Posts Tagged ‘Laurie Anderson’

CONVERGENCE ALERT! ADRIAN BELEW JOINS WITH POLICE DRUMMER STEWART COPELAND AND LEVEL 42 BASSIST MARK KING TO FORM THE SUPERGROUP OF ALL TIME, GIZMODROME!!

May 26, 2018

What happens when a goofball drummer joins a funkoslap bass player, a happy-go-lucky noisemaker guitarist, and a virtuoso keyboardist? Gizmodrome! Photo courtesy Gizmodrome and the internet.

You hear me going on about convergence all the time. This artist I like works with that artist I like. Convergence. Laurie Anderson and Peter Gabriel, the artist who will no longer be named in this column and The Residents, Robert Fripp and Daryl Hall, Talking Heads and Eno, Eno and Devo, Fripp and Bowie, Bowie and the guitarist who is a member in this most unusual band we are about to review, Adrian Belew and if you want circular closure, Adrian Belew and Laurie Anderson.

Slap bassist extraordinaire Mark King has had his unique sound in every household guaranteed. If someone can honestly tell me they haven’t heard the song “Something About You” before, they are either VERY old (and I’m 55, so I know old) or live under a rock. King is one of those ‘taught-myself-how-to-make-a-living-at-this-thing’, type of players. Sophisticated playing with an innovative knack. I could go on about his co-collaborators outside Level 42, but this will be long enough.

The one member I know little about it Vittorio Cosma. He is the host of the band, in Italy. Italy is key to this band’s story as Copeland used the Italian backdrop to lure Belew to compliment the existing band Gizmo. King had opened for The Police back in the day, so Copeland recruited him and with those additions, the band Gizmodrome was born!

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LAURIE ANDERSON WEAVES TALES OF THE CANINE AND HUMAN EXPERIENCE WITH HER AWARD WINNING SOUNDTRACK “HEART OF A DOG”.

May 12, 2018

The album of the film about life, death and philosophy. An easy day
for Laurie Anderson. Photo courtesy of Nonesuch Records

Laurie Anderson has been around a while. Pioneering Avant Garde music and video with tracks like ‘Sharkey’s Day’ and her breakthrough underground hit ‘O Superman’, Anderson found a way to breakthrough to the mainstream while not shedding her true vision about what kind of artist she would become. She further sought to assume and maintain her place in the outer reaches of the pop culture by becoming more prolific with her vocals and vocal melodies. Her album Strange Angels was proof of that.

But you know me, I want the weird stuff. My favorite albums to date are the four disc, audio version of her live show United States Parts 1-4, and even her later work Homeland, which was reviewed in my column previously, that I likened to US Part 5, if you will.

But this album is a special one. Special in that it accompanied a movie, Heart Of A Dog which was about her dog Lolabelle (the sweetest rat terrier I had ever had the pleasure to meet!), and losing Lolabelle, and coming to grips with that tragedy.

Tragedy would not wander too far from Anderson as shortly thereafter, the love of her life (in human form), Lou Reed, left us suddenly. Toss in the death of her mother, and nothing else seems to have any point at that stage.

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PHOTOBLOG: DEAR MARK J. MULCAHY, WORLD CAFE LIVE LOVES YOU – 3-10-14

April 11, 2014
Mark Mulcahy wails on his trusty Epiphone.  Settle in for some amazing songs, stories and smiles.  Photo by Lynn Vala

Mark Mulcahy wails on his trusty Epiphone. Settle in for some amazing songs, stories and smiles. Photo by Lynn Vala

For all intents and purposes, I had retired from covering live shows.  My body is old and beaten, your average concert attendant is more concerned with getting drunk and being obnoxious as opposed to sitting and listening to the performer du jour.  After all, you are talking to someone who was actually kicked in the head during a Nine Inch Nails show!  Some inconsiderate booby was running in the row behind my seat and clocked me in the head with his leg!

This was many years ago, before NIN had become the joke that it is today.

But when I got word through Facebook that Mark Mulcahy was coming to one of my all-time favorite venues, World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, the prospect of seeing Mulcahy live was too overwhelming to pass up.  Retirement be damned!

My first course of action was to reach out to the accommodating folks at WCL, specifically one Danielle F.  For those who have a history with the club, I used to have a relationship with Lauren Squazzo who moved on to greener pastures (as if there are any greener pastures than working at a killer club that has an upstairs bar with a stage for local and up and coming performers as well as hosting children’s shows, but is also affiliated with and houses Drexel University’s WXPN radio and has a killer theater/restaurant/bar in the lower level that has hosted acts from John Wetton, Laurie Anderson, Todd Rundgren, Robert Fripp’s words and music tour, to date his last solo US tour, Adrian Belew, Adrian Belew’s Power Trio and Power Trio bassist Julie Slick, a Philly native, as well as more that I am forgetting).

Every good wish to Lauren, but Danielle is equally a joy to work with.

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OTTO AND THE EVEVATORS LIFT US UP AFTER THE DEATH OF AN ART-ROCK-PUNK PIONEER

December 15, 2013
Today's version of Otto and the Elevators has a unique feature; a compact disc in a sleeve on the cover.  For those of us without turntables.  It sits as an add-on to the shrink wrap, so you don't have to open up the package with the valuable cargo inside.  Photo courtesy Gary Tanin

Today’s version of Otto and the Elevators has a unique feature; a compact disc in a sleeve on the cover. For those of us without turntables. It sits as an add-on to the shrink wrap, so you don’t have to open up the package with the valuable cargo inside. Photo courtesy Gary Tanin

It has been a long time since this blog has been active.  We took some time off after the passing of grunge god Lou Reed.  We were given time to pause to think about our allotment on this mortal coil.  Life is too short.  Life is too short to dwell on things that affect us negatively.  Things that present themselves or force themselves on us.  Things that, plain old speaking, we just don’t want to deal with.

For me, that was the new Nine Inch Nails album, Hesitation Marks.

I had begun the review when Reed passed.  My thoughts were not about what Reznor had done on this new album, or how it was more or less a rehash of what he had done before he shuttered Nine Inch Nails around 2009.  I was even slated to see Nine Inch Nails, but most of the parties involved were pretty much ambivalent about the event, so we chose to bypass it.  From what we heard about the show afterward, it was mostly material we had seen live with a FEW new songs inserted into a tired, and over-used set list.

I now regret not catching a Reed show.  It must have been something to see this stalwart musician ply his art onstage.  I had seen his widow, Laurie Anderson a number of times, including the shows Anderson played in New York City nine days after 9/11 at the Town Hall (which yielded a phenomenal double CD live disc).  Her shows were always entertaining, amusing and sometimes haunting.

So when faced with the arduous task of trying to analyze Reznor’s Nine Inch Noise album, it just seemed futile and defeatist.   My heart wasn’t in it.

With Reed (and a few days later, his mother) now passed, and Anderson grieving the loss of Reed, Reed’s mother and her dog Lolabelle, Anderson is gearing up her tour/performance schedule.  It would be grand to see her again, and hopefully get the opportunity to tell her how much she means to us, and how much her late husband meant to all us musicians and music fans.

Before it’s too late.

In the spirit of not being too late, let’s make sure we cover a different act out of the Milwaukee Wisconsin area.  Led by long time BouleBlog associate Gary Tanin, Otto and the Elevators is an album that was recorded in 1973, released in 1975.  The release in 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the recording.  Not sure how the 40th anniversary of the release will be handled…

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HE HAS FLOWN, ART-ROCK PIONEER LOU REED DEAD AT AGE 71

October 27, 2013
A blurry photo and the distinct memory of meeting an icon.  Lou Reed, dead at 71.  Photo by Lynn Vala

A blurry photo and the distinct memory of meeting an icon. Lou Reed, dead at 71. Photo by Lynn Vala

Today the art world saw the loss of a silent leader.  One who spoke through his lyrics, his songs, and his actions.

There are tons of obituaries out there.  You can get your history from those sites.  My blog is about personal experience.  Yes, I briefly met Lou Reed backstage after a Laurie Anderson show in Philadelphia to support her Homeland CD.

I had more to say to bassist Bill Laswell and support keyboardist/accordionist Rob Burger than to Reed.  He was confused by my function title (syndicated blogger) yet affable enough.

I was no about to disgrace my new one degree of separation from Andy Warhol by telling him his plans to record with Metallica are short sighted in terms of his career arc.

So if I am not going to regurgitate facts about Reed, why this ‘tribute’?  I want to make sure no one forgets about the woman he leaves behind, Anderson.

Time after time, my Facebook feed is filled with pictures and video of Anderson and Reed, joined at the hip with huge smiles on their faces (as huge as Reed’s could get, Anderson’s would outshine his at her simple joy of being near him).

If I have to be honest, I am not much of a Reed fan, nor a huge fan of the Velvet Underground.  I grew up hearing “Walk On The Wild Side” and “Sweet Jane”.  They were played over ad nauseum on FM radio as innovative, ground breaking.  That was worthwhile for a few weeks, but as they became classic, they lost that sense of “new” and “explorative” and became fodder right next to the Frankie Valleys and the Fifth Dimension drivel flooding the airwaves.

My intrigue came after meeting Anderson after a Happiness show in Philadelphia.  It was there I met Lolabelle, Anderson’s canine companion.  To Anderson’s dismay, she lost her four-legged friend a few months ago.  She turned her grief into a three part show called Dirtday.  Do we dare wonder what art Anderson might be capable of with this latest tragedy in her life?

Anderson on stage performing her album "Homeland" which was co-produced, arranged and contributed to by her late husband Lou Reed.  Photo by Lynn Vala

Anderson on stage performing her album “Homeland” which was co-produced, arranged and contributed to by her late husband Lou Reed. Photo by Lynn Vala

This latest artistic effort would be painstaking for Anderson as her release, Homeland, had major influence from Reed.  Anderson was perplexed by the mountainous collection of song snippets she had amassed.  Reed jumped into the project and helped Anderson organize her thoughts and sound files and made them cohesive, and contributed a solo that would make long-time Anderson associate Adrian Belew say ‘way to go!’.

There will be countless paragraphs about the achievements left behind by Reed.  The point I want to make is, please keep Laurie in your thoughts.  She lost Lolabelle and now the love of her life.

If you follow Reed or Anderson on any social media, now is the day to step forward and let her know, she is not alone.

THE LONG AWAITED SHOWDOWN IS NOW!!! TODD RUNDGREN’S STATE HAS A LOT RIDING ON IT…

June 10, 2013
DJ Odd dons his ski mask to navigate the slopes of technopia.  Will he make the mark or be shanghaied by his own fans?

DJ Odd dons his ski mask to navigate the slopes of technopia. Will he make the mark or be shanghaied by his own fans?

Ok, here’s the back story.  I was pissed as hell when, after the brilliant Todd Rundgren release of 2004’s Liars, and then the ‘ok’ release of Arena, I was ok with his concept of bringing albums like A Wizard A True Star, Todd, and Healing to the live stage.  What pissed me off was his insistence on releasing two discs (one E.P. and one L.P.) of Robert Johnson material (hey, cheap, no royalty payments, that crap is so old it’s out of public domain by now) then, further pissing me off was having ‘fans’ (read: well-to-do sycophants with $5,000 to burn) pay him to appear on his re[Productions] album where he would secure the rights to record songs from acts he had produced in the past (horrific versions of Bourgeois Tagg’s “Out Of My Mind” and XTC’s “Dear God”) but then what bitchfest about Todd Rundgren from this reviewer would be complete without my reflecting back to the “event” at the Keswick Theater.  You want the deets on that, you can search for the review on this page.  I’ve spent enough column space and bandwidth on that issue.

So I sorta feel like the gunslinger in the center of town in the Wild West ready to draw pistols.   Me, the nearly lifelong Todd fan (let’s face it, I have been into him since 1974, I was 11/12, I am 50 now, been listening/buying/attending all these years and for you ‘Todd was better without Utopia’ types, piss off!  I LOVED UTOPIA!!!) and Rundgren, the now 65 year old ‘aging rocker’ with a voice in a lower register so he has to effect, process and lower his keys for older songs (I’ve seen live clips on YouTube for this current tour where he suspends the microphone over his head like at a prize fight, that’s not a clever visual gimmick for his techno ‘D.J. Odd’ (Techno Todd?) persona, that is to assist his aging vocal chords have projection and hit some of the notes he couldn’t with his head down).  Although, it is not unusual for Rundgren to assign himself monikers to reflect the new style of music he is brandishing.  Reference the No World Order and Individualist era, when he billed himself as TR-i (Todd Rundgren interactive).

So in my Wild West daydream, Rundgren dressed in white as he will no doubt be the people’s favorite, and I, opposite Rundgren, dressed in black as I have already proven to be the people’s favorite… to HATE (ask any King Crimson fan).  He has his Mac and Foamy (his favorite sea foam green P-Project Stratocaster copy guitar) ready to draw, I have my pencils, pad and angry disposition ready to pull.

Three, two, one, DRAW!

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LAURIE ANDERSON SPENDS ANOTHER DAY IN AMERICA AT WORLD CAFÉ LIVE

June 7, 2013
Laurie Anderson brings her new album Homeland (or as Anderson purists will state, United States Part  5) to World Cafe Live.  Photo by Lynn Vala

Laurie Anderson brings her new album Homeland (or as Anderson purists will state, United States Part 5) to World Cafe Live. Photo by Lynn Vala

AUTHOR’S NOTE: To show our support for Lou Reed and his recent health issues, we are going to rerun this coverage of Reed’s wife Laurie Anderson’s performance of the tour for her most recent full length release Homeland as performed live at World Cafe Live.  Check all the way at the bottom, a blurry surprise for all!  Enjoy.

If you attended or read about the Adrian Belew Painting With Guitar show at the World Café Live July 1st, you saw or read about posters for the Laurie Anderson Another Day In America show.  This show was only advertised at the Belew concert, World Café Live was banking on the fact that they could draw from Belew’s audience  to help fill the room for Anderson.  Belew had worked with Anderson on some projects so the logic was sound.

Anderson didn’t need the help.

They even set the seating up to accommodate a more attentive, mature and dare I say it, refined crowd.  There was less open space, three rows of seats, a couple of rows of tables, and then the remaining usual seating around the bar and in the upper mezzanine.  I managed to get some front row seats and a photo pass for this show, so get ready, with my trusty photographer and my abysmal narrative, I will take you through…

Another Day In America.

Gonna be a killer show.

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PAINTING WITH GUITAR HAS ADRIAN BELEW GIVING NEW MEANING TO THE PHRASE ONE MAN SHOW!

April 19, 2013
Adrian Belew brings his art and music together in one place, The World Cafe Live.  Photo by Lynn Vala

Adrian Belew brings his art and music together in one place, The World Cafe Live. Photo by Lynn Vala

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Again, the Friday Flashback reaches deep into our available archives to bring you a groundbreaking review.  There is a sordid history behind this one which will explain some of the mindset when this was composed.  You see, yours truly was involved in a global controversy because when I first started this column thousands of years ago, I used artist websites as a source of information.  I had been scouring both the website journals/blogs of Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, Trey Gunn and Bill Bruford (pertinent to this story and King Crimson).  On Belew’s site I gleaned some information.  On Fripp’s site, I gleaned some contradicting information.  Not knowing which was the truth, I presented what I believed was the truth.  Belew became immediately incensed and called me out on the former PREX blog.  I dismissed it as an artist not wanting to be portrayed as “the bad guy”.

Turns out, Belew was correct.

I was offered the truth by Belew’s power trio bassist Julie Slick’s mom Robin.  A respected author in her own right.  I declined.  I had been caught in the crossfire enough and I will forever go down in history as the patsy who took the fall and reported the end of King Crimson.  NOT my proudest moment, and a tremendous personal loss to me.  But as it turns out, Fripp would go on shortly thereafter to retire from public music performance as Bruford had done shortly after the release of his autobiography.

One more tragic note:  There were literally thousands of photographs taken for this show.  Unfortunately, due to the crash of an IBM machine (yeah, fuck you Bill Gates) those photos were lost forever.  They were great shots as well.  One is utilized in the header to this blog and I will not repeat it here.

Also, this was originally presented as four parts (a photo blog) on PREX and a two part blog on the rest of the syndication.  It is going to be condensed into one humongous blog here because, well, I can!  This was the show where I apologized to Belew afterward and I made up for my transgression by reviewing his previously released e disc, as well as the live DVD of the power trio show and Julie Slick’s debut CD.  For the whole story, read on…

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DWELLING ON THE DARKSIDE, WE REVISIT MONDO GENERATOR IN THE FORM OF NICK OLIVERI’S DEATH ACOUSTIC!

January 21, 2013
The cover of the CD filled with the mellow (?) side of Nick Oliveri and his acoustic interpretations of Queens Of The Stone Age, Mondo Generator and Oliveri standards.  With a title like 'Death Acoustic', I am not sure how mellow these versions will be!  Cover photo courtesy Impedance Records.

The cover of the CD filled with the mellow (?) side of Nick Oliveri and his acoustic interpretations of Queens Of The Stone Age, Mondo Generator and Oliveri standards. With a title like ‘Death Acoustic’, I am not sure how mellow these versions will be! Cover photo courtesy Impedance Records.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This review was slated to come out right before the new year.  However, it was waylaid by a death in the family, specifically my mother.  Please, no condolences for the woman who said I’d never amount to anything and that I was a “no good, good for nothing”.  While your well wishes are greatly appreciated by me, her absentia is not worth the bandwidth.  But thank you for the kind thoughts in advance.  Back to business, and welcome to the new and improved BouleBlog!  We are out of our syndication deal and are now free to publish what we like when we like.  In the next few weeks you will see subtle changes to the content, and hopefully we will be able to execute some changes to the look of the page.  Thanks to all of our subjects of the blog since July of last year.  You were all important in maintaining a spot on the digital landscape for BouleBlog to inhabit.  Now for the review at hand:

It has been said that I am a forgiving soul.  Just recently I extended a journalistic olive branch to Todd Rundgren via my Facebook page Free Progressive (https://www.facebook.com/groups/FreeProgressive/) as I am not one to hold undeserved grudges.  I have been known to give people second chances that most assuredly didn’t deserve a first chance.  So on the heels of Mondo Generator’s last, less-than-stellar release Hell Comes To Your Heart, we take into account Nick Oliveri’s solo effort Death Acoustic.  I have high hopes as, you really can’t bury a vocal if, in fact, this disc is only an acoustic guitar and voice.

I know many fans are wondering, ‘wait a minute, isn’t he the bassist for acts like Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss, Kyuss Lives, The Dwarves, Mondo Generator, as well as the Desert Sessions’?  Die harders have seen the YouTube clips of Oliveri and Josh Homme playing acoustic guitars together.  Here is a clip of Oliveri doing one of the tracks from Death Acoustic, “I’m Gonna Leave You”:

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