Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hall of Fame Thoughts

You'd think that with all the talent in the building during any given year, that the fine folks over at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame could find a way to make the induction ceremonies more entertaining. Hell, the baseball inductions are more entertaining and they don't have the luxury of legendary bands.

But last night, we still got to see some bands, while others stayed away. Patti Smith gave a great speech and showed, once again, why everyone likes and respects her. She may not have sold as many records as most of the artists enshrined in Cleveland, but her legacy will live forever and her influence can be heard on countless other records. Rage Against The Machine singer Zach de la Rocha basically echoed these same thoughts in his induction speech.

The two main acts of the night, Van Halen and R.E.M., showed why one of those bands is still together and making a good music, and the other is rock's version of Britney Spears.

Eddie Van Halen's in rehab for the 19th time; this time entering only after the band's summer reunion tour was canceled due to contractual snafus. He didn't come. His brother, drummer Alex, couldn't care less, apparently, and didn't come. David Lee Roth wanted to sing three songs with Velvet Revolver and when that couldn't happen, he didn't show.

That left former singer Sammy Hagar and former bassist Michael Anthony as the only two members of Van Halen who came, the only two that really get it. For the rest of the guys not to show, not counting Eddie, it's really just a kiss off to their fans, and to the countless other important bands in attendance and enshrined in the hall.

As for R.E.M., not only did the current trio attend, but former drummer Bill Berry left his farm and played drums on a few tunes. It was a great performance, one that featured Eddie Vedder on vocals for "Man on the Moon." The band was humble in its acceptance speech and vibrant on stage. It was what this ceremony should always be about: the music, not the bullpoop.
As for new-music releases today, we've got a few things. It's been a slow few weeks for CDs, but look for that to turn around in the next month or so when we'll see a whole bevy of big releases. Anyway, here's a list of what hit stores, streets, iTunes and more today. It's a consistently good group of records. Look for full reviews of all these CDs come Friday in Weekend.

Neil Young"Live At Massey"
three stars

Amy Winehouse"Back to Black"
three stars

The Fratellis"Costello Music"
Cherry Tree
three stars

Graham Parker"Don't Tell Columbus"
Bloodshot Records
three-and-a-half stars

No comments: