Calling Dr. Love! 2014 RNRHOF Inductees Announced

2014-Inductees-Rotator_1Yep, so KISS finally made it. And the E Street Band! Should make for one helluva ceremony.  Read all about the inductees here.

From USA Today:

The 29th annual induction ceremony will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 10, and will be open to the public (as it has for recent ceremonies in Los Angeles and Cleveland). The event will air as an HBO special in May.

“We know that engaging the fans is a huge opportunity,” says Joel Peresman, president/CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “It gives them a chance to be a part of the ceremony, but it also adds a palpable energy to the event. Once we decided to open the ceremony to the public in New York, that had a huge impact on the decision to have it at Barclays Center.”

Chosen by more than 700 voters (artists, historians and music industry professionals) of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, the 2014 honorees will also receive an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland in conjunction with the ceremony. Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first recording.

For a second year, the Rock Hall implemented fan voting in choosing this year’s inductees, which was available on its official site, Rolling Stone and USA TODAY, and generated nearly 1.4 million votes this year. The five artists with the highest number of votes (three of whom will be inducted) made up a fans’ ballot, which counted as a single vote in choosing this year’s honorees.

Among fans, Kiss (239,000 votes) and Nirvana (218,000) enjoyed easy victories. Two artists that failed to receive induction despite swells of public support were Yes (151,000) and Deep Purple (166,000), beaten out in the overall balloting by Hall & Oates (113,000), Peter Gabriel (111,000), Linda Ronstadt (85,000) and Cat Stevens (75,000).

Aside from Kiss and Stevens — who received Rock Hall nominations in 2010 and 2006, respectively — the Class of 2014 is made up of first-time nominees. And although fans may believe that many of the 16 artists put to the vote are long overdue for induction, Peresman assures that no artist is ever considered a “natural,” shoo-in choice.

“All of the 2014 inductees introduced us to something new,” Peresman says. “They might have drawn from their predecessors or built on what came before them, but they all took something from their roots, transformed it, made it their own and brought it to the world at the right time.”

Additional honors will be given to late Beatles manager Brian Epstein and former Rolling Stones manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham, who picked up Ahmet Ertegun lifetime achievement awards for their work behind the scenes in the music industry. The award for musical excellence (formerly known as the sidemen category) was given to Bruce Springsteen’s longtime backing group, the E Street Band.

Tickets go on sale in January, with an exact date to be announced.

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RnR Hall of Fame Class of 2014 nominees announced: KISS, Nirvana on the ballot

rock-and-roll-hall-of-fameAs sure as the sun rises and sets every day, you can always count on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s yearly announcement of the next batch of inductees to result in no end of arguing and griping from fans and critics alike. And of course, this year’s list is sure to be no different. From prog rock to rap, folk to heavy metal, this year’s batch of nominees covers a wide range of genres. Here’s this year’s list of nominees:

  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  • Chic
  • Deep Purple
  • Peter Gabriel*
  • Hall and Oates*
  • KISS
  • LL Cool J
  • The Meters
  • Nirvana*
  • N.W.A.
  • The Replacements*
  • Linda Ronstadt*
  • Cat Stevens*
  • Link Wray*
  • YES*
  • The Zombies*

*First-time nominees

Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.

According to the RNR HOF website, the public has the opportunity to vote for the five nominees they believe to be most deserving of induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2014 inductees, who will be announced soon.

Fan voting will be open until December 10th.  You can find the ballot here.

I think 2014 will finally see KISS enter the Hall. I also think Nirvana, Deep Purple and The Meters each have a good chance as does Linda Ronstadt who will have the sentimental vote wrapped up.

Side note: I visited the Hall for the time in August. Loads of fun and highly recommended. Check out my pictures here.

And here’s a great clip of the closing jam from the 2013 ceremony. Always a highlight of the festivities.

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 “Welcome to 2010” 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.

A new year, a new shuffle report. Haven’t done one of these in a while, so I figured the start of a new year is a great way to get back into the groove. As my thoughts turn from the joy of sleeping in to the anguish of having to now get up on time, I spent part of the last of my extended holi-days organizing the house, cleaning up…you know, the fun stuff. Right.

As for the tunes, here’s the first ten songs of the first of many shuffle reports to come. And now, time to set the alarm for tomorrow. Let’s see..how do I work this thing again? It’s been awhile…

1. When The Lights Go Out–Bruce Springsteen (Tracks) (Always a good sign when the first song of the year is a Springsteen song. Always a good sign.)

2. She Didn’t Know–The Tragically Hip (Up To Here) (From the album that broke them wide open.)

3. Adult Education–Hall & Oates (The Very Best Of) (I have always considered Daryl Hall to be one of the best pop vocalists around. Can’t believe he’s 63.)

4. Trick or Treat–Robert Cray (The Definitive Collection) (A great blues talent.)

5. Up Around The Bend–Creedence Clearwater Revival (Chronicle, Volume 1) (Bet you didn’t know that these guys have sold 26 million records in the U.S alone. 26 million.)

6. Broken Down–Eric Clapton (Reptile) (More mellow Clapton than bluesy Clapton, but a decent tune nonetheless).

7. Finish What Ya Started–Van Halen (OU812) (From the post-Dave-then-pre-Dave, Sammy Hagar days. Glad Dave’s back in the fold, but Wolfgang Van Halen is no match for original bassist Michael Anthony).

8. Foreplay/Long Time–Boston (Boston) (Think CCR sold a lot of albums? Boston has sold 31 million, mostly of which is this album, a staple of classic rock radio.)

9. I’ve Been Waiting On You–Al Green (I Can’t Stop) (Great return to form from soul master.)

10. The Valley–Los Lobos (The Town And The City) (A new album supposedly in 2010? Can’t wait.)

Concert fans take note: Wolfgang’s Vault is open for business

vault-door-wallpapers_13216_1280x1024This past summer I blogged about Wolfgang’s Vault. It’s a great website that houses a massive collection of licensed streaming live recording and now they’re about to make even more of these concerts available for downloading. According to Billboard, beginning November 3rd, the site will add more than 1,000 titles from 919 artists to the approximately 500 that are currently available for purchase. The additions will include more than 160 Grateful Dead concerts as well as titles from artists such as Santana, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Hall & Oates, Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many others.

The download prices will run $7.98 and $8.98 for MP3s and $11.98 and $12.98 for Flac recordings, which is a format similar to MP3, but higher quality (all prices in U.S. dollars). Wolfgang’s vault will also introduce a $48 annual membership which includes a $50 gift certificate, discounts on recordings and memorabilia and unlimited higher-end 192k streaming.

For those looking to bump up their collections with high-quality live recordings that would otherwise be unavailable from traditional outlets, this sounds like a really good deal.

Here’s a few classic live clips to get you in the shopping mood:

The “no real reason for this other than I felt like it” 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.

Usually I have some sort of quaint tie-in to go along with posting my 10-song list. You know, songs I listened to while I “took the time to walk with my son to school”, or was “stuck in rush hour traffic on the way home from the airport” or even the songs I listened to when I was “cleaning up from dinner then folded laundry.”

The reason for today’s list isn’t as quaint. It’s just the tunes I heard while riding on the subway today. But less than quaint doesn’t mean I want to share it any less with you. That’s the point of blogging after all, isn’t it? If I can I can open just one’s person eyes to a song or album or artist that I enjoy that maybe they’ve never listened to before then I fell like I’ve accomplished something worthwhile, and that’s my objective. So while riding the subway is a rather mundane activity, I hope you still find something that interests you in the list. Presenting today’s list.

1. The Big Ranch–Los Lobos (Good Morning Aztlan) [Great way to start the day.]
2. The Bed’s Too Big Without You–The Police (Reggatta de Blanc) [A lesser known Police track, but still killer.]
3. You Turn Me On I’m A Radio–Joni Mitchell (Hits) [For those casual Joni Mitchell fans who are looking to add some Joni to their collection, the “Hits” cd is a great place to start.]
4. So Close–Hall & Oates (Change of Season) [I’ve always liked Hall & Oates. No denying the string of hits they produced. This wasn’t one of their biggest, but it’s a good track nonetheless.]
5. Sweet Maxine–The Doobie Borthers (Very Best of) [Like No. 2 on today’s list, a lesser-known but no less worthwhile tune.]
6. Tramp–Otis Redding (The Ultimate Otis Redding) [Otis. A must for any collection.]
7. Confessin’ The Blues–Little Walter (His Best) [If you like blues harmonica, this cd is for you.]
8. Feelin’ Stronger Every Day–Chicago (The Best of Chicago) [While I have ignored anything post-1978 by these guys, I always enjoyed their earlier output from when they were really cookin’. This is one of my faves.]
9. Have You Heard–Pat Metheny Group (Letter From Home) [Great effort from one of my favourite guitarists in any genre.]
10. Hella Good–No Doubt (The Singles: 1992-2003) [I like a few No Doubt tunes. I saw them open up for the Stones. Yes, the Stones. They were suprisingly good in a cavernous setting like the Rogers Centre.]

The 5 O’Clock/Subway Ride Home Shuffle Report

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Here just for fun are the 10 songs I had listened to on my iPod at around 5:00 p.m. today and on the way home from work (in shuffle mode, of course).

1. Boogie On Reggae Woman–Stevie Wonder (At The Close of A Century)

2. That Girl–Stevie Wonder (At The Close of A Century) (Stevie double shot. Bonus!)

3. Way Back When–Gary U.S. Bonds (Dedication)

4. Feel The Benefit–10cc (Deceptive Bends)

5. Please Be With Me–Eric Clapton (461 Ocean Boulevard) (A beautiful song)

6. I Ain’t Gonna Take It This Tme–Hall & Oates (Change of Season)

7. Mother Nature’s Son–The Beatles (White Album)

8. I Want It All–Eurythmics (Peace)

9. Voyager/What Goes Up/The Eagle Will Rise Again–The Alan Parsons Project (Pyramid)

10. Daybreaker–Electric Light Orchestra (Best of)