Saturday, January 7, 2017

Sebastian Bach - 18 And Life On Skid Row (Book Review)

I recently finished reading the Sebastian Bach book, 18 and Life on Skid Row. Sebastian of course was the lead singer of hair metal band Skid Row between 1987-1996.

This was a very entertaining and easy read. Bach got his start by singing in the church choir, which eventually led him to singing in the band Kid Wikkid in Toronto, his stint in the mega glam band Madam X and then onto Jersey band Skid Row. And after getting the boot out of Skid Row, he went on to acting in a few Broadway plays.

Sebastian tells some great stories about hanging with the likes of Axl Rose of Guns N Roses and the rest of the band, but especially Axl as they have been close friends for years now. Stories of partying with Pantera whom Skid Row took on the road for a tour. My favorite story though was of Bach hanging, recording and partying with his guitar hero Ace Frehley of KISS fame.

From reading this book there is no doubt that he could be an asshole with his drinking and drug taking which in time had him on his own tour bus while touring with Skid Row. There are some great stories here which he tells in great detail about the drugs, drinking, women and sex everything you would expect from a heavy metal singer during the late 80's early 90's.

All and all I enjoyed reading this book, he reminds me of David Lee Roth of Van Halen with his wild stories and how he goes about telling them. A great read.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

RIP Gabby (Cadillac Tramps)

Well we all know what 2016 was like for musicians passing, looks like we are off to a terrible start here in 2017. Only four days in to the new year and we have already lost someone. That someone would be Mike (Gabby) Gaborno the lead singer of Orange County, California's Cadillac Tramps. Gabby passed away yesterday at the age of 51 after a long battle with cancer.

I was lucky enough to see the Cadillac Tramps play here in Edmonton five times in a two year span, it was almost like they were a Canadian band there for a while. The first time seeing them was August 12th 1993 when they opened for Pearl Jam at the Convention Centre here. They absolutely killed it live that night and vowed I would see them if they ever came through Edmonton again.

As luck would have it they played here again in October of 1993 twice.

October 7th at The Bronx (now the Starlite Room).

October 9th as one of the headliners for Mosh Fest at the Agricom, they were a late addition to the line up.

Then in 1994 they came through town a couple times again.
October 1st at The Rev (old Bronx now the Starlite Room)

And November 18th again at The Rev.

Gabby and the band were amazing live, I will never forget the way Gabby would belt out the songs, taking his shirt off and shaking his big old belly which had a big smiley face on it. Sadly after all those shows in 1993-94 they never came through town again. No worries though, I had all there music on CD and kept the music playing.

RIP Gabby you will not be forgotten. Condolences to his family, friends and fans. Long live the Cadillac Tramps!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

My Top Ten Albums of 2016

Well it's that time of year again where I try to come up with a list of my favorite albums of the year. Of course I wasn't able to get everything I wanted, after all a guy only has so much money to spend on music. But here is my list of favorites for 2016.

1. Dean Ween - The Deaner Album
The first solo album by Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo of Ween. This is such a fun brown album to listen to. This got the most spins of any album I bought this year and it only came out in October. Brilliant!!!

2. Ween - God Ween Satan Live
A live album that was recorded Sept. 14, 2001 in their hometown of New Hope, Pennsylvania. This album is the band playing their entire debut 1990 album GodWeenSatan. This is the way this album was meant to be heard, full band backing up Dean and Gene. Awesome!!!

3. Bob Dylan - The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert!
Another live album in my top ten picks. I'm a sucker for anything Dylan, and this live set is amazing. This was the first tour Dylan did with The Band backing him up. First half of this double disc is just Bob, second half is Dylan with The Band. Love this whole album but it's the second half that blows my mind!

4. Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide To Earth
An old school country album with a whole lot of soul!

5. David Bowie - Blackstar
Released a few days before his passing, an incredible album!

6. Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker
As the title says, a dark poetic album yet beautiful!

7. Tragically Hip - Man Machine Poem
Another thinking man's album from The Hip!

8. Wilco - Schmilco
An interesting release, took a few listens to really enjoy it, but have now played it enough to make my top ten.

9. Against Me! - Shape Shift With Me
Need some punk in the course of a year!

10. Margo Price - Midwest Farmer's Daughter
An old school sounding honky tonk country album!

Friday, December 23, 2016

My Top Ten Concerts of 2016

This is always tough to come up with my favorite live shows of 2016. But here we go. All shows in Edmonton unless otherwise noted.

1. The Tragically Hip @ Rogers K-Rock Centre August 20th in Kingston, Ontario
What can I say about this show other then I was a very lucky guy to be able to attend what may be The Hip's last show ever, in their hometown to boot. An incredibly emotional show.

2. The Tragically Hip @ Rexall Place July 28th
Again this show was super emotional. I scored row 6 on the floor for this show the day before the event. An amazing performance by Gordie and the boys. Have never shed so many tears at a show in my life.

3. The Tragically Hip @ Rexall Place July 30th
Yes, the top three shows of the year for me were all Hip shows. This show was extra special because not only would or could be the last time The Hip play Edmonton. But I also had some great friends travel from BC to attend this show. Good times!!!

4. The Yawpers @ Freemason Hall October 7th part of the Up and Downtown Music Festival
This is a band from Colorado that I have been listening to for just over a year and finally got the chance to see them live when they opened for Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Plant. The Yawpers were so amazing live, full of high energy and gritty rock n' roll. So good!

5. Fantastic Negrito @ Heritage Amphitheatre July 23rd in Hawrelak Park part of the Interstellar Rodeo Festival.
A band I knew very little about before this show. Fantastic Negrito were the first band to hit the stage on day two of this festival. Am I ever glad I got there early as this band was the highlight of the festival for me. Xavier Dphrepaulezz whom fronts the band was very entertaining and full of energy. An amazing live band.

6. Jason Isbell @ Edmonton Folk Fest August 5th in Gallagher Park.
Have been a huge fan of Jason for years now and he blew me away closing out the Friday night of the Folk Fest. He rocked the hell out of the venue. Great great show.

7. The Temperance Movement @ Union Hall March 1st
A British blues/rock band, who rocked Union Hall. Reminded me of Free, Black Crowes and Rolling Stones old school classic rock sound. Lead singer Phil Campbell has a great voice and full of energy, kind of like a spastic Joe Cocker. Loved their show.

8. Mike Plume @ The Almanac March 24th
A great show by local singer/songwriter in a small intimate venue. Mike always puts on a great show. This show was special to me because it was the day before my birthday and I got to take my Dad to the show as well. An amazing solo show by Mike.

9. Sturgill Simpson @ Union Hall August 14th
An old school country show with lots of soul and attitude.

10. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds @ TD Echo Beach in Toronto, Ontario July 10th
Because I never got to see Oasis in concert this was going to be the next best thing. I really enjoyed the show, it was at a great outdoor venue and the price was right too. Good times!!!

This was tough picking my top ten shows of 2016. I usually just list my favorite shows in no particular order, but changed it up this year. It was fucking hard to pick just ten and in order.

Here are other bands I saw this year that deserve a shout out too.
Black Sabbath, Joel Plaskett, Danny Michel, Fred Penner, Voivod, Jr. Gone Wild and Margo Price.

Looking forward to a busy concert year in 2017. Good times!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Seven Inch Sunday (Bob Dylan)

Today's seven inch single is a 45 I picked up today for a dollar. It is a Bob Dylan single featuring "Like A Rolling Stone" from 1965 and "Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35" from 1966. After looking at the Discogs website, I see this was released in 1997. This release Hall Of Fame / Disques D'or is a series and not a label, the label would be Columbia Records of course. It is a Canadian release and series.

Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone.

Bob Dylan - Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35.

Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35 from LittleDesertFlower on Vimeo.

Gig Poster Video

Thought I would re-post a video I made six years ago. This video features a bunch of gig posters from concerts I have been to. The music in this video is from the Drive-By Truckers, a song called "Let There Be Rock" from their album Southern Rock Opera. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Danny Michel Live in Edmonton Dec.2nd 2016

On Friday night my buddy Buzzard and I went to the Danny Michel sold out show at St. Basil's Cultural Centre here in Edmonton, this show was put on by the New Moon Folk Club. This was my fourth time seeing Danny Michel in concert, and second time this year seeing him.

Danny Michel is a singer song-writer from Waterloo, Ontario, not only is he a musician but he is also a producer and filmmaker, hell he could also be a part time comedian, some of his between song banter are down right hilarious.

Danny did two sets on this night which made for an almost two hour show. And again he put on a great show to the 400 attendees. Danny played a great set of songs that included fan favorites like "Feather, Fur & Fun", "Wish Willy", and it was before this song that Danny told a great story that he tells often but is still funny every time he tells it. Other songs played were "Tennessee Tobacco", "Sad And Beautiful World", "What Colour are You?", and from his latest album Matadora he played "Nobody Rules You", "Click Click", "Good Old Days" and "Samantha In The Sky With Diamonds". Of course that's not the only songs played but the ones that come to mind. Danny also played a brand new song "24,000 Horses" which will be on an album called Khlebnikoz to be released on January 20th 2017.

This album Khlebnikoz was recorded while Danny Michel was on an 18 day expedition with Canadian astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield and others aboard the Russian ice breaker Kapitan Khlebnikov in the arctic. You can read and watch video about this trip by clicking here. This album is going to be very influenced by Russian music, as Danny not only played a song off the album at the show, but he also played a little clip of it from his phone that night at the show.

All and all this was an amazing show by Danny as per usual. Good times!!!

This picture here was taken when I ran in to Danny Michel at the Ottawa airport the day after I had seen The Hip play in Kingston and the day before Danny was to head north for his Arctic expedition. He was nice enough to autograph this for me after the show.