Wednesday, October 27, 2010

#47 The warring brothers Gallagher and the tale of Oasis

When Oasis first released the album 'What's the Story Morning Glory' here in Canada in 1995, I was thirteen years old and I was blown away. This was everything my young teenage mind had been waiting for. Listening to the fantastic tracks on this album over and over again for weeks, I couldn't help but let my mind race off with the possibilities that Oasis brought to my mind. I really thought they had a shot at attaining the level of the Rock Gods of old. Quite possibly part of my reasoning behind this was the reminiscence towards the Beatles that their music brings to mind. If you listen to this album you can hear Liam Gallagher trying his very best to sound like John Lennon. I mean, just look at the picture here and tell me if you don't think they are trying to channel the Beatles. Not that I minded back then or even now for that matter. I think Liam himself put it to rest when he said in an interview that 'People say we sound like the Beatles or that I sound like Lennon well that I take as a compliment. Lennon had the perfect sound and I will always strive towards that. He was more then just an influence to me, he was like my god.'

Oasis formed in Manchester, UK in 1991. Back then they were originally known as The Rain, the group was formed by Liam Gallagher (vocals and tambourine), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar), Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan (bass guitar) and Tony McCarroll (drums, percussion). Shortly after forming The Rain, Liam managed to convince his older brother Noel Gallagher to join the group (lead guitar and vocals). Noel agreed to join the group as long as they let him write the songs from then on and to change the name of the group. The rest of the guys agreed and Oasis was born.

Oasis released their record-setting debut album Definitely Maybe in 1994. The following year, the band recorded their opus (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) which is in my opinion one of the greatest rock albums of the last twenty years. The Gallagher brothers featured regularly in tabloid newspapers for their sibling disputes and wild lifestyles. In 1997, Oasis released their third album, Be Here Now, and although it became the fastest-selling album in UK chart history, the album's popularity tapered off quickly. The band lost members Paul McGuigan and Paul Arthurs as they went on to record and release Standing on the Shoulder of Giants in 2000 and were replaced by Gem Archer and Andy Bell who joined the group for the tour in support of Giants. The band found renewed success and popularity starting with 2005's Don't Believe the Truth through 2008's Dig Out Your Soul and their supporting tours.
In August 2009, Noel Gallagher announced his departure from the band after a backstage altercation with Liam before a festival appearance. Liam Gallagher stated that the remaining members of the band would continue to record music, but ruled out the possibility of continuing as Oasis in February 2010, instead forming a new band called Beady Eye.

In the almost twenty years or so that they were a group, they had eight UK number-one singles and eight UK number-one albums, and won fifteen NME Awards, nine Q Awards, four MTV Europe Music Awards and six BRIT Awards, including one in 2007 for outstanding contribution to music and one for the best album of the last 30 years as voted by the BBC Radio 2 listeners; they have been nominated for three Grammy Awards. As of 2009, the band have sold an estimated 70 million records worldwide. Also the band was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 for “Longest Top 10 UK Chart Run By A Group” after an unprecedented run of 22 successive Top 10 hits in the UK. The band also holds the Guinness World Record for being the "Most Successful Act of the Last Decade" in the UK between the years 1995 and 2005, spending 765 weeks in the Top 75 singles and albums charts.

Heres a the video of the single "Wonderwall"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

#46 All hail the king of Rock and Roll. Elvis is in the building!

In the history of all music, few have been able to impact the world to the extant of Elvis Aaron Presley. In this new millennium many are quick to say that Elvis sucked, or that they can't see the draw from any of his music but even the most die hard Elvis haters will usually have a soft spot for at least a few of his songs. Over his 23 year career, Elvis recorded all over the musical map and not always to the thrill of his fans. I am going to stick mostly to the Elvis that I love, the early Elvis.

Say what you will about Elvis but you should know that the majority of modern music is descended from him. Elvis was one of the rock gods sitting high on mount Olympus before the Beatles had landed on our planet. Elvis was, along with Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis, changing the face of music forever. Sure, many people would say he was one of the greatest thieves of black music of all time but he regardless of whether he was the originator of the music or not, he was the one who went on to inspire millions and to push the genre forward into the light. After all, Bob Marley didn't single handedly create Reggae music but he is the one 90% of us think of immediately if someone mentions it.

I love the first three years of Elvis' music. It held such gems as 'Heartbreak Hotel', 'Hound Dog', 'Don't be Cruel' and 'Jailhouse Rock'. Ok first of all, you should know that Elvis didn't actually write any of these songs, but you have to look at the context. For many young people in the mid fifties, if they had bought records with Otis Blackwell on the cover (the actual writer of many of Elvis' early material) they would have been beaten by their 'black fearing' white parents. Elvis was more then just a thief of someone else's music though. He performed with a fire and swagger that no one had seen before and he gradually became the symbol of youth rebellion and rock and roll world wide. Sadly his elevation to being a symbol would lead to his isolation and eventual downfall but this was not until much later.

There is just something about Elvis. His persona and style ooze from every note of his voice, and every picture. He was the King of Rock and Roll and none have ever really captured the essence of the genre in quite the same way. Here is a quick bio for anyone that is curious, courtesy of wikipedia.

Elvis Aaron Presleya (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King".
Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family at the age of 13. He began his career there in 1954 when Sun Records owner Sam Phillips, eager to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience, saw in Presley the means to realize his ambition. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was one of the originators of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country and rhythm and blues. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage the singer for over two decades.
Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", released in January 1956, was a number one hit. He became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll with a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs, many from African American sources, and his uninhibited performance style made him enormously popular—and controversial. In November 1956, he made his film debut in Love Me Tender.

Here are some of my faves from the Early Elvis period.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

#45 Sublime

In my life, I have heard of only a rare few groups that produce a truly original sound for me. The Beatles are definitely at the top of that chart, as are the Clash and the Grateful Dead. In the mid-nineties, I was in my mid teens and in the middle of high school. This state of mind was very discouraging for me and I began to drift away from reality a little bit and seriously increased my intake of marijuana and rock music. After picking up some random CD's at a garage sale, I came across a few bootleg copies of early Sublime music. From those raw tracks I had found, I instantly gained a huge appreciation for their work. I had not heard anything like them since the Clash. How a couple of young white dudes can so superbly jam out the reggae and hip hop vibes while creating that epic mixture of ska and punk that no one has done to a truly wonderful level since the break up of the Clash. To my horror, I lost those early bootleg Cd's, but I remember within weeks of finding them I was out in the store and purchasing the '40 ounces to Freedom' album. Today, more then fifteen years later, I still haven't heard a new band make me feel as excited to throw their album on as Sublime made me (with the possible exception of Monsters of Folk). Sadly, within a year of being introduced to them, Brad Nowell died of a Heroin overdose four days before my birthday (suffice it to say I was really bummed that B-Day).

Sublime was actually formed in the late 80's. Bassist Eric Wilson and Drummer Bud Gaugh were childhood friends, having grown up in the same Long Beach neighborhood. Eric's father Billy Wilson taught Gaugh how to read music and play the drums. Gaugh and Wilson together with future Sublime manager Michael Happoldt formed a three-piece punk band called The Juice Bros during their high school years. About this time, Bradley Nowell, who had recently dropped out of University of California, Santa Cruz, joined the band on Lead Guitar and Lead Vocals.
Sublime played its first gig on the Fourth of July, 1988 in a small club, reportedly starting the "Peninsula Riot" in Harbor Peninsula which led to seven arrests. For the next several years, the group focused primarily on playing at parties and clubs throughout Southern California. They recorded a few songs and put forth a number of short demos beside the well known "Jah Won't Pay the Bills", containing several songs which would later appear on their major releases.

There really is no other band like Sublime and they are always worth checking out even if you have heard them tons of times before.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Check this out!

This is the newest music video from Gorillaz.
Probably one of my fave videos of all time.
See if you can spot the wicked cameos by Lou Reed, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Seriously West Coast with John and Roy

Victoria duo John and Roy have captured the essence of new wave coffee house folk rock. They play each show with energy and friendliness that make you feel like you are out seeing some old friends perform at a local open mic night. With that energy, they add a large amount of energy and a proclivity for excellent song writing. John and Roy are the sort of band that we are beginning to see more of in this day and age. The music scene in the post millennium world saw the over commercialization of music with corporate based acts like the Backstreet Boys and the Spice girls etc. Bands that were more into themselves and their image then the quality of their music became so over produced and over played that many have turned to the growing number of new folk bands.

With bands like the Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons, the new wave of post folk rock brings an honesty and humbleness back into music. Artists that are low key and quiet and more interested in playing music then in shameless self promotion. John and Roy formed in 2005 when buddies John Middleton and Roy Vizer started progressing beyond just two buddies playing in a coffee house. They began writing their own songs and eventually got the cash together to release their own independent record, 2005's 'Sittin back'. They followed this up with 2008's 'Another Noon' which was their first album to go nationally as well as internationally. They began getting a bit more press coverage and were touring North America constantly. The music has continued to grow and shape itself while still remaining true to their initial vibe and style. They recently added members Ryan Tonelli (bass) and Dougal McLean (mandolin/violin) as full time members of the band, as well as some electric guitars and keyboards thrown into the mix.

Together, they released their newest album in April of this year, 'Homes'. This album adds a bit more funk and reggae to their normal groovy folk sounds. The down home islander feel is shining through strongly on this record and overall it is their best one yet. The album starts off with the relaxed, reggae beats of “Any Day Now” (which is a great tune) and the country-folk feel of “Get Myself a Gun” and “Boon Elm.” With so many musical influences, this is an album that sees Jon and Roy branching out and testing out many different sounds. “Cuban B” takes you down to South America, and then the lumbering beats of “Giddy Up” bring you back to their cozy island style.

Feel free to give some of their stuff a listen I think they are a pretty decent local act that deserves a little more attention. Here are a couple of videos and if you want to hear more of them feel free to head over to CBC to check out the play list they have there.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

#44 Rage Against the Machine

I remember picking up the first album, the self titled 'Rage Against The Machine' when I was about 14. Believe it or not, I first checked it out on my mom's music shelf. She had actually seen them the previous year at the 1993 Lollapalooza which still blows my mind that my mom went to a concert that had Alice in Chains, Tool, and Rage when they were all in their prime. That first album was one of the finest début albums ever to be recorded and is still one of the angriest records I have ever heard.

This wicked band formed back in 1991 in Los Angeles, California. Vocalist Zack de la Rocha was rapping in a club when guitarist Tom Morello caught his act and was incredibly impressed. He persuaded Zack to form a band with him and they added Zack's childhood buddy, Tim Commerford on bass and Tom's friend Brad Wilk on the drums. Rage Against the Machine has since become known for their fiercely rebellious music, which brewed sloganeering leftist rants against corporate America, cultural imperialism, and government oppression into a Molotov cocktail of thrash punk, hip-hop, and metal styled alt rock. Rage Against the Machine drew inspiration from early heavy metal instrumentation, as well as rap acts and poets like Bob Dylan. When Rage Against the Machine released that infamous debut album in 1992 it became a huge commercial success, leading to the headliner slot in the 1993 Lollapalooza festival that my lucky mother got to be a part of. Strangely, the band did not release a follow-up record until 1996, when they released Evil Empire which was harder and more acidic and outspoken then the first album. The band's third album 'The Battle of Los Angeles' was released in 1999 and saw them exploring more of a metal sound and even adding elements of funk to their repertoire. During their initial nine year run, they became one of the most popular and sharply influential bands in modern music.

In 2000, much to the sadness of the fans, Rage announced they would be breaking were numerous creative differences amongst the band members but mostly it was decided that Zack thought it was all becoming too commercial and was no longer enjoying being in the group. Shortly after the split however, they released their fourth studio album Renegades, which is comprised entirely of cover songs. Renegades, while an album of covers, is still one of my all time fave records (see the covers of MC5 and Bob Dylan). After the split was final, Zack de la Rocha started a low-key solo career while the rest of the band decided to stick together, eventually forming the rock supergroup Audioslave with former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell. Audioslave went on to gather fairly modest success until 2007 when they suddenly disbanded which lead to massive rumours about Rage reuniting now that Chris Cornell was out of the picture.
In April 2007, Rage Against the Machine performed together for the first time in seven years. Sam Jennings covered for guitarist Tom Morello at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The band continued to perform at multiple live venues around the world in 2008, and in 2009. As of today, the band are still playing live shows and rumours are continuing to spread about the possibility of a new album in the works. I sure hope that they do because music in this day and age desperately needs more Rage Against the Machine.

Here are some of my fave tracks,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

#43 Here come the Flobots

The Flobots are the band you would hear across pirate radio waves after the last great world war that has yet to come. They flawlessly blend alt rock with political hip hop and poetic rebellion, mixing this unique sound with some wonderful viola playing. This genre defying group of trail blazers was formed in 2000, by hip hop singer Jamie Laurie a.k.a 'Jonny 5'. The group had it's beginnings when Jamie met up with hip hop producer Farhad Ebrahimi and they began collaborating on some new ideas. These sessions culminated in the album 'Onomatopoeia' in 2001. Although 'Onomatopoeia' was technically released by 'Jonny 5 and Yak' it is still commonly referred to as the first Flobots album.

After the release of 'Onomatopoeia', the Flobots went on an extended hiatus. It was 2005 that Jonny 5 decided to form a new band with another lead MC, Brer Rabbit. Instead, he (along with Brer Rabbit) decided to keep the Flobots name, adding five new members Mackenzie Roberts on viola, Jesse Walker on bass, Andy Guerrero (from funk band Bop Skizzum) on guitar, Joe Ferrone (also from Bop Skizzum) on trumpet, and Kenny Ortiz on drums. In October 2005, the revamped Flobots released their second album, Flobots Present...Platypus, which went on to sell over 3000 copies over the next two years.

In the fall of 2007, after an intensely productive year of writing and producing, they released the dynamite album 'Fight With Tools' which is one of the most exciting albums I have heard in the last five years. Mackenzie Roberts' viola playing on this album totally clicks with the hip hop/alt rock vibe. The viola gives it a totally old sound that lends the album a nostalgic feeling while also sounding totally new and different. Shortly after the release of the album, the single "Handlebars" started to make waves and began to gather massive popularity on alternative rock radio stations throughout North America and in April 2008 it peaked at #3 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Their latest album just came out this year and it is entitled 'Survival Story'. It carries on the rebellious imagery and political statements that we hear on 'Fight With tools' as well as introduces some new themes and the use of the trumpet on a few tracks which really hits the spot in my opinion. The viola and trumpet really give these songs that extra flavour that lift them beyond the regular hip hop and alt rock and really help make them something special.
The music and lyrics really come together on songs like 'Stand up' and 'Rise'. 'Stand up' starts with a wicked viola intro and the powerful lyrics:

"Stand up
We shall not be moved
Except By a child with no socks and shoes
If you've got more to give then you've got to prove
Put your hands up and I'll copy you"

Hope you enjoy this awesome band, they are pretty bad ass in my opinion.
Here are some choice tracks!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

#42 Run run run with the Dandy Warhols

I first heard of the Dandy's when I was living in Calgary in 2003. I was running the music department at a chain book store and I remember one day unpacking a box of new releases and seeing the 'Welcome to the Monkey House' album. If you are into rock history like I am, then one glance at the cover is enough to interest you. 'Monkey House is an all black cover with a big yellow banana being unzipped. This homage to Andy Warhol, not to mention the band is named the Dandy Warhols, was enough for me to throw it into the player and check it out. What came into my ears that first listen was something I had been waiting a long time for. It had been years since a band had excited me that much and it would be at least a few years before I would get that excited about another record.

The thing I really loved about it was that it seemed so different and very genuine while at the same time being very artsy and psychedelic. It was definitely the gateway album to the rest of their discography. The only sad thing I would be forced to learn in years after was that 'Monkey House' was their swan song, and that other then the odd solid track, this was pretty much it for the band. The good news is that their was another four albums previous to 'Monkey House' that are also incredibly solid.

The band was founded in Portland,Oregon in 1993 by local artist and singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor. He brought in friends Zia McCabe (keyboards), Peter Holmström (lead guitar), and Eric Hedford (drums). Taylor-Taylor's cousin Brent De Boer took over on the drums when Hedford left in 1998 to join the group 'Magic Fingers'. They would all begin knitting this incredibly diverse and strange new form of rock that sounds something like a cross between the Velvet Underground, Blur and T-Rex. They are glam rock while at the same time being psychedelic without being stupid and they are artsy without sacrificing intelligence and great instrumentation.

Other then 'Monkey House' I would have to say my next fave album is their self released double album 'The Black album/Come on Feel the Dandy Warhols'. It is so dark and raw that you can tell after one listen why no major label would release this album. It fits that analogy of 'No Junk, No Soul' because it is so full of power and soul but at the same time it makes you wonder how much drugs Courtney and the band were doing at this point because they sound totally saturated. This double album is full of gold and contains an epic version of AC/DC's 'Hells Bells' which is the answer to the question "Hey I wonder what it would sound like if AC/DC took a ton of Heroin and made an acoustic album?"

The first three Warhols albums; Dandy's Rule ok (1995), The Dandy Warhols Come Down (1997) and The Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia (2000) are fantastic records and contain the most straight laced brand of alt rock the band would make as after the Monkey House in 2003 they began getting overly self indulgent and started making more of a pop sounding dribble. As I said before however, there are are a few good tracks on later albums, but the vast majority is a little to narcissistic for my tastes and the writing is Taylor-Taylor descending into a Jagger like stance thinking he is the greatest thing to ever happen to rock. The sad part there is that unlike Taylor-Taylor, Jagger actually IS a rock god, not just a wicked little band from Portland. Please don't mistake this for saying they aren't awesome though because they are, especially on 'Monkey House' I just think the later work has a little too much ego throughout. In my opinion, stick to the early stuff and you will be totally satisfied.
Here are some choice cuts from the Dandys.
PS. check out 'I am a Scientist', it is co-written by David Bowie
oh, and HAHAHAHAH If you check out the first track on Welcome to the Monkey House, it states 'When Michael Jackson dies, we're covering blackbird."
so here it is!

#41 The Troubled Prince of Folk, Nick Drake

Nick Drake was a troubled, yet extraordinary person whose rare talent was almost ignored in his brief lifetime. Since his suicide 30 years ago, the legend of Nick Drake has grown and in the years since his passing his work has become more well known then he could have even dreamed of while he was alive. Today, his ghost haunts the music that has spread around the globe leaving him still singing to us from beyond the ether with his songs of sorrow and loneliness and the beauty contained in his voice and guitar playing grow more powerful and touching with each passing year.

Drake signed to British record company Island Records when he was 20 years old and through them he released his debut album, the now infamous 'Five Leaves Left'. By 1972, he had created another two more albums that delved even deeper into his mind and soul. First, with the fantastic 'Bryter Layter' and then with 'Pink Moon' which is what I would consider his best work. 'Pink Moon' is so haunting and simple in its splendor that it causes a lot of people to find it unaccessible but I find it to be his most personal work. It was recorded at midnight in 2 two-hour sessions, over two days in October 1971, featuring only Nick Drake's vocals and guitar, as well as some piano that Nick later overdubbed.

None of the albums sold more than 5,000 copies on their initial release. His reluctance to perform live or be interviewed further contributed to his lack of commercial success. Despite this, he was able to gather a loyal group of fans who would champion his music. One such person was his manager, Joe Boyd, who had a clause put into his own contract with Island Records that ensured Drake's records would never go out of print. Drake suffered from depression and insomnia throughout his life, and these topics were often reflected in his lyrics. Upon completion of 'Pink Moon', he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural Warwickshire. On 25 November 1974, Drake died from an apparent suicide from an overdose of antidepressants, he was 26 years old. He has been gone from this world for over thirty years now but today in 2010, his legend and musical works continue to be listened to around the world.

Here are some Nick Drake tracks for you to check out!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

#40 Tom Waits May Be The Devil, But We Still Love Him

Tom Waits is one of those musicians who's work is instantly recognizable. Along with Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Tom has one of those voices that are totally unmistakable in that as soon as you hear the first words, you know it is him singing. In the case of Tom Waits, his voice sounds like it has been soaked in harsh whiskey for a few years and then beaten with a stick and left for dead hanging in a smoking house for another few years. That may not sound pleasant but it comes across as travelled and gives him this unique ability to convey these feelings of sorrow and remorse that no one else can quite manage to capture. While I sit here in my cabin listening to the rain fall on this foggy, Vancouver island afternoon, I have a collection of Waits' music on in the background and it fits perfectly. My vision of Tom is in a post apocalyptic world. The wars are finally over and humanity survives in isolated pockets and in one of them, high up in the mountains of the pacific north west, Tom waits sits behind a piano in a make shift saloon and he sings of the things that came before the end. His voice echoes the nostalgia of long ago and his words tell us of that love we have all lost and those memories of things that have passed us in the foggy clouds of time.

His first record captures this mood perfectly. 1973's 'Closing Time' is stripped down and soaked with emotion. The album is a man at the piano with minimal accompaniment, singing songs of loneliness and bitter sweet memories. The lyrics are proof in my opinion that Tom Waits is one of the Beat Poets born a few years too late. I have always thought his lyrics reminded me of the works of Kerouac and Burroughs. With lyrics such as in his song '
Martha' like:

"And those were the days of roses,
poetry and prose and Martha
all I had was you and all you had was me.
There was no tomorrows,
we'd packed away our sorrows
And we saved them for a rainy day."

This early period Tom Waits is very proto-rock with a heavy swing towards early Jazz and Folk music from ages long before he was born. His ability to capture that style is really quite amazing especially when you consider it was the mid 70's when he started releasing music. Since those humble beginnings, he has branched out into what can only be described as a totally new genre of music. It is part rock and roll, part blues and part folk-jazz. In the years since his voice has gotten more and more ancient sounding to the point of sounding like something beyond human. It is sort of what I would expect from the lips of some kind of ancient trickster or immortal soul who wanders the lands singing the tale of humanity to passers by. Check out his vocals in the fantastic track '
Get Behind the Mule' on his 1999 album 'Mule Variatons'. I have yet to see Tom Waits perform live and I really hope I get the chance especially after the live collection he just released from his last tour entitled 'Glitter and Doom'. He is such a fantastic musician both lyrically and instrumentally and the world of rock is richer for his contribution.

Enclosed is a selection of Tom's work throughout the years to give you a bit of a glimpse into his career.

#39 WTF is this??? Oh, it's Frank Zappa! Ok, carry on then.

In my years of being a hardcore rock and roll fan, I have never encountered anything as strange as the works of Frank Zappa. At first listen to many of his songs, your first impulse may be to turn it off as fast as you can hit the power button, or that being unavailable, to run screaming for the plug before you are assaulted further. This is a fairly normal response to the man who had posters printed for his fans featuring himself, buck naked, sitting on the toilet. If you have the courage to stick it out however, you will find the true Zappa underneath that initial horror. This voyage is not easy but I would equate it with sushi in the way that it is an acquired taste. If anything in rock was that way, it is Zappa.

In the mid sixties, Frank formed the group 'The Mothers of Invention' and released the début record 'Freak Out' which is rock and rolls first debut album that was also a double album. This record, as well as their next few releases, shocked the burgeoning underground of the sixties into an early sort of self recognition. If you were really into Zappa and the Mothers in the mid sixties then you were definitely one of the underground and you probably knew it. 'Freak Out' was this bizarre masterpiece of ironic pop art, and social commentary fused with rock and roll that somehow combined and worked really well. This grand mutation came to fruition through Zappa's unique avante-garde view of life in late twentieth century America.

Throughout his multi decade career, Zappa challenged the status quo on many fronts. Never afraid to hop up on the soap box and tell it like it was, he confronted the corrupt politics of the ruling class in America and held the banal and decadent lifestyles of his countrymen to totally unforgiving and unheard of amounts of scrutiny. He pioneered the artist-run independent record label, launching his Straight and Bizarre imprints back in 1969 and later founding the Zappa, DiscReet and Barking Pumpkin labels. In the Sixties, he mocked middle-class morality in tracks such as “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It” (from Absolutely Free) and sang about the climate of racial inequality and discord on “Trouble Every Day” (from Freak Out). In the Seventies, he satirized everything in sight, including disco music (“Dancin’ Fool,” from Sheik Yerbouti) and new-age movements (“Cosmik Debris,” from Apostrophe). In the Eighties, he enjoyed his one and only Top Forty hit, “Valley Girl,” and took on the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), delivering memorable testimony about the First Amendment at a congressional hearing.

He has left us with such a staggering body of work that at the time of this article, there are a total of 87 albums to his credit and more are on the way, leaving him in the running for the title of most prolific rock musician of all time. With an unswerving conviction in his own rectitude, Zappa remained an often brilliant voice of dissent to the end of his career. When the music industry began branding albums with voluntary warnings about offensive content under pressure from the PMRC in the mid-Eighties, Zappa wrote a disclaimer of his own, which he stickered on his releases:

“WARNING! This album contains material which a truly free society would neither fear nor suppress. The language and concepts contained herein are guaranteed not to cause eternal torment in the place where the guy with the horns and pointed stick conducts his business. This guarantee is as real as the threats of the video fundamentalists who use attacks on rock music in their attempt to transform America into a nation of check-mailing nincompoops (in the name of Jesus Christ). If there is a hell, its fires wait for them, not us.”

To further his hatred of censorship, his estate released the posthumous album "Have I offended Someone?" which was a compilation record featuring some of Zappa's most notoriously offensive songs including "Catholic Girls", "Jewish Princess" and "He's So Gay".

All in all, Zappa is not for everyone but I think most people would have to admit that the sheer level of his talent is staggering and his imagination and ability to write in such a bizarre fashion are almost unbelievable, especially when you factor in that Frank was a staunch opponent of drugs and critic of anyone who even tried them. Clearly this was a man who didn't need to take drugs. Other people needed to take drugs to be more like Frank Zappa.

If you have the courage, try taking a spin through some choice Frank Zappa cuts that I have selected for your listening pleasure!
Enjoy all!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

#38 On a Bridge to Nowhere with Sam Roberts

When I first Heard the mini album 'The Inhuman Condition' in 2000, I thought it sounded remarkably like a Canadian mash up between the 'Revolver Era' Beatles and Electric Era Dylan. It grabbed me and pulled me in with the memorable (sadly at this date WAY overplayed and slightly annoying) hooks and sounds of songs like Brother Down and Don't Walk Away Eileen.

In 2001, Roberts recorded and released a six-song EP, The Inhuman Condition, independently. The EP sold slowly at first, but following a re-release of the EP in the summer of 2002 on MapleMusic Recordings, his first single "Brother Down" became one of the biggest Canadian hits of the year, and the second single, "Don't Walk Away Eileen", followed suit in the fall. His popularity was really beginning to take off within Canada at this point. It was shortly after that Roberts was signed to Universal Music and released his full-length major label debut, We Were Born in a Flame, in June 2003. That album's singles, "Where Have All the Good People Gone?" and "Hard Road", received a large amount of success, though still mainly in Canada.

The band's second album, Chemical City, was released in Canada in April 2006. In Canada, the first single was "The Gate", which quickly shot to number one on Canadian rock radio. The second single in Canada was "Bridge to Nowhere". "With a Bullet", the third song used to promote the album on Canadian radio, received little attention and no video was made for it. In my opinion they should have made the track "The Resistance" the third single. It is my fave track off the album and one I still like to listen to today. (see playlist) I also really liked the track "An American draft dodger in Thunder Bay". It has great imagery and could have also been a pretty decent single.

Roberts' most recent album, Love at the End of the World, was released in May 2008. It debuted at the number one position on the Canadian album chart[2], a first for Roberts. It further amplifies his devotion to crafting good old school feeling Canuck Rock with lots of Beatles influence. One thing I really appreciated about this album was that he toned down the singles so it feels like more of a full album then his previous works. I heard he has his 4th album coming out later this year so I am interested to see what kind of direction he will be taking himself and his band since the last record.

Overall I am not GA GA over Sam Roberts but he is decent and some of his tracks I quite enjoy. I also have to admit his live shows are quite enjoyable I have seen him live 4 times and his shows are fun, high energy and he plays the songs with a lot more ferocity and passion then it seems he expresses on his albums. Worth checking out if you have never seen him live.

Here are some of my fave tracks by Sam over the last decade.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

#37 Happy Mothers Day, Here Is The Queen Of Rock, Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin was the queen of all Rock. She brought her powerful, bluesy voice all the way from Texas to San Francisco’s psychedelic rock scene, where she attained her success while changing the entire view of women in rock. She has been called “the greatest white urban blues and soul singer of all time.” Her vocal intensity proved a perfect match for the high-energy music of Big Brother and the Holding Company, resulting in a mix of blues, folk and psychedelic rock. Joplin’s tenure with Big Brother may have been brief, lasting only from 1966 to 1968, but it yielded a pair of albums that included the milestone Cheap Thrills. Moreover, her performance with Big Brother at 1967’s Monterey International Pop Festival, a highlight of the film documentary Monterey Pop, is among the great performances in rock history.

Joplin left Big Brother in December 1968, taking guitarist Sam Andrew with her. Her first solo album, I’ve Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, appeared in 1969, and she toured extensively with her Kozmic Blues Band. By mid-1970, however, she’d dissolved that outfit and formed a superb new one, Full-Tilt Boogie. They gelled over the course of several months of touring and entered the studio to record what would turn out to be Joplin’s swan song. Sadly, only a short time later on October 4, 1970 Janis passed away in her hotel room from a drug overdose, she was 27. The posthumously released Pearl(the title was her nickname), comprised nine finished tracks and one instrumental to which she was supposed to have added vocals on the day she died. It was prophetically titled “Buried Alive in the Blues.”

Janis Joplin has passed into the realm of legend: an outwardly brash yet inwardly vulnerable and troubled personality who possessed one of the most passionate voices in rock history. She remains today, one of my favourite singers of all time and every time I hear her sing it still gives me goosebumps. Of all female vocalists she is by far my fave. I LOVE Janis Joplin! She was flawed in many of the same ways that Lennon was and as someone with a savior complex I wish I could have rescued her and treated her right. She was a beautiful person and deserved the love that she was always seeking, yet destined never to find.

Here are some of my favourite songs for your enjoyment.
Happy Mothers Day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Introducing The Belle Game

I first heard about this awesome local band on the new Vancouver radio station 104 The Shore FM the other day. The Belle Game first got together in the summer of 2009. Local Vancouver artist Adam Nanji and started hooking up with fellow musicians Andrea Lo and Alex Andrew. Adam had already released a studio EP the previous September. After jamming together and playing together at a few local gigs, the trio realized that their sound had the potential to evolve into something pretty spectacular.

Only a month after forming the band, the three of them decided that they would head into the studio and they proceeded to record a brilliant 4-song EP entitled “Inventing Letters”. They released the EP in the winter of 2009, and they quickly began to gain notice in the Vancouver area both from the EP and their local gigs.

Incredibly, since the summer of 2009, the band has been divided between Vancouver and Montreal because of post-secondary education locations. However, they have persevered through the difficulties of living on opposite sides of Canada and they have managed to gain a hold as wicked local bands in both cities.

Post "Inventing Letters", the band has also continually added more members to their family. In October of 2009, Adam met Katrina Jones, a talented singer/songwriter from Montreal, and when she joined the band, she brought a second beautifully distinct voice to the Belle Game. Since then, Adam met Cory Lipman, a talented drummer and actor, as well as Aaron Kahn, one of the best trumpeters in the McGill Music program, and Tim Beeler, who is now their brilliant bassist. Tim also plays in his own band called The Crown Vandals, and you can check them out here. Last, after going through a bunch of violinists, the Belle Game found a perfect fit: Aliza Thibodeau. Classically-trained, Aliza is everything the band was looking for in a violinist. These new members have all helped make The Belle Game what it is today – a family of musicians looking to play beautiful music for lovely people.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

# 36 There is only one John Lennon

I know I have already done the Beatles but I just think that I also have to mention the enormous impact that this man has had on my life. This man was killed two years before I was born and yet he has influenced my life in countless ways with his humour, his music and his message. One of the things John Lennon taught me was that you can be a hero to others while still being a flawed individual. John was deeply troubled all of his life and towards the end he was finally beginning to rise above his own character flaws and you could see on his face that he was finally becoming at peace with himself.

From the earliest of my days, I can remember Beatles music and John in particular. This was possibly because he was the fave Beatle of our household. My parents also had his books of writing and as a small child I loved watching the Beatles movies, Yellow Submarine in particular. He has always seemed to me to be the max level of coolness. His music with the Beatles and his solo material afterward have remained my absolute favorite music of all time throughout my life. His message and life have inspired me throughout my own journey in this world.

Of his solo work I would have to say that Imagine is my fave. It is so consistent and has infinite listening pleasure to be derived from it. With songs such as 'Crippled Inside' and 'How Do You Sleep At Night', not to mention 'Imagine' you have to admit the brilliance of his work on this, his second solo album after splitting from the Beatles. It is so important in the history of rock and in the world of music in general that even 30 years after his death, people are buying his records by the millions.

For your listening pleasure I include some of my fave Lennon tracks of all time both in the Beatles and in his solo career. ENJOY!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#35... Retrowaxing with Kid Koala

Whenever I start thinking to myself that there are no DJ's out there that I appreciate, I remind myself that there is always Kid Koala. After growing up in Vancouver, BC, Eric San moved to Montreal where he began to record under the name Kid Koala as a DJ and Turntabilist. He is well known for his enigmatic style of turntabilism which uses an unusual collection of samples. He has been known to frequently use samples of music from archaic television specials, old comedy sketch routines (including those which mock turntablism) and people reading a menu in Cantonese.

When Jon More (co-owner of famed UK record label Ninja Tune) came to visit Montreal in 1995, Eric's innovative and humourous mix tape "Scratchcratchratchatch" ended up playing on the car stereo. Shortly thereafter, Eric, now Kid Koala, became Ninja Tune's first North American signing.

A short time later, Kid Koala released a string of remixes and began touring his new material across North America with fellow Ninja Tune artists such as Coldcut, DJ Food and DJ Vadim. But it was not long before his skill, innovation, and performance style led him to attract attention from those outside the club community. In 1998, he received an invitation to join Money Mark's band, and then went on the road to open for the Beastie Boys on their "Hello Nasty" world tour.

In February of 2000, Ninja Tune released Kid Koala's first full album "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome". The album received great praise and was featured in the international press for having defied expectation. The album was accompanied by both a video game and 32-page comic illustrated by Kid Koala himself. A tour featuring 6 turntables and live musicians soon followed and took the young artist throughout North America and Europe.

But while he was on the road, new projects were brewing. Kid Koala continued to keep himself busy on his downtime with the help of pencil and paper. Many sketch books later, his first book Nufonia Must Fall was published in March of 2003 by ECW Press. This 350-page illustrated love story about an out-of-work robot and a workaholic girl was accompanied by a 'soundtrack' of short record of original, experimental piano-based compositions. The original music and his characters set the stage for a North American tour of intimate, sit-down venues, during which Kid Koala lay his fingers down not only on the turntables, but on the Wurlitzer- and on the remote control of an old slide projector.

Here is my fave album by Kid Koala! Enjoy

The Yukon Blonde

This trio of musicians from Kelowna, BC moved to Vancouver last year to write their new album. The change of scenery and the life changes that came along with the move to BC's big center have really shaken things up for these three rockers. The Yukon Blonde are Jeff Innes (Guitar, Vocals), Brandon Scott (Guitar, Vocals) and Graham Jones (Drums, Vocals). The sound they are crafting is a mix of harmonies, poetic lyrics and tight, rocking instrumentation. At first listen, they sound like a mix of Fleet Foxes, The Shins, and Oasis. In this golden age of indie rock, this seems to be a recipe for guaranteed success. Their vocal harmonies come quite close to those of the foxes and their songs definitely have catchy beats and memorable guitar hooks. The lyrics are focused and upbeat with a touch of sunday afternoon melancholy that touches everyone in Vancouver on a rainy spring day in that gorgeous city.

Their first full album (the self titled Yukon Blonde) just came out here in Canada in February and the boys have been out on the road since then. Tour plans are being formulated for a massive Canada wide tour as well as forays south to America over the next year. This album is quite good for a debut record. I first heard of them when I was over at my mum's house listening to the new Vancouver rock radio station The Shore (104.3fm). They played the song 'Wind Blows' and I was instantly caught by how I thought their sound was reminiscent of CSNY or the Byrds crossed with a more updated, indie rock sound. The comparison to the Shins is easily audible when you check out their stuff. Stand out tracks for me on this record are 'Loyal Man' (which I think is the most classic rock sounding track and has an awesome chorus is quite catchy) and 'Wind Blows', which is fantastic and has vocal harmonies that seek to rival the Fleet Foxes. Perhaps my overall fave track on the album is 'Babies don't like Blue any more'. It is a totally rocking track that hits you with a nostalgia rock feeling in a similar way to how the music of Sam Roberts gets you grooving. It is a rocking track and the instrumentation is fun and tightly put together. Included for your listening pleasure is the album! check their stuff out, I think this is going to be a new addition to the blog. We are adding playlists for every article so I can share more music because that is what this is all about really. Sorry I have been absent this last week I have been quite under the weather. I am back with a vengeance now though so look out for a ton more articles coming soon!


Thursday, April 8, 2010


Sorry all, I have been down with a truly awful case of the flu for the last week. Stay tuned for a ton more blogs asap

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This weeks playlist

Check out this weeks playlist!

Included is a live version of breakdown which I think is my fave version and shows how awesome Tom Petty is live!

#34 The Man In Black... Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash is a singer-songwriter,guitarist, actor and author who is known as one of the most influential forces upon music who have ever lived. In his career that spanned nearly fifty years, Cash has explored nearly every musical genre that there is. His music blurred the lines between early rock and roll and country and paved the way for later generations of musicians. Although his career has primarily been known for country and folk, he has written and performed material that expands into rockabilly and rock and roll in ways that no one before him had attempted and he was doing so right from the beginning.

With his deep baritone voice, his increasingly sombre and humble demeanour along with his reputation for giving free concerts in prisons and his choice to always perform in black created the mystique about Johnny Cash that eventually led him to become known as '
The Man In Black'. Johnny himself addressed the nick name in a song stating 'Ah I'd love to wear a rainbow every day, and tell the world everything's ok, but I'll try to carry off a little of the darkness on my back, Till things are brighter, I'm the man in black.' This persona continued throughout his career and in fact became more pronounced in later years. His music towards the end of his career echoed themes of sorrow, moral tribulation and redemption.

Over the years Johnny Cash has worked with a vast number of musicians which have resulted in some golden musical results. On December 4th, 1956 Cash was present for an event that music history remembers as 'The Million Dollar Quartet'. This session, which began totally by chance, included Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. Sam Phillips the owner of sun records saw the opportunity and quickly started recording. The resulting session was one of the most unique recordings in music history. All of the participants were singing and playing to try and compliment the others and as a result you can hardly hear Cash as his trademark baritone vocals are gone as he tries to increase his vocal pitch to better match Elvis's. Later in his career, Cash was instrumental in forming the super group '
The Highway Men' with fellow country stars Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. In the ten years they were active (1985-1995) they released three albums and earned a number one hit with their single 'Highwayman'. As a group, they were pretty much responsible for the creation of the 'Outlaw Country' genre.

For me, Cash is the country outlaw, this mythical figure of music that is so prolific his career is almost unbelievable. Johnny Cash
IS country in my opinion and he does it with such style and class that most country acts never attain in my opinion. Songs like 'Folsom Prison Blues', and 'I Walk the Line' are fantastic examples of Cash's work. His musical rebel side comes out in songs like 'Cocaine Blues' and 'Man in Black'. This rebellious image helped him in later years to break through to the younger audiences and fans of indie and alt rock. This popularity increased with the release of his 'American' series of albums that he began releasing shortly before his death and have continued to be released posthumously. There is an awesome box set of his unreleased sessions from the American series called Cash Unearthed. I highly recommend that one as it is really awesome and incredibly well put together. The American series, produced by Rick Rubin is one of the finest collaborations I have head in recent memory and it really sparked a renewed interest in Cash for me. He is definitely more then just a country singer, and in fact he has been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his genre blending music. Check him out if you haven't really given him much of a chance before, I think you will enjoy it.

This is a great video. It is Johnny Cash performing his cover of 'Hurt' by Nine Inch Nails. The video shows Cash mere months before his death and is shot to be a reflection of his life and career. I think its really awesome and would love to know what you think about it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

#33 The Lost King... Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly was lost to us at such an early age that the majority of his legend is pure speculation. He was so incredibly talented that his brief career before his untimely death inspired pretty much all of rock and roll that came after him. Whereas Elvis was often denounced for stealing black music and calling it his own to gain his fame, Holly had crafted his brand of guitar rock and roll that was totally his own. With his trademark hiccuping vocals and his extremely talented guitar playing, Buddy Holly had begun revolutionizing popular music from the moment he laid his first track down. The legend that grew after his death was based on the endless speculation of what height he would have climbed to had his career not been cut so short. I am of the mind to agree with those people and I think had he survived he would have surpassed Elvis many times over and been known as the king of Rock. Quite a good deal of Elvis's image was his look, whereas Holly was sort of nerdy looking, with his curly hair and large horn rimmed glasses. Buddy Holly crafted his popularity with nothing but his incredible talent and he was so young when he died I think that his talent was only increasing when he was taken from us.

Buddy Holly was born in 1936 in Lubbock Texas. He came from a family of musicians who encouraged him in that direction at a very young age. By age 5 he had already won a talent show for his singing and he had begun playing the guitar as well as the piano and the violin. In 1955, Buddy saw Elvis perform, an event that helped him to realize music was getting to a point where he could begin to create the music he wanted to. Less then six months after seeing Elvis perform, Holly was sharing the bill with him and his career had begun to take off like a rocket. over the next few years Holly would release just 3 albums before his death in 1959 at age 22. These three albums are recognized as some of the most influential works in rock history. Buddy was the first white musician who wrote, performed and produced his own works. With his band the Crickets, he was one of the first white musicians to ever play the Apollo theatre in New York. When he toured the UK in 1958, Keith Richards was in the audience and seeing Buddy perform Not Fade Away was one of the biggest influences in Richards' life. Keith would later say "Everyone in rock is influenced by Holly". Two nights before Holly's death, 17 year old Bob Dylan saw him perform in Duluth from the front row. He later stated that Holly stood a few feet away from him and at one moment looked right at him, a moment that profoundly affected him in later years (Dylan mentioned this during his Grammy acceptance speech for his
Time Out of Mind record).

Holly's influence still abounds today in more genre's then rock. He pretty much invented the rock band standard of two guitars, bass and drums. His lyrics showed the beginning of a much deeper and richer talent that sadly never got a chance to be shown. His instrumentation was incredibly complex for the day including instruments such as the Celesta that were usually not used in rock and roll. Sadly, after a show in February of 1959, Holly died in a plane crash on his way to another performance. With him on the plane were fellow musicians Richie Valens and 'The Big Bopper'. Their deaths were forever immortalized in rock history as 'The day the music died'. Many record executives at the time believed that Holly's death would create a ripple effect and that rock and roll would be buried with him. As a result, the next few years saw a much fewer number of record contracts being given to rock and roll groups. People were so shocked at his death that many began spreading rumours that it was a conspiracy and that the government or the mob had ordered Holly's death.

50 years after Holly's death, his legend is still inspiring musicians and his music is still seeing sales. Buddy was the part of the first group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame. In my own personal opinion, Buddy Holly was the greatest of the fifties rockers. I have always enjoyed his music and it stands alone as good music, not just as nostalgia rock. Some of his tracks sound like they could have been written today, which might also speak to the revival of older styles of rock that has been occurring lately. If you have heard of Buddy Holly but have never given him a really solid listen then I suggest you do so. Start out with tracks like 'Rave on' and 'Peggy Sue'. If you dig it, then try some of the accoustic stuff from his later work, it is really quite good.

Here is one of the only videos of Buddy Holly in performance. Live in 1957,

Friday, March 26, 2010

#32.......... The Who

The Who have always been prime contenders for the title of 'Greatest rock band in history', up there with the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Rebellious to the point of totally destroying their instruments on stage, the Who rocked out in a way that captured the spirit of every angry young man in the sixties. Their influence has definitely stretched forward through the years, continually inspiring people and now, as we look back, they also capture the essence of sixties rebellion and counter culture in a way the Beatles or the Stones never quite did. Since the Who were technically Mods, they did exist on the outer fringe of rock. While exploring the outer regions, their experimentation led them in bold new directions that were years ahead of their peers. They were one of the first to begin pioneering the lands that would become punk rock and they pretty much invented the rock opera (see "Tommy). They were also the first group to really start using synthesizers musically and not just for effect.

The original line up of the Who consisted of Pete Townshend (lead guitar), John Entwisle (bass guitar), Roger Daltry (vocals) and Keith Moon (drums, percussion). All four of them grew up in the greater London area. Townshend and Entwistle knew each other at school in the late-1950s and played in a Dixieland band together in their early teens but Entwistle left in 1962 to join the Detours. That band included Roger Daltrey, who was then working as a sheet-metal worker. When the Detours needed to replace a rhythm guitarist, Entwistle suggested Townshend, and Daltrey switched from lead guitar to vocals when the original singer, Colin Dawson, left in1963. Not long after that, drummer Doug Sandom was replaced by Moon, who was then playing in a surf band called the Beachcombers. By early 1964 the group had changed its name to the Who and the legend began to take place.

Soon after, during a concert at a London tavern, Pete Townshend
accidentally broke the head of his guitar through the ceiling. Angered by laughter from the audience, he smashed the guitar to splinters on the stage. He picked up another guitar and continued the show. A large crowd attended the next concert, but Townshend declined to smash another guitar. Instead, Moon wrecked his drumkit after Townshend received catcalls from the crowd. The instrument destruction soon became a staple of The Who's shows for years. The incident at the tavern became one of "Rolling Stone magazines 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock 'n' Roll" It reminds me of one of my fave Who stories in which Keith Moon decided to really make a bang during the band's début on U.S. television on the Smothers Brothers show in 1967. Moon overloaded his bass drum with explosive charges which he detonated during the finale of the song, 'My Generation' The explosion caused one of the shows guest stars to faint, set Pete Townshend's hair on fire and, according to legend, contributed to his later partial deafness. Moon was also injured in the explosion when shrapnel from the cymbals cut his arm and the shows first aid team found moon laying in the wreckage laughing uncontrollably.

What else can I tell you about this fantastic band. It is late at night as I try and finish this article and I think about how much there would be to tell. I first heard the Who as a very small child when my dad would put on the LP of Tommy for me and my sister. The Who have so many amazing albums that it is hard to think about someone not knowing about them. If you like the good stuff and have never dug on the who, then get out of your seat and go check them out. They are dirty, rebellious, destructive and loud. Everything we want in a classic rock band and more. They could even switch gears and show you the beauty of rock (see awesome tracks like behind blue eyes). I know that Townshend and Daltry have sold out big time in the last few years but one thing I always admired about Pete Townshend was that he admitted it. He once said "There is only one way to sell and it's out! If I wasn't in this for the money I never would have sold my music to record companies in the first place". Whatever the Who have become now, that has no bearing on how freaking amazing they were when it all began. The spirit of the Who is still the spirit of youth in rebellion and maybe that is why in old age the Who just seem like they are not meant to be.

My Fave Album:
-Quadrophenia is the greatest concept album I have ever heard. It is so rich and well written with subtlety and quiet grace that it almost gets left behind in the wake of their loud and in your face recordings. It is solid gold and an album that always seems to have more to offer. If you want to know more about this wonderful album check out Quadrophenia

Check out this awesome video of The Who live at the rock and roll circus