Monday, November 30, 2009


Strange but true: Neil Young has (quietly) just released the fourth volume of songs from The Bridge School benefit series that he has been hosting for two decades. The Bridge School is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that individuals with severe speech and physical impairments achieve full participation in their communities through the use of augmentative & alternative means of communication and assistive technology applications and through the development, implementation and dissemination of innovative life-long educational strategies. Every year, Neil Young hosts an acoustic concert with a diverse lineup to help raise funds for the school. Over the past few years, he's been releasing iTunes collections of songs from the concerts. Volume 4 which just came out, includes two solo tracks by Trent Renzor (versions of Nine Inch Nails' "Fragile" and "Hurt"). It also includes one of John Mellencamp's greatest songs, "Jackie Brown," Norah Jones' cover of Wilco's "Jesus, Etc." and two tracks by Tom Waits with The Kronos Quartet. Oh, and Josh Groban. A duet with Neil on "Harvest Moon" (oddly, it's Neil's only appearance on this volume). Some great music and a great cause. Here is a link to the complete tracklist.


Metallica have a new limited edition live DVD recorded on their current tour. It's called Francais Pour Une Nuit ("French For One Night") and was shot in July in France. The set comes with a bunch of extra stuff: a T-shirt, lanyard, pictures, etc. It costs $80 and you can get it here. A much better - but less visual - buy are the band's live downloads. You can buy a download of any concert on their tour here. I've bought a bunch of them, they are always awesome.


I don't watch late night television too much, but Jimmy Fallon is killing it on the music front. The Christopher Cross thing was funny, but Mos Def and Talib Kweli's version of "History" (backed by The Roots, of course) was awesome. (The song is from Mos' The Eccstatic.) Backing vocals provided by two ladies from a band I don't really get, The Dirty Projectors. I wanted to embed the video, but NBC's site is only letting me embed the entire episode, not the song, which is too bad, because it was a great performance.

Update: here's a version I found on YouTube, hopefully NBC doesn't take it down.


I'm sure some people doubt that Trent Reznor was serious about retiring Nine Inch Nails, but announced that lots of NIN stuff is on the auction block at ebay, and they are selling lots of merchandise from the band's recent tours. I have no doubt that Trent will continue to make music, but not under the "Nine Inch Nails" name. I look at this like when David Bowie ditched his "Ziggy Stardust" persona. Maybe Trent should have done it earlier. On the other hand, the NIN shows this summer were awesome.


Times are tough and money's tight, that's why it was cool of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers to offer their new box set The Live Anthology in two formats: $20 for four CDs, or $100 for a deluxe five CD, two DVD, one LP set. I was going to go cheap. Then, last week, I listened to the latest episode of Tom's SIRIUSXM show Buried Treasure (hear it on Deep Tracks). He usually doesn't play his own music. But this time, he played all stuff from the box set. It got me so into it that I parted with a c-note for the deluxe version. Totally worth it. Tom is the coolest. There's a big interview with him in the new Rolling Stone (some kid from Twilight is on the cover) and there's outtakes from the interview here. As I mentioned last week on my weekly radio appearance on OutQ, it's a great gift. For someone else. Or yourself!


I am not a fan of the many silly Facebook groups that are out there. But John Mellencamp's son, Speck, has started a good one: 1,000,000 to join, my Dad John Mellencamp will stop smoking. Clunky name, but good intent. John Mellencamp had a heart attack a few years back, and his doctor told him to stop smoking. If that didn't stop him, I don't know how Facebook will, but there you go.

But this is as good an opportunity as any to invite you to follow No Expiration on Facebook. Bonus: you'll get too see what I look like (in front of my CD wall). OK, not such a big bonus, but don't you want to get cool rock and roll updates on your facebook page? Yes, you do.


When I was a kid, there were a few sources that I used to learn about metal. (1) Cooler looking older metal kids (2) the radio show "Metal Shop" and (3) MTV's Headbanger's Ball. When MTV ditched the Ball, I don't think anyone thought it was a good idea. They replaced a true metal show with a show hosted by a chick whose main claim to fame was (I think) that she was nanny to Courtney Love's daughter Frances Bean. Even the MTV people realized that they messed up! The Ball was an institution. It's been back on MTV2 for a few years, and lately, it's hosted by a good friend, Jose Mangin. No, I'm not trying to name drop here - yes, I know Lynn Hoffman from A&E's Private Sessions, and Eddie Trunk from VH1's That Metal Show. But these are cool shows if you are a music fan! And I don't have the channels that Elvis Costello's show airs on, and I don't get the channel that Henry Rollins' show airs on either. I've been meaning to check both of them out. Back to Jose, I know him from SIRIUS|XM, he has been the guy behind Liquid Metal, and before that, Hard Attack, and I've never met someone with the enthusiasm for music that Jose has for metal. He loves all kinds, from Cannibal Corpse to Poison to KoRn, he loves all of it. I'm not always down with his tastes, but like with Eddie Trunk, I appreciate his true passion for the music. I'm not sure what his schedule is on MTV2, but if you love metal, you should check it out.


A few years back, I happened upon Eddie Trunk on his radio show Saturday Night Rocks. It's a little bit old-school metal - Eddie is into hair metal and stuff that I'm not into - but he's totally into it, and I can appreciate that. I had long given up on terrestrial radio (other than NPR type stuff and Little Steven's syndicated Underground Garage show) when I heard his show, and I was surprised to hear a guy who was obviously picking his own songs, and cared about what he was playing. Honestly: it was a surprise to hear someone on a commercial radio station sound passionate. I got to know Eddie a bit, he's a cool guy. A little later on, I worked with him a bit at VH1 Classic. These days, I sometimes see him around the SIRIUS|XM offices, since he has a show on The Boneyard, and it's fun seeing him back on VH1 Classic on That Metal Show with Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson. If you're into metal, I totally recommend it. Below is his interview with the not-totally-metal-but-totally-awesome-band Rush.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I've been in a bit of a Hall & Oates mood in the past few days thanks to the new box set, Do What You Want, Be What You Are, which I discussed on OutQ this week.

So, I happened upon the website for the show Private Sessions on A&E. It's hosted by Lynn Hoffman, a former collegue of mine - we worked together for a brief time at VH1 Classic. In my era at MTV and VH1 I worked with lots of talent. I'd heard a lot of stories about talent folks (luckily, my dealings were really great almost every single time). But Lynn was just so easy to work with, I couldn't believe it.

I'm not really sure what kind of music she enjoys, but she doesn't bring any kind of attitude to the interviews she does. I know how that is: in my career as an interviewer, I found myself talking to artists from bands that I would never listen to, and indeed, who I disliked. But the thing is, when you have this kind of job, it's inappropriate for you to take on an attitude because it's the guy from Creed or Styx or whatever. And the thing you realize (usually) is that, at some level, these people are people. It's hard to sit there with someone who is being nice to you (you don't always know if it is genuine, it's part of their job to get you to like them) and just hate them, no matter what you think of thier music. Once the interview starts, it's your job to make the artist comfortable. You can't make it obvious that you think they suck (if you do think that). Also, even if you are the hugest fan, you can't come off like the guy who slept out on line to meet them first at the album signing, that can come off as creepy. There are a lot of different types of styles that interviewers have, but for what she does - VH1 Classic and A&E, Lynn strikes the perfect balance. You should check out the show on Sunday mornings. Back to Hall & Oates, here's a link to their performance of "Sara Smile" on Private Sessions. I have to say, I don't love the site, starting with the fact that they won't let you embed their videos, and it's hard to get around. But check out the show.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Back in May, I wrote that Sade will be returning with her first new album in nine years in November. November only has a few days left, and her album isn't coming out this Tuesday. Billboard reports that the album will be called Soldier Of Love and will be out on February 10. Hey, it's been nine years, what's another few months?


There's a documentary about Run-D.M.C. DJ Jam Master Jay coming out called 2 Turntables And A Microphone. 50 Cent executive produced it (I believe JMJ helped 50 out early in his career) and I think it might be included in the deluxe version of 50's new album Before I Self-Destruct, but I'm not sure about that. Hopefully it is a good doc, and if so, it will deserve to stand on its own. His murder was tragic, and seems to be one of a series of unsolved murders in the hip-hop community. I don't know if the doc gets close to coming to any conclusions about what happened. Here's a trailer:


Apparently, Flea is going to be playing on Bryan Ferry's next album, which will also include Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. Of course, Flea recently played in Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke's backing band on a few shows, and supposedly they will be working together next year on a new Thom album and tour. (Flea also plays on Slash's upcoming album.)

More than any of this stuff, I'm looking forward to a new Red Hot Chili Peppers album, which hopefully will come out next year. The Peppers are performing at the Neil Young tribute concert in January, and will probably also perform if they get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which they should).

I'm not a big Ferry fan, but wasn't he supposed to be doing a new album with Roxy Music? I remember reading that he took a break to do a solo album made up of Dylan covers, and then he toured for that, now he's making another solo album. I guess the Roxy Music reunion is over.


Over the summer, Anthrax announced that they were ditching their new singer, Dan Nelson, who they found on myspace. They recorded a full album with him, but the plan was to get a new singer and re-record the vocals. They cancelled most of their tour dates, except for one festival, which featured their former lead singer, John Bush. Now they've announced that they are doing a brief Australian tour with Bush on vocals, and Scott Ian said in an interview that he'd like Bush to rejoin the band for good.

Although the best Anthrax albums featured singer Joey Belladonna, I always thought that those albums would have been better with John Bush, and the first album with John Bush, Sound Of White Noise, holds up to anything the band has ever done. Bush rejoining the band is the best thing that could happen to them, so here's hoping that it happens.

But if you do prefer Joey Belladonnna, you should check out the recently released expanded editioin of the band's classic 1987 album Among The Living, which features bonus tracks and a concert DVD from the era (the N.F.V. video, recorded in London). And also Caught In A Mosh: BBC Live In Concert, which features two more performances, also from 1987. That's a lot of live 1987 Anthrax, but there you have it!

In other news, Rock Sound reports that Scott Ian and Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano have a new band called The Damned Things, which also features Keith Buckley of the band Every Time I Die and... Fall Out Boy members Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley (aka not the famous guy and not the singer). Scott probably knows how lame this looks, so he probably was won over by the Fall Out Boy guys enough to withstand the ridicule he knows he is in for.


I've written before about Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's film company, Oscilloscope. Now they're offering a subscription service. For $150, you get the next ten Oscilloscope releases on DVD a week before the street date, and you get to buy prior releases at 50% off. One of their recent films is The Messenger, starring Woody Harrelson, whose character works for the Army's Causality Notification Service: in other words, the guys who have to go to the homes of the families of the soldiers who die in combat.

Anyway, I'm glad that Adam is feeling better, and hopefully the new Beastie Boys record, Hot Sauce Committee, will be out early in 2010.


According to Reuters, iTunes and concert promoter Live Nation will be teaming up to offer downloads of concert recordings for $7.99 starting Tuesday. Pretty cool, if they get good artists.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Well, other people call them "box sets," to me they're like crack. I'm a big fan of box sets! And tomorrow on The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick on OutQ, I'll be doing a "Black Friday" special, discussing some cool box sets that are out now and make great gifts. (by the way, I have always hated the term "Black Friday," but everyone knows that it refers to the day after Thanksgiving, a big shopping day). I have already talked about The Beatles' box sets, so I'm not discussing them tomorrow. And I am not going to get into the new DVD box set of highlights from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies that recently came out. Here's the skinny on what I will be discussing:

Dolly Parton: Dolly
  • The Deal: A box set in the classic sense, it is four CDs of hits, album tracks and rarities like "Puppy Love," Dolly's first recording from 1959. The lame thing about it is it doesn't have any of her music from her recent indie label albums. But it comes from Sony Legacy, who do some of the greatest box sets. I'll admit here that I am friends with some of the Sony Legacy folks, and they hooked me up with a copy, but I definitely don't write about stuff they send me just because they send it to me.
  • Who Is It For? Longtime fans will dig it, but it is also good for "beginners," because it has all the big hits.
  • If You Want To Spend Less $: Get the 2-CD set, The Essential Dolly Parton, which came out in 2005, and actually has some more recent material.

Hall & Oates: Do What You Want, Be What You Are
  • The Deal: Like Dolly, a box set in the classic sense: four CDs of hits, album tracks and rarities, including two tracks by Daryl Hall's pre-Hall & Oates band The Temptones and John Oates' former band The Masters. Also from Sony Legacy.
  • Who Is It For? Also good for longtime fans, but also good for beginners, it really covers all the hits. I wish it had some recordings from their 1992 summer acoustic tour, which I saw. So many of their songs sound great stripped of their studio sheen (which is great anyway).
  • If You Want To Spend Less $: Again like Dolly, there is a 2005 2-CD collection The Essential Daryl Hall & John Oates that is really good.

The Rolling Stones: Get Your Ya-Ya's Out (expanded edition)

  • The Deal: This is a expanded version of the band's live album that was recorded at Madison Square Garden in 1969, when they were in full swagger (this was during the era that Mick Taylor was in the band). The box set contains five tracks that weren't on the original album, as well as the full sets by opening acts Ike & Tina Turner and B.B. King. And a DVD of performances and backstage footage. There's a "super-deluxe" version that also includes all the music on vinyl as well.
  • Who Is It For? Obviously Rolling Stones freaks will want this: so will B.B. and Tina's fans. But I don't think it would be alienating for new fans. The band played lots of hits, but it also introduces new fans to some of the band's influences: both the openers, and via some of the covers: Chuck Berry's "Carol" and Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain." The Stones' reissues have been pretty boring thus far, this is actually something that will excite the fans.
  • If You Want To Spend Less $: You can get the single CD version of Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out. Another good choice for new Stones fans is the 2-CD best-of 40 Licks, that covers their entire career except their great 2005 album A Bigger Bang.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: The Live Anthology

  • The Deal: It is four CDs, spanning the band's entire career. It's all live material, not the studio hits. But most of the hits are represented, as well as lesser-known songs and lots of covers. There is a deluxe version only available at Best Buy, which has a fifth CD, a DVD doc called 400 Days, shot during the recording of Wildflowers (my favorite album by Tom) and the subsequent tour. Another DVD with a live concert filmed on New Year's Eve 1978. A blue-ray disc with all the songs from all five discs, a vinyl live EP and a huge booklet. Guess which one I bought?
  • Who Is It For? I don't know that it would alienate new fans, but it isn't what I would get them first. Instead, I might recommend he 1995 6-CD box set Playback covers Petty's MCA career, (meaning it ends after Into The Great Wide Open and before Wildflowers). It has all the hits from that era (which is most of his hits), and lots of other great rare stuff, and some early Mudcrutch recordings.
  • If You Want To Spend Less $: Well, the 4-CD version of The Live Anthology is just $20. But 2000's Anthology: Through The Years, is a 2-CD best of, but also only covers the MCA years. Live Anthology is the only Petty collection that has stuff from MCA and Warner Brothers.

AC/DC: Backtracks

  • The Deal: It is two CDs of rarities and a DVD of videos from 1993 through today (basically updating the Family Jewels DVD from a few years back). A deluxe version not in stores has three CDs, two DVDs and a vinyl record, and the box itself is an actual amplifier that you can play your electric guitar through. Really. I have the regular version.
  • Who Is It For? This is for the hard core fans. The deluxe version is for the super-hardcore fans.
  • If You Want To Spend Less $: Oddly, AC/DC have no greatest hits of any kind, other than the soundtrack to the 1986 Stephen King film Maximum Overdrive. The album is called Who Made Who, and features some hits, the title track was new, and AC/DC recorded some instrumental music for the film. I would just recommend for beginners any of the albums with Bon Scott, or from Brian Johnson's era, Back In Black or Live! If You Want To Spend More $, go for the 1997 box set, Bonfire, which is mostly live and unreleased stuff from Bon's era, plus it includes Back In Black.

Next year, I'm looking forward to, so far, the expanded box set versions of Bruce Springsteen's Darkness On The Edge Of Town and The Rolling Stones' Exile On Main Street.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Unlike some of his recent shows, Ray Davies did not have a choir with him at tonight's show. Here's what he did have: "Where Have All The Good Times Gone." "Dedicated Follower Of Fashion." "Sunny Afternoon." "Waterloo Sunset." "20th Century Man." "I Need You." "Celluloid Heroes." "Come Dancing." "Apeman." Some great songs from his solo albums Other People's Lives and Working Man's Cafe: "After The Fall," "The Tourist," "Vietnam Cowboys" and "Hymn For A New Age." Yes, "You Really Got Me" and "Lola." And maybe my favorite Kinks song, "I'm Not Like Everybody Else." I'm sure I'm forgetting some songs.

It was a great show. I liked the first half more - it was just Ray accompanied by another guitar player. But the second half, with the band, was really rocking. I am sometimes ribbed by my friends for being such a huge fan of AARP-eligable artists. I don't care, these songs hold up, Ray still performs them really well. And like Bob Dylan, he still has something to say, and fans who are cool enough to let him say it. Unlike Bob, he is definitely interested in whether or not the fans are having fun; lots of the songs were singalongs, and Ray seemed to love that. It was a really "warm" night. Some of the songs, like "Waterloo Sunset" and "Celluloid Heroes," still take my breath away. Ray talked a bit about The Kinks during the show, and about his brother Dave Davies. No mentions of a reunion, but all the mentions were affectionate.

I have to admit, I haven't even heard his latest release: The Kinks Choral Collection. Kinks songs with a choir, it just sounds goofy, although people who have seen the tour with the choir have raved about it. But I thought Working Man's Cafe was a good album, and Other People's Lives was great. Somehow, the fact that he has really strong songs from those albums make his older songs even more powerful: they are part of an ongoing continuum, as opposed to museum pieces. Anyway, Ray told us he had a "confession": that he would be coming back. I'm looking forward to it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Ringo Starr's new album, Y Not, due in January, has some exciting points about it, but none more than this: there are a few songs with Paul McCartney. Paul and Ringo have played on each others albums over the years, but there's still something cool about the idea of them still working together. Who knows, maybe it will lead to another performance together - I doubt it, but it's nice to be able to hope!

Ringo's last album, Liverpool 8, had a great song on it, the last song on the album, "R U Ready?" Hopefully there will be more great songs like that. On this album, other than Paul, guests include Ben Harper, Joss Stone and Joe Walsh. It's also the first time Ringo has produced one of his albums. I'd heard a rumor that Ben Harper & Relentless7 was the backing band on a lot of the songs (they backed him at a benefit concert in April). That would be cool!


Tomorrow night, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band wrap up about three years of on-and-off touring with a concert in Buffalo, New York, where they will be playing Bruce's debut album, 1973's Greetings From Asbury Park, New Jersey, start to finish, for the first time ever. I am so bummed that I won't be there, I love that album.

Springsteen's manager Jon Landau just did an interview with the magazine he used to write for, Rolling Stone, and talked about Bruce's plans for 2010. First off, he's going to have a live DVD from the current Working On A Dream tour. I have no idea how they will boil that down to a DVD, given all the requests they did, one off covers, and full album performances.

Also, he's going to put out an expanded box set version of his 1978 classic, Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Like the Born To Run box set that came out a few years back, it will have the full album remastered (other than Born To Run, Bruce hasn't remastered any of his albums), a DVD with a live concert from the era (hopefully it will be available on CD or MP3 as well), and a documentary about the making of, and the impact of, the album. The Born To Run doc was awesome, I hope this one is as good.

No word on any new albums, but he's put out five new records in the past eight years, which is a pretty great pace. Still, he seems to be on a creative roll, it wouldn't suprise me to see a new album in 2010.


This is pretty cool: Green Day is recording a new verison of their single "21 Guns" with the cast of the Berkeley production of American Idiot. It will be a digital download available soon. Green Day has also started announcing summer concerts (all in Europe) on thier website.


Actually, that title isn't 100% fair.
I was happy that Slumdog Millionaire did so well at the Oscars last year, it deserved it, as did the film's music composer, A.R. Rahman. But not nominating Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrestler" was lame, as so was making all the nominated songs perform together as a medley (a decision that led nomoinee Peter Gabriel to decide to attend the Oscars, but not perform).
I've heard that this year they've decided not to have any musical performances at all. And they've just released thier short list of documentaries that they are considering for nominations this year, and it doesn't include Anvil! The Story of Anvil or It Might Get Loud. Weak!


This week, Jack White told Rolling Stone that The Dead Weather will release their next album next year, possibly in time for their March tour of Australia. He also verified reports that he produced some tracks for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson. He was planning on just doing a 7" single for Third Man Records, but they started doing more songs, and that may turn into an entire album.

I wonder how these projects effect the next White Stripes project: the documentary film and new album that Jack White has talked about.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


(This photo is taken from, it wasn't taken tonight).

After a few subpar Bob Dylan concerts in the past decade, I stopped going to see Bob in concert. That ended over the summer, when I had a free ticket to see Bob Dylan with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, and Dylan was incredible.

So, when I heard Dylan was doing a three night stand at the United Palace, I had to go. Tonight's show was nearly as good as the one I saw this summer: this was the first show I've seen since guitarist Charlie Sexton rejoined the band. The setlist was phenomonal: they opened with a hard rocking, swagger heavy "Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking" (from Slow Train Coming), followed by a loose "The Man In Me" (from New Morning, and also used in the opening credits of The Big Lebowski). The fans loved the semi-obscure picks. Then he played my favorite song from my favorite album of 2009: "Beyond Here Lies Nothing" from Together Through Life. He also played "Jolene" and "My Wife's Home Town" from that album, all of which were great. Dylan is such a '60s icon, and of course he has nearly five decades of material to draw from, I'm glad he still plays so much recent music, which shows his continued relevance: the album he drew from the most was 2006's Modern Times: "Thunder On The Mountain," "When The Deal Goes Down," "Workingman's Blues #2" and "Ain't Talkin'." He played my favorite song from 2001's "Love & Theft," "High Water (For Charlie Patton.)" And I was glad he hit one of my favorites, "Cold Irons Bound," from 1997's Time Out Of Mind. Over 50% of the show was from the past 12 years, which I think is awesome. As you know, I consider Bob to be one of the best artists of the '00s.

Of course, he didn't forget the older stuff, doing amazing versions of "Desolation Row," "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Ballad Of A Thin Man." I actually didn't like his version of "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine,)" I felt he was not into it. He also didn't seem as into the two big "hits," "Like A Rolling Stone" and even "All Along The Watchtower." A funny thing abot Dylan shows is that, his band is always so great, and the songs are so great, Bob almost just has to stay out of the way and not wreck it. His shows could go any way - they could be awesome, or they could be the pits, and I've seen both extremes. Tonight's show was excellent almost all the way through, and I'd definitely pay to see him next time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Krist Novoselic wrote a piece called "How I met Dave Grohl," for The Seattle Weekly. I know they have performed together a few times since Nirvana. I wonder if they could ever do it again in a band, or would the ghosts just be too strong? Drummers have been on Krist's mind lately: he interviewed other former Nirvana drummers Chad Channing and Dale Crover also for The Seattle Weekly.


I have no idea how this happened, but former Velvet Underground members Lou Reed, Mo Tucker and, surprisingly, Doug Yule, are "reuniting" on stage... at the New York Public Library for a conversation hosted by Rolling Stone's David Fricke. Already sold out!

I'm surprised about Yule - he replaced the much more "avant-garde" violinist/pianist John Cale in the band. More to the point, he continued on as "The Velvet Underground" after Lou, Mo and guitarist Sterling Morrison left the band. I think he actually recorded a VU album where he played all the instruments, but with future Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice. He didn't participate in the Underground's reunion tour in the '90s, and wasn't inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the band either. I hope a video or transcript of this event becomes available somewhere.


Longtime No Expiration readers know that I don't like to bring the negativity, there's too much of that in the world. But this is a stupid idea: Ronnie Wood, Ian McLagan and Kenny Jones are now talking about doing a Faces reunion in 2010, with or without Rod Stewart. The Faces without Rod Stewart is as weak as Aerosmith without Steven Tyler. I don't blame these guys for wanting to play together again, and of course they'd do Faces songs. But if Rod Stewart is still walking this earth, and they're calling it The Faces, it just comes off as totally bogus. Ronnie: would you do a Rolling Stones tour with a different singer? Billboard reports that they may actually use, of all people, former Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall. I wonder how Mick Hucknall would feel if Simply Red toured without him? Hucknall recently played with Ron, Ian and Kenny at a charity gig. That's cool for a charity gig, not a tour. I understand how annoying it must be for the guys, especially Ian and Kenny, to watch Rod do lame solo album after lame solo album and not reunite the band. But I don't think calling it The Faces is going to go over well.


It's really sad to watch this all go down. In my last post about Aerosmith, I wrote that singer Steven Tyler's behavior is kind of classic drunk/abusive (ex-) boyfriend. I kind of wondered if he's sober at all these days; it has long been rumored that he has fallen off the wagon. Today, in a preview of a story that is being published in the next issue of Rolling Stone, the other guys from the band questioned his sobriety as well, and said they will not wait two years for him to finish his memoirs and solo album. They're going to work with another singer, at least for the time being. I'll ask the question again: would you guys go see The Stones if someone other than Mick was singing? It's a bitter pill, but one you're gonna have to try to swallow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


For those of you who are
new to No Expiration, every Wednesday morning at 9 am ET I go on the SIRIUSXM channel OutQ. I am a weekly contributor to The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick. Most weeks I bring a theme, and since "female singers," or "divas" seems to always go over well, I decided to go with that one again, particularly because there are lots of relevant
albums out right now.

First off is Larry's #1 favorite album of the year, Lungs, by Florence & The Machine. He's been talking about it for months, and I only just listened to it for the first time. It's a pretty powerful album. In some ways, Florence reminds me of Tori Amos, but I can't back that up with much, so I'll probably keep it to myself, as Larry is no fan of Tori! My wife Maria grabbed the CD from me, and she loves it. So, I'm glad to say that I like it also. I may even add this to my Best Of '09 series.

Leona Lewis has just released Echo. Larry and I disagreed about Leona last year, he thought she deserved the Record of the Year Grammy, last year, and I thought it rightfully went to Robert Plant & Alison Krauss. Sorry, Larry, I paid my NARAS dues and you forgot to pay yours! Larry felt that Leona's debut was an event on the level of Mariah Carey's debut. I disagreed with that - I almost think it is impossible for someone to dominate pop music the way Mariah did. (I also didn't think a Mariah-level-event would be a positive thing, anyway, as I don't like Mariah.) I did think Leona's "Bleeding Love" was a great pop song, and I don't hate on her because of it. I have only heard one new Leona song, "Happy," which I thought was really good. But she doesn't dodge comparassions to Mariah, that's for sure.

Norah Jones has been a favorite of mine since I heard her debut album, Come Away With Me, in 2002. I just got her new album, The Fall, tonight, and I think it's great. She broke up with her long time boyfriend/bass player Lee Alexander, which pretty much broke up her band. So she started working with new people, including producer Jaquire King, who worked on Tom Waits' classic Mule Variations. I think it is a really successful progression for her.

Finally, Joss Stone has just released Color Me Free!, which sees her fighting with her record label, which, sadly, doesn't usually end well for the artist. I got to interview her before her debut, 2003's The Soul Sessions EP when I worked for VH1. I think it's a good record but not a great one. She has so much talent, it's almost frustrating that she hasn't clicked with audiences in the way that she should. Maybe she needs a new record label. I hope they just don't slut her image up too much.

So call in if you want to weigh in! We'll probably do another week of female singers next month, when Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige and Shakira have released their new albums. Next week: crack. Um, I mean box sets. The Rolling Stones, Dolly Parton, Hall & Oates, AC/DC and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.


So, no surprise that "The Big Four" tour - supposedly with Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax - isn't happening. But it turns out that Slayer and Megadeth are touring together, with Testament opening. It's called the "American Carnage" tour! It's too bad that Anthrax can't be on this tour - that would be a reunion of the 1991 "Thrash Of The Titans" tour (minus opening group Alice In Chains) - but they still don't have a singer. Here's the "video press release":


Fela! opens next Monday, so I'm not sure how Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have just now signed on as producers for the show. But anything that brings more attention to the show - and the life of it's subject, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, is a good thing. Probably like a lot of other rock fans, I got into Fela through Flea, who brings him up a lot. His music is hard to explain, it's very political but also very funky, and all of his songs seem to take up a full side of a LP record. It's like jazz: I'm not an expert, but I enjoy listening to it. I am actually really curious to see this show, although I tend to avoid Broadway.

Monday, November 16, 2009


This weekend, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band will wrap up three years of on-and-off touring (for two albums, Magic and Working On A Dream) with their concert in Buffalo, New York. To make this show special, they'll be performing his debut album, 1973's Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J., start to finish. Damn! How can I get to Buffalo?


The AP has a story (which I found via Yahoo! News) about the home of legendary bluesman Robert Johnson being made into a museum.
Apparently despite all the mystery and myth that surrounds the man's life, his place of birth has been verified as a house in Hazlehurst, Mississippi. It's about 100 miles from the Delta, and the town is trying to get tourists to bring their money to town . I bet it will work to a certain extent: it isn't going to be Graceland, but there are surely people who want to learn anything they can about Robert Johnson.
In a way, it's a bummer that anything about the man will be demystified. There's something cool about his entire mystique: he was a decent guitar player, he disappears for a while, he comes back the best player anyone has ever seen. A deal with the devil? Why not? There's not a lot of mystery in the world any more. On the other hand, I don't want to take an elistist position with this, and I think that it is great that people want to learn more about a guy who died over 70 years ago, only two photos of him exist, and very few recordings.
Listen to the recordings! It sounds like two or three guitarists at the same time. It's just one. It's just him, singing, playing, and tapping his foot. That's it. Those recordings inspired so much of what we listen to today. It's amazing to think about it.


One of my
favorite records of the decade is Loretta Lynn's 2004 classic, Van Lear Rose, produced by Jack White. Now it looks like he is going to produce another female icon, Wanda Jackson, according to The Oklamhoman. According to the story, she's going to Third Man Studios to record a single, which I imagine will be publically available (as opposed to being a Third Man V.I.P. club exlcusive). Hopefully that will go well, and they'll do an album together. I guess Jack's latest tour with The Dead Weather is winding down; I know his next project is The White Stripes film and supposedly a new album.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I've already pretty much said what I have to say about the great Levon Helm in my Best of '09: Levon Helm's Electric Dirt post. But to review: at the beginning of the decade, The Band's recent incarntion had split up in the wake of Rick Danko's death. Levon had throat cancer, was told he wouldn't sing again, and was facing foreclosure on his barn in Woodstock. He played some concerts to raise mortgage money called "Midnight Rambles," and raised enough money to fight off foreclosre, but they also attracted enough interest that they became an event that transcended the cause. He defeated his cancer. And put out two incredible albums, 2007's Dirt Farmer and this year's Electric Dirt. Great story, but the wonderful music is what makes him one of my artists of the decade.

More Best Of The '00s: Bob Dylan
Willie Nelson
Aimee Mann
Jeff Tweedy
David Johansen


I was never really a big New York Dolls fan. I didn't have any big objection to them, and I knew that they influenced a lot of bands that I like, including KISS, Aerosmith and a lot of punk groups. I didn't know much of their music, and I was more familiar with singer David Johansen's solo work (mainly his Animals covers), his hit singles as Buster Poindexter and his scene-stealing role in Scrooged.

Then I went to Little Steven's Underground Garage Rock Festival in August of 2004. The New York Dolls, who had reunited a few weeks earlier at the behest of former fan club president Morrissey, were one of the headliners. It was their first New York show in three decades. Somehow, they were beneath The Strokes on the bill, and the final band was The Stooges. A publicist took me onstage for the Dolls, and they really knocked me out. I couldn't believe I'd never really listened to them before. I bought their 1973 self-titled album and really dug it.

About a year later, I found myself working at SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and David Johansen, as it turned out, hosted a weekly show on SIRIUS Disorder. (These days, it is on The Loft). I don't always like what he plays - it is true free form radio, veering from punk rock to opera to country to film music to soft rock bands like Toto or Bread to instrumental film music. But I like a lot of it, and he takes curating a radio show and makes it an artform, just as much as Little Steven or Bob Dylan. You've really got to hear it.

Around this time, word came that the Dolls' gigs had gone so well that they were going to record a reunion album. That sounded dicey. But as it tured out, 2006's One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This is probably one of the best comeback albums I've ever heard, and the follow up, this year's 'Cause I Sez So, proved it to be no fluke. Even though there are only two surviving members - Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain - they made it work, and work well.

I had the chance to film Johansen being interviewed by John Varvatos for his SIRIUSXM show (which is on Faction) and David Johansen was really cool. Soon after, I filmed The New York Dolls' performance at Varvatos' store at the former location of CBGB, and the band were on fire. Johansen definitely looks his age, but he carries it in the most cool way.

More Best Of The '00s: Bob Dylan
Willie Nelson
Aimee Mann
Jeff Tweedy


Longtime readers of No Expiration know that I'm generally cynical about the artists that the media and indie bloggers go crazy over. It's sometimes like England's NME: the band is exciting for a moment, but people move on to the next thing so quickly. But when it comes to Wilco, grow me an beard, put me in skinny jeans and move me to Brooklyn! Ha ha, just kidding, don't, I'm cool in the suburbs.  But really, Wilco should be considered a "classic rock" band in the sense that they are a rock band with a pretty incredible catalog of albums (which is still growing, the band probably aren't even at their halfway point yet).

And so, I have to give it up to Jeff Tweedy (the band's leader), he is definitely one of the artists of the decade. Start with their 2002 classic, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and the accompanying documentary, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. The album was, in some ways, like Aimee Mann's Bachelor No. 2 in that it was famously rejected by a major label, and is recognized by almost anyone with any taste as a classic. It became the kind of thing where a vote for the album = your vote against the major label system. I'm sure lots of records have been rejected with great reasons, but these are two high profile blunders.

Tweedy really stuck by his artistic guns, and risked alienating some of his older fans, who liked Wilco (and his pre-Wilco band, Uncle Tupelo)'s so-called "alt-country" sound. He really created something that sounded original.  I shouldn't make it sound like his decade is just about Yankee Hotel Foxtrot: the followup, 2004's A Ghost Is Born is also amazing, as is the live album from that tour, Kicking Television: Live In Chicago. And I can't forget 2000's collaboration with Billy Bragg, Mermaid Avenue Vol. 2. Admittedly, I'm not as big of a fan of 2007's Sky Blue Sky or this year's Wilco (The Album).

While Wilco is a band, it really is largely about Tweedy and whoever he wants to work with. Plus, this decade he's also worked with his side projects Golden Smog and Loose Fur, and done solo tours. He also contributed to Neil Finn's new album.

I got to interview Tweedy when YHF first came out, and it was interesting, there was a lot of electricity around the band because everyone knew something big was happening with them. But something seemed ... a bit "off." I later found that he was addicted to painkillers. I was surprised, he didn't seem like that kind of guy.  Some rock stars have the type of personality that seems like they'd be prone to addiction problems. But I guess it can happen to anyone. Anyway, I got to interview him again when AGIB came out, and he seemed like a totally different guy. So, it's nice that in the midst of releasing all of this great music, he was also able to conquer his personal demons.  Anyway, Tweedy is definitely one of my "Artists of the '00s," and I wouldn't be surprised if he becomes one of my "Artists of the '10s" also.

More Best Of The '00s: Bob Dylan
Willie Nelson
Aimee Mann


I was pretty excited earlier this week when I posted about Steven Tyler joining Joe Perry onstage at the Joe Perry Project's NYC show. Steven claimed that he wasn't leaving Aerosmith, making lots of people happy. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, though, Joe says that he didn't know Tyler was showing up, didn't really get to talk to him much, and Tyler left right afterwards. Watching the video, it comes off like Tyler is the abusive ex-, not being respectful to Joe or his band, and referring to himself as "the motherfucking rainbow," whatever that means. Joe says that the band's troubles are far from over. I do think most of the blame for this falls on Tyler, as he seems to be acting erratically. But if he wants to take two years off from the band, but not quit, the other members should respect that. On the other hand, they're all pushing 60, I can see where they wouldn't want to wait two more years to start working again. It's been eight years since their last album of new material. But no matter what, I don't think Aerosmith should try to replace Steven Tyler.


Billboard reports that Liam Gallagher is forming another band with all the other members of Oasis, except, obviously, Noel Gallagher. (Oasis split up a few weeks ago.) So who is going to write the songs? I mean, the good ones?


A couple of weeks ago on The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick on SIRIUSXM OutQ, I talked about current hip-hop music. I don't pretend to be an expert, but I've been listening to the art form since about 1985 (Run-D.M.C.'s King Of Rock came out that year, I was in high school) so I feel I can claim it a little bit.

Anyway, one of the callers lamented the lack of "actual content" in current hip-hop music. I don't disagree, I consider myself a big hip-hop fan, but I am rarely impressed with most of the big names today, without mentioning any names. To be fair, I wouldn't want to compare too many of today's rock bands with The Beatles or Zeppelin, either.

Anyway, one record that won't get the same promotion or press that, say, Lil Wayne's every move does, is the new Rakim album, The Seventh Seal, which comes out Tuesday. For a long time, he was working with Dr. Dre on his album, which was supposed to come out on Dre's Aftermath label (also home to Eminem and 50 Cent). Eventually Rakim bailed on what seemed like a great opportunity, because Dre was trying to position Rakim for maximum sales by making him "gangsta." In this interview with 17 Dots, he explains why he wasn't cool with that.

Anyway, I predict that this will be a really good album, and hopefully it will be a great one. On a similar note, here's hoping that Eric B & Rakim will be nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one of these days. I think they're that influencial on hip-hop and all the music that is inspired by hip-hop.


I don't normally cite Sports Illustrated here, but their website is claiming that The Who will be playing the next Super Bowl. For some reason, I had a feeling they would get the gig. The Super Bowl likes big name heroic-ish artists whose sound can fill a stadium. The Who is a great choice. Roger Daltrey should be ready to rock from his current "Use It Or Lose It" solo tour, and The Who is supposedly touring for a new album next year, so this will be a great way to get people excited about it (I've also heard rumors that The Who may be getting their own Rock Band or Guitar Hero game). Of course haters will complain that the guys in The Who are too old, whatever. I haven't seen them since 2002, and they were great then. They're also great in short bursts, as evidenced by their historic performance at The Concert For New York City after 9/11. Still, I'm sure there's people who'd like to see, like, Pavement or someone like that playing the Super Bowl, but I just don't think that would really work.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


George Clinton sued the band Public Announcement for their use of the phrase "Bow wow wow, yippie yo yippie yay" along with frequent usage of "dog" in thier song "D.O.G. In Me." I'm not a lawsuits fan, but come on, Public Announcement, are you gonna pretend you didn't rip that off from George?

George Clinton's finances are so mired in bad contracts, someone from the music industry tried to explain it to me once, and I have to admit, I didn't follow most of it.

Anyway, George won $89,000 in damages, according to The Tennessean. "Atomic Dog" is probably George's best solo track, I'm sure it is his biggest solo hit. It is from the 1982 album Computer Games. The artwork, at the right, was done by Pedro Bell, who also did the art for a ton of other Clinton albums, including albums by Parliment and Funkadelic. His artwork is as synonomous with the band as Roger Dean's is to Yes. And sadly, Mr. Bell is nearly broke, along with being nearly blind and diabetic. He also has a bunch of other problems too. You can read about it at The Chicago Sun-Times. I'm not a lawyer, and I would have no idea how to write a contract that would ensure that someone who is an important part of a work of art gets paid as long as that art keeps selling.


Over the summer, I mentioned that NARAS had announced that the great Neil Young would be honored as their MusicCares Person Of The Year in 2010. The concert/event will take place January 29 at the L.A. Convention center, and will probably cost a ton of money (albeit, going to a good cause, MusicCares does some good stuff).

I've read online (but not at the NARAS site) a list of performers, so I don't know if it offiical, but if it is, this is a great lineup: The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, k.d. lang, Dave Matthews, Ozomalti, James Taylor, John Mellencamp, Crosby Stills & Nash, Wilco, Jackson Browne, Josh Groban(!) and some new band called Everest. Fans rarely get to see these shows (even on TV) which is too bad, especially this year.


Steven Tyler joined Joe Perry's band onstage last night, denying rumors that he is quitting Aerosmith. Billboard has more.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


For those of you who are new to No Expiration, if you enjoy reading my musings on music and you have a satellite radio, you can hear me Wednesday mornings on SIRIUSXM's OutQ Channel. I am a guest of The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick at about 9 am ET every Wednesday. (You can actually get a free online trial and listen on your computer at This week, I am talking about albums by Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Them Crooked Vultures. Someone commented to me that the common denomonator is Dave Grohl, which is both true and false.

There are two new Nirvana releases out now: the first is the 20th anniversary edition of Nirvana's debut album, 1989's Bleach. Dave Grohl hadn't yet joined the band. Chad Channing was the drummer on that album. Supposedly, it cost $600 to make the album, and there are no outtakes, because they couldn't afford extra tape, so if they didn't like a take, they taped over it. So why get this reissue? Because it includes a live set from the era on the CD and on a bonus DVD. Channing plays drums on that gig -it is early Nirvana, really, really raw.

Then, there's Live At Reading, recorded on August 30, 1992. They were one of the biggest bands in the world at that moment, and Kurt Cobain was getting really sick of it. One complaint I've read about the CD is that it cuts the in-between song banter, which gives it a bit of context, there's a lot of Kurt's whining. On the CD, they cut that, so you hear a powerful set of awesome songs performed with fury (and some boredom). But some people think it's misleading I guess.

It's weird (or maybe not) that both Nirvana albums came out on the same day last week (they are on different labels, SubPop owns Bleach while Universal put out Reading), and on the same day, a Foo Fighters Greatest Hits album came out. When Nirvana first broke up, I remember Dave played drums for a "supergroup" on the Backbeat soundtrack (a film about the Beatles' early days as a club band). It was Grohl, Mike Mills of R.E.M., Don Flemming of Gumball, Dave Pierner of Soul Asylum and Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs. They covered all the same old songs that The Beatles covered. I remember seeing them perform on the MTV Movie Awards, and wondering when Grohl would get to play big crowds again! Around that time, drummer Stan Lynch quit The Heartbreakers, and Tom Petty invited Dave to join the band. He didn't, but he did play for them on one episode of Saturday Night Live. I remember hearing Kris Novoselic telling Eddie Vedder about Dave's new project on an episode of Pearl Jam's "Monkey Wrench Radio," and he played a few songs from the demo, which sounded really cool. A few months later, the Foo Fighters opened for Mike Watt (Dave also played drums for Watt) but no one really had heard of them! It was pretty great though. By all accounts, Dave is a cool guy, and I'm glad he's done so well. I saw the Foo Fighters headline an arena last summer, and it was a good show.

Finally, Them Crooked Vultures. I've written about them a bit already. It's Dave Grohl on drums (and I think some vocals), Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age and Eagles Of Death Metal on guitar and vocals and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin on bass and keyboards. Their album comes out next week, but they're letting you listen to it on their YouTube page. I've got to say, it sounds pretty awesome.