Friday, March 4, 2016

A Radio Station for Lovers of WestCoast AOR





Podcasting site; Inside MusiCast which boasts accurately that it takes music lovers deeper into music "one podcast at a time," is taking the music listener to an even deeper level - RADIO!

IMC founders Rick Such and Eddy Cabello have launched Inside MusiCast Radio, where lovers of West Coast AOR, Jazz, Fusion, Pop and Funk can hear tracks that may not be found on any radio station, satellite or any of the streaming services.

What's really cool about Inside MusiCast Radio is that it includes music from past guests of Inside MusiCast. Which I think is great because although I love the tracks IMCRadio is playing, especially my favorite cuts by my favorite artists, I kind of feel "forced" in a good way to listen to other tracks from former IMC guests whom I'm not too familiar with and may not have taken the time or have the time to listen to new stuff.

What you're guaranteed to hear is music from Eagles, Steely Dan, Kenny Loggins, Toto, Snarky Puppy, Gino Vannelli, Con Funk Shun, Boz Scaggs, Michael Sembello, Jeff Lorber, Earth, Wind & Fire, Al Jarreau, The Tubes, Lee Ritenour and more.

But what you'll ALSO hear is music you probably won't hear on any other stream station or satellite, such as, Jarrod Lawson, Young Guns - Silver Fox, Ed Motta, Jay Graydon, Monkey House, Bourgeois - Tagg, Michael Ruff, Ole Børud. Solo projects by Totos' Steve Lukather and Simon Phillips. Bobby Caldwell and Jack Splash,Tim Cashion, "Champlin, Williams, Friestedt," Tom Canning, Samuel Purdey, Tristan, State Cows, Los Lobotomy's and so much more.

The station is definitely is in it's infant stages but for the short time that it has been on the air, I have become totally addicted to it.  I like to believe that I am musician's musician (from the listener's standpoint) who craves the music of fellow musician's. Inside MusiCast Radio satisfy's that craving.

It's easy to listen - online from your computer at www.insidemusicast.com or download the app for iPhone or Android.
And these links:
Winamp, iTunes: http://cast1.citrus3.com:2199/tunein/insidemusicast.pls
Windows Media Player: http://cast1.citrus3.com:2199/tunein/insidemusicast.asx
Real Player: http://cast1.citrus3.com:2199/tunein/insidemusicast.ram
QuickTime: http://cast1.citrus3.com:2199/tunein/insidemusicast.qtl

At last. . .music for the lover of Westcoast AOR that is ear candy at it's finest!

Thanks Rick and Eddy!




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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Summer Concert Recap at The WA State Fair





So what's a reviewer to do when you know you have to be honest, especially when what you're reviewing is of some legendary people? You write it how you see it. Or in this case how you hear it.

Sometimes I wish I could just be like most of the music listeners out there in the world and just appreciate music for what it is. But, it's not to be.

I recently went to see several great shows at The Washington State Fair this past month.

I saw Heart, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers with Chic, Duran Duran, En Vogue and Kool and the Gang! With the exception of Nile Rodgers / Chic, this would be my first time seeing these great bands and artists.

The majority of the acts I saw were amazing and memorable. There was at least one, that I can honestly say I'm okay not attending another one of their shows.

You can read all about it here at Vinyl Radio's page.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Chromo is the FUNK!!!




Synth Pop / R and B / Funk duo group; Chromeo have been in the music scene since the early 2000's.

These guys are frickin' fantastic!!!!!

All the music I've grown up with, it seems that they've also been raised with it and taken those styles rolled it up and added their own signature sound to create some truly funky old school music.  Maybe the credit should be given to their parents?  If so, then they raised these boys right. Especially the music of Hall and Oates, Midnight Star, George Benson, Roger and Zapp, MTume, and others.

The question I have asked myself over and over these last few months is

"WHERE THE HECK HAVE I BEEN??????"


Dang, I'd love to see these guy tours with the funk bands of the late 70's & early 80's.

On this week's Vinyl Radio, I focused on Chromeo. I figured our Vinyl Radio listeners haven't checked out this great band. Although I am about 10 years too late, no matter because these guys are going to be around for a very long time. They are keeping the cool music alive.

Check out my article on these guys here.




Thursday, July 2, 2015

Revisiting "If You Could Read My Mind" by Gordon Lightfoot





"If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
About a ghost from a wishin' well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I'm a ghost, you can see"


Since it's release in 1970,  I've heard this classic tune by North America's Gordon Lightfoot.

How many of us listen to songs like this today and never really think twice about them? Walking through the aisles of our local grocery stores or sitting in a doctor's office, songs such as this play through the speakers filling the air with music, but no one is really listening. Or are they?

I decided I'd take a walk down memory lane and listen a little closer.

For the rest of the story, go to Vinyl Radio NW.



Monday, June 1, 2015

MJ's Neverland Home & Furniture for Sale



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2015



Furniture from Michael Jackson’s Final Home Goes Up For Sale, Including Makeup Stained Bedroom Chair

   


(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) 
-- The makeup-stained bedroom chair and a parquetry side table from the rented mansion where pop star Michael Jackson tragically died on June 25, 2009, are up for sale on EBAY. Brian Mayes, a Jackson fan and Nashville-based entertainment publicist, is selling the items originally acquired through Julien's Auctions.

The chair was made infamous by crime scene photos shown in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray. The chair was also featured in the premiere episode of CMT’s 2014 reality series, RAIDERS OF ROCK.

The Henredon style bergere chair with button-tufted upholstery was located next to Jackson’s bed in the master bedroom of the rented Holmby Hills mansion where he died. Particularly notable are the makeup stains on the chair, where Jackson is said to have sat each day while getting ready. The Rococo style side table was also a fixture in Jackson’s final home.

“These items are truly a piece of rock and roll history and a must for any Michael Jackson fan,” says Mayes, whose memorabilia collection also includes items that once belonged to Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and others. “Tragically, the makeup-stained chair is the lone witness to Jackson’s death. If only we could get the chair to tell the secrets of what really happened in those final hours.”

The chair and side table are available via EBAY for a limited time:
http://tinyurl.com/MJbedroomchair
http://tinyurl.com/MJtable

For more information, contact Brian Mayes at brian@nashvillepublicity.com.

# # #





Saturday, April 18, 2015

Record Store Day - Picture Disc Treasures - Vinyl Radio Edition




Record Store Day is today, April 18th and for my Vinyl Radio article, I wanted to pay homage by showing off treasures from my high school days.  You can read that full article here.



My vinyl set up at home.


I hope you will get out and support Record Store Day!
Click here for where to go in your local area.

I, personally don't care about getting some type of limited edition vinyl that RSD is promoting. I will however, be looking for a few albums that I've been thinking about and some 45's.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Toto XIV Is Classic Before Its Release




If you're a huge Toto fan, you've probably read the multiple reviews by now about Toto's long awaited project; Toto XIV.
The majority of those reviews touch on Toto's album history, with and without Bobby Kimball, band personnel changes, albums favorites, etc.

My focus?. . . is to talk about this album. PERIOD

Let me just say tho, I think there are several types of Toto fans out there. . .
  • The Hardcore who know everything about Toto from A to Z
  • Those that think "Toto IV" is the best Toto album and no Toto LP can compare to it
  • The "No one will ever replace Bobby Kimball" group
  • and the "yeah, I like some of their songs and have bought an album or two"

Truth be known, I stopped listening to them after "IV." Didn't mean I didn't like them, just was into other types of music.
But those 4 albums were my "go to's" when I needed a "Toto fix." And remain so.

And then there are the people who just listened to them on the radio. . .

So to fans who have have an album or two or are radio listeners. . .

THOSE are the people I want to speak to!!! Are you listening?


YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS ALBUM!!!!!

These guys have created one HELL of a piece of work that I feel is very timely as our generation and the younger Gen Y and Z are looking at 80's music more seriously.  It's also my opinion that we are looking at a Billboard Hot 100 as well as several hits from this album.


Tracklist:
Running Out of Time
Burn
Holy War
21st Century Blues
Orphan
Unknown Soldier (for Jeffrey)
The Little Things
Chinatown
All The Tears That Shine
Fortune
Great Expectations
Bonus Track on Japanese release: Bend


From the first 30 secs of Running Out of Time, the essence of the late 70's and 80's rock is so prevalent. New technology mixed with going back to old roots is what I feel on this track. The chorus definitely has that "anthem" feel to it. Everyone shines here.  Harmonies are tight. I love the bass. . straight forward and coming at you hard, which is provided by bassist; Tim Lefevbre. Steve P kicks butt on the synth! Man, I cannot get over on his parts. I've had to listen to those secs of his solos over and over!!  Keith Carlock, favored touring drummer for Steely Dan and Donald Fagen, sets the tone for this track. What can I say about Steve Lukather that hasn't already been said? The guy is a monster on his axe! Amazing!!!! His playing between verses reminds me of Roy Mitchell-Cardenas of Mutemath. Seriously, this track has that "get in your car, open those windows, open up that roof, put on those sunglasses and drive that baby FAST and play it LOUD" feel. And that's just the music!! The message? Sounds like it's about accessing one's life and whether the cost paid has been worth it, be it, in or out of the corporate world.

The second track is Burn


One of my favorite bass artists; Leland Sklar, guests on this track. He is a long time friend of these guys and I am happy he was invited to be a part of this project.

Quite the message here. Not sure but sounds like it might be about someone suffering from either mental illness or pride and the writer wishing they could break through that "tower" saying they would burn it down for love. A very strong song that I could see on a movie soundtrack. David Paich's playing is so poignant and moving. The vision of fire flames can been seen in my mind as I hear Paich's playing towards the end. The hook is the bridge. Definitely that rock/pop feel.


Holy War is another driving song!!! I think I might be driving my car a little to fast on this one. : )
I Love this song. This is straight up Toto Rock! And you can feel it with David Hungate on bass. It's that Toto sound!

Can I just say that I owe Joseph Williams an huge apology for thinking in my mind that no one could replace Bobby Kimball? Listening to Joseph's vocals on this track seriously brings tears to my eyes at my own pride of thinking.
Man. . . Joseph, you are killing it here!!! I am a fan for life. Your vocals are stellar!!

The message if you haven't realized it by now is killing in the name of religion.

Gotta go back to this tho. . . Joseph is the star on this one!! I want to run outside and belt this one out. LOVE IT!!




21st Century Blues
The blues in full color!

The chorus is engrained in my mind. The rhythm of it is catchy. . . "How can we believe the world is round. I just can't conceive it. From all we see and hear the truth has drowned. It's all but disappeared. How can we believe the world is round. It's hard to perceive it. Shake Your head and scream but there's no sound. We got the 21st Century Blues."

With this track being so heavy, I'm not sure if I have the right to have the blues when all I want to do is sashay to this sexy rhythm. What a fantastic song!! I love Lukather's recollections of the old days. Especially when he mentions the amount of channels we had back in the day. In L.A. we had more than 3 in the 60's but I can remember when I grew up in Palm Springs, in the 70's and early 80's. If you didn't have cable in the early 80's, you really did have 3 channels. But the song is more than that. Steve Lukather is calling it the way he sees: we are living in strange times. Great message. Sax man, Tom Scott is the icing on this one. Hungate's bass. . . .man, I have missed him!!! What can I say?? Vocals are beautiful and full! CJ Vanston takes over on the piano at the end with one bluesy vamp. Lukather's playing is beyond stellar.


It's seems like everyone on this project has something to say about today's world and making us more aware that there is more to life than just living for yourself. And Orphan is no exception. This song is about coming from nothing and finding that you are somebody. Such a great motivational song! The message being. . . we are never alone. The driving force is the incredible percussion provided by Keith Carlock and Lenny Castro! Lukather is not only on bass here on this track but the next.




Unknown Solder (For Jeffrey). This song was written in memory of drummer and founding member Jeff Porcaro who had a love for the history of the Civil War.  The message; not much has changed. Soldiers continue to fight and die for their country. We continue to have unknown soldiers to this day.  Can't help but feel that this track has the essence of 70's rock band "Kansas." Beautiful Cello provided by Martin Tillman. "Choral" vocals on here include Michael McDonald and Amy Keys. Great song.


The Little Things is written by Steve Porcaro and Allee Willis. Allee is known for writing some great great songs, like EW&F's "Boogie Wonderland," Pointer Sister's "Neutron Dance," and even co-writer for Friend's theme "I'll Be There For You."

This track is very touching. Could be about a love lost, could be about friends, could be about kids. Could be about all of the above. For me, with two of my kids out of the house and more at home, this song has me looking back on myself as a mom of 5 little ones and how much I felt I missed out while trying to just "do and be." Later, as they've all grown, looking at their photos and wishing I could go back and somehow relive some of their precious moments.

Steve P's vocals truly capture the feeling of this song. What an incredible vocalist. His tone sounds so young. . .like that of a 20 or 30 something year old guy. Ending with just him singing is almost tear jerking. And even at this writing, one of my daughters comes up to hug me, reminding me of she and her twin's birthday coming up where they will turn 17. This song playing. . . feeling my once little one next to me. . . tears stream down my face.  The Little Things is forever the soundtrack of this moment.

Chinatown: Written about the Red Light District from a young man's perspective. This is old old Toto and or Boz Scaggs here. You, who loved Toto's early album, especially the self titled and Hydra albums are in for a treat!! Written by David Paich and Michael Sherwood back in the late 70's, it was kept in the archives. I am soooo glad it has been unearthed!! It's like discovering an old photo of a relative you've never met. With David Hungate on bass and Steve L / David Paich on vocals, Paich on piano, Steve P on piano, Lenny Castro on percussion, Tom Scott on sax, it's like "hail, hail, the gangs all here!" Not to dismiss everyone's else involvement. Joseph kills it when he belts his vocals. Everyone is incredible on this track. This will be one of my "go to's!"

All The Tears That Shine is another song written by Michael Sherwood and David Paich. A beautiful tribute of an imperfect love relationship, whether lost, still there or trying to get back to it. Tal Wilkenfeld supplies her bass skills here on this track as well as Paich on Stand up Bass.  This song is honest and poignant, I could see singing this to a couple who have made it through decades without killing each other and lived to tell about it! HA!! Lots of tears shed on this one. Beautiful.

Fortune
Bassist; Tal Wilkenfeld is great on this track! If you don't know who she is, look her up! Fortune is written by Joseph and seems this track is about fear of being vulnerable, so avoiding love is the only option. Background vocals are strong and tight, supplied by Michael McDonald and Amy Keys, as well as Lukather and Joseph. Michael McDonald vamps a bit at the end.

Great Expectations is a few songs rolled into one. David Paich wrote the first 30 seconds, years ago. Just something he was playing with and put aside. Those 30 seconds of piano and Paich singing, pulls at my heart strings. This song definitely takes me back to the track "Hydra." Doesn't sound like it, but has the feel of it. To me, anyway. And yet, this track is almost something like out of a Yes album, with several changes going on. A jam session. The lyrics have what I feel is like a warrior's anthem. 7 mins of unbelievable ear candy for your soul!

The Japanese release has a bonus track. Bend sung by Steve Porcaro and penned by Steve and Michael Sherwood.  I have no words to describe it. It's so beautiful. The movements of the music are played to describe the title. . . with bends coming from the instruments. I wish this had been on the U.S. release.

I love it when I can listen to an album from beginning to end. Concerning my four Toto albums, I felt I could only do that with Toto I and Hydra. I found myself bouncing around tracks on Turn Back and IV.

Toto XIV has been played from the first track to the last; over and over. Cannot wait to get my hands on the vinyl release so I can play it old school.



How can I describe what you'll feel?

I think this is the only way.

This is how I feel. . .


But if I can be honest, it took me a few listens before I fell in love with it. My husband attested to what I said as well.  
So if you don't like it the first time around, just give it a chance.

I really think this album is Grammy worthy.
Although, Kanye might have something to say about that! ; )


TOTO IS BACK!!!!



My pet peeve. . . can't find who is playing on what track. So here you go. . .

RUNNING OUT OF TIME (S. Lukather / D. Paich / J. Williams) Drums: Keith Carlock · Bass: Tim Lefevbre · Guitar: Steve Lukather · Piano: David Paich · Synths: Steve Porcaro · Additional synths: CJ Vanston Lead vocal: Joseph Williams · BG vocals: Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams, Jamie Savco
BURN (J. Williams / D. Paich) Drums: Keith Carlock · Percussion: Lenny Castro · Bass: Lee Sklar · Guitars: Steve Lukather · Keyboards: David Paich · Synths: Steve Porcaro Additional synths: CJ Vanston · Lead Vocal: Joseph Williams · BG vocals: Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams, Jamie Savko, CJ Vanston, Emma Williams, Keith Carlock, David Paich · Hand drumming on leather bench: Joseph Williams
HOLY WAR (S. Lukather / CJ Vanston / J. Williams) Drums: Keith Carlock · Percussion: Lenny Castro · Bass: David Hungate · Guitars: Steve Lukather · Piano/Organ: David Paich · Synths: Steve Porcaro · Additional keyboards: CJ Vanston · Lead Vocal: Joseph Williams · BG Vocals: Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams
21ST CENTURY BLUES (S. Lukather / CJ Vanston) Drums: Keith Carlock · Bass: David Hungate · Guitars: Steve Lukather · Piano/Organ: David Paich · Synths: Steve Porcaro, CJ Vanston · End vamp piano, additional synths: CJ Vanston · Lead vocal: Steve Lukather · BG vocals: Joseph Williams, Amy Keys · Saxes, horn arrangement: Tom Scott
ORPHAN (D. Paich / J. Williams / S. Lukather) Drums: Keith Carlock · Percussion: Lenny Castro · Bass & Guitars: Steve Lukather · Keyboards: David Paich · Synths: Steve Porcaro · Additional synths: CJ Vanston · Additional keyboards: Joseph Williams · Lead Vocal: Joseph Williams · BG vocals: Mabvuto Carpenter, Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams
UNKNOWN SOLDIER (FOR JEFFREY) (D. Paich / S. Lukather) Drums: Keith Carlock · Percussion: Lenny Castro · Bass: Steve Lukather · Guitars: Steve Lukather · Keyboards: David Paich · Additional synths: CJ Vanston · Lead vocal: Steve Lukather · BG vocals: Michael McDonald, Amy Keys, Joseph Williams, Steve Lukather · Cello: Martin Tillman
THE LITTLE THINGS (S. Porcaro / A. Willis) Drums: Keith Carlock · Percussion: Lenny Castro · Bass: David Hungate · Guitars: Steve Lukather · Keyboards: Steve Porcaro · Lead Vocal: Steve Porcaro · BG vocals: Joseph Williams · Cello: Martin Tillman
CHINATOWN (D. Paich / M. Sherwood) Drums: Keith Carlock · Percussion: Lenny Castro · Bass: David Hungate · Guitars: Steve Lukather · Keyboards: David Paich · Synths: Steve Porcaro · Lead Vocals: Steve Lukather, David Paich, Joseph Williams · BG Vocals: Michael McDonald, Amy Keys, Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams · Saxes: Tom Scott
ALL THE TEARS THAT SHINE (D. Paich / M. Sherwood) Drums: Keith Carlock · Percussion: Lenny Castro · Stand up Bass: David Paich Electric Bass: Tal Wilkenfeld · Guitars: Steve Lukather · Piano/Keyboards: David Paich · Synths: Steve Porcaro · Lead vocal: David Paich BG vocals: Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams
FORTUNE (J. Williams) Drums: Keith Carlock · Percussion: Lenny Castro · Bass: Tal Wilkenfeld · Guitars: Steve Lukather · Piano: David Paich · Synths: Steve Porcaro Additional synths: CJ Vanston · Keyboards: Joseph Williams · Lead Vocal: Joseph Williams · BG Vocals: Michael McDonald, Amy Keys, Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams
GREAT EXPECTATIONS (D. Paich / J. Williams / S. Lukather) Drums: Keith Carlock · Bass & Guitars: Steve Lukather · Piano/Organ/Keyboards: David Paich · Synths: Steve Porcaro Additional synths: CJ Vanston · Lead vocal: David Paich, Joseph Williams, Steve Lukather · BG vocals: Mabvuto Carpenter, Jamie Savko, Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams
BEND - Japan Bonus Track (M. Sherwood / S. Porcaro) Piano / Synths / Vocals



Friday, January 9, 2015

Celebrate The Life of Andraé Crouch - Open To The Public





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
January 9, 2015

Andraé Crouch Funeral Arrangements Announced
(LOS ANGELES, CA)

A celebration of Andraé Crouch’s life will take place on Tuesday, January 20th and Wednesday, January 21st at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, located at 3045 Crenshaw Blvd in Los Angeles, California. Both services will be open to the public.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Viewing: 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Tribute Celebration: 7:00pm


Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Viewing: 10:00am – 11:00am
Celebration of Life: 11:00am


In lieu of flowers, please send tax-deductible donations to:
Andraé Crouch Memorial Fund
c/o New Christ Memorial Church
13333 Vaughn
Pacoima, CA 91340
www.newchristmemorial.org


Cards and letters may be sent to:
New Christ Memorial Church
Attn.: Mauri Jones
13333 Vaughn
Pacoima, CA 91340


All media requests should be directed to Brian Mayes at Nashville Publicity Group, brian@nashvillepublicity.com or 615-771-2040. All other requests can be directed to Demetrus Alexander at demetrus.alexander@comcast.net.


About Andraé Crouch:
Andraé’s accolades include 7 Grammy Awards, 6 GMA Dove Awards, an Academy Award nomination for "The Color Purple," induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His songs have been recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley to Paul Simon, and he worked as a producer and arranger with many of music’s top artists, including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, Elton John and many others. Andraé can also be heard on Michael Jackson's hit singles "Man in the Mirror," "Keep the Faith,” "Will You Be There" and “Earth Song.”






Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Maybe 3 Times Is The Charm for Original Members of WAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


ORIGINAL FOUNDING MEMBERS OF WAR—PAPA DEE ALLEN, HAROLD BROWN, B.B. DICKERSON, LONNIE JORDON, CHARLES MILLER, LEE OSKAR AND HOWARD SCOTT—ARE NOMINATED FOR THIRD TIME FOR INDUCTION INTO 
ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

Fans around the world are able to cast votes for 
2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees until December 9, 2014


(November 12, 2014—Seattle, WA)— The seven original founding members of the California funk/fusion band WAR—including Papa Dee Allen, Harold Brown, B.B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Charles Miller, Lee Oskar and Howard Scott—have been nominated for the third time for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. These seven acclaimed musicians were responsible for composing and performing such iconic 70’s mega-hits as Spill The Wine, Slipping into Darkness, Low Rider, Cisco Kid, The World Is Ghetto, Why Can’t We Be Friends and many more.



Greg Errico, Founding Member of Sly and the Family Stone and 1993 Inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, comments, “The WAR….. the first multi-genre jam band! Numerous major cross-over mega-hits! This group of musicians / writers / performers brought much joy to the radio waves and many concert performances in the late 60’s and 70’s.  I must say they are deserving of the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”




As original Santana drummer, percussionist, composer and 1998 Inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Michael Shrieve observes, “The sound of WAR is the sound of the other 70's - not the hippie sound of California, but the other sound. The sound of the ghetto, the pulse of the people. Those songs that the original members of WAR made is the soundtrack to many of our lives.  This band is DESERVING of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”



Longtime music journalist and WAR superfan Loretta Sassaman notes,  “Now is the time for these icons to be officially recognized for their individual and collective contributions and for them to take their rightful place in history beside the other Rock and Roll immortals in the Hall of Fame. 


Loretta reminds fans around the world that we should not pass up this opportunity to let our voices be heard. "Voting for WAR is a vote for the pioneering band’s original members, including: Lonnie Jordan, (innovative keyboardist and vocalist);  Lee Oskar, (harmonica virtuoso); Howard Scott, (remarkable rhythm and lead guitarist, vocalist and song writer);  Harold Brown (acclaimed drummer with his unique style and rhythms); B. B. Dickerson, (incredible vocalist and highly innovative bass player), and two magnificent musicians of their time who have passed away, Papa Dee Allen, (percussionist genius) and Charles Miller (who together with Lee Oskar, were innovators of the signature Sax/Harmonica sound of songs like Low Rider). Their music is STILL being played and covered today!”

For the third year in a row, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will again offer fans the opportunity to officially participate in the induction selection process, from now until December 9, 2014.  Fans can vote daily.

Fans can cast their votes by visiting: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's website or Rolling Stone's Music News where nominees are listed alphabetically.  The top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2015 inductees. 


###



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

MUTEMATH Bassist Debuts New Album As "The Pink Dust"




Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas of alt-rock band "MUTEMATH" has a new project he's releasing with friend and bandmate; Cliff Littlefield under the name of THE PINK DUST. 

The band says their music is "eclectic, capturing sounds reminiscent of 60’s and 70’s classic rock, 80’s new wave and 90’s alternative." I would say that's a pretty accurate description. But, I would also add there's a little fusion influence as well as some major soul here.  In listening to this LP, it somewhat reminds of "The Alan Parson's Project" in that, every song is fairly different with it being an album that the listener can play from the beginning to the end. And I am a huge proponent in the old school way of thinking that when the listener takes the album out of the cover / sleeve, they set it on the turntable, put that needle down on track one, play it to the end, flip that record over and continue listening. . . . cuz that's how we do it! (said with latin barrio inflection)


Let's start with the
TRACK LIST:



Lyricist, Cliff Littlefield is on lead vocals and rhythm guitar.  I'm assuming music for the tracks were written by Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas who is on guitar, bass, keys, programming, percussion, and BGV's. Drums are done by Plastic Planet's drummer; Jeff Alan Wright.

There is so much good stuff here. Lyrically, some songs have a light tone to them and some have cool references such as naming rock artists, like Guns and Roses' Axl Rose, quoting lines from Cheap Trick and Disney's "Songs of the South." And some of the songs are really deep. . .  and intense. Musically, my ears have been doing back flips. I absolutely love what is going on in the background. What I can hear, others listening cannot hear until I point it out to them. Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas, who was profiled in the March 2008 Bass Player Magazine, plays just about every instrument on this project. His jazz and fusion influences are noticeable on most of these of tracks. It's the little things that make me excited to wanting to go back and play those "seconds" of ear candy over and over.

I said that I listened to this album from beginning to end, but I will say that some of the tracks have dominated my attention more than the others.

Case in point:
GREEN EYES


This tune is so "poppy," and easy to sing along with. With a hint of Beatles influence, you just want to get up and dance, or at least I do. But what I truly love about this song is the sound of French Horns playing in the background, like a foghorn or Sirens, calling you to come back. It's so consistent as if the band is playing near a lighthouse, the music is making you move and groove,  at the same time, you hear in the distance that "foghorn" so low and deliberate. On a side note, the horns reminded me of Paul McCartney's "Mr. Bellamy" from his "Memory Almost Full" album.

I am not one to listen to any music in the morning. But I found myself waking up with the song playing in my head. When a song is pulling a person to listen to it over and over, even the next day, that says a lot about it. And I have listened to it over and over and can imagine myself back in the day as a kid, listening to it on my favorite L.A. radio stations. It has that nostalgic vibe to it. I would love to see this song released as a single and performed on Jimmy Kimmel or Fallon.



What follows is the deep, dark tune "OUT OF MY MIND"



I am going to guess this song is about addiction in the worst way.

Man, I love these lyrics, especially in the beginning, describing the "user" who puts up the front that everyone sees but no one sees in private, except the "Pusherman."  The music during the verses have this almost twisted seductive tone to them that go perfectly with the words. I could feel this song. That struggle, you want so badly to break away from, but are drawn back to, knowing it's going to be bad and not caring because the payoff is that momentary feel of pleasure. And then the cycle begins again. . . and deeper into the abyss you go.

Great solo work and programming with that fusion feel.



The essence of Alan Parsons is felt on this track; "TIME WILL TELL" 



I'm not sure what this song is about, but I found myself feeling pretty sad for a childhood that was lost. I'm thinking this might be about some type of abuse. I totally loved this song, though. Every part of it. I just love, love, love the solo work towards the end. This is so Alan Parsons, from vocals to echoes to the harmonies to that solo. Really good!!!



ALL OR NOTHING

My 16 yr old daughter loves this track. She told me that it reminded her of something she might hear on Scooby Doo or at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. She is right on track. The song has that eeriness to it as well as that late 60's feel, which is why my daughter thought of Scooby Doo. That show's soundtrack is the epitome of the late 1960's rock music, with the carousel organ sound giving off that haunting but not quite gloomy feel.


I am really pleased with this project by THE PINK DUST.  Cliff's vocals are easy to listen to. His voice is such, that he is able to capture the sounds of 60's, 70's Pop and Rock, early 80's New Wave and 90's Grunge. His lyrics are profound,  thought provoking and emotional. All vocals are tight, including the harmonies. So good that my 16 yr old commented on how much she liked the bgv's. That is saying a lot. I didn't even have to ask. She felt it and had to "oooo" afterwards on one the tracks.

The album has the potential to be a timeless project. I was moved by most of these tunes.

The music is tight!!! Roy does one hell of a job on the music. Drumming by Jeff Alan Wright is incredible. It's apparent that Jeff and Roy are communicating on these tunes via their instruments. Jeff is one sick drummer!! I've only heard him on The Plastic Planets EP.  He's really good.

My personal opinion here is that as a lover of music, I am so bipolar when it comes to listening. I can get bored with music easily, wishing there were something I could listen to that didn't sound like everything else "out there!" But when I do get my hands on something that sounds good to my ears, I have that feeling of being lasso'd - mind, body and soul -  and I don't want to be freed from it. Like when I was a teen. . . obsessed with a 45 or album and playing that record over and over in one sitting, to the point of melting the vinyl from the heat. But isn't that a good thing??? LOL!

THE PINK DUST has accomplished that for me.

I hope it will do the same for you.

Check out the other tunes they've posted on their YouTube and Facebook.
And give me some feedback. I love to know what you think.


THE PINK DUST YouTube

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Father and Son Take To The Stage - The Backyard Stage, That Is.



Singer, songwriter Adrian Bourgeois teamed up with his dad, Brent Bourgeois of 80's iconic group; Bourgeois Tagg recently this summer in a special "secret location" show in the Seattle area. An intimate crowd were privy to "up close" interaction and some great tunes, including a couple from Brent's new album "Don't Look Back," as well as tunes from Adrian's latest release, "Pop /Art." Not to be confused with Lady Gaga's "ARTPOP" album. 

Heavy rains that week continued to threaten the day of the show, but it turned out to be a great night under the stars, with a few cloud coverage. 

Brent; "opening" for Adrian, started off with a tune from his solo project "Brent Bourgeois" released in 1990, which some might recall he sang duet with Fleetwood Mac's, Christine McVie.




Brent and Adrian performed "The High Road" from his record "Don't Look Back." The track features friend Julian Lennon on vocals. I'm really glad that Brent chose to sing this live since it's one of my personal favorites. About 2 minutes into the song, Brent smiles. I can't help but sense that he is "feeling" that connection when you've not only hit those vocals right with the person you're singing with, but adding to that, you're own child. A very proud moment, I'm sure. 



Fans were happy to hear Brent sing his 1988 hit with Bourgeois Tagg; "I Don't Mind At All."  You could hear several in the yard singing along.  




Although Adrian did sing several songs before the evening arrived, I wanted to feature two of my favorite; "As Your Hands Can Hold" following with what I call the "Andrew Gold and Todd Rundgren perform The Beatles" style "Everybody Knows It Was Me." 



Overall, the show lasted almost 2 hours with Brent and Adrian sticking around to sign autographs of their albums, which of course, I had to buy! Both are great albums.  
I encourage you all to pick up a copy of each. Info is listed below. 





I should make mention that attending included, Inside MusiCast's Eddy Cabello. Which I thought was very cool that Eddy came out all the way from Indiana. I, for one was very surprised and honored to finally meet Eddy and his lovely wife. Especially, since I am now part of the Inside MusiCast family. 






Speaking of Inside MusiCast, Brent was a recent guest. Check out the interview with hosts Eddy and another friend of mine, Rich Such.






It's been a while since Brent has embarked on an actual tour. I am hoping that he will consider doing so. If he does, I will keep you posted. In the meantime, Adrian, who I've said in the past is a great artist on his own, can be found in and around the Los Angeles area.
So make sure you catch his live show.

Many thanks to Steve Bartlett Photography for providing videos and photos.






Adrian's CD Pop / Art is available here.

Brent's album "Don't Look Back" is also available on his website as well as CD Baby, iTunes and "other fine locations!" ; )

Facebook: Adrian Bourgeois  Brent  Bourgeois

Twitter: Brent Adrian




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Guitarists Extrodinaire; Aaron Kusterer and Jennifer Batten Are Chasing Fireflies



FIREFLIES PRESS RELEASE

Aaron Kusterer and Jennifer Batten Announce New Single ‘Fireflies’ (Owl City Cover) Out June 21, 2014

As a follow up to their last single together, The Melting Pot, Aaron Kusterer and Jennifer Batten have collaborated again to record a guitar-centric version of Owl City’s Fireflies. As a bonus, Batten and Kusterer are also releasing a companion music video.

When asked about the project history in a recent interview, Aaron stated, “Jennifer told me at one point that she really liked the song Fireflies . . . it kind of grew on me. So I thought, let’s just do this.”
“While making my own arrangement, I wanted to be sure to give a tip of the hat to the original,” said Aaron when asked about the guitar-centric nature of the cover. “You’re not going to find a lot of fast guitar playing in this thing.”

The Fireflies cover will drop in the US on June 21st along with the companion music video. The video will be available worldwide via YouTube. European download release dates to be determined.
You can read more on the project and get a sneak listen of the track on the Fireflies Info Page.

Aaron Kusterer's Official page

Jennifer Batten's Official page

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Brent Bourgeois Perfects His Curve Ball With "Don't Look Back"






It's been more than 20 years since diehard fans have heard anything by singer songwriter Brent Bourgeois, known for his solo work and more notably for being half of 80s New Wave; Synthpop group; Bourgeois Tagg. 

Leaving the group for various reasons, Brent moved to Nashville in the 90’s at the invitation of friend Charlie Peacock to produce Contemporary Christian Music. Brent Bourgeois seemed to have the golden touch working with the likes of some of CCM's greatest teen pop stars. In my opinion, he made these artists sound less CCM-ish and more like the true music artists that they were.

But those diehard fans were always asking when Brent might put out another album. 

Fans will have to wait no longer! 

Brent . . . is. . . . back!!! 

And like a fine wine that has aged well, Brent has a new album that is sure not to disappoint. ”Don't Look Back" is the title and releases June 2nd. 

This week I interview Brent Bourgeois to talk about why he left, what brought him back and his creative way of getting those diehard fans and new fans alike to participate in the selling of this LP.

ST45: Brent, thank you so much for taking time to talk with me. I've been a long admirer of your work as an artist and producer and more.  You've had an amazing career! 

I have this theory that artists I wouldn't particularly listen to, I find myself liking a song or two of theirs, only to find that people I've liked, worked on those projects. You're one of those people.

Tell me where your love of working in music came from. 

Brent: I was always kind of a one-trick pony as a kid. I loved baseball, but I was a prodigy at music, specifically the piano. It was just something I could do at a VERY young age, and I had perfect pitch. So music was just something I always did, always was destined to do. Once I found out I couldn't hit a curve ball, I never thought I would do anything else.

ST45: "Dare to Fall in Love" from your 1990 self-titled release is one of my favorite tunes you recorded. For us Hispanics, that is our jam! I read a while back that you were not crazy about this song and wished you had not recorded it. 

Brent: I don't “not" like “Dare to Fall in Love” – it's just that by making it the single on that record, it took the focus off the tone of the rest of the album, and may have fooled people into thinking that it was something that it was not...

ST45: Kind of Maria Muldaur's "Midnight At The Oasis." I read it was added at the last minute and was nothing like the rest of the album and as we all know, was a huge hit. 

Both songs, yours and Maria's showed your diversity, which I wouldn’t think is so bad. 

Brent: “Dare to Fall in Love” was in a pile of songs for "other people" that I wrote as part of my publishing agreement. Some of those songs also showed up on my next record “Matter of Feel,” to my lasting regret. I tried to hide “Dare to Fall” from my record company because I knew if they heard it, they would want to make it a single, but somewhere along the way they heard it. And made it a single.

ST45: What was the inspiration behind it? Even though it was written for others to record, there had to have been some type of situation that inspired you to write it. Do you have regrets of writing that song?

Brent: Funny, it really was more craft than inspiration. I have to drill down to that memory bank, but I really think I was writing a track that probably sounded a bit like something else at the time, and then wrote lyrics that fit the track. I know that's not the romantic answer, but it's the honest one ; )

ST45: Great answer, but not unusual. I’ve heard that from several songwriters. So let’s talk about  your early days. Where did your love of music came from? What was getting into the music industry like and how do you think it differs from today? 

Brent: The answer to that question is really long; the short answer is that everything has changed. 

When Bourgeois-Tagg was being courted by record companies the music industry was near the top of its game. Budgets were large, two albums were guaranteed. . . (at Warner Brothers in the 70s, it was three), you were going to make at least one video, and that video was expensive to make. Record companies were large operations, with huge rosters. The biggest sellers sold millions, sometimes even tens of millions of records. If you didn't sell 100,000 records or more out of the gate it was considered a disappointment. But considering how much money was spent to break an act, it had to be a disappointment. But unless you sold literally millions, the artist would never see a penny of record royalties because the cost of making, promoting, and getting the record to market was so huge. Our first two records cost $250,000 each to make, and we made several videos that cost that much or more. So even though we had a big hit with "I Don't Mind At All," we left Island Records something like $700,000 in the hole.

Now, the whole system is flipped on its head. There are only 3 major record companies and they are hardly signing anything. Everybody else is "independent," which can mean almost anything. The music industry itself now works at something less than 10¢ on the dollar. There are almost no record stores. Radio means almost nothing to all but a very few artists. Recording studios are going the way of stock brokers and travel agents. We are all our own chief cooks and bottle washers. 

The good news is technology has made the recording process cheap enough for almost anyone to make a record. (Some would say that is not necessarily good news). I made this record for $5000, an absolutely unheard of amount even a short time ago. So I don't have to sell all that many copies to break even, especially because I am not giving 85% of the income to a record company. But I am responsible for all marketing, promotion and distribution, something the record companies, with their vast resources, did very well when they wanted to. 

I think the person I feel the worst for is someone like my son, Adrian. He was born in the wrong era. It is extremely difficult for someone like him to even make a decent living doing the thing he loves to do and is so good at. And it breaks my heart.

ST45: Adrian truly IS an anomaly. He is a throwback, which says a lot of his upbringing. He is a rare breed, who understand what true songwriting is all about. I was a fan from the moment I first saw him and his friend, singer/songwriter/musician Ricky Berger. Those two are incredible! 

I'm sure people knew after you left Bourgeois-Tagg, WHICH by the way, B-T are in that category of being considered cult classic artists. It seems most music enthusiasts have that true appreciation and understanding of who you both were and what you were all about. It was sad to see that era end. But then you moved to producing some of Contemporary Christian Music's brightest stars, such as Rachael Lampa and Jaci Velasquez, Point of Grace, as well as others. 

The song you recorded with Ginny Owens; "One Thing” from the “Roaring Lambs” album; love that song. Definitely did not have that CCM sound which I think, for that season, was out of the ordinary.

Brent: I think that song was right in line with other stuff I was producing at that time in the CCM world, whether it was Cindy Morgan, or the “Streams“ album.
ST45: And then you left the music industry altogether. . .
Let’s talk about what you brought you back to making music and create a new album. For no less than $5,000, I might add. 

Brent: I don't know how to explain when it goes away, and I don't really know how to explain when it comes back. 

There are probably some practical reasons for me doing this when I did. The technology has advanced to the point where it has now become conceivable to do what was absolutely impossible not too long ago. It was never possible to consider making my own record without a record label and a recording contract, and those two things were in the rearview mirror for a guy my age that wasn't ever a platinum-selling artist. And financing one's own record was a pipe dream and a certain money-loser to boot, which made it an extremely irresponsible thing to do for this father of four. 

But now...it's possible to conceive, and if not now, when? 

The idea of making a record for $5000 would have been laughable even a few years ago. But that number allows one to consider that it might be possible to go beyond breaking even and make a living doing this. That is a very important consideration. Because if I can't make a living doing it, I don't really have time to indulge in something so vain as making my own record. That's the practical side of it. The existential part is a mystery...I think I had psyched myself into believing that I could never make a record as good as my last one, so I would just be disappointed at the results.  For whatever reasons, and it took this long, I finally got over that one...


Don't Look Back


ST45: Sounds like you had a lot of difficult decisions to make, Brent. Being a parent myself, I can empathize. And then as you put it, "psyched" yourself into not being able to make music, also had to have been hard.  Years have passed and if I could be so bold as to say the flood gates of creativity opened up and writing began to emerge. 

The outcome of that is your new album "Don't Look Back, made at the cost of $5,000, which completely baffles me! Following you via Facebook, I am in awe of the personnel on this project, Brent. So many incredible people that reads like a who's who for us who love music. 


Brent: Well it was a one-time, call-in-all-the-favors kind of thing, and is the true secret of how I was able to make this record so inexpensively…

ST45: Wow! And who was on the list of phone calls? 

Brent: Larry Tagg, Michael Urbano, Lyle Workman, Chris Rodriguez, Mike Roe, Jerry McPherson, Steve Brewster, Mark Hill, Aaron Smith, George Lawrence, John Lee Sanders, Vicki Randle, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Molly Felder, Paige Lewis, Tim Pierce, John Fields, Ross Hogarth, David J. Holman, Charlie Peacock, Adrian Bourgeois, Kasim Sulton, Todd Rundgren, Julian Lennon. I should mention that my son, Adrian is playing the acoustic guitar on "The High Road."

ST45: That must have been so much fun and what a great group of names! I can't wait to hear the album in it's entirety. So from what I've read on the social media sites about this project, you're doing something that. . . I'm sure has never been done, called a Kick-FINISHER??? 


The Concept

What is it? How did you conceive it? And how does one get involved? 

Brent: Kick-finisher (www.kick-finisher.com) is the doppleganger to Kickstarter. Now, I think Kickstarter is a great program–lots of my friends have done it–Adrian did it; crowd-funding is THE wave of the future as far as making art. I guess I just hated to ask people for money. I asked musicians for their time instead! So once you've finished making a record, this is where you used to hand the finished master over to the record company; the promotions and marketing departments decided where they were going to spend their advertising dollars, how much they were going to pay for radio, and how much they would pay for a tour. Then they turned it over to the distribution arm for delivery into the thousands of record stores. Now there is none of that. How do I make people aware that I even have a record out? At least I used to have a fan base. Bourgeois-Tagg sold a lot of records. And I sold a fair amount as a solo artist. But that was over twenty years ago. The deal with kick-finisher is, instead of me asking you to pay for me to make my record, I'm going to pay you to sell my record. I need a sales force, and who better than the people most interested in me making a record? 


So there is this option: 

You can make $1 for every record (download) you sell, or you can donate the money to Julian Lennon's White Feather Foundation, which is dedicated to bringing clean, safe drinking water to those in need in Africa. For every record you sell, 13 liters of water is donated. 

ST45: That is fantastic! I know about Julian’s White Feather Foundation. 
Great idea!

Brent: Yeah, most people are taking that route, and that's great. And then it gets like Kickstarter–the more you sell, the more incentives there are. It is a new approach to getting one's record to market, but the basic principle has been around a long time...You can be an affiliate by signing up at www.kick-finisher.com. People who agree to do this will get all kinds of goodies...

ST45: And so how is it going? How long will it last?

Brent: Lots of people are signed up, but talk is cheap ; ) 

Have no idea how to gauge how much anyone is going to actually DO. The kick-finisher program doesn't have a time limit; it will have a window of exclusivity coming up shortly, where the only place you will be able to buy the download for about a week is through a kick-finisher affiliate. We're not even releasing to iTunes or Amazon until later in the summer...

ST45: Earlier you said the idea of making another record after your solo release some 20 years ago seemed like it would never happen.  But now you have this project. . . "Don't Look Back." 

Is it possible that Bourgeois fans will see more LP's from you in the future, Brent? And what about live performances? 

Brent: I hate to place it in the hands of the "fans," but if it sells enough to make it economically feasible to do it again, then I will. I would love to keep doing this, but it is not going to happen unless it can be a part of my living. I think that is a fair thing to say. And to all who might say, "You should do it anyway for the love of it" that's easy for them to say, but it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy, both of which I need to spend on making a living to support my family. I hope this is just the beginning of the 2nd part of my album-making career.

ST45: This is very true. . . going out and touring is not easy and it's not as huge a money maker as some might think.

But I do hope, for those of us who appreciate you and your music that we'll at least get to see a BB All-Star tour sometime in the near future. 

BRENT:  I wouldn't hold your breath ; ) 

ST45: HAHA! Okay! Fair enough.  What about a Bourgeois-Tagg tour or even album project? This year seems to be the tour of reunions. Is a probability for you? 
BRENT: No, but as 80’s nostalgia continues to rise, there are the occasional package concerts with mid-level 80’s acts that we might be a part of. Everyone is too busy with their own careers and lives to do a reunion record. And I've already explained the economics of it. That doesn't mean we won't ever work together again. Those are two different things.

ST45: If anyone has read my blogs, they know it's no secret that I am fan of your son Adrian. Do you think we might see a project and or tour between the two of you? 

BRENT: If I ever do any house concerts, or small club dates, Adrian will be a part of it. He plays everything, can sing background vocals, and is a built-in opening act. What more could you want?

ST45: Absolutely! I would love to see the two of you live! And I have a huge backyard that is perfect for a house concert! Just say the word! So, from where we are, on the outside, it would seem that you've accomplished a lot for a young guy who is still in his 50's.  Is there anything else you would like to do?

BRENT:  I would like to make a decent living making music again.

ST45: Well if your new concept of distributing music works, I can't imagine you not making a living from it. 

Before I say thank you, I want you to know how much I appreciate you taking time out to talk with me. I'd like to ask you one more question before we close. 

Your music will always be your legacy. What I, personally would like to ask you is, what would you like your legacy to be with those who love you, thinking most of your family? 

BRENT: To be a person who showed love, and who had the proper perspective between work and family.

ST45: Brent, thank you so much. As I said, I'm looking forward to hearing the album.
Good luck on the Kick-Finisher.

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