Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Happy Listening, Some of My Favorite Podcasts!

I love podcasts.  I do a lot of walking.  Usually every day I take a nice long stroll to clear my head and to stay active.  While I do I have my ear buds in and most times I am listening to music.  However at least once or twice a week I take a break from the tunes and listen to a podcast. Here are some of my favorites. Some are music related, some are not.

The Rock and Roll Geek Show

Love this one, it's probably my favorite. The host, Michael Butler, is funny and insightful when it comes to the world of rock.  It’s been around for a long time and I only started listening to it last year.  I have discovered more new music from this podcast than I have anywhere else.  His track by track reviews of albums are the best.  I highly recommend this one for music lovers.  And he discusses a variety of music from the rock and roll genre, from Bryan Adams to Megadeath have been featured on his show the last few months.  He highlights a lot of music that might not be in the mainstream too and I got some great pickups from his top ten albums from 2015. 

Eddie Trunk's Podcast

I still love Eddie Trunk.  He is still probably our number one soldier for waving the rock and roll flag.  Great interviews and I have picked up some new music from here too.  For example, I would have never thought to check out the new Europe album until Eddie suggested it on his best of 2015 list.  Sad to hear his T.V. show did not get renewed on VH1.  Hope it gets picked up and finds a home somewhere else. In the mean time, the podcast still rocks.

That Simpsons Podcast

I am a lifelong Simpsons fan.  Yes yes I know, it’s not as good as it used to be, but it’s still enjoyable.  I am old enough to clearly remember when it debuted and I have watched it ever since.  When I watched the season premiere this season I thought, first time I watched this show I was in high school now here I am still watching in my forties. That’s wild!  It’s been part of my life for a long time. This podcast usually contains three entertaining and humorous hosts that take us through the early years of the Simpsons one show at a time.  Each show features a new episode and they play clips, talk about some behind the scenes stuff, discuss the introduction of new characters and reflect on shows evolution among other things.  They also give us this day in Simpsons history and share with us what was going on in the world when the episode first aired.  It certainly makes me, and the show, feel old! If you are a Simpsons fan this podcast is great fun!!


If you love good story telling you should enjoy this one.  Each podcast falls under a different theme and various stories from various people are shared from their own lives falling under that particular theme.  Some are quite humorous and some are quite powerful and moving.  I think this pretty much sums this one up.  It’s very good!

There are many others I listen to at times and I am always checking out new ones.  I might do another post some time about some others.  I would love to do my own podcast and I even have some ideas but I have no idea about how to get into the podcast world including the ins and outs of the legalities of it, if I were for example, to play some music on it.  I would preferably like a co-host too!  I guess I will stick to the blogging for now.

If you are a podcast listener I would love some recommendations!!  As always, thanks for stopping by!  Comments are welcomed! 


Thursday, 28 January 2016

Def Leppard, Album Review

Anyone who’s read either of my blogs when I was writing a few years back would be well aware of my affection for Def Leppard.  Pyromania and Van Halen’s 1984 were the first two albums I can clearly remember falling in love with and they were the first two bands that I ever really “got into”. And I really got into them too.  It wasn’t long after I discovered Pyromania that I needed more Def Leppard and the first two records, On Through the Nigth and High and Dry were part of my collection.

Years passed and I still continue to follow both bands very closely.  I think for a lot of years many Def Leppard fans have been waiting for an album that would fit right in the middle of Pyromania and Hysteria, the bands two massive hit records.  I honestly think this is finally it.

There are those Def Leppard fans that think that anything they recorded after 1981’s High and Dry or maybe 1983’s Pyromania is garbage. Don’t get me wrong, I love those early records, but if you are going to think of the Def Leppard sound it’s Pyromania and Hysteria onward, for the most part, that makes them who they are. If you are a fan of Def Leppard but have not really followed their work in the studio since the early 90’s I think you should give this one a try and I think you will more than like it.  Although not overly detailed or maybe even that insightful, here is a very quick tour of this latest self titled release.

Let’s Go: The first song and single has a definite similarity in places to some of the Pour Some Sugar on Me riffs.  It has a different feel, is a solid opening track and is already in the live set list, as it should be. 

Dangerous: This is probably my favorite track on the album.  An upbeat rocker with catchy riffs, a big chorus and in places I am almost hearing shades of the song Photograph from Pyromania shining through.  This is what I consider to be the classic Def Leppard sound.

Man Enough:  A odd but catchy track.  It’s driven by a baseline that is undoubtedly comparable to Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust

We Belong: The album slows down for first time for this ballad in which all five members of the band take a hand in the lead vocals.  They work through the verses with each one singing a line.  I like this song a lot.  It’s the first slower Def Leppard number I think I have really enjoyed since the ballads on Hysteria.

Invincible: Kind of a steady, catchy mid tempo rocker. If I compared the song's “speed”, think Animal from Hysteria.

Sea of Love: This one picks up the pace a bit more and the verses are a little heavier.  The chorus mellows a bit with the typical Def Leppard harmonies.  Great song.

Energized: A slightly different track that sounds a bit electronic.  It slows down a bit to more of another mid tempo number.  It is catchy again and still sounds very Def Leppard.

All Time High: Upbeat, rocking, big chorus and needs to be played live. Another one that you could throw on Pyromania or Hysteria and it would fit right in. I hope it finds its way into their set list.

Battle of My Own: A, hmmmm, groovy maybe, acoustic driven song that is being described by many as the bands nod to Led Zepplin.  I like it, another solid track.

Broke ‘n’ Brokenhearted: I am not sure how to describe this one.  At first I thought, meh, but it really grew on me.  It’s just another upbeat Def Leppard song that’s easy to listen to.

Forever Young: When this one starts the guitars sounds like it could an early Def Leppard song.  It’s another harder upbeat one and again, has that chorus that you can easily sing along to.

Last Dance: Another ballad and this one is acoustically driven.  I am almost reminded of that period in the eighties when every band had to do one of these after Poison struck a huge hit with Every Rose Has it’s Thorn.  This one is works for me, probably better than a lot of those that came out in the eighties. 

Wings of an Angel:  Another solider hard rock track.  Parts of it sound like it could be back in the early Def Leppard era again.  Great song.

Blind Faith: The album closes with perhaps the most different track on the album.  A lot of things going on here.  A slow building guitar riff, nice sounding guitar solos in a few different places, psychedelic at times and it builds to a bit of a rocker towards the end.  Well done!  Love this track!

There you go.  Quick and not overly detailed but hopefully gives you some insight into this record. The band claimed some different styles going on here and there is certain evidence of that throughout but at the same time it is unmistakably Def Leppard.  I really do think this is their best release in a long time. I used to give albums grades before.  I suppose I should continue and I will give this one an A+.  Why not?  It's great fun from one of my favorite bands!

That’s all for now.  Hope your week is rockin’!! 


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Some random quick hits and thoughts for the mid week.

Sitting here on this Wednesday morning still pondering the loss of classic rockers lately.  It’s very strange to see so many historically significant and influential artists gone in such a short time frame for sure. The music will live on but they will be missed.  I am getting to the point where I am afraid to check my Twitter account in fear of seeing more bad news! Again, to all those who have recently left us, Rest in Peace and may the music you made bring joy to many for many years to come.

Still been playing the All a Man Should Do album by southern rockers Lucero.  Again, they are new to me, so if you have one of their other records to recommend to me please do.  And if anyone has seen them live would love to hear about that too. If I get some time I may do a detailed review of the album.

However, last night I went on a long stroll and decided to play a little of one of the newest members to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame, Cheap Trick.  I went with the Authorized Greatest Hits compilation. They really are just a straight up kick ass rock band.

Back when I was blogging a few years ago there were several blogs I loved to read and follow.  I have noticed many of them have ceased to be updated like mine did for a very long time.  I would love to know if anyone knows the whereabouts of the writes of the following:

Mr. Mike’s Media Maddness
Layla’s Classic Rock blog.
Good Rockin Tonight

Their blogs are listed to the right but are not being updated.  If any of them are writing something else or are just out there reading blogs let me know.  Hey if you happen to be reading, I loved reading your blogs and would love to hear from you again.

I don’t get excited about much on T.V. anymore but I am anticipating the new X Files series coming on this coming Sunday.  Last weekend I saw the new Star Wars which took me back to my childhood. Now I am looking forward to a show I was a big fan of in my twenties (dating myself).  I guess retro themed programming is the way to go. 

That’s it for now.  As we slide into the weekend from here my schedule looks pretty good.  Maybe get to try out my new snow shoes, take in a movie, watch the X Files and hopefully tend to this blog.  I want to get something up on the latest self titled release from Def Leppard.  Middle age mayhem will ensue. 

Enjoy the rest of the week!!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

RIP Glenn Frey

What is going on?  Scott Weiland, Lemmy, Bowie and now Glenn Frey. I can’t remember a stretch like this ever occurring before? The Eagles music needs no introduction.  They have certainly resonated with many people for a long time and spanned across generations too.

There are a lot of fans undoubtedly feeling the sting of this one today and will continue to. I have some friends who were very passionate for their love of the Eagles and traveled at great lengths to see them play live.

Yet another legendary classic rocker gone too soon.  Rest in Peace Glenn Frey.

Monday, 18 January 2016

The weekend that was: Lucero and Star Wars

I have been thoroughly enjoying the southern rock sounds of the band Lucero as of late.  The latest release, titled All a Man Should Do, has quickly become a favorite of all the new music I have listened to from 2015.  The album overall has a mellow feel to it, but all tunes are catchy, and they stick with me as lead singer Ben Nichols' scratchy voice takes us through the record. I liked this album after the first listen.  But the more I played it, the more I liked it and began to appreciate it. 

I am new to this band and did not know a lot about them until recently. Actually, I still don’t know a lot about them apart from a few Google searches as I listened to this one off and on over the weekend.  I am disappointed to learn that they have 11 albums out and I am only discovering them now.  I definitely plan on checking out some earlier releases and if anyone has a recommendation of where to start please send it along.

Apart from a recent road trip and listening to Lucero over this past weekend I finally got out to see the new Star Wars movie.  I went reluctantly. It’s not that I didn’t want to see it.  I felt that I just wasn’t in the mood.  Star Wars, Star Wars blah blah blah is all I have heard about lately. When I got there and the movie started it was a different story.  It was great fun for sure!  It was definitely a throw back in feel and storyline to the old Star Wars movies that anyone around my age grew up with.  I was glad I went and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It’s just after 6:00 a.m. in my part of the world and this coffee has the force awakened in me to take on this week.  Time to get it started. Hope you have a good one! Be back soon!

Friday, 15 January 2016

Holler if you hear me!

Do you love music?  Of course you do!  So do I!!  When I was into this a few years back one of the things I loved the most about it was I actually made some connections with people around the world who also love music.  We traded a few emails and such discussing our favorites and what not. Life got in the way.  I faded into obscurity.  And now here I am with the big comeback blog.

I don’t know about you but in my “real life” I do not have a lot of people to chat with about music with.  I mean I do, but they are more casual fans, no disrespect intended to any of them.  Technology allowed me to chat with those who treat it as a little more of a serious hobby.

So if you are out there drop me a line.  I don’t care what you listen to or what your thing is.  I will never mock you, we all have different tastes and that’s totally cool with me. If it’s not my thing, it’s not my thing, still tell me why you love it or whatever.

I am off to start this Friday at work and lead into a busy weekend of family activities.  ‘Middle aged mayhem’ will ensue.


Thursday, 14 January 2016

Farewell Gentlemen, Farewell

Not much I can say that has already said about the passing of musical icons over the last short while.  Some musical artists’ passing hits you and resonates with you more than others depending on your own history with them.

As a fan of heavy metal and hard rock you cannot understate the legendary status of Lemmy Kilmister. I will fully admit that Motorhead has dabbled in an out of my playlist over the years.  Every time, every time, it’s been there I have enjoyed it.  But there was something about Lemmy that seemed to speak to every hard rock fan.  And no matter who your personal favorites are, if you have followed them closely at all over the years, you undoubtedly heard them speak fondly of Lemmy and probably listed him as an influence. I found myself for days after news of his death perusing the various tributes and kind words said about him.  I also find it comforting to hear that in addition to his impressive catalog of music, he has always been spoken of as a sincere, kind and gentle soul. The news of his passing is one stuck with me for sure. 

With the dust not even settled from this news the world learned that the icon and legend in every sense of the word, David Bowie, has left us.  Is there any true lover of music and artistic expression that was not a fan of Bowie?  This news, just like the passing of Lemmy, lingered on. I again found myself for days reading the various tributes and words about one of the greatest artists of our time.  Virtually every genre of music has key players who list Bowie as a major influence. Is there anyone else ever who has transcended musical influence across so many styles as Bowie? I really don’t anyone has, and I really don’t think anyone comes close. 

My words here don’t really come close to the many other heartfelt and in depth tributes that have surfaced all over the Internet.  Those who knew them, those who work have worked with them and those who make music can sum up these two lives, work and genius far better than I could even pretend to.  But as one who proclaims to be passionate about music and a very amateur blogger how could I not at least say a few words.  So take time and read some good stories about them and tributes to them, while listening to some of their music.  Because both of these gentlemen will never be replaced.

RIP Bowie and Lemmy