My favorite songs from Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2017

By Leighton Ginn

The Class of 2017 for the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame includes some of my all-time favorite bands.

So here are a few of my favorite songs from YouTube, and a few songs I just picked because I’m not as familiar.

JOURNEY

So a joke I have with my friends is that I will ask them who is the greatest cover band around. The answer: Journey

This is the band that’s touring now without Steve Perry. I know their current lead singer, Arnel Pineda, is fantastic.

But to me, Journey is always Steve Perry and I hope they will reunite to play. Sure, Perry has not performed publicly except for one surprise appearance in Minnesota, so he might not sound like we remember.

I like when the original lineup gets together, and I think Perry and Journey (Pineda included) together will be a special moment.

 ELO

I’ve been on a 70s kick lately, and much of it has to do with Electric Light Orchestra. Jeff Lynne’s voice is amazing, and it’s a unique blend of rock and disco.

There’s so many great songs, and his signature hit is “Mr. Blue Sky,” but “All Over The World” has a special place in my heart for me. It’s one of the songs from Xanadu, and it was one of the first albums I owned.

It was also the first song Lynne played when he decided to get ELO back together to perform in 2015, which led to a new CD.

PEARL JAM

 

While Nirvana became the signature grunge band, Eddie Vedder was really the distinctive voice.

For the grunge era, Pearl Jam and Nirvana were the signature bands, kind of like that generation’s Beatles and Rolling Stones.

When you are looking for a signature song of the early 90s, it’s Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and “Even Flow.” Vedder and Pearl Jam are still creating great music together, but here’s the classic look.

YES

One thing I loved about the 70s is how some of the songs are long by today’s standards and a bit audacious.

I mean, when I make videos for YouTube, I’m always reminded to keep them under two minutes, and shorter for other forms of social media. This song is eight minutes!

But if you can make great music, then eight minutes is nothing.

So here’s Yes.

NILE RODGERS

As a member of Chic, Niles Rodgers helped create the super disco hits “Le Freak” and “Good Times.” In later years, he produced for some of the biggest acts, including Madonna, David Bowie and recently, Daft Punk.

TUPAC SHAKUR

One of the most important rappers of all time. Tragic how he was taken away from us so early.

JOAN BAEZ

I’m not going to lie, I don’t know much about Joan Baez’s music. I saw this was the most popular.

Yes, I know she’s one of the most important artists of the 20th century and I don’t know her work. Sue men.

Predicting Coachella 2017: Acts down the lineup, but not at the bottom

 

By Leighton Ginn

These will be the diamond in the rough acts.

They might not be high on the lineup, although I could be wrong with that on some, but they will be well worth going to Coachella during likely the hottest time of the day.

EAGLES OF DEATH METAL

Much like Queens of the Stone Age, they guys are a local product from Palm Desert. Unlike QOTSA, EODM has not played Coachella yet.

I felt promoters Goldenvoice missed an opportunity last year to bring the hometown boys to the festival, and maybe even have a benefit to help those who were affected by the Paris shootings last year at the Bataclan.

But most of all, Eagles of Death Metal is a fun band that plays timeless rock music, with a wink and a smile.

They’ve been a personal favorite and surprised they haven’t played Coachella yet.

BANNERS

Shine A Light is one of those ear-worm songs, and Banners had a nice run in 2016. Maybe they should have been in Coachella last year.

COIN

Incredibly fun music that’s catchy. These guys might be my favorite band from the last year or two.

ELECTRIC GUEST

Asa Taccone has a unique and expressive voice that brings their super hit “This Head I Hold” to life. I thought they would have played around when their debut “Mondo” in 2012. That didn’t happen, but now they have new music. Taccone’s brother Jorma is part of “Lonely Island.”

RUN RIVER NORTH

This band is very talented and very versatile, as they changed its sound. They are a fun act live and would do well at Coachella.

JUDAH & THE LION

I might be picking these guys solely for a catchy hook in this song. But they do have a great sound.

X AMBASSADORS

An indie darling, these guys seem overdue to play Coachella.

I would suspect that would not be too far down the lineup.

 

 

Predicting Coachella 2017: Hello old friends, acts due to return

 

By Leighton Ginn

Here’s a few acts I’ve caught at Coachella, which I hope will return.

At least, these are the acts I’m feeling right now. I’m sure there’s more I’ll be able to think of afterwards.

GROUPLOVE

 

I caught Grouplove both times they were at Coachella and they were fantastic performers, a hippy band with the energy of a death metal band.

I read somewhere that “Shark Attack” is a song they wrote from their first time at Coachella, so it only seems natural they would be a regular.

They released “Big Mess” this fall, so they’ll have new music.

Outside of Coachella, I caught them at the Troubadour and the Jimmy Kimmel Show and they never fail to bring the fun.

Looking at their tour schedule, they will end their spring tour on April 13 in Santa Cruz, Ca. The first weekend of Coachella begins April 14.

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS

Fitz and the Tantrums have been on a little unusual schedule at Coachella, as they never hit this festival right after releasing new music. It usually comes at the tail end of a run for a CD.

So last year, Fitz and the Tantrums didn’t play as they performed in 2015. And during 2016, they released their self-titled “Fitz and the Tantrum,” which included the hit “Handclap.” The LA Times declared it the song of the summer.

So far, the band doesn’t have its schedule made out for 2017, but if Coachella comes calling, you would expect the LA-based band will return.

TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB

One of the great indie-rock bands, Two Door Cinema Club has come up with more of a pop sound in their new CD, “Gameshow.”

It shows their diversity, particularly with the disco sounds of “Bad Decision,” although some fans were still longing their indie-rock sound.

But even critics of the new sound can’t deny the songs are catchy. And Two Door Cinema Club has a deep catalog.

In their last Coachella performance in 2013 was dazzling.

THE KILLERS

The Las Vegas natives were dazzling headliners in 2009, sandwiched between Paul McCartney and the Cure. But that was the last time they played Coachella as a group, although lead singer Brandon Flowers has returned as a solo act.

The Killers will have new music in 2017, and a return to the Empire Polo Grounds would be an overdue return.

PETER BJORN AND JOHN

These guys are much more than the theme song to “Two Broke Girls.”

They are a great Swedish band. Admittedly, when they last played Coachella, it was after their first CD, and playing the main state seemed a little big for the trio.

But their sound got bigger and they’ve been even more dynamic.

In the summer, they released a new CD “Breaking Point” and played FYF festival on the USC campus.

While they have a great array of hits, I really loved this cover they did with the AV Club and wish they would include it on their setlists.

I caught them on the Sunset Strip the day before their FYF festival and they were glorious.

Predicting Coachella 2017: Classic acts who would be fun to have this year

 

By Leighton Ginn

Coachella has long brought out big acts from a different generation.

It’s an impressive list that includes the likes of Guns N Roses, AC DC, Steely Dan, Duran Duran.

So here’s a list of possible legends who might play Coachella this year.

YUSUF ISLAM/ CAT STEVENS

In 2014, Yusuf Islam returned to the stage for the first time in 35 years, and he returned again, playing a brief Fall tour that included two nights at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater for his 50th anniversary.

His pop-folk classics are numerous and beloved. While his act was acoustic, his long lists of hits would play well on big stages.

This might be the one acts I’m hoping to see most.

PHIL COLLINS

He came out of retirement this year, playing the US Open tennis championships and the Tonight Show.

He has a long list of hits as a solo act and as a member of Genesis.

For Collins, it would make sense to headline a major festival, as he will kick off a tour in the summer.

“In The Air Tonight” was one of the signature songs of the 80s, as Collins rolled out seven No. 1 hits during that decade.

STING

This would be a long shot as Sting would end a European Tour on April 13 in Paris, the day before Coachella’s first weekend will begin.

That’s not to say Sting couldn’t play that Sunday night.

But Sting would be an interesting choice to add, especially since his latest CD, “57th and 9th,” marked a return to his rock roots.

Plus, Sting has two dates at the Palladium on Feb. 8-9, and then a date at The Show at the nearby Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage.

It’s just fun to thing about the possibility, even though it is a long shot.

THE TIME/THE REVOLUTION

With the passing of Prince, I just think it would be cool to have the Time, with Morris Day and Jerome, at the Empire Polo Fields. When Prince headlined, Morris and Jerome opened the set with “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.”

I kind of envision this being a Prince tribute with all the acts he’s helped, and this would also include The Revolution.

DEPECHE MODE

 

Yeah, there’s an 80s theme to this list.

Depeche Mode was one of the biggest acts of the 80s and they will also be going on a summer tour in 2017, which works logistically for Coachella.

In 2006. Depeche Mode headlined Coachella.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Predicting Coachella 2017: Will a woman headline for the first time since 2007?

By Leighton Ginn

It’s an odd thing that Coachella has not had a female headliner since Bjork in 2007, as there have been many worthy candidates.

Some publications have begun to hit Coachella for the lack of female headliners, but it seems unfair to single out the one event.

Since Bjork in 2007, female headliners at similar festivals have been Florence + The Machine (Lollapalooza 20-15, Sasquatch 2016 and Austin City Limits second weekend in 2015), Lady Gaga (Lollapalooza 2010), Sleater-Kinney (Sasquatch 2015), Bjork (Sasquatch 2007 and ACL 2007), Alison Krauss with Robert Plant (ACL 2008). It should also be noted that Bonaroo has never had a female headline its festival.

In these festival’s defense, many of these are built as alternative and rock, and there are not as many acts that are on the level of the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Arcade Fire or Black Keys, who have been mainstays at Coachella.

It could be genre, because maybe a Taylor Swift and Katy Perry is not an act the Coachella goers want to see there.

Or it could be that these acts don’t see a benefit to playing Coachella. Swift and Adele had sold out multiple nights at big venues in Los Angeles, so it appears playing Coachella wouldn’t seem to make financial sense.

Katy Perry and Rhianna have been regulars at Coachella as spectators, so one would assume there have been conversations to have perform.

Coachella had Madonna play in 2006, but she elected to play in the Sahara tent, and used it to kick off her tour.  The Sahara tent has become the EDM tent. I would guess if Goldenvoice has its choice, the Material Girl would have been on the main stage. It was billed as Madonna’s first Festival performance. And who knows, maybe she will return to Coachella as a headliner since she’s still going strong.

There are also some acts that would be great at Coachella, but maybe their catalogs are not deep enough yet. HAIM, who have been festival darlings, come to mind.

Having said all that, Coachella has had its opportunities to have a female headliner and whiffed.

Two that come to mind were the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in 2013, but went with Stone Roses and Blur as split headliners on that Friday night.

The other was Florence + The Machine in 2015. AC DC, Jack White and Drake were the headliners that year, so that’s not as easy a call, but 2015 was a huge year for FATM.

And because Coachella has been diversifying its lineups, acts that didn’t seem like a good fit in the past would seem to make sense now.

So here’s my list of candidates to be headliners at Coachella.

Adele: Obviously one of the biggest acts in the world, Adele would be a slam dunk.

When she announced tour dates in 2015, April was wide open for a possible date at Coachella 2016, but it didn’t happen. Instead, Adele had sold out eight dates in August at Staples Center.

Truth of the matter is, Adele is so big, she might be used as an act for a Fall date at the Empire Polo Grounds as a follow up to Desert Trip.

Ellie Goulding: She’s obviously a huge act and has been very popular the times she’s played Coachella.

Lady Gaga: She has a new CD out and will be coming off a Super Bowl performance.

She’s one of the biggest acts in the world and her eclectic songs and presence would be a perfect fit.

Beyoncé: A huge act, this could be a major chapter in Coachella history.

Beyoncé performed in 2010 with Jay Z.

Then again, it’s been seven years. If Beyoncé hasn’t headlined since then, why now?

Lana Del Rey: Another hugely popular act, who had a huge turnout when she played 2014. There was surprise when she wasn’t in the 2016 lineup. So there’s a chance…

Alabama Shakes: Their 2015 appearance was one of the most buzziest acts in that lineup. Brittany Howard is on her way to becoming an iconic singer. Only question will be depth of their catalog for a headliner. But there’s no question they would be a great band to market as a headliner.

St. Vincent: One of the most respected acts who has a deep history. No one has given her a chance yet to headline, but her self titled “St. Vincent” won the Grammy for Best Alternative Album, making her the first female solo act to do so in 20 years.

Chvrches: Until this year, I didn’t think of Chvrches as a headliner. But Lauren Mayberry was magnificent as they took to the main stage and drew huge crowds.

Their catalog continues to grow with great songs. The only thing preventing them from headlining 2017 is they just played 2016. Unless they have a new CD, this is probably unlikely as a headliner in 2017, but a good possibility for the future.

HAIM: Darlings of the festival scene, their catalog is just not that deep yet. They might be another CD away from being a possible headliner. But the talent and songwriting is there, and they are terrific live.

Nicki Minaj: Coachella has successfully expanded with hip hop and EDM, so Minaj would be a natural to headline. She’s one of the biggest acts in the world, and seems like a perfect fit.

Florence + The Machine: I think she is long overdue to headline Coachella. This also seems unlikely because she played the festival recently. It would only seem to make sense if she releases a new CD.

Gin Wigmore: I caught her twice in the span of a year. She might be a dark horse to headline, but she was great the two times I caught her, and she has a deep catalog of great music.

But she hasn’t played Coachella, and I think she’s due.

 

 

 

 

 

A moment at Coachella made special by Leonard Cohen

By Leighton Ginn

A couple of weeks ago, during Desert Trip, and well before, I was remembering a moment at Coachella.

Back in 2009, Cohen was part of the Coachella lineup, and performed on that Friday that Paul McCartney was headlining.

Predicting Coachella 2017 — The headliners

To be honest, I wasn’t planning on catching Cohen. His set on the Outdoor Stage was close to McCartney’s set and I wanted to get in as close as I could for the former Beatle. I remember seeing pictures of him with his suit and his hat and it reminded me of Cab Calloway from “The Blues Brothers” movie.

So I remember walking across the Outdoor Stage area, just as Cohen was singing “Hallelujah.”

It was a crisp, clear evening sky in the desert, and listening to Cohen with his magnificent voice made it feel like you were closer to heaven. I stopped in my tracks to soak it in.

It was really a magical moment, and one of my favorites from all the Coachellas I’ve been too.

After 10 Coachella’s, my Top 10 show

When you live in the desert, and you hit the evening with the crisp weather and the clear skies, it reminds me of why I love living in the desert.

With Cohen releasing new music this year, I was hoping he would make a return to Coachella. Even looking at the YouTube video of Cohen’s performance brings goosebumps.

During Desert Trip, I harkened back to Cohen’s Coachella moment when I would look up to the sky, which was accompanied by a beautiful full moon. We’re truly blessed to have a magnificent desert to enjoy music.

And we were blessed with the magical Leonard Cohen. You will be missed, and you will be remembered fondly.

 

Predicting Coachella 2017 — The headliners

 

 

By Leighton Ginn

We are about two months away from when Coachella will announce it’s lineup for the April 14-16 and April. 21-23 dates, so schedules are starting to formalize for many bands. So here’s a stab in the dark as to who make perform at the Empire Polo Grounds.

HEADLINERS

Green Day: All you have to do is look at their tour dates, and it’s very likely the Bay Area punk rockers will be a headliner.

Now Green Day will be playing the Forum on Dec. 11, and the spring portion of their U.S. Tour in Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Diego, but no other Southern California dates.

On April 30, Green Day will begin the Australian portion of their tour.

In 2014, front man Billie Joe Armstrong  appeared  during the Replacement’s set on Weekend 2 as Westerberg was struggling with his back.

Green Day has not played Coachella before. It just seems like a good fit.

 

Arcade Fire: A Coachella staple and two-time headliner, Arcade Fire announced it will release its first album since 2013’s “Reflektor.”

It would be a natural to bring back the Canadian superstars, who have been dynamic in both their headlining performances. They also have a deep history with Coachella.

U2: They’ve been rumored for a couple of years. One year, it appeared U2 might show up, but then Bono got into a bike accident.

The legendary band, who seems like a natural with Coachella being so close to the Joshua Tree National Park, has a new album due in 2017 and coming out to the polo grounds will give them exposure to a younger crowd.

The wrench to this thought is that if promoters Goldenvoice follows up its successful Desert Trip (aka Oldchella) then U2 might be a better fit for that.

Foo Fighters: Well, Dave Grohl’s throne was there in 2016, so maybe he’ll follow-up by actually showing up this time.

Grohl’s throne was used by Axl Rose for Guns N Roses’ set at Coachella.

The last time Foo Fighters played Coachella was 2002, and Grohl has said it helped rejuvenate the band that had contemplated breaking up.

Like U2, they could be asked to play the Oldchella follow-up, so it could prevent their Coachella return.

Daft Punk: This has been such a long-standing rumor. Fans want it, and I assume Coachella wants it. What’s the holdup?

There was the one Coachella where they had a video of the band between sets that got people to lose their mind that they might make a surprise appearance. And when Arcade Fire headlined in 2014, two people showed up at the start of the set dressed as Daft Punk, but really the audience was punked.

Maybe this is the year.

 

Looking back at Desert Trip, with thoughts on the future

 

By Leighton Ginn

INDIO — An ambitious and groundbreaking concert, the Desert Trip lived up to its huge expectations as it showcased six legends over two three-day weekends at the Empire Polo Grounds.

Before looking back on Weekend 2, here’s a look ahead.

WHO’S NEXT: It will be unfair to expect the promoters at Goldenvoice to have a lineup as legendary as this, with the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, The Who, Roger Waters and Neil Young.

But that will be the expectation. What kind of festival or acts can they attract that will draw 80,000 for a weekend, but also appeal to the older demographics with more disposable cash as Desert Trip has.

What it will be missing is the once-in-a-lifetime feel.

Some of the big-name acts that come to mind that could fill the shoes of this Desert Trip are Bruce Springsteen, U2, maybe even Foo Fighters.

It will be interesting which direction Goldenvoice will go.

CAN THIS FORMAT CONTINUE: The initial buzz was so great that they added the second weekend just minutes before tickets went on sale to meet the demand and they sold out both weekend with in a few hours.

The Empire Polo Grounds is a huge venue and even before Weekend 2, there were reports of tickets reselling well below market price.

So trying to do this format of just two acts each night might not be something maintainable. How many acts could fit the bill? I really can’t think of many remaining.

Not sure if Goldenvoice would try to do something similar to Coachella, especially since it would have to compete for acts with Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas and Austin City Limits in Texas around the same time.

WHY IS THERE ONLY ONE MERCHANDISE TENT?: So I was annoyed that the lines were always so long around the merchandise tent. The one day I went to the tent, I had to wait an hour.

The merchandise was great, and I would have bought more if the lines weren’t so insane. Looking at the other side of the equation, how much money did Goldenvoice and the acts lose out on?

Here are some thoughts.

  1. They need more merchandise tents and spread them out a little.
  2. Create an area where fans can window shop a little to see sizes and how the clothes will fit. It’s a drag to be in line while people are trying on different shirts. But you can’t blame them either.

The merchandise is also becoming a problem at Coachella. This year, I couldn’t get in to really look at stuff.

Now a look back at Desert Trip

BOB DYLAN

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It was a special night to catch Dylan because he was named the Nobel Prize winner earlier in the week.

Dylan sounded great.

But I’m not a diehard fan of his. It was disappointing there was no interaction with the fans, and the video cameras could only shoot his back.

Now this is par for course for Dylan. His fans accept it.

The highlight of the set was “Like A Rolling Stone,” which I learned later he hadn’t played much live in recent years.

A nice part of Dylan’s act was actually after he finished, as Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney gave him a shout out for his Nobel Prize.

ROLLING STONES

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This was a bucket list concert for me.

The Rolling Stones are a big-ticket concert, but the prize combined with the dates have made it tough for me to catch them over the years.

So when they came on, the goose bumps appeared.

And Jagger had the line of the weekend. “Welcome to the ‘Catch Them Before They Croak’ festival.”

The energy when the Stones played was phenomenal.

One of my favorite songs is “Paint It Black,” which I heard they didn’t play Weekend One.

For years, Mick has been the standard other lead singers have been judged by. At Desert Trip, Jagger showed why this standard is so high, and so unattainable for so many.

NEIL YOUNG

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Outside of “Keep On Rocking In The Free World,” I’m not really that familiar with Young. I know he was the Young in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, but I never gravitated towards his music.

But this was a tremendous set and a lot of fun.

Now, he passed out some marijuana seeds, but I wasn’t close enough to get any, so that had no influence on this review.

One of the big moments during Young’s set was when he sang “Harvest Moon” during the full moon rising above the stage. It’s just one of those magical moments.

PAUL MCCARTNEY

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I saw the legendary Beatle in 2009, and McCartney just continues to amaze me with how good he is live.

I have this weird thing where I take McCartney for granted. I grew up with the Beatles music, studied it through junior high and high school, and always loved it.

Prior to the shows, I just think it will be OK. During the shows, I’m blown away.

McCartney also presented a Coachella moment when he brought out Rhianna, “The Empress of Barbados,” for their collaboration “FourFiveSeconds.” I just kept thinking, how did I miss this song? It was a fantastic song during an amazing moment. I did think that maybe McCartney might bring Kanye West out as well, but it didn’t happen.

Like he did the week before, McCartney also brought Neil Young to join him for two more songs. Another goosebump moment to see two legends together.

The big spectacular of McCartney’s set is the fireworks display during “Live and Let Die.” This time, it was accompanied with videos of Buckingham Palace blowing up in a “Independence Day” type of destruction. My joke is, who would have thought the crescendo of McCartney’s set would be built around a Wings song?

When McCartney plays, you are guaranteed a tremendous show. And I just thing we’re blessed that he’s carrying on the Beatles legacy in such grand fashion. And Wings’ legacy too.

 THE WHO

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This was the other bucket list concert for me. I love the Who, and I really love Pete Townshend.

To me, they were the most dangerous band in the festival, although most of the damage they’ve done was in the 60s. Weather it was Townshend smashing a guitar or setting off explosives to destroy the drums and Keith Moon’s hearing, the Who brings a certain edge.

These guys did not disappoint, even though no one got hurt and nothing got destroyed, from what I could tell.

This was the end of the tour, and with the magnitude of the event, I thought Townshend might destroy a guitar again. And at the end of their set, there was an anticipation they might. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one thinking that.

They had talked about maybe not touring anymore, but with their energy and electric performance, I hope that’s not the case.

ROGER WATERS

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So I grew up near the University of Arizona, the planetarium would always have a weekend laser light show and it was always to Pink Floyd. It was very popular with all my stoner friends.

I was surprised Waters would close Desert Trip. A friend and I thought it should have been the Who.

But Waters put on a spectacular show, with amazing sound system and a huge production.

At one point, Waters brought out that famous pig, which had sentiment opposing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. During “The Wall,” it crashed in my section and chaos ensued as people tore apart the pig. I was happy to say I got my own piece of the pig.

Politically, it appeared many fans agreed with Waters. There was an elderly lady who wore a red hat that said, “Make America Mexico Again,” and was taking pictures with many fans at the merchandise tent.

Dolly Parton, wholesome and tawdry, but completely fantastic in Hollywood

 

By Leighton Ginn

I’ve always loved Dolly Parton, but I love her even more after catching her in concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night, Oct. 1.

The experience is unexpected because I’m not really a country music fan. I’m not a hater of country music, but I usually don’t gravitate towards that genre, even though there’s a ton of songs I do love that are country.

But Parton is a legend, and I’m also a fan of her as a movie star, especially 9 to 5, as well as the song.

I figured I was there to hear a few songs, and it will be a great night. But the entire show was fantastic. I knew many more songs than I thought. And it’s funny, you always know pieces of her career, but for me, it was great to see her perform all her hits.

Parton has a new CD out called “Pure & Simple,” which will be full of new favorites, including the title track.

What makes the show so fantastic was Parton and her storytelling between songs. She can be tawdry and wholesome all at the same time.

Early on, Parton shared her famous line, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.” There was the story of how she was so enamored with the town trollop. When a young Parton asked about the girl, some of the local women called her trash. “Then I want to be trash.”

In addition to the fun stories, there were incredibly sweet tributes to her parents, her family and growing up in Tennessee.

One thing Parton has done is create the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to help provide books for children. It’s an idea inspired by Parton’s father.

http://dollyparton.com/front-porch-stories/daddys-dinner-bucket-lee-parton/

What is also amazing about Parton is her voice. When you take a second to realize she’s 71 and she sounds this good? Wow.

The concert also reminded me of what a fantastic songwriter Parton is. Everyone knows her biggest hit was “I Will Always Love You,” which also became the signature hit for Whitney Houston.

But there was also a Nora Jones song, and Jolene has been one of the most covered songs around.

On top of her banter and singing, Parton is multifaceted, playing guitar, banjo, fiddle and sax.

One of the songs I forgot that Parton is so famous for is Rocky Top. When she was telling her stories about her family in Tennessee, I was looking up to see, ‘Didn’t she sing Rocky Top?” Low and behold, she did. And it still gives me goosebumps.

For the Palm Springs area, we are the home of Coachella, and it’s country counter part Stagecoach.

It makes you wonder why she hasn’t headlined Stagecoach just yet, especially after selling out the Hollywood Bowl on two consecutive nights.

And having Parton play Hollywood has its own unique charm to it, as there were several guys dressed as Dolly. Word of advice to one or two, you might want to shave your legs, just in case you get to meet Parton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering disco on anniversary of disco demolition

 

By Leighton Ginn

I don’t remember a lot of Disco Demolition, but it’s one of the funniest promotions in this history of baseball. Maybe the funniest promotion in the history of promotions.

I liked disco. I still do.

So here’s a look at some of my favorite disco hits. But looking up some lists, there’s a lot of gray areas. I don’t consider Prince’s “1999,” or Rick James’ “Super Freak” disco, but more funk.

One list has Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” listed as a top disco track, but I look at it as essential 80s pop.

In fact, I’m restricting my list to 1980 and before.

TURN THE BEAT AROUND

This is a high-energy, fun song from Vicky Sue Robinson, although the crowd in the Soul Train is really mellow.

Gloria Estefan updated the song in the mid-90s to give it more of a Latin flavor. The song works.

A timeless classic.

I LOVE THE NIGHTLIFE

Like Alicia Bridges, I want some action, I want to live.

Bridges bold voice and the fun beats makes it hard to sit still. It’s another odd look at an audience just sitting on their hands.

Just an infectious, fun son.

BOOGIE OOGIE OOGIE

Something about this classic song from A Taste of Honey just really captured the genre and the disco movement.

This is actually one of the mellower disco songs, but the hooks are hard to resist.

STAYIN’ ALIVE

The pinnacle of the Disco movement came with the hit movie, “Saturday Night Fever,” a movie that had a huge impact on the culture of 1970.

The Bee Gees became mega stars thanks to the soundtrack with numerous hits. Stayin’ Alive is the definitive disco hit.

YMCA

The greatest mustaches in all of music are all in one group, The Village People.

Is there a song, that once you hear it, that instantly brings a smile to your face?

A staple of stadiums soundtracks, it’s a timeless classic. And I think everyone knows to spell “Y-M-C-A” when they hear it in public.

I WILL SURVIVE

Gloria Gaynor’s scorned woman anthem is a staple of karaoke. And for good reason. A great song in any genre.

I tend to think of the Australian movie “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” where the three drag queens are played by Hugo Wavering (Red Skull in the first “Captain America” movie and Agent Smith in the “Matrix” trilogy), Terence Stamp (General Zod in the first two “Super Man” movies in 1978 and 1980), and Guy Pierce (The Mandarin in “Iron Man 3).

DISCO INFERNO

It’s a little unfortunate one of the hooks, “burn baby burn,” is heard at riots. But “Disco Inferno” has found its way to many movies that look back in the 70s. The funniest was in “Kingpin.”

SEPTEMBER

I know, if I’m going to have a disco song, why not “Boogie Wonderland.” I just like “September” better. Deal with it.

LAST DANCE

Donna Summer is the queen of disco, so there’s a ton to pick from. For me, I’ve always been partial of “Last Dance,” going from slow and wistful to danceable fun.