Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I occasionally read reviews of shows by Sly & The Family Stone -- with the reclusive Sly Stone on stage with the group. Sly even played B.B. King's in NYC recently, but I couldn't bring myself to go. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I'm not an ageist, and I love to see great artists thrive, regardless of how old they are. But I just don't think Sly is in the right condition to rock the stage. I still love the records though.


I didn't even want to write about this, because for some reason I didn't think it was going to happen, but the other night, Jane's Addiction reunited for a club gig in L.A. The full band: Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins and even bassist Eric Avery, who hadn't participated in the band's reunions until their recent performance at the NME Awards. Dave Navarro wrote about the gig on his blog, giving credit to the other guys who have played bass for Jane's over the years, but saying that it isn't really Jane's without all four guys.

Without getting my hopes up too much, I gotta think this will lead to something else. Then again, if money is thrown into it, Eric may just split. I give him credit: clearly he is interested in making a buck: I bet his gig in Alanis Morissette's band pays well, and he tried out for Metallica. He just doesn't want to mess with the memory of his band. Still, I'd love to see the band with him back in it, and so would lots of other people. I can see them doing Coachella and Lollapalooza this year, but hopefully, they'll come to NYC as well.


Hi, Mr. John Paul Jones. I've recently written "open letters" to your friend and bandmate Jimmy Page - twice. Actually, one of them was to you and him. I don't mean to come off creepy. But I gotta ask you one last time: Please don't tour as Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant. You will just look silly.

Don't get me wrong: I'd love to see you on the road with Jimmy. Having Jason Bonham on drums is fine with me also. I just think it will look super lame without him. People would love to see you guys play together. They'd love to see and hear you perform Zeppelin songs. Just don't call it Led Zeppelin, because it isn't Led Zeppelin. I mean, when Robert and Jimmy toured without you in the '90s, they just called it "Jimmy Page & Robert Plant." Hey, man, I'm just looking out for you!


As I mentioned in my last post, I'm a big fan of Halloween. I wish there were as much music recorded for Halloween as there is for Christmas. I thought I'd put a short mix of my favorite Halloween (or Halloween-ish) songs.

The Cramps: "Human Fly"
The Misfits: "Vampira"
Alice Cooper: "Welcome To My Nightmare"
Ozzy Osbourne: "Bark At The Moon"
Black Sabbath: "Black Sabbath"
White Zombie "I'm Your Boogie Man"
Rob Zombie with Lionel Richie and Trina "Brick House"
The Fuzztones "I'm The Wolfman"
Jarvis Humby "Man With The X-Ray Eyes"
Tegan & Sara "Walking With A Ghost"
John Zacherle aka The Cool Ghoul "Dinner With Drac (part 1)"
Ryan Adams "Halloweenhead"
Creedence Clearwater Revival "Bad Moon Rising"


I know that there's more Christmas
albums than Halloween albums, but for my money, Halloween is the most rock and roll holiday there is.
So, tomorrow on OutQ, I'll be talking about two Halloween compilations that I really dig.
Little Steven just released Halloween A Go-Go, a collection of previously released songs that aren't necessarily about Halloween, but which sort of have an appropriate theme. Lots of songs I already knew (The Electric Prunes' "I Had Too Much To Dream," Howlin' Wolf's "Howlin' For My Darlin'," Roky Erickson's "I Walked With A Zombie") and great songs that I hadn't heard before (The Fuzztones' "I'm The Wolfman," Jarvis Humby's "Man With The X-Ray Eyes (Silver Surfer)," and Sweatmaster's "I Am A Demon And I Love Rock 'N Roll").
I also love Rob Zombie's 1998 collection Halloween Hootenanny. This featured a bunch of artists recording Halloween songs exclusively for the album. Although I'm more of a Little Steven guy, I like this compilation better (although I like both). Highlights include Rob's "Halloween (She Get So Mean)," The Reverend Horton Heat's "The Halloween Dance" and The Swingin' Neckbreakers' "No Costume, No Candy."
I'll also be talking about one of my favorite soundtracks ever - to one of my favorite films ever, The Nightmare Before Christmas. There's been a lot of covers from that soundtrack over the years, but none beat the originals from the soundtrack. Although I do like Fiona Apple's "Sally's Song." But I wouldn't play it at my Halloween party.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


In an attempt to keep Keith Price awake, I'll be taking a break from "rock" and talking about some great female singers (I'll refrain from the term "diva"). Adele, Estelle, P!nk, Nikka Costa, Jennifer Hudson and also the new James Bond theme song by Alicia Keys and Jack White.

But before that, I'll pay tribute to the late Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops.


Hi, Mr. Jimmy Page, it's me again. It's been about a month since I last wrote. Last time, I kind of begged you and John Paul Jones not to do a Led Zeppelin tour without Robert Plant.

But it struck me that I wasn't really offering you any other alternatives. So I decided to come up with some.

I remember before all the hype about Zeppelin reuniting to play the O2 Dome started, there were actually rumors that you and Jeff Beck were going to do a Yardbirds tour. I think Jeff said he wouldn't do it, but I bet he could be convinced. It would be awesome, and, with all due respect, it would be easier to get someone to sing the late Keith Relf's parts than Robert's. There'd be a bit less pressure and less scrutiny on a Yardbirds tour than a Zeppelin tour. You could still do Zeppelin songs!

Or get Terry Reid to sing Zeppelin tunes, that'd be cool. The rumor has always been that he was your first choice to sing in Led Zep anyway.

Here's some other guys that might want to collaborate with you guys: I know Dave Grohl has been saying that he wants to take some time off, but he's also said he'd drop everything to do a Zeppelin tour. I know he was referring to playing drums for you guys, but maybe if you get him and one or two other guys to switch off on vocals. I bet Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes would do it! Maybe Jack White would - he's said that Robert was his least favorite part of Led Zeppelin. Ben Harper has covered Zep before, and he's jammed with John Paul Jones!

Speaking of John Paul, he works with that bluegrass group, Uncle Earl, right? Maybe you guys could do an acoustic tour with them. And take Dan Tyminski of Union Station (that's Alison Krauss ' band. They've had to wait for her to finish a tour with Robert!).

Whatever you do, please comment here and PROMISE me that you're not really thinking about using the guy from Alter Bridge. I don't want to hate on the guy, it isn't my style, but you're about to see your stock plummet if that happens. (And also, don't call David Coverdale either).

Thanks - Your Fan Always,

No Expiration.


Some people say that rock and roll is no longer a symbol of rebellion. While it's been obviously co-opted by the mainstream, I just can't agree. I think you play the right rock and roll music to a conservative, it's gonna be threatening to them. I think it's just jaded cynics who think that there's no rebellion to rock and roll anymore.

It is weird to me when people at a rock and roll concert are conservatives. It is weird to me when you read about ZZ Top or Alice Cooper endorsing conservative republicans. But, an article that I just at Sonic Boomers read asks "Can a rock & roll fan vote for John McCain and be philosophically consistent? Do the segregationist, militarist, pro-rich and sexually repressive tendencies of the Republicans unavoidably clash with the integrationist, non-conformist, working-class and sexually exultant tendencies of rock & roll? Or are such differences irrelevant to music and entertainment in 2008?" Check it out.


Earlier this year, The Foo Fighters headlined two nights at England's Wembley Stadium. They jammed on two Led Zeppelin tunes with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. Now the shows are coming out on DVD. Hopefully they'll contain the tunes with Jimmy and John Paul.

That same week, Dave Grohl joined Paul McCartney onstage for two songs: that would make a great bonus feature!


What do The Beastie Boys have in
common with David Crosby and Graham Nash? Producer Rick Rubin! And also the very sensible fear of a Palin/McCain extention of the Bush reign in The White House. So, the formerly classic rock-phobic hipsters are going to headline a show with the Stills-less duo on November 2 in Milwaukee (Tenacious D and Ben Harper are also on the bill).

It's one of three shows that the B-Boys are doing in swing states to encourage people to vote (and presumably vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden). What is it they say? Politics makes strange bedfellows?


A video that's been making it's way around the web shows about 30 seconds of Green Day in the studio with Butch Vig (his Garbage bandmate and part-time Terminator Shirley Manson sort of let the beans slip in a TV interview that Butch is working with them). That sounds like a great combination.

American Idiot really put the band in a different category. Since that album, not only did they do a real heavy cover of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" but they also collaborated on a song with U2. Few of their peers would have been able to pull off either of those.

They seemed to have a great time with the Foxboro Hot Tubs album (maybe my favorite album of the year!), so it will be interesting to see what they come with this time around.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


You gotta love Roseanne Cash. She's somehow escaped her father's considerable shadow to make great music in her own right. Plus, she doesn't mince words. Earlier this year, she offered the little guy from Big & Rich a little smackdown when he suggested that Johnny Cash would vote for John McCain.

Now, she's done one better: she's written a piece for The Nation called "Why I'd Be A Better VP Than Sarah Palin." Check it out.


I’ve gotten some feedback from people, both here on No Expiration, in my email box, and in person, about my posts about Chris Cornell’s solo music. I now have three songs, courtesy of iTunes: “Ground Zero,” “Scream” and “Watch Out.” I am starting to like them. Of course it is different from what Chris has done before, but he has the right to try something new.

So that will be the first topic on tomorrow’s OutQ show. As much as Chris wouldn’t like the theme, I’m going with it: ‘90s icons making new music. I’m also talking about Chris’ former Audioslave bandmate Tom Morello, who has just released his second album as The Nightwatchman. When Tom went from Rage/Audioslave to solo acoustic stuff, that was quite a change also, but one people seemed more accepting of (even if The Nightwatchman isn't nearly as popular as the bands he has been in). On his new album, The Fabled City, he rocks a bit more, but it is still really different from Rage/Audioslave. I like, but don’t yet love, his Nightwatchman stuff, but I think he’ll be doing it for decades to come, and I’m sure he’ll keep improving.

I’ll also be talking about Tom’s sometime Rage Against The Machine bandmate, Zack de la Rocha, and his new band, One Day As A Lion. I like their self-titled EP, I don’t love it. It features Zack on keyboards and vocals, but yet sounds very Rage-y.

I’m also talking about Tool/A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifier project, which is kind of funny. Most of it is electro-funk/R&B, but he also does some country. Maynard, who has also done stand-up comedy and who owns a winery, is a tough guy to pin down, and I think he likes it that way. Puscifer is nothing like Tool/APC. And finally, The Gutter Twins have just released a digital EP, Adorata, with covers of songs by Jose Gonzalez, Primal Scream and Eleven. Pretty cool stuff.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I'm a huge fan of Flea and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I was surprised to read that he enrolled at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles to study music theory, music composition and jazz trumpet, all things one would figure he already was pretty solid on. But good for him: he has enough punk and funk in him to prevent him from turning into the Yngwie of the bass. I'm bummed that the Chilis won't do anything for a while, but I guess they need the break.


Van Morrison is so cranky and ornery, he makes Bob Dylan look eager to please. So I was shocked to read that he is going to be performing his Astral Weeks album in its entirety in L.A. next month. I bet he'll pull a Dylan, though, and render all the songs unrecognizable. For real, though, here's hoping that he has a "Dylan '89" revelation: that's when Bob got his inspiration back, and also realized that he had to be at least a little cognizant of the audience or else they wouldn't keep coming back. Actually, I think Dylan's due for another revelation like that.


Kanye West was working on the "muppet" style show I wrote about with Seinfeld/Borat producer Larry Charles who recently said in an inteview that the show may not happen, because it is a bit too hardcore for HBO. I don't have HBO, but isn't that the channel where they had The Wire and Oz? Damn! Too bad, the clip I saw was funny.

I don't really dig Kanye's new song "Love Lockdown," that autotune thing is annoying. I'll still pick up his album though. I do like a new song featuring Kanye, along with Jay-Z, T.I. and Lil' Wayne called "Swagga Like Us," which samples M.I.A. Yes, you're still reading No Expiration and not "Hipster Hourly," you don't have to adjust your browser. I just like the song, what can I say.


Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley (who lots of people, including myself, discovered due to the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack) has endorsed Barack Obama. That's no small thing coming from where he's coming from. If you think that Bruce Springsteen is putting his popularity with fans on the line by speaking out against bushcheneymccain, that's nothing compared to the backlash that Ralph Stanley risks by doing a radio spot for Barack. So, thank you Ralph, for being a true patriot. Long may you run.


Joe Henry is one of the best producers out there, but he
doesn't get a ton of press. He's produced really good or great albums in the past few years for Aimee Mann, Susan Tedeschi, Mary Gauthier, Betty Lavette and especially Solomon Burke. A couple of years ago, he produced a compilation called I Believe To My Soul, an album of New Orleans music (recorded before Katrina, by the way), which featured five great artists: Allen Toussaint, Mavis Staples, Billy Preston, Ann Peebles and Irma Thomas. About a year later, he worked with Mr. Toussaint again on the Elvis Costello/Allen Toussaint album The River In Reverse, which I see to Katrina as Bruce Springsteen's The Rising is to 9/11.

So, I was glad to read that Joe is producing a new solo album by Mr. Toussaint. The album is due out early next year.

By the way, I should mention that Joe Henry has made some pretty cool solo albums also, and he's a nice guy (I had the privilege to interview him a few years back).


Whoa. I just heard the new song by The Fireman. AKA Paul McCartney.

I think that so much of Paul's recent music (by that, I mean almost everything he's done since the late '70s) is a bit too polite. Maybe he feels a bit more free because he's calling himself The Fireman on this new project. He's obviously pretty pissed about his failed marriage to the newly rich whatshername, but wow, this is a pretty rocking tune. You can hear it here. I'm curious to hear what else is on this album. And why doesn't he just call it a Paul McCartney album, I wonder?

Also interesting that it's on Dave Matthews' ATO Records. I guess the Starbucks deal didn't last.


Do you want to hear the good news first? OK, great. In June, I wrote about a few archival Neil Young projects that were in the works. Well, I don't know if any of those live albums are coming out, but one that is coming out is Sugar Mountain Live. No one has announced what it is, but the always-great Neil blog Thrasher's Wheat speculates that it is a solo acoustic recording that Neil did while he was still in Buffalo Springfield.

The bad news? Not surprisingly, the Archives box set has been delayed. Again. But I'm used to that. I first read about it when I was in college. And that was a while ago.

Anyway, to end this post on a positive note, I'm looking forward to seeing Neil at Madison Square Garden in December.


Robert Johnson looms so large over the history of blues, and popular music in general. He just recorded a few songs, but they really altered the course of music. Vanity Fair has an article on this picture, and one guy's quest to figure out if this is Robert Johnson in this picture (there are only two other known photos of the man).

I'd heard covers of Robert Johnson's music years before I'd heard his own recordings. They are so rough, they were hard to swallow at first. It's probably like whiskey: it takes a while to develop a taste for it. While I'm not a drinker, I can say that listening to the music from the source is pretty awesome, once you get used to it. And I say that as someone who can't always listen to "seminal influences" (I can't get into Kraftwerk, for instance, I don't care who they influenced).


Last year, I wrote about the reissue of the Operation Ivy album, and hoped they would reunite. I still have to think that the Coachella organizers have a big check ready for Op Ivy, and if they don't, The Warped Tour probably does.

A blogger at the L.A. Times website has a neat list of five reasons why the band should reunite. Check it out.


Remember when people thought "Weird Al" Yankovic was a novelty artist who wouldn't last? Who knew that he was actually a novelty artist whose career would outlast those of many of the artists that he parodies?

I think he's about to hit a new plateau, seriously. He just did a new parody of T.I.'s "Whatever You Like." It's online just two weeks after T.I. released his version. I don't know why Al has just figured out that he can move this quickly in the digital age, but good for him. I think Al is hysterical, and by the way, not all his songs are parodies, only about half of them are. But the parodies are the ones that get more attention.

Anyway, T.I. was cool to let him do it: Al needs to get permission from the artist to do these things.

Speaking of T.I., I don't know much about his music, but I saw a cool interview with him where he talks about encouraging people to vote, but he doesn't want to tell them who to vote for. One reason is because he is working for the Hip-Hop Caucus, an organization that gets federal funding, so he can't be partisan. But the other reason is because he feels that, if you look at the country, look at the price of gas, looking at laws being passed, etc., and you can't decide who is the better candidate for you, you shouldn't be looking to rappers for guidence. Sadly, T.I. is going to jail in March for a year, but it seems like the trials that he has been through have at least gained him some wisdom.

What the world needs now is more young celebrites, and hip-hop artists, who are as clear thinking as T.I.

And guys who can "reach across the aisle" and make everyone laugh. Like "Weird Al."


Bruce Springsteen recently played three free acoustic gigs for supporters of the Obama/Biden campaign. You can see pictures, check out the setlists, and read the transcript of Bruce's speech from all three shows at the always excellent site Backstreets.

Thanks for sticking by your guns and doing what you know is right. I'm sorry that there's no "Vote For Change" tour this year, but I'm glad your out there encouraging people to vote for Barack.

A really cool blog, Aquarium Drunkard, just wrote a great essay about "Born In The U.S.A." I wish I wrote it, but check it out.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I was glad to see one of my favorite groups of all time, de la soul, get their due at the Hip-Hop Honors. It took Q-Tip, Estelle (John Legend's protegee), Cee-Lo, Public Enemy with Mos Def and EPMD to pay tribute to them. The only problem was that each segment was too short (no pun intended).  It's just too bad that PE and Mos Def's collab was like, one minute long. 

And they need to honor EPMD next year! They are way more influential than some other artists who have been honored. But it was also great to see Cypress Hill and Slick Rick get honored.  I wasn't as big of a fan of Naughty By Nature or Too $hort

Anyway, great show, I remember working at the first Hip-Hop Honors, and there was some initial skepticism about Video Hits 1 doing a hip-hop awards show. But it was awesome, and they've done a great job on all the subsequent ones. (Although tough to beat the original lineup, which included PE, Run-D.M.C. and KRS-One). 

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I've already mentioned that Bruce Springsteen is playing The Super Bowl with The E Street Band, and that he has two other gigs: co-headling a Obama campaign fundraiser with Billy Joel, and doing a solo acoustic performance for Obama volunteers in Philadelpha.

He's just announced two more solo acoustic gigs for Obama volunteers: Sunday in Ohio and Monday in Michigan. Other than that, he's doing a gig with Patti Scialfa at New York's Town Hall on November 5 for the Bob Woodruff Family Foundation, which works to provide resources and support for wounded soldiers -- a particularly important cause, as the current administration doesn't seem to care much about Veterans returning from the Middle East.


So, I ended up not talking about Tori Amos' great live collection, Live At Montreux 1991-1992 on Larry Flick 's show this week. Larry's not a fan. For the record, he didn't say I couldn't talk about her, but we were running out of time, and I had Tori's record and Otis Redding's Live in Paris and London left, so he said that since he hates Tori, he'd rather talk about Otis.

Obviously, I'm a huge Tori fan, though, so apologies to Tori and any of her fans who may have been listening.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


This week I'll be talking about great live performances that fall into two categories: one - performances that have been released before and two - performances that haven't.

In the previously released category is U2's Under A Blood Red Sky, a classic EP that introduced the band's live power to America. Then there's Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison, one of his two concert sets recorded in front of a captive audience. And Roy Orbison's A Black And White Night Live, the TV special that re-introduced him to the public, and which featured Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, and Elvis Costello among others in the backing band.

Some of Otis Redding's Live In Paris and London was released on Live In Europe, but this contains full concerts. You can't beat the power of Otis in 1967. The Clash's Live At Shea Stadium is a classic (if you've seen the live video for "Should I Stay Or Should I Go," it's from that show), and I've already raved about Tori Amos Live At Montreaux 1991-1992.


He isn't just playing the Super Bowl: Bruce Springsteen now has two more shows lined up. Bruce and Billy Joel are co-headlining a fundraiser for the Barack Obama campaign the Hammerstein Ballroom October 16: I wish I had the money to go, but it's an expensive one. I ain't mad: it's a good cause. Find out more here. I'm surprised Billy Joel is doing this: I thought he was kind of anti-celebs telling people who to vote for.
This weekend, Bruce will be performing solo, acoustic and free at a Barack rally. Find out more here. I knew Bruce wouldn't be sitting the election out, and I'm glad he's getting involved.

THE NUGE (press releases) VS. THE NUGE (good songs)

One picture is Ted Nugent's mugshot
and the other... it's the cover of The Nuge's new album. Is that Governor Mooseburger?

After getting five different press releases about The Nuge's activities and opinions in the month of September alone, I thought I'd compare the amount of press releases he's put out to how many good songs he has.

Let's see: 9/24, a piece about how he and his family are celebrating National Hunting And Fishing Day (a holiday created by president nixon!). I applaud Ted's environmentalism, but I'd question his claim that it is one of the safest recreational activities. Safe for who? Not that sap who was shot in the fact by cheney.

9/22: Ted puts out a press release offering his security services to Paul McCartney who was receiving death threats from religious extremists because of his decision to play rock and roll in Israel. Ted, if we could keep these lunatics at bay by sending NRA dudes into the middle east, don't you think this war would be over by now? Stick to massacring animals that don't have a fighting chance.

9/17: Ted sends his new book to Sarah Palin. Come on, Ted, she's cute and all, but she doesn't read books, she burns them.

9/11: Ted is going to be part of Guitar Hero! They're using his song "Stranglehold"! Awesome! It's one of his good songs. (Was 9/11 the right day to announce this?)

9/8: Ted's kicking off the new season of his TV show.

Five press releases, one about music, and really, it's about a song that is over three decades old. Speaking of music, how many memorable songs does The Nuge really have? Let's see: I'll count the druggy "Journey To The Center Of The Mind" by his former band The Amboy Dukes, even though Ted is anti-drug. "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Stranglehold," no question. I can't listen to "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" without laughing, but it ain't a great song. So, you do the math.

I do respect some things about Ted: he does his thing, and doesn't care about being trendy. He's anti-drug, which is great. And if I were a meat eater, I'd rather eat stuff that I hunted in the wild than factory made foods. On the other hand, clubbing seals is cowardly. He's pro war, yet didn't serve in Vietnam, like many other "hawks." I guess you just have to enjoy the guy, and not take him too seriously. On the other hand, his onstage comments about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton a few months back were absolutely deplorable. I might even say they were "unpatriotic." Nah, just disgusting.