Exclusive Music, Playlists, Merch & More

Friday, September 26, 2014 - 2:52pm
Full House

42 years ago today, The J. Geils Band released the first live album of their career, an effort which would provide them with their gold album and increase their profile to the point where, the next time around, they’d find themselves with their first top-10 album.

“Live” – Full House inspired annoyance amongst know-it-all poker fans, who were quick to observe that the five cards pictured on the cover – the jack of spades, the jack of diamonds, the jack of clubs, the king of spades, and the queen of hearts – do not, in fact, constitute a full house. On the other hand, it’s a live album performed in front of a sold-out crowd, a.k.a. a full house, and the queen is winking, so we’re pretty sure she’s in on the joke…even if some too-serious poker aficionados weren’t.

Friday, September 26, 2014 - 2:43pm
Bob Lefsetz

You're not gonna listen to this record. But it's the best Todd Rundgren album you've never heard.

That's the scourge of the Internet, of the modern era, we've got so much information at our fingertips that we don't bother to partake, hell, some people forward links without listening or reading what they're sending on!

So I'm wary you won't listen to "Palookaville." But I love it. And if you remember Todd's run, from that initial LP all the way through let's say "Todd," when "Palookaville" plays you'll smile.

Not that it's imitative. It's just that it's a blend of pop and rock and hooks that seem to be dripping off Burtnik's fingers.

Yes, Glen Burtnik. Who was in "Beatlemania" with Marshall Crenshaw and put out a couple of solo albums on A&M and ultimately joined Styx and a reunited ELO, writing a few hits that keep his bank account flowing along the way, like Patty Smyth and Don Henley's "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough."

Friday, September 26, 2014 - 2:29pm
Randy Travis

25 years ago today, Randy Travis released an album which would take him to the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart for the fourth consecutive time, which is a pretty decent track record for someone who’d only released four albums.

Well, actually, that’s not entirely true: in 1978, he released a self-titled album while he was still recording under his real name, Randy Traywick, and it most certainly did not turn out to be a chart-topper. (It didn’t chart at all, in fact.) Still, if you only count the full-length studio efforts hat Randy Travis had released up to that point, then the man was four for four with #1 albums…and, brother, that ain’t bad.

Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 3:24pm
Remembering John Bonham

34 years ago today, the music world lost a man who is rarely MIA from any list of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll drummers of all time, and with good reason: the phrase “when they made him, they broke the mold” may be a cliché, but there’s little question that it can be legitimately applied to John Bonham.

Born on May 31, 1948 in Worcestershire, England, John Henry Bonham – alternately known as Bonzo or, to some, even as The Beast – never took any formal lessons, but he was already working on his technique by the age of five, albeit on various cans and tins. By age 10, he’d gotten his hands on a snare drum, and at 15 he got his first proper drum kit, thereby sending him down a path that would eventually define the rest of his life. That path grew ever clearer over time, and after serving stints in bands such as The Blue Star Trio, Gerry Levene and the Avengers, Terry Webb and the Spiders, The Nicky James Movement, The Senators, and A Way of Life, fate steered Bonham into the ranks of Crawling King Snakes, featuring lead singer Robert Plant. A year or so later, that acquaintanceship paid off in a big way, when Jimmy Page asked Robert Plant to front his new band, and Plant said (more or less), “So, look, I know this guy…”

Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 2:53pm
Black Sabbath

42 years ago today, “Wheels of Confusion” first rolled into record stores…which is kind of a roundabout way of saying that today’s the anniversary of the release of Vol. 4, the appropriately-titled fourth album from one of Birmingham’s hardest-rocking exports: Black Sabbath.

Released in 1972, Vol. 4 found the band leaving producer Roger Bain behind for the first time, with guitarist Tony Iommi twiddling the knobs instead. It could’ve been a disastrous decision – many a band has fallen apart as a result of being left to their own devices – but in the end, they managed to produce another strong effort, one which featured classic tracks like “Snowblind,” “Supernaut,” and “Tomorrow’s Dream.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 3:42pm
celebrity playlist

Whether you grew up in the ‘80s or not, the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs is still one of the funniest shows on broadcast TV at the moment, and for that, you can thank series creator Adam F. Goldberg, who effectively took his childhood – the highs, the lows, and a whole lot of the hilarity – and put it on the small screen for everyone to enjoy. As such, even with a great cast of comedic actors, including Jeff Garlin, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Troy Gentile, Hayley Orrantia, and George Segal, not to mention narration from Patton Oswalt, a great deal of the show lives and dies by the performance of the young man playing Adam Goldberg.

That young man’s name is Sean Giambrone, and he’s been kind enough to provide us with a Celebrity Playlist to coincide with the Season Two premiere of The Goldbergs...which, by happy coincidence, is entitled “Love Is a Mixtape.”