Saturday, October 13, 2018

TODD RUNDGREN IN THE ROCK HALL OF FAME?

Todd Rundgren Nominated 
to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Class of 2019!

I had intended the Todd 50th anniversary post to be my last for a while-in fact I had written and scheduled that to post almost a year ago.

However, this seemed important enough to share.




Todd Rundgren is on the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame ballot for 2019, and fans get the opportunity to influence the outcome.

From his production work to his signature tunes to the number of RNR Hall of Famers who name him as an influence, Todd certainly has had an impact on rock and roll, and deserved to be enshrined before the hip hop (?) artists that beat him in there.

If you feel the same, then case your vote! You can cast a vote daily HERE from now until December 9.

R&RHOF BIO PAGE FOR TODD RUNDGREN

R&RHOF FAN VOTE PAGE

Monday, October 1, 2018

TODD'S GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY



This month marks Todd Rundgren's fiftieth year as a recording artist, with the self-titled debut album by Nazz being released in October 1968.





The album was not commercially successful and neither was the first single, "Open My Eyes."



In Boston WMEX Music Director and DJ Ron Robin accidentally played the flip side, “Hello It’s Me,” liked it, and added it to the station's playlist. Reaction was strong and "Hello It's Me" became a number one hit at WMEX in 1968.




Several weeks later it was on the playlist of Boston's other Top 40 radio station WRKO and eventually at other stations across the country. 

The band recorded a follow-up which was intended to be a double album but was later shortened to a single record. 

Rundgren wrote most of the songs and sang lead vocals on much of the material, although tracks with Stewkey Antoni lead vocals were featured heavily on the album that was released, cleverly titled Nazz Nazz.




Rundgren left the band shortly after the follow up was released, and went to work in record production before finding success as a solo artist, first with "We Gotta Get You A Woman" and then with a cover of his own song from the first Nazz record, "Hello It's Me."

A third album (Nazz III) was released without the band's consent, replacing Rundgren's vocals with Antoni's.










Tuesday, September 11, 2018

SONGS THAT HAVE BEEN LOST TO TECHNOLOGY


File this post under "I am turning into my parents."

As we near the end of the second decade of the new millennium, it occurs to me that many of the songs I grew up on are meaningless to today's young people because they reference technology that has gone the way of the dinosaur.

Here are some that come to mind...

"THE LETTER"

Ah, the love letter. Brought to you by the USPS. Who remembers the last time they saw either of them?

"The Letter" was first recorded by the Box Tops, but it was stolen by English rock and soul singer Joe Cocker whose 1970 rendition became his first top ten single in the U.S.



“My baby just sent me a text” just doesn’t have the same ring.

“PHOTOGRAPH”

Remember when photographs cost money to develop and were precious?

"Photograph" was the lead single from the band's third studio album (Pyromania), it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart and No. 12 on the Pop Singles chart.



Now, all the singer has is a .jpg on their phone.

“STAR 69”

Although it seems laughably low-tech these days, the pre-caller-ID world enjoyed a powerful weapon in the battle against prank callers-the ability to dial back whoever just called you by typing *69.



The chorus spells out this technological wonder: “I know you called, I know you called / I know you hung up my line, star 69.”


“WESTERN UNION”

While it may still be possible to send a telegram, it’s inconvenient and expensive, especially when compared to how cheap it is to give someone else in the U.S. a call or send them an e-mail (or a Skype, a tweet, a Facebook post).



The Five Americans’ “Western Union” was all about reaching the singer’s girl when a phone call just wouldn’t do, and was already charmingly quaint by the early seventies.


“MIXTAPE”

It’s sad to think that today’s emo youth have never known the joy of making an actual mix-tape (or a burned mix CD). 

The tape medium was dead, and CD’s were starting to gasp for breath, by the time Butch Walker released this tune in 2005.



“You gave me a playlist” does not really tug at the heart strings the same way.

"BIG TEN INCH RECORD"

Some may argue that the record is alive, but CD's still outsell vinyl records by ten to one and everyone is calling the CD dead....


Of course, we all know this song isn't really about records anyway, right?

“THE ANSWERING MACHINE”

Marillion released this tune in the late 1990’s, by which time answering machines were already old news.



Now everyone has multiple voice mail accounts (home, cellular, work), and pretty much does all communicating via text or Twitter, so the concept of “my words were absorbed
Into the answering machine” is lost on today’s young people.
  
”UHF”

Here’s a history lesson, kids. The television dial used to only have channels 2 to 13. Then, we got the mysterious “U” and explored the wilderness of numbers from 14 through 69.

For most people, the UHF band of the TV dial had only a handful of local stations, but for kids it meant going from three to seven channels AND cartoons after school.



And most of us were happy….continued below


“57 CHANNELS AND NOTHIN’ ON”

Most were happy but not Bruce.

Most would agree that the Boss lost his way with this one-can you believe this was a single? 

The lyric uses cable TV as a metaphor for the emptiness of his newfound Hollywood lifestyle, although a cable package with only 57 channels hardly seems luxurious enough for a man who “bought a bourgeois house in the Hollywood hills with a truckload of hundred-thousand-dollar bills.”



These days, you can scroll through 57 channels in less than ten seconds, and you’d be able to upgrade your digital television package in about the same amount of time.

“KODACHROME”

This song was an examination of the fallibility of memory, and now Kodachrome is itself merely a memory, a relic of the era before hi-res cell phones.



I am getting nostalgic for the days when my view at a concert was not blocked by a tapestry of iPhones.


“VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR”

And it did. This was the first video ever played on MTV, and radio started to die right about then.

For the next decade, we went from talking about records to talking about videos.



And then twenty years of generic music killed the video star, and now streaming rules and it’s all pretty much electronica that’s being streamed.

“HANGING ON THE TELEPHONE”

I felt this Blondie tune was worth an honorable mention since I always thought she was on a pay phone in this one…and when is the last time you saw a pay phone?



"OLD RECORDS NEVER DIE"


It seemed appropriate to wrap it up with this Ian Hunter tune-since the title is correct-if it was a good song then, it's a good song now.


Friday, March 9, 2018

RETURN OF THE BEARD



Spock’s Beard have announced that their 13th studio album, Noise Floor will be released on May 25.

The lineup of Ted Leonard, Alan Morse, Dave Meros and Ryo Okumoto will be joined by drummer and original band member Nick D’Virgilio, who left the band in 2011.

Vocalist and guitarist Ted Leonard, says: “We are always about evolution, not revolution. But what we have done this time is make the songs more melodic.

“We still love our crazy prog, but now appreciate how important it is to grab people's attention early on.”

As for the recording process behind Noise Floor, Leonard says: “We all do this type of thing in our home studios. So, by the time they reach the stage where the entire band get to judge them, they are really developed, and therefore everyone can make a reasoned judgement.”

The album will also feature two violinists, a cello player, a viola player and an English horn, which is said to give Noise Floor a “slightly more evocative and persuasive twist.”

The album will be released on CD, LP, and on digital platforms.



Spock’s Beard Noise Floor tracklist

Disc 1 – Noise Floor

To Breathe Another Day
What Becomes of Me
Somebody’s Home
Have We All Gone Crazy Yet
So This Is Life
One So Wise
Box of Spiders
Beginnings

Disc 2 – Cutting Room Floor

Days We’ll Remember
Bulletproof
Vault
Armageddon Nervous

Friday, March 2, 2018

UTOPIA IS HERE



Todd Rundgren is getting the band back together!

Specifically his ’70s progressive rock group Utopia, for a spring tour. 

The band started as a larger ensemble and ended up as a four piece from 1977 through 1985, and the four piece incarnation achieved the greatest exposure, including their sole top 40 hit, “Set Me Free.”

Fans have been asking for a reunion since the band’s last tour in 1985, but save for a few shows in Japan in 1992, the fans have had to wait.

The wait is over!


The lineup this time features bassist Kasim Sulton, drummer Willie Wilcox and keyboardist Ralph Shuckett.


Friday Music is reissuing the band's material in a box set complete with bonus tracks-available in the Friday Music store. 











4/18 – Jim Thorpe, PA, Penn’s Peak
4/20 – Englewood, NJ, Bergen Performing Arts Center
4/22 – Houston, TX, House of Blues
4/23 – Dallas, TX, Majestic Theater
4/25 – Broward, FL, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
4/27 – St. Petersburg, FL, Mahaffey Theater
4/28 – Atlanta, GA, Tabernacle
4/29 – Durham, NC, Carolina Theater
5/1 – Huntington, NY, Paramount Theater
5/2 – Washington, DC, Warner Theater
5/3 – New York, NY, Town Hall
5/5 – Philadelphia, PA, Tower Theater
5/6 – Boston, MA, Orpheum Theater
5/7 – Ridgefield, CT, Ridgefield Theater
5/9 – St. Louis, MO, Peabody Opera House
5/10 – Cincinnati, OH, Taft Theater
5/12 – Milwaukee, WI, Pabst Theater
5/13 – Minneapolis, MN, State Theater
5/15 – Grand Rapids, MI, 20 Monroe Live
5/15 – Toronto, ON, Massey Hall
5/17 – Detroit, MI, The Fillmore
5/19 – Cleveland, OH, Hard Rock Live
5/22 – Chicago, IL, Chicago Theater
5/24 – Denver, CO, Paramount Theater
5/26 – Las Vegas, NV, The Joint at Hard Rock
5/27 – Phoenix, AZ, Comerica Theater
5/29 – Los Angeles, CA, The Wiltern
5/30 – San Francisco, CA, the Masonic
6/1 – Seattle, WA, Moore Theater
6/2 – Portland, OR, Revolution Theater
6/4 – Sacramento, CA, Crest Theatre
6/5 – Riverside, CA, Fox Performing Arts Center

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

ROCK IGNITION



Rock Ignition is a hard rock band from Germany founded in 2006 by professional dancer and ex-Kamelot background vocalist Heather Shockley and Silent Force/Sons of Seasons/Headstone Epitaph bassist J├╝rgen Steinmetz. 

Influenced by hard rock acts like Skid Row, Whitesnake, and Vixen, their 2007 debut EP, "I Can't Resist". is not hard to find and a collector's item for fans of the AOR genre.

I have a copy for sale in my Amazon Store HERE.



Tuesday, February 6, 2018

THE MONA LISA'S SISTER



1988’s The Mona Lisa's Sister was Parker's first album for RCA, and the "stripped-down" sound of the album garnered critical acclaim.


In 1989, it was ranked #97 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 best albums of the 1980’s.

For sale at my eBay store HERE



HOBBY OR ADDICTION?

HOBBY OR ADDICTION?