We’ve told you about kids who shred harder than you, get ready for an entire orchestra of rockin’ younguns! The Louisville Leopard Percussionists have served up a xylophone-centric version of Led Zeppelin‘s classic “Kashmir” that’s caught the attention of Jimmy Page himself!
40 years ago today hard rock overlords Led Zeppelin released their landmark double album Physical Graffiti. The band had already cemented its place in classic rock’s premiership league on previous releases, but in many ways Physical Graffiti is the quintessential Zeppelin record. Everything about it is epic, from its double LP length, to its intricate packaging – featuring the cutout windows of a Lower East Side tenement, to the breathe of the material itself. Both guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant assess it as the band’s most important work, an opinion which is backed up by its tremendous commercial success and the reputation it holds amongst other musicians. Read more…
By Frank Donovan
The Beatles’ Abbey Road, Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life, Nirvana’s Nevermind–Even the most iconic and highly-regarded albums have a track that we always skip. We’re all for artists evolving their sound, but it’s often painfully clear when the sonic experimentation in the studio should have remained in the scrap pile instead of sandwiched between way better songs.
Read on for 15 subpar tracks that detract from music’s greatest albums.
Before MTV, before VHS tapes, before DVDs, and way, way, way before YouTube, the only way for fans to see hard rock and heavy metal bands in concert was just that—in concert. For those who couldn’t make it to live shows, a handful of late-night TV programs offered respites, most prominently ABC in Concert, The Midnight Special, and Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. Then there was the concert movie.
Everybody missteps sometimes, even the mightiest overlords of heavy metal sound and fury.
In fact, for a metal band (or any band, really) to truly attain legend status, it seems as though they’ve got to experience one colossal blunder, be it a major performance gone wrong (Guns N’ Roses’ 1991 St. Louis Riverport Riot), a mortifying music video (Billy Squier’s “Rock Me Tonite”), or, toughest of all to take, an eagerly anticipated album that hits listeners in every wrong way possible.
For nearly every rock n’ roll guitarist there is a nearly-as legendary guitar. Think of Jimmy Page and his “#1″ late ’50s Les Paul Standard, Eric Clapton‘s “The Fool” SG he used in Cream and “Greeny”, the hallowed 1959 Les Paul Standard used by Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green, Irish blues rock great Gary Moore and now in the possession of Metallica shredder Kirk Hammett. It’s fascinating to think of one guitar passing through the hands of three famous guitarists, though it’s more common than you might think.
Although some hip movie theaters still host regular late-night screenings of modern cult favorites like The Big Lebowski and The Room, the rock-and-roll midnight movie proper is very much a product of a bygone time. That time, specifically, was the 1970s and ’80s. If you wanted to see your favorite group in action between stops on their concert tour, the rock-and-roll midnight movie provided just the ticket. As a result, 12 AM showings of inventive concert films, experimental cinematic interpretations of a group’s output, or crazily original rock musicals became a rite-of-passage for the post-Woodstock, pre-music-video generation.
With their new album, Rock or Bust, AC/DC charge into their fifth decade of swinging hard rock’s biggest, heaviest wrecking balls to the peak of the pop charts and the pummeling of popular culture once again. It’s indeed been a long way to the top for these Aussie rock-and-roll outlaws, one that began specifically in the ferociously fertile year of 1973.
Hard rock’s Class of 1973, in fact, may be the most potent and prolific marauders to ever variously invent, embody, and bulldoze the medium forward. After burying the final vestiges of ’60s flower power and fueled by free-form FM radio, rock itself dove deep into darkness in 1973, and came up spewing gold, platinum, and the volcanic ash that has spawned all forms of heavy metal, punk, grunge, hardcore, and other extreme musical subgenres ever since.
Last week we were slack jawed over news that Robert Planet allegedly tore up an $800 million contract to reunite with Led Zeppelin. They say everyone has their price, and we can say without hesitation, that ours is well below $800 million dollars. Even though Plant later admitted that he greatly exaggerated the number, history is peppered with musicians who, for many reasons, have refused to sell out.
Happy National Occult Day everyone! Oh, you didn’t know it was National Occult Day today? Well it is, so now is the time to celebrate if you’re a Wiccan, a Kabbalahist, or just your garden variety Satanist. No one is really sure how the holiday came to be, which only makes sense since the term “occult” means “knowledge of the hidden,” however, some of the greatest musicians in history have flirted with spiritual pursuits beyond the regular mainstream religions we all know and love. Read more…