Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I won't be on OutQ tomorrow morning due to scheduling conflicts.  I'll be back next Wednesday morning, talking about some great country (ish) music, including an album that I'm really into, Somewhere In Time by Reckless Kelly.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I'm still working on my response to Rolling Stone's "40 Reasons To Be Excited About Music." I'm ok with a lot of them!

But to hold you over, here's another cool list: Tom Morello offers his 13 favorite metal albums of all time at Music Radar. I've always thought that Tom had (and has) great taste in music, and while I don't agree with all of his choices, I am down with most of them.  Actually, even the ones I would not have choosen, by Dio and Motley Crue... I have to admit they are good albums ( but not better than albums by Motorhead, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, Pantera, etc.)  But that's why lists are so much fun!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Just got my new issue of Rolling Stone. On the cover is their reason #1: The Black Eyed Peas. I definitely like the BEPs music.  I liked them before the were super popular, and I didn't mind when they added Fergie, in fact I thought she was a good additon.

That said, I really don't think of them as a reason to be excited about music in 2010, but that's just me. I have only had a chance to flip through the issue, and just when I thought that they had wisely avoided Animal Collective, there they were: reason #38! Oh well.  I plan on "responding" to it this week, with my own 40.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


It's great that The Stooges are finally getting their due. It is so weird to me that they were featured on CNN, but as is the case with all of the accolades they've been getting, better late than never. Watch it at the new Iggy & The Stooges website.


Still bummed about the death of Guru. If you're a fan, try not to let the controversy bug you: listen to the music. And if you're not that familar, check out Gang Starr's music. This blog, Slang Rap Democracy, posted all of Gang Starr's and Guru's videos.  Enjoy.


I have some friends who went to Coachella last weekend and had a great time. I haven't asked them about their accomidations, but since they both have industry connections, I am not sure if they had the total "consumer" experience of camping in the desert. Financially, the festival had a great year, selling only three-day passes (no single day passes) and selling out of them. 75,000 three day passes at $300 a pop. But reading this "Open Letter to Coachella" at the Phoenix Times,  makes me wonder if the festival is forgetting about the second most important thing that made it become such a success.  The first, of course, is the music booking: this year had a lot of great acts, including Muse, Faith No More, Dead Weather, Them Crooked Vultures, de la soul, The Specials and Les Claypool.

But the second hallmark of Coachella (I thought) was that they treated their attendees with respect.

In 1999, I remember attending Woodstock '99 with my girlfriend (now wife). Great lineup, we saw Metallica, Mike Ness, Willie Nelson, Rage Against The Machine and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Well, you know how that ended up. In my mind, the inclusion of bands like KoRn, Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit and Creed attracted a more jock-ish, violent crowd than they were able to handle. Add that to the fact that they treated attendees like prisioners, and you had a recipe for disaster. And that's what happened.  Lots of people thought that that was it for U.S. festivals.

But just a few months later on the west coast, the first Coachella festival took place in the desert.  A more hip, less macho lineup ensured a calmer crowd: Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Spearhead, Moby, as well as Rage Against The Machine, Tool, and one of the first appearances of A Perfect Circle.  But what also ensured a calmer event was the fact that the organizers treated the attendees with respect. Woodstock was over, but Coachella has been going on for eleven years now. They've booked bigger and bigger bands, and even put some big money into legendary non-indie acts (like Paul McCartney and Roger Waters, for instance). And I think people were fine with that. I just hope that they take note of complaints like this "Open Letter." Although I've never attended and am not likely to, I think Coachella is great for music (despite the fact that it's fans and the media make a bigger deal over a pavement reunion than a Faith No More one), and I hope it is around for years to come.


The first of the "unearthed" songs from The Rolling Stones' Exile On Main Street resissue, "Plundered My Soul," is now out on iTunes. Of course I'm going to buy the deluxe reissue, but I couldn't wait to hear this.

"Follow The River" is another "unearthed" track.  It's known that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards added bits of guitar and vocals to the track. It's also known that Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman didn't add anything to the original track. But what's interesting is the other rumor: that Mick Taylor also added some guitar parts. A while ago, England's Daily Mail reported that Taylor was living in a small apartment and was going to sue The Stones for not paying him for his term in the band (which many would consider their greatest era, as it included Exile and also Sticky Fingers). His manager called the NME to say that that was just not true at all. Now, maybe that was because Taylor was actually speaking with the Stones, and was hoping to either get paid or to actually rejoin and he didn't want to screw things up.  Or maybe he was 100% telling the truth.

But another rumor is that the Stones are getting tired of Ron Wood's antics. If they got rid of him, even though he is the "new guy" in the band (having only been a member for three decades or so) it would make the band look less legit. But if they replaced him with the guy he replaced, Mick Taylor, then it seems a bit more OK. Since Taylor played on Exile, it would make even more sense if they did a tour where they focused on that album.  Another cool option is having Mick rejoin and have him and Ron switch off at guitar and bass (they both play bass as well).

At any rate, it's great to hear a "new" Stones song - they have never been the best at putting out interesting reissues - and here's hoping it isn't the last we hear from them.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Well, a search of #guru on twitter shows the love and respect from hip-hop toward the late Gang Starr MC Guru.  And a search of #fucksolar shows that nearly no one believes that Guru wrote that "death letter" that Solar circulated to the press. No Expiration certainly isn't the place for "continuing coverage" of an event like this: but I did want to clarify that I was wrong about something: "Solar" is in fact NOT MC Solaar, the French hip-hop artist who Guru collaborated with on one of his Jazzamatazz albums.  Totally different guy. Meanwhile, Gang Starr's DJ Premier has remained a class act throughout the entire ordeal, and posted this note about Guru. I know people who know Premier, and I was lucky enough to have conducted an email interview with him once - he is a cool guy who doesn't need to talk shit.  He knew what the deal was with Guru/Solar back then, but didn't speak on it. His list of credits (which, outside of Gang Starr, includes KRS-One, Rakim, Nas, Notorious B.I.G. and even Christina Aguilera) allows him to have the confidence not to have to lower himself. Stay strong, Priemer. The fans know the deal.


In a new interview with Reuters, Joe Perry says that Steven Tyler is "stronger than ever" after a(nother) stint in rehab, which is great to hear. A cynic would say, "Of course he'd say that!" But the fact is, Joe and the other guys from Aerosmith were essentially kicking Tyler out of the band, so the fact that they took him back must mean something. The problem with this interview is that he also says that Steven "didn't really leave the band" and that "The press kind of twisted it around to sell papers, but you know the bottom line is I just knew things were going to work themselves out." I don't really belive that, but whatever.  I'm glad that they are doing a European tour and that they are playing Fenway this summer with The J. Geils Band. Tickets sold out really quickly: now I have to figure out how to get a pair of them! Hopefully they'll add a second date.


Last year, Larry Flick turned me on to a new artist/band called Florence & The Machine. Their debut, Lungs, was really cool.  He gave me the album, I ripped it to my computer, my wife listened and really got into it, which got me even more into it. Now she/they are working on a new album, which is going to be more dance music oriented.  Read more about it (and watch a video interview that reminds me of the news packages I used to produce for VH1) at Spinner.


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. This week, I'm going to be talking about soul music.

First off, Solomon Burke, one of my favorite artists of the '00s. His comeback following his 2001 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was really inspiring. More important than that, it yielded a bunch of really great records, each different from the one before, largely due to the producers he worked with on each. This time, he worked with Willie Mitchell, who produced all of Al Green's '70s classics. Apparently, Willie and Solmon always wanted to work together, and it finally happened on this album. Willie passed away a few months ago, but this album is a great tribute to him. Not there aren't missteps: the cover of "You Needed Me"... I'm not really into it, but Solomon just about sells it. But a really solid album.

Sharon Jones and The Dapkings have a new album, The Game Gets Old. They are really into a vintage '60s soul sound, and some great songs also. The thing that sounds different about this album is that there's backing singers. I'm surprised that I haven't written about Sharon more: her last album 100 Days, 100 Nights was great (especially the title track). She did a great cover of "This Land Is Your Land" from the Up In The Air soundtrack as well.

Last year, I said that Bettye Lavette 's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise was one of the most underrated albums of the '00s. I think she's just a force of nature. Next month, she releases Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook. The only song I have is her cover of The Stones' "Salt Of The Earth." She does a great job. I think the album was prompted by her version of The Who 's "Love Reign O'er Me" from the December 2008 Kennedy Center Honors ceremony.

Finally, Erykah Badu's "Window Seat" from her new album New Amerykah Part 2: Return Of The Ankh. This song is the one she caused a stir over, since she got naked in the video. I like Badu, but I wish she had more catchy songs like "Window Seat."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


U2 announced that they are releasing a DVD from their current tour, 360 At The Rose Bowl. Supposedly there were 97,000 people at the concert, which was streamed live on YouTube where 10 million people watched it over about a week.

I saw the tour, and as always, it was awesome. I have tickets to see them next time they return to NJ (unfortunately with Interpol opening, I doubt they will be anywhere as good as Muse).

Find out more about the DVD at U2.com.


Bruce Springsteen has kept a low profile this year: he hasn't done much since performing "We Shall Overcome" at the Hope For Haiti Now telethon. What we have been hearing is that 2010 is a year off for Bruce, and the two projects that would be coming would be a live DVD from the Magic tour and the long-awaited Darkness On The Edge Of Town box set. Well, the live DVD was announced todya.  London Calling: Live In Hyde Park recorded at the Hard Rock Calling festvial on June 28 last year will be out on DVD nearly a year later, on June 22. Bruce opened the show with a cover of The Clash's "London Calling," which was possibly inspired by this fax that Joe Strummer sent when asked about his feelings about the man.  (Bruce played another British fest the same week as the one documented on this DVD: that night, he opened with Strummer's great solo song "Coma Girl"). Other covers include Jimmy Cliff 's "Trapped," The Young Rascals ' "Good Lovin'" and Eddie Floyd's "Raise Your Hand." In a way, I'm kind of bummed: I thought Bruce might have released something with his full album performances that he was doing on the end of the tour.


Someone (actually a friend of mine) has started a blog called One More Knight (because no one deserves "sir" in front of their name more than Phil Collins), which is trying to get the very talented drummer/singer/songwriter/producer knighted. The Denver Post linked to him (without saying much about it).  I wonder how Phil will respond.  I have had the opportunity to interview him, and I actually got to chat with him the day that Genesis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He's received so much crap from critics that he seems a bit leery of compliments! He probably doesn't care about being knighted, but I bet he's moved that the fans care enough.

He has a new album coming out in the fall, Going Back, which is covers of '60s songs. He said that he had pretty much put his career to rest, but then the idea of this album came up. I bet he owed the label another album, and while no one at Atlantic Records probably has much idea what to do with a Phil Collins record in 2010, I'm sure a covers album was an easy thing to agree on.  It's the era Phil grew up in, and of course these albums tend to do well.  Phil had shut down his website for a while (it re-directed to the Genesis site) but now it's back up. He's announced a four night stand at Roseland in June - I wonnder if he'll play drums at all.  I think he played on the album, despite his injury.  He was able to tape his drumsticks to his arms and play like that (his problems are with his wrists, not his back as many people previously thought). I know Phil was fine with retiring -- and why not?  He's had an amazing career, his records don't seem to sell anymore, and he doesn't want to tour any longer. But I do hope that he can play drums again, if only for himself.

Speaking of the Genesis website, I read on a fan site that it is being shut down. They've done the reunion tour, got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, put out a live album and five box sets, and with no further activity planned, they don't see the reason to keep up a website.  That's depressing.  But I guess dead websites are even more depressing.


The Black Crowes are celebrating the 20th anniversary (!) of their debut album, Shake Your Moneymaker, with a two CD set of acoustic versions of their songs, a tour and then they are going on hiatus. Rolling Stone has the story, but this doesn't sound like a breakup, it actually does sound like a break. I think that more bands should go on "breaks," too often when bands are doing well, they are on a album/tour treadmill that doesn't allow them to live their lives and pursue other stuff that they want to do. I saw the Crowes on their reunion tour opening for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and they were really good, so I hope that this isn't their final tour.


Adam Yauch just sent out an email to Beastie Boys fans informing them that he and a group of friends are meditating twice a day, and as they meditate, they are picturing smashing all of the cancer cells in the world.  You can read the whole email here. He also says there are variations on meditating: you don't just have to sit quietly. I hope he's OK, and just meditating to wish cancer away because he is over his cancer.


So sad to hear that Guru, the legendary MC from the great Gang Starr, died today. Making things worse, a "letter" from Guru pretty much dissed his Gang Starr partner, DJ Premier, saying "I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name, likeness, events, tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this." Of course, there's lots of skepticism about whether or not he even wrote this: people think that MC Solar is behind the letter, as he seemed to control communications with Guru when he was ill a few months back. MTV News has a quote from Solar addressing this, he of course says that Guru wrote the letter. Questlove of The Roots rarely has a bad thing to say about anyone, but he ripped on this letter and on Guru's post-Gang Starr material with Solar in an extended tweet.

But you know what?  What's done is done.  If you are a fan, or if you are wondering why people care, check out MTV's post Guru's Best and listen to all of them. Longtime No Expiration readers know that I'm not a big fan of current hip-hop, listen to this and you'll know why.  Great MCing, great beats and tracks, no b.s.

Monday, April 19, 2010


On Friday night at the Showbox in Seattle, Soundgarden returned to the stage for the first time since 1998.  Rolling Stone has the setlist - it seems like it was a great show, with songs from their entire career, from their debut SubPop single "Hunted Down" to songs from their final album, the classic Down On The Upside. I can not wait to see this show. I feel like some people in the media are being dismissive of this tour, and also Faith No More's. But then again, the media seems excited about Pavement's reunion.  Talk about revenge of the nerds! Sorry, that was mean.

But anyway, I've seen Chris Cornell over the years in Soundgarden, Audioslave and on a solo tour. The last time I saw him, he was solo, and it was the best performance I'd ever seen from him (with the possible exception of a 1989 Voivod/Soundgarden/Faith No More concert). He was clean, and healthy, and it was awesome. Matt Cameron is amazing, of course, I've seen him in Pearl Jam many times over the years, including a marathon show on Halloween. I'm sure Kim Thayil is still an awesome guitarist, and hopefully Ben Shepherd has lost the attitude: out of all of them, he really seemed to dislike playing to large audiences the most. Well, I am totally psyched to see this show.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


In today's New York Times, you can read Bono's latest op-ed piece. Called "Africa Reboots," It's about "civil society" and big business and how they can (hopefully) work together to ensure a better future and put an end to "extreme poverty." Interestingly, he writes that he senses and end to the usual donor-recipient relationship; Africans felt a pressing need for new kinds of partnerships. That is a departure from the way most people think of charity. It's not "give a (wo)man a fish" or even "teach a (wo)man to fish." It's really, "teach a (wo)man to fish and then create a business selling those fish in a way that benefits the community, and when said business is profitable, get a percentage since you are a partner."   It takes more committment, it's not just making a credit card donation. It's not as sexy as paying attention to a cause du jour for a week or two.  It's not something that will get an immeadiate big spike on the NASDAQ index.  It's not marketing - write a big check, look great to the public, move on. It's something that requires an actual committment.  Here's hoping that it happens someday soon.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Even if I wasn't a SIRIUS XM employee, I'd be a huge fan of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour show.  It is awesome. There's so much to love about it. But one of the highlights is when Tom Waits calls in. The man can talk about any topic imaginable.  I loved when he talked about Jewish curses. The great great blog Aquarium Drunkard has posted a bunch of Tom's calls for you to check out. And trust me, check out Dylan's radio show, it is one of the best listening experiences you will ever have.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


As I mentioned earlier this year, there is a documentary on Rush coming out. Here's the poster, and here's the blog. The posted two clips with footage from the movie, check it out.

Between this doc and the upcoming tour where Rush will play Moving Pictures from start to finish, 2010 is a cool year to be a Rush fan! What I want to know about the tour is: I heard a rumor that they will be trying out material from their next album. I hope that that is true. Like most Rush fans, I gravitate towards their earlier stuff. That said, I really liked Snakes and Arrows, and from their recent material, I feel that "Far Cry" and "One Little Victory" stands up to anything they've ever done. I've been listening to Snakes and Arrows Live in my car, and they still sound aweome.


I write a lot about Levon Helm, the drummer and singer from The Band. But I'm also a big fan of guitarist/songwriter/producer Robbie Robertson's post-Band career, although he hasn't done much lately. In an interview with Mojo to promote the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island (which he produced), Robbie mentioned that he's working on a solo album that will be the guitar heaviest thing he's done since he toured with Bob Dylan back in the '70s. Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Tom Morello and Robert Randolph guest on the album with him. That's pretty cool! His last album was 1998's Contact From The Underworld Of Redboy (which I loved, but I know a lot of people dismissed it).


The Specials performed on Jimmy Fallon's show a few days ago. I know I shouldn't want to see them without keyboardist leader Jerry Dammers... but I kind of want to check them out when they play Central Park later this year.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Today on The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick on SIRIUS XM OutQ, I talked a bit about Record Store Day. It's this Saturday! If you go to a record store, there will be exclusive releases by The Rolling Stones ("Plundered My Soul," one of the unearthed songs from the upcoming Exile On Main Street reissue), Bruce Springsteen ("Wrecking Ball"/"The Ghost Of Tom Joad (live)" featuring Tom Morello) and a Courtyard Hounds/Jakob Dylan split 7". Blur recorded a brand new song for the event, their first new song in years. So go to a record store and buy something!
UPDATE: Check out this list of all of the exclusives being offered.

Tuesday, April 13, 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. This week, I'll be talking about some of the greatest guitarists of rock and roll, including the man who may just be the best. But their music isn't about guitar wankery, it's about great songs that feature amazing guitar. This isn't music (just) for musos. 

First up is Jimi Hendrix, who I meant to talk about weeks ago, and then I missed a day at work due to snow. I'll be talking about Jimi's catalog, which has recently been relaunched by Sony Legacy, and a new collection that they put out called Valleys Of Neptune. I think lawsuits between opposing forces laying claim to Jimi's legacy have, sadly, lowered his "stock." I'm not talking about his influence, I'm talking about, when a "new" Jimi release comes out, people don't care as much: they have the real albums, and there's been so many crappy other releases. But I've been listening to the new Axis: Bold As Love and it sounds great. As for Valleys Of Neptune, it's cool and the title track is awesome.

Sony Legacy also recently put out a tenth (!) anniversary edition of Santana's Supernatural. People rip on that album, but it brought Carlos back to the limelight, which was a beautiful thing. There was some great collabs - as I've said before, I ain't mad about "Smooth" featuring Rob Thomas - but there were great classic songs that weren't collabs, like "Da Le Yaleo." The bonus disc has a bunch of cool songs, but the original album really holds up in my opinion.

Influenced by Jimi and also the Santana Supernatural approach is Slash's new self-titled album, which I wrote about a while back. Slash with an all-star cast of guests: Iggy, Alice, Lemmy and Ozzy. And Fergie. As these "all-star" type albums usually are, it's a bit uneven. My favorite song features Lemmy: "Doctor Alibi." I also liked "Promise" featuring Chris Cornell, "Gotten" featuring Adam Levine of Maroon 5 (for real) and "We're All Gonna Die" (featuring Iggy Pop even though the lyrics aren't great). There's a goofy new version of Guns N Roses' "Paradise City" featuing Fergie and Cypress Hill that kind of made me laugh a bit.

Finally, I'll try to get to the new live Ben Harper & Relentless 7 album, Live From The Montreal International Jazz Festival, which contains a great cover of Jimi's "Red House." Call in and tell us about your favorite guitar heroes!


Record Store Day is coming up this weekend. The coolest place to spend it will be, unsurprisingly, Third Man Records in Nashville. The "Racontwoers" will be playing the store. It's the two guys from The Raconteurs who aren't in The Dead Weather. Guitarist/singer Brendan Benson and drummer Patrick Keeler will be playing some Raconteurs songs. That's pretty cool. I know that when Brendan does his solo tours he stays away from Raconteurs material (I think Jack White doesn't want anyone crossing projects: he only plays White Stripes songs with the Stripes, Raconteurs songs with the Raconteurs, etc). And supposedly Brendan didn't work with Patrick on his solo album so that it wouldn't be similar to the band. which seems a bit unfair: White works with bassist Jack Lawrence in Dead Weather!

Meanwhile, I just got a cool new package from Third Man.  It's a double LP including all the singles that they're released this year, including songs by The Dead Weather, Mildred and The Mice, Rachelle Garniez, The Dex Romweber Duo, Wanda Jackson, The Black Belles, Jack White solo and more. I thought that that would be the latest V.I.P. package, which would have bugged me as (a) it's supposed to be an LP, a 7" and a shirt and (b) most V.I.P. members probably bought all of these on 7" and (c) that means it isn't "exclusive." But Third Man says the next package will be an LP of songs recorded on The White Stripes 2007 tour of Canada, but they will mostly be songs not included in the Under Great White Northern Lights documentary/soundtrack. The 7" will be two unreleased Raconteurs demos, and the t-shirt will be a Dead Weather shirt that will "blow minds."


The great blog Brooklyn Vegan points out that Faith No More have added a few extra US dates: the band themselves didn't reveal it on their website, but on their t-shirts that they were selling at their first US gig last night at the Warfield in San Francisco.

It seems like they could do a much more extensive US tour, maybe they are planning more dates later in the year or next year.

Meanwhile, I hear frontman Mike Patton has a solo album coming out called Mondo Cane, featuring him singing orchestra versions of Italian pop songs from the '50s and '60s.  And why not?


I just read that Hank Williams was awared with a Pulitzer Prize. I used to think that Pulitzers were for journalists, until Bob Dylan was awarded with on in 2008. Theolonius Monk and John Coltrane have been awarded Pulitzers as well. Well, if you can get a Pulitzer for making an absolutely titanic contribution to music, they've choosen their recipients well. Hank Williams is obviously an absolute icon of country music, but really he should be on the Mount Rushmore of popular music in general.  If you're not that familiar with him, check out the 2 CD set The Ultimate Collection and you'll see what I mean.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Since Social Distortion are on the Lollapalooza lineup, I thought I'd check their website to see what they were up to. It turns out that they are currently on their very first South American tour, and they are also working on thier first album since 2004's Sex, Love & Rock 'n' Roll, which was a great album that lots of people slept on. Mike Ness and Social D just don't get their due, but it's a real bummer that people don't pay attention to his more recent stuff. That Social D album, and also Mike's two solo albums (both released in 1999, Cheating At Solitare and Under The Influences) are really great. Check out Social D's dates at their website.


A few months ago, I wrote about a rumor that Roger Waters next tour would see him performing the Pink Floyd classic album The Wall. Well, it's true! He announced it today on his revamped website. Roger also offers his explanation for why he is staging this tour at this particular time.  If you're a fan, check it out. Roger's last tour saw him performing Dark Side Of The Moon, so I guess this was a logical concept for this tour.  He hasn't actually put out a new album (other an Ca Ira, an opera that he composed) in nearly two decades. Although he has done some new songs, like "Each Small Candle." Anyway, find the tour dates at his site, I am definitely not going to miss this tour. I expect that it will have an even better production than what Pink Floyd used in 1980 when they promoted the album on a brief tour.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I didn't write about the death of punk rock and new wave svengali Malcolm McLaren: it seemed to get a ton of press, and I didn't have much to add. I think of him kind of like Col. Tom Parker - you can't deny that what he did helped to move popular music foward, but on the other hand, I don't romanticize him.  But Bow Wow Wow singer Annabella Lwin eulogized him in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, and I thought it was interesting and also sweet.  She said, "Malcolm McLaren recognized something within me I didn’t even know I was capable of. I don’t think I would have been the singer that I am today, if it hadn’t been for him, even long after I had an association with him on a professional level. I’m so grateful to have known somebody like him. I would have been a different kind of artist — I would have been a put together, pre-packaged kind of artist."  That's a talent in and of itself, for sure. I wonder how many managers are like that these days.


Last week, the Sony Legacy deluxe reissue of Big Audio Dynamite's debut album, This is Big Audio Dynamite, was one of the albums I talked about on The Morning Jolt With Larry Flick. I felt that, despite some dated production (drum machine sounds, some of the samples), it holds up really well.  They were ahead of their time. Now, one of the original members, Don Letts (who is also a filmmaker and DJ) tells Billboard that the band may reunite. Letts said that Mick Jones is involved with Gorillaz at the moment (I also discussed the new Gorillaz album this week, and mentioned that Mick Jones and Paul Simonon may be part of their touring band) but that he is considering doing something with B.A.D. in the future.


Congrats to Big Boi: after releasing singles for two years, his debut solo album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty has not just a label (Def Jam) but a release date (July 6). The singles that I've heard ("Shine Blockas (featuring Gucci Mane)," "Royal Flush (featuring Andre 3000 and Raekwon)" and "Sumthin's Got To Give (featuring Mary J. Blige)") are all great. I wonder how long it will be until Andre 3000 puts out his solo debut... and until OutKast put out a new duo album.


This is from the Revolver Golden Gods awards ceremony that I wrote about a while back: Lemmy with Slash and Dave Grohl doing the Motorhead classic "Ace of Spades." Some things will never go out of style. By the way, the show will air on May 22 on VH1 Classic.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


One of the many causes that Willie Nelson has put his efforts behind is one to prevent the U.S. from allowing horses to be slaughtered and sold to overseas meat vendors. The arguement in favor of selling horsemeat is, if the horses are starving, why not let people eat them instead of predators in the wild, and make some money?  Of course, that's the way it starts: once a demand is created, then horses will end up being kept in the same prison camps used for cows, chickens and pigs. What an awful thought. Well, I try not to get too political here, but that's the way I feel. Read more about this at The Tennessean.


I haven't seen very many Broadway shows since I caught The Who's Tommy nearly two decades ago. I remember thinking that the Broadway renditions of the songs were goofy. Worse, they even changed the storyline to have a more optimistic ending. I'm not a big showtunes guy, and I prefer rock and roll.  But I remember thinking that maybe Broadway isn't really the right venue for rock and roll.  And while Jersey Boys, about The Four Seasons, has done quite well and is supposedly quite good, most rock and roll-based stage productions have tanked.

Green Day's American Idiot is the first time that a Broadway production has been based on recent music: American Idiot came out in 2004. I was wondering how different this would be than Tommy, or the other revue-ish rock-based musicals. Pretty different, actually. You walk in, and they provide magic markers to write on the walls of the lobby.  You gotta love that. The band actually played on the stage, not from a pit. And it was rocking. Musically, the songs stuck pretty much to the original arrangements, the vocal arrangements were of course very different and very Broadway. (A good preview is the "21 Guns" single by Green Day with the cast). If you can't get past that, you wouldn't like it. The same goes for the plot - it didn't go too far, and the characters weren't super developed, but you can get stuck on that point.  Or, as Larry Flick would say, you can have a twinkie and go for the ride. I decided to go for the ride.  I had a great time. The American Idiot songs were fun, and there was even an awesome b-side ("Favorite Son") as well as two tracks from 21st Century Breakdown ("21 Guns" and "Know Your Enemy"). The story wasn't how I pictured it when I listened to the album (I thought of it as a future totalitarian government vs. punk rockers) but I didn't write the play.  I didn't get hung up on anything though, and I had a good time, which is probably the right way to approach something like this.

I took my young 13 year old cousin Kyle, and his review was much more succinct than mine. "Best. Play. Ever." I'm looking forward to taking him to see Green Day in concert this summer, which I think I will prefer. Still, I'll give props to the cast and crew of American Idiot, they brought rock and roll in a semi-legit way to the Broadway stage which is no easy feat.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Oh, HELL yeah.  Rush is going on tour this summer. This is a rarity for them: they aren't promoting a new album, but they will be performing Moving Pictures in its entirety.  As well as lots of other music, I'm sure - the album isn't even an hour long. I even hear that they may be trying out new songs from their next album: they haven't done that since the early '80s when they road tested songs from Grace Under Pressure. Get the tour dates at Rush's website. I. Can. Not. Wait.


Tonight at Fenway Park during the Red Sox/Yankees game, Steven Tyler and Peter Wolf announced that their bands, Aerosmith and The J. Geils Band will be playing a concert at Fenway Park this summer on August 14. (It's fitting that it was during a Boston/NY game, as Tyler is from New York, and I think Peter Wolf is also). It's the first time these legendary Boston bands have done a show together.  This may call for a road trip to Boston!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


For those of you who are new to No Expiration, once a month I go on SIRIUS XM's Catholic Channel's Busted Halo show on "Faith and Culture Thursday." Each time I discuss a different artist. Tomorrow, I'll be talking about reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, who was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Some may think that Cliff is an unusual subject for the channel. But then again, so was Black Sabbath.

At JFK Jr.'s funeral ten years ago, the Kennedy family asked Wyclef Jean to perform "Many Rivers To Cross." It was also covered by Annie Lennox at the American Idol special "Idol Gives Back" in 2008.  It's also been covered by Oleta Adams, Lenny Kravitz, Gov't Mule, Joe Cocker and UB40, among others.  And Haitian singer Emeline Michel sang it at MTV's Hope For Haiti Now telethon. It is a beautiful song that crosses the boundaries of age, religion and skin color.

My first exposure to Jimmy Cliff though was The Jerry Garcia Band's cover of "The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall." Once I started getting into reggae music, I soon picked up the soundtrack to the film The Harder They Come, which starred Jimmy Cliff, and introduced western audiences to reggae quite a few years before Bob Marley appeared on the western pop culture radar. It is still my favorite reggae album (it doesn't just have Jimmy Cliff, it also features Toots & The Maytalls and Desmond Dekker, among others). It is a great rebel anthem, and has also been covered by Rancid, Cher, Keith Richards, Madness, Willie Nelson and Joe Strummer, among many others. It is about 180 degrees from the "Many Rivers."

Anyway, I hope you tune in tomorrow night at about 7:20 pm ET (ish) and check it out.

Tuesday, April 6, 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. I missed last week due to my vacation, but now I'm back! The last time I was on the show, some folks didn't like the Johnny Cash album that I brought, American VI: Ain't No Grave. I stand behind my choice, it's a great album! But hopefully people will like my choices better this week.

First off is Massive Attack, who just released Heligoland, their first real album in seven years. There's a few guests on the album, including Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star, Tunde Adebimpe of TV On The Radio and Damon Albarn. There are definitely some cool songs. The "problem" with Massive Attack is like the "problem" with The Violent Femmes. They made a debut album that was so classic (1991's Blue Lines) that it was nearly impossible to follow up. It is such an influencial album. They've done good stuff since then, but Blue Lines towers above all of it. That said, there are definitely some good songs on the new album. The one with Hope, "Paradise Circus," is my favorite.

Gorillaz is fun and a great idea. Their new album, Plastic Beach, is a concept albums and kind of sinks under its own weight. Still there are some cool moments, especially the title track, which reunites Clash bandmates Mick Jones and Paul Simonon for the first time since Combat Rock. Paul played with Gorillas frontman Damon Albarn in The Good, The Bad and The Queen. "Stylo," which features Mos Def and Bobby Womack, is the first single and probably the best song on the album.

LCD Soundsystem has a new album coming out, This Is Happening. I don't flip out over LCD the way some people do, but I like some LCD Soundsystem songs. I don't think it's really a band, it's really this guy James Murphy. "Drunk Girls" is a party jam from the album, and is a cool party jam (albeit one David Bowie could probably sue for, since it sounds so much like "Boys Keep Swinging"). On the other hand, "Oh You (Christmas Blues)," from the Ben Stiller film, Greenberg, recalls solo John Lennon at his most angst ridden.

I wrote about singer Daniel Merriweather a while back. I think he has a great voice, and while I hear that the release of his new album Love & War has been troubled, I love the duet with Adele, "Water and a Flame." More than that: the iTunes bonus track: a cover of The White Stripes classic "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do What You're Told)." Larry won't like this one!

Finally, Big Audio Dynamite, Mick Jones' post-Clash band. Their debut, 1985's This Is Big Audio Dynamite, is being reissued as a 2 CD set April 27. A lot of their music sounds a bit quaint and dated, since dance music production is so different now from what it sounded like 25 years ago. But it was really trailblazing the way Mick combined rock, hip-hop, reggae and dance music. It was sort of what he started doing with "This Is Radio Clash." Definitely worth a listen.