Don’t Let Me Down

Robby Ripchord with Music

In what is arguably the greatest Beatles song ever recorded it was also the Beatles last live performance together. This version of Don’t Let Me Down was performed live on the rooftop of Apple Studios in London with onlookers from the street and passerby’s taking notice.  It sounds great given the conditions, much better than a lot of the live acts today. Paul McCartney seems at the apex of 70’s fashion and beards were certainly in style.  I’m not particularly a Beatles fan but this is an amazing song and it’s the type of music that’s just not made today or is not mainstream for sure.

Given that I watched a documentary on the Beatles last night and they are in the news being that their collection is on iTunes I though this would certainly be topical.  And given that is their last performance together it’s kind of an historic thing to watch even if you’re not into the Beatles.

Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown

kings_of_leon-youth__young_manhood-frontalBy: Robby RipChord

Admittedly I came later than some but earlier than most to the Kings of Leon party. I downloaded Only By The Night the day it came out in September 2008 and it was played continually in my room and at get-togethers during the Phillies run to a World Series Championship in late October that same year. After really liking that album I downloaded their whole discography and started jamming out to Kings of Leon on the regular from then until present.

Come Around Sundown is their 4th studio album due out Oct 19th and certainly will not disappoint fans. Even though I’ve seen a bunch of reviewers say they think the album sounds like their first record Youth & Young Manhood I think it’s more of an extension of Only By The Night in terms of sound and commercial viability think. The same commercial viability and success that have some of their early followers dissociating from the band because they got too big. Fans who used to be able to pack a small venues like the Trocadero now have to choose arena rock and inflated prices to support the band or stay home.

Either way it’s a little too early for me to fall off the bandwagon. One of rocks biggest music groups will unleash one of the best albums of the year on the 19th and you can listen to it free before it’s release by clicking on the link below.

Listen to Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown

Jay-Z is Pop Music

jayz-yankeeBy: Robby Ripchord

You might disagree with me but I don’t think you can deny that rap has become the mainstream music genre. I don’t have any official numbers in front of me but I would venture to guess rap music is the most popular among teenagers and 20 somethings in most major cities. If Jay-Z comes out with a new album it is automatically the top selling album that week and into the foreseeable future.

You may associate Pop music with of N’Sync, Backstreet Boys and the like. It also depends on your definition of Pop Music too. Some would just define it as “popular” while others would define it as :

commercially recorded music, often oriented towards a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple love songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.

The genre of commercial rap in general can be considered equal in most respects to the late 80’s hair bands, the early 90’s grunge band explosion.  It’s been kind of cookie cutter for awhile now, a new act comes out that is similar to the established norm; same ghetto fashion, same mentality, rap about the same subjects (money, cars, hoes, selling drugs).  Does anyone think that Jay-Z is really selling drugs?

Point being that Jay-Z and most other commercially successful rappers music are almost immediately accepted by the younger audience and to me that means Pop Music. To me if you’re on MTV TRL (which would have rappers on it if it still existed) that’s Pop Music and that’s where most rap is at right now. It’s accepted by the mainstream, it crossed over racial and age barriers, teenagers have been rocking Jay-Z since I was a teenager. That’s Pop Music end of story. Just because Jay-Z and the like can be considered rap doesn’t mean they cannot also be classified as Pop Music.

Certainly not all of Jay-Z’s music would be considered commercial. The man does come out with some stuff for the streets which for the most part does not get played on the radio or appear in commercials and video games. But the singles; if he releases a single, that’s automatically pop music.

Grooveshark: The Best Streaming Music Option

grooveshark_iconBy: Robby Ripchord

After Apple Computers bought the streaming music website (which I previously wrote about as being awesome) and shuttered it I was really upset. It was truly the best thing out there and had so much organized content it was unbelievable. I tried a bunch of other sites that had generally nice features but were more radio stations than anything else:, all had ad supported business models. When I’m at work rocking out the commercials really take me out of my element a little bit and you can’t just switch to another radio station like on a terrestrial radio in your car or home stereo.

So a friend told me to try out and I have found now what I have been missing and probably more in this service. While Grooveshark is not as structured as was it makes up for it in features. I would consider it essentially a web based version of Limewire or Napster. You search for songs and can add them to your library only you do not download the songs, they are streamed to you. You can make playlists, mark a song as one of your favorites and share songs or playlists with friends via email, facebook et al. You can also purchase the songs in your collection from sites like iTunes and They also have a radio option which I haven’t gotten into yet but is probably comparable to slacker or pandora.

Overall it seems too good to be true, no commercials, listen to songs as much as you want and no fees. Hopefully this doesn’t get shut down because I’ve been adding to my library like crazy. They have iPhone and Android apps for your smartphone and streaming to them I believe will cost around $3 a month. Seems worth it for a great service like this.

Eventually I will embed a playlist on here of new bands/songs I discover.

The John Butler Trio

butlerBy: Robby Ripchord

For the most part I’m not really into hippy folk rock jam bands like Dave Matthews and it’s funny that I’m writing this and The John Butler Trio opened up for Dave Matthews one summer on tour in the U.S.

Fronting the band is of course John Butler but it has had many members on bass and percussion. Butler was  born in California but moved to Australia at age 11 and has went platinum there a couple of times. He seems to be a very accomplished guitarist from the limited amount of videos I’ve seen on Youtube. He can remind you of Jack Johnson at times but more I guess I would have to say Rusted Root is probably the closest pigeonhole I can put him but I’d rather listen to Butler any day of the week.

All of Butler’s music is recorded and released independently which probably partly explains why I never heard of him since last week given the force fed crap on the radio and MTV. 

April Rising was released in late March and is how I discovered him on and the album cover is this supremely kick ass shot of a lion head to the right. It debuted on the Billboard Top 100 at #36 in America. Highlights of the album I thought included One Way Road, C’mon Now, Don’t Wanna See Your Face, Take Me, To Look Like You and my personal favorite you can listen to below.

Check out the entire Album for free at

Lady Gaga: Telephone

By: Billy BeerSlugger

I kind of like Lady Gaga as an artist. She takes a lot of risks fashion wise, puts herself out there and the music is still a little teeny-bopper-esque but it’s usually catchy. She tends to also show a lot of skin which would be a lot cooler if she were hotter but that’s neither here nor there.

The reason I’m writing this is because she came out with a video for her latest song Telephone which isn’t a bad song really.  Thing is the video is kind of crazy with equal parts fashion, dancing, art and scantily clad women. At 9 minutes it’s long too and it kind of makes me mad that the music video has essentially died because this is a good music video. Not epic but certainly stylish and she tries to put the hermaphrodite rumors to rest by essentially getting full frontal nude in the video (though blurred out).

Anyway who gives a shit what I think:

Frusciante Fallout

johnguitarBy: Robby Ripchord

Heard some news recently that John Frusciante, the unsung hero of The Red Hot Chili Peppers has left the band to pursue other musical avenues, including his own solo career. This comes to me as sort of bittersweet because as much as I love Frusciante’s solo stuff I had hoped he would continue to at least record one last album with RHCP. I have been waiting since 2006 for the Peppers to come out with another album and with their extended hiatus now about a year old, it looks like John won’t be a major creative and innovative force for RHCP as he has been in the past.

All is not lost though, John has produced 10 solo albums, most of which have seen a heavy rotation in my MP3 player. He’s quietly put together some of the more creatively simplistic songs I’ve heard since Cat Stevens. Some albums in my opinion are better than others, Shadows Collide with People is arguably his best compilation and is closest to his RHCP guitar persona/style. Then John goes through various approaches to albums and concept albums including CurtainsThe Will to Death, To Record Only Water For 10 Days and 2009’s The Empyrean. Getting synthesizers, piano and a host of other instruments involved you pretty much won’t find on a Chili Peppers album.

I can’t say I really blame Frusciante, the pressure and creative limits imposed by a Record Label to produce songs in line with their vision of what your band should sound like doesn’t always jive with what you had in mind. With that respect, John is now free to be performer, mixer, engineer producer and whatever else he wants to be to produce HIS music. Not music bound by a collective group or subject to approval by anyone other than himself. I think everyone desires that kind of control of their art and for that I do applaud him.

However, being that the Chili Peppers are pretty much my favorite group and me having so much admiration for Frusciante in and outside of that group, it’s kind of tough to take knowing I won’t be hearing John on the next Peppers albums. Yes I’ll get to listen to John in his solo projects, maybe he teams up with Flea for a couple of things as he has done in previous projects but it’s not the Chili Peppers. Just as Frusciante came back to the band for 1999’s Californication and made it whole once again, his departure again leaves a gaping hole at guitar. Luckily it seems that Frusciante friend, collaborator and Peppers touring backup guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is ready to step in a fill some rather large shoes. Only time will tell how things turn out but it doesn’t seem like Frusciante will make a miraculous return to the band anytime soon.

From Frusciante’s Myspace:


When I quit the band, over a year ago, we were on an indefinite hiatus. There was no drama or anger involved, and the other guys were very understanding. They are supportive of my doing whatever makes me happy and that goes both ways.

To put it simply, my musical interests have led me in a different direction. Upon rejoining, and throughout my time in the band, I was very excited about exploring the musical possibilities inherent in a rock band, and doing so with those people in particular. A couple of years ago, I began to feel that same excitement again, but this time it was about making a different kind of music, alone, and being my own engineer.

I really love the band and what we did. I understand and value that my work with them means a lot to many people, but I have to follow my interests. For me, art has never been something done out of a sense of duty. It is something I do because it is really fun, exciting, and interesting. Over the last 12 years, I have changed, as a person and artist, to such a degree that to do further work along the lines I did with the band would be to go against my own nature. There was no choice involved in this decision. I simply have to be what I am, and have to do what I must do.

Sending love and gratitude to you all.


I can’t tell you how pissed I am that he used an emoticon.

Adam Lambert Controversy

That's so gay!
That's so gay!

By: Robby RipChord

You know people are all up in arms over some sort of American Music Awards performance by Adam Lambert.  I had to figure out who Adan Lambert was and apparently he was on that American Idol show. I’m not sure if he won or not but he’s also a homosexual (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  I guess he kissed one of his male band members and did some suggestive dancing or something. I can’t really tell you what happened because not only do I not watch award shows for the most part but I also refuse to lookup a video that has guys kissing in it so I can disseminate to you why that doesn’t give me a warm feeling inside.

The performance has been labeled “Outrageous” and there has been a bunch of backlash from it including getting nixed from a Good Morning America interview (instead CBS’ The Early Show picked up the interview).  I really wouldn’t have known about this whole thing if it wasn’t for a coworker who alerted me of the fiasco. The funny part is she described it as disgusting, however, she is absolutely pro gay marriage. When I probed her about this she told me that she was pro gay marriage but she didn’t necessarily want to see it on TV.  I found this quite hypocritical in that gay and lesbian people who want to be married and have a wedding like straight couples would eventually have to kiss at the closing of the ceremony. Can you be pro gay marriage but not want to go to a gay marriage ceremony as well?

Not to say that a gay marriage ceremony would be anything like an Adam Lambert concert make out fest but if someone is claiming to be tolerant and progressive enough to give an enthusiastic yay vote on gay marriage shouldn’t that person also not want to throw up when they see two men slip each other the tongue during an awards show?

Why is it more socially acceptable for Britney Spears, Christina Aguilerra and Madonna all make out in succession but Adam Lambert can’t make out with his own band members without getting ditched from interviews?  Not to say there’s a double standard but, well maybe that is what I’m saying.  Why can guys like Stifler from American Pie and Ashton Kutcher make out or Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal movie but Adam Lambert is given the boot from a morning show interview? Is it because those movies are done for laughs or art and the other is done for perceived shock entertainment? Is it because Adam Lambert is admittedly gay and the other actors mentioned are (as far as I know) not?

I’m playing Devil’s Advocate a little here but I just want to point out some hypocrisy that is going on in America.  You can be for Gay Marriage and not particularly want to see dudes make out, i get that. Just don’t be so be adamant about your support for the gay politics and then be disgusted when they make a scene in public, because they are going to make a scene it’s pretty much inevitable.

All this reminds me of a Public Service Announcement I saw recently which tries to fight back against the phrase “That’ so gay”.

I think this PSA proves without a doubt that it’s pretty gay to say “That’s so gay”! A Music Site a Step in the Right Direction

lala_logo_howitworksBy: Robby RipChord is a site that streams music to you via your web browser.  They have over 8 million licensed songs to hear for free.  They have whole albums, singles, every genre and time period you could want.  You can even listen to New Releases the day they come out all over the internet. Well you’re waiting for the catch right?  Well here’s the catch, you can only hear them once in they’re entirety.  After that you get a 30 second preview. So say you want to listen to Dire Strait’s, Money For Nothing again, well you get a 30 second clip of it and are asked to buy the song (hint: if you go to a different computer you can hear the song again for free.).

The beauty of this is that it’s all licensed content and there’s tons of it.  There’s 8 million songs.  You could listen to a couple of albums a day for free.  If you really like the album, you buy it.  If you really like a particular song, pick that one up for .89 cents or so.

Go back to the 60’s and listen to some great music from that decade. Find the albums that defined the 70’s.  Listen to the entire Phil Collins catalog from the 80’s.  Recheck the Fugees, The Score. It doesn’t matter because there’s so much music on there that you may never get to listen to all of it in your lifetime.  So check out Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, find an album you’re interested in and listen to it on

Studies have found that people have to problem paying for music they really like.  In fact, Illegal Downloaders spend more money on music than people who do not download illegally.  Why is that you ask, because more than half the time someone will illegally download an album just to hear it. If it sucks they simply delete it, but if it’s good a person is more inclined to go out and purchase the album or download it legally. takes the illegal downloading step out of that equation and lets you hear the entire album once for free. Enjoy it and download it, if not move onto another album or artist. It’s that simple. Grab your headphones, take them to work and plug them into your computer audio jack.  You just got yourself an all day music fest friend. Enjoy!

Selling out for DJ Hero

It Doesn't actually teach you how to be a DJ. Much like Guitar hero doesn't teach you how to play Guitar.
It Doesn't actually teach you how to be a DJ. Much like Guitar hero doesn't teach you how to play Guitar.

By: Robby RipChord

I’m not really mad at Eminem or Jay-Z for selling out to do DJ Hero but there must have been some serious postulating on both sides before they committed.  Something like this, as a hardcore rapper, can seriously hurt your street credibility in terms of fan base and the ability to sell records in the future.  Maybe they are both worried about record sales for the industry in general and are trying to make as much money as possible right now, who knows.

There’s something different about DJ Hero as opposed to most of the other “Hero” games in that Jay-Z and Eminem are still in a position to sell a major amount of records any time they drop an album.  They could debut at number one just from name recognition alone for the most part and one or two singles on the radio. With the popularity of Guitar Hero and Rock Band it’s an easy progression to try and make money off of hip-hop too and what a better instrument than the turntable.  But while Guitar Hero and Rock Band are highlighted by back in the day bands like The Beatles, Aerosmith, Metallica and others who really haven’t had a viable hit in years (or decades), the makers of the game chose to go with current rap/hip-hop stars instead of going with back in the day talent.  They didn’t even get DJ’s to front their product they got rappers instead of DJ legends.  Why not pick out The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Wu Tang, Public Enemy, Rakim, Salt N Peppa, Nas or one of 50 other artists who deserve to be kind of honored (and compensated) for their role in Rap and Hip-Hop?  We’re these people approached and told the Video Game Company to fuck off, “We’re not going on a video game”?

Do Jay-Z and Eminem really need the money that bad? Jay-Z is always rapping about how much money he has and he’s a mogul but how do you justify all this to your “street” fanbase and becoming overly commercial?  Eminem I don’t really see with the same problem because I’m not sure anyone ever took him for a Gangsta but doesn’t this cheapen his work as an “Artist”? I’m all for people making money but at what cost to your reputation?