Friday, March 26, 2010


... Band Of Joy.  OK, I apologize for the purposely misleading headline, I couldn't help it. No, Robert Plant isn't putting Led Zeppelin back together! He is, however, reactivating his pre-Zep group, Band Of Joy (which also included John Bonham). It's not a reunion: none of the former members are involved.

He made the announcement today on his website. His band includes the great Buddy Miller.  Buddy played in the band on Robert's tour with Alison Krauss.  Robert guested on Buddy's great album with his wife, Julie Miller, Written In Chalk, which came out last year. And Buddy co-produced Robert's upcoming solo album.

Also in Robert's band: Patty Griffin!  That's pretty cool, and not too surprising. Patty and Buddy have worked together often, Patty was on Solomon Burke's Nashville album that Buddy produced, she sang on Buddy and Julie's Written In Chalk, and Buddy produced her latest album, Downtown Church, which is one of my favorite albums of the year so far.  

But anyway, what's funny about this whole development is that now people are going to be asking Robert Plant when he's going to reunite... with Alison Krauss. After decades of "the Zeppelin question," I bet he'll grin about that.  I think the deal is, she's working with her longtime band Union Station again, so when Robert and Alison finish their current projects, they'll get back together for a new album. They are both signed to the same label, Rounder Records, so there's some synergy there. But I think this is great for Robert: I know he worked hard for years to get himself out of the shadow of Zeppelin.  He's certainly not denying that he was in the band, and he's surely not turning down the royalty checks.  But I think at his age, he just doesn't want to have to compete with his younger self. And I think his album with Alison, Raising Sand, is really his first post-Zeppelin work that truly did that. It's cool that the
sort of left-of-center country scene has embraced him like this.  I bet the album
will be great. Robert and Band Of Joy tours in July (nowhere near the tri-state area, unfortunately), see the dates here.


Earlier this week, I posted the first Dead Weather video from their upcoming album, Sea Of Cowards, "Die By The Drop." Today, the band finally announced the details of the album, mainly that it is coming out on May 11. See the track listing at the band's website.


Trent Reznor has been posting photos at and today he tweeted this photo with the message "last day of the session!"  Nine Inch Nails has been put to bed, maybe this is his first real solo effort. I don't know who those two guys are. Of course, that's Trent in the back. Trent Reznor has a lot of currency with me, I have total respect for the guy. I would be willing to buy a Trent record without even having heard it. Plus, I'm happy to support a fellow greyhound person (I don't like saying "owner").

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Well, this is surprising news.  Just as Ben Harper and Relentless 7 have released their great live CD/DVD Live from the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Ben has announced that their next studio album, Give 'Til It's Gone, is coming out in the fall. Their recent "boss," Ringo Starr (they were his backing band on his recent promo tour - I wish he was using them this summer instead of his umpteenth "All-Starr Band") guest on the album, as does Jackson Browne, according to Rolling Stone.

I am kind of surprised: I thought after one album and tour he'd reunite with his long time backing band The Innocent Criminals. But I guess he's really digging R7, and Ben is the type of artist, like Springsteen or "Young Neil," who follows his artistic impulses and right now I guess he's feeling the guitar rock. I'm sure he'll get back with the Criminals at some point.


I saw on the Primusville facebook page (a fan site) that longtime Primus drummer Tim "Herb" Alexander has left the band, for the second time. The guy he originally replaced when he first joined, Jay Lane, is back. Jay also played with Les Claypool in Sausage (which was essentially a reunion of early Primus members Les, Jay and guitarist Todd Huth) and he's played in some of Les' many backing bands. So, now Primus is Les, Jay and Larry "Ler" LaLonde.

I didn't know that Primus was active enough for anyone to join or re-join.  I think the way this news came to light was via Phil Lesh. Jay Lane had been playing in Further, a sort of Grateful Dead-tribute band that includes Dead principals Lesh and Bob Weir: Lane had played with Bob Weir in Ratdog as well. (I think Les may have introduced them: Les played on original Ratdog bassist Rob Wasserman's Trios album and introduced Jay to Rob). Anyway, Phil mentioned on a "Philzone" message board that Jay was leaving Further because he had the opportunity to rejoin Primus. So, I guess that means we can look forward to new Primus... something. I'm sure a tour, but I wonder if they will record again.

Meanwhile, I think Tim Alexander is working with Tool's Maynard James Keenan on his Puscifier project.  I think Tim was originally the drummer in A Perfect Circle.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


For those of you who are new to No Expiration, every Wednesday morning at 9 am ET I go on the SIRIUS XM channel OutQ. I am a weekly contributor to The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick. We talk about - surprise! - music.

This week, I'm bringing some really cool records, the first three are records you can hear on our Outlaw Country channel - but probably very few other places. First off, Johnny Cash's final album, American VI: Ain't No Grave. I've talked about this album on The Catholic Channel, it really hit me hard. I think that Rick Rubin, who of course produced the entire American Recordings series of Johnny Cash's albums, may have saved the best for last. 

My favorite rock album of the year thus far is The Big To-Do, by The Drive-By Truckers. Over the past few years, they've become one of my favorite bands, and they are a band I definitely would not have gotten into without Outlaw Country. But the new album is really great: they are kind of like Springsteen meets Skynyrd with Petty and Westerberg thrown in there.  The single, "This Fucking Job," is classic. 

Shooter Jennings is not just a big artist on Outlaw Country, he's also a host. But his new album, Black Ribbons, goes way outside of his usual turf.  It's a concept album featuring guest narration by Stephen King as a DJ, and it sounds like a cross between NIN, Floyd and Alice In Chains. Dude has king size stones to even attempt this.  

Finally, a singer-songwriter who I have followed on and off over the years, Ike Reilly.  Years ago when I was at VH1, my boss made me interview him, which was odd, as the channel wasn't supporting him, and no one knew who he was.  I was grateful for it, though, and now I'm happy to tell people about his new album, Hard Luck Stories (which features a duet with Shooter). 
I plan on writing more about Ike in the future. 


I just got my tickets to see Green Day's American Idiot on Broadway just a few hours ago. And now I've read that Tom Hanks is considering adapting the story for the silver screen.  Well, I guess it worked for ABBA's Mamma Mia. Well, Mr. Hanks will probably do the story justice.  He definitely "gets" rock and roll. I never saw That Thing You Do, which he produced, but it was based on The Dave Clark 5, and his speech about them when they got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year sold me on his rock and roll credentials. He was also one of the producers of this summer's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anniversary concert, and he was part of the Monty Python performance at George Harrison's tribute concert earlier this decade.


I just heard that at Revolver's Golden God Awards, Lemmy, along with Slash and Dave Grohl, will perform the Motorhead classic "Ace Of Spades." I imagine that this will, in some way, serve to promote the documentary Lemmy, which comes out soon. Both Grohl and Slash are interviewed in the doc. Lemmy and Grohl have worked together before: along with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons they did a great cover of Chuck Berry's "Run, Run Rudolph" for the We Wish You A Metal X-Mas compilation. And Lemmy sang "Shake Your Blood" on Grohl's awesome Probot project. I think Lemmy is on Slash's upcoming solo album, and I think Grohl is also. That's pretty cool: I remember back in the day Kurt Cobain had a huge beef with Axl Rose when Nirvana refused to open on the Guns N Roses/Metallica tour. Anyway, the Golden God Awards takes place at L.A.'s Nokia Theater on April 8 and will be broadcast on VH1 Classic on May 22.


Big Boi of OutKast has been releasing singles from his upcoming solo album for two
years! About a year ago, he accused OutKast's label, Jive, of "shucking and jiving" on his album, now he has announced (via twitter) that he has just signed to Def Jam. So, hopefully Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty is that much closer to release. And hopefully that brings the release date of a new OutKast album that much closer also.


The great Neil Young fansite Thrasher's Wheat has posted that Neil is going on tour.  He has booked five southern dates so far, and Bert Jansch is opening. I remember years ago in an interview with a guitar mag, Neil said that Jimi Hendrix is his favorite electric guitarist, but Bert Jansch is his favorite acoustic guitarist. He talked about a song called "Needle Of Death," so I went out an picked up an album that had it.  Bert Jansch is probably what you would call an "acquired taste," but what a guitarist. Anyway, I always look forward to seeing Neil again.  It seems like this may be a solo acoustic tour, and those tours never disappoint.


The Dead Weather - Die By The Drop (Official Music Video) - Watch more top selected videos about: The_Dead_Weather
Now that is pretty rocking. The new Dead Weather video wasn't directed by Jack White, but Floria Sigismondi, who directed the new flick The Runaways, as well as videos for The Raconteurs ("Broken Boy Soldiers"), The White Stripes ("Blue Orchid") and non-Jack White affiliated bands like Marilyn Manson ("The Beautiful People" and "Tourniquet") and Robert Plant & Jimmy Page ("Most High"). I'm definitely looking forward to the new Dead Weather album, Sea of Cowards.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Found this video on YouTube thanks to the great Neil Young fansite Thrasher's Wheat. Mike McCready of Pearl Jam covering Neil's great Freedom-era song "Too Far Gone" from the Seattle Hootenanny for Haiti last month. Mike, as well as the other Pearl Jam guys, did a brief stint as Neil's backing band on his brief tour to promote Mirror Ball. But check it out: Mike's the only Pearl Jam guy never to do lead vocals (although he does sing a little bit at the beginning of their cover of "Black Diamond" by KISS) but he's a pretty good singer!


In a lot of ways, Mary J. Blige and Led Zeppelin come from the same place: the blues. Mary considers herself R&B, but she's blues.  She's lived it. The Led Zeppelin dudes obviously loved the blues and were great followers of the masters like Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters.

Still, hearing Mary's version of "Whole Lotta Love" was a bit weird. Produced by RedOne, it kind of sounds like it's a car commercial. You can find it on the international version of her latest album, Stronger With Each Tear. Apparently, that version also contains a cover of "Stairway To Heaven"!  I haven't heard that one. But go here to find out where to get "Whole Lotta Love."


This weekend at South By Southwest, a Big Star reunion show was necessarily, and tragically, converted into a Big Star tribute: the band's leader Alex Chilton died just a few days before the show was to take place. Mike Mills of R.E.M., John Doe of X and M. Ward were among the artists who performed. But no one ever paid tribute to the man like Paul Westerberg, who wrote the classic Replacements song "Alex Chilton." This weekend he wrote about the man in The New York Times.


Happy to hear that Green Day is touring the U.S. this summer.  Gothy punk band A.F.I. is opening. Get the dates at the band's website. I'm looking forward to seeing both the band in concert, as well as American Idiot on Broadway in the next few months.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


It's true: this weekend at the very hip L.A. club Largo, actor/musican Ed Helms (Andy from The Office, and Dr. Stu from The Hangover) hosted "The L.A. Bluegrass Situation," a five day bluegrass "festival." It featured Sara and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek, Jackson Browne, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings and other comedian/musicians Steve Martin and John C. Reilly.  I welcome any reviews that anyone has: post them as comments, or I can post them seperately or even link to your blog. It sounds like a great festival, and I'd love to hear how it was.

Friday, March 19, 2010


There's no release date, but The Dead Weather's website says that the band's new album, Sea Of Cowards, is "coming soon." Jack White must be way into playing with this band.  Usually he takes turns with his bands. I was thinking maybe he'd do some touring with The White Stripes since their Under Great White Northern Lights doc and live album came out this week. I don't know how Jack keeps track of all his bands and all of his other projects.  I've also heard a rumor that he may produce some sessions for Dolly Parton (The White Stripes do a great cover of "Jolene").

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Years ago, I was interviewing Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule and talking about some covers that his band had done, and we were talking about "Mr. Big" by Free. I didn't know much about Free other than "All Right Now" and that it was the band that Paul Rodgers was in before Bad Company. He was like, "Oh, man, you gotta check out Free."

I've always respected Paul Rodgers, but I didn't know much about him.  I thought that Bad Company was sort of the prototypical FM radio band. Hard rocking, but not too hard rocking or threatening, blues based but with a sort of very tight sound, they are kind of like the band that paved the way for Foreigner and groups like that. That's just my opinion. Having only heard "All Right Now" by Free, I kind of mistook them for the same kind of thing. Free were way more bluesy, and way more badass than Bad Company.  I'm not ripping on Bad Co.: they have tons of timeless radio hits.  But I could see why Warren Haynes preferred Free, and I prefer them also. I would say the difference between Free and Bad Company is like the difference between The Faces and Rod Stewart's late '70s slicker solo material.

All this explanation is leading up to Free Forever, a 2 DVD set on Eagle Vision that comes out next week. It's got a ton of cool stuff: their performance on the German TV show Beat Club, some music videos and the audio of their performance from the Isle Of Wight Festival from 1970. If you like the amazing blues rock scene of the late '60s and early '70s, this is highly recommended.  In fact, after watching this, it occurred to me that I don't have any Free in my collection.  I'm about to change that and get their Molten Gold: The Anthology, which came out in 1993.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


In an interview with the British version of GQ magazine, Jack White said that he recently recorded a track with Jay-Z. I am definitely curious to hear this one. I don't go crazy over Jay-Z like, well, nearly everyone else who writes about music does. But I've warmed to him a bit, and there are definitely a lot of good songs with his name on them. I dig "Run This Town," "Swagga Like Us," "Money Ain't A Thing" and his remake of Ice-T's "99 Problems."

In other Jack White news, today The White Stripes' Under Great White Northern Lights doc was released on DVD, and the accompanying live album is out also. I picked it up right after work, I can't wait to check it out.

Also, Jack's wife Karen Elson just released her debut single, "The Ghost Who Walks" on Third Man Records.  Did you know that she sang backing vocals on a remix of Robert Plant's "Last Time I Saw Her"? I gotta find that remix. But anyway, her debut album comes out this summer. Yes, Jack produced it.


Like all other music fans, I'm sorry to hear about the passing of Alex Chilton, formerly of The Box Tops and Big Star. I can't act like I'm a big fan or expert: I first heard about him via The Bangles, who covered "September Gurls" on thier 1986 album Different Light. Also, of course, The Replacements' song "Alex Chilton" helped. Chilton was a big influence on a lot of my favorite artists, including R.E.M. and Matthew Sweet. Music critic Jim DeRogatis wrote a tribute to the man for The Chicago Sun-Times.


Musically, no late night show can come close to Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. The Roots are the best late night band ever, they can rock with Black Star and they can rock with Christopher Cross. On Monday night, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam sat in with the band (I wish they'd post some rehearsal video of that!).
And in the above video, Jimmy announced that the week of May 10th is going to be Exile On Main Street week on his show, where every night a different artist will cover a song from the album (which is being reissued on May 18). That should be pretty cool.


Last week, I said that I would be going on The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick on SIRIUS|XM OutQ on Friday instead of Wednesday.  That was the plan until I ended up on the disabled list and missing a few days of work.  Rest assured, I'll be talking about Jimi Hendrix on the show soon enough.

But this week, I'll probably be talking about this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. And also who *I* would vote for in 2011, if I were a voter. On one hand, I feel that with the long awaited induction of The Stooges, they can shut the door on the hall for a few years. On the other hand, there are lots of deserving artists, and here are a few who I would vote for. Please call in at 1-866-305-6887, or tweet @ Larry with your opinions! Below would be my ballot, with the expensive career retro, budget priced best of, and my favorite album by the artist.

First up is KISS. It's really easy to hate on them because of their crass commerciality and their marketing machine (although no one complains about Jay-Z's clothing line, sneakers, nightclubs, etc.). And because of the way Gene Simmons comes off in interviews. But I've said it before, I'll say it again: If you gave Gene and Paul Stanely a buck for every kid who bought a guitar or a drumset because of KISS, they'd double their earnings. Maybe the artists later decided that they didn't like KISS. But it was KISS that got them to start playing. That's influence.
If you have big $: Check out the The Box Set, released in 2001, which pretty much covers their entire career minus last year's surprisingly good Sonic Boom.
The best of: 2002's Greatest KISS, two discs that go through most of the non-makeup years. If you want to stick with makeup era, go with 2005's Gold (also two CDs) .
My favorite album: their self titled debut from 1974. They really had something to prove, and sounded really unified. My second choice would be 1975's Alive!

Actually, I'm not sure Public Enemy will be eligible next year: their debut album, Yo, Bum Rush The Show, came out in January of 1987, but I think a lead single may have come out in '86, which I think would make them eligible. But if anyone deserves to get in early, it's Public Enemy, and yes I know a lot of people don't think hip-hop groups should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To me, Public Enemy is rock and roll played on different instruments. They are punk and they are metal and they are blues and they are rock and roll. In the late '80s and early '90s, everyone was influenced by them, or scared of them, or both. And by the way, they still make great records, but since those records often criticize today's hip-hop culture, hip-hop writes them off as old and out of touch. Sorry, you don't get off that easy.
There's no P.E. box set, nor a career-spanning best of, but a good compilation is 2005's Power To The People and The Beats: The Best Of Public Enemy. It covers their Def Jam years.
My favorite P.E. record? 1988's It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. It's one of the best records of all time. But 1990's Fear of A Black Planet is amazing also, and so is Apocolypse '91: The Enemy Strikes Black, but by then hip-hop was already moving on to the next thing.

Alice Cooper. And by "Alice Cooper," I mean Alice Cooper on vocals, guitarists Glen Buxton and Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway on bass and drummer Neal Smith. When they started, it was a band, and it was a great band. People don't take Alice seriously for some of the same reasons they don't take KISS seriously: he started out as a scary badass, and later got more commerical and cartoon-like. He was on Hollywood Squares, The Muppets, and played golf. He embraced showbiz. He was scary, but fun-scary. Still, he influenced all of the early punk bands (especially The Sex Pistols and The Ramones) but also lots of heavy metal artists and rock and rollers as well.
If you have big $: get the 1999 4 CD box set The Life And Crimes Of Alice Cooper.
The Best-of: go for 2001's 2 CD set Mascara and Monsters: The Best Of Alice Cooper.
Best album: tough one, I like 1973's Billion Dollar Babies, but also 1971's Love It To Death, 1971's Killer, 1972's School's Out and the 1975 "solo" album Welcome To My Nightmare.

I've been talking about Bill Withers a bit lately, I just think he is so... maybe not "underrated" but definitely under appreciated. If you only know his big hit singles, trust me on this one. Dude has got lots of great songs, and is a great song interpreter as well. I think if he was on Motown or Stax he would have gotten more props. He's one of the great soul/R&B singers of all time. Trust me.
There's no Bill box set that I know of, but never mind that, we all need to check out the documentary Still Bill The Movie. But for a best-of, go with 1994's Lean On Me: The Best Of Bill Withers.
My favorite album would be his debut, 1971's Just As I Am, followed by the follow-up, 1972's Still Bill. Also 1973's Live At Carnegie Hall.

Tom Waits is weird, and "weird" is important to rock and roll. Not everyone is weird, and not everyone has to be. But when someone can combine "weird" with great songwriting, it's a wondeful thing. Combine that with a great presentation and a unique voice? Well, that's Tom Waits. I was late to get into Waits, and I still don't "get" all of it, but his stuff blows me away. He's the only artist I can think of who keeps getting weirder.
Tom Waits doesn't have a box set, but if you have big $, pick up 2001's Used Songs, which covers his early era on Elektra, 1998's Beautiful Maladies and which covers his middle era on Island. There's no real compilation for his latest, and really great, period on Anti-, the imprint of punk rock label Epitaph Records.
My favorite album however, is his Epitaph debut, 1999's Mule Variations. I know most people choose older albums, but that's the one that really hooked me on him. The fact that he did such an incredible album a quarter century into his career blew me away.

The New York Dolls, I was a latecomer to them as well. I sort of got into them via frontman David Johansen's SIRIUS radio show, The Mansion Of Fun. The Dolls influenced Guns N Roses and they influenced The Smiths. Come on! I like their recent reunion albums. But all you really need to have is their 1973 self-titled debut album.

Of course, there are so many other bands who I think should get in: The Cure, The Beastie Boys, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bad Brains, Black Flag, Warren Zevon, Emmylou Harris, LL Cool J, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Peter Tosh, Motorhead and The MC5 to name a few. But as of this moment, the above are the artists I would vote for if I could vote tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Today I read that Rhino is going to be doing a deluxe reissue of The Stooges' classic 1969 debut album. I don't know if it is going to be as tricked out as the Raw Power reissue that is coming out on Sony Legacy next month.

The Stooges reissue is supposed to have some of the original mixes by producer John Cale and some bonus tracks as well.

As you can probably tell, I can't get enough of The Stooges. I hope to see them touring at some point this year, I'm looking forward to seeing them with James Williamson and hearing some of the Raw Power-era stuff.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I write a lot about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, because I like the fact that there is a museum  honoring the music and the culture that has meant so much to me. That may sound sappy, but there it is. I was so happy to see The Stooges get in this year. And now, I think that Jann Wenner needs to get over himself and admit that KISS have influenced WAY more artists than most of the inductees in the Hall. (I've been subscribing to Rolling Stone magazine for over two decades, so I'm not a Jann-hater). But a poll on Fuse's website lists a bunch of potential inductees for 2011, 86% of the votes went to "the hottest band in the world." The other 22 choices split the other 14%. All right, so Warlock and Green Jelly probably weren't serious choices. But The Red Hot Chili Peppers and LL Cool J and The Flaming Lips are on there, they ain't no joke. But I submit that Alice Cooper, The MC5, Motorhead, Tom Waits, The Cure, The New York Dolls, Warren Zevon and Emmylou Harris would be good choices.


I was really happy to see Genesis and Jimmy Cliff getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight. I've been listening to Genesis for almost as long as I've been listening to music, and Jimmy Cliff was the second reggae artist I ever got turned on to (after Bob Marley of course). I like The Hollies. And ABBA... well, I think they belong in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

But for me, and probably many others, it's all about The Stooges. They influenced almost every band who followed that I love. Not every band, but almost every band. Punk rock, "alternative," heavy metal, it wouldn't be the same without them. And their performance tonight was classic Stooges, they were as bad-ass as ever, they didn't water it down for the millionaire audience. They even invited the audience up on stage, and Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, the Green Day dudes and some non-rock star folks obliged. It was amazing. For a lot of us, it was our first time seeing the band with James Williamson back. I will go to see them wherever they play, whenever they play there. I just read a quote by Henry Rollins, who said that he loves lots of older rock bands, but he isn't too into the idea of seeing guys in their '50s or '60s doing their old hits. Except for The Stooges. I get it. Congrats Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton, Dave Alexander, James Williamson and Ron Asheton. I wish the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame could have given this honor to you last year, so Ron could have been on stage with you guys.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Adam Yauch says that The Beastie Boys are planning on releasing their next album, Hot Sauce Committee Part 1 in September, a year after it was supposed to come out. He said he is feeling much better after his surgery to have a salivary gland tumor removed, and depending on his health, the album should come out in the fall. He also said that they may do a bit more work on the album before then. Here's hoping everything works out and the B-Boys return in '10.


Entertainment Weekly reports that this week on American Idol, the "Top 12" will be singing Rolling Stones covers. I'm not a big Idol fan - I don't mind it, but I'm just not a fan - but I don't have high hopes for this. I predict it will be like bad karoke versions of the band's most obvious hits.


Well, nearly everyone knows that the life of Ray Charles makes a great story, thanks to the film Ray. Now, according to the AP Ray producer Stuart Benjamin, who worked with Charles for fiftenn years will be bringing the story to the Great White Way. Previews for Unchain My Heart start October 8 and the show opens November 7.


Two members of The Clash - Mick Jones and Paul Simonon - guest on the new Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach. No big surprise: Paul plays with Gorillaz leader Damon Albarn in the band The Good, The Bad and The Queen. But now there's a rumor that Mick and Paul may play in the band on the Gorillaz tour. That would be pretty cool - even though (I'm told) that the band plays behind a screen, so you're basically just watching the animated characters of Gorillaz during the show. It's actually a great way for Mick and Paul to get to play together without having to endure thousands of calls for "London Calling" or whatever.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Faith No More bassist Billy Gould and keyboardist Roddy Bottum have been tweeting pretty frequently lately. Today Gould tweeted that pre-sale for a FNM show in Brooklyn on July 5 will start this coming Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Instead of going on The Morning Jolt With Larry Flick tomorrow as usual, this week I'm changing to Friday.  I'll post more about it Thursday night, but I'll be bringing lots of Jimi Hendrix to the show. Today Sony Legacy reissued the Jimi catalog and also released Valleys Of Neptune, a collection of pretty much previously unreleased material.


Tom Morello tweeted that he is doing the score for Iron Man 2. As I've mentioned, AC/DC are providing the soundtrack (via previously released material). No big surprise, Tom is friends with director Jon Favreau: he added some guitar to the soundtrack of the first Iron Man (and had a cameo as a guard), and he also cameoed in Made which Favreau directed, wrote and co-starred in.


I'm serious! Young MC's "Bust A Move" was featured in 20% of the films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. It was in The Blind Side, and Young MC performed it in a scene in Up In The Air. Although the song is a bit timestamped, it has endured really well.


Here's a trailer of Neil Young's Trunk Show live film directed by Jonathan Demme, that is hitting theaters this month. Go to the film's website to find out when it will be in your town. I am curious when it will be coming out on DVD and if there will be a live album. The last Neil/Demme film, Heart Of Gold, wasn't available in an audio only format.


Via Pitchfork, I saw that a new website has been set up to offer free downloads of a Leonard Peltier benefit album that was supposed to come out in 1995, but never did. Exiled In The Land Of The Free was supposed to come out on Columbia, didn't, and now a former employee of the label set up a site offering the album as a free download in hopes of bringing more attention to Peltier's cause.

The album features a live version of Rage Against The Machine's "Wake Up," Corrosion Of Conformity's "Land of the Free Disease," Helmet's "Just A Patsy," The Beastie Boys' "(R)evolution Time" and tracks by Josh Homme, Bad Religion, Quicksand and Mike Watt. Plus Zach de la Rocha backed by C.O.C. doing the Minutemen song "The Punchline."


Dave Grohl tells Rolling Stone that the Foo Fighters will do their next album with Butch Vig, who he of course worked with nearly twenty years ago on Nirvana's Nevermind. (Dave also filled in for Vig on drums on "Bad Boyfriend," from Garbage's most recent album). He says that he and Taylor Hawkins are already working on new songs. I kind of thought that Them Crooked Vultures would be a year long project, but maybe that won't be the case. I do hope they work together in the future though. On the other hand, I've read that bassist Nate Mendel is reuniting with Sunny Day Real Estate for a tour, so who knows if there's an actual schedule for the Foos to return to active duty.


To be honest, I wasn't sure I wanted to see a band called "Alice In Chains" in 2010. There's no easy way around the fact that replacing original singer, the late Layne Staley, is an impossible task. It's not that Layne was the leader (that would be Jerry Cantrell), but was obviously a really important element of the band. In some bands, some members are irreplacable.

But.  A few years ago, I saw Jerry Cantrell on a solo tour, and William DuVall was playing rhythm guitar in his band, and also singing. When they did Alice songs, it was pretty mind blowing how good it sounded. I remember thinking, wow, Jerry and William sound a lot like Jerry and Layne. The fans loved it and so did Jerry.
Eventually, Jerry got Sean Kinney and Mike Inez back in the fold, and they did a bunch of "Alice In Chains" reunion shows. Then they did the album Black Gives Way To Blue, which is a great addition to their catalog (and better than the group's final effort, 1995's self-titled album). "Check My Brain" from the new album is as good as anything they've ever done.

Still, it was weird seeing a concert by the post-Layne Alice In Chains. William pulled off Layne's songs really well, and of course did a great job on the new ones. I think he is actually a better singer, and in some ways, an even better frontman than Layne. If *I* were in a band, I'd rather be in a band with William than Layne. But that's the problem in a way: William seems to be a stronger man, and a less tortured one. He sings slightly more muscular versions of the songs, and makes them his own, but the problem is that so many of those songs are about drug addiction and Layne's tortued soul was perfect for them.

But the band chemistry was great. William is a true member of the band.  Some songs, he just sings. Others he sings and plays guitar. On some he just plays guitar and Jerry even gave him some of the leads. Sometimes Jerry is at the center mic, but sometimes William is.  He's not a standin, he is a member, and that's a pretty incredible thing, given who he replaced in the band.

It was a great show, and made me optimistic (if such a word applies for Alice In Chains!) that the band have a real future, and I look forward to seeing how they progress. I bet the next album will be even better than Black Gives Way To Blue.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Congrats to Ryan Bingham for winning an Oscar for "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart. Above is a performance that he did at the SIRIUS|XM studios for Outlaw Country.


Nothing super timely about this, but here is Cheap Trick performing their classic "Dream Police" from a recent episode of SIRIUS|XM's Artist Confidential series. I was one of the camera guys - I got all the super close up shots. It was my time seeing Cheap Trick perform (other than a last minute booking at Joey Ramone's posthumous 50th birthday party, but Bun E. Carlos wasn't able to make that show, so it didn't totally count). Check it out.

Friday, March 5, 2010


This isn't a film blog, but last weekend I finally saw Precious, and I was pretty shaken by it. Incredible film.  The title character lives the blues, and what I did like about it was that there was a kind of redemption there.

The movie's theme song, "I Can See In Color," by Mary J. Blige, is, to me, a blues song. I said it on The Morning Jolt With Larry Flick on OutQ, but I think of Mary as a blues singer. A soul singer, and a R&B singer, but also a blues singer. I know she might not like that - these days, "blues" is taken to mean Eric Clapton. Music for older people. Predominately white people listen to it these days. But when Mary sings "I Can See In Color," it's blues just like they were sung by Muddy or Wolf or even Robert Johnson. I've posted it before, but here's Mary's performance of the song from the SIRIUS|XM studios. At the end, she really tears it up.