 12:22 PM | Link | 2 comments
17 February 2007

New - The Bob Guiney Show

As some of you know, I am Bob Guiney's webmaster - Bob was on the Bachelorette and then he was The Bachelor for season 4.  Before that, he was the lead singer and songwriter for a band called Fat Amy that I was a huge fan of.  Anyway, it looks like Bob is recording a demo for a new radio show, and I want you all to check it out.

Here's the invitation....

A Digitally Engraved Invitation Just For You!

You are invited to be part of an exclusive virtual live studio audience on Monday evening when Bob Guiney sits behind the microphone for two hours to record a live demo of the Bob Guiney Show. We would appreciate having you join us on the Internet for this sneak peak at a new daily radio talk show. All you need to do to listen is go to http://www.verbotenmedia.com on Monday and follow the instructions for listening to the LIVE show.

Bob's special guests will include actress Bonnie Somerville, who played Mona on "Friends," and who starred in "Wedding Wars" with John Stamos. He'll also be joined by former "Xena: Warrior Princess" star Lucy Lawless, whose other credits include Battlestar Galactica and the upcoming TV drama, "Footballers' Wives."

Listeners will be invited to call and ask questions of our guests, as well as adding perspective to our conversations on a variety of topics that affect you in everyday life.

We do request that if you call in to this special Bob Guiney Show taping, please refrain from "fan" comments directed at Bob. It is very important that we stay on-format to the topics and guests throughout the program. This show will be presented to various sources that are giving consideration to picking up the Bob Guiney Show across the USA.

In preparation for Monday's broadcast on the Internet, please be sure to have installed:

  • If you are on a Windows PC, use the basic WinAmp 5.3 Player. This is free and can be downloaded from http://www.winamp.com. You do not need advanced players or products beyond the free version to hear our program, which is streamed in Shoutcast format as an mp3 file to your computer.
  • If you are on an Apple Macintosh, clicking on the listen buttons should launch the program in your iTunes Player as an mp3.

We will offer both a high-bandwidth and low-bandwidth connection to listeners on Monday. The Broadband connection should be used for anyone with DSL, Cable or high speed LAN. The Dial-up connection should be used by anyone dialing into an ISP on a 56kpbs or lower speed modem.

The audio stream will begin approximately 15-minutes prior to the start of the program. Before that, there will be other content on this stream. For the 15-minutes preceeding the Bob Guiney Show, there will be music by the Bob Guiney Band.

SHOW TIME: 3 to 5 pm Pacific, 4 to 6 pm Mountain, 5 to 7 pm Central, 6 to 8 pm Eastern. MONDAY, FEBRURARY 19, 2007

If you have any questions prior to Monday at 12 pm Pacific, 3 pm Eastern, you may address them to: john@verbotenmedia.com

Thank you and we look forward to having you join us. And, while we've given you the Digitally Engraved Invitation, please pass it along to your friends! The more, the merrier! Help us make the Bob Guiney Show, radio's next great program!!

Thank you,

Bob Guiney and John McMullen
co-Executive Producers

Posted by rickroot at 6:55 AM | Link | 0 comments
27 January 2007

Frank Allison & the Odd Sox

Back in the mid 90s, I was a big fan of a local (Ann Arbor) band called Frank Allison and the Odd Sox.  They were a danceable folk-rock type band for the most part, and the lead singer (Frank) was a great entertainer, in a goofy sort of way.  Frank used to tell stories between songs while his lead guitarist would play some crazy blues riffs in the background.  They would always pack the Blind Pig (a small music club downtown), and everyone would have a great time.

Frank and his guitarist would also do acoustic gigs at coffee shops in Ann Arbor, like Cava Java, which were always much more intimate affairs, usually a crowd of 20 or 30 people.  Frank broke more strings at the acoustic venues than any artist I've ever seen.  I think he used it as an excuse to stop playing music and tell stories.

Sometime around 1996 or 1997, Frank stopped playing music.  Apparently, he'd blown out his voice and was simply unable to sing anymore.  The last show I saw was at Top of the Park (a festival in Ann Arbor on top of a parking garage where they showed movies at night), and he had lots of guest singers assisting, so it wasn't too noticeable.

I've heard that he's now owns and operates the Clinton Theater, a tiny little movie theater in the town of Clinton, about 20 miles or so southwest of Ann Arbor on US-12.

My favorite album of his - and in my opinion the most well produced - is an album called "Russia", which featured some rehashes or songs that appeared on other albums, and some new tracks as well.  It was recorded in a church in Russia, and apparently the masters didn't make it back to the states for quite some time after the original recording, but when they finally did make it back, Frank put it onto CD.

I've seen a number of "discographies" that don't even list this album. 

I had some MP3s posted here originally, but Frank recently emailed me to let me know that he will soon be making these albums available online, and I will post the link to his new web site after things have been worked out.   I think that's great, and so I've removed the songs from my web site.

Posted by rickroot at 7:44 AM | Link | 4 comments
03 September 2006

I love a good rock concert

So, my friend Doug and I, along with my sister Karen and her 14 year old daughter Samantha went to see Nickelback up at the RBC Center tonight.  I joined the Nickelback fan club last year so I'd have the ability to buy tickets before they went on sale to the general public.  I actually could've gotten floor tickets but didn't want them.  We ended up in Second 106 about 8 rows up.  Right at the side of the stage, awesome seats.

We missed opening band number one - Hinder.  They have a popular song out right now called Lips of an Angel - I don't like it very much, and so the fact that we walked into the arena during their last song didn't bug me much.

The second band that played was Chevelle, from Chicago.  They were pretty good.  I'd never heard of them before, but I'm pretty sure I've heard "The Red" and maybe one other song on the radio before.

The third opening band (yes, there were FOUR bands) was Hoobastank.  I really liked their debut album from 2001.  I liked most of the songs on the album actually, though I think only one or two songs got on the radio.  Hoobastank was pretty good, I liked some of their new stuff too.

Finally, Nickelback hit the stage.  I'd never seen them before, but I've been a fan for a few years.  They put on quite a show, very tight musically, and the lead singer is quite the entertainer.

A good time was had by all. 

Did I mention that I'm deaf now?  A sign warned us as we entered the arena that we would be subjected to audio in excess of 800 decibels.  Ouch.
Posted by rickroot at 10:02 PM | Link | 3 comments
31 August 2006

Blowoff - new music from Bob Mould and Richard Morel

www.blowoff.us - go and listen to the mp3

I've been a fan of Bob Mould for about 10 years now I guess.  I started with "Workbook", which was given to me by a friend of mine who was into independent music.  I liked it, and now I've probably got about 10 CDs with his name on them, or the name of one of his bands - Husker Du, Sugar, and now - Blowoff.

Mould and his friend Richard Morel (an avid blogger) started doing a monthly dance club event in Washington DC at the 930 club called "Blowoff" a few years back.  Mould is a guitar wizard and over the last 5 years or so has done a lot of experimentation with electronica, sampling, and other stuff that you wouldn't associate with a hard core guitarist like Mould.

Personally, I didn't much care for the albums he put out that focused more on those things.  To each his own.  But Morel collaborated with Mould on his last album "Body of Song", which I like a lot.  A fellow from the band Fugazi was on the album too, I can't remember his name right now and I'm too lazy to look it up.  They toured and I had the pleasure to see Bob Mould live for a third time at The Cats Cradle in Chapel Hill back in 2005 I guess it was.  Great show.

Anyway, Bob and Richard continued to do these Blowoff things, and just recently put an album out titled "Blowoff" - with the band also named Blowoff.  I'm not entirely sure you call it a band, but whatever, that's semantics.  I'm sure there are other blogs for that.

I highly recommend you check it out on iTunes, Rhapsody, or wherever.  You can even download a free MP3 from the blowoff web site at www.blowoff.us

Do something cool today, and listen to some Blowoff instead of what Clear Channel radio wants you to listen to.

Posted by rickroot at 7:25 PM | Link | 0 comments
12 July 2006

Rockin' Old School Style

On the 4th of July this year, I celebrated America's independence by seeing a British band at Alltel Pavilion.  Well, one British band and one American band - Def Leppard and Journey.  I went with my friend and former boss Doug, and my sister Karen.

Alltel Pavilion at Walnut Creek is your standard outdoor concert venue - a covered pavilion and a large lawn area.  And it was hot.  Typical summer day in North Carolina - humid and 90+ degrees.

Anyway, we got there at about 7:15 for a 7:30 show - I had purchased the seats the day they went on sale and got awesome seats in section 5 row B, which is pretty close - right next to the VIP boxes.

Journey came on and opened with a song that I'd never heard before.  No huge surprise, because I don't actually own any Journey albums.  I mean, I was there to see Def Leppard but of course I knew most of the popular Journey songs.  The song they opened with was "Faith in the Heartland".  It was actually a really good song, and as it turns out, it is on their *new* album, which was released last year, titled "Generations".  I've been listening to it a lot on Rhapsody and it's actually a really good album.  They played the title track from the album later, which was actually sung by the keyboardist, and it was a really catch tune.

Of course, bands like Journey can put out great new music and nobody will really care about it, because most people that want to hear a Journey song on the radio want to hear "Open Arms" or "Don't Stop Believin'" or "Faithfully" or.. or.. or.. you get the picture.

At any rate, the Journey show was great.  Most of the crowd near me stayed seated during the early part of the show (heck it was still light out!) but we were all standing by the end.  I even saw a few lighters pop up during the classic ballads.

Journey really invented the rock ballad I think.  I mean, Journey has a lot of hard rocking songs, and in general they're a rockin' band, but Faithfully and Open Arms and the like really set the tone for the glam rock bands of the 80s.

One worth note - we were next to an aisle that was restricted to the VIP boxes, and a couple of times during the journey show, one of the females from a box behind us came up to the front of the aisle and was just dancing and having a good old time!  She was hot.  Probably about my age, maybe a little younger, clearly a journey fan, clearly having a good time, and clearly a bit inebriated.  Doug and I were hoping to see her pull a rock groupie stunt and show off her stuff, but luck wasn't with us!

The main event of course was Def Leppard.  Journey may have had some huge hits, but I think Def Leppard had more hits.  So many that unfortunately they were unable to play them all, but what can you do?

Like Journey, Def Leppard hasn't had a real hit in a long time, but they've continued to put out new music.  Their last album, X (which was their tenth studio album) came out in 2002, and it's one of my favorites, but of course you never heard any of it on the radio.  They've got a new album out now, as well, that is actually all cover songs of 60s and 70s brit pop music.  They played a couple songs from it, including a wicked version of "Rock On" (popularized in my mind by Michael Damien in 1989, but actually originally released by David Essex in 1973 apparently.  The other songs they played from the new album were "No Matter What" and "20th Century Boy".  good songs!

We - and the crowd - stood up for the entire Def Leppard show of course, and Doug and I were pretty much going nuts all night long.  It was hot.  Humid.  No breeze to speak of.  By the time the night was done, pretty much all of my clothes were wet.  I would've bought a bottle of water for $10 if they were still selling anything when the concert was over.

It was an awesome time.  I definately recommend seeing this tour if you can, and check out some of the new music from both bands at www.defleppard.com and www.journeymusic.com.

Rock on!

Posted by rickroot at 7:00 AM | Link | 0 comments
25 April 2006

New Music From Brian Vander Ark (of The Verve Pipe)

Brian Vander Ark - lead singer of Michigan band The Verve Pipe - is about to release his second solo studio album and from what I can tell it'll be another awesome one.

Please listen to this at Brian's MySpace website!

I've been a fan of The Verve Pipe for a very long time.  Not as long as some, but longer than most to say the least.  I first heard about the band in the fall of 1993 while at Western Michigan University.  They were a pretty popular local independent band that had recently one a "Battle of the Bands" contest in Grand Rapids and won $30,000 to record a new album - their second album entitled Pop Smear.

Anyway, the album was released in early November that year, and although I'd never heard any of their music, I scooted over to Discount Den to pick up a copy.  I went back to my dorm (French Hall, that year) and listened to it.  I loved it.  So much that I went BACK to Discount Den about 2 hours later and bought their other album, I've Suffered A Head Injury.

Some of you may remember The Verve Pipe from their #1 smash hit "The Freshman" from 1997, and a few other minor hits from that CD (Photograph and Villians were the other two that they made videos for).  After that, we didn't hear much from TVP on the radio.

In fact their fifth and last studio album "Underneath" was released in 2002 and I loved it.  I thought it was their best album yet - but by that time, RCA had dropped them and of course they own the album but had no interest in promoting it, so it essentially went nowhere.  It's a great CD.

In fact, Brian had a small role in the movie "Rock Star" (with Jennifer Aniston and Mark Wahlberg), and if you saw the movie, the song "Colorful" that Wahlberg sings at the end of the movie was not only written by Brian and appeared on "Underneath", Brian sung it while Wahlberg lip-synced.

Brian embarked on a solo career with his first album aptly titled "Resurrection".  He does a lot of touring - typically just him and his guitar, even though Resurrection was recorded with a band.

Anyway, Brian played a couple of the new songs here in Raleigh last time I saw him, last fall, and they were really good.  One of those songs was "I Don't Wanna Be", which you can listen to right now on his Myspace web site.

Posted by rickroot at 7:54 AM | Link | 2 comments
22 March 2006

New Music from David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd)

The members of Pink Floyd - ALL OF THEM - have "categorically denied" any and all rumors of a pink floyd tour.  These rumors cropped up after the Live8 concert and I think were generally created by media outlets who wanted to drive traffic to their sites by creating buzz about a potential Floyd reunion.

Well, I guess for me the next best thing is new music that sounds like Pink Floyd.

David Gilmour has released a new album called "On An Island" and I've been listening to it for a few days and I really like it.  The Amazon product page has a really cool exclusive "Making of.." video that you can watch.

Some of the music is reminiscent of Pink Floyd's last studio album, The Division Bell, in that a lot of it is pretty mellow.  But the guitar work seems to be more active, more driving than the stuff in the Division Bell.  Some of the songs definately remind me of much older Floyd.

I definately recommend you check it out!

Posted by rickroot at 10:44 AM | Link | 2 comments
22 December 2005

Domestic Problems - An Account of a Visit from St. Nick

The greatest version of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" ever!

Back in the 90s, I was a big fan of a Grand Rapids band known as Domestic Problems.  They were basically a jam band and were very popular locally.  Fun live shows.

One year they released a 5 song Christmas album, which included a really cool version of Twas the Night Before Christmas... I think you'll like it.

Click here to listen to the mp3...

Posted by rickroot at 6:50 PM | Link | 2 comments
23 August 2005

Bob Mould in Chapel Hill

So I was working on a freelance project this evening (last evening, I guess, since it's now about 3:30am) and I was listening to some music. I put on Bob Mould, and was telling Adrienne's step-sister Erin about the Bob Mould concert that Adrienne and I went to see in DC last year.

This of course reminded me to check out www.bobmould.com and see what's going on.  I was pretty damn excited to find out that Bob was coming to the Cats Cradle on September 22, 2005 (a Thursday), and I immediately went to www.catscradle.com to see if tickets were available.  Within a few minutes I had purchased and printed out 4 tickets to the show.

I'll be taking that Friday off, I think!

For the uninitiated, Bob Mould is an indie rocker of legendary status.  He's been making music since the early 80s, fronted the band Husker Du in the 80s, and Sugar in the 90s, and has also released numerous solo records. If I get a chance, sometime when it's not 3:30 AM, I'll upload a couple of mp3 files for your listening pleasure.

Posted by rickroot at 3:31 AM | Link | 2 comments
22 June 2005

Pink Floyd Reunites with Roger Waters to Help Starving Nations at Live8 Concert

So someone mentioned something about the Live8 Concert to me the other day. I had no idea what they were talking about, but they said Pink Floyd was playing.

I'd been to www.PinkFloyd.com as recently as a couple weeks ago (which prompted me to buy Nick Mason's new book Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd) and there was nothing on the site about any tour dates. But I went there again to check, and sure enough, not only is Pink Floyd playing at one of the Live8 venues, but Roger Waters will be a part of it!

Wow. By most accounts, Roger Waters and David Gilmore have not even been on speaking terms.

David Gilmore said:

Posted by rickroot at 8:35 PM | Link | 2 comments
26 May 2005

Ashlee Simpson's Halftime Fiasco at the Orange Bowl

I've been hearing this audio on the Jim Rome Show regularly since it first occurred.   We all know that Ashlee Simpson can't sing live, especially after the lip-syncing incident on Saturday Night Live, but at last year's Orange Bowl, Ashlee Simpson was one of the halftime entertainers...

After much searching, I finally found hte video and wanted to share it with you.

Posted by rickroot at 2:24 PM | Link | 1 comment
03 May 2005

Brian Vander Ark coming back to Raleigh!

One of my favorite musicians, Brian Vander Ark, is coming back to Raleigh!

Brian, for those of you that don't recognize the name, was the lead singer for the band "The Verve Pipe", which had a huge #1 hit in 1997 called "The Freshman".  Anyway, he's gone solo now, and Brian is one of my favorite songwriters of all time - right up there with Bernie Taupin (who wrote most, if not all, of Elton John's songs) and Bob Dylan, if you ask me.

He'll be performing at the Raleigh Downtown Live event on June 11 with Better Than Ezra.

One interesting note, Better Than Ezra's first popular hit "Good" appeared on the AWARE 2 Compilation in 1993 before anyone had heard of them.  Brian's band The Verve Pipe also had a song on that compilation called "Spoonful of Sugar", a song which he's revamped and you may hear him play it!  If you want to be on the cutting edge of new music, check out www.awarerecords.com!

Posted by rickroot at 10:38 AM | Link | 1 comment