This is a blog about recreational hobbies that I am interested in (music, TV, movies, books). I also talk about what's on my mind or things that happen in life around me. Please feel free to post comments; I want this to be an interactive dialogue. If you like what you read, please share it with your friends. Thanks.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Foster the People - Torches
After a three song, self-title debut EP in January of 2011, they released their first full length album Torches in May of 2011. The album hit number 18 in New Zealand, number 13 in Ireland, number 12 in the UK, number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 200 and number 1 on the US Alternative, US Mainstream Rock and the Australian charts.
Happy Birthday, Cindy Wilson
Cindy was working as a waitress at age 19 when she and her old brother Ricky joined up with other local musicians for a little jam session. On Valentine’s Day in 1977, they played their first concert for a party for friends. And thus the B-52’s were born.
Monday, February 27, 2012
DVD: Santana - Live At Montreux 2011
The show and Santana go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Santana band got its big break by playing Woodstock in 1969. Two years earlier, Claude Nobs established the Montreux Jazz Festival, an annual celebration of music from around the world.
The two came together when Carlos Santana played the festival in 1970, and that was the beginning of a long standing relationship.
Willie Nelson - Always on My Mind
Sunday, February 26, 2012
The Alarm - Declaration
The Alarm followed their self-titled EP from the summer of 1983 (click here for my review of that one) with a full length album in February of 1984. Declaration went to number 6 on the UK album charts and number 50 on the US Billboard Hot 200. It included a couple tracks from the EP and a few other singles the band had released between the two records.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Alabama - Mountain Music
On February 25 in 1982, exactly thirty years ago from today, they released their third studio album on the RCA label. Mountain Music was multi-Platinum in the US (where it went all the way to number 1 on the Country Album charts and number 14 on the Billboard Hot 200) and in Canada (where it reached number 38). It won them the Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group that year, which further helped make it their most successful album.
Friday, February 24, 2012
George Thorogood and the Destroyers
In 1974, Thorogood recorded a demo record which didn't see release until 1979. Along with his band, he released the self-titled debut album George Thorogood and the Destroyers in 1977.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Howard Jones - Human's Lib
On March 17th of 1984, Jones released his first studio album Human’s Lib, a record that debuted at the number 1 spot on the UK album charts and spent a total of fifty-seven weeks on the charts. It went to number 8 in Germany and number 5 in Sweden; in the US it got as high as number 59 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart. He was involved with the composition of all of the tracks and played all keyboards and synthesizers. Davey Payne provided the saxophone on the album.
TV: Survivor - One World (episode 2)
This week's title "Total Dysfunction" not only described one of the tribes but also the whole episode in general.
Let's look at the episode...
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Prince - Controversy
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The Fleshtones - Roman Gods
Monday, February 20, 2012
TV: Once Upon A Time (ep. 13)
This week's episode is entitled "What Happened to Frederick". In Storybrooke, David finally acts to end his loveless marriage to Kathryn by revealing his secret relationship with Mary Margaret. In the land of fairy tales, Prince Charming's search for Snow White includes a dangerous task by Abigail to recover something precious that was lost to her.
Let's get to the episode breakdown, shall we?
Rod Ballou - Where Hell Meets Highwater
Rod Ballou has always been fascinated by music. He purchased his first guitar at age twelve. After college, he got married, started a family and settled into a career in carpentry. Still, music dreams kept resurfacing and today he is trying to make that dream a reality. His debut CD is called Where Hell Meets Highwater.
The J. Geils Band - Love Stinks
In 1980, the J. Geils Band entered into their second decade of recording with the album Love Stinks. The album went to number 18 on the US Billboard Hot 200 chart and generated a couple of singles.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
The Beat / The English Beat - Wha'ppen?
Following their debut album I Just Can’t Stop It (click here for my review of that one), the Beat put out their second studio album in June of 1981. Wha’ppen? went to number 3 in their native UK (just as the previous album did); in the US it spent six weeks on the Billboard Album chart and peaked at number 126.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Happy Birthday, John Travolta
Born and raised in Englewood, New Jersey, Travolta was the youngest of children. All got the love of music and acting from their mother who worked in radio before becoming a high school English and drama teacher. After high school, we got a roll in a touring company of Grease and then on Broadway in Over Here!.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Green Day - Dookie
In February of 1994, the California rock band Green Day released their third studio album Dookie. This was a breakthrough record for them, their first on a major label, as it launched the band into worldwide fame and sales. The album reached number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 200, number 1 in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, number 4 in Germany and number 13 in the UK. It has sold over 15 million copies worldwide and it won the band the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1995.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
TV: Survivor - One World (episode 1)
In the past, the two starting tribes were kept on seperate beaches. Not so this time. Both tribes are living together in one camp right from the start. Two make things easier to remember who is on what tribe, the tribes start out split as men vs. women (which has been done a few times previously).
Gone is the concept of Redemption Island, at least for this season.
Final twist involves the hidden immunity idols. If a castaway finds the idol for their tribe, they can use it for themselves. But if they find the idol for the other tribe, they have to give it to someone on the other tribe. That should make for some interesting dynamics.
Let's look at the first episode...
Simon & Garfunkel - The Concert In Central Park
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Melissa Manchester - Melissa Manchester
In October of 1979, Manchester released her eighth studio album, the self-titled Melissa Manchester. The album was a mix of original material and songs from other sources. Unlike some of her previous records, this one failed to generate any huge hits. However, it did have some strong presence on the adult contemporary charts.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Matchbox Twenty - Yourself Or Someone Like You
In the Fall of 1996, Thomas and his band Matchbox Twenty released their debut album Yourself or Someone Like You. The record was a huge seller, going multi-Platinum in a number of countries. It reached number 50 on the UK charts, number 11 on the Canadian charts, number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 200, and number 1 in Australia. It also was nominated for a number of awards including a Grammy and two American Music Awards.
Monday, February 13, 2012
TV: Once Upon A Time (ep. 12)
A burglar has robbed Mr. Gold's house, and sheriff Emma is concerned that the businessman will attempt to seek vigilante justice. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret plans a Valentine's Day night out for the girls with Ruby and Ashley.
In the land of Fairytales, we learn the story of Belle which includes a fateful deal with Rumpelstiltskin.
Let's get to the episode breakdown, shall we?
Haircut One Hundred - Pelican West (30th anniversary)
This month marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Haircut One Hundred's debut album Pelican West.
For my review of this album, please click here.
To celebrate, I'm going to cue this one on my iPod and have a "Fantastic Day".
Sunday, February 12, 2012
XTC - English Settlement
The original UK album was a double-disk set with fifteen tracks total. The initial US vinyl release was a single disk containing ten songs and the world-wide release had a similar configuration (with the eighth track being different between the two). For this album review I will cover the US release.
Book Review: India's Summer
As I started to read this one, I found it rather interesting. Here is a British teacher named India Butler who works with troubled teens. She's about to turn 40 and wants a bit of a change. On break from school, she flies to Los Angeles to visit her twin sister Annabelle and her family. What follows then is how India becomes immersed into the Hollywood lifestyle full of fashion, facades and paparazzi.
The problem for me is that the book failed to keep me completely interested.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Sheryl Crow - Tuesday Night Music Club
Born and raised in Kennett, Missouri, Crow was exposed to music at a very young age. Her father played the trumpet and her mother taught piano. After graduating high school, she enrolled in the University of Missouri and got her degree in Music Composition, Performance and Education. She worked as an elementary school music teacher by day and performed in bands on weekends. From 1987 to 1989, she toured as a backup vocalist for Michael Jackson on his Bad world tour. She also did some backup work for other artists.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Thompson Twins - Set
Thursday, February 9, 2012
DVD: Queen - Days of Our Lives
Happy Birthday, Holly Johnson
Born in Liverpool, England, Johnson started out as a bassist and vocalist in the punk-rock/new-wave band Big In Japan in 1977. That gig lasted for two albums and two years.
From 1980 to 1987, he served as lead singer and lyricist for the band Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
Since the mid-90's, he has worked as a painter with his artwork exhibited in places such as the Royal Academy and Tate Liverpool gallery. He has also been a contributor to the monthly magazine Modern Painters.
Johnson can be found interacting with friends and fans on his Twitter and Facebook pages. He also posts occasional new music on ReverbNation.
To read my reviews of his work with Frankie Goes to Hollywood, see the links below:
- for their 1984 debut smash Welcome to the Pleasuredome, click here
- for their 1986 second and final album Liverpool, click here
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Mötley Crüe - Shout at the Devil
Happy fifty-first birthday today (February 8th) to American guitarist and singer Vince Neil.
Following their 1981 debut Too Fast for Love (click here for my review of that one), Mötley Crüe released their huge hit album Shout at the Devil on September 26th, 1983. The record went multi-Platinum in the US (where it reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 200) and in Canada (where it reached number 23 on the charts).
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Bronski Beat - The Age of Consent
While sharing a flat in Brixton, Bronski along with Jimmy Somerville and Larry Steinbachek began to play music together as Bronski Beat. After doing under a dozen live gigs, they were signed to a recording contract with London Records.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Rick Astley - Hold Me In Your Arms
After his best-selling 1987 debut album Whenever You Need Somebody (click here for my review of that one), the English pop singer stuck with producers Stock, Aiken and Waterman for his second disk, the 1988 release Hold Me in Your Arms. The record reached number 8 in his native UK, number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 200, and number 3 in both Canada and Germany. It has reached Platinum sales in both the UK and Canada.
DVD: Styx - The Grand Illusion/Pieces of Eight LIVE
The idea for the show was a novel one. Take two of the big classic Styx albums from the late 70's - the Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight - and perform them live from start to finish. That meant eighteen songs total, three of which the band had not played live previously. This DVD set gives you that show in all its musical brilliance.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Guns N' Rose - G N' R Lies
Following their smash hit debut album Appetite for Destruction (click here for my review of that one), Guns N’ Roses followed it up a year later in 1988 with G N’ R Lies. This one too went multi-Platinum in sales and scored well on the charts; it reached number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 200, number 7 in Sweden, number 13 in Canada, number 15 in Switzerland and number 22 in the UK.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
John Denver - Seasons of the Heart
The album cover is kind of a different choice. It is rather dark and shadowy with Denver descending down some stone steps to the Purple Cloud Cave in Hangzhou, China. Only the sunlight off of his blonde hair give any indication that it is the singer for his face is completely in shadow. This was taken of him while he was over in China where it would appear he also wrote a number of these songs.
Friday, February 3, 2012
The Kinks - Low Budget
The Kinks closed out the 70’s with one of their best-selling non-compilation albums to date with 1979’s Low Budget. All eleven tracks were written lead singer, guitarist and keyboardist Ray Davies. The record peaked at number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 200.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Record Breaking January
I wanted to take this moment to thank every one of my readers for a record breaking month in January of 2012.
As you can see from the chart accompanying chart (click on it to see it larger), it was the best month ever on my blog with 8995 pageviews over the thirty-one days last month.
I am completely blown away!
Bertie Higgins - Just Another Day In Paradise (30th anniversary)
This month marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Bertie Higgins' debut album Just Another Day In Paradise.
For my review of this album, please click here.
To celebrate, I'm going to revisit this one on my iPod and head back in time.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Nick Lowe - Nick the Knife
Nick the Knife went to number 50 on the US Billboard Album chart and number 99 on the UK album charts.
Side one opens with the bouncing beat of “Burning”, the second single from the album. This song about unrelenting desire has a bit of country-twang to it.
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