Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Rock's sad path

Is it me or do too many of rock's finest die long before their time?

I'm sure many of you noted the passing of Split Enz/Crowded House drummer Paul Hester when it was reported on March 27th. While be beat away in the shadow of Neil Finn, listening to some of those bands great recordings again it's very obvious how his skills lent themselves so much to the music. And how glorious the music of those bands continues to be!

Crowded House is one of the best and most underrated bands of all time, and it was sad I didn't hear a single CH or SE track played on the radio in the wake of Hester's apparent suicide in a park somewhere in the south of Australia.

Get out those iPods and make sure you take a listen. "Distant Sun," "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Weather With You" sound as great today as when they were actually played over the airwaves...

Monday, March 21, 2005

Hall of Fame: U2 still rules

As time goes on, it will likely be increasingly rare to get excited about the annual induction concert/party/ceremony that is held in connection with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Although I didn't get to go to the real ceremony held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York earlier this month (only celebrities such as Richard Gere, Cameron Diaz and Catherine Zeta-Jones seem to get a seat at the table), I did catch the broadcast over VH1 on Saturday night, March 19.

A few points to ponder:

I knew they would save U2 for last. Why else would anyone stay tuned in? They performed an energetic and strong set of four originals, with Bruce Springsteen joining them on stage.

The Pretenders are not in the same league as U2, but I would have likely cast a vote for them; especially in the wake of undeserving artists such as Billy Joel, Aerosmith and ZZ Top gaining entry in years past. There are a zillion Major League ball players who have hit home runs or thrown a shut out; do they all get in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Of course not.

Buddy Guy is a great guitarist, although I think of him more in the blues camp than rock. But it was great to see him square up and play with Eric Clapton and B.B. King on stage at the event.

Isn't it the "rock 'n' roll" hall of fame. I think Percy Sledge had a great song with "When a Man Loves a Woman," but that isn't rock 'n' roll, and does one song alone get you into the hall? The same goes for fellow inductees, the O'Jays. "Love Train" is a cool, but shouldn't these guys be in the Soul music hall or something? If those artists are welcomed, why leave out Hall & Oates? They have had more influence than Sledge, and fused soul with rock and are undoubtedly more influential?

And why isn't Gram Parsons in the hall; I can't tell you how many up-and-coming alt country-roots rockers are influenced by him today. I think the hall will loose credibility as the years go by and they continue to let in artists who don't rank up there with the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry and U2.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Adore; the real deal

I somehow got out last night (I'm in the middle of a major move - sorry about posting so seldom lately), and made it to the Anaheim House of Blues on a Monday night. I got to check out two bands, with Adore really hitting a sonic fastball out of the yard. The quartet can rock hard, but songwriting, hooks and focus were never far away during the band's energetic 30-minute set.

The songs off their new CD, "Children At Play," were great, especially "Weight of the Dead" and the closing tune, "Bedridden." Guitarist Jimmy "Vayps" Galinato really delivered some excellent harmonic touches during a solo displayed early in their set, while singer Grant "Sizzo" Vanderboom involved the crowd from start to finish. And the rhythm section has a solid one-two punch with drummer Shawn Yeager and bassist Russ Fyne.

This is a band that rocks without cliche, and with a conviction that is refreshing.
For more information on the band, please visit www.adoremusic.net.