Led Zeppelin: Remasters Round Two

October 28th, 2014

Today see’s the release of the Led Zeppelin IVand Houses Of The Holyremasters, complete with bonus material, here in North America. The remastered albums have been available as Mastered for iTunes for some time now, so I will reserve comment on their quality besides saying, the iTunes versions are excellent. Otherwise, if you have a chance to hear the CD or LP versions, there’s no reason to believe they won’t also be top notch (and certainly I felt Led Zeppelin, II and III all were).

The bonus material, available on the Deluxe Editions, however, gives us fodder for real discussion. Unlike the third album, which had Keys to the Highway/Trouble in Mind, there is nothing new in the bonus material, nor is there any live material like we saw on the first album. Both IV and Houses of the Holy’s bonus discs are presented as the complete album, with alternate versions, alternate mixes and instrumental versions of the songs.

In February 1971, Jimmy Page and engineer Andy Johns travelled to Los Angeles, master tapes for the fourth album handcuffed to Page (note: kidding), to master the album that would become what many consider Led Zeppelin’s most astonishing moment. He took the tapes to Sunset Sound Studios, where the state of the art studio was booked for mastering of the tapes. Job done, he returned to London and settled into Island Studios with his bandmates to play the new album: the sound was a disappointing mess. No one seems sure what happened, but it appears the equipment at Island couldn’t handle the more sophisticated mastering done at Sunset Sound, and Page returned to the Island Studio to re-master the songs yet again. Of the eight songs on the final album, seven of them were from the London mixes. Only When The Levee Breaks survived from the California mixes.

Of the bonus material on Led Zeppelin IV,the alternate mix of Stairway to Heaven from the Sunset Sound Studios session, and When the Levee Breaks from the London remixing appear. Other alternate mixes from unknown sources are Four Sticks, Rock and Roll and Misty Mountain Hop. Misty Mountain Hop shines the most, with a John Bonham count-in and a much more live sound, the song comes alive in a way it never really did before. When the Levee Breaks is also noticeably different, although not for the better. While Four Sticks sounds more live, wetter in audio geek parlance, Levee is much drier, that famed drum sound somewhat diminished in the mixing. They made the right choice going with the Sunset Sound Studio mix on this song. If we were hearing that mix, that drum sound for the first time here, now, it would be all that anyone would be talking about.

Rock and Roll and Stairway to Heaven on the other hand, have barely noticeable differences. The guitar is a little down in the mix here, the voice up there. Yes, the recorders are definitely louder, but not so much that most people would notice if they didn’t know. On the other hand, Black Dog (Basic Track with Guitar Overdubs) is an alternate take, and while the differences are subtle, at least until the ah-ha’s when a Plant adds a harmony vocal. It doesn’t work actually, sounds too much like that guy beside you at the concert singing along with the band, but you can hear them trying something. Besides, Plant’s ad-lib on the outro is outstanding.

Instrumental mixes of Going to California and Battle of Evermore are interesting, but the repetitive nature of those songs means it’s not something you would listen to more than a few times. While not something you might throw on in the car on your way home from work, throwing the LP on the turntable with a good whiskeywould make for an enjoyable hour on a Friday night.

On Houses Of The HolyLed Zeppelin’s songwriting really grew. Instead of writing pop songs, they were composing music in a rock vein. This becomes evident on the instrumental versions on the Deluxe Edition on this release. The Song Remains the Same is an interesting song unto itself without vocals. And while Over The Hills and Far Away still has it’s repetition, the “guitar mix backing track” is enjoyable. The guitar solo being a little higher in the mix is an added bonus. No Quarter is, again, a complete composition sans vocals, working perfectly as an instrumental composition. What you quickly hear is that Robert Plant was not necessary to either No Quarter or The Song Remains the Same, but manages to put together a performance that adds to the whole of the piece (although a reasonable argument could be made that The Song Remains the Same is a better song as an instrumental than with his speeded up chipmunk vocal added as on the album).

The Rain Song (mix minus piano) baffles me slightly, but only because I can’t detect the difference between the original and this one. The Crunge (rough mix - keys up), Dancing Days (Rough Mix with Vocal) and The Ocean (Working Mix) are the same. Detecting what may be different (no count in on The Ocean for example) could be a game unto itself. So while there’s nothing exciting in the remaining bonus tracks (and no D’Yer Mak’er at all), added in with the three instrumentals you get an idea of what this album could have been like. And in fact, Jimmy Page’s original idea was to start it off with The Song Remains the Same as an instrumental (in fact, it was originally called Overture) that connected to The Rain Song.

What you get from the Houses Of The Holy bonus disk is that it could have been a better album. So far, of all the bonus disks, this may be the only one I play on a regular basis instead of the original album.


Brian Gardiner Album release, Review , , , , ,

The Who Hits 50!

October 27th, 2014

No band has made more hay out of their catalogue than The Who. In their first 40-years, between 1965’s My Generation and 2006’s Endless Wire, they produced 11 studio albums and 20 compilation albums - plus another 5 compilations since. With this years Quadrophenia: Live in London, they have as many live albums as studio albums.

PrintSo if you’re Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey, the last remnants of The Who, what better way to celebrate the bands 50th anniversary than with a greatest hits album, The Who Hits 50!?

Stretching from their pre-Who days with The High Numbers Zoot Suit and their first singles as The Who, I Can’t Explain, Anyway Anyhow Anywhere and My Generation to the post-Y2K collection of hits, 2004’s Real Good Looking Boy, 2006’s It’s Not Enough from the last Who studio album Endless Wire and Be Lucky, recorded earlier this year.

As always when you get a collection from a band has been around as long as, and have had as many hits as the Who, the 42 song set is loaded with great material and almost anyone is sure to find a number of songs they like, and one or two they are less keen on. But every significant era of The Who, the early singles, Tommy, Quadrophenia, the 70’s rock, the Kenny Jones era, is well represented here. Personal favourites that I don’t get to hear often enough, Postcard and Who Are You’s Trick of the Light are on the album, compensating for what I consider too many of the early pop singles. Those early singles, however, have never sounded better. The sound on this collection is excellent, with everything sounding clear and clean.

imagesOverall The Who Hits 50! is a solid collection that sounds great and has enough material for everyone to enjoy. If you happened to have bought the last three Who collections, I’m not sure you really need this one. But if your looking for some Who, this is a great set.


Tracklist

  1. Zoot Suit (as the High Numbers)
  2. I Can’t Explain
  3. Anyway Anyhow Anywhere
  4. My Generation
  5. Substitute
  6. The Kids Are Alright
  7. I’m a Boy
  8. Happy Jack
  9. Boris the Spider
  10. Pictures of Lily
  11. The Last Time
  12. I Can See For Miles
  13. Call Me Lightning
  14. Dogs
  15. Magic Bus
  16. Pinball Wizard
  17. I’m Free
  18. The Seeker
  19. Summertime Blues
  20. See Me, Feel Me
  21. Won’t Get Fooled Again
  22. Let’s See Action
  23. Bargain
  24. Behind Blue Eyes
  25. baba O’Riley
  26. Join Together
  27. Relay
  28. 5: 15
  29. Love Right O’er Me
  30. Postcard
  31. Squeeze Box
  32. Slip Kid
  33. Who Are You
  34. Trick of The Light
  35. You Better You Bet
  36. Don’t Let Go The Coat
  37. Athena
  38. Eminence Front
  39. It’s Hard
  40. Real Good Looking Boy
  41. It’s Not Enough
  42. Be Lucky

Brian Gardiner Album release, Review , , , , , , , ,

The [Un]documented Mark Steyn

October 22nd, 2014

There’s a bad novel out there somewhere that starts thus:

Like Houdini, I escaped again. I’m less optimistic than I used to be, and if my prediction of total civilizational collapse doesn’t come to pass, I’d be very happy to be proved wrong.

Mark Steyn, on the other hand, ends his new collection of his writing, The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, with more or less the above. It is much a more effective ending, and a strange book indeed that can be summed up by wishing that predictions of civilizational collapse is wrong.

More relevant perhaps, is this, from his 2008 column, The Limits:

I made the mistake of going to Europe to visit the famous banlieues of Paris and other Continental Muslim neighborhoods. And at that point… I began to see that it’s not really about angry young men in caves in the Hindu Kush; it’s not even about angry young men in the fast growing Muslim populations of the west - although that’s certainly part of the seven-eighths of the iceberg bobbing just below the surface of 9/11. But the bulk of that iceberg is the profound and perhaps fatal weakness of the civilization that built the modern world.

That’s a nice summation of Steyn’s writing since, and of The [Un]documented Mark Steyn.

The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is a comprehensive collection of Steyn articles spanning the last 20 or so years. From 9/11 to Japanese demography; Burkas to Viagra; James Bond to Doris Day, Steyn writes about it all with an eye on the big picture and humour. Total civilizational collapse has never been so much fun.


Brian Gardiner Book Review, Mark Steyn ,

John Bonham at the Speed of Sound

October 21st, 2014

Much like Jimmy Page, Paul McCartney has been re-releaasing the wings catalogue, with upgraded remastering and bonus material. One such bonus item comes from Wings at the Speed of Sound: Beware My Love with John Bonham on the drums.

Bonham played on the session for Beware My Love, but the track that made it to album was one that was done without John Bonham. The Bonham track was not known to exist before this past June, when McCartney announced it would be on the deluxe edition of Speed of Sound.

Yesterday, McCartney pre-released Beware My Love (John Bonham Version) on iTunes. It is, as of yet, not available for download from Amazon, but surely that is coming.

The full Wings At The Speed Of Sound will be available November 4th.


via Ramble On Radio

Brian Gardiner Uncategorized , , ,

Picture of the Day: Feet Off the Ground… Again

October 16th, 2014

The Boy in action

feet-up

inspired to post this by David Bebee


Brian Gardiner Picture of the Day, Pictures, Sports

Review: Bob Seger - Ride Out

October 15th, 2014

A guy knows what he’s going to get when he buys a Bob Seger record: rock and roll played on a straight four beat. Add in a dash of new country guitar pickin’ and you have a Bob Seger album for the new millennium. It used to be such an album was something to look forward to with eager anticipation, as I fondly recall doing for Like a Rock in the mid-80’s. But Seger’s songwriting has diminished over the years, his ability to find a new, unique, interesting way to play an E-chord exhausted, and what’s left is a collection of familiar sounding songs.cap028_bobseger_std_cover_rgbfin-300x300

There’s nothing wrong with Ride Out, Seger’s latest album, released this week. If you liked his last number of albums, you’ll like this one well enough. The collection of decent songs, in fact, improve on multiple listens, and the early released songs, Detroit Made, Hey Gypsy and The Devil’s Right Hand after a few weeks of listening are my favorites on the album. The same can’t be said, however, of You Take Me In, the early release balled which was boring on first listen, and boring now that’s it’s heard in the context of a full album.

Seger has a go at politics with It’s Your World, a song in which he decries the state of the world without offering solutions (it is a bit rich, the multi-millionaire singer complaining about cash is king), and if the depth of Your World amounts to the depth of Seger’s politics, it’s a good thing there’s 50-years between here to The Ballad of the Yellow Beret. His attempt at Americana, Adam and Eve, also fails pretty miserably.

Hey Gypsy, on the other hand, Seger’s tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, is an album highlight. You’ve never heard a Texas shuffle played so squarely, so tightly on the beat, as this, but it works magnificently and will likely be a strong addition to Seger’s live set in his upcoming tour. The acoustic song, Listen, one of the bonus songs on the Deluxe Edition of Ride Out, is another highlight of the album.

There’s a number of good enough songs on Ride Out, but let’s also be clear, there’s no Hollywood Nights or Rock and Roll Never Forgets, no ballads as good as Mainstreet, no acoustic numbers of the calibre of Night Moves or Against the Wind. If your looking for Seger to find that magic touch he had from the mid-70’s to the mid-80’s you’ll be disappointed. But if your looking for Seger to meet or exceed what he has done the last couple of albums, he has.


Tracklist

Detroit Made
Hey Gypsy
The Devils Right Hand
Ride Out
Adam and Eve
California Stars
It’s Your World
All of the Roads
You Take Me In
Gates of Eden

Listen (Deluxe Edition only)*
The Fireman’s Talkin’ (Deluxe Edition only)*
Let the Rivers Run (Deluxe Edition only)*

*(Note: There is a Target only CD version with 2 extra songs)

Brian Gardiner Album release, Bob Seger, Record Release, Review , , , , , , , , ,

Abba Live at Wembley Arena

October 15th, 2014

Abba were my parents 70’s rock band. It has taken me years to appreciate what they are, the songwriting, the musicality, the entertainment value. So I was looking forward to Live At Wembley Arena, the chronicle of Abba’s Nov 10, 1979 Abba concert, the last of a six night residency at London’s famous Wembley Arena. While it’s a good album, everything that is/was wrong with Abba is in high evidence. The disco beat to too many songs, the horrible stage patter, the bad schtick between the performers onstage. You can almost hear the bell bottoms and sequins at times.

abba-live-at-wembley-arena-limited-edition-digibook

The above aside, however, it is an album loaded with hits and, not always the same thing, good songs. Abba, if nothing else, crafted high quality songs wrapped up in a catchy pop beat. whether it’s mature relationship songs like Knowing Me, Knowing You or The Name of the Game or pop wrapped up in historical allegory like Waterloo, Abba had a number of good songs.

Live At Wembley Arena’s is an excellent album, if you can overlook the sound of the clothes.


Tracklist

Gammal fabodpsalm
Voulez-vous
If it Wasn’t For the Nights
As Good as New
Knowing Me, Knowing You
Rock Me
Chiquitita
Money, Money, Money
I Have a Dream
Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)
S.O.S.
Fernando
The Name of the Game
Eagle
Thank You For the Music
Why Did it Have to be Me
Intermezzo No. 1
I’m Still Alive
Summer Night City
Take a Chance on Me
Does Your Mother Know
Hole in Your Soul
The Way Old Friends Do
Dancing Queen
Waterloo

Brian Gardiner 1970's, Record Release, Review , , , , ,

Fluffernutter Friday: Bond Girls in the Big Chair

October 10th, 2014

I received the Super Deluxe Edition of Tears for Fears Songs From The Big Chair this week, and listening reminded me that these guys were pretty good.

A favourite story comes from Curt Smith, who s of the Tears for Fears videos, they are “an endless source of amusement for my children: ‘Oh my god, you’ve got braids in your hair!’”

Here’s one without the braids, Everybody Wants to Rule the World - I completely forgot about, and love, the gas pump dancers:

******************************

Meanwhile guys, there’s a new Bond girl in town… meet Lea Seydoux

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Brian Gardiner Fluffernutter, Universal Music Enterprises , , ,

Saturday Fluffernutter: The Stick That in Your Crack Pipe and Beat Your Dentist With it Edition

October 4th, 2014

All the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities

fluffincolorFluffernuttery

Big weekend last if you are Venice. Not the inhabitants of that once proud Principality, but Venice itself: the Palazzo’s, the Grand Canal, the little wooden boats not seen since Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The Clooneys and his wife, formerly Amal Alamuddin, tied the knot at the Aman Hotel on the Grand Canal.6a00e54f0014bd883400e54f8da74b8834-800wi

Clooney was very pretty in black tux, while Alamuddin was tall and ruggedly handsome in red. The guest list was full on A-list, assuming you consider Anna Wintour and Cindy Crawford A-list, two people every media outlet I saw couldn’t help but splash across their pages.

And while George and Alamuddin went for the big show style wedding the real star of the show was the gorgeous city of Venice, which is currently holding for George Clooney’s agent, who is none to pleased with it.

fluffincolorMore trouble for former very cute teen star Amanda Bynes. Now a 28-year old for teen star, trouble has managed to find her. Saturday night, at somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3AM, Bynes was stopped by the CHiPs guys (no not Erik Estrada, the real ones) and arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled subsistence. She was then booked and remained in custody until noon Sunday, when she was released on $15,000 bond.

Question: Where was Frankie Muntz to keep Bynes out of trouble, I always that was his job.

fluffincolorCat Stevens, aka Yusaf Islam, is tired of self imposed obscurity, has booked a concert tour of six cities. The man who once agreed that a Fatwa against Salmon Rushdie for daring to write The Satanic Verses was proper and correct. Now he has the gall to call his little tour the Peace Train Tour, so you can be sure there be lots of hectoring the don’t agree with cold blooded murder types in the audience on their evilness.

Anyway, he has cancelled his New York show because the tickets are paper tickets, not pdf files that people print themselves or something. Remarkably, this doesn’t seem to be an environmental complaint, but something about scalpers being able to resell paper tickets, but not printed PDF tickets, or something.

Look, bottom line here: if you go see this fuck-wad who dislikes free speech and thinks murdering authors whose works disagree with his world view is OK, shame on you.

fluffincolorSad news out of the AC/DC camp. With a new album ready to come down the pipe, and tour plans being made, the band has announced that rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young is suffering from Dementia. Reports are that the 62-year old Young, brother of lead guitarist/perennial school boy Angus, is already in long term care.

fluffincolorOh dear! Charlie Sheen is back in the news, and it ain’t good.

Sheen is being investigated by LAPD for battery against a dental technician and assault with a deadly weapon against his dentist. The story is Sheen went to the dentist for an abscess while high on crack. When the technician put the gas mask on him, he freaked, flailing his arms and hitting the technician. When the dentist finally came in, Sheen allegedly pulled a knife on him.

Nobody was hurt, but it’s reported the LAPD plans to send the case on to the D.A. to decide if charges will be laid.


Brian Gardiner Fluffernutter, Saturday Morning Coffee , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dennis DeYoung… and the Music of Styx: Live in Los Angeles

October 3rd, 2014

I’ve never quite got why Styx has been a much maligned act through the years. Oh sure they can be a little slick, almost perfect sounding, but really, that’s worse than Neil Young’s guitar being out of tune? According to a number of critics, yes. For some strange reason, Styx always got the too smooth, too good label. Much of the blame must fall of Dennis DeYoung, who has one of those voices that never misses a note and sounds effortless.live-in-los-angeles

With his new album/DVD Dennis Dennis DeYoung And The Music Of Styx Live In Los Angeles (2CD/DVD), DeYoung runs his seven piece band through 17 Styx songs badly in need of re-examination. DeYoung’s voice is, at 67-years old, still almost flawless, still rings out like a bell. Evidence suggests there has been no age related deterioration of DeYoung’s talents.

The songs stand up very well, and the quality of songwriting stands out throughout the CD. It was fun to rediscover songs like Crystal Ball and Suite Madame Blue which are excellent, as is much of the music. Hearing Mr. Roboto after all these years, on the other hand, feels like watching Billy Squire playing Rock Me Tonight, full dance included.

But Mr. Roboto is the exception, and a re-hear of Lady, Too Much Time on My Hands, Rockin’ the Paradise, Foolin’ Yourself and Come Sail Away is well worth the listen. Blue Collar Man particularly stands out.

The CD of Dennis DeYoung And The Music Of Styx Live In Los Angeles (2CD/DVD) really is a good solid collection, and worth the listen.

Due in stores October 17th in Europe and October 21st in North America, and is available on 2CD/DVD, Blu-Ray and digital. As well, the television special, An Evening With Dennis DeYoung And The Music Of STYX concert special airs on AXS-TV, on October 21st, 2014.


Track listing:
Audio:
CD1

  1. The Message (intro)
  2. The Grand Illusion
  3. Lady
  4. Lorelei
  5. Blue Collar Man
  6. Show Me The Way
  7. Mr. Roboto
  8. Crystal Ball
  9. Don’t Let It End
  10. Too Much Time On My Hands

CD2

  1. Rockin’ The Paradise
  2. Desert Moon
  3. Babe
  4. Foolin’ Yourself
  5. Suite Madame Blue
  6. The Best Of Times
  7. Renegade
  8. Come Sail Away.

Video

  1. The Grand Illusion
  2. Lady
  3. Lorelei
  4. Blue Collar Man
  5. Show Me The Way
  6. Mr. Roboto
  7. Crystal Ball
  8. Don’t Let It End
  9. Too Much Time On My Hands
  10. Desert Moon
  11. Babe; Foolin’ Yourself
  12. Suite Madame Blue
  13. The Best Of Times
  14. Renegade
  15. Come Sail Away.

Brian Gardiner Record Release, Review ,

Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page: Photographs and Review

October 2nd, 2014

Jimmy Page’s pictorial autobiography, Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page, gets it’s regular edition release on October 14th, so the pre-release press has begun.

Today we get two articles, one in Variety magazine where Steve Chagollan has a review of the book, and another at The Guardian, which offers a glimpse at a dozen of the 600 photos in the book.

At Variety, Chagollan says of the book:

Anybody interested in what girl Page was seeing or what bad habits he was falling into won’t find them here — for good or bad. But within the sparse entries are true nuggets, such as the fact that the first Led Zeppelin album took all of 30 hours to record “with vision, improvisation, attitude and a bulletproof blueprint.” Page also writes about recording the group’s nameless fourth album at an English country manor in Headley, Hampshire, “to lock in and condense the creative energy.”

Page’s book is, to be sure, different than most autobiographies. Originally released as a collector book on high quality photographic paper and in extremely limited release, it sold for $500-800 (£395- £695). It is strictly pictorial, with text amounting to not much more than a snippet to describe the picture.

The Guardian gallery will give you a taste of what Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page is going to be like, only with 50x more pictures.
Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page can be preordered now, and s in stores October 14th, at a price point much more in line with what the average fan would be willing to pay.

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Brian Gardiner Books

Picture of the Day: An Elora Afternoon

September 29th, 2014

Billy Joel by Fred Schruers

September 29th, 2014

Many biography’s die in the early chapters. Struggling to bring life to somebody who would become something, but was really still just some schlub, has defeated many biographers. Fred Schruers’ Billy Joel seems to suffer from this in reverse. The first chapter is a must read, and one of the most compelling chapters of any biography I’ve ever read. The last third to quarter of the book however, dwells endlessly on Joel’s career and life since he recorded his last album, 1993’s River of Dreams, over 20-years ago.41q5ygb06l

Opening with Joel’s family history, his Jewish industrialist grandparents leaving Nazi Germany by stealth, and arriving in Long Island via Switzerland and Cuba, the first chapter of Billy Joel is an excellent and fascinating piece of history. Billy’s early years is covered quickly enough and interestingly enough, something that’s not always true, or even often true, in a biography. The minutiae of childhood has bogged down many a biography, that’s simply not a problem here.

Joel’s career years cover the majority of the book, from his early band to River of Dreams, and all the important details seem to be accurate and intact: his first, disastrous album, his move to LA, Piano Man, his rise to prominence and most productive commercial years, his divorce from his first wife (and manager) Elizabeth and discovering his next manager, her brother, had ripped him off leaving him virtually broke.

It’s the later, post River of Dreams years that Billy Joel bogs down. A story that moved along fairly nicely suddenly overwhelms with details. Thus we get far more than we need about his courtship of Christie Brinkley (and not enough on their split), as well as his romance with third wife Katie Lee, minute details of a concert here, a concert there, and far too much from Joel’s day to day activities, that felt at times like bad name dropping (biking with Bruce Springsteen as one example).

Fred Schruers Billy Joel is a good, easy read, and enjoyable look at one of those rather ordinary people who made the absolute most of what they had, often at the expense of his personal life. And edit and a trim of the last quarter of the book and it could be an excellent one.

Billy Joel is available Oct. 28 at all your usual book buying outlets.



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Brian Gardiner Book Review, Books , , , ,

Saturday Fluffernutter: The Oh No, Not Kim Kardashian: My Eyes! MY EYES!!! Edition

September 27th, 2014

All the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities

fluffincolor

More naked celebrity photo’s hacked from someones cloud account have been relleased, and by celebrity I mean Kim Kardashian. fluffposter01sampleActually, that’s not fair. Vanessa Hudgens and Hope Solo also had shots leaked, and I’ve heard of and know Vanessa Hudgens work, and Hope Solo is an Olympic Gold Medalist. Yet all the headlines says “Kim Kardashian, and others” or some such. It must be galling to these women who’ve actually accomplished something to be second fiddle to fat assed, ugly, done nothing meaningful in life, Kim Kardashian.

Oh, they’re probably not happy about their nude pictures hitting the internet either. Bummer weekend all ’round, I would say.

fluffincolorTMZ has been talking to male celebrities, and many are apparently “scared” that they’re next for the hacked nudie pics treatment.

Here at Fluffernutter World Headquarters the weekend was spent in secret meetings working on a contingency plan lest our own pictures become leaked. After a particularly long Saturday night meeting/sleep that ran well into Sunday morning, it was remembered I’ve never actually taken nude pictures of myself, never had anyone else take such pictures and certainly never saved any such thing to an online account.

Maybe TMZ could do a story about which male celebrities are “scared” so we’ll know who was vein enough to take pictures of themselves and dumb enough to save them online. At the Fluffernutter World Headquarters betting pool, this writer is down for “all of them.”

fluffincolorSorry ladies, he’s taken… this weekend Venice is expecting to see the marriage of the last half-year or so as confirmed bachelor George Clooney will wed lawyer Amal Alamuddin.

Details are being kept rather secret, but Clooney is expected to wed Alamuddin either Saturday or Monday (so bet on Sunday or Friday)at the Palazzo Cavalli, a 16th century Venetian palace on the Grand Canal. Police will close off weekends around the Palazzo to prevent crowds forming, because apparently Venetians are now like North Americans and have nothing whatsoever to do with their life.

Congratulations to the happy couple, and sorry to the ladies who had hopes…


Brian Gardiner Fluffernutter, Saturday Morning Coffee , , , , ,

Bob Seger’s Ride Out Looks Ready to Disappoint

September 26th, 2014

cap028_bobseger_std_cover_rgbfin-300x300This morning I woke up to a third downloadable song from the new Bob Seger album, Ride Out. Those who pre-ordered on iTunes got Detroit Made and You Take Me In when they pre-ordered, and this morning got the Steve Earle song The Devils Right Hand. Frankly, I’ll take the Steve Earle version over the Seger by a wide margin (which is convenient as it’s on Copperhead Road, an album everyone and anyone should own).

With the three songs released, it is fair to start making some judgements on Ride Out, and the only one I can come to is it’s another OK Bob Seger album.

Bearing in mind that pre-releases tend to be the best songs, or at least the most commercial, Detroit Made, You Take Me In and The Devils Right Hand have to be seen as a disappointment. The first and last are both good enough rockers, but they’re both covers: has Seger even penned a really good rock song since Lock and Load 20-years ago? You Take Me In, on the other hand, is a ho-hum ballad, no better or worse than Wait For Me which he released as a single 8-years ago. Neither song stands out, neither song is really much of anything, either good or bad.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve bough the album, as I have every Seger album, I’m a fan, a pretty big one. But Seger hasn’t released a truly noteworthy album since Like a Rock, maybe The Fire Inside if your being generous. He has fallen into a sound, a very specific sound since the early 90’s. There is no reason to expect Ride Out to be any different, but disappointedly anyway, it appears it isn’t.


Brian Gardiner Uncategorized