Wednesday, March 22, 2017

KNIGHT OF THE RUND(GREN) TABLE


Todd Rundgren has unveiled official details about his upcoming studio album, White Knight, and as the acclaimed singer/songwriter told ABC Radio a few months ago, the record is packed with guest collaborations.

Among the many well-known artists lending their talents to the project are Daryl Hall, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, Joe Walsh, Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and rock-guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani.

White Knight features 15 new original songs that were penned by Rundgren, or that he co-wrote with some of the album's guests. 

The record finds Todd exploring a variety of genres, including funk, synth-rock, pop ballads and power-pop tunes.

"It's easy to get used to playing to your own audience, even if you are absorbing and experimenting with new ideas," notes Rundgren. 

"I wanted to collaborate not just for the musical possibilities, but also to play for new audiences and expose my fans to the range of artists I enjoy working with."

Hall is featured on a song called "Chance for Us," 

Fagen appears on the track "Tin Foil Hat," 

Walsh appears on the tune "Sleep" and Reznor contributes to the song "Deaf Ears," as does his frequent collaborator Atticus Ross.

The album wraps up with "This Is Not a Drill," which features Satriani, as well as two longtime members of Rundgren's backing band: drummer Prairie Prince and bassist Kasim Sulton.

Other guests on White Knight include Swedish dance artist Robyn, veteran soul singer Bettye LaVette and Todd's son, Rebop Rundgren.

Pitchfork.com has premiered one of the album's tracks, "That Could Have Been Me," which features Robyn. 

On the preview track, it appears that Rundgren is veering from electronica back to his signature sound, although he has surrendered the vocal duties here.

White Knight will be released on May 12, and will be available on CD, digitally and on vinyl, although the latter version will only feature 12 tracks.

Here's the track list for the CD and digital editions:

"Come"
"Got Your Back" -- featuring KK Watson with Dam Funk
"Chance for Us" -- featuring Daryl Hall with Bobby Strickland
"Fiction"
"Beginning (of the End)" -- featuring John Boutte
"Tin Foil Hat" -- featuring Donald Fagen
"Look at Me" -- featuring Michael Holman
"Let's Do This" -- featuring Moe Berg
"Sleep" -- featuring Joe Walsh
"That Could Have Been Me" -- featuring Robyn
"Deaf Ears" -- featuring Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
"Naked & Afraid" -- featuring Bettye LaVette
"Buy My T"
"Wouldn't You Like to Know" -- featuring Rebop Rundgren
"This Is Not a Drill" -- featuring Joe Satriani, Prairie Prince, Kasim Sulton





Friday, March 17, 2017

FIRE OF FREEDOM




Neither Flogging Molly nor Dropkick Murphy’s are new bands, but many of their fans don’t realize that these two bands borrow heavily from The Tossers and The Mahones.

I’m here to let you know that Black 47 was doing the whole punk-Celtic rock thing before any of them. 

This Irish-American band’s name invokes the Great Famine that killed one million Irish people and forced a million more to emigrate between 1845 and 1852. 

Founder Larry Kirwan imparts a powerful storytelling quality to their songs that recalls Irish literary traditions.

Don’t get me wrong-Black 47 owes their sound to The Pogues who started in the early 80’s. 

They also owe more to that band, as they were discovered and signed by Pogues manager Frank Murray.

The band went into the studio in 1993 with Ric Ocasek producing, and recorded Fire Of Freedom, an album that still holds up today.

From the first notes the album pulsates with Celtic flavor and energy. The portraits that emerge from this powerful and evocative album are of wounded people who are part Irish and part American, and yet are not wholly at home in either country.

Many songs on the album tell stories of an Irish-American protagonist having a great deal to drink and then behaving in a socially unproductive manner.

Musically, the songs benefit from the hip-hop quality of Kirwan’s vocal delivery, and from the melodic saxophone and trombone riffs that predominate throughout.


The album’s common theme (people of two countries who feel like strangers in both) almost creates a concept album about the modern Irish and Irish-American experience. 

While the band created a lot of fine records prior to their break up in 2014 (25 years to the day after their first gig),  Fire of Freedom  is still the band's best work.





Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 13, 2017

CROWD SCAMMING

I'm sorry, but Pledge Music and other crowd funding sites used to be about bands that needed money to fund the recording of their music a way to connect with their fans to accomplish it.



Long time readers may remember my post some years back speaking to Marillion's early use of the model, their first crowd funded event having been organized by their fans.

Marillion are a prime example of the need for the crowd funding model-they may have called it quits two decades ago had it not been for a fan base that is willing to prepay for music almost a year in advance.

Many bands do not have record labels supporting them, and do not have the funds to pay for their studio time (let alone pay their rent while writing and recording).

But when your band is a household name selling out stadiums at $300 bucks a head....for example THESE GUYS:


Well sadly, it means that Pledge Music is no longer about the music it's about the


Do we really need to give these greedy pricks an interest-free loan?


Friday, March 3, 2017

HUMAN


Human, is the debut album from global phenomenon Rag 'N' Bone Man, whose real name is Rory Graham, a singer songwriter from East Sussex, England. 

The album's title track is an emerging worldwide hit that has achieved # 1 chart status and gold certification in several countries. 

Rag 'N' Bone Man's sound begins with the blues, having discovered that genre as a child. The rhythmic troubles that rang out from his parents' record player planted a stubborn seed in his head.

It wasn't long before Graham was venturing through classic realms of soul, jazz and folk, attending local club jam sessions, and finally one night, after one pint too many, he got the courage to jump on stage and sing. And then he knew making music was what he wanted to do.

His sound is a perfect mix of old and new.