Album Reviews artists



It’s time to do a 180. That’s the title of a supreme British Punk Record for the year 2013. The album title is based on the studio in Lambeth, London where the band tends to perform. Palma Violets are a pretty radical group. They are the first of two British bands that made it to the top of my countdown! What does that tell you? I LOVE British bands! They just know how to do it for me. For the fans of bands like THE CLASH, look no further. So these guys are named after an old-fashioned British candy, apparently. The lads of this gigantically buzzed-about indie-rock four-piece from southeast London look like they blew their first paycheck on facials and cigarettes—so far. But Palma Violets have a great sound all of their own, even if it has been pieced together from their favorite records. But that’s ok. The band’s debut single, “Best of Friends,” featured an awesome and stylish organ, plus loud drum pounding and background shouting that recalls the Who or something that begs for a round of drinks and earplugs. Animal like noises blast at times. I even hear a bit of Syd’s Piper in it. No matter. The songs get their rugged physical strength and vocals from the likes of Nick Cave and surprisingly the deep and fantastic Joe Strummer. Give this video a view and a listen! Modern Rock to the MAX Baby!!!! It’s pure brilliance!


My “33” Favorite Songs From The 1950’s


Ahhh yes the 1950’s. My parents grew up. Music really started to take shape. Rock N Roll was born. I got exposed to this culture especially the music when I grew up in the 1980’s. Why? Because of oldies radio stations and cassette tapes my dad played in his Ford pickup truck. So what’s so special about the 1950’s?

Rock n’ roll was a creation of the Fifties; bringing with it, the attitudes of teenage rebellion that still exist today. It was during the Fifties that the Beat poets (like Allen Ginsberg) let loose a radical literary howl against boring mainstream culture. And it was during the Fifties that tons of radical technological innovations—even beginning with the computer—began to shift a change the way we were used to living our lives……forever. Dramatic changes in technology, transportation, culture, race relations, and social structures all came heavy like a ton of bricks during the Fifties, and all of these things left their mark on our modern world.

The decade was, more than we usually imagine, a time of change. Radical cars, fashions and Cherry Cokes. But Music did it the most, for me.

In the early days of what is referred to as “rock and roll” styles of the late 1940s and early 1950s, either a piano or saxophone would be the lead instrument, but they eventually got replaced by guitars in the middle to late 1950s. The beat is basically a blues rhythm. Snare drums became the “back beat.” So many styles evolved from this simple twist and “shout.”

So now I present to you the 33 great artists and their essential songs. I choose 33 because it represents the “33 & 1/3 rpms” of a record. Just being clever. The artists and songs were all chosen primarily on my personal favorites but I also incorporated the trends, chart positions, popularity and reviews in various magazines. So what you are about to read is a collection from the true representations of these amazing artists. Feel free to go to Youtube and see and hear these great songs. Here’s the list (not ranked….no particular order):


1 Chantilly Lace Big Bopper
2 Rock Around The Clock Bill Haley & The Comets
3 Who Do You Love Bo Diddley
4 That’ll Be The Day Buddy Holly & The Crickets
5 Blue Suede Shoes Carl Perkins
6 Tequila The Champs
7 Johnny B. Goode Chuck Berry
8 Yakety Yak The Coasters
9 At The Hop Danny & The Juniors
10 A Teenager In Love Dion & The Belmonts
11 There Goes My Baby The Drifters
12 Summertime Blues Eddie Cochran
13 Heartbreak Hotel Elvis
14 Wake Up Little Susie The Everly Brothers
15 Blueberry Hill Fats Domino
16I Only Have Eyes For You The Flamingos
17 Why Do Fools Fall In Love Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
18 Be-Bop-A-Lula Gene Vincent
19 Please, Please, Please James Brown
20 Great Balls Of Fire Jerry Lee Lewis
21 I Walk The Line Johnny Cash
22 Greenback Dollar The Kingston Trio
23 Rumble Link Wray & His Ray Men
24 Long Tall Sally Little Richard
25 Sincerely The Moonglows
26 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes The Platters
27 What’d I Say, Pts. 1 & 2 Ray Charles
28 Poor Little Fool Ricky Nelson
29 Donna Ritchie Valens
30 You Send Me Sam Cooke
31 Shout Isley brothers (1959….most people think 60’s….it was not)
32 Etta James – The Wallflower (Dance with me Henry)
33 Screaming Jay Hawkins- I Put a Spell On You

So there ya go. I don’t have the patience to post sound clips. But the internet is a wonderful thing. Feel free to contest what I posted and/or offer something I totally missed. But I am pretty sure I have most of my bases covered. Comments are still welcomed.

I leave you with this……….cool cars right?


Album Reviews

“Rock & Roll” by The Velvet Underground

This is an incredible song! A joyous celebration of the power of rock ‘n’ roll! I name it as my favorite rock and roll song ever written and recorded. No pun intended. It has a real catchy hook to it. The lyrics evoke that sense of being saved by this music. I picture myself cruising through a busy street or by the ocean or on a country road or anywhere for that matter and listening to this rock song.

It tells the story of a girl named Ginny who was “just five years old,” messing with the dials of her radio in her car until she turned “on a New York station and she couldn’t be-lieve what she heard at all.” Lou Reed is a fantastic song writer and guitar player!

Lou Reed praises the glory of “Rock & Roll” with brutal delight in this Velvet Underground song of that simple title, seeing it as the solace of that young girl, previously mentioned when it explodes out of that radio. It is the third track on the band’s 1970 album, Loaded. I think a fresh audience discovered it when this ten-minute version appeared on Lou Reed’s 1974 live album Rock’n’Roll Animal. What a fantastic record that one is! But the song alone,”‘Rock & Roll,'” is about me, you, anyone really whose eyes and ears suddenly are opened. For me, if I did not hear any rock & roll on the radio, including the song, then I would not be the man that I am today.

But why do I love it? It just feels so damn good on my ears!!!

Take a listen:


An Awesome Psychedelic Playlist


What is psychedelic music? There are several musicians who have a fantastic talent of creating an experience of altered states. Acid trip experiences exploded in the 1960’s. This drug causes hallucinations, magnifies all of the senses, uncontrollable laughter can occur, alters the mind and triggers music to sound so much different.

Artists found a way to recreate a psychedelic experience through a new style of music. Rock and roll would be mixed with crazy speaker effects, middle eastern sounds, guitar noises, and it uses groundbreaking recording styles and effects. These bands draw on sources evoking colors, hues, beauty and the melody of Indian music. Sights and sounds are combined together to create something special.

Just to be clear, you do not have to take drugs to appreciate this kind of music. In fact, the music sounds pretty damn amazing already. The groups listed below did the mind-blowing work for you (the listener).  Let us take an amazing journey together shall we???

I have listed my favorite 20 songs (in no particular order) that represent the “Psychedelic” category of music. Take your time with these songs. They are from a special time and place. The psychedelic era was a mid to late 60’s creation that spilled into the 70’s a little. Nowadays, you can still hear the influences in other musicians but these songs are truly the grandfathers of pure genius. In many ways they appeal to children because they are whimsical, happy and care-free. Much like kids are. So embrace your youth and enjoy!

1. Pink Floyd…….Astronomy Domine
2. The Rolling Stones……2000 Light Years From Home
3. The Chamber Brothers……Time Has Come Today
4. The Byrds…..Eight Miles High
5. Amboy Dukes…..Journey To The Center of the Mind
6. Count Five…..Psychotic Reaction
7. The Balloon Farm…..A Question of Temperature
8. Sagittarius…..My World Fell Down
9. Kenny Rogers & The First Edition…..I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
10. Jimi Hendrix……Purple Haze
11. Bubble Puppy……Hot Smoke and Sassafras
12. Tommy James & The Shondells….Crimson and Clover
13. Small Faces…..Itchycoo Park
14. The Beatles…..Strawberry Fields Forever
15. The Beatles……Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
16. Iron Butterfly…..In-A-Godda-Da-Vida
17. Status Quo….Pictures of Matchstick Men
18. Jefferson Airplane…..White Rabbit
19. Electric Prunes……I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night
20. Strawberry Alarm Clock……Incense and Peppermints