Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

What do Kevin Costner and the heavy metal band KISS have in common?

For starters, both Costner, who is an actor, producer, and director and now a musician, and the heavy make-up, heavy-rock band play terrible music terribly. Both demonstrated this last night on the German TV show Wetten, dass..? a reality game show extremely popular in Europe. It’s kind of a cross between Sábado Gigante and The Tonight Show, and draws ratings in German-speaking countries of 50% or more of viewers.

Both Costner and the members of KISS are, shall we say, past the green of their lives. Costner is in his mid-fifty’s, and KISS members are all on the far side of that. But they are kids compared to Sophia Loren, who was also on the show last night. Loren is supposed to be 76-years old, and is starting to look it.

Sophia didn’t sing on the show. I wish Costner, who is touring Europe with a modern country music band,  hadn’t either.  To say that Costner can’t sing would be heaping undeserved praise on him. With luck, old Kevin will get over his mid-life crisis before he brings his show stateside, potentially exposing dozens of die-hard fans to the embarrassment of it all. KISS sounded the same as always when they took the stage. Which is to say I think they were lip-syncing an old tune.

One bright spot in the show is co-host Michelle Hunziker. And before you say “just another pretty face” consider this. The admittedly easy-on-the-eyes model, actress, singer and dancer speaks Italian, French, German, English and Dutch. This came in handy when talking to Sophia, who doesn’t speak German, and Costner, who while married to a German woman, doesn’t speak much of anything.


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Stand By Me

As covers go, pretty darn good.

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Los Lobos

Los Lobos

Good musicians play good music, no matter what style they may be known for or where it came from. These guys have been around for a long time, playing what they want and not necessarily what the commercial music industry wants to hear. Good for them.

Los Lobos (“The Wolves”) are an American rock band, influenced by rock and roll, Tejano music, country music, folk, R&B, blues and traditional Spanish and Mexican music such as boleros and norteños.

During the late 19th century, German and Czech migrants to Northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest brought different styles among them, including the polka. These European immigrants influenced the music scene by bringing the accordion and the polka rhythm, which were part of the popular music of their homeland. Soon, local bands adopted these elements, and a new unique style gradually resulted from a blend with Mexican ranchera styles. This new style soon became a unique norteño genre, thus named because it was primarily popular in the northern regions of Mexico.

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Tommy Emmanuel

Originally uploaded by Riru

I think, therefore I play

Tommy Emmanuel is one of my favorite musicians. From Australia, Emmanuel is a “Certified Guitar Player.” This is a big deal in the guitar world, being personally presented by Chet Atkins. I don’t go to concerts anymore, but he’ll be playing in Knoxville this month and if I can talk the boss into it, I sure would like to go. I was surprised to see tickets were available and at a reasonable price. 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tommy was born in the Upper Hunter in Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia. He received his guitar in 1959 at the age of 4 – being taught by his mother to accompany her playing lap steel guitar. At the age of 7 he heard Chet Atkins on the radio. He vividly remembers this moment and says it greatly inspired him. (more…)

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Clarence Turns 67

Everybody is getting older, even the Big Man from E Street.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clarence Clemons (born January 11, 1942) is an American musician, best known as the saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.


Clemons was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and raised in Norfolk County. He attended Maryland State College (now the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore) on a football athletic scholarship — he was a lineman with professional football aspirations until an injury derailed his sports career.

There’s a lot more in this biography, but listen to any E Street live recordings and you’ll hear what is important . . .

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Tom Jones

Tom Jones is 68 years old.  I don’t know how that happened, we were both so young just a little while ago.  Excuse me while I have a Nick Nolte moment . . .

From Wiki

Sir Thomas John Woodward KBE (born 7 June 1940), known by his stage name Tom Jones, is a Welsh pop music singer particularly noted for his powerful voice and wide vocal range. He was born in Trefforest, Pontypridd, near Cardiff in Wales. Since 1965 Jones has sold over 100 million records.

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This video isn’t really my kind of music so I can’t say if it is good or not.  But the video is absolutely amazing, considering it was made using 45,000 digital photographs.


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Jimmy on Lulu

Two of my favorites – for completely different reasons – are Lulu and Jimmy Hendrix. That Hendrix appeared on Lulu’s TV show just blows my mind. But thanks to YouTube, here is proof that it happened. Hendrix was kicked off the air for changing the song they were playing. You gotta love live television.

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Here’s a little something I missed when I decided not to go with some of the kids around town to a “free” concert in New York. Figured if it was free, it wouldn’t be that good . . .

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Guess Who?

How many of the people appearing in this video can you name?


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