Archive for December, 2012


December 17, 2012

A personalized copy of Love Changes by Gary Tanin, get your copy  today!

In this day and age of self-produced and internet distributed anyone-can-make-their-own-musical-product, there are occasional stand out releases.  Tomorrow, Gary Tanin’s self-produced, self-released product Love Changes will be available to the masses.

But I am not sure the masses can handle it.

Or maybe they can, let’s see…  If any one has been in love, lost that love, and pined over love, gotten divorced, bounced from relationship to relationship, then perhaps the masses are ready.  But if any of the masses have a propensity for depression, they may want to stay away.  This collection of songs is not sunshine and lollipops.  It is REAL!  Real feelings, real emotions, real experiences have been laid down by Tanin, and it can get messy.

And so very tasty…

I gave this disc a few listens, and I got several impressions from those spins:  First, Tanin needs to burn all his Beatles recordings.  Their influence on him is way evident in the background vocals and some of the keyboard voicings.  This isn’t a bad thing, but you all know my predisposition against all things Beatle.  Next, Tanin has been taking careful note from those he has been hanging around with.  Displaying many of the same chordal and arranging sensibilities exhibited by one Roger Powell.  If you are going to absorb melodic and structural sense from anybody, Powell’s your guy.  Last, Tanin has been studying the vocal emotiveness of an expert, Sam Llanas.

In fact, I would go so far as to say this could serve as the morning after equivalent to Llanas’ excellent 4A.M. disc released last year.

Let me set a scene for this review:  I have had my heart torn out of my chest a few times in my life (as we all have).  One such incident found me wearing out my vinyl copy of Genesis’ Duke.  Were I to have had a copy of Tanin’s Love Changes, I very well could have offed myself over the prevailing emotions and the mournful setting Tanin displays through Love Changes.  An interesting note, this is technically a follow-up to an earlier Tanin release, Love Changes All first put out in 1972.  As the promotional campaign for this album aptly states, ‘Same subject, same guy, new songs, 40 years later’.  Tanin puts it this way: ‘In the mid 1990s I started writing a body of works that covers very similar subject matter as my first Lp Love Changes All. Relationships gone wrong, love loss, etc. Same questions, same subject matter, same guy … 25 years after that 1972 release. I thought it made perfect sense to contrast these two groups of songs and even used a slightly more cynical title for the record Love Changes.

This ought to be good.



December 12, 2012
Gary Tanin enjoying some rare down time playing a communal piano in Denver CO during a recent run of "A Day For Grace" featuring Sam Llanas and Doug Vincent.

Gary Tanin enjoying some rare down time playing a communal piano in Denver CO during a recent run of “A Day For Grace” featuring Sam Llanas and Doug Vincent.

Dr. Who, South Park, Robot Chicken, all mention it (among others).  But it’s not just a concept in fiction or animation…  It’s real!  What’s that?  Cloning.  Remember Dolly the sheep?  If there was ever someone who could benefit from cloning, it has to be Gary Tanin.  It is amazing to see this person’s body of work as it is, but when you get down to digging into this man’s history, you realize he surpasses the definition of multi-faceted.

Many of you may not have even heard of him, but I would bet the farm you’ve heard his work.  From national JC Penney ads to a Wisconsin based “Who’s Who” of musicians. However I know that won’t satiate you, you still want to know why I am dedicating this column space to someone you consider a virtual unknown.  Yeah, he’s so unknown, my best thing to ever happen to me studied telecommunications, and Gary Tanin was mentioned as part of the curriculum of study.

You don’t get to be part of a major East coast college curriculum by being a nothing.



December 2, 2012
A rare alternate cover of the Mondo Generator CD "Hell Comes To Your Heart".  The cover that is more widely available features a less haunting vision but slightly more risque in its revelation of the female anatomy.

A rare alternate cover of the Mondo Generator CD “Hell Comes To Your Heart”. The cover that is more widely available features a less haunting vision but slightly more risque in its revelation of the female anatomy.

Where does one begin to describe the interesting life led by Mondo Generator leader Nick Oliveri.  Coming to prominence as the bass player, co-lead vocalist and provider of all things dark and cynical for Queens Of The Stone Age (QOTSA), after touring extensively to promote their most successful album to date, Songs For The Deaf, Oliveri was dismissed after a run in on the road involving law enforcement, charging him with battery, blah blah blah.  Law enforcement globally uses charges like battery like most people use salt.  If the police get called out and don’t have any visible offenses handy, they just whip out the old assault and  battery charges and haul somebody off into the hoosegow to drum up some revenue for their local treasury.  Don’t think I am belittling such abuse, it is a serious problem in this country.  But Oliveri has been charged with bullshit offenses simply because he looks like he should be charged with something (bald, long beard, tattoos).  He was videotaped ending a QOTSA show naked in Rio, so those charges were valid.  But being an exhibitionist is no cause to label someone as trouble.

Just because he did not let someone into his apartment is no reason to call out the SWAT team, send robots to his door, and charge him for unlawful weapons possession for having the firearms owned by his late father.  He beat those charges, but that wasn’t the end of his legal trouble.  From this, he was forced to resign from his (and co-leader of QOTSA, Josh Homme) original band Kyuss (renamed Kyuss Lives to prevent legal hassles created by not including Homme and other Kyuss members) as they were being forcibly sued by Homme and the other members on behalf of Interscope records who wanted to maintain control over everything Kyuss.  Interscope is being so petty, they are nit-picking the new QOTSA album and trashed everything Homme recently submitted to the label and the label simply said ‘We don’t like the sound, do it over’.  Then after going into the studio to do the album over, more issues plagued QOTSA as long time drummer Joey Castillo departed the band.  Dave Grohl, who was the drummer on the …Deaf record is being called back into service to satisfy Interscope’s most likely demand that the new record sound more like their successful …Deaf disc.

So to avoid further legal ensnarement, Oliveri resigned from Kyuss Lives and pursued his solo project Mondo Generator.  The Generator has released many interesting discs, but most of them have different band members, and often times Oliveri would tap into Rancho De La Luna veterans to provide live support.  But with the most recent CD, Oliveri has shored up his lineup with drummer Hoss Wright, lead guitarist Mike Pygmie and guitarist Ian Taylor.  There is a plethora of guests on this disc, exemplifying that Oliveri is NOT the bad guy in this Interscope suit.  For example, one of the litigants, Josh Homme, is a guest on the disc and it was recorded at Homme’s Pink Duck studios.  Another litigant, John Garcia, also of Kyuss, is a guest on the disc.  Other notable guests are Ramones C.J. Ramone and Dwarves (another Oliveri former band mate) Blag Dahlia.  In fact, one of the liner notes reads ‘Respect to all of our bands past and present’.

Did the legal system break Nick Oliveri?  Is he going soft? Read on…


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