What are you listening to today? Me, I’m in a shufflin’ mood

ipod-classic-accessories-3I’ve added a bunch of stuff to the iPod lately, including the new discs from Paul McCartney (pretty good), Pearl Jam (really good) and a classic compilation from the Faces that I picked up for the awesome price of $4.99(!) at Sunrise Records in downtown Toronto (great store). So after listening to those discs and other complete albums  for a while I decided to flip the switch back to shuffle mode. At the time of this writing, here are the latest 15 that have come up in the rotation.

1. That’s The Way–Led Zeppelin

2. Clifton Springs–Steven Page

3. Holly Holy–Neil Diamond

4. I Fought The Law–The Clash

5. Sting Me–The Black Crowes

6. I’ll Survive–B.B. King

7. Little Bones–The Tragically Hip

8. Two Janes–Los Lobos

9. My Little Town–Simon & Garfunkel

10. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You–Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

11. Love Is The Drug–Roxy Music

12. Busted–Ray Charles

13. Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)–Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

14. Time Stand Still–Rush

15. See You–Foo Fighters




The 50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now (at least according to Rolling Stone)

Rolling Stone_bruceSo the cover story of the new issue of Rolling Stone is all about the hottest acts on the road. Of course, any kind of top-whatever list will lead to all sorts of disagreements (just check out the comments on the magazine’s website), but I can heartily agree with their choice for number one on the list. Hint: It’s the fella on the cover.

Yeah, yeah, I know…I’m biased. But c’mon…who else could it be? I’ve seen Springsteen 13 times since 1984; three of those on the Wrecking Ball tour that just finished up in Europe. Whether it was with the E Street band, solo, or with the “other band” (well, maybe not that last one), every show was a unique and memorable experience. No two shows were ever exactly alike. And on the most recent tour, he played a whopping 223 different songs over the course of 129 shows.

Here’s what the magazine had to say about their top choice:

Springsteen has always brought nearly superhuman levels of energy to his shows, but his current Wrecking Ball tour stands as one of his greatest and most thrilling. (It even featured the longest Springsteen show ever – four hours and six minutes, in Helsinki, Finland, on July 31, 2012.) For more shows, Springsteen shreds the pre-planned setlist and collects request-bearing signs from the crowd, leading the band in impromptu renditions of covers by everybody from The Ramones to Jackie Wilson. “I don’t look at the setlist very much during the night,” he recently told Rolling Stone’s David Fricke. “I’m listening to the song we’re playing – it’s talking to me about what to play next. And I’m watching the audience. Sometimes it’s the look in someone’s eyes about how bad they want to hear that song they’ve written on a piece of cardboard or their head.”

I’ve listed the top 20 below, and you can find the rest and read the whole story here. And check out the great fan-filmed clip at the end of the post from the Springsteen show at Toronto’s Rogers Centre last August. I was there, and it was outstanding.

1. Bruce Springsteen

2. Prince

3. The Rolling Stones

4. Arcade Fire

5. Neil Young

6. Jay Z

7. Radiohead

8. Jack White

9. Rage Against The Machine

10. My Morning Jacket

11. U2

12. Wilco

13. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

14. The Black Keys

15. Paul McCartney

16. Alabama Shakes

17. Nine Inch Nails

18. Metallica

19. The Roots

20. Kanye West

Happy birthday Paul McCartney. Here are ten songs you should check out

tumblr_mhluaocXTC1qjr920o1_500He’s 71 and still going strong. His ‘Out There‘ tour is in full swing (averaging about three hours a night, kiddies!), he just did a killer hour on the Colbert Report, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Everyone knows the big hits, so here are ten you should check out. If you’re a McCartney fan like me, you probably know them already, but just in case…

In alphabetical order:

Arrow Through Me 

Beware My Love  

Call Me Back Again

Coming Up

Fine Line

Helen Wheels

Letting Go

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five

Only Mama Knows

Take It Away

Tour news: KISS Canadian dates announced. Sir Paul, Stones dates to follow?

220px-KissMonsterAlbum2As reported here back on February 21st, Kiss have finally confirmed their Canadian tour dates for this summer. Here are the official dates:

July 5 – Save On Foods Memorial Center (Victoria, BC)

July 6 – Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena (Vancouver, BC)

July 8 – Prospera 

July 10 – Enmax Centre (Lethbridge, AB)Place (Kelowna, BC)July 12 – Rexall Place (Edmonton, AB)2Paul

July 13 – Scotiabank Saddledome (Calgary, AB)

July 14 – Credit Union Centre (Saskatoon, SK)

July 16 – Evraz Place (Regina, SK)

July 17 – Keystone Centre (Brandon, MB)


July 18 – MTS Centre (Winnipeg, MB)

July 25 – Scotiabank Place (Ottawa, ON)

July 23 – Sudbury Arena (Sudbury, ON)

July 26 – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre (Toronto, ON)

July 27 – Budweiser Gardens (London, ON)

July 29 – Bell Centre (Montreal, QC)

July 31 – Harbour Station (Saint John, NB)

Aug 1 – Metro Centre (Halifax, NS)

Aug 3 – Mile One Stadium (St. John’s, NFLD)

Aug 4 – Mile One Stadium (St. John’s, NFLD)

Jacksonville Florida-based hard rockers Shinedown will be the opener for the tour. Ticket info can be found here.

***IN OTHER NEWS***: Paul McCartney has just announced the first U.S. date of his upcoming ‘Out There’ tour–July 9th at Boston’s Fenway Park–which means more dates will be coming soon. With the Toronto Blue Jays out of the Rogers Centre for 10 days (plus the all-star game) in mid-July, I would not be surprised if a Toronto date is announced for sometime during that stretch.

***IN OTHER OTHER NEWS***: North American dates for the Rolling Stones’ 18-date trek are supposed to be announced tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Sir Paul announces ‘Out There’ world tour; John Mayer back on the road w/Toronto date (***UPDATE***); new song


From Paul McCartney’s website:

Paul has announced his first live dates of 2013, which will be part of an all new tour called ‘Out There!’. The tour will see Paul and his band travel the world throughout the year, even visiting some places they’ve never been before. Further announcements and dates will be added in the coming weeks.

First 2013 live dates announced with more to follow in the coming weeks:

22nd June: Warsaw, Poland – National Stadium
27th June: Vienna, Austria – Happel Stadium

Expect McCartney’s set list to include music from his entire career, from Beatles to Wings to solo work.

McCartney is also working on a follow-up to last year’s Kisses On the Bottom disc. He’s already recorded some tracks with Mark Ronson.

I had the opportunity to see McCartney at Toronto’s ACC in 2005 and it was an unbelievable show. Three+ hours and the setlist covered all the bases, not to mention an incredible lights and effects show. If you’ve never seen him live, I highly recommend you try and catch him on the upcoming tour.

Check out his killer set from the 12-12-12 Sandy relief show:

(**BEATLES TRIVIA ALERT**: 50 years ago today, March 22nd 1963, The Beatles released their first album, Please Please Me.)

john-mayer-650-430In other tour news, John Mayer has announced his first tour in three years following his extended break from the road due to throat issues. The tour launches July 5th in Milwaukee but Mayer will be playing a couple of shows at the end of April (one of which will be at the New Orleans Jazz Fest) as a warm-up. Opening up for Mayer on the tour will be American Idol winner Phillip Phillips. There will be one Cdn. stop on the tour: August 14th at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre.

****UPDATE: Tickets go on sale March 30th.****

Read an excerpt from Billboard magazine’s new interview with Mayer here.

Last month, CBS’ Sunday Morning had a story on Mayer. Check it out below:

Want to hear the new song, “Dear Marie”? Scroll to the 11:40 mark of this video:

My Sunday morning Oscars playlist

oscar-nominationsHere are some of my favourites that have been nominated for Best Original Song (you’ll notice I wasn’t a big fan of the ’80s). Click on the song name for the movie trailer; click on the artist for the song:

1. Town Without PityGene Pitney (1961, Town Without Pity)

2. My Kind of TownFrank Sinatra (1964, Robin and The Seven Hoods)

3. The Bare NecessitiesPhil Harris (1967, Jungle Book)

4. Theme from ‘Shaft’Isaac Hayes (1971, Shaft)

5. Live and Let DiePaul McCartney (1973, Live and Let Die)

6. Gonna Fly NowBill Conti (1976, Rocky)

7. Streets of PhiladelphiaBruce Springsteen (1993, Philadelphia)

8. You’ve Got A Friend In MeRandy Newman (1995, Toy Story)

9. That Thing You Do!Adam Schlesinger (1996, That Thing You Do!)

10. When She Loved MeSarah McLachlan (1999, Toy Story 2)

11. Things Have ChangedBob Dylan (2000, Wonder Boys)

12. Lose YourselfEminen (2002, 8 Mile)

13. Falling Slowly— Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (2007, Once)

14. The Weary KindRyan Bingham (2009, Crazy Heart)

15. SkyfallAdele (2013, Skyfall)

UPDATE (New Single): Slowhand’s back! Eric Clapton new album (tentatively) due March 12th

imagesJust ahead of his tour that launches March 14th (No Canadian dates. Yet.) comes news that EC will be releasing a new album on his own label, Bushbranch Records. The title: Old Sock.

The album is being distributed by Surfdog, home to Brian Setzer, Joss Stone and Dave Stewart among others. The website says the album is tentatively scheduled for a March 12th release.

The album will feature two new tracks – “Every Little” and “Gotta Get Over” – and covers of some of Clapton’s favourite songs. Some friends also dropped by during the recording: JJ CaleChaka Khan, Steve Winwood and Paul McCartney.

****UPDATE**** Listen to “Gotta Get Over” here.

In case you missed it , here’s a clip of EC at the 121212 concert in December performing the Derek and the Dominos classic “Got To Get Better In A Little While”: