Posts Tagged ‘Utopia’

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 MUSICAL COMET THAT IS LORD RUSS RETURNS WITH FUTURISTIC VISIONS OF THE PAST. HAVE YOU HEARD???

July 17, 2017

The newest take on some established songs, done Lord Russ style! Photo courtesy Russ Brooks

Lord Russ has a past with this blog. That sounds so sordid, doesn’t it? But that ‘past’ is a good one! Lord Russ found me while I was still with Princeton Record Exchange. He took advantage of my open position that “if you have the balls to accept what someone who knows something about music has to say about yours, bring it!” and brought me his first delightful album Heir Of Mystery! Easily the best “indie” (in the truest sense of the word, Lord Russ’ neighbor, Mark Mulcahy and his band Miracle Legion roadied for themselves on their recent reunion tour, set up, tore down, and loaded out, here’s a band that’s been on TV, David Letterman, Adventures Of Pete and Pete, too numerous to list, having to roadie their own shows because that’s how the record industry is now) disc to come my way this year. The fortunate part of the Miracle Legion show was the availability of two new releases, two double live CDs, one from Miracle Legion, and one from Polaris. The difference being, no Ray Neal in Polaris, his place was filled by another Lord Russ neighbor, Henning Ohlenbusch who played lead guitar and allsorts. The CT/Mass music scene is a very intriguing one. If what Fatso Jetson leader Mario Lalli claims is correct, the High Desert/Wonder Valley scene is dead.

But I digress…

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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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WE ARE WELCOMED INTO LORD RUSS’ COURT! A REGAL, ROYAL, RENAGADE REALITY THAT WE HOPE WILL BRIGHTEN OUR LIVES AFTER MAJOR DISILLUSIONMENT…

July 22, 2013
Perhaps too late for the "Ra" era of Utopia, Lord Russ progs his way onto the Psychedelic scene.

Perhaps too late for the “Ra” era of Utopia, Lord Russ progs his way onto the Psychedelic scene.

I’ve never been much for the Ren Faire style.  My least favorite era of King Crimson?  Madrigal.  The only madrigal I could truly stomach was Genesis.  Other than that, just not my thing.

Then there is another connotation for the word “Lord”, it is resident within the BDSM community.  BDSM stands for Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism, or in layman’s terms, ‘… but whips and chains excite me’.  Oft times male dominants will title themselves ‘Lord such-and-such’ by which the submissive can only address this person.

So there’s that…

After my cursory listens, I think I would do better to identify with a traveling minstrel than a landed master…  But the minstrel keeps finding psychedelics during his journey…

This disc is titled Heir Of Mystery and has an interesting cover, from an Egyptian curiosity vantage point.

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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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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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