Mommy’s all right, daddy’s alright…guess who’s touring Canada in March?

cheap-trick-rick-nielsen-robin-vintage-70s-retro-classic-rock-music-musician-photo-mono-stereo-lp-vinyl-pop-art-1Ok, so that’s not a recent picture, but fans will recognize it as the cover of their now-classic self-titled disc released in 1977.

These road veterans have added a bunch of new dates to their current tour that will bring them to Canada in March. The dates are as follows:

3/6 – Calgary–Deerfoot Inn & Casino
3/7 – Regina–Casino Regina
3/9 – Thunder Bay–Thunder Bay Community Auditorium
3/11 – Hamilton–Hamilton Place
3/12 – Toronto– Massey Hall
3/13 – Ottawa, ON–National Arts Centre
3/15 – Montreal, QC –Metropolis

As reported on ultimateclassicrock.com, while there’s been some talk of a new record, Cheap Trick are currently in the middle of a lawsuit with former drummer Bun E. Carlos, who sued his onetime bandmates earlier this year, claiming he was forced out of the group. In September, the band fired back and counter-sued to have Carlos “removed as a corporate director” of the inner workings of the band.

The Calgary, Regina and Thunder Bay shows are already on sale. The rest of the dates go on sale this week. Check local listings.

After seeing Cheap Trick open up for Kiss in 1977, I became a huge fan of the band. I saw them as a headliner in 1979 in Montreal on a triple bill with opening acts Prism and Graham Parker & The Rumour. Check out the ticket stub below.

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The band’s latest studio album is 2009’s “The Latest” which I wasn’t overly impressed with. I much prefer their previous release, 2006’s “Rockford”, which I think is as good as their early albums from the late 70s. Check out the track “This Tine You Got It”:

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Happy Friday. What are you listening to?

ipod-classic-accessories-3Haven’t posted one of these in awhile, so here’s what I’ve been listening to in shuffle mode today as I get ready for a couple of days off. Enjoy, and hope everyone has a great weekend.

As of the time of this posting, here are the last 15 to come up in the rotation.

1. Alert Status Red–Matthew Good

2. Shine a Light–The Rolling Stones

3. That Lady (Parts 1 & 2)–The Isley Brothers

4. Afternoon-Pat Metheny Group

5. Perfect Stranger–Cheap Trick

6. Open All Night-Bruce Springsteen

7. You Really Got Me–The Kinks (One From The Road version)

8. Two of Us–The Beatles

9. Spy In The House of Love–Was (Not Was)

10. Bitch–The Rolling Stones

11. You Got Lucky–Tom Petty

12. Spar Wid Me–The English Beat

13. Shakin’ Shakin’ Shakes–Los Lobos

14. V-2 Schneider–David Bowie

15. What Makes You Think You’re The One–Fleetwood Mac

Musician, Songwriter, Producer, Techno Junkie Todd Rundgren is back with a new disc

Todd_Rundgren_at_Revolution_Live_(cropped)You may know him for such 1970s hit singles like “Hello It’s Me”  or “I Saw The Light“. Or maybe you didn’t discover him until the 1980s when “Bang The Drum All Day” hit the airwaves. Or you might be more familiar with his work as a producer for albums by such artists as Patti SmithCheap TrickGrand Funk Railroad and Hall and Oates. Rundgren was also behind the mixing board for one of  the biggest selling albums of all time, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell.

Either way, if you’re a fan of his you’ll be pleased to know he has a new disc to be released on April 9th via Esoteric Antenna. Entitled State, it’s being described as  “a contemporary fusion of rock and electronica.” Rundgren, who turns 65 in June, hasn’t really had a commercial hit in a long time but much to the pleasure of  long time Rundgren devotees he continues to tour and record and will be hitting the road once again in May in support of State. No Canadian dates as of yet.

Rundgren’s last album of original material was 2008’s Arena which, while not a great overall album, contained a killer power pop track that I love called “Courage”. Here’s a live version for you to enjoy:

**Cancon connection alert** One of my all-time favourite Canadian rock albums is The Pursuit of Happiness’ Love Junk. Released 25(!) years ago, it’s an album I have never grown tired of and every track is a killer. Why am I bringing this up? Because it was produced by…Todd Rundgren.

One of my favourite cuts from the album:

The “Starting to Feel Like Summer” Shuffle Report

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The Shuffle Report: 10 songs I listened to, in order, on my iPod in shuffle mode at a given point in time. No editing, no skipping. It is what it is.

Finally. It’s finally starting to feel like summer. I don’t even mind the walk to and from the subway now. The actual ride itself…well, that’s another matter altogether. In rotation today:

1. That Was Me—Paul McCartney (Memory Almost Full) [Sir Paul continues to tour this summer, putting on three hour-plus shows. Amazing.]

2. Heavy—The Black Crowes (By Your Side) [A great album from start to finish from a soon-to-be on hiatus rock n roll band.]

3. Time Bomb—Dave Matthews Band (Big Whiskey and The GrooGrux King) [Catch them on the road this year if you can. They’re taking 2011 off.]

4. Phone Call—Joe Satriani (Flying In A Blue Dream) [A bouncy number from a the guitar master.]

5. Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)—Simple Minds (The Best of) [Great cut from 1982.]

6. Song About The Moon—Paul Simon (Hearts and Bones) [Like Paul Simon? Don’t have this album? Get it. One of his best.]

7. Lookout—Cheap Trick (At Budokan) [One of the best live albums. Really captures the band at their peak.]

8. Nina’s Dance—Tony Scott (Talkin’ Verve) [Ok, Cheap Trick into this acid jazz groove from 1967 can be a little jarring, but hey, that’s shuffle mode for ya. Sorry couldn’t find a link for this one.]

9. Stool Pigeon—Kid Creole & The Coconuts (Wise Guy) [Saw Kid Creole twice in the ’80s, as a headliner then as an opener for James Brown. They put on a helluva show.]

10. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)—Marvin Gaye (15 Greatest Hits) [There will never be another like Mrvin Gaye. Superb.]

Sidetwo’s Decade Ending List, Part 2

Moving up the list, from 40 to 31. Good mix of tunes in this batch, from classic rockers to Oscar winners. Some you may know, others you may not. But all worth a listen. More music to come.

40. Going In The Right Direction–Robert Randolph & The Family Band (Unclassified)

He takes the pedal steel guitar to 11.

39. Take Your Mama–Scissor Sisters (Scissor Sisters)

Great fun. The Elton John influence is obvious.

38. In View–The Tragically Hip (World Container)

While overall I prefer their ’90s output over their more recent releases, I have to admit I love this cut.

37. Saving Grace–Tom Petty (Highway Companion)

Love the album title. Who wouldn’t want to have Tom Petty music along for a trip down the open road?

36. Always A Friend–Alejandro Escovedo (Real Animal)

Odds are you’re not that familiar with is work. Frankly I wasn’t either, at least until he shared a stage with Springsteen a while back. Now I know what I’ve been missing. Great stuff.

35. Walk Like You Don’t Mind–Blue Rodeo (Palace of Gold)

The boys added some new sonic touches to this disc, like strings and horns. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t. But this track is one the band’s hardest rockers. Couldn’t find a video of the album version, but this take from Jim Cuddy and pals will give you an idea. But check out the album version, then turn it up.

34. This Time You Got It–Cheap Trick (Rockford)

From their 2006 album, Rockford. Proof that you can go back to 1979 and survive. The power pop masters prove that they still got it, indeed.

33. The Pretender–Foo Fighters (Echo, Silence Patience & Grace)

I liked In Your Honor better, but this disc definitely has some strong tracks, especially the lead-off track.

32. Falling Slowly–Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová (Once)

Oscar got it right this time.

31. Everybody Went Low–John Hiatt (The Tiki Bar Is Open)

There’s Hiatt the balladeer, and there’s Hiatt the rocker. This is a great example of the latter. No video for this one, but you can listen to it here.

The “Sleep. My kingdom for some more sleep.” shuffle report

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The Shuffle Report: 10 songs I listened to, in order, on my iPod in shuffle mode at a given point in time. No editing, no skipping. It is what it is.

It was one of those nights. Everyone has one of those nights. You go to bed at a decent hour, manage to fall asleep relatively quickly but alas, a peaceful night’s rest is not to be. For any number of reasons, you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, and as hard as you pray for a quick return to dreamland, the sleep gods just laugh at you. Eventually, you do manage to will yourself back to sleep, but then the alarm goes off an hour later. When that happens, the first word that usually comes to mind starts with ‘f’ and rhymes with truck.

So while I tried to stay awake on the subway ride to work, thinking happy thoughts about that cup of coffee I’m going to grab as soon as I get to the office and trying to focus so I don’t miss my stop (hey, it’s happened), I turned up the volume on the iPod just a little bit louder. Had some good tunes to keep me company:

1. One More Day—Cheap Trick (Rockford) [Highly recommend this latter-day release from the masters of power pop.]
2. Hi Hi Hi—Paul McCartney (Wingspan: Hits and History) [Great rocker from McCartney’s early solo work.]
3. Strong—Robbie Williams (The Ego Has Landed) [The guy is one of the biggest pop stars in the world but not in North America. Have never been able to figure that one out.]
4. Jamie G.—Joe Jackson (Laughter & Lust) [An oft-overlooked album from JJ’s catalogue that contains some decent cuts.]
5. Ray’s Blues—Ray Charles (The Birth of Soul) [Essential compilation of Ray’s career with Atlantic Records.]
6. Paper Thin—John Hiatt (Slow Turning) [Outstanding album from one my favourite artists.]
7. Outskirts—Blue Rodeo (Outskirts) [Have never grown tired of this album, 22 years after its release.]
8. Do You Want To Know A Secret—The Beatles (Please Please Me) [Sing it, George.]
9. It’s Just Talk—Pat Metheny Group (Still Life Talking) [Love Metheny’s work with the PMG.]
10. Run Rudolph Run—Chuck Berry (The Chess Box) [Hey, it’s that time of the year. Forget all the schmaltzy holiday music. Let Uncle Chuck show you how it’s done.]

The “took the time to walk with my son to school”shuffle report

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My yongest son is growing up, and while he can go to school on his own now, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to walk with him before I headed to the subway. Quality time in spades. 🙂

After we parted ways (I even got a hug), I flipped on the ipod for the far less enjoyable trip downtown. But it’s great to be able to tune all the noise out sometimes. Here’s what I listened to on this fine Friday morning:

1. Patio Lanterns–Kim Mitchell (Greatest Hits) [It’s always summer whenever I hear this song.]
2. Bionic Man–Fabulous Poodles (Think Pink) [Great late ’70s new wave.]
3. What’s Going On–Marvin Gaye (Command Performances) [One of the greatest soul/pop songs ever.]
4. Wondering Where The Lions Are–Bruce Cockburn (Waiting For A Miracle) [Folkie meets reggae for a Canadian classic.]
5. Oh Candy–Cheap Trick (Cheap Trick) [Great cut from their classsic debut LP.]
6. Just The Two Of Us–Bill Withers w/Grover Washington, Jr. (Best of Bill Withers) [Great collaboration that has become a lite-radio staple.]
7. Dance Little Sister–Terence Trent D’Arby (Introducing the Hardline…) [Comparing your album to Sgt. Pepper is a sure-fire career killer. He should know. Still a fun song, though.]
8. Say It Ain’t So Joe–Murray Head (Say It Ain’t So) [A really great acoustic tune from the man who would later release “One Night in Bangkok”.]
9. This Masquerade–George Benson (Breezin’) [A great cover of the Leon Russell classic from the album that took the career of this jazz guitarist to a whole new level.]
10. Atlantic City–Bruce Springsteen (Nebraska) [Outstanding. I mean, what else is there to say?]