Joe Vig’s First Impressions

FEATURED BOOK: BLUE COUPE is the band featuring Joe Bouchard and Alan Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult as well as bassist extraordinaire Dennis Dunaway of Alice Cooper.  Dunaway has published a book = Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs!  My Adventures in the Alice Cooper Group by the aforementioned D.D. with Chris Hodenfield.  It’s a terrific look at how the band started out, hooked up with Frank Zappa, Bob Ezrin and went on to launch with “I’m 18,” “Schools Out” and the Billion Dollar Babies tour.  Historic, intriguing and totally entertaining. A full review to post soon.  It’s essential rock history that keeps your interest page after page.

FEATURED DVD:  TASTE – Live at the Isle of Wight – Director Murray Lerner’s genius work from the Isle of Wight continues with this blues band with integrity. Taste have that Savoy Brown / post-Alvin Lee Ten Years After approach and Lerner’s cameras capture it all at the festival with his slant angle close-ups and cuts that are timed perfectly.  The beautiful 8 page insert foldout has photos, 2 panels of Garth Cartwright’s liner notes about this 1970 – previously unseen – film from the legendary festival is deserved and adds to the treasure.  Surprisingly, the package doesn’t splash Rory Gallagher’s name on the front cover, which would be a huge selling point.  The sound is superb and the “imploding power trio,” as the back cover points out, don’t feel like its dissolving here.  At this point in time they are young, fresh, full of enthusiasm, and proficient as they surgically tear through “What’s Going On,” (not the Marvin Gaye song, of course,) “Morning Sun,” “Sinnerboy,” “Same Old Story” and other blues soaked musings.

Powerful and standing the test of time, Lerner’s work is as tremendous as the group’s onstage musicianship, colored with beautiful imagery and the aforementioned crisp sound. Have had it in the Blu-ray for a week now and it gets more powerful with each listen.  A keeper.

Boston / New England Area music – so in my role on the board of directors of Boston Free Radio (as Talent Director) I’ve loaded up the regional USB with over 100 Boston area songs for the radio station, from Dead Boots (Adrian Perry, Tony Perry and the gang all ready to blow their dad Joe Perry off the stage – I can say that because Aerosmith delivered one of the best two performances I saw in 2014, as well as the terrific Eagle Vision DVD of the Japanese tour previously reviewed,) Soul Pilgrims – singer-songwriting acoustic duo featuring area veterans  Don Schulze and Greg Cherone that have been essayed about in my Malden music columns, to dozens of artists you’ve heard me rave about for years.  Boston Free Radio at Somerville Community Access and Television is a tremendous resource.  Though I’m stepping down from the board this January (c’mon, how much can one guy do in life?) my Wednesday 1-3 pm show will continue, and the local music will keep flowing.  Here are some new arrivals being added to the BFR library this week:

Apollo Blue – three song demo features guitarist George Conduris, bassist Ralph Bousquet and includes “Red House” (not the Hendrix song,) “Junkyard” and “Little Room.”  With its chorus of “I’m going to explode,” propels “Little Room,” as does the buzzing guitar riff.  Great stuff.

Arlen’s “Tell Me” and “Gloria” are off of their Animal EP.  The song “Animal” itself is a melodramatic and introspective punch of power pop. Very accessible and fun listening.  “Mistakes” is from Arlen’s next release and it has just the right dash of jangling/dazzling guitar work merging with a solid, welcoming bassline and intense vocal where the twain shall meet.  4:49

The Guilloteenagers blast “Fifty Seconds” at you. It’s raw punk with an incessant drum beat, grunge guitar and perfunctory vocal that goes on for a minute and fifty seconds, but who’s counting?

Ravens “Are You A Boy or Are You A Girl” is floating around on YouTube. It’s not the Connecticut band also called The Ravens, but – on Bowery Records – it’s a unique cover of the Moulty and the Barbarian’s classic, so we’ve added it to the collection as another perspective on Boston area music history.

Big Screen Radio – great name for a band – features Justin Cowley- Lead Vocals, Harmonica, Piano, Percussion, Vik Agarwal- Lead Guitar,Cliff Cazeau- Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Liz Cleary- Bass Guitar, Vocals and Mike Coombes- Guitar, Vocals on their three song Soundcloud page.  “Having A Bad Day” starts things off with blitzing guitars; “Mama Kin” could be the lost track off of the compilation Boston Gets a Grip – Boston acts covering Aerosmith.  “Got to Do” opens like early Alice Cooper from Pretties for You or Love it to Death, the mesmerizing guitar sound and energetic drums complement singer Justin Cowley’s vocals of desperation.   “Got to Do” and “Having a Bad Day” have been added to the library.

More soon!

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for,, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.