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#Throwback Thursday – I Got You Babe

The unofficial official song of Groundhog Day. In 1987 David Letterman coaxed Sonny and Cher to perform their biggest hit one more time. The performance starts off awkward but by the end, they seem to be back in 1965. Although they forget lyrics and muck it up a bit, by the end everyone is wiping tears away, including Sonny. 11 years later Sonny would be gone, tragically killed in a skiing accident. Here is a very emotional performance of I Got You Babe.

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#Throwback Thursday – Sinead O’Connor – Mother

One of the best covers ever. Sinead O’Connor performed this version of Mother at Roger Waters Berlin concert in 1990. This concert was held to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall 8 months earlier. Sinead was still a beloved artist at this point and her performance is breathtaking. Having members of The Band backing her on vocals is also a nice added touch. It’s amazing how Roger Waters masterpiece has stayed so relevant since the time of its release.

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#Throwback Thursday – Rolling Stones – Gimmie Shelter

Trying to rank the greatest Rolling Stones songs is like trying to rank the best baseball players of all time, everyone has their favorite. But Gimmie Shelter equates to the Babe Ruth of songs. Of all the the Rolling Stones song Gimmie Shelter is the great Bambino of Rock n Roll. The wailing guitar, explosive harmonica, and most of all Merry Clayton’s insane vocals make this song the piece de resistance of The Stones. The story of a pregnant Merry Clayton showing up late in the evening of a Manhattan recording studio with curlers in her hair to nail the legendary “Rape Murder…Its Just a Shot Away” is what makes rock n roll stories legendary. The video below describes the scene when she showed up at the studio, and on the recording you can still hear Mick Jagger yell “Whooooo” after she crushes that refrain.  Best vocals ever, the crack in her vocals makes it. Plus she had the attitude of a true Diva with this comment:

“Mmmhmmm I’m gonna do another one and blow them out of this room” – Merry Clayton

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#Throwback Thursday – Trainspotting

The first full trailer for Trainspotting 2 hit the interwebs today, and it immediately had me thinking back to the great soundtrack of the original Trainspotting.  Back in the olden days, when films had soundtracks, this one was without question one of the greatest ever made and still stands the test of time today.  Not only did the songs fit perfectly with the movie, some songs ended up defining the era.  The best example is Underworlds “Born Slippy” which is even used in the new film trailer.  Just an absolute classic tune.  Here is hoping T2 lives up to all the hype and expectations.  Until it hits the theaters next year, here are a few things to hold us over…an updated “Choose Life” monologue, T2 trailer, and Born Slippy.

“Choose life
Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares
Choose looking up old flames, wishing you’d done it all differently
And choose watching history repeat itself
Choose your future
Choose reality TV, slut shaming, revenge porn
Choose a zero hour contract, a two hour journey to work
And choose the same for your kids, only worse, and smother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebody’s kitchen
And then… take a deep breath
You’re an addict, so be addicted
Just be addicted to something else
Choose the ones you love
Choose your future
Choose life”

 

 

Stew, a rock musician whose rock musical "Passing Strange," is being performed at Players by the Sea. He and his band, The Negro Problem, are performing after the show Saturday

#Throwback Thursday – Stew – Rehab

Back in the early 2000’s, a favorite pastime of mine would be traveling to the East Village to bum around Kim’s Video  for an afternoon. Kim’s had everything…B List movies, impossible to find artistic indie films, 70’s porn and the  main reason for my pilgrimage, one of the best music collections in the city. Kim’s had all the hard to find European and Japanese imports, live bootlegs, and everything else under the sun. I’d spend the afternoon sifting through the racks while the attendant played what was to their liking. 


It was during a visit in the summer of 2001 as I sifted through a rack of Woody Guthrie recordings, that I first heard Stew. The album being played was Guest Host and it grabbed me within the first minute. I wandered the racks making pretend I was searching for something but really was just entranced by the album and Stew. By no means was it revolutionary in its form, just a songwriter and acoustic guitar, but something connected with me and it seemed new. The combination of Stew’s voice and perfect storytelling were both familiar and groundbreaking at the same time. 

I grabbed a copy for myself and hurried back home to listen again. The song that really sold me on Stew was Rehab. I know what you are thinking, but this Rehab has nothing in common with the Amy Winehouse version. The structure is similar to the Crash Test Dummies hit song Hmm Hmm Hmm. Stew takes you on a journey through his eyes of a drug addict friend that is constantly going back to rehab. The lyrics paint a simple picture of a happy go lucky girl struggling with addiction. Unlike most true life addicts though, this story ends on a happy note, sort of. I’ve listened to this album a hundred times and it’s in the company of albums that are always there to go back to, Pinkerton, Definitely Maybe, The Wall, Mermaid Ave, AM, Heartbreaker etc. 

Years later while driving on the BQE I heard an advertisement for a new Broadway show. The voice was unmistakable, it was Stew. The ad was for his soon to be Tony Award winning play Passing Strange. I was shocked to hear the same voice from years ago playing over a Z-100 advertisement, I would have never believed it back in Kim’s. All those years Stew had been my secret find and now everyone would know him. A few weeks later the missus and I saw the play and it was absolutely amazing. Spike Lee even filmed it so if you never had the chance to catch it live, you can watch the DVD. 

Here’s the song that got me hooked on Stew, Rehab :

Bonus: Ordinary Love

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#Throwback Thursday – Oasis – Supersonic

October is shaping up to be a big month for Oasis fans.  On October 2nd (In the UK, no US release date yet)  Supersonic will be released which is a Documentary that follows and chronicles the band’s rise to fame over a period of three years up to their career pinnacle at Knebworth and features hours of footage of new interviews with Noel and Liam Gallager, their mother and members of the band and road crew.  When Liam Gallagher was approached about the idea and asked whether old footage could be used, he basically told the producer “good luck we didn’t allow cameras to film us back then.”  Much to Liam and James Gay-Rees surprise (who also produced the Amy Winehouse documentary) there was tons of old footage, Liam just had been too messed up to notice.  The movie looks amazing and I’m sure I will watch it a million times.

If that innit enuff for ya, on October 7th , Oasis will reissue their 1997 LP Be Here Now via Big Brother Recordings, marking the third installment of their Chasing the Sun reissue campaign.  Right now you can get a preview of the “lost tapes” from the”Mustique demos”, which were 14 tracks recorded by Noel Gallagher and producer Owen Morris on the Caribbean island in 1996.  In the meantime here is a classic performance of Supersonic.

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#Throwback Thursday- Green Day – Jesus of Suburbia 

Last week Green Day released a new track “Bang, Bang” from their upcoming album Revolution Radio due out October 7th. After their over indulging Uno Dos Tre albums, many are hoping this new album will be a return to form for Green Day, when they unexpectedly became the most important band in the world.

2004’s American Idiot is Green Day’s career defining album. Following their initial burst on the music scene with Dookie, Green Day slowly drifted towards irrelevance. American Idiot would catapult the band to heights never imagined and maybe to true fans of the band, not welcomed. Green Day was always labeled the sell out punk band but following American Idiot, they were truly sellouts…selling out arenas, stadiums, festivals, and Broadway shows.

American Idiot is a rock opera inspired partly by The Wall and Tommy. American Idiot appealed to the tattooed, nose ring, dyed hair millennials that were disenfranchised with modern America. “Jesus of Suburbia” tackles many of these feelings and emotions in an epic 5 part 9 minute rant. This is by far Green Day’s most important and amazing piece of music. No longer singing about masturbation, Green Day tackled all the important issues of George Bush’s post 9/11 America.

The fact that this album became so popular while railing against modern media and the Bush war machine is remarkable. Just ask the Dixie Chicks what happened to their career for being “Anti-Bush”.  Here is the epic Jesus of Suburbia, crank it up.

Jesus of Suburbia five parts:

I. “Jesus of Suburbia” (0:00 – 1:51)

II. “City of the Damned” (1:51 – 3:42)

III. “I Don’t Care” (3:42 – 5:25)

IV. “Dearly Beloved” (5:25 – 6:30)

V. “Tales of Another Broken Home” (6:30 – 9:10)

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#Throwback Thursday – Coldplay – Yellow

I get it, people either love or hate Coldplay. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who said “Coldplay are okay” (Except a certain gentleman from Across the Pond, although I highly suspect he hates them). For whatever reason they are a polarizing band. I’ve always loved Coldplay and from the initial time I heard them on a couch on the outskirts of London, I knew they were a band for me.

There are moments in everyone’s life when a certain song acts as the soundtrack of that particular moment in time. Music has the ability to enhance the feeling of love, give comfort in a time of need, or act as a catalyst for inspiration. Music, for some unknown reason, possesses mystical and magical powers. I can think of no other medium that also acts as a real life time machine, transporting you back in your mind and soul to the precise time of your life when that song meant something much more meaningful.

It was the end of August 2000, when I arrived in London for a week of travel and to spend time with extended family before I would start my semester abroad in Edinburgh. After surviving Y2K, I began counting down the time when this journey would begin. I was going out on my own, truly independent, traveling to my Father’s birthplace (more or less) to experience a similar but vastly different culture. In my mind, this would be much different than getting dropped off for my Freshman year of College. I looked at this trip as a journey of my own choosing. I had to go to college after high school, but I was not required to study abroad. In my mind this was my “one shot” to learn who I was and to be completely on my own.

In London, I went out to explore areas that were known to me mostly from The Clash and NME magazine. No Buckingham Palace, No Tower of London, No Double Decker bus tours, I was looking for The Guns of Brixton and my very own Rainy Night in Soho. In my mind I was seeing and experiencing the “real London”, whatever that meant. I searched these London neighborhoods for something, although I am still not exactly sure what it was, but I think that was the point. I was determined to go off the beaten path and lean over the ditch, to see how real people lived in London. Days would be spent searching CD and record shops, followed by nights at dingy pubs and questionable establishments. I was doing exactly what I wanted to do, no schedule, no one to tell me where or what to do or see, it was amazing. After a few nights of traveling in the shadows of London, I wanted to experience something different with more life and youth, the nightclub scene of London.

September 5, would be my last night out and I would spend the night seeing Lou Reed live at Shepherd’s Bush followed by a few “trendy” clubs in Camden. A week in and I still had no fucking clue what I was doing, but it was exciting and exhilarating. The entire summer leading up to my trip, I had envisioned Londoners (women) being impressed with my NY accent and finding me irresistible, as I quickly learned, nothing could be further from this expectation. My killer pickup line which I practiced time and time again of “Hi I’m Peter, from NYC” would be like kryptonite to the women of London. This line would have been perfect if my goal was to achieve complete silence from the opposite sex or the response “Right…Good for you Peter from NYC! hehehe” My summer expectations of London heartthrob were quickly and completely smashed that night in Camden. I also began to realize that my time was literally hours from coming to an end in London, and my prediction of finding something unique and exhilarating had not been met. Although I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing, I didn’t feel gratified at the end for some reason. Instead I wondered, “Why the hell didn’t I go to the Tate, or do something more cultured?” My dreams from the previous 9 months of meeting amazing, hip people and the adventures we would have in London quickly vanished. I had spent a week in London, really doing, seeing and meeting no one of consequence. I ordered a Redbull and vodka (maybe 5 or so), and completely checked out for my last night as the bass pounded away in Camden.

The next morning I woke up and began recovering from my over indulgences, and slowly pieced together my broken ego and sense of regret from my time in London. I was completely defeated, and I was questioning what the hell I was doing in Britain. My short time in London didn’t boost my sense of independence and confidence in who I was, but conversely revealed the true cracks in my confidence and left me kind of home sick, the 5 Redbull and vodka’s from the night before definitely were not helping. Looking back, I guess no one really knows what to expect at 20yrs old traveling on your own in a different country, but I had all these ridiculous fantasizes that had been playing out in my head for months about what my time in Britain would be like. It only took a short week in London, which slapped me with a dose of reality like an ice bucket of water being thrown in my face, to realize my great expectations were only that, reality would be different. I quickly surmised that after a night of being rejected, alone and now hung over to holly hell, this was no time for any further self-reflection and introspection. I quietly accepted the past week, and started to quietly dread the semester abroad….this was starting to feel like a big mistake.

Wrapped in a blanket in the fetal position on my cousin’s couch, I was awoken and drawn to a sound coming from the television. From this low point I would first encounter Coldplay. The video for Yellow was playing on BBC, and I was mesmerized by this goofy guy running around a beach in rain gear, singing about the color Yellow. I wasn’t sure what the song meant, or what Yellow was in reference to but for some reason this song was speaking directly to me. The line “Look at the Stars, Look how they shine for you” kept repeating in my head. I felt as if I Coldplay were picking me up off that couch, brushing me off and putting me back on my journey. The soaring chorus and piercing guitars, made me feel as if I had been given a second chance. There was no reason to let the past week shape the next few months. The feeling of dread was dissipating and I jotted down the name of the band to make sure I bought the CD for my train trip to Edinburgh later that day. Feeling reborn, I went in to my cousin’s kitchen and poured a big glass of Ribena, not knowing it needed to be diluted with water. I took a huge gulp…. gagged, ran to the bathroom, and released £100 of drink from the night before. I was purged of my disappointing, rough start and was ready for the next step which would ultimately be one of the greatest times of my life.

Coldplay and the song Yellow will always have a special place in my heart. Although I know Yellow’s lyrics have nothing to do with what I was feeling at that moment, I don’t care….music means what you want it to mean to you. Although I am not crazy about some of their newer tunes, I still highly respect them as a Band. This Saturday I will be seeing them at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey. I know from the initial opening notes when Coldplay begins playing Yellow where my mind will go, but I’ll probably be laughing out loud about how dumb I was then, and still am. I mean what idiot dreams of visiting and exploring Brixton!!! Thanks Coldplay for “Everything you do”, see you Saturday!