Saturday, June 30, 2012

GFreedom's Juke Box #6

Hello hello! :)
 Another week passed and now it is time to post my Top-5 songs.
Truth is that this last week I didn't listen so much music like other times. Also I was in a very light and summer mood, because of the small trip maybe... In any case this time the songs I chose are a bit different in style than the previous weeks. You will understand maybe when you will see my list. ;)
Here we go:

DAVID BYRNE: Independence Day (Rei Momo) (1989)
DONOVAN: Colours (Fairytale) (1965)
SANTANA: Evil Ways (Santana) (1969)
MORCHEEBA: The Sea (Big Calm) (1998)
SANDY DENNY & THE STRAWBS: Sail away to the Sea
(Sandy Denny & The Strawbs) (Recorded 1967, Released 1991)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Didim-Bodrum-Kos and back...

  This week I had to travel to the Greek island of Kos in order to arrange a few things, and I decided to make it more interesting and enjoyable. So together with my wife we made a small  travel and mixed the jobs that had to be done with some fun.
   We left Didim with the bus at afternoon, and 2 hours later we reached at the beautiful city of Bodrum that lies on the Aegean sea. From there we would pass the next morning to Kos.
   Found a (not so nice, but cheap) hotel and we headed out to explore the city.  
It was already late afternoon, the sun was setting, and we found ourselves making rounds at the area around the seafront. It was very nice. Many small roads filled with people, hundreds small shops full of colors, and nice smells coming from everywhere around.
   After our dinner, we found a nice cafe/bar on the main beach, and we enjoyed our drinks sitting at a table exactly next to the sea, and watching the magnificent view of the huge castle that was lighted for the night. It was a very relaxing and beautiful feeling.                                                       
   The next day we took the small ferry from Bodrum to Kos island, and one hour later we were in Greece.
   Kos is a beautiful island, very touristic, and every time we are there we usually have a nice time.
   The first thing we did it was to find a nice cafeteria and enjoy a great coffee! :)
  We did many of the things we had to, and then we decided to visit the biggest ancient site of the island, called 'Asklepeion'. It was dedicated to Asklipios son of Apollo, the protector of medicine and health in the ancient Greece. Many significant people worked there, but the most important and famous was Hippocrates 'the father of medicine'.
   The area is big and very impressive. It is at a cliff that offers a great view of the island, but it is not suggested for days with unbearable heat. Unfortunately it was close to noon, and the heat was exhausting! So we made our visit shorter, and left quite fast.
   Next we had to go to the other side of the island in the village of Kefalos, in order to finish with the things we had to do. Kefalos is a touristic village, and it is situated in a small gulf and has a very beautiful seaside. In the middle of the gulf, there is a tiny island with a small chapel on it dedicated to Saint Nicolas.
   Beautiful place as well. There we enjoyed some Greek foods that we both had missed a lot, and then we took the way back home.
   The only remarkable incident of our way back was that the small ferry we were on, when it was trying to reach Bodrum port had a crash with a yaght that was there already. It was a good crash! The ferry didn't seem to suffer any serious damage, but the yaught's left side was heavily damaged! It was the first time I was present on a boat when it crashes another boat, and I must say it was an interesting experience!
   Finally this trip proved to be a nice very small holiday. We did all the things that had to be done, but at the same time we had some fun as well.
   Now I'm back to Didim, continuing my everyday life routine as before...

The pictures: On the 2 first pictures you can see a small cafe on the beach of Bodrum (not the one we sat though), and the castle at night. In the next 2 you can see a part of Asklepeion, and the tiny island in the gulf of Kefalos in Kos...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lynyrd Skynyrd Live in Athens - An update...

   As I wrote in a preview post, a few days ago Lynyrd Skynyrd performed live for first (and last probably) time in Athens. As you can understand I wasn't able to go and see the concert, but I spoke with 1-2 friends that were there that night, read some critics about the concert, and I will transfer the news to you...
   There must have been over 10.000 people in the concert, Lynyrd Skynyrd played for about 1.5 hours, and it was a total best of! They performed live only one song from their new record, and all the rest were from the '70's. They gave a very good & solid performance, and for sure they pleased everybody. I heard for lots of dancing and looots of singing from the crowd!
 If you make a small research on the internet I'm sure you'll be able to find lots of pictures and videos from this concert... :)
   And here is the playlist:
1.Working for MCA
2.I Ain't the one
3.Skynyrd Nation (From the new album)
4.What's your name
5.Down South Junkin'
6.That Smell
7.I know a little
8.Saturday night Special
9.Simple Man
10.Meddley: Gimme Back my Bullets/Whisky Rock-A-Roller/The Needle & the Spoon
11.Tuesday's Gone
12.Gimme 3 Steps
13.Call me the Breeze
14.Sweet Home Alabama
  Encore:
15.Freebird (of course!)

   Looking at the playlist I realize that they didn't play some of my favorite songs, like: On the Hunt, Double Trouble & Cry for the Bad Man.
But the fact they are my favorites doesn't make them big hits, so...
 In a nutshell I believe the playlist was really very good!
   I hope everybody that was there had a great time that night...
I'm kind of jealous to be honest, but what can be done? You can't always get what you want...
(As The Rolling Stones sing, and it is true!)
   Here is a small sample of this concert if you wanna take a look...
 It is Freebird of course... :)

video
                                                   
      

Saturday, June 23, 2012

GFreedom's Juke Box #5

Hello to all of you!
Another Saturday afternoon came, and it is time to post my Top-5 songs
for the past week.
  As I wrote last Saturday, it would be lovely if anyone is in the mood to post his/her Top-5 songs as well in the comments section.
Last week 2 people did that, and I found it very interesting!
This week I was in the mood for more hard/heavy stuff as you will see in the following list.
So, these are my 5 best songs for this week:

JOURNEY: Of a Lifetime (Journey) (1975)
RAINBOW: Stargazer (Rising) (1976)
RUSH: Xanadu (A Farewell to Kings) (1977)
JUDAS PRIEST: Run of the Mill (Rocka Rolla) (1974)
TED NUGENT: Stranglehold(Ted Nugent) (1975)

Lots of '70's this time as you can see. hehehe...


Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Beatle babies...

One day as I was surfing on YouTube, I found this video.
I thought it was sweet and kind of funny, so I download it and I'm posting it here to share it with you.
The graphics are kind of lame, but that's what makes it funny I think.
 Specially dedicated to the fans of The Beatles...
 Enjoy the Beatle babies! :)


video

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Eloy Live from the '70's...

   Eloy is maybe the biggest German Prog-Rock band, and one of my most favourites.
(You will read a post about them very soon in another series of posts).
I'm uploading this video for all of you who like them, and for those who don't know them but may find them interesting.
The song is from their best (for me) record, 'Dawn'.
Enjoy some good Prog-Rock from Germany! :)

                                                                     
video

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Top-10 Prog Rock Bands Slide show

   One day a couple of years ago, I was watching on youTube some music videos.
I saw someone that had upload a video called my Top10 (or 15) Progressive Rock bands. I decided to take a look out of curiosity. By opening this video, I saw on the right side of the screen more videos like this one. Top 10 Prog bands, Top 10 Prog songs etc...
Some of these videos were good, some not so good.
So I felt kind of jealous, and I thought 'Why them and not me?' :P
And I decided to make one as well. The problem was that I'm not a computer expert. (The opposite I could say). So, after spending almost a whole Sunday morning, I managed to make about 10 minutes of video! :P
   It is not something great or super, but I love it! Because you know, I made it! hehehe
After finishing it I was very excited about it, and I went to upload it right away!
And there was the bummer! I uploaded it, but because of YouTube's policy I could watch it, but without any sound.
   So I left it somewhere in my computer and tried to forget about it. Until 2 days ago. I was looking at some files, and there it was! And since now I have this blog going, and also lately there are a lot of posts about Prog-Rock, I decided to put it here so if you want you can watch it.
   I really hope that some of you will like it. Please be gentle and kind in your comments, (if you post any), because that was my first (and last most probably) attempt for something like that...
   So sit back, open the volume a bit, and enjoy! :)
   This is GFreedom's Top-10 Prog-Rock bands from the '70's... :)

video
                                               

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Congratulations to the Greek National Team!

   Greek National team passed to the quarter semi-finals!
  This came as a big surprise actually, especially if you consider the team we beat last night and we have thrown out (Russia). And also if anyone had seen the other two previous games of Greece, and the points of the group until this last game.
The team was struggling to play some descent football, they were unlucky in some occasions, and let's face it, the referees are not so much fond of us...
But despite all these, in this last and most crucial game Greek team played with heart and guts, and managed to beat the Russian team and pass to the next round.
   As I wrote in a post a few days ago, if our team pass to the next round I will be pleased. And I am!
In the next round we will be facing Germany most probably. Eh, there you can't ask for many things.
But in football you can never know, right? So let's wait for the 22nd of June, and we'll find out then...
   A big Bravo to this team that despite all the problems, struggled and suceeded to pass from the group stage, and made all Greeks happy even if it was for 2 hours!
  Thank you guys, you made us all very proud! Again! :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

GFreedom's Juke Box #4...

   One more week passed, and it's time for my Top-5 songs.
This is post No.4, so it's been a month since I started this Top-5 lists.
I really hope some of you finds them interesting...
                                                                                          
David Bowie: Life on Mars (Hunky Dory) (1971)
The Rolling Stones: 2000 Light Years from Home
(Their Satanic Majesties Request) (1967)
Porcupine Tree: Radioactive Toy (On the Sunday of Life) (1991)
Thin Lizzy: Emerald (Jailbreak) (1976)
Jefferson Airplane: Rejoice (After Bathing at Baxter's) (1967)

Here's an idea: If any of you wants, can make a comment under the Top-5 posts with his/her favourite songs for that week. That should be interesting, don't you think? First of all, we will see what kind of songs each of us liked, and maybe learn a few more songs...:)

Friday, June 15, 2012

THE PROGRESSIVE ROCK ENCYCLOPEDIA. (Intro) Part.2

   The thing I'm trying to do here is not very easy as you can understand, and it will take lots of efforts.
In order to be able to do that, I made a good dig in my records and my cd's, undusted a few encyclopedias I have, made a research on the internet, watched hours and hours of videos and documentaries, and I really hope I will be able to make it good.
But because surely I will make some mistakes and I will forget some things on the way, please feel free to comment, suggest, and criticize on the things you like or you don't like. (Or the things you think are not efficient). I really welcome criticism, as far it is not rude and insulting.
   As for the bands I will be presenting here, they will be in alphabetical order of course.
I will try to be totally objective, to put as many info as possible, and whenever I can I will put some pictures, record covers, even 1-2 videos, so you will be able to have an idea about the band.
Because the term Progressive Rock is something very general, I will try not to make it very strict. That means that I will include bands that were maybe more 'light' in their musical approach on Progressive, and not only the hard-core ones. That doesn't mean that I will put here every band that knows how to play the instruments well. I'm saying this because in some lists and catalogs I found, under the term Progressive Rock I saw bands like The Beatles, The Doors, Deep Purple, even Metallica! 
   So, I will try to balance the groups according to their music style. With some you may agree, with some may disagree. (For example I will not put Cockney Rebel only because they have recorded 'Death Trip'. It is maybe one of the best Prog-Rock songs I ever heard, but is only one song!)
  I hope that you understand what I'm trying to say here, right?
Now, it is time for this really long intro to be over, and move on to the bands' presentation...
I hope many of you will find these series of posts interesting, and maybe learn a few things as well...
Thank you :)

THE PROGRESSIVE ROCK ENCYCLOPEDIA. (Intro) Part.1

   Now, where do I begin? hmmm
The ones that know me, or the ones that you reading my blog you may have noticed that I have a special kind of affection for the musical style called Progressive Rock.
But what is exactly Progressive Rock? It is the sub-category of Rock music, appeared at the end of '60's mostly in UK, and developed in the '70's including bands from many countries finally.
It started as some musicians felt the need to play something more complicated, expand their musical horizons, and push music out of the usual limits of Rock. Most of them were students of musical schools or universities, and they tried to blend Rock music with forms of Classical music, Jazz, Ethnic etc.But that wasn't always successful. Sometimes the results were excellent in them being inspired compositions, but in some other cases it was just some perfectionists trying to impress their audience with their musical knowledge.
   Many names were invented in order to describe the differences and music styles of these bands.
Techno-Rock, Art Rock, Symphonic Rock, Space Rock, are some of these sub-categories.
   One extra category that under certain circumstances can be added under the 'banner' of Progressive Rock, is Krautrock. This term is used for the Rock bands from Germany actually.
Germany was a whole different planet in music these years. The German musicians tried to invent their own way to play Rock. A more 'German' way. A music form that is neither Western or Eastern, but pure German. So Krautrock was created. Many bands were experimenting with new forms of music, new sounds, new styles, while some others chose to follow the 'Western way'. A very big contribution in these musical experiments was the rise and the development of synthesizers. Many of the German bands based their sound on the heavy use of synthesizers.
In the late '70's with the rise of Disco and the tsunami of Punk, most of the Prog-Rock bands were disbanded, or tried to change their style in order to survive. Very few succeeded though.
Later in the '80' and '90's, slowly slowly new bands appeared in the music scene trying to play again Prog-Rock, but in a more modern way. (And there was when the term Neo-Prog was invented).
Some of these bands have survived until our times actually...
Continue on part. 2...
 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

TRAVELLING: To the Land of beautiful Horses and beyond... Part 3

           Egirdir and Konya...
   The next morning we left again very early in order to avoid the heat. Next stop: Egirdir.
We had already entered the vast area that is called Anatolian Plateau, which means that although we were moving on roads that were straight, the altitude was over 1000mt. We made a detour in order to visit a volcanic lake which was supposed to be great. And it was! A huge lake with green waters surrounded by mountains, and the sand was so white that it was looking like sugar. We had a nice swimming there, despite the cold water.
And then we continued our way. We passed some not so interesting places, and at late noon we reached Egirdir.
   Egirdir is the name of a small town (or a big village) that lies at the banks of a very big lake. In the middle of the lake there is a small island that is connected to the town with a very narrow road. Nice place. We found a room on the island, and after we swimmed in the lake we made some rounds to explore the place a bit.
The town is very good for an overnight stop, but has not so many things to offer. So we decided that the next morning we should continue our way towards Konya.
   On the way to Konya the ladscapes we were passing through were really very eiree and interesting. We passed some mountains, valleys, and the landscape was becoming all the more drier. After a couple of hours of driving we ascended on a hill at the side of a mountain and after a turn of the road to descend, Konya lay like a carpet of red tile roofs at the foot of the mountain.
It was a great view! Imagine a very big city spread all over the horizon.A city which is considered to be the center of the Muslim religion in Turkey.
We entered the city, found a descent hotel in the center, and it was time to explore around a bit.
   Konya is famous because of the unique green mosque which is also the shrine of Mevlana.
Mevlana was a philosopher of Muslim religion, the one who started the order of the whirling dervishes, and Konya is their hometown.
[Their order was called Mevlevi and their focus was on love as in their words: 'We love the creation through the creator.' The order was highly respected and later on became a branch of the Sufi sect. Mevlana is still considered to be one of the best religious poets and his sect was the most lenient sect in the entirety Islam. One of his most famous quotations was: 'Either be what you seem or seem to be what you are.'
The whirling dervishes are a part of the Mevlevi sect and their dance in whirling form is symbolic for the world's constant turning. Their clothes in white represent the white cloth the muslim cover their dead for burial, and the high hats stand for their gravestones. In a symbolic meaning it means as the world turns everything comes to meet their end in death but one thing that stands is the love we bear for the creator and the creation.]
  We visited the mosque (actually in a complex of mosques) that contains Mevlana's shrine and I must say it was very impressive. It was something between a temple and a museum, including the graves of many famous Dervishes from the past, and many objects dating from the Middle Ages and before.
Meanwhile, I was trying to see if it would be possible to see the Dervishes perform. (It is not so common). Luckily we found some invitations from our hotel and at night we headed to the place where we could see them. It was at the edge of the city in a place that looked like a monastery or something of that short. Had a big outside wall, and inside was dark, having only torches for lights. We entered into some corridors that lead us to the place of the ritual, and in the meantime we could hear their chants and smell the perfumes of burning essences all around. The place was a basement, rather small and dark. Except of us, 4-5 more people were there to watch it. Just perfect! On our right it was a small stage with 4-5 musicians and the center was empty for the Dervishes to perform. The moment they entered was very impressive and kind of spooky. They suddenly appeared out of nowhere (from a side door I'm guessing), and totally silent passed next to us and went to the center of the room. It was dark, and they were wearing these long white robes, and they really looked like ghosts!
Ok, I'm sorry but I am unable to express the feeling of seeing that performance in this place and from so close. I just can't! But believe me when I say that it was something I will remember for the rest of my life! It was just chilling!
   After that, there were not many things we could do as you can understand. So we headed to our hotel rooms to relax, because the next day we would be crossing a 140 km Desert in order to enter Kappadokia at last! The moment we were waiting and discussing to the whole trip so far, was finally ahead of us!
To be continued...
Pictures: In the top picture you see Egirdir. In the middle one you see a part of  Konya, and at the bottom picture you see the complex of mosques I wrote before. Mevlana's shrine lies under this green tower you see...

 Next, on part 4: Kappadokia...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Greatest Rock albums of all times Part. 15

                                  THE DOORS: THE DOORS
  I was never a big fan of this band. I believe that they were a very good band among many other very good bands of the '60's. Nothing more, nothing less.
   But I think their debut album, which was released in 1967 deserves a place here...
Not only because of the 2 'trademark' songs 'Light my Fire' and 'The End', but because the whole record is full of songs that became more or less very famous everywhere, and here you can see a quality that you don't find in their records later on. From the 11 songs of this record you have to search in order to find one song that it is not good. Even the -not so famous- songs (like The Crystal ship, for example), are really very good! (Especially The Crystal Ship is one of the best songs here in my opinion, but anyway)...
   Here are some facts not widely known about this record: 'Alabama Song' is not their composition. It was written and composed by Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weil in 1927. Also 'Backdoor Man', was written by Willie Dixon and it was originally recorded by Howlin' Wolf.
Both songs 'Break on Through' and 'The End' were released censored. On 'Break on Through' we listen J. Morrison singing 'she gets she gets'. The original lyrics were 'she gets high she gets high'.
As for 'The End', in the last part of the song, J. Morrison was repeating the word 'fuck', but it was taken out of the album's final mix.
   Upon the album's release, the song 'Light my Fire' entered the USA single charts, peaking at No.2, but failed in Europe. Strangely 'Light my Fire' entered the UK singles chart peaking at No.7 in 1991.
That happened after Oliver Stone's film 'The Doors'.
   Rolling Stone magazine places 'The Doors' at No.42 on '500 greatest albums of all time', whilst Q magazine places the album at No.25 in the '100 greatest albums ever' list.
   Nevertheless, 'The Doors' is considered one of the most classic albums in Rock history, and it is surely a wonderful debut album.
  Other albums I recommend: 'Strange days' and 'Waiting for the sun'...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

GAME OF THRONES Season 2...

   Game of Thrones 2nd season came to an end, and I would like to write some thoughts of mine.
As you probably know, season 1 was covering the 1st book of the series in 10 episodes. The same happened in season 2 as well.
Again 10 episodes covering the 2nd book, and taking the story further. My opinion is that this 2nd season wasn't as good as the 1st one. I found it a little boring in some parts to be honest.
But fortunately there was an epic finale kept for us...
And now we have to wait one more year for the 3rd season, which if I remember well, it should be the best of all 3!
   The 'problem' with G.R.R Martins books is that although he 'builds' very 'strong' and well written characters and a very interesting plot, there is a very big lack of action. Too much talking, too much diplomacy, too many characters that are scattered here and there, and very little action. The problem is that usually in these kind of books the action takes the story further. And so in this case it seems that everything is moving real slow.
   As I have said in the post about the 1st season a couple of months ago, I read the first 3 books, but many years ago. So as you can understand although I have the general story in my mind, it's impossible to remember every detail and every character's exact story.
   So now I would like a small help from you please if it is possible.
Is it just my idea, or in this 2nd season they have made some changes in the story? Because some things have happened that I don't remember reading about them in the books. But I'm not sure if it is just my imagination, or they really did change the story.
So if any of you have read the books more recently, or his/her memory is better that mine, please inform me if changes have really been made and at which parts if you remember, because I'm really curious!
Thank you in advance... :)

     

Monday, June 11, 2012

Spotlights on: STONE THE CROWS

   Stone the Crows was a tough Blues-Rock band that came out of the pubs of Scotland in the late '60's.
In the beginning they had everything that a newly founded band could hope for. An extremely good female singer (Maggie Bell), a very talented guitar player (Les Harvey, the brother of Alex Harvey), a rhythm session (bass & drums) which were playing with John Mayall before Stone the Crows, and the manager of Led Zeppelin (Peter Grant) as their producer. What else they could hope for? Some publicity I guess! Well, unfortunately it never came! Since the fist time I have listened to them (about 20 years ago), I wonder the same thing.Why they didn't become more famous?
   Let's take a quick look in their (short anyway) career:
Maggie Bell was a winner of several Top Girl Singer awards in the UK,  and with her rough voice that resembled to the voice of Janis Joplin, seemed to be the ideal singer for a Blues-rock band. The guitarist was very talented and kınd of known in the music business mostly because of his brother. The bassist/vocalist (James Dewar) and the drummer (Collin Allen) were known because of their participation in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. In the band's first line up was also John McGinnis on keyboards.
   Their first record (Stone the Crows, 1970) was an excellent debut album, received good critics, but failed to become known. It contains one of their greatest songs, 'The Touch of your Loving Hand', and also a very good cover version of 'The Fool on the Hill'. (Originally by The Beatles).
Their second album (Ode to John Law, 1970) again received good critics, but failed to achieve massive sales.
These 2 years they were performing as an opening act for Led Zeppelin, but as it seemed not even that didn't help...
   In the early 1971 the bassist/vocalist quits the band to join Robin Trower. (ex-Procol Harum).  A couple of months later the keyboard player quit the band as well. They recruit Steve Thompson as bass player, (but not as a singer), and they release their third album (Teenage Licks, 1971). After the release of 'Teenage Licks' a tragic incident happened: During a concert at the Swansea University, Les Harvey was electrocuted on stage and died.
That appeared to be the band's end, but they found the strength to continue. (Not for long though).
   Jimmy McCullogh joined the band as the guitar player, (before he was playing with Thunderclap Newman), and the band released their fourth -and last- record 'Ontinuous Performances' (1972). This record, although is not so good as the 3 previews ones it reached at No.33 in the UK album charts.
   At the start of 1973 the band splits up, with Jimmy Mc Cullogh joining Paul McCartney's Wings, and Maggie Bell started a solo career. (In her solo career she recorderd 4 albums in total, but only 2 of them were released).
   It is really pity that this band never received the recognition it deserved. Especially for the fans of Blues-Rock this band was an example of how the 'white folks' know how to play the Blues!




                                              

                                         


Saturday, June 9, 2012

1 year away from my country...

Hello to all of you!
   Last night I realised that exactly 1 year ago on the 9th of June 2011 I was leaving Greece and came to live in Didim in Turkey. One day before we left the home we were living, gave the keys to the house owner, looked around the empty house, took 3-4 pictures and left...
 And as today 1 year ago we passed from the island of Kos to Bodrum, and our life in Turkey had just begun...
   Well, I have to say that this year passed very quick. With good and bad moments, with happy and sorrowful incidents, and here I am now thinking and writting about this year that passed.
To be honest, when I left Athens last year I could never imagine the situation that Greece is at right now. I was thinking that maybe the things will become a little worse, but I could never imagine that the situation will be SO bad!
   So finally I think I made the right choice by taking this decision. I really wish that things were even a little better, but unfortunately they are not. The only hope I have is that from a point and on the things will get better, and the people will stop suffering.
Anyway, I don't want to make this post any longer. (There is no reason actually).
   Closing this, I want to say that I'm hoping from the bottom of my heart that everything will slowly slowly return to the previous state we were used to. Next Sunday there are the elections in Greece.
 Let's wait and see...
Thank you... :)

GFreedom's Juke Box #3

Another Saturday came, and it is time to select my Top-5 songs for the last week.
Here we go...

Barclay James Harvest: Medicine Man (BJH Live) (1974)
Black Sabbath: Snowblind (Vol.4) (1972)
Chris DeBurgh: Crusader (Crusader) (1979)
Crippled Black Phoenix: The Heart of Every Country (The Crafty Ape) (2012)
Rennaissance: The Sisters (Novella) (1977)

These are my best songs for this week folks.
For the next Top-5 you'll have to wait until next Saturday... :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's EURO time!

   Hello everybody!
Today is a big day for the Football fans all over Europe.
Today starts 'Euro 2012' in the stadiums of Poland and Ukraine. That means 2-3 weeks full of football!
Great stuff! hehehe.
   I want to wish good luck to all the teams that are participating, but mostly to the Greek team, that today in the premiere is playing against one of the host teams, Poland.
Many of you may remember what happened 8 years ago in Euro 2004 in Portugal, when Greece won the contest shocking the whole Europe. (For the ones that don't remember, Greece played in the premier against the host team of Portugal, won 2-1, and in the final we played again with Portugal, we beat them 1-0 and we won the Euro!) Well, this happened once and probably will never happen again.
But I'm hoping that the Greek team will play some decent football, and maybe pass to the next round.
After all, the whole Greece needs something to feel happy about in these very difficult times that we are facing.
So, good luck Greece! :)

Take a look at the video about Greece's crazy journey until the final and the victory! :)

                                              

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Metallica Live 2012

I have seen Metallica on stage 4 times so far, and I have to say that every concert of them is an experience.
This year Metallica were headliners at "Rock am Ring" festival in Germany, a few days ago. In this concert they played live the whole Black Album, and it was the first time that the whole concert was "live" on the internet with live streaming. For the ones that like Metallica and didnt have the chance to go in Germany, or they missed the live streaming, here is the whole concert for you to watch.
Sit back, open the volume, and enjoy Metallica live!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tales from the Progressive Oceans Part. 6

KING CRIMSON: IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING

   It was released on October 1969. It was King Crimson's debut album, and is considered to be one of the albums that set the foundations for the Hard-Core Progressive Rock. It is a strong, dark and complicated album, which combines Jazz elements with Classical music at many points. It contains 5 songs, all of them over 6 minutes long. The album opens with the very strong and rather bizarre '21st Century Schizoid Man'. It also contains the very famous in Greece 'Epitaph', and it closes with the (almost 10 minutes long) epic 'The Court of the Crimson King'.
   In the years that the band was active, many great musicians filled its ranks, but the original line up is together only in this record.
   Upon its release, the album received many different critics. From  Robert Christgau's (American music critic) 'It is absolute shit!' to the other edge of view from Who's guitarist Pete Townsend who called it 'an uncanny masterpiece!'
The album reached at No.5 in the UK album charts, but failed in the USA.
   In the book 'Rocking the Classics' (1997) critic and musicologist Edward Macan wrote: 'It is maybe the most influential Progressive Rock album ever released!'
   The album was remastered and re-released on vinyl and cd several times in the 1980's and 1990's, but all these releases were taken from tapes because the original master tapes were lost. A few years ago the original master tapes were found, forgotten in a storage vault. In order to celebrate the album's 40 year anniversary a new remastered version was made (from the original master tapes this time).
The remastering was executed by Steve Wilson of Porcupine Tree.
   'In the Court of the Crimson King' surely is not an easy album to listen, but it is a very important album, and maybe the only one you must listen from King Crimson. (My recommendation would be their second album 'In the Wake of Poseidon')

    My Personal Rating: 8.00
  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lynyrd Skynyrd live and more...

   Lynyrd Skynyrd will play live in Athens on the 18th of June. In about 2 weeks from now, probably the greatest band of south-Rock will perform in front of the Greek fans for the first time.
I have to admit that I was never a fan of southern-Rock, but Lynyrd Skynyrd is an exception.
Although only one member remained from the original 70's line up, I believe that they will play a great show!
Unfortunately I won't be there... If I was still living in Athens, I would go for sure. But from where I am right now it is very expensive to make this travel only for the concert.
As far as I know, many of my friends will go to this concert, so... Have a great time everybody! :)
But the post doesn't finish here...
I will write here a few small stories that lies behind the songs of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and are interesting.
   Ronnie Van Zant (their singer in the 70's that died in the aircraft crash tragedy) was the main writer of the lyrics in the band. As he admitted once, many of the lyrics were based on true stories and personal experiences. So, let's see these stories behind some songs...
   Double Trouble: In the lyrics he wrote 'eleven times I got busted, eleven times I've been to jail'.
Well, R.V.Zant was kind of a troublemaker. He liked drinking and in many cases he was involved in fights and all kinds of trouble. A few days before 'Gimme back my bullets' album's release he made a midnight call to their producer Tom Dowd saying: 'I got busted again! We have to change the lyrics'...
   Simple Man: This song was written after the funeral of his grandmother. In the simple but touchy lyrics there are some advices from a mother to her only son about how he must behave in his life.
   Gimme three steps: As I wrote before R.V Zant was a guy who liked to get into fights, and he was rarely backing off. But in one case he found himself facing a gun. So he said 'Gimme three steps mister toward the door' asking for a small advantage from his rival.
   Sweet Home Alabama: A couple years back, Neil Young recorded 2 songs about the situation in the Southern States, the problems with racism and so on. (These songs are 'Southern Man' and 'Alabama').
'Sweet Home Alabama' was Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'answer' to these 2 songs.Here is a small part:
Well, I heard Mr.Young sing about her (Alabama)
Well, I heard ol' Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil young will remember
A southern man don't need him around anyhow.
Later on, R.V.Zant said that they wrote this song mostly for fun, but I don't think I'm convinced...
   The ballad of Curtis Loew: The lyrics are based on real persons and real situations. This song tells the story of the 'colored' musicians of the areas around Jacksonville.Main character is Curtis Loew, but he is an imaginary person.
   Cry for the Bad Man: The lyrics here are telling the story of a close friend of the band (But without mentioning his name),who finally 'sold them out' ripping them off from their money.
   Well, that's all I could find, and I hope they were interesting...
Closing this post, I'm adding 2 videos from live performances of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The first one is a great live version of the legendary 'Freebird'. (Watch Ronnie Van Zant's T-shirt. Yes, it has Neil Young on it!)
   The second one is again a live version of 'Gimme three steps'.
 Both are from the 1970's with the band's original line up.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

GFreedom's JukeBox #2

   Another Saturday afternoon has come, and its time to put my Top-5 songs list for the past week.
Hmmm let's see...

Mercury Rev: The Funny Bird (Deserter's Songs) (1998)
Strawbs: Autumn (Hero & Heroine) (1974)
It's a Beautiful Day: Bulgaria (It's a Beautiful Day) (1969)
Rush: A Farewell to Kings(A Farewell to Kings) (1977)
Puressence: India (Puressence) (1995)

   These were (I think) the best songs I've listened this week. I hope you know them and like them... :)
  
   


Friday, June 1, 2012

Spotlights on: IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY...

   In this post I will present a band from the '60's which for many reasons never tasted the success it deserved. They were called 'It's a Beautiful Day' and this is their story in short...
   They were formed in San Fransisco on 1967 during the 'Summer of Love'. Although they were at the right place at the right time, they were never able to gain the fame and success of other bands of San Fransisco, like Jefferson Airplane Grateful Dead etc. Their first big mistake was that they signed a contract with Mathew Katz, (the manager of Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape), not knowing that both bands were already trying to get rid of him.
   During 1967 and early 1968 Katz prevented IABD from performing live in the S.Fransisco area, saying that they are not ready. Instead, he brought them to Seattle and made them perform in a club he owned. So they found themselves in the rainy Seattle, playing for very small audiences, and living altogether in a small attic of an old house again owned by Katz. The band's most famous song 'White Bird' was inspired by their life in this attic, and the miserable life they were living in Seattle.
   Around mid 1968 they returned to San Fransisco, completely broke and desperate. They started performing live gigs in secret from Katz in small clubs, and they started to gain some publicity.
Their big break was when they were offered to open for Cream on October 1968. All this time they were trying to finish their contract with their manager.
   The next year (1969), they released their debut album named after the band. (It's an excellent record!)
It contains 7 songs, and most of them are top class. Their 'hit song' 'White Bird' is opening the A-side of the record, while the song 'Bombay calling' opens the B-side. 'Bombay calling' is an instrumental piece, and its main music theme was used by Deep Purple on 'Child in Time'. In return, Deep Purple gave their song 'Wring that neck' to IABD, and it has been included in their second record under the name 'Don and Dewey'.
   Their 1st album reached at No.47 in USA, and remained at the top 200 for 70 weeks, while in UK reached No.58.
   After 1970 the band started to change many of its members frequently, and that affected their sound and style. The band's 2nd record 'Marrying Maiden' (1970) entered again the charts (No.28 in USA and No.45 in UK), but it's not even close to the quality of their first one. (In this record Gery Garcia from the Grateful Dead is participating as a guest musician).
   The band will continue to change members and release a few more records before they disbanded in 1976.
   In the following years they made a few reunions for special occasions and some concerts.
I strongly recommend their first record to everyone who likes Rock music, but if you want something more than this, try 'Marrying Maiden' and 'Today'...
   In the following videos you can listen to 'White Bird' and 'Bombay Calling' to get an idea about the band...