Album review: Pearl Jam, Vs. (1993)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 25, 1993 By Steve Newton Although I became a fan of Pearl Jam the first time I heard its debut album, Ten, I must admit that I haven’t played that disc a lot since scoring a review copy back in ’91. Shortly after its release I saw … Continue reading Album review: Pearl Jam, Vs. (1993)

Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready on Ticketmaster, Neil Young, Nickelback, and the new Riot Act

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 29, 2003 By Steve Newton Pearl Jam is one of those hugely influential, multiplatinum rock acts that’s notorious for refusing to talk to the press, often for extended periods of time. So when PJ guitarist Mike McCready calls from the “lovely offices” of Vandenberg Public Relations in Seattle, … Continue reading Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready on Ticketmaster, Neil Young, Nickelback, and the new Riot Act

Patriots vs. Seahawks = Aerosmith vs. Nirvana, Cars vs. Pearl Jam, J. Geils vs. Soundgarden

By Steve Newton Today I just realized that the New England Patriots–who play some big football game with fancy TV commercials tomorrow–are from the greater Boston area. I didn’t know that. In my blissful ignorance of American geography–which may be unconscious payback for the Yanks’ legendary cluelessness about all things Canada–I always thought New England was a … Continue reading Patriots vs. Seahawks = Aerosmith vs. Nirvana, Cars vs. Pearl Jam, J. Geils vs. Soundgarden

Pete Droge’s Pearl Jam connection led him to Find a Door

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 12, 1996 When you think Seattle rock, you picture plaid shirts, baggy shorts, vein-bulging vocals, and propulsive guitar noise comin’ at you in heavily amplified blasts. You don’t necessarily envision a guy like Pete Droge, whose rootsy, laid-back style has more in common with Tom Petty’s breezy, melodic … Continue reading Pete Droge’s Pearl Jam connection led him to Find a Door

Stone Gossard says Pearl Jam’s hard work is all paying off

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 1991 By Steve Newton When a rock writer does a lot of “phoners”—media slang for telephone interviews—with bands that are coming to town, once in a while wires get crossed. This scribbler was planning to speak to Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder last week, but guitarist Stone … Continue reading Stone Gossard says Pearl Jam’s hard work is all paying off

Pearl Jam pulls off a loud one at the Town Pump in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 3, 1991 By Steve Newton I’d been warned by someone who caught Pearl Jam’s sound check at the Town Pump last Thursday afternoon (September 26) that the Seattle band was extremely loud. My second clue, upon entering the busy club around midnight, was the abundance of black leather … Continue reading Pearl Jam pulls off a loud one at the Town Pump in Vancouver

Pearl Jam releases Vs., and the Newt’s right into it

By Steve Newton Twenty years ago Seattle grunge masters Pearl Jam released their second album, Vs., and seeing as the band is playing Vancouver’s Rogers Arena this Wednesday, I figured it was time to take a quick look back at the disc. Vs. sold 950,378 copies its first week of release, and outperformed all other entries … Continue reading Pearl Jam releases Vs., and the Newt’s right into it

Exclusive excerpt from my new book, Gord Downie, about the late frontman of the Tragically Hip

By Steve Newton The following is the Preface from my new coffeetable book, Gord Downie, published by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. of New York City and currently available at Indigo, Coles, and Chapters outlets across Canada. ———————————————————————- The first time I spoke to Gord Downie he was a longhaired 25-year-old rocker touring behind his band’s first full-length … Continue reading Exclusive excerpt from my new book, Gord Downie, about the late frontman of the Tragically Hip

Album review: Pete Droge & the Sinners, Find a Door (1996)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 22, 1996 By Steve Newton Fans of the Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers school of jangly, melodic, grassroots rock should check out the second release by Seattle singer-songwriter Pete Droge. Lined up again with hotshot producer Brendan O’Brien (Matthew Sweet, Neil Young, Pearl Jam), the 27-year-old tunesmith … Continue reading Album review: Pete Droge & the Sinners, Find a Door (1996)

Album review: Dan Baird, Buffalo Nickel (1996)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 8, 1996 By Steve Newton The name Dan Baird might not be familiar to the average music fan, but to hardcore devotees of southern boogie, Baird is a hero. Former lead singer, rhythm guitarist, and main songwriter for underrated ’80s swamp-rockers the Georgia Satellites, the gap-toothed, goofy-grinning … Continue reading Album review: Dan Baird, Buffalo Nickel (1996)

Album review: Neil Young, Mirror Ball (1995)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 6, 1995 By Steve Newton I’ve been a Neil Young fan ever since the Harvest days of the ’70s, when folksy, acoustic-based tunes such as “Heart of Gold” and “Old Man” were the ideal soundtrack to youthful experiments with massive consumption of Old Style in a wood-grained … Continue reading Album review: Neil Young, Mirror Ball (1995)

My 50 fave Vancouver concerts of all time (so far)

By Steve Newton In celebration of the Georgia Straight turning 50 this year, I figured I’d offer a roundup of the 50 top Vancouver concerts I’ve reviewed while writing for the paper since 1982. Maybe you made it out to a couple yourself! Although I doubt you weaseled your way backstage at the Orpheum in ’93 to … Continue reading My 50 fave Vancouver concerts of all time (so far)

album reviews

Aerosmith: Honkin’ on Bobo (2004) Eric Clapton: Me and Mr. Johnson (2004) Jimi Hendrix: Axis Outtakes (2003) ZZ Top: Mescalero (2003) Nickelback: The Long Road (2003) Joe Jackson Band: Volume 4 (2003) Led Zeppelin: How the West Was Won (2003) Yardbirds: Birdland (2003) Jimmy Thackery: Guitar (2003) Various Artists: We’re a Happy Family, A Tribute … Continue reading album reviews

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1991

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 1991 By Steve Newton Rap and dance music made strong inroads in 1991, but the year wasn’t a total write-off. The sacred power of the electric guitar could still be heard above the soulless clatter of MC Moronitis and DJ Jerkaround. Danny Gatton 88 Elmira St.  Fellow scribe … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1991

Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Warren Zevon, Rick Derringer, Albert Collins, Ronnie Montrose, Gary Moore, and Jethro Tull

By Steve Newton So the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame did it again. Today the poorly-named musical dumping ground in Cleveland inducted six acts into its fold, including folkie Joan Baez and rapper Tupac Shakur. Sure, they’re both great at what they do, but are they rock ‘n’ roll? Kinda doubt it. The other … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Warren Zevon, Rick Derringer, Albert Collins, Ronnie Montrose, Gary Moore, and Jethro Tull

Rock Hall boneheads once again choose Chic over Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, and Link Wray

By Steve Newton The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame apparently believes that Depeche Mode outrocks Johnny Winter, that Chic blows Rory Gallagher away, and that Joan Baez is more rock than Link Wray. Whatta buncha boneheads. Yep, Jann Wenner and his gaggle of dimwits at the Rock Hall have done it again, blindly ignoring three … Continue reading Rock Hall boneheads once again choose Chic over Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, and Link Wray

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2006

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 20, 2006 By Steve Newton Throughout 2006, as in the previous few years, an American idiot named George inspired recording artists everywhere to lambaste his putrid foreign policies. Others just wanted to rock out. Neil Young Living With War  Although it includes a couple of duds, Young’s antiwar offering is … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2006

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1993

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 23, 1993 By Steve Newton Popular music hit an all-time low this year with the outbreak of something called gangsta rap, an ugly, expletive-laden noise that degrades women and glorifies real-life crime and violence. We can only hope this latest strain of the rap virus will help bring … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1993

I played Neil Young’s “I’m the Ocean” eight times on my shitty commute today

By Steve Newton My morning commute from Delta to Vancouver can really suck—mainly because of a concrete montrosity called the Alex Fraser Bridge—but every now and again I slide in a CD that makes the trip a little less painful. Today I chose Neil Young’s Mirror Ball album—that awesome one from ’95 that he recorded with the … Continue reading I played Neil Young’s “I’m the Ocean” eight times on my shitty commute today

Neil Young’s ragged glory undermined by shitty sound in Vancouver

The sound from the stage was great–until the band got up there. By Steve Newton Yesterday I wrote a fun little blog about how nice it would be if Neil Young topped off his show in Vancouver last night with one of my fave tunes of his, “Long May You Run”. He didn’t do that–opting instead to … Continue reading Neil Young’s ragged glory undermined by shitty sound in Vancouver

Sooner or later it all gets real for Neil Young’s 26-year-old guitarist Lukas Nelson

By Steve Newton Willie Nelson celebrated his 82nd birthday on April 29, so when his son Lukas calls for an interview the next day, the first question has to be “So how was the party last night?” “It wasn’t much of a party,” he replies. “We just played poker, and a little golf.” If copious … Continue reading Sooner or later it all gets real for Neil Young’s 26-year-old guitarist Lukas Nelson

Nirvana plays the Town Pump in Vancouver (two days after the Beat Farmers)

Twenty-five years ago today—on March 12, 1990—Nirvana played Vancouver’s Town Pump on a double-bill with fellow Seattle grunge-rockers Tad. Remember that amazing gig? I don’t. For some strange reason I didn’t go, although a year later I’d return to the fabled Gastown venue to review Tad, and then six months after that, the mighty Pearl Jam. I’ve been … Continue reading Nirvana plays the Town Pump in Vancouver (two days after the Beat Farmers)

Reviewing Nickelback in honour of pot-lovin’, hard-rock musicians from Alberta

photo by Luke Seagrave ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 31, 2002 By Steve Newton For more than 10 years I rented a dumpy old house near 58th and Main that was known as the Rock Palace because of the all-night rock-’n’-roll parties held there. The best thing about those cop-attended bashes was when … Continue reading Reviewing Nickelback in honour of pot-lovin’, hard-rock musicians from Alberta

Neil Finn got passion from his dad and ability from his mom

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 4, 2002 By Steve Newton I might not be the most sensitive guy in the world—what Skynyrd-loving bozo ever could be?—but there are certain heart-rending pop songs that can get even my old throat aclenchin’. Neil Finn’s “Lullaby Requiem” is one such pensive tune. It’s included on the … Continue reading Neil Finn got passion from his dad and ability from his mom

When Nickelback had the power to make grown men stick their dicks in whirling plastic blades

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 6, 2001 By Steve Newton If you want to know how well Nickelback lead vocalist, guitarist, and lyricist Chad Kroeger’s musical career is going, you only need look as far as the 27-year-old rocker’s Langley home. He just put in a hot tub. And had the pool enlarged. … Continue reading When Nickelback had the power to make grown men stick their dicks in whirling plastic blades

Heroin overdose leads to the return of the Cadillac Tramps’ tattooed thugs

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 6, 1999 By Steve Newton Five years ago, Orange County’s Cadillac Tramps released It’s Allright, an album chock-full of hyper, street-level punk rock that never quit. The album made my top 10 of ’94, but shortly afterward the group disbanded, vocalist Gabby Gaborno forming the X-Members and guitarist–main … Continue reading Heroin overdose leads to the return of the Cadillac Tramps’ tattooed thugs

Producer Dave Jerden heard a lot of Mott in Seattle’s Sweet Water

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 17, 1995 Sweet Water singer Adam Czeisler and guitarist Rich Credo go way back—and I don’t mean just to high school or anything. When they were seven years old, the future rock mates met on a bus coming back from a YMCA summer camp in the San Juan … Continue reading Producer Dave Jerden heard a lot of Mott in Seattle’s Sweet Water