Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tonight the Stars Revolt!

Powerman 5000 is a Boston-based rock band formed in 1991, whose frontman happens to be the younger brother of one Rob Zombie. Tonight the Stars Revolt was their second major label release which came out in 1999 and sold over a million copies. In the loosest sense it might be called a concept album. No specific story is being told yet there is a theme based on campy science fiction reminiscent of the 1950s. Frontman Spider One seems to have a fixation on bygone science fiction much like older brother Rob's obsession with B-movie horror themes. The album is full of roaring heavy metal with electronics and sound effects. It produced three hit singles and went on to sell over a million copies. Must be something about this band because their music has been featured on no less than 15 soundtrack albums including a cover of Relax on the Zoolander soundtrack, and several video games have also featured their music.

Nobody's Real
Operate, Annihilate
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sinner

Sinner is the 12th or 14th studio album (depending on whether you count eps and such) by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, released June 13, 2006, by Blackheart Records Group. While most of the contents previously appeared on the Japan-only release Naked (2004), it was her first record of new material released in the United States since "Pure 'n' Simple" in 1994. When you hear how vital and flat-out rocking she sounds on this album, you scratch your head and wonder why it took over a decade for the Queen of Rock to release a new album. Even the ballads have gloriously loud and gritty guitars and Jett's voice hasn't lost an ounce of power. Hopefully it won't be another decade before the next Joan Jett record, for with this album she's restaked a claim as an important artist and it'd be a real shame if she disappeared again. Another great album from yet another artist who has been woefully neglected as a candidate for the rock n roll hall of fame. I know she is currently semi involved with the forthcoming Runaways movie, but here it is 3 years later and no new material. Joan yer fans want more, please don't wait another 10 years for a new album. For the Runaways movie they've cast Kristen Stewart as Joan and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie. Not sure about those casting decisions. You know who would've been awesome playing Joan? Ellen Page would have been my choice, she kicks ass in every movie I've seen her in and would have been perfect. Anyways here's a couple cuts from Sinner.

Androgynous
Naked
Buy It

Funny Toon

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Going For Broke

We have passed the autumnal equinox and summer has left us behind with the promise of cooler days to come. As the days get shorter we all wonder how in heck did summer fly by so fast. It is still quite summery like here on the island and while it may be a bit late for summer flavored fare, let's bring back summer with some Eddy Grant and his reggae/calypso type music.

Going for Broke is a 1984 album by Eddy Grant that has been grossly overlooked in my humble opinion. Following the major success of the previous album, Killer On The Rampage, this album takes a similar approach but was not as commercially successful. It featured the U.S. hit "Romancing the Stone", as well as the singles "Till I Can't Take Love No More" and "Boys in the Street". This album is proof that Eddy Grant is multi-talented when it comes to crossing over from one genre to another. If you ask me though, the overall scope of the album is way better that the previous album. The one weakness it may have had at the time is that there was no obvious killer single like Electric Avenue from the prior album, though how could you not love Boys in the Street. Since it's release I have listened to this album way more than Killer on the Rampage. Pity it's out of print. So say goodbye to summer with a couple of Caribbean tinged reggae/calypso tunes from Eddy Grant.

Boys in the Street
Only Heaven Knows
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tortelvis Vs The King

Apologies to those who have stopped by and found my output less than stellar. You know the story, real life gets in the way of virtual life and Homercat has had to catch lots of mices lately. Being that I'm short on time I'm going to dig up an old archive post that graced these pages around 4 years ago. One of these artists I've featured a couple times because it's good and fun stuff. Everytime I listen to Jimmy I thank my good friend Mick for pointing me in the King's direction

Best Cover Version of a classic rock song by an Elvis Impersonater

the KingFirst place has to go to a guy named Jimmy the King. Funny enough this guys name is James Brown and he comes from Belfast, Ireland and his day job is postal carrier. He was discovered singing Elvis songs at a karaoke bar. A record producer had the idea to record the Nirvana song "Come As You Are" with an Elvis impersonator and Jimmy the King was born. Lest you think this to hokey, the album this song comes from (Gravelands)is actually pretty incredible and the quality of the performances are amazing and in many instances the covered songs are better than the original. The band backing this Elvis is top notch. My recommendation buy the CD if you can find it. Every single person who I have played this album for absolutely loves it and wants a copy.

No Woman No Cry by Jimmy the King

Buy this CD


Runner up would have to go to Tortelvis from Dread Zeppelin. What do Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley and reggae music have in common. One would think nothing at all but there you have Dread Zeppelin. I did a post on Dread Zeppelin a long long time ago and if you're interested to find out more about them then read it here. In fact it's been so long I may have to do an update.

Ramble On by Dread Zeppelin

Buy this CD

I would suggest that if you could find anything by either of these artists then pick it up, as your local record store won't carry it.



Funny Toon

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's Martini Time

The Reverend Horton Heat, aka Jim Heath, is the biggest, baddest, grittiest, greasiest, rocker that ever piled his hair up and pounded the drinks down. The Reverend is one of the most popular psychobilly artist of all time, really rivaled only by genre founders the Cramps. The Reverend (as both the three-man band and its guitar-playing frontman are known) built a strong cult following during the '90s through constant touring, manic showmanship, and a twisted sense of humor.

It's Martini Time is the title of the fourth album by The Reverend Horton Heat. It was released by Interscope Records in July 1996. It's Martini Time is the first Reverend Horton Heat album to feature Scott Churilla on drums, following Taz Bentley's departure from the band in 1994. It is also the first Reverend Horton Heat album to chart on the Billboard 200, reaching number 165 (the highest position of a Reverend Horton Heat album on that chart). Their sound is self-described as "country-fed punkabilly." Their music is a mixture of country, punk, big band, swing, and rockabilly, all played loud and energetically with lyrics that are often very humorous. While attracting a mostly cult audience, and having released almost a dozen studio albums, The Reverend's music has occasionally found its way into the main stream of American culture. "Big Red Rocket of Love" was used in a commercial for the Mazda Miata, and the instrumental which they often use to open their show, "Big Sky," was the music behind a commercial for Levi's jeans.

Big Red Rocket Of Love
Crooked Cigarette
Buy It

Funny Toon

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Touch of Evil

My previous post was about a live show so I'm going to continue in the same vein today. I'll sort of briefly revisit the Judas Priest concert I attended last year. First thing though, I just want to say that I truly wish I had a soundboard recording of every concert I've attended through the years. Over half of the shows I've been to I can't even remember the setlist. It seems to me in these days of our decent technology, a band could really rake in the extra dough by selling such recordings. Record companies and some artists are freaking out over file sharing and how it cuts into their revenue and blah blah we know the story. Personally I would be willing to fork out some cash for a soundboard recording of every single show I plan to attend. At the very least maybe an offer through their own websites. I have the whole thing worked out, as to purchase, distribution and the like. I know that it would initially cut into the record labels milking of the sacred cow by releasing a live album every 6 or 7 years, but in the long run it would make them more money. If anyone's interested in this idea and incorporating it, just let me know and I'll tell ya how to do it.©

So talking about milking cows we have A Touch of Evil: Live which is Judas Priest's fifth live album, and first with original vocalist Rob Halford since they reunited. It came out in July of this year and surprise it really is a good live album. The album focuses primarily on fan-revered album cuts (all previously unreleased in live form on CD), ‘A Touch of Evil: Live’ features absolutely brilliant renditions of such Priest gems as “Riding on the Wind,” “Beyond the Realms of Death,” “Dissident Aggressor,” “A Touch of Evil,” “Eat Me Alive,” and the set-closing “Painkiller.” So you won't have to sit through yet another live version of Breaking the Law or Living After Midnight. Fans and critics alike have been giving this live release high marks. Any self-respecting Priest diehard will want this for his or her collection; but I'm going to go as far as saying that it’s essential for the most loyal and dedicated Priest fans. If for nothing else than "Painkiller,” which closes out the disc, and it sounds f--king awesome! This album was recorded during their 2005 and 2008 tours and lo and behold when I slipped the disc into the old player the third track really caught my attention, especially in the middle guitar break when Halford screams, "What's Up Victoria!". You know when an artist releases a live album and you were at one of the shows you always wonder if one of those songs is from when you saw them. In this case Between the Hammer and the Anvil was recorded at the Victoria show and some of those screams you hear are from Mr. and Mrs. Homercat. If you're a fan you should really pick this one up.


Between the Hammer and the Anvil
Painkiller
Buy It

Funny Toon

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

AC/DC Vancouver Review

Homercat has returned from his AC/DC vacation. Now he has to talk about it. It goes without saying that it was simply a magnificent night. OK I'll say a bit more.For us folks living on this island it's a major pain in the ass to get to Vancouver, even though it's only 57 miles from Victoria. Roughly a 2 hour ferry ride one way and that doesn't count waiting in line especially if there's a sailing wait. 74 bucks one way, small car and two passengers. Needless to say it's impossible to go there and back in the same day which requires hotel lodgings which are way overpriced. Does it sound like I'm bitching? Maybe, like I said it's a pain in the ass. The whole ferry thing ended up being quite fun because there were lots of rowdies in the line up and we were all obviously going to the show and we were all psyched and I never saw so much AC/DC memorabilia in view outside of a concert venue. As you can see Homercat was appropriately attired. Once we finally got to Vancouver our room wasn't ready so we had to wait another two hours, which was ok cause we wanted to browse the stores and grab some chow.

Now as everyone knows, anything purchased at a concert venue is quite expensive. Most notable is the dinky 10 dollar a piece barley pops. Thar's gold in dem dere beers! So once we got to the room we knocked back a few until showtime. Now our tickets said doors open at 5 and show starts at 6:30. Now I thought this a bit odd but didn't bother calling the venue to verify. We just saddled up and walked down to BC Place about 5:15. Of course there were lines around the block and the doors hadn't opened yet and I had to pee really bad. In a near miss a porta potty was found in the back stadium area behind the fence and some workers were kind enough to let the homercat go potty. We walked a couple blocks to the casino, piddle farted around there for a while waiting for the doors to open. Finally got in around 6:30 and after waiting in the T Shirt line and beer line, we finally made our way to our awesome seats about 7:30(floor seats row A27). On our journey to our seats, we were stopped at least 15 times by ushers needing to see our tickets before they would let us pass. No ticket, no passy. I clutched that ticket throughout the night with a grip of death. The opening band was a band called The Answer and the answer to that question was not too impressive. Then again, you gotta feel almost sorry for an unknown band (to me that is) opening for a mega giant act like AC/DC. Then almost promptly at nineish or so, the main event unrolled.

The lights lowered, and the every individual jumped to their feet. An intense roar ensued from the 60,000 seat stadium. The stage became lit with a bunch of lights, and 2 giant AC/DC hat about 100 feet across began glowing on top of each side of the stage, complete with horns and all. A cartoon of a speeding train flashed on the four huge video screens suspended above and beside the stage. As it barrelled along the tracks, cartoon depictions of vocalist Brian Johnson and a satanic, pointy-tailed Angus Young were shown being serviced and stroked by various animated hotties, who eventually commandeered the train and caused it to “crash” into the back of the actual stage. At that point a full-scale replica of the locomotive appeared on the stage, and would remain there as the centerpiece. Finally the tiny black silhouettes scattered to their spots on the stage. Huge spotlights lit them like super human beings, and the stadium and myself lost its mind. Delving almost immediately into a killer set, the night had truly begun. From the opening strains of Rock n Roll Train to the final cannon blasts of For Those About to Rock this show was everything I had hoped for and more.

Yes the boys aren't quite as spry as they used to be, but it amazed me that for two hours Angus never stopped moving. Running, duck walks and the trademark rocking back and forth made me exhausted just watching him. Not too shabby for a 54 year old. It was clear this wasn't just milking a cash cow for the boys down under as they gave 110 %. I've been to many concerts where the performers thought that standing there and looking cool was worth the price of their 50 dollar admission. If I had one complaint for the evening it was probably the 20 minute guitar solo during Let There Be Rock. I like a solo as well as the next guy but it went a tad long for my tastes. Twelve minutes would have been perfect. I was near deaf and my voice was almost gone from the constant yelling and screaming. This was most certainly the last chance I'll ever have of seeing them live and may well be for all of us. Rumour has it that Brian Johnson wants to retire in 2011, or hints at it. There's really no way to properly describe a performance like the one I witnessed, I guess you just had to be there. So I end with the set list for the night and a track from the 70's with the original hellraiser Bon leading the charge on a live version of one of my favorites, The Jack.

August 29, 2009 BC Place Stadium Setlist

1. Rock N' Roll Train
2. Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be
3. Back in Black
4. Big Jack
5. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
6. Shot Down in Flames
7. Thunderstruck
8. Black Ice
9. The Jack
10. Hells Bells
11. Shoot to Thrill
12. War Machine
13. Dog Eat Dog
14. Anything Goes
15. You Shook Me All Night Long
16. T.N.T.
17. Whole Lotta Rosie
18. Let There Be Rock
Encore:
19. Highway to Hell
20. For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)

The Jack (live)
Buy It

Funny Toon