Saturday, May 30, 2009


Yesterday, news came out that Ozzy Osbourne is suing Tony Iommi for the rights to the name "Black Sabbath," just as Tony kicks off a tour with Heaven & Hell (essentially the second version of Sabbath, which also includes Geezer Butler, Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice).

I kind of figured this came from Sharon Osbourne, obviously. I'm sure her relationship with Tony, even since the 1997 reunion, hasn't been smooth (it certainly wasn't in the years leading up to the reunion). Sharon runs Ozzfest, and most of the Sabbath tours since '97 have been Ozzfests. Tony has always been Sabbath's leader and I don't think he took kindly to his singer's wife (and former manager's daughter) taking the reins of his band. Tony is the legal owner of the Sabbath name, having bought the rights to it from Ozzy, Geezer and Bill back in 1985 (according to the best Sabbath site out there, -- why Sharon allowed that at the time, I have no idea).

I figured this stemmed from Tony's lawsuit against the Live Nation owned Signatures Network from last year. He was suing Signatures for selling Black Sabbath merchandise after the band's agreement with the company expired. He wanted three times the profits that they made from Sabbath's stuff, plus an immediate halt to selling Sabbath merchandise. The problem, I figured, was that Sharon deals with Live Nation for Ozzfest (which she didn't put on this year, I think the reason may actually have been spun as: her and Ozzy wanted to concentrate on their ridiculous variety show, but it was probably that they have been having problems booking great bands, and they've pretty much booked every cool band they could have gotten - where do you go after Metallica?). Plus, even though Ozzy has been concentrating on his solo career in recent years, there's probably still some resentment that Tony (and Geezer) is with Dio again -- although keep in mind that Tony could have called it Sabbath, but didn't. I imagine Tony may be able to counter with the fact that Ozzy cheapened both his and Sabbath's name via The Osbournes, hopefully he won't go there.

Ozzy posted his press release (with an explanation to fans) at his website, and he actually makes some good points. While Sabbath did have some success after Ozzy originally left the band (both with Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillian on vocals), through the late '80s and the early '90s, they were kind of a joke: it was just Tony Iommi and whomever he hired. People forgot what was so great about them: that changed in '97 when Ozzy rejoined. The weird thing is, in his press release, he says that the trademark should be owned by Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and Bill equally. But according to news reports, Ozzy is trying to get a 50% stake (leaving the other 50% to be split among the other three guys), and a cut of the profits that Tony made from his post-Ozzy Sabbath tours (that's just bitter).

It sucks that this has gone as far as it has, I hope they resolve it soon. I had the privilege and honor of writing some of the liner notes to The Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath 1970 - 1978 box set, which included all of the Ozzy-era Sabbath albums remastered. It came out in 2004, in a break in the Sabbath action, but Geezer told me that if they never did anything together ever again, he was satisfied with the way it ended. The reunion happened, they played some mindblowing shows, and more importantly to him, they were all friends again. Since then, they've toured a bit more, and appeared together when they were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's a shame that this may end up being the last page in the book.

I wonder if Tony (or Geezer or Bill) participated in Wreckage Of My Past, the documentary on Ozzy that Jack Osbourne is working on (due in 2010): it looks like a very "sober" un-Osbournes like look at Oz's incredible career. Watch the trailer here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


There are probably a lot of people who would claim that Trent Reznor saved their life - or at least influenced it - via his incredible music with Nine Inch Nails. But a guy named Eric de la Cruz may actually thank Trent for adding years to his life. He has a rare condition and needs a heart transplant to survive. Trent found out about it, and started offering VIP packages to the NIN/Jane's Addiction/Street Sweeper tour and tweeted about it -- all the money he raised went to Eric's medical costs. So far, they have raised over $800,000. Wow.

On a slightly less dramatic note, Trent also rescues greyhounds (as does No Expiration) - they are great animals, and the fact that they are treated the way they are just shows how barbaric humans can be. Learn more about these truly incredible animals here.

The media seems to ignore Trent these days, which probably is mostly fine with him. But it's worth mentioning that he has done as much as Bruce Springsteen to fight ticket scalping, gotten the original lineup of Jane's Addiction back in the studio, and gave away the latest Nine Inch Nails album, The Slip, for free. And he's put out great music (most unnoticed), played incredible shows (mostly unreported on), and allows fans to interact with his content for free -- he basically lives up to the promise of the internet in a way that few other artists do.

I have never met him, although I expect he would probably wince at the thought of being considered a "do-gooder," but he actually done some great stuff on the moral front (as opposed to just the music and technological fronts). But I guess no one would have expected Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys to become a peace activist or Fat Mike from NOFX to be a force in encouraging young people to vote. I guess it's just part of growing up -- and I don't mean that in a bad way.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The popular radio show Morning Becomes Electric interviewed Sly Stone. I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but you can check it out here


Because I'm such a big music fan, people occasionally ask me what I think about American Idol. It's fine. There's worse reasons to sign an artist to a recording contract than (a) they can sing and (b) people like them. It's pop, it isn't rock. I don't make it a point to watch it, but when it is on at my house, I watch for a bit. I don't find myself enjoying the music or the spectacle much, but I am interested in the criticism (even though Simon can be harsh, he's usually right) and why America chooses whoever they choose (and yes, the fairness/accuracy of the voting is always questioned).  Although on his SIRIUS XM show on The Loft this past Sunday, Dave Marsh made a pretty compelling case for AI being the cause of pretty much everything wrong with our culture. He has a book about it coming out soon. 

I used to really not care much about Elvis Presley - I'm still not a big fan, and don't like much of his post-Sun Records era. To me, he may have been the original rock star, but he was also the original sell-out. I was probably influenced by Public Enemy's song "Fight The Power" where they say "Elvis: was a hero to most/But he never meant shit to me/Racist, simple and plain/Motherfuck him and John Wayne!" But I realized that however much I was like "whatever," the guy changed the world. He influenced everything that came after, which is pretty much all rock and roll music. His bad movies, fat outfits, embarrassing Vegas era, lame albums, etc. would never change his influence. 

KISS is like that. If Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley got a nickel for every kid who got a guitar, a bass, or a drumkit because of KISS, they'd double their fortune tomorrow. Yes, a lot of those bands sucked. And if you listen to their early music, it is awesome. They eventually fell off and sold out and lost their air of danger, just like Elvis. 

Like, say, Jay-Z, they don't turn down money or a chance at publicity. Unlike Jay-Z, this opens them to ridicule. I don't buy into Gene's schtick, but one thing he is right about is: who cares what the media says. At the risk of sounding like Bill O'Reilly, KISS  is a victim to media bias big time. Who cares, the fans know the deal. 

I did watch their performance with Adam Lambert on American Idol (on youtube), and it was kind of embarrassing, but so what, they can do what they want. They can't do anything to make me like their old music less, and I'm beyond being embarrassed by their antics. 


Former Wilco member Jay Bennett recently passed away. He died in his sleep. I'm not an expert on him, or the hardest core Wilco fan, but it is sad news, and it's too bad that he died in conflict with his former bandmate(s). 


Sade has a new album coming out in November, it's her first album in nine years. A lot of people love her first album, 1984's Diamond Life, and I do too.  But my favorite is her last album, 2000's Lovers Rock. "By Your Side"... I don't even know what to say about that one. I remember working at Video Hits One, and once a week, someone from music programming would come to a meeting that I attended and show new videos - it was a fun part of the meeting, everyone talked and laughed during the videos. When they played "By Your Side" it just kind of floored everyone -- the beauty of the song just knocked everyone out. That's the power of music, not hype. Welcome back, Sade. 


There's actually a band called Previously On Lost. They call it "recap rock." They write songs about, well, what happened on Lost. They have a MySpace page. Supposedly they are going to work with Lost - I'm sure they'll do something for the somewhat irreverent official site


Remember back in the day when the PMRC was getting all crazy about "dirty" lyrics in music, and everyone hated Tipper Gore, who was the most famous person in her family?  Ah, the '80s. Anyway, Idolator just posted a list of the PMRC's "Filthy Fifteen" songs from back then, and even some of the videos. I'm not sure that Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" or Madonna's "Dress You Up" would still offend too many people today. Prince's "Darling Nikki" and Sheena Easton's "Sugar Walls" -- maybe.  WASP's "Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)" -- yeah, that might still raise eyebrows.  Not that I'm endorsing it or anything: there's definitely a line between clever and stupid, and there's also a line between sexy and douchey, and they fall all over it. 


I really dug Pete Yorn's debut album, 2001's musicforthemorningafter, and I've enjoyed some stuff he's done since. I'm looking forward to his next album, Back & Fourth, which is being produced by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes, it comes out June 24. Later this year, on September 8, he is releasing a duet album with Scarlett Johansson, Break Up. I don't know what to think about that. I used to really like her as an actress: I really liked Welcome To The Dollhouse and Lost In Translation, but at some point -- I hate to say this -- she just seemed to go really "Hollywood." Her debut album of Tom Waits covers wasn't really that good. But hopefully this album will be better.  It seems like an odd combo: kind of like She & Him featuring singer/songwriter M. Ward and actress Zoey Deschanel. If it is half as good as that, it may make people forgive her debut. 

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Music Radar has a great list of the top ten music moments in Star Trek history. The new Trek is one of my favorite movies ever. But I don't think they should have used The Beastie Boys ' "Sabotage" (as much as I love the B-Boys and that song). It just takes away the timelessness of the movie - although I guess it was payback for some Trek references in B-Boys songs and videos.


While not hearly as big a deal as the release of David Bowie's Santa Monica '72, his VH1 Storytellers episode from 1999, hitting DVD and CD on July 14, is pretty cool. I think this is from his ...hours tour, it was a pretty good band (although I will maintain that he should have kept his former Tin Machine bandmate Reeves Gabrels in the fold).


Another honor for Peter Gabriel: he is getting Sweden's Polar Music Prize later this year, an honor which has gone to Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen in the past. As far as I'm concerned, you can't give that guy enough honors, but why hasn't the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him yet?


Paste is a cool music magazine, and unsurprisingly, is also in trouble like almost every magazine. They are trying to raise $300,000 to keep the magazine going, and lots of artists have donated tracks to them - so if you make a donation, you get a bunch of free downloads. Sadly, even if they raise that much money (that's a lot to fundraise) I wonder how long they can keep going.

They have a funny feature at thier website - they imagine what it would be like if Twitter existed throughout music history. I'm all for connections between artist and audience, but this makes a decent arguement for keeping a bit of mystery!


It was a bummer to see the magazine No Depression fold, although it lives on as a website. They're also going to put on thier first No Depression Festival with a cool lineup including Gillian Welch, Iron & Wine, Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers and Justin Townes Earle, among others. Learn more here.

33 1/3's "CHOSEN ELEVEN"

I've written a bit about the 33 1/3 series of books before -- I was totally moved by the edition on Black Sabbath's Master Of Reality -- and they've just announced the next eleven books they will be putting out. Congratulations to everyone whose idea was picked. I may try to submit something next time.

Some great albums will be featured: Portishead's Dummy, Johnny Cash's American Recordings (which Bob Dylan just ripped in his recent Rolling Stone interview, but whatever, they were awesome), Television's Marquee Moon, Liz Phair's Exile In Guyville, AC/DC's Highway To Hell, Radiohead's Kid A and The Rolling Stones' Some Girls (one of my favorites by them, it's the first album with Ron Wood as a real member of the band).


Last night, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band wrapped up the first leg of their U.S. tour with a rocking show at the Izod Center at the Meadowlands. It was the second of two nights there - the first seemed to feature a somewhat more conservative set, since Jay Weinberg was sitting in for Max Weinberg for the entire show.

Last night, Max was back, and the setlist was phenomenal. Three songs from The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle, and none of them were "Rosalita"! "Incident on 57th Street," "Kitty's Back" and "The E Street Shuffle." Another rarity was "Something In The Night" from Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Why am I so taken by rarities? Because it was my 28th time seeing Bruce Springsteen in concert (not including stuff like the Pete Seeger tribute or the opening of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). I feel like every time he tours, he has something different to offer, his shows have a different narrative. At the same time, I don't think that they are alienating for people who are going to see him for the first time: last night he played "Thunder Road" and "Born To Run," and truth to tell, as much as I am usually averse to hearing songs beaten to death by the awful institution that is classic rock radio, I wouldn't want to see Bruce and The E Street Band and not hear those songs.

Other highlights for me: a rock and roll version of Nebraska's "Johnny 99" (one of his best songs), "Seeds" (a great song which he only released on the Live 1975 - 1985 box set) and a cover of a Stephen Foster song from the 1850s (yes, 1850s) "Hard Times." But there were so many highlights: "Badlands" is a great opener, "Spirit In The Night," "The Ghost Of Tom Joad," "Cover Me," "The Promised Land," "Lonesome Day," "The Rising" and the modern folk classic "American Land" (from the expanded version of We Shall Overcome and also Live In Dublin) always work for me. My only complaint? While I like the Working On A Dream song "Kingdom of Days," I don't think "Outlaw Pete" and "Working On A Dream" work in concert. I'd love to hear "My Lucky Day," "What Love Can Do" (which reminds me of a Tom Petty song) "Good Eye," "Surprise, Surprise" and even "The Last Carnival."

Anyway, I can't wait to see Bruce and The E Street Band when they return in the fall to close down Giants Stadium. I believe that this is will likely be the last big tour that Bruce does with the band, so if you have never seen them, and you've always wanted to, this is your chance.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Sorry I haven't been posting as much lately, work has been crazy. I'm looking
forward to Memorial Day weekend, as I'm sure you are. To that end, I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with just a few great albums to talk about on OutQ this week - what albums would be good to play at a backyard party? The first one is an obvious choice: Green Day 's 21st Century Breakdown. Although there's a few too many ballad-y moments, and it gets a bit too wrapped up in the narrative (as many concept albums tend to do, but which American Idiot didn't). I think you can cull a few songs from Breakdown and have a great bunch of songs for your party (I think the band is doing this in their live shows, judging by a review of thier recent NYC club show).

Another album that I'm looking forward to is Rancid's Let The Dominoes Fall - I have the first single, "Last One To Die." I've written a lot about how much I love this band - I am definitely looking forward to hearing the rest of the album. A limited version includes acoustic versions of the songs, which should be really cool.

Finally, King Khan & The Shrines - a band my good friend Julia of SIRIUS XMU turned me on to. They recently had the "coolest song in the world this week" on The Underground Garage with "Land Of The Freaks" but credit where it's due, Julia told me about them first.

Two other albums I would rock if I had a backyard party: The Ramones' self-titled debut (which I've been listening to a lot lately -- today would have been Joey Ramones' 59th birthday, R.I.P.) and The Clash's London Calling.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Tomorrow on OutQ, I'll
be talking about the new album from a great Nordic band, The Cocktail Slippers - Saint Valentine's Day Massacre (on Little Steven's Wicked Cool Records; Steven produced the album). Listening to the new one, which is a lot of fun, prompted me to go back another album that I have by them, 2004's Mastermind. I really dig this band, more people should know about them, so it is actually a pleasure to be able to talk about them on the radio.
I'll also be playing Iggy Pop's "King Of The Dogs" from his upcoming New Orleans jazz album Preliminaires. And Elvis Costello's "Complicated Shadows" from his upcoming bluegrass album, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane. And a new rock "remix" of Chris Cornell's "Long Gone," from his Timbaland-produced album Scream. I have to say I like Timbaland's version better: this is rock in the sense of Maroon5, very clean and shiny rock. I'm not hating on M5, I'm just saying. I guess this show is The Cocktail Slippers + "we hope you like our new direction." But I'll refrain from Lil Wayne's rock album.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


A few months back, I got to see Ben Harper and his new band, Relentless7, twice in one day. Once at the SIRIUS XM NY studios and then that night at Electric Ladyland. They were really tight.

But on Friday night, I saw them play a full length concert (as opposed to a radio event) at the Music Hall of Williamsburgh, and they were even better. Ben has decided to do mostly new material with this band, so they played all of the new album, White Lies For Dark Times (which I really like a lot, it will probably be one of my favorites of '09) and re-arranged versions of "Better Way" and "Another Lonely Day," plus a cover of the Queen/David Bowie classic "Under Pressure." The venue was much smaller than the one where I saw Ben last: Radio City Music Hall. That was appropriate, as he was really treating this as a new band. Like I said, really tight band, much more "rock" and less reggae/soul than The Innocent Criminals. The only problem was the lack of material - so some of the songs got stretched out - but Ben has always been one to jam and really extend a couple of songs when he performs.

I think working with a different band will ultimately be great for Ben: when he did Both Sides Of The Gun a few years back, it was essentially a solo album with some appearances from the Criminals, and you could see he was trying to stretch. He's still doing it. And like Bruce Springsteen working apart from The E Street Band, or Neil Young apart from Crazy Horse, or even when Tom Petty does a solo or Mudcrutch project, I think this will ultimately benefit the Innocent Criminals when they get back together. I imagine Ben will probably work with both bands in the years to come, which would be awesome.

So, anyway, I really like the new album, and if you get the "deluxe" version you get a DVD with a making of doc and more importantly a live EP (some of the tracks were recorded at the Electric Lady event that I was at) .

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I almost forgot to write about this! On Tuesday night, I filmed (along with a more experienced cameraguy) The New York Dolls' record release party; they released their latest, 'Cause I Sez So, that day. It was at John Varvatos' boutique - yes, the site of the former CBGB, and I wrote about my opinion about that recently. It was also the launch for John's radio show, Born In Detroit, which will air on SIRIUS XM's Faction on the first Sunday of every month. I filmed John interviewing head Doll David Johansen last week (both the interview and the performance will be on and the SIRIUS XM YouTube page soon) and he won me over. He's a rock fan who made it, big time, and is using his success to preserve and represent the music that he loves.

Anyway, The Dolls were incredible. They are one of those bands, like The Stooges, who belong on classic rock radio by all rights, instead of some of the hack bands that the format plays. I can't understand why more people don't love this band, it's not like they are hard to "get" like Kraftwerk or something. Anyway, they played mostly new songs, and it sounds like the new album is really rocking, so check it out.


Tomorrow I'll be a guest co-host on Live From E Street Nation on SIRIUS XM's E Street Radio. The show is hosted by legendary Music Journalist Dave Marsh. I can't wait. We'll be talking about Bruce Springsteen's brief performance at Sunday night's Pete Seeger 90th birthday celebration. Live From E Street Nation is a great show: basically people calling in to talk about Bruce, the current tour, and ask Dave questions - sometimes really weird ones - about Bruce. I try to catch it every week if I'm not too busy at my day job.

Oh - this picture. I've posted it before. A Pete Seeger impromtu performance from many years ago. I'm the kid in the Spider-Man shirt by the tree. I showed this picture to my dad, and he told me that it kind of embodies Pete Seeger. We were at some park, and Pete had a gig scheduled somewhere in the park. So he was walking to the gig, saw some kids, and grabbed his banjo and sang a bunch of songs before going on his way. None of the kids probably had much of an idea who he was.


Jack White has a new group, The Dead Weather. He's working on a documentary about his other group, The White Stripes. And he is still in The Raconteurs. But he just recorded a 7" on his new label, Third Man Records, with the Dexter Romweber Duo, featuring Dexter Romweber, formerly of Flat Duo Jets (the other member of the duo is his sister Sara Romweber). Per a press release, the A side is "The Wind Did Move," written by Dex, with Jack on vocals, bass and saw. The B-side is a standard written by someone named Geeshie Wiley (in 1930!) called "Last Kind Word Blues." Read an interview with Dex about it here, and you'll probably only be able to get the single at Third Man Records.


You may be wondering why I am writing about Michael J. Fox's television special tonight. It's based on his book, Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.

It's not (necessarily) because he was a member of The Barbusters -- the band in the film Light Of Day that also featured Joan Jett -- and who recorded the first version of Bruce Springsteen's "Light Of Day."

It's sort of because I'm an optimist also. I try to be more positive than negative in all aspects of my life. But it must be harder to take that stance when you have Parkinson's disease, as Fox does. He hasn't taken it lying down -- his Foundation for Parkinson's Research has raised over $142 million in funds for research to conquer the disease.

Anyway, his TV special aired tonight and I missed it! (late night at work) But I'm going to catch it on Hulu or iTunes. Apparently he jammed on the show with Ben Harper! I have to check it out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Tune in to hear us discuss Ben Harper & Relentless7's album
White Lies for Dark Times and The New York Dolls' 'Cause I Sez So. I've had Ben's album for a week, and I really like it: I saw him perform a bunch of the songs a few months ago (both at the SIRIUS XM studios and at Electric Ladyland). And tonight, I saw the Dolls perform many of their new songs at the John Varvatos boutique at the Bowery (formerly known as CBGB) and they still have it.

I'll also discuss Rachel Fuller Presents: In The Attic, a 2 CD/1 DVD set produced by Fuller, who is Pete Townshend's girlfriend. The collection features Fuller, Townshend, Ben Harper, Lou Reed and Tenacious D, among other artists. Not many people seem to know about this, which is a shame.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


The show (not where this picture was taken, obviously) was great. We got there a bit late and missed some performances, but it was pretty awesome. For me, the highlights were: Roger McGuinn with the guys from Band Of Horses doing "Turn! Turn! Turn!," Ben Harper with his mom, his aunt and Tom Morello doing his own "Gather 'Round The Stone" and Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello doing "The Ghost Of Tom Joad." There were other great performances by Ani DiFranco, Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Warren Haynes... everyone was pretty great, actually. Pete's grandson Tao Rodridguez-Seeger was inspiring, and I think he will carry on his grandfather's music and message in the decades to come. Shout out to Oscar The Grouch who duetted with Tom Chapin on a song called "Garbage" (what else?). It was amazing to see MSG standing ovations to the likes of Joan Baez and Ritchie Havens.

And every time Pete Seeger was on stage was a highlight, to say the least. He is an amazing figure. It was odd to see him feted at a venue like Madison Square Garden in such a slick (but not cold) production. With him, it's not really about being a star, although he's certainly used his power to draw people. But it's about getting people to sing... more than it is about singing to them. That's a powerful thing.

The picture I've posted here (for the second time) was taken probably 35 years ago (thanks to Richard for hooking me up with it). I'm the kid in the Spider-Man shirt by the tree. I showed it to my dad, and he told me that it kind of embodies Pete Seeger. We were at some park, and Pete had a gig scheduled somewhere in the park. So he was walking to the gig, saw some kids, and grabbed his banjo and sang a bunch of songs before going on his way. None of the kids probably had much of an idea who he was.

But that's who he is. Not every artist can be like Pete, or should be like Pete. There are rare cases of artists who seem immune to temptation: Ani DiFranco is one, Ian McKaye another. If you're an artist, you don't have to try to be like that. But you should keep artists like that towards the front of your mind -- I think they act as the sort of angel on your shoulder, your conscious, to keep you from losing yourself into the "bubble" (as Tina Fey puts it) of stardom. There's being famous... and then there's being taken seriously. And if you do the latter, who knows the former may happen along the way.

OK, time for me to check in. God bless Pete Seeger.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Last night I went to the Road Recovery benefit concert honoring Wayne Kramer of The MC5 at the Nokia Theater in NYC. It is a great organization "dedicated to helping young people battle addiction and other adversities." It's a great organization, check them out. The lineup was pretty great: Perry Farrell (and his wife, Etty Farrell), Iggy Pop, Tom Morello, Jerry Cantrell and Brother Wayne Kramer, along with Don Was and Billy Bragg, plus a few too many opening acts. It may have been more fun if you were involved in the all-star jams. There were some great moments, and others that weren't as great.

I won't put anyone down. I missed Joan as Police Woman, I wanted to see her. I kind of liked this two man group Middle Class Rut. All the bands played two songs, with emcee Matt Pinfield in between. There was really no momentum, and it's a lot to ask of people to sit through all this stuff at a benefit, when you are selling tickets based on much bigger stars.

Making the night seem a bit surreal was the fact that earlier in the day, Pinfield put out a press release saying that he would be taking a break from his morning DJ job to check into rehab on Monday. Good for him.

In the midst of all of these bands, Billy Bragg came out and did a very NPR-ish two song solo acoustic set, he did a cover of The Verve's "The Drugs Don't Work" and his own "I Keep Faith." So much of the show had the feel of a jam session crumbling under it's own weight, Bragg's solo set seemed more powerful than most of the other stuff I saw. Tom Morello's Street Sweeper Social Club were great, and I look forward to seeing them play a longer set on the NINJA tour. Jerry Cantrell played "Wish You Were Here" with former Guns N Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke and a guitarist named Carl Restivo who was all over the stage all night (he is a former member of Perry Farrell's Satellite Party and is now part of Street Sweeper).

Then, the show really kicked off, but not with a bang. Perry, Etty and Carl did Perry's solo song from the Twilight soundtrack, and it was just corny. Then, Morello, Cantrell, Kramer et al came on stage and it was on. They did two Jane's songs ("Mountain Song" and "Ain't No Right") that seemed to crumble under the weight of everyone on stage. Jerry sang Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak" which was pretty cool (Evan Seinfeld of Biohazard played bass on that), Perry, Evan and Gilby did The Who's "We Won't Get Fooled Again" which was OK. "Special guest" Juliette Lewis did AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" which was OK. Dictators frontman and Underground Garage DJ Handsome Dick Manitoba hit the stage to do The MC5's "Animal," which was a highlight. Then Iggy showed everyone who's boss: he did two songs I didn't know, "Five Foot One" and I forgot the other one. It was great, he runs on stage and starts yelling at the drummer. After the first song he turns around and looks at the drummer and says "Cocksucker! Play it right!" The night ended, appropriately, with "Kick Out The Jams," Kramer taking one verse, Handsome Dick taking one, and Iggy finishing - Iggy came out and tipped his imaginary cap to Dick, which was great. And Little Steven was on stage for that one also (he tweeted the show throughout the night).

All in all: $25 was worth it for the good moments. I'd say to the organizers, if you want to keep doing these and make money for your organization (the show was not sold out) you have to (a) tighten it up - less of the opening bands that most people aren't familar with and (b) more rehearsal time if possible/smaller combos for the all star stuff to make it tighter. Then you can sell recordings of it too. Good luck Matt Pinfield.