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April 2007
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June 2007

Spinal Tap Reunion


Looks like Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, from the faux documentary "This is Spinal Tap", will be reuniting for an Live Earth gig taking place July 7 at London's Wembley Stadium.  The film defined a new "mockumentary" style that set the tone for The Office, and Christopher Guest's later films Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration. Ricky Gervais, from The Office, has been invited to join the band on stage.  The original 1984 film is still a hoot and defines some of the best rock and roll moments ever. 

Check out the video clip from YouTube for an interview with Spinal Tap by director Marti DeBergi (Rob Reiner) announcing the reunion.  Turn it up to 11!

Ramones: Anthology


Following up from the recent post on the Ramones End of the Century DVD, I wanted to highlight the Ramones Anthology double CD set with over 50 songs.  If you're not already a Ramonesdevotee, this is the fastest path to enlightenment. It contains all of the usual hits (?) like Blitzkrieg Bop, I Wanna Be Sedated, Rock & Roll High School and adds a huge assortment of great songs that span their entire career like Commando, Carbona Not Glue, Sheena is a Punk Rocker, Chinese Rock, I Believe in Miracles, Danny Says, Bonzo Goes to Bitburg, Too Tough To Die and covers like Needles & Pins and California Sun.  There's probably a dozen or more songs that could have been pop singles for any band if only they'd gotten the exposure they deserved.  But alas, the Ramones reputation kept them off the radio. 

(For some reason, the Anthology CD is not available as an MP3 download on Amazon, but various other greatest hits albums are.)

It also includes a personal favorite from their final album, which I consider their career summary -- I Don't Wanna Grow Up:

When I see the 5 oclock news
I don't wanna grow up
Comb their hair and shine their shoes
I don't wanna grow up
Stay around in my old hometown
I don't wanna put no money down
I don't wanna get a big old loan
Work them fingers to the bone
I don't wanna float on a broom
Fall in love, get married then boom
How the hell did it get here so soon
I don't wanna grow up

The song features the longest Ramones guitar solo I've ever heard, clocking in at 20 seconds.  Ok, it's better to hear the song than read ab0ut it.

One, two, tree, faw! 

Elvis Costello at the Warfield


I managed to see Elvis Costello at the Warfield in San Francisco Thursday, picking up a reserved lower balcony ticket for a reasonable price on  My wife was out of town and I think she's had her fil of EC shows over the years, so this was a last minute decision.  Elvis is touring with the Imposters (2/3's of the original Attractions) in support of Universal's reissue of his back catalog, a new box set and two new compilations.  Upcoming gigs include Baltimore, Boston, New York, DC, Philly in May and dates in Europe in July including London, Athens, Madrid, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

The Warfield is a great venue; every seat has a good view, though the sound was a bit trebly for my taste, but it had energy to spare.  Costello and the band played for just over two hours with a short break in the middle.  The set list included a lot of old numbers ("welcome to the Working Week," "Big Tears," Beyond Belief," "Clubland," "The Beat", "Radio, Radio") as well as some more recent songs ("Country Darkness," "Alibi", "Dissolve" and "The River in Reverse").  The only disappointment to me was the reworking of a couple of classics including "Alison" and "(I Don't Want to Go To) Chelsea".  Maybe Elvis is sick of having people sing along and so he figured if he messed up the melody no one would try.  Elvis, it's a classic, just play it as is or don't play it at all. 

While I would not say this was as good as last year's tour with Allen Toussaint, it was still great to see Elvis in good form and rocking at the age of 52.  I hope the Police tour is as good.  (Not that I have tickets.)