Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Leonard Cohen - 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour

The Canadian singer songwriting legend, who turns 79 this year, shows no signs of slowing down. He will be doing his biggest down-under tour of his career. Tickets go on sale August 12. 

November 13 - Perth, Perth Arena
November 16 - Sydney, Entertainment Centre
November 20 - Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena
November 23 - Hunter Valley, Bimbadgen Winery; A Day On The Green
November 26 - Cairns, Convention Centre
November 28 - Townsville, Entertainment Centre
November 30 - Brisbane, Entertainment Centre
December 4 - Wollongong, WIN Entertainment Centre
December 7 - Geelong, The Hill Winery; A Day On The Green
December 11 - Adelaide, Entertainment Centre
December 14 - Christchurch, CBS Arena
December 17 - Wellington, TSB Bank Arena
December 21 - Auckland, Vector Arena

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stay hard, Stay hungry, Stay alive

Copyright: Graham Keogh /

"The ticket seekin', hotel bookin', money jugglin', plane takin', train ridin', queue formin', tramp meetin', feet throbbin', back breakin,' burger eatin', rain endurin', music lovin,' Boss followin', legendary E….STREET…..FANS!"

"Thank you, thank you, thank you. I don't know what else to say. I've been doing this, next July, for 50 years. I feel like I just started, man! I got another 50 in me. The older you get, the more it means. I've enjoyed this tour... even losing so many people that were so close to us, this tour has just been really wonderful to us. I gotta thank the E Street Band. I gotta thank our crew, who puts this show up every night. I gotta thank Jon Landau, Barbara Carr — my longtime partners. The older you get, the more it means." 

- Bruce Springsteen (July 28, Kilkenny, final stop of the European Wrecking Ball Tour)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Band - Live At The Academy Of Music (1971)

the original Rock Of Ages album cover was way cooler

I'm really excited for this release. I consider Rock Of Ages to be the best live album of the '70s. The first two discs of this upcoming deluxe edition, out Sep 17, contains the original songs (highlights -- supposedly the best version of each performance compiled from the four NY shows), but this time with a brand new mix and a newly rearranged track sequence that will no doubt provide a fresh listening perspective. A missing tape of Strawberry Wine was finally discovered, and it is included in here for the first time. And also for the first time (on discs 3 and 4), the New Year's Eve show will be presented in its original entirety; with most of the performances not appearing on Rock Of Ages. Since this show wasn't mixed by Bob Clearmountain (who mixed the first two discs), I expect both portions to sound different. Unfortunately for the DVD disc, there are only two videos from the Dec 30th show; not sure if there's any more stuff out there and if people are still searching for the lost footage. Still it'd be interesting hearing the new 5.1 surround mix in this new song sequence.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hyde Park Live

This new iTunes-exclusive album is a sort of extension of the Stones official live bootleg series; a compilation of the band's two recent homecoming performances at Hyde Park (but hopefully not their last), their first time playing there since 1969. The mix sounds great, again courtesy of Bob Clearmountain. Would've been cool to include Bitch and All Down The Line too. There's Emotional Rescue, which finally made its live debut early on this tour. There's a 'rare' Street Fighting Man. And there's Midnight Rambler, with the one and only Mick Taylor.....need I say more? All these warhorses never get old. RAW as hell.

1. Start Me Up
2. It's Only Rock N' Roll
3. Tumbling Dice
4. Emotional Rescue
5. Street Fighting Man
6. Ruby Tuesday
7. Doom And Gloom
8. Paint It Black
9. Honky Tonk Women
10. You Got The Silver
11. Before They Make Me Run
12. Miss You
13. Midnight Rambler
14. Gimme Shelter
15. Jumpin' Jack Flash
16. Sympathy For The Devil
17. Brown Sugar
18. You Can't Always Get What You Want
19. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I must admit, I went into the cinema with not-so-high expectations. As much as I was looking forward to finally see the Boss on the big screen on my home turf (for one thing, Singapore has an almost non-existant hardcore Springsteen fanbase, hence it's surprising it's being screened here at all), I wasn't so sure I would've like the idea of watching many fans talk about their undying love for Bruce and his music. I felt like enough has been said that didn't need further validation. Well, it turned out much better than I thought, although actually it isn't so much a film per se, as it is a home video love letter to Bruce. It obviously wasn't professionally shot (so much fan footage of varying compositions and quality), but it was professionally and sometimes cleverly edited. The audio mix on the concert footage (some pro-shot and never seen before, some fan-shot) was not too bad for the most part. There was a good balance of light-hearted and heavy moments provided by fans young and old, from all walks of life.

The people featured were mostly American. There were fans who talked about Bruce like a teenage girl fawning over their favorite boy band, some funny, some downright cringe-worthy. There were a few who described their meeting Bruce, usually during a show. The highlight was of course Philly Elvis (Spectrum '09). I've seen some of that footage before, but what was striking to me was how this man/Elvis imposter 'directed' the E Street band in the spur of the moment, and went from All Shook Up to Blue Suede Shoes. It was amazing....further visual proof that the band could turn on a dime, even without instructions from their leader! Then there were many who described what he and his music meant to their own lives -- my favorite was this young Asian American lady truck driver who talked about listening to Nebraska during long, lonely drives across the desert, and how Bruce's songs made us feel like we were important. There was this man talking while driving, describing how listening to the songs was like going through a family photo album, and he slowly ended up in tears -- what started out as slightly funny ended up a raw, powerful moment. There was also this girl who recited a heartfelt letter intended for Bruce, and she was essentially speaking for the fans out there, summing up what many of us feel about the man.

The Blood Brothers experience (Madison Square Garden '00) as told by the Danish guy, Jon, was emotional; his way of talking and mannerisms almost imitating Bruce's. He mentioned how he felt like he was the only one in the room, like Bruce was singing to him and him only. I totally get what he means. Another highlight was a British wife, a huge fan, interviewing her husband, a 'non-fan', who was forced to accompany her to many shows over the years. His response to one of his wife's questions ('What would you say to Bruce if you met him?') was 'shorten your concerts.' It sure was hilarious, but in a way those three simple words also showed the out-of-this-world dedication Bruce has to his audience when it comes to performing live.

The duration of the show was under an hour thirty, but after the cool Born To Run credit sequence came six songs from the 'infamous' Hyde Park show last year [link]. It's been broadcast before, but it's something else watching it in high-definition on the big screen, loud with surround sound. Thunder Road never sounded so great. And then finally following that was a lengthy epilogue of what transpired between some of the more prominent (European) cast members and Bruce backstage before the Denmark show back in May. It may have looked like an 'afterthought' of sorts to include this part in, but it kinda summed up the essence of what the movie was about in the first place, especially right at the end where the Danish guy was being interviewed. I walked away, never felt prouder to be a Bruce Springsteen fan. Thanks, Boss.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another Self-Potrait?

Woah, this wasn't what I was expecting, and I guess it's gonna disappoint many fans. No doubt Self Portrait is one of his weakest albums to date. The follow-up, New Morning, had couple of good tracks on it. Still it won't dampen my curiosity to hear what the unreleased stuff from those sessions sound like. But the most enticing element of the (rather pricey deluxe 4-disc) set has definitely gotta be the complete 1969 Isle Of Wight performance by Dylan & The Band! The new Rolling Stone article [link] discussing this upcoming release did mention that similar treatments for The Basement Tapes, Blonde On Blonde and Blood On The Tracks will eventually see the light of day, so hopefully no missed opportunities in the future. 


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Springsteen & I in Singapore

Two incredible things happened this week on E Street:

You Never Can Tell (Leipzig) - [link]

and for the first time ever in Europe, the ultra, ultra, ultra rare...


Friday, July 12, 2013

Mind Your Manners


I stayed up till three in the morning to listen to the premiere of Pearl Jam's new single off their upcoming album, Lightning Bolt, and it was worth it. I like it very much, and my opinion of it hasn't changed after at least ten listens. You can't listen to Mind Your Manners without thinking of Spin The Black Circle and Comatose, or even Lukin. It's essentially punk-metal, with some Who-ish riffs thrown in. I wouldn't be surprised if Mike McCready came up with the melody for this one. Matt Cameron's drumming is MONSTROUS, and Eddie's vocals are rock solid as usual, though half the time I'm struggling to make out the words. But they sound really intriguing and deep; there's a lot about God and religion (sounds like Eddie is pissed off at the so-called leaders who abuse their power), a subject I always get a kick out of whenever the band tackles it. I have a feeling Lightning Bolt is gonna kick Backspacer's ass so hard. Only ninety plus days left!!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Springsteen & I (extended trailer)

To anyone from Singapore who's reading this and is a fan of Bruce Springsteen, the film will be premiering at Shaw Lido on 22 July. Because of the time difference, we'll actually be one of the first countries watching it!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

American Ride

Willie Nile remains one of rock & roll's lost and under-appreciated treasures. His latest release is yet another stellar effort. You want heart and soul? This guy has got two hundred percent of it, and you can hear and feel it every second of the way. These songs are modern Americana at their finest; simply exceptional songwriting and musicianship with lots of right attitude. Buckle up cause this is gonna be one hell of a ride. One of the best albums so far this year.


Thursday, July 4, 2013


All signs point to a new album and North American tour later this year! 

UPDATE: An expansive North American tour it is [link], with a brand new lottery system for Ten Club members to get crucial pre-sale tickets. After reading the details of how it works, it seems pretty nerve-wrecking getting tix, because the lottery is random and it's hugely based on luck. But it may be a fair and possibly only feasible way to curb the insanely high demand in cities such as Seattle, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia. And the management recognizes that many ten clubbers attend multiple shows. Seniority doesn't apply here, but it does when securing good reserved seating during the 10c pre-sale; they're promising the best seats in the house. As for GA, I'm glad the band has acquired the entire pit solely for fan club members. I do hope this system will apply for shows down under next year.....apparently there's a rumor going around about an Oz tour in early 2014. Meanwhile, there is another countdown going on: by this Friday morning (local time), the world will get to hear the brand new single, which may or may not be Mind Your Manners, off PJ's upcoming album, rumored for an October release.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Death By Water

Dec 8, 1943 - Jul 3, 1971

How long ago was man promised? 
never again. no not again. 
no death by water. 

Yet how many questions arise like yeast. 
like the perfect dead: 

Was the red sea really? 
does man rule the river? 
did she/he drown? 
was it natural causes? 
was it sorrow? 

How many tears on your pillow. 
crocodile or real. water shed. 
brian jones drowned. face down. in a child's 
pool of water, youth fountain. 

Jim Morrison. our leather lamb. he feared 
the bathroom. he warned us. hyacinth house. 
how did he know. how did christ know. 
no doubt about it.

A marked man is always the first to know. 
he died in a bath tub. slumped over like Marat. 
the only clue was the red rash over his heart. 

Someone said there were last words.
water poured from his eyes. 
he was truly immaculate yet surprised. 
outside it was raining. storm clouds. 
danger waters. the tub was overflowing. 

He looked up.
then he cried out: “but you promised”

- Patti Smith, 1972 (Seventh Heaven)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Big Pink 45

A debut album unlike any other, from a band unlike any other

Thank you Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel.