Posts Tagged ‘The Bears’

WHO’S THAT MAN? ED RANDAZZO IS THAT MAN CELEBRATING 10 YEARS IN THE PA MUSIC BIZ

October 24, 2019

A comprehensive compilation of an artist’s survival in a local market for over ten years. A rare feat for that market. Photo courtesy edrandazzomusic.com

One thing this blog has taught me is, “Stay in your lane”. I’ve dabbled in jazz reviews, world reviews, indie reviews, Americana reviews, and it has brought me to the point where, I need to stay within my personal wheelhouse of expertise. While I may not be the world’s foremost authority on Goth music, I will continue to bait all the Daniel Ash fans with my opinion (yes, Vinnie, that last word, OPINION, stupid Bauhaus loser arguing with my opinion) but I will pick and choose my reviews carefully from this point forward.

So when it was proposed to me that I could do the new Ed Randazzo retrospective, I jumped at the chance. Admittedly, Randazzo’s style of traditional, Americana folk-soul borders suspiciously close to some of the music I have recently sworn-off. For personal reasons I will pay no more attention to Sam Llanas and his crew. Since I will not be committing any further column space about his Americana, why not support a local boy who isn’t a full-of-himself douche who doesn’t appreciate those who were pulling for him, and promoting them to the best of their ability? Randazzo never made any promises, connections or forged any allegiances to go back on.

I have no problem promoting someone who is genuine, earnest, and has bon-a-fide talent. Like Ed…

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END OF AN ERA! PSYCHODOTS PLAY FINAL 666TH ANNUAL THANKSGIVING SHOW WITH EMOTIONAL POWERHOUSE PERFORMANCE!

October 19, 2019

The final 666th Thanksgiving psychodots show. Thankfully they captured it for all to enjoy. Photo courtesy Rob Fetters

Thank you Adrian Belew. No, seriously! It was through my familiarity with his tenure in King Crimson that I got to know Rob Fetters, Bob Nyswonger and Chris Arduser. Those three had long been together as The psychodots. Then Belew’s buddy Rob Fetters paid an LA visit to a woodshedding Belew, who was being taught all of the impossible Zappa guitar parts that made up the Sheik Yerbouti album and tour (as both were often intertwined with Zappa).

At some point Belew and Fetters had decided to start a band. Something with a name that sounds like a little-league baseball team. The Bears! The formulation of the band was easy; Belew + psychodots = The Bears.

psychodots (yes, the preferred spelling of the band name has no capital letters, allegedly, if I mis-speak, Fetters will hang me out to dry on social media) had been making off-beat, catchy music for years with a healthy catalog that I will be covering at future dates on this blog. Another band that Fetters and Nyswonger were in with Ricky Nye and Bam Powell, the Raisins, also had songs revisited as Bears songs. “Fear Is Never Boring” from the Bears first album was, in fact, an early Raisins song as was the Bears song “Superboy” which was a reworked Raisin’s song called “Valentine”.

Through that association, I also learned that there is/was a thriving indie music community in the Cincy area! Not only were Arduser, Fetters and Nyswonger in psychodots, there were other bands that shared personnel. Raisins, Bucket, Graveblankets, then other bands would later evolve from those. Flying Underground, Bluebirds, Copper, and so many more that I know I have forgotten.

As part of that scene, every year around Thanksgiving, the psychodots come together and play their annual gig. But in 2018, that tradition came to an end.

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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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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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