Friday, September 18, 2009

Tommy Sims - Diary: Peace & Love

If you haven't heard this album, you are so missing out!! This album was released in 2000, and it seemed, quickly went out of print. But you can still find it online somewhere. I found it on Spotify. Love this album! I think I've bought at least 10 copies to have and to give away. I love that Stevie Wonder plays harmonica on the track "Summer."

This album is full of stories that encompass joy, laughter, sadness, heartbreak & striving.

Look for it. Once you start listening, you'll want to start over and listen again!!!

There's also a Facebook group: I Love The Work of Tommy Sims that I created to pay respect to this amazing artist, musician, writer, engineer, producer and what I've been told, a very nice person.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

MUTEMATH has struck gold once again!!!

And from what I've read & heard, striking gold has had it's price. Alot of blood, sweat & tears went into this project and it shows. The LP is due out August 18th, just a few days from now. I've had the privilege of listening to "Armistice" from beginning to end. I seriously thought my ears were going to go insane by the various sounds I was treated to.

This is not a review, just a plug for a band I've been following from the beginning, particularly Paul Meany (vocals, keys & percussion) & Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas (bass, vocals & percussion) from their previous band and have seen these guys grow and mature in their writing and musical style. I am compelled, tho, to tell you that track 3 "Clipping" has enraptured me. For days, I'd been trying to figure what it was that was stirred up inside of me from the moment it began and tonight I figured it out. . . INTOXICATION. Wikipedia says that "Intoxication is the state of being affected by one or more psychoactive drugs." Well that is what I felt like. Mind you, I've never taken drugs, but I do understand the meaning.

"Clipping" although very profound & harsh in it's lyrics, definitely makes you feel like you are on a "trip" shall I dare say. From the moment it begins with the roughness of the moog bass sound, going in what seems a circular motion, pulling you in like a rope tied at your feet with someone pulling the other end, to guest artist, Jeremy Larson's beautiful, Siren-like strings at the interlude, reeling you in unawares and you don't care. With Paul Meany's voice crying out in pain and the "tossing and waves crashing," you feel your own pain surfacing and there isn't a thing you can do about it, you're going to erupt and let go of that feeling that has been buried deep inside for so long.

As always, this album is definitely "candy" to the listening ear. I also have to say that Greg Hill's (guitar, vocals & precussion) intros on several of the cuts are pure MAGIC!!! One thing about MUTEMATH is you can't figure out their style, you can never pin them down. One thing this album isn't, is Country. There is a however, a mix of R&B, Blues, Soul, Rock, Jazz, Punk, Techno, Euro, Disco & Classical. . . all their influences have been quilted into this project.

Our family has grown with the music of MUTEMATH. It has been amazing to see my children change in their tastes of music, but never in their love for the musical "chaos" of MUTEMATH. They have loved seeing Darren King go absolutely insane on his kit, drawing in the audience everytime. My daughter, now 15 has been listening to them since she was 10 and she just said recently that she never loved anyone's music like that of MUTEMATH, because as she put it, they sing the truth.

If only it were possible to release a few of these tracks on 45's, since AFTER ALL this is a blogsite for those who love their 45's. But I am happy to say that there will be a limited amount of vinyl available at their shows and as you an see from the picture above, their was an EP available back in the Spring.

If "Armistice" were available on 8-Track, here is what, I believe it would look like.

design & photo by Lo

"Armistice" is a classic and it hasn't even been released yet. Definitely make sure to check it out. You will not be sorry!

If you get a chance, a MUTEMATH show is not one to be missed.

Monday, April 6, 2009

John Torres' CD Release Party

I went to a CD Release Party tonight. It's not like this was my first, but I have to admit this was definitely the best.

The feature artist is friend John Torres.

The album being celebrated; "Music After All."
Which by the way, sold out at this event!!

If you haven't already, check out his Myspace

Aside from John doing cuts from his album, there was jamming from the band, friend's of John's. These seasoned musicians included; keyboardist Gary Verrill and guitarist for Kenny G, John Raymond. There was some blues, Gospel, alittle Beatles and even some Motown. You'll forgive me that I didn't know the other fantastic musicians and singers. They were all amazing!!

Here's a few of the songs John performed.

Check out these impromptu moments;

Totally unrehearsed.
These are the moments a musician watchin lives for!!

This was my suggestion to the band, actually any Motown song.
I didn't realize my voice was being picked up by the camera.
John and the gal he was singing with were FANTASTIC!!

If you want to hear and see more songs from John, visit his youtube page and stayed tuned for something very special coming in the next couple of months.



Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Split Enz

What can be said about this unbelievable group of the late 70's and early 80's that hasn't been said already? There will never will be another band like "The Split Enz! But of course, this has been said and I am know I am not alone in this opinion.

For me, I was so infatuated with the love songs of Neil Finn, but went crazy for brother, Tim's edgy rebelliousness. At the same time, I felt so deeply for what seemed Tim fighting his demons in his songs.

Now I know that the band was more than The Brother's Finn. According to wikipedia (and we know they know everything) the rest of the band included from March 1978 - May 1981: Nigel Griggs (bass) Malcolm Green (drums) Eddie Rayner (keyboards) Noel Crombie (percussion, art/visual director).

Today, both of the men are still unbelievable in their song writing with Neil coming out of The Split Enz, creating "Crowded House" and now on his own with whom I understand, his grown son joining him on tour, while Tim has also been touring on his own around the U.S. I am sad I missed both of their separate appearances awhile back in Seattle.

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam has said that The Split Enz is one of his favorite bands, covering "I Got You" while in Europe back in 2000 and appeared with the guys when he was in New Zealand years ago and from what I understand, appearing with Neil while he was in Seattle sometime after that.

All I know is; The Split Enz were IT for me!!

Coming from Palm Springs and never having gone to a concert, I wasn't sure how one did. But when I found out through L.A.'s KROQ that they were going to be playing The L.A. Palladium promoting their "Time and Tide" LP, I knew there'd be nothing holding me back, except maybe reliable transportation, which was quickly resolved by a nice boyfriend who lent me his 1978 3 speed Camaro. Problem solved!!

1982. . . Ahhh. . . The Split Enz. . .my first concert. . . what a night!

There we were, my sister Lynette and friend Julie. This was the biggest thing to happen in my life and I had to make it count. Going up front was the only way. Getting there very early helped, but once the other Split Enz affeciandos started turning up, it became increasingly difficult to hold our place up front as we were being pushed into the stage. But it was all worth it. I couldn't believe that when they came out Neil Finn was standing right in front of me!! And then Tim!! Wow!!!

This is during the time that "slam dancing" which might be a bit like "moshing" was popular. I got my look, I was close, but it was time to go! My 14 year old sister was only too happy to stay in the pit, but Julie and I went to the back. We were both shocked to see who was standing near us; Tatum O'Neal!

A favorite memory of that night was standing in the back with Julie and seeing my sister, Lynette being thrown out of the crowd with this crazy look of surprise on her face and her saying "Man, that was great! I'm going back in!!!" BIG SMILES!! We still talk about how that concert was probably one of the best we have ever been to. Was it because it was our first? Nyah! It was a good concert PERIOD!

Here's something for your next trivia game; Their N.American mgmt was Tommy Mottola, Champion Entertainment, later head of Sony Music Entertainment, married to Mariah Carey and currently married to Thalia

I found this 45 in a pile of records I had bought last year, forgetting all about them. Of course like the albums "Waiata" and "True Colours," it had wild, shapes and patterns covering the record with "laser etching" so when the light hit it, you'd see the design around the room. VERY COOL!!

The first is "One Step Ahead" written by Neil Finn. Yes, there are MTV videos on this, but I haven't seen any 45's playing on a turntable/stereo.

The next one is "In The Wars" written by Tim Finn which by the way, does not appear on the original album of Waiata, only on the Bside. But you will find it on the 2006 re-release, track 12.

Now I realize that these two songs would sound "way better" on a premium sound system, but when I was a kid and when you were a kid, didn't you have to play your favorite 45's on your mom and dad's old stereo or record player that was probably made in the 1960s? THAT SOUND in and of itself, brings back the memories!

And that is why there is "Spin That 45" for those who have their 45's and still listen to them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mornin' by Rene & Rene

Rene & Rene or aka René Y René are a band from South Texas but growing up with their music I had thought they were an East L.A. band.

With their soft ranchera sound, their songs were a staple with los pachucos with their rucas in one arm and the other hanging, stationary to their side, swaying to songs such as "Lo Mucho que Te Quiero (The More I Love You)," and "Mienteme."

I have memories of my mom singing Mienteme with that look in her eyes thinking about the love of her life. It brings chills just thinking about it now.

To me, I find it sad that René Y René are listed as a "One Hit Wonder" because they definitely were not a one hit wonder.
With their flexibility in playing any style, they proved they could not only write beautiful love songs, but songs to dance to like "Angelito" where a soft "cha cha cha" would be inorder.
Can you say "la fiesta con la familia y amigos todos!!?"

Although René Ornelas y René Herrera were not brothers, there is a duo who make me feel like I am listening to René Y René. They are The Gutierrez Brothers and they are brothers. Check em out!

In this song I'm posting, "Mornin' " you can't help but think of "Gerry & the Pacemakers" meets "Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass." Close your eyes and you just might be taken back to a movie interlude where two lovers in this 60's movie are walking through a meadow of tall grass. She's wearing a yellow dress with white daisies and he's handing her a bouquet of "forget-me-nots." While the soundtrack plays, they gaze into one another's eyes as she holds the flowers close to her face and breaks out into a child-like smile and laugh. So 60's!!!

Enjoy the song!!!