Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bob Dylan - Fallen Angels - No Star Review

Bob Dylan - Fallen Angels - No Star Review

Following in the footsteps of last year’s “Shadows in the Night” debacle, Bob Dylan puts his distinctive vocal to a dozen songs that he, and his generic band of buddies massacre. There's blood on the tracks all the way to hell and back for this most foul of transgressions. Choosing to butcher up a selection of classic standards is musical sin!

One listen to these slaughtered classics might set you against these numbers for all time to come. My advice to you is; DO NOT BUY or LISTEN TO THIS GARBAGE! Pass it by for all time, or you may even turn on listening to the older, better Dylan material.

For the fool who doesn't heed my good advice, your listening experience might only compare to that of the screeching wheels of a slow train coming. Mercifully this album clocks in just under 38 minutes otherwise you might as well get knocked out loaded and pray to the heavens above to lose this stain of a memory like a small bit of amnesia, a time out of mind experience may be the only way forward if you ever hope to be saved.

These songs..."Young at Heart" "Maybe You’ll Be There" "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" "All the Way" "Skylark" "Nevertheless" "All or Nothing at All" "On a Little Street in Singapore" "It Had to Be You" "Melancholy Mood" "That Old Black Magic" "Come Rain or Come Shine" ...have never been done so wrong in their entire history of existence till NOW!

Indeed, the times they are a changing. Maybe, it's not dark yet completely, but that long black cloud is coming down on the career of this once highly revered voice of a generation who's lost his way. Today's Bob Dylan is a shell of a prophet who is all too content with being a nostalgia act, accepting bull-shit accolades, and awards smiling blithely like a numb-skull bobble head who will never, ever, ever proffer an opinion outside of political correctness.

This pitiful uninspired relic could do us all a favor and leave the classics alone.
Rate this Album No Stars.

Buyer Beware – This album should be made Street Illegal!

Update: As of today 6/14/2016 on Billboard this album has been on the charts for 3 weeks and after debuting at number 7 and then falling to 82 last week, it is now at 173.
Update: The album has fallen off of the Billboard Top 200 as of 6/21/2016

Friday, May 20, 2016

Eric Clapton - I Still Do - Reviewed at 2¾ Stars

Eric Clapton's 23rd new studio album clocks in at just over 54 minutes. There's good stuff here, but it's not one that will be regarded as among his best.

The new album's title comes from something Clapton's Great-Aunt Audrey told him before she died . He recalls going to see her and told her, “I want to thank you for being so kind to me when I was a little boy." She said, “I liked you. And I still do.” Eric went on to say, “That's blessed, really. It just says it all.”

The album cover art comes from Sir Peter Blake's portrait of Eric for a program cover from concerts he performed a year ago at London's Royal Albert Hall for his 70th birthday. Eric liked the portrait and thought that, since it had not been circulated much, it wouldn't do any harm to use it again for the album cover. Further, commenting that “I thought it was appropriate.”

I Still Do is a good album with great musicianship, and production from Glyn Johns. The album kicks off good and rolls along well, it's only after half way through this album where you'll begin to lose interest. What's missing is what all record company's want … hit singles. They're just not here. Overall this album is one that I really enjoyed, but it falls flat in the end with the covers chosen.

All of the tracks are covers except "Catch the Blues" and "Spiral." The rest is a varied assortment of songs that even includes a few familiar jazz numbers. Eric says this album came about from bull sessions with the musicians. Tossing around ideas, Eric said he'd put forth a melody or a riff, bits of unfinished work that still lingered, and that, along with several suggested covers were all put to Glyn to work with. In all Clapton says they recorded 20 tracks in these sessions and from there they collectively chose the best of these for inclusion on this new album.

Today Eric is all about endurance, reflection, and appreciation and as he puts it, “At least this album is fresh in that it's me, at this moment.”

Clapton’s new album features contributions from Henry Spinetti, Dave Bronze, Andy Fairweather Low, Paul Carrack, Chris Stainton, Simon Climie, Dirk Powell, Walt Richmond, Ethan Johns, Michell John, Sharon White, and Angelo Mysterioso.

Angelo Mysterioso was a pseudonym used long ago by the late George Harrison. The re-appearance of the now famous moniker is not from a past recording with George. The song “I Will Be There” is too sharp, and crisp. It is a new recording, and although Eric would not name the artist using the Angelo Mysterioso pseudonym, it's obvious when listening, that it is George Harrison's son Dhani that is featured on this song. Clapton did say that the musician in question felt quite honored to be allowed to use that pseudonym.

The overall here is, it's an average album that comes across as laid-back and casual. From the cover art to the track selection, it's all about where Eric is today, and sadly we find run of the mill output from an Iconic Guitar Gun-Slinging Rock 'N Roll legend.

No Fire, Uninspired Rate this 2¾ Stars.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool - Reviewed 4 Stars

Two years back, Radiohead's Thom Yorke released his solo album “Tomorrow's Modern Boxes” and it was quickly forgotten, leading some to think the Band's tank was empty. Not to fear, Thom, and friends are back with an outstanding new album of albeit not all new material.

Rest assured that the Radiohead of today are still as depressing as they were from any other period of their lengthy career. Thom Yorke's lyrics cover Radiohead's all too familiar, and expected, depressing stomping ground, cloaked in a newer musical direction. New territory gets explored here.

This odd assortment of new and old songs could be considered rekindled burnt offerings, as half of these songs are not new at all, only reworked, rearranged, and re-recorded. When in fact, some of the songs are not new they are presented as new because they have been improved to the point of meeting Radiohead's satisfaction. Fans will agree. The songs in question are all better and with the new tracks all of these work well together and make this their 9th album more than worthwhile.

This almost super-group of the 1990's, the very, very, very over-hyped heralded prophets of acceptable eccentricity always at the forefront of the underground's vanguard on the outskirt's of the mainstream have maintained its reputation for musical innovation. The obvious sophistication of Radiohead's sound on this album indicates their progression, maturing and this is heavily influenced by Jonny Greenwood's classical music experience. Greenwood's recent film score credits include:“There Will be Blood”, “The Master”, and “Inherent Vice.” His classical music influence dominates “A Moon Shaped Pool. This album is full of little nuances and little quirks and surprises that will keep fans talking for a long time to come. What is most noticeable is that the all of the guitar work is subtle and subdued, making way for the smooth production work that polishes up this almost masterpiece.

Overall, the arrangement, production, musicianship are top-notch. I still don't care for Thom Yorke's lyrics, but they're what makes Radiohead who they are. The new A Moon Shaped Pool is outstanding and will be highly regarded by fans of old. As for new fans about to discover Radiohead, they may wonder what's all the fuss?

No matter what others may say, I give it thumbs up!

Rate this 4 Stars

The best tracks are “Burn The Witch” - "Identikit" - "The Numbers" - "True Love Waits" "Ful Stop"

Thursday, May 5, 2016

How To Post Your Tweets To Linked-In

Tweet To Link-In
Twitter has many problems and shortcomings, but it's necessity as a social media tool is undeniable. A few years ago Twitter announced that it had ended its syndication deal with Linked-In, which previously allowed people on Twitter to link their tweets with Linked-In's news stream. To this day, that's how the situation stands.

You can however bypass Twitter's shenanigans and still post to Linked-In. To do this is quite simple, yet there are many who are unaware, and wondering how to do it.

Go to IFTTT https://ifttt.com/ and create an account. Then simply browse the many pre-made recipes and select the recipe that posts tweets to Linked-In. It's really that simple. You do not need to know any code or copy and paste anything. The template is already there. It is popular, and widely used already by many.

Simply browse and when you find this...

click add

Then to post your tweets to Linked-In just go to your Twitter and compose a tweet and add the #in at the end, and this will send your tweet to Linke-In.

Most things don't get any simpler than that!
If at some point, your account is inactive or you don't use the #in often you may need to login to your IFTTT and turn on the recipe again, iin other words reset the recipe.

Once you've created your IFTTT account you may want to browse the many other recipes they already have and try a few others out.

Anyways, Good Luck to ya!

AC/DC News - Axl Rose, Brian Johnson, Tour Dates

AC/DC European Tour Dates - News - Axl Rose - Brian Johnson

The AC/DC Rock 'N Roll Machine rolls on despite a number of setbacks in recent months. Phil Rudd, convicted last year of drug possession and making threats to kill has been sentenced to house arrest in 2015, and guitarist Malcolm Young, recently diagnosed with dementia has called it a day. Stevie Young takes over for Malcom and Chris Slade has replaced Phil. Now Brian Johnson, for health reasons is going to be replaced by Axl Rose. These troubled times have also shaken their fans. Fans are not sure what to expect, what they will be getting and have fan attachments to their fallen heroes. That said, the band led by Angus plans to continue and I for one look forward to seeing the results.

The band's signature dynamic has been altered, but there is a chance that the new players will bring a new enthusiasm to the classic AC/DC catalog.

The band released the following statement.

AC/DC band members would like to thank Brian Johnson for his contributions and dedication to the band throughout the years,” the group said in a statement. “We wish him all the best with his hearing issues and future ventures. As much as we want this tour to end as it started, we understand, respect and support Brian’s decision to stop touring and save his hearing. We are dedicated to fulfilling the remainder of our touring commitments to everyone that has supported us over the years, and are fortunate that Axl Rose has kindly offered his support to help us fulfill this commitment.”

Shortly after this statement was released there was some outcry over this as being a bit shallow and not forthcoming with more details. It is vague and leaves us to wonder about the individual future of Brian with AC/DC.

This is Brian Johnson’s full statement:
As many AC/DC fans know, the remaining shows for the 2016 AC/DC Rock or Bust World Tour, including 10 postponed U.S. shows, are being rescheduled with a guest singer.  I want personally to explain the reason because I don’t believe the earlier press releases sufficiently set out what I wanted to say to our fans or the way in which I thought it should be presented.
On March 7th, after a series of examinations by leading physicians in the field of hearing loss, I was advised that if I continue to perform at large venues, I risked total deafness.  While I was horrified at the reality of the news that day, I had for a time become aware that my partial hearing loss was beginning to interfere with my performance on stage.  I was having difficulty hearing the guitars on stage and because I was not able to hear the other musicians clearly, I feared the quality of my performance could be compromised.  In all honesty, this was something I could not in good conscience allow.  Our fans deserve my performance to be at the highest level, and if for any reason I can’t deliver that level of performance I will not disappoint our fans or embarrass the other members of AC/DC.  I am not a quitter and I like to finish what I start, nevertheless, the doctors made it clear to me and my band-mates that I had no choice but to stop performing on stage for the remaining shows and possibly beyond.  That was the darkest day of my professional life.
Since that day, I have had several consultations with my doctors and it appears that, for the near future, I will be unable to perform on stage at arena and stadium size venues, where the sound levels are beyond my current tolerance, without the risk of substantial hearing loss and possibly total deafness.  Until that time, I tried as best as I could to continue despite the pain and hearing loss but it all became too much to bear and too much to risk.
I am personally crushed by this development more than anyone could ever imagine.  The emotional experience I feel now is worse than anything I have ever in my life felt before.  Being part of AC/DC, making records and performing for the millions of devoted fans this past 36 years has been my life’s work.  I cannot imagine going forward without being part of that, but for now I have no choice.  The one thing for certain is that I will always be with AC/DC at every show in spirit, if not in person.
Most importantly, I feel terrible having to disappoint the fans who bought tickets for the canceled shows and who have steadfastly supported me and AC/DC these many years.  Words cannot express my deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks not just for the recent outpouring to me personally of kind words and good wishes, but also for the years of loyal support of AC/DC.  My thanks also go to Angus and Cliff for their support.
Finally, I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring.  My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that.  For the moment, my entire focus is to continue medical treatment to improve my hearing.  I am hoping that in time my hearing will improve and allow me to return to live concert performances.  While the outcome is uncertain, my attitude is optimistic.  Only time will tell.
Once again, my sincere best wishes and thanks to everyone for their support and understanding.”

This statement was more acceptable to fans, and media, although the burning $64,000 question fans want to know...is Brian Johnson O.K. with Axl Rose taking over for him. The above statement never makes that clear, only time will tell on that. My hunch is that is not pleased at all with the band's choice to continue and finish the tour dates that remain.

Bringing you more up to date, the band has instructed promoters to offer full refunds to any ticket-holder that does not want to see Axl as the band's Guest Vocalist. A Belgian newspaper has reported that 7,000 fans have asked for refunds in advance of a May 16th date. A local promoter told AC/DC’s rep that a small number of refunds were also given for this weekend’s opening date in Lisbon on May 7th. These, returned tickets are going back on sale, and they're expected to sell out immediately.

AC/DC along with Axl have been rehearsing hard core for the past two weeks in Lisbon, in preparation of the tour's opening date in two days on May7th.

Following this European run of dates with AC/DC, Axl Rose will head out on his Guns N' Roses, “Not In This Lifetime” Summer Stadium Tour.

AC/DC’s European Tour Dates with Axl Rose

May 7 - Lisbon, Portugal @ Passeio Maritimo De Alges
May 10 - Seville, Spain @ Estadio De La Cartuja
May 13 - Marseille, France @ Stade Velodrome
May 16 - Werchter, Belgium @ Werchter Site
May 19 - Vienna, Austria @ Erns-Happel Stadium
May 22 - Prague, Czech Republic @ Letnany Airport
May 26 - Hamburg, Germany @ Volksparkstadion
May 29 - Berne, Switzerland @ Stade De Suisse
June 1 - Leipzig, Germany @ Red Bull Arena
June 4 - London, England @ The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
June 9 - Manchester, England @ Etihad Stadium
June 12 - Aarhus, Denmark @ Ceres Park

The US tour dates listed below, will be made up later in the year. More information regarding these rescheduled shows will be announced later. Current ticket holders can hold on to their tickets for the rescheduled dates or receive a refund at point of purchase.

March 8         Atlanta, GA          Philips Arena
March 11       Ft. Lauderdale, FL       BB&T Center         
March 14       Greensboro, NC        Greensboro Coliseum
March 17       Washington, DC        Verizon Center
March 20       Detroit, MI            The Palace
March 23       Columbus, OH          Nationwide Arena
March 26       Cleveland, OH          Quicken Loans Arena
March 29       Buffalo, NY             First Niagara Center
April 1         Philadelphia, PA        Wells Fargo Center
April 4         New York, NY           Madison Square Garden

The American dates will be posted here as soon as they're announced. Ticket-holder's of any of the above dates can also receive full refunds. I think before anyone acts to impulsively against the idea of Axl as a Guest Vocalist, it should be remembered it is just that, a temporary fill in. With that in mind, I think it is more of a special event to experience the Band doing their classic songs with a different singer. Sometimes, something new, and something different turns into something special.