Posts Tagged ‘Roger Powell’

EDITORIAL: THESE ARE NOT THE UTOPIANS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR! RUNDGREN TAKES OUT YET ANOTHER BOGUS VERSION OF THE BAND!

April 6, 2018

This photo shoot includes Ralph Schuckett, who would later drop out due to health issues. Those issues being it was making him sick not being able to play like retired Utopia keyboardist Roger Powell. Photo courtesy Sirius XM

I’m out. No, seriously, I am done following and listening to (and reporting on) Todd Rundgren. Most likely his name won’t appear in this blog again outside the context of referring to him as producer, engineer, etc. I have yet to get his latest solo CD “White Knight“. Which is unheard of for me, having once pestered a local record store merchant by going to their store EVERYDAY asking about the not yet released Adventures In Utopia album.

Sicker still, I find it difficult for people to comprehend, but I prefer Rundgren’s more esoteric efforts. No, I hate Something/Anything, that and his Bossa Nova album With A Twist… Then he went EDM. Awwww hell no!!! But I stayed there with Rundgren through all the musical twists and turns he chose to make in his career. Spending a healthy dime on records, cds, posters, T-shirts, pins, on and on and on. Since 1974…

So I feel that (among other things) qualifies me to make these statements.

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SAM LLANAS IS BACK WITH A SURPRISE CALLED “RETURN OF THE GOYA, PART 1”

March 30, 2018

You can’t beat a personalized copy of the new Sam Llanas CD Return Of The Goya, Part 1. In the name of political correctness, no international grocery aisle comments please. Photo courtesy Sam Llanas

It’s great to have Sam Llanas back on the blog! We’ve covered Sam since his debut solo album 4a.m. which remains one of my favorite pieces of work to date. I think I need to break it out again as I need to get a lot of things in the studio done (midi up live tracks, finish writing the last song on my last album…) and I LOVE to work late at night.

Llanas first came to my attention through Gary Tanin, whom I became associated with through the Roger Powell album Blue Note Ridge and then again with Fossil Poets. (Don’t go on your anti-Utopia 2018 reunion tour, Jeff, we know Powell isn’t participating and you doubt replacement Ralph Schuckett, while an extraordinary player with Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, this tour promotes the newly released box set of material with Powell, NOT Schuckett, the harmonic sensibilities employed by Powell will be long lost and they are an integral charm with the REAL Utopia. Don’t be fooled by imitations! Save it for another blog…) Then Tanin had the idea of getting me involved with both Llanas and a project Llanas became involved in, a two man show with Doug Vincent detailing Vincent’s own tragic encounter with addiction and suicide, punctuated by profound performances by Llanas from his solo works.

I identified with the author of the show, Doug Vincent, so much, it became a labor of love to promote his show A Day For Grace. Check the blog search field to see if I migrated them from the syndication to the new site. I am pretty sure they are there. You can also search Sam Llanas, and see all the reviews in our history. Needless to say, Llanas is a favorite here. A particular favorite of ours here at the blog is the Absinthe album. Those songs are so dark, they immediately draw in a death hag like me (even learned a couple of tunes on guitar, fun stuff!).

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THE TUBES LOVE BOMB LEAVES A TIMELESS, LASTING MARK ON MUSIC PRODUCTION

January 12, 2018

The Todd Rundgren produced Love Bomb by the San Francisco band The Tubes. Photo courtesy Capitol Records.

We are reviving a feature on BouleBlog, the Friday Flashback. This gives us a unique opportunity to take a look at albums that were released in the distant past, but still have musical, technological or even social impact on the music horizon, some that even last years later.

This entry is not of any social consequence, but it has technological brilliance unequaled even today. For its time in 1985, it was leaps and bounds beyond anything that came out in that time period. Before things get too convoluted, perhaps some background will put things into perspective.

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THE KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE KING CRIMSON! KING CRIMSON LIVE IN ARGENTINA 1994

October 1, 2015
King Crimson Live In Argentina 1994 from the Thrak tour. Photo courtesy DGMLive.

King Crimson Live In Argentina 1994 from the Thrak tour.

I don’t much care for revisionism. Yet I get sucked into it time after time. I posted on the accompanying Facebook page for this blog, https://www.facebook.com/groups/bouleblog/, that the there will be changes on this blog. Well here they are. I tried to ‘play nice’ as the saying went. I tried to appease all the people who submitted work for me to review. I found myself watering down my utter loathing for certain acts and more importantly I was allowing my disdain for certain acts to dictate my rate of reviews. Yet after making promises to people to review music outside my comfort zone, and having those people demand edits, the not bother to repost my efforts in an effort to promote a show for these people, I’M OUT!

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THE END OF THE SILENCE, THE END OF THE IGNORANCE

December 10, 2014
Sometimes, the life of a blogger can be hazardous to that blogger's health. Photo by Lynn Vala

Sometimes, the life of a blogger can be hazardous to that blogger’s health. Photo by Lynn Vala

My WordPress screen prompts me by asking ‘what’s on your mind’? I guess I need to vent, come clean, explain why I have been absent from this blog for months now. Also to explain why a story was posted and then pulled almost in the same day. The story is long and convoluted so I will try to explain why I took a self-imposed sabbatical from this page.

But first, a bit of background on why this is personal to me.

Integrity has always been important to me. I have been asked to leave many bands because my integrity prevented me from playing over-exposed bands/songs such as Creedence Clearwater, or other bands I felt were not challenging enough to my ability as a player or were too commonplace for my liking. The more popular a musical genre, the less I find it appealing other than the finely crafted pop pieces from acts such as Hall & Oates, Foster The People, etc.

As I became older I found that bands who challenged the perceived norm of popular music or who went against the 4/4 popular time signatures lead to new vistas and horizons for me as a musician. Masters such as Frank Zappa, King Crimson and mid to latter era Todd Rundgren and or Utopia. Acts that really had musical meat for me, something I could dig my teeth into both as a listener and a musician.

So when I begin this blog I’ve virtually went into it with little to no restriction other than those imposed upon me by the webmasters. Limitations such as no obscenities, formatting, no artist bashing, promoting record sales… you can see how this would get tedious. Sad to say, one of the better things to ever happen to me might have been when Princeton Record Exchange dissolved it’s blog.  At that point I had to make a decision: Shit or get off the pot. I guess I shit because I am still on the pot!

The decision was made, I would start my own blog, go my own way and blaze my own path. Or so I thought. With this freedom also came a certain perverted perk. People would approach me and ask if I would want to promote either their own disc or an artist they represented. This is where things started to go downhill…

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BEARS, PSYCHODOTS, RAISINS GUITARIST AND ADVERTISING COMPOSER ROB FETTERS RETURNS TO THE SOLO ROAD WITH “SAINT AIN’T”. TAKE A TWISTED TRIP WITH FETTERS AND FRIENDS.

April 7, 2014
The cover of Rob Fetters latest offering. Don't bother looking for it at your local mall record store, this is way above their radar.

The cover of Rob Fetters latest offering. Don’t bother looking for it at your local mall record store, this is way above their radar. Photo courtesy Baby Ranch

It must be an amazing personal feat to be able to call upon some of your home-base contemporaries to make guest appearances all over your new solo CD.  It is most likely an even easier feat to accomplish when you have a client list from your commercial jingle-writing career that reads like a veritable Who’s Who of Fortune 500 companies.

Rob Fetters is one of the pre-eminent guitar slingers who hales from the Mid-West.  So when someone with not one but TWO main websites (robfetters.com for his commercial jingle writing career, and robfetters.net for the musical artist career), a musician history including playing with Adrian Belew in a band called the Bears (SUCH an underrated band, they need more exposure because you folks are truly missing out) as well as playing in a band called the Psychodots with Bears members Bob Nyswonger (bass) and Chris Arduser (drums).  There are more bands on Fetters resume that could easily come and go in front of someone’s line of sight, more impressive perhaps is the list of advertising clients Fetters has delivered product to.  Heavy hitters from varied industries such as ABC, Disney, Nickelodeon, PBS, FOX Sports, Olay, Walmart, Luvs, Scripps, MicroSoft, Chiquita, Ohio Lottery, Adventure Aquarium, Penn Station, Dayton Daily News, Frische’s, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, LaRosa’s, Sea World, P&G, Mercy Health Crest, Fit, Milestone, Tri-Health Hospitals, StarKist, TXU Energy, West Virginia Lottery, Airheads, Newport Aquarium, Intel, First Data, US Bank, Hasbro, Roto Rooter, Totes, Kentucky Lottery, Pitney Bowes, Long John Silvers, Cincinnati USA, The United Way, Contemporary Arts, Cincinnati Bell, Drees Homes, Kellogg’s, United Dairy Farmers…

Just to name a few.

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TODD RUNDGREN BRINGS HEALING PSYCHEDELIA TO THE KESWICK THEATER, 9-14-10

March 15, 2013

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is another entry in our Friday Flashback series which revives and gives a permanent home to blogs previously posted to the syndication websites.  Some have maintained these pages and I not only appreciate that, but will be drawing these historical posts from those sites.  This entry, featuring the Todd/Healing tour from Todd Rundgren is significant for two reasons:  First, this exact show has been released on two separate DVDs.  I would invite you to purchase those DVDs to compare what I saw to what is on those DVDs, but those DVDs are so meticulously edited, what is on the DVDs is NOT what we saw at the show.  The second reason is, in April of this year, Rundgren will release his first studio album of new material in almost five years (five years in September), State.  Here is the review of the original live performance, just be advised this is a consolidation of a two part review.  So grab a lovely beverage and find your most comfortable seat in the house, settle in and enjoy:

Rundgren welcomes you to his psychedelic world.  Photo by Lynn vala

Rundgren welcomes you to his psychedelic world. Photo by Lynn vala

Glenside PA – I will have to explain the two albums being played live by Rundgren and company at the Keswick Theater before we get into the review.  The first is the self titled album Todd.  It remains my favorite album by him to date.  Starting out with some backwards masking (sounds played backward) of a voice asking for a little fanfare, it maintains a non-stop adventure right to the protracted fade of the last track, recorded live with a chorus of audience members from both coasts and mixed together (long before digital signal stretching in Pro-Tools) in one track.

The second album is a collection of songs pertaining to the science (?) of psychic healing.  Side one of Healing deals with the voyage of one who is anointed with the power to heal, and the taxation of a greedy society, all clamoring for the healing touch.  Trivia time:  The bonus 7” vinyl that was included with the original 12” plastic waffle release was the single from the album called “Time Heals” and was the 7th original video aired on MTV’s broadcast debut.

There weren’t many videos to choose from then, and Rundgren and MTV are not the best of friends.  Read on for more dish…

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BOULEBLOG GOES TO THE GRAMMYS WITH MASTERING ENGINEER, PRODUCER AND ARTIST EXTROIRDINAIRE, GARY TANIN!!!!

February 14, 2013
Gary Tanin hams it up at the Chicago Chapter Grammy Event. Photo courtesy Gary Tanin

Gary Tanin hams it up at the Chicago Chapter Grammy Event. Photo courtesy Gary Tanin

I know you haven’t heard of the band I am about to reference unless you are located near Cincinnati.  That band is called The Psychodots.  When Adrian Belew joins them, they are The Bears.  Belew, Rob Fetters, Bob Nyswonger and Chris Arduser.  The wrote a song once called “Prarie Dog Town”.  I reference this band’s song because there is a line in the song that, when presented with the following subject matter, immediately popped into my mind: ‘We’re too hip to screw around’.

I like to think we are too hip to screw around.

My thinking is influenced by the fact that I have long been espousing the existence of one Gary Tanin.  Yeah, my best thing to ever happen to me studied Mr. Tanin in her Telecommunications courses in college (while I wasted my time in Business Administration with a Law minor, UGH, useless) but I knew of him as a contributor to the genesis of what became that computer program in your Mac called GarageBand.

Then there was his involvement in the career of long-time Todd Rundgren cohort Roger Powell.  Then there is his work with former BoDeans member Sammy Llanas.  Then there is his solo work on his own musical career, as well as the numerous artists to whom he has lent his magic ear.

I put on my Facebook page that I use to promote this blog, (https://www.facebook.com/groups/bouleblog/) that we only back winners on this site.  We stand by that, and in fact, we are now pleased to show our proof.  Dig in as we go to one of the satellite Grammy galas, this time in Chicago where Mr. Tanin rubbed elbows with a few high and mighty folks at this event.  This was one of the REAL events, unlike that sham of a show that captured the mindless of America, topped American televisions ratings and proved that most of America’s minds have turned to mush.

Check out the real deal…

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AT LONG LAST, AFTER MUCH HYPE AND HOOPLAH, THE VERDICT IS IN ON LOVE CHANGES BY GARY TANIN

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.

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MEGA-MAN GARY TANIN COVERS ALL THE BASES AND GETS DOWN TO BASICS WITH HIS NEW/OLD RELEASE “LOVE CHANGES”.

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.

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