Curios

Favorite October Rock Music!

Not all that glitters is gold on the radio, and often one must scratch below the glossy surface of the neatly pressed and homogenous music business where TV pop stars litter radio playlists. Thankfully there is a growing number of outlets that cater to every type of rock music. Here are some of my favorite new releases from October culled from press releases, Spotify playlists, satellite radio, and peer recommendations.

 "3-6-9" Cat Power Sun (Matador) - Still measured genius after all these years; six years in fact since The Greatest. My favorite track is this upbeat, haunting, multi-layered, auto-tuned, electronica-tinged sing-a-long. This is the sound of New Jack City in the 21st century. More PJ than Joni, Ms. Chan Marshall brings the noise and funk on her ninth CD, and in doing so, raises the bar for her musical peers, both genders.

A Perfect Night for a Green Day

The business of rock -- the creative juices, the vibe, the sound and fury, the rage, the excitement, the whole kit and caboodle -- is very lacking these days. Songs come and go, like cotton candy -- looks good, tastes good, but leaves no lasting impression other than a disgusting sugary aftertaste. Few can scale the heights and maintain the majesty of RAWK! One would be hard-pressed to find young rock bands today with the chops and creativity to sustain four to five decades of arena-sized music-making like the Stones, KISS, Tom Petty, The Boss, AC/DC, Eagles, The Who, U2. I would argue there is perhaps just one band excellent enough to carry that very heavy torch and to wave it high and wide -- GREEN DAY. Formed in Berkley in 1987, they are well on their way: this year marks their 25th anniversary in the music biz. 

Green Day has swag. Bucket loads; overflowing with sweat, blood, and beer. Saturday night at the very intimate Irving Plaza in NYC, which was packed to the rafters, Green Day helped launch the new Nokia Music streaming on AT&T, streaming their first three songs, and in doing so cemented their legacy, in my mind and certainly for the ravenous fans lucky enough to be in attendance on Saturday evening.

The Importance of Being a Dude

connery.jpg"My Daddy-o's a dude!" bragged my ten-year-old daughter Mina to one of her friends.

Wot? I'm a dad and still a dude? Hey, that's pretty cool, but I thought Quincy Jones was the dude. After all, he did release an album in the '80s called The Dude. But where did my daughter pick this "dude" tag up? From my wife? (Doubtful, she might not have married me if she knew I was a dude.) Probably from the Scooby Doo cartoons we watch together. Or from her older brother and his crazed sidewalk skateboard pals in our 'hood. Or maybe she caught Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski at her friend Leah's house.

Give Me More, More, More!!!

Just can't get enough, once sang Depeche Mode. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'm listening to other tunes right now. Check out my August playlist for some desktop and mobile device-worthy tuneage.

"Fisherman" The Peach Kings Handsome Moves (Peach Kings)

So damn infectious, it is! Hot chick vocals and '60s garage-pop, twang-rock flourishes abound. Texan Paige McClain Wood and Californian Steven Trezevant Dies describe their sound as "gypsydelic" and I concur. Favorite single of the month! Check out the vid below!

Rock 'n' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution!

I recently emceed a very cool smart culture event for Blackberry's Playbook (digital tablet) at their pop-up shop in Chelsea. Not only did I conduct interviews with artist Peter Max, blues pianist Henry Butler, and indie band The Kin, but with two outstanding rock photographers -- Mick Rock and John Scarpati.

Mick is the more well-known of the two, having captured iconographic rock images from the late '60s through the '70s of Syd Barrett, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Queen, Sex Pistols, Blondie, and more. But John has done amazing work as well, just during a different time period on the West Coast, more specifically L.A. bands during the '80s. Many folks have seen his photos of Fishbone, The Cramps (image left), Jane's Addiction, Poison, L.A. Guns, Social Distortion, Redd Kross, et al. He did album covers, press photos, magazine shots, and more. He was one of them -- so much so that sometimes it meant losing money on some of his setups for outstanding photos.