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Ladies and Gentlemen: the Rolling Stones

RSThe Rolling Stones are officially coming back to Chicago, with a United Center date set for May 28. Here’s what Greg Kot at the Tribune had to say.

The ticket price range quickly escalates from “barely 99% friendly” to “screw you, 1%” ($85 – $600). While those prices are beyond my reach, I can make a case to see the Stones for anyone who’s somehow managed to miss them for the past fifty years. The Rolling Stones had a major part in constructing modern rock and roll; it’s practically one’s duty to see them before that final Whip Comes Down.

Social media was aflame today with complaints about the median price tag of $250, and especially about the high end $600 tickets … but is anyone truly surprised? The pricing trend line keeps going up for the quote-unquote music legends. Check out the average ticket price for a handful of last year’s biggest offenders (according to Pollstar):

Barbara Streisand – $263.52
Celene Dion – $157.00
Madonna – $140.38
Paul McCartney – $136.64
Elton John – $117.25

Again, those are average prices. When one Beatle’s averaging $136.64 per person, the thought of $600 to see all of the living Rolling Stones doesn’t seem that insane.

If the Stones didn’t still manage to deliver in swagger and sound, it would be a lot easier to rip this joint (such as it were). Beyond that, who can argue with the always-lingering possibility of a Buddy Guy appearance?

… and “Gimme Shelter” has never stopped sounding hair-raisingly big and menacing in concert.


Soul Asylum-a primer

This week on the James VanOsdol show: Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum.

Soul Asylum’s the workhorse band you can’t help but root for. The implacable band simply never stops–and their live show remains absolutely fierce.

Here are a few videos to help you catch up on the band before their new album, Delayed Reaction, comes out in July.

“Somebody to Shove”-The opening guitar riff on this song is one of the best things that happened to me in the 1990s.

“Cartoon”-80s song, from Hang Time:

“Easy Street”-Soul Asylum entered the 90s with the album And the Horse They Rode In On. “Easy Street” from that album was my first exposure to the band.

“I Will Still Be Laughing”-If you saw BASEketball, you heard this song over the final credits. More significantly, it appeared on the band’s 1998 release Candy from a Stranger:

“Misery”-Soul Asylum followed up the monster release Grave Dancer’s Union with Let Your Dim Light Shine, in 1995. Among the album’s many highlights: “Misery.”

“Gravity”-First single from Delayed Reaction. There’s no band-sanctioned video for it yet, so you’ll have to check out this boot in the meantime:



A quick Candlebox primer

This week on my show, I’m joined by Candlebox singer Kevin Martin.

The Seattle-born band saturated alternative and rock radio throughout the 90s with songs like lighter-flicking power ballad “Far Behind”:

“You” was another big Candlebox hit. Like “Far Behind,” it too came from the band’s self-titled 1993 debut:

Their second album, Lucy, wasn’t nearly as successful as their first, but it sold well enough to achieve gold status (over 500,000 units shifted). “Simple Lessons” is the first song on the album:

Less than two years after the band released their third album, Happy Pills, they broke up. The move was made primarily to get out of their record deal with Maverick.

The band got back together in 2006, and has since released two albums, including this year’s Love Stories & Other Musings.

“Believe in It,” from Love Stories:

During the interview, Kevin and I talk about the band’s early days and lack of acceptance on the Seattle scene, the breakup, and the new album. Thanks for listening!




Candlebox (1993)

Lucy (1995)

Happy Pills (1998)

Into the Sun (2008)

Love Stories & Other Musings (2012)

Geoff Tate of Queensryche: a Primer

Geoff Tate from Queensryche joins me later this week on the James VanOsdol show. To prepare you for the interview (as well as for his two area shows at the beginning of May), I thought I’d offer up this Queensryche primer:

“Empire”-Title track from Queensryche’s commercial breakthrough album of the same name.

“Silent Lucidity”-An unlikely top ten hit for Queensryche. A power ballad that transcends the notion of power ballads; epic before the word became a cliche.

“Operation Mindcrime”-80s metal with lyrical substance and musical teeth. The “Mindcrime” album remains a defining moment for the band and for rock concept albums.

“The Lady Wore Black”-Here’s a live version of one of the band’s very first songs, originally heard on their self-titled debut (1982).

“Sliver”-Lead track from the American Soldier album (2009).

“Jet City Woman”-Boot-quality solo performance of the Queensryche song, recorded earlier this year.

Best Songs Ever #11: Sugar “Changes”

Here in Chicago, when it’s pushing 40 in February and the sun is out, it may as well be San Diego in August.

I cracked my windows a little as I was driving today and let this one wail. Bob Mould’s body of work has been undervalued by the world at large for decades running, and it’s the world’s loss. Sugar was a monster fucking band.