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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Live OMD recording from the vaults on the way

OMD is the next artist celebrated in Rainman Records' "British Live Performance Series" from the vaults.

Set for release Aug. 26, the show captures the UK synth-pop band on the rise. Recorded in July 1980 for "Rockstage," a series of TV showcases hosted by the Nottingham Theatre Royal, the band shared the stage with the likes of new wavers Joe Jackson and Squeeze to metal heavyweights Motorhead.

OMD formed in 1978 by Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass) and Paul Humphreys (keyboards, vocals) and quickly established themselves on the burgeoning electronic music scene. Gary Numan invited them out on an early tour, and they became an acclaimed live act. OMD would release 12 studio albums and sell over 40 million copies worldwide, with artists such as Depeche Mode and Human League citing them as influences.

OMD continue to make new music, including their latest album, 2013's English Electric. The band recently wrapped a U.S. tour with Howard Jones and Barenaked Ladies.

Track listing:

1. Messages
2. Mystereality
3. Bunker Soldiers
4. Motion & Heart
5. Red Frame/White Light
6. Enola Gay
7. Electricity


Previous titles in Rainman Records' in-progress "British Live Performance Series" have included: Glen Campbell; Rick Wakeman; Belinda Carlisle; Joe Jackson; Uriah Heep; The Buzzcocks; Ten Years After; Asia; Average White Band. More TBA.

http://rainmanrecords.com
http://www.omd.uk.com/

Pansy Division ready to stir things up again

photo: Martin Meyers
Pansy Division are back to celebrate their 25th Anniversary with ninth studio album Quite Contrary, out Sept. 9 on Alternative Tentacles.

The queercore band's bluntness and humor stood out amidst the 1990s alterna-rock scene, paving a road of acceptance and empowering the political climate.

These new tracks on Quite Contrary feature the group’s signature tongue-in-cheek lyrics and infectious melodies woven with profound and topical discussions.

"Love Came Along” is a brutally truthful song about love and lust. Revered in the punk community for challenging gay rights issues, “Blame The Bible” is strapped with a catchy melody and politically pungent lyrics pointed at the current presidential election.

Pansy Division was founded in San Francisco in 1991 by guitarist/singer Jon Ginoli who is joined by bassist/singer Chris Freeman, guitarist/singer Joel Reader and drummer Luis Illades.

Not only did their music and stance defy stereotypic norms of rock musicians being openly gay, they also broke gay cultural stereotypes that rock wouldn't interest gay people. Formed with the intent of forming a gay rock band, Pansy Division was the first group to be so open about their sexuality.

Beginning in 1993, they put out an album a year for six years on Lookout Records. Their music caught the attention of former Lookout labelmates Green Day, who took Pansy Division on tour for a couple of months in 1994 at the height of the mania surrounding their breakthrough album Dookie.

2009 saw the release of the band’s last album That’s So Gay, which was raucous and raunchy as ever, a documentary film about the band, Pansy Division: Life In A Gay Rock Band, which played numerous film festivals worldwide, and Jon’s memoir Deflowered: My Life In Pansy Division, of his stories and experiences in the band.

Tour dates:

9/20: Somerville, MA @ ONCE Ballroom
9/21: Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
9/22: Washington, DC @ Hill Country Live DC
9/23: Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
9/24: Brooklyn, NY @ Sunnyvale
11/4: San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
11/5: Long Beach, CA @ Alex’s Bar
11/6: Palm Springs, CA @ Pride Festival
11/9: Seattle, WA @ Funhouse
11/10: Portland, OR @ Dante’s
11/11: San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
11/12: Los Angeles, CA @ Viper Room


Track listing:

1. He’s Trouble
2. Love Came Along
3. You’re On The Phone
4. Kiss Me At Midnight (New Year’s Eve)
5. Halfway To Nowhere
6. Work On It, Babe
7. I’m The Friend
8. Blame The Bible
9. Mistakes
10. It’s A Sin
11. My Heart Aches For You
12. (Is This What It’s Like) Getting Old
13. Too Much To Ask
14. Something Beautiful


Pre-order Quite Contrary

Thomas Dolby's memoir due this fall

I'm really looking forward to reading this book, having interviewed Dolby in the past. Read more from the press release announcement...

Walking home after being fired from his job at a grocery store, 16-year-old Thomas Dolby stumbled upon an abandoned musical synthesizer, a Transcendent 2000, lying in a dumpster.

Few would have realized that this small discovery would lead to a career performing alongside David Bowie, pitching song lyrics to Michael Jackson, or helping create the iconic Nokia cellphone ringtone.

Dolby lived among legends and eventually became one himself, breaking down walls in the music world with hits like “She Blinded Me With Science,” and then doing the same during the technology revolution in Silicon Valley when he helped introduce sound to the Internet.

In his forthcoming autobiography, The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology (Flatiron Books; on sale October 11, 2016; $27.99), Thomas Dolby recounts a remarkable career of ups and downs, glamour and corruption, music and tech, and the eventual melding of them all into perfect harmony.

According to Dolby, "I've always been a tinkerer. Never happier than when I'm scratching around without a clue, whether it's programming a MiniMoog or filing for a $90M IPO. Now that most of the characters in my life story are either dead or in jail, I felt it's time to spill the beans."

After spending sleepless nights tweaking and restoring his newfound synthesizer back to life, Thomas Dolby left school to pursue his musical passions. This seemed to many of his friends and family — three generations of Cambridge University professors —like a fever dream.

But Dolby was determined and by 1982 he had become a household name with his hits (and accompanying self-directed music videos), “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Hyperactive.” Attempting to duplicate his early successes, and after being left by his record label to fend for himself, Dolby funded a tour for his second album that failed miserably. But his reputation had spread throughout the entertainment industry and he was tapped to work with icons like David Bowie, George Clinton, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, and to write the songs for George Lucas’ cult classic, Howard the Duck.

However, by the early ’90s, Dolby had grown tired of the music industry with its ubiquitous corruption, back door dealings, and sleazy executives. He uprooted his family and moved to the Bay Area where, seeing the inadequacies of music software, he saw an opportunity to make his mark on the industry. With the rise of the Internet, he recognized that websites were missing a crucial element — sound.

Through his startup company, Beatnik, Dolby helped pioneer audio in the earliest versions of virtual reality and convinced companies like Yahoo and Netscape that adding musical elements to their websites could draw in more visitors. Yet, once again faced with the reality of a corrupt and soul-crushing industry, and losing sight of his earliest visions for Beatnik, Dolby resigned from the company he founded. Seeing yet another opportunity, he decided to pursue the emerging world of mobile uses for music, with astonishing success: Beatnik’s technology was eventually licensed and embedded into more than two billion wireless devices, and our cell phones haven’t sounded the same since.

Thomas Dolby has spent his career at the intersection of music and technology. He was an early star on MTV, and then moved to Silicon Valley, where he has an extraordinary career as an entrepreneur. He has been named Johns Hopkins University’s first Homewood Professor of the Arts, where he will help create a new center that will serve as an incubator for technology in the arts.

Melding the world of rock and roll with the high-energy and high-stake technology boom of the 1990s, The Speed of Sound is the sensational story of a man who stood at the vanguard of it all. From early appearances on MTV to tough negotiations with the biggest names in Silicon Valley, Dolby’s memoir takes readers through the voracious devotion of one man and his insatiable passion for music.

D Generation reunites for album, tour

D Generation will return after a 17-year recording absence with its fourth studio album, Nothing Is Anywhere, via Bastard Basement Records on July 29.

The New York City garage rockers' hometown album release show is July 30 at Irving Plaza, followed by a west coast tour in August. All tickets can be purchased here.

Produced by guitarist Danny Sage, Nothing Is Anywhere reunites the classic lineup of Jesse Malin, Sage, Howie Pyro, Richard Bacchus and Michael Wildwood. It was recorded in a basement under Avenue A "fast, loud, and on our own terms," as Malin says.

He and Sage wrote most of the lyrics together, and while they often reflect on scenes and characters from their past, it's never with nostalgia. D Generation isn't out to romanticize their history or their city; they're here for the same reasons they started the band in the first place.

"We originally got together as a reaction to everything that was sick and empty out in the world," says Malin. "We thought we were pissed off in the '90s, but now it's worse then ever."

Adds Sage, “we made it through everything,” adds Sage, who’s been playing music with Malin from the age of 13. “We’re still fucking here.”

Check out the video to "Militant" here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-DAwElzW-I&feature=youtu.be

Tour dates:

July 28 Philadelphia @ Johnny Brenda’s
July 30 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
Aug 24 San Diego @ Soda Bar
Aug 25 Los Angeles @ The Roxy
Aug 27 Las Vegas @ Beauty Bar
Aug 28 San Francisco @ Rickshaw Stop
Aug 30 Portland @ Doug Fir Lounge
Aug 31 Seattle @ Barboza

Monday, July 25, 2016

Concert review: Phillip Phillips, Matt Nathanson, A Great Big World in Costa Mesa, Calif.

photo: Kelly Swift
Phillip Phillips was totally charged up the minute he arrived onstage – arms raised high – in Costa Mesa. That energy level rarely diminished during an often intense hour-long set that split the difference between his two albums.

Among the more successful “American Idol” winners, the Georgia singer/guitarist made his first appearance at the Pacific Amphitheatre on Friday night. Casually surveying the crowd’s wide demographic (small children to elderly), it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume many people were drawn by the television show instead of just sauntering in from the OC Fair.

Opening with an edgier than usual “Man on the Moon,” Phillips gave a quick nod to Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Give it Away” and his exceptional five-piece band pulled out all the stops. An effusive “Raging Fire” soared, particularly from Joel Behrman’s sharp horn blasts.

Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” provided guitarist Nate Mercereau an opportunity to take a solo spotlight (more would come). Phillips previewed his third studio release, due later this year, with two promising tunes. “Don’t Tell Me” boasted a slinky groove, while the soulful sensuality of “Magnetic” saw the singer’s upper register get a good workout.

“This is about loving someone so much it hurts,” explained Phillips, before the spirited “Gone Gone Gone.” A haunting “Thicket” was driven by his rapid acoustic guitar picking; Behrman added some Dixieland flair and the guys went into jam mode.

Still having a blast, they gave the stirring five-million selling hit single “Home” a fresh New Orleans-styled sheen and finished with a wicked “Fly.”

photo: Kelly Swift
Matt Nathanson has toured and recorded since the mid-1990s, tallying nine Top 40 radio singles on Billboard’s Adult Pop chart (and country crossover duet “Run” with Sugarland). 2015’s impressive “Show Me Your Fangs” featured the should’ve-been-mega-hit “Gold in the Summertime,” where he sings about listening to “Prince on the radio.”

In O.C., Nathanson opened with said jubilant tune. Later, the folk/rocker talked about being blown away after seeing Prince live a month before his passing and then paid tribute to The Purple One with a fun and feisty cover of “Raspberry Beret.”

Humor played in big role during Nathanson’s 60-minute set. He easily won over the audience with directed singalongs and keen observances about them – from a kid wearing a poop emoji hat and an older man vigorously chewing gum to a concertgoer holding up a rubber chicken.

“This is about falling in love with someone across the checkout aisle” is how Nathanson described whimsical “Kinks Shirt.” Due to younger ears around, he gave the passionate “Run” a PG-type intro and turned his head while singing sexual lyrics on an upbeat cover of James’ “Laid.” On the inspiring “Giants,” Nathanson reminded people they were capable of “love, empathy and listening.” Following some Whitesnake and Journey snippets, the band’s stripped-down “Suspended” (off 2003’s “Beneath These Fireworks”) came across well.

Accompanied by just keyboards, Nathanson recalled Bono on stark, heartfelt ballad “Bill Murray,” which was inspired by a dream of hanging out with the actor. Then the poppy “Headphones” included a foray into the terrace section. Finally, the yearning hit “Come On, Get Higher” found the performer swinging his hips to the music, doing an amazing sustained falsetto and segueing into “You’re the One That I Want” from “Grease,” complete with audience participation.

photo: Kelly Swift
First up this evening was A Great Big World, whose 25-minute set for early arrivals was solid from start to finish. The young Grammy-winning pop duo from New York City packed plenty of harmonies into the peppy “Kaleidoscope” and infectious, life affirming “I Really Want It.” Ian Axel pounded electric piano like a young Elton John throughout.

His co-lead vocalist Chad King was simply riveting on an emotional “Won’t Stop Running,” the lyrics stemming from a doctor incorrectly predicting totally paralysis from Multiple Sclerosis nine years ago. Axel excelled with his own dose of drama on big hit “Say Something,” performed alone.

The band’s enthusiastic cover of The Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” featured King on trumpet and got a loud response. Affecting top 20 adult pop hit “Hold Each Other” concluded the set as each singer adeptly handled Futuristic’s original rap and sang about their respective female and male partners.

Can’t wait to see them live again.

My review originally appeared at ocregister.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Concert review: Psychedelic Furs, The Church, The Fixx in Costa Mesa, Calif.

photo: Bill Alkofer/OC Register
Watching live music is a good way to take your mind off all the violence and political turmoil around the world lately. That point was driven home by Cy Curnin during the Fixx’s tight O.C. performance.

Sunday night, many concertgoers at the Pacific Amphitheatre partied heartily and relived old school days while listening to classic alt-rock tunes from the ’80s and early ’90s. Former KROQ (and current Sirius XM/JACK FM) DJ Richard Blade made the pre-show proceedings equally fun.

David Bowie’s “Warszawa” served as haunting entrance music for Psych Furs’ 70-minute headlining set, which started with a frantic “India” – the first cut from the group’s 1980 self-titled debut LP. A muddled sound mix left Mars Williams’ squawking sax and Rich Good’s careening guitar work practically inaudible.

Affable singer Richard Butler (pictured above) took awhile to warm up, so his gargling glass-styled lower range was more abrasive than usual. “President Gas” – originally a subtle swipe at Ronald Reagan – felt totally relevant amid a highly divisive election year. Here though, its power was diluted while the kinks were still being ironed out.

The bespectacled Butler, 60, was a bundle of energy: he moved all across the stage, did his trademark spinning in a circle move (especially during a billowy “Heaven”) a few times, shook fans’ hands, playfully leaned on fellow musicians and pogo-ed until the drummer counted songs in.

photo: Bill Alkofer/OC Register
A sublime “Like a Stranger” saw Williams skillfully move between sax and French horn. It was an early standout. The same held true for another “Mirror Moves” album selection, “The Ghost in You.” Butler clutched a rose as his dramatic vocals and Amanda Kramer’s airy synths simultaneously soared.

Gloriously melodic ballad “Angels Don’t Cry” (featuring yet another fierce Williams solo) and the jaunty “Heartbreak Beat” got fans excited. For the encores, the gently churning “Until She Comes” received a surprisingly subdued response, considering the song topped the modern rock radio chart in ’91. The energy level rose considerably for spirited finale “Pretty in Pink.”

Since the Church has been playing its latest album “Further Deeper” and 1982’s “The Blurred Crusade” while on tour, I thought a jangly single from the latter was a shoo-in for Costa Mesa.

photo: Bill Alkofer/OC Register
Instead, the Aussie band opted for the album’s intense epic “You Took.” Their 45-minute allotment encompassed half a dozen expansive selections. On rocking opener “Tantalized,” Peter Koppes and Ian Haug tore through some freak-out guitar work.

For the American hits “Metropolis, frontman Steve Kilbey did a few leg kicks and often played bass low to the ground. The crowd stood to sing along with mild-mannered Kilbey’s wispy vocals amid “Under the Milky Way, while a scintillating “Reptile” saw former Powderfinger member Haug do some mightily impressive fretwork.

The Fixx – the only act on the bill with its classic lineup intact – launched an economical, far-too-brief half hour performance with a spacey “Red Skies” and sounded better than ever. Curnin, possibly referencing the Louisiana police shooting earlier that morning, was a reassuring presence. He said, “In here, we have no problems” before a striking “Are We Ourselves?”

photo: Bill Alkofer/OC Register
Afterward, Curnin prefaced the slinky “Secret Separation” by noting that “we could all really use the love right now. Keep the faith. You know you can” and did a bird-flying-away gesture (which reminded me of something Simon Le Bon also does onstage during "Ordinary World") at the conclusion.

Standouts included the icy new wave drama of “Stand or Fall,” a clanking “One Thing Leads to Another” and “Deeper & Deeper” (both propelled by Jamie West-Oram’s grooving guitar sounds).

Upcoming shows:
Psychedelic Furs
7/21 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 
7/22 Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA (with The Church)
7/23 UC Theatre, Berkeley, CA (with The Church)
The Fixx
8/14 Embarcadero Marina Park, San Diego, CA (with The B-52's)
8/16 The Roxy, West Hollywood, CA

My review originally appeared at ocregister.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Three Dog Night concert review: Costa Mesa, Calif.

photo by Bill Alkofer/OC Register
Three Dog Night is a familiar sight at the Pacific Amphitheatre during the OC Fair, having performed there several times since the late 2000s. But Thursday night’s solid 85-minute concert proved quite different. This pre-fair show was the classic rock band’s first symphonic one at the venue and modelled after 2002 album “With the London Symphony Orchestra,” released in conjunction with its 35th anniversary.

The lineup now features keyboardist Eddie Reasoner and co-lead vocalist David Morgan. Both joined last year when Cory Wells and Jimmy Greenspoon died. Alongside lone founding member/lead singer Danny Hutton, guitarist Michael Allsup (a mainstay since 1968), bassist Paul Kingery (in service since the ’80s), plus drummer Pat Bautz – the group did a bang up job in Costa Mesa.

Following Pacific Symphony’s introductory “Overture,” containing motifs from past Three Dog Night hits, a breezy “Family of Man” launched the proceedings. Before a seamless “Black and White,” Hutton (a congenial host throughout) asked the older-skewing crowd, “Are you ready to go back to the early ’70s? I don’t remember much about it.” Added classical backing during the No. 1 single (on which Hutton originally sang lead) provided a more elegant flair. Appropriately enough, I spotted young women, flowers-in-hair, sporting ’60s-styled dresses and sunglasses, not unlike ones seen at Coachella.

Morgan’s gritty, Stephen Stills-styled vocals on the acoustic guitar-driven “Never Been to Spain” and Allsup’s multiple guitar solos fared well, as did the energetic full-bodied harmonies of “Shambala.” Hutton dedicated the idyllic Paul Williams penned “Out in the Country” to “nature lovers who like to hike and fish.”

“Easy to Be Hard” – a top 10 hit in 1969 from the Broadway musical “Hair” – saw Hutton savor some vocal one-upmanship with Morgan during the tranquil-to-dramatic buildup. Then Kingery displayed his own impressive soulful grit on Allen Toussaint’s rollicking “Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues).” It received a loud response.

Three Dog Night exited the stage as the symphony did an interlude, but quickly returned for Harry Nilsson’s “One” just a few minutes later. Here, Kingery really excelled on vocals. Scattered fans danced while the string section beefed up the drama. Hutton recalled Joe Cocker with his sandpaper delivery on the romantic “Let Me Serenade You,” while the spirited group harmonies amid “Old Fashioned Love Song” made it a standout.

Before doing playful John Hiatt tune “Sure as I’m Sittin’ Here,” Morgan talked about aging and living life to the fullest. Hutton also shared a lengthy story revolving around the good old ’60s days living in star studded Laurel Canyon. Then the band’s intensely psychedelic rock take on Russ Ballard’s “Liar” showed there were no signs of rust from these veterans. More concertgoers stood up to dance when Bautz took over the whimsical lead vocals during Randy Newman’s “Mama Told Me (Not to Come).” The refrain on “Celebrate” was definitely adhered to by fans.

Then sheet music stands were brought out for a riveting encore of “Prayer for the Children,” done a cappella style. The emotional 2009 Three Dog Night single was reminiscent of CSN and worth the price of admission alone. Finally, “Joy to the World” was a jubilant singalong.

My review originally appeared at ocregister.com

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Skinny Lister battle a musical 'Devil'

photo: Claus Morgenstern
I saw this band for the first time last year while opening for Frank Turner at House of Blues Anaheim and was impressed. Read about the latest news from a press release below...

UK six-piece Skinny Lister announce their third studio album titled The Devil, The Heart & The Fight, which will be released by the London-based independent label Xtra Mile Recordings (Frank Turner, Against Me!).

With lead single, ‘Wanted’ – a fiery Elvis-gone-folk roar of an opener that sees frontman Dan Heptinstall saluting London, New York and Cairo in a song about “looking for life in the cities we’d visit” – The Devil, The Heart & The Fight comes out fists first. Check out the video for ‘Wanted’ HERE.

If their folk debut album (Forge & Flagon, 2012) celebrated the sticks and their punkier second (Down On Deptford Broadway, 2015) blinked in the bright lights of London; their rocked-up third, The Devil, The Heart & The Fight sees Skinny Lister going global.


Pieced together while on the road, and recorded over five weeks in Newcastle Under Lyme’s Silk Mill Studio in May 2016 with producer Tristan Ivemy (Frank Turner, The Holloways), it is Skinny Lister’s most far-reaching, exciting and accomplished album yet. It’s a full-on rock record that splashes even more punk vigour and eighties pop elements across their fervent folk canvas, taking in hints of Adam Ant and The Clash.

It also brings the folk storytelling tradition bang up to date with its brutally honest and close to the knuckle lyrics of real-life stories (‘Geordie Lad’, ‘Charlie’) and on-the-road mayhem, the Pogue-ish ‘Hamburg Drunk’

A mature, vibrant and varied record, it mingles classic Skinny folk romances (‘Grace’, ‘Reunion’) with epic rock takes on rafter-rattling shanties (‘Beat It From The Chest’) and hearty Dexys-style tributes to the fans they meet on the road (‘Fair Winds & Following Seas’), plus a hitherto unseen darker side. Take the deceptively upbeat ‘Injuries’, Dan’s ode on the bruising nature of life, or ‘Devil In Me’, in which Lorna comes on like a particularly melodic Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction: “the devil in me will come for you and you’ll pay the price for not being very nice… you took my life, I’m taking yours, that seems to me a fair trade”.


The Devil, The Heart & The Fight is like Skinny’s previous albums gone backpacking; expanding its horizons, full of adventure, discovering itself and doing things it regrets in the morning. Have heart, ye devils, join the fight.

With the exception of the five weeks recording the album, Skinny Lister have spent the last 18 months on the road touring across the UK, Europe and North America to ever-increasing crowds, often supporting label mate Frank Turner on his arena tours or headlining their own sold out shows across America. 


Tour dates:

November

03 - CHICAGO, IL - Lincoln Hall + Schubas
04 - CLEVELAND, OH - Grog Shop
05 - PONTIAC, MI - The Pike Room
06 - PITTSBURGH, PA - Stage AE (Club)
07 - BOSTON, MA - Middle East Downstairs
09 - NEW YORK, NY - Webster Hall
10 - PHILADELPHIA, PA - The Foundry at the Fillmore Philadelphia
11 - WASHINGTON DC - Rock And Roll Hotel
12 - CHARLOTTE, NC - The Evening Muse
13 - ATLANTA, GA - The Masquerade
15 - NASHVILLE, TN - The Basement East
16 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Outland Bar
17 - KANSAS CITY, MO - The Riot Room
18 - DENVER, CO - The Bluebird Theater
19 - SALT LAKE CITY, UT - The State Room
20 - BOISE, ID - Neurolux
22 - SEATTLE, WA - Barboza
23 - PORTLAND, OR - Star Theater Portland
25 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Bottom of the Hill
27 - SAN DIEGO, CA - Soda Bar
28 - PHOENIX, AZ - The Rebel Lounge
30 - DALLAS, TX - Three Links - Deep Ellum, TX

December

01 - AUSTIN, TX - Stubb's Jr.
02 - HOUSTON, TX - The Secret Group
04 - NEW ORLEANS, LA - House of Blues New Orleans

Track listing:
 

01. Wanted
02. Geordie Lad
03. Tragedy In A Minor
04. Devil In Me
05. Injuries
06. Reunion
07. Beat It From The Chest
08. Hamburg Drunk
09. Grace
10. Charlie
11. Fair Winds & Following Seas
12. Carry

Toad The Wet Sprocket’s Phillips finally sets new solo release

Singer/songwriter Glen Phillips celebrates several milestones this year: the 25th anniversary Toad The Wet Sprocket’s seminal album "fear" and his fourth solo album (and first in a decade) with "Swallowed By The New," available Oct. 7.

Recorded in May 2015 with producer/bass player Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann, Lucinda Williams) and a small backing band, "Swallowed By The New" takes on life’s difficult transitions and delivers some of his most poignant and candid songs ever written.

“I wrote these songs in the difficult first year of [my] divorce process,” explains Glen. “I’m realizing now that everything was done from a place of love. In a period of transition we can feel injured, or use it as an opportunity to change and grow. These songs were the tools I used to get through that period. It’s a lesson I’m still trying to learn.”

"Amnesty," the first single, examines the long journey one takes searching for understanding and a safe harbor. “Home feels a million miles tonight/Hope feels a little hard to find/We're all stumbling towards the light /And we beg to be released/Would you offer amnesty?”

Although the subject matter can be somber, there’s a hopeful look to the future and reassuring tone as Glen describes a husband packing his belongings to begin anew in “Leaving Oldtown”: “I'm leaving Oldtown/With no direction, learning how to be alone/Learning how to stand on my own two feet/I’m getting good now”

“Now that a year has passed, I’m looking back, grateful for the opportunity to start again,” he refelcts. “With children growing up and leaving home, and my marriage dissolving, a chapter of my life was coming to a close. Difficult transitions are challenging, but ultimately rewarding.”

Glen Phillips will tour with summer with Toad The Wet Sprocket before embarking a solo, acoustic tour this fall.

Tour dates:


9/17 Pasadena, CA @ Levitt Pavilion
10/12 Austin, TX @ One World Theatre
10/13 The Woodlands, TX @ Dosey Doe Big Barn
10/15 Dallas, TX @ Kessler Theater w/ Lori McKenna
10/16 San Antonio, TX @ The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
10/27 Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe
10/28 Carlsbad, CA @ Museum of Making Music
11/2 Santa Barbara, CA @Soho Restaurant
11/3 Berkeley, CA @ Freight & Salvage
11/4 Felton, CA @ Don Quixote’s
11/5 Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
11/6 Novato, CA @ Hopmonk Tavern
11/9 Portland, OR @ The Alberta Rose Theatre
11/10-11 Seattle, WA @ Columbia City Theater
11/12 Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett
11/13 Boise, ID @ The Sapphire Room @ Riverside Hotel
11/15 Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room
11/19 Denver, CO @ Daniels Hall @ Swallow Hill Music
2/15-2/19 Tampa, FL @ Train’s Sail Across The Sun

Brian Wilson, M. Ward concert review: Hollywood, Calif.

photo by K. Gong/OC Register
Breathtaking moments were plentiful during Brian Wilson’s final Southern California performance of “Pet Sounds” and more on Sunday night.

They mostly revolved around the landmark 1966 Beach Boys album’s intricate arrangements and multi-part harmonies, which were expertly reproduced live. That was no easy task, considering the “Pet Sounds” creative approach was partially modeled after Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound recording technique.

Many musicians onstage at the Hollywood Bowl already knew the material intimately, having been around when Wilson first started doing the entire LP live in the early 2000s and then occasionally amid subsequent tours. Somehow, I always missed those special local shows and greatly anticipated the chance to finally witness it in person.

The current worldwide jaunt celebrates the album’s 50th Anniversary.

Capitol Records just put out a commemorative multi-disc box set featuring previously unreleased live recordings, outtakes, alternative versions, a hardback book and other assorted bells and whistles.

Since its inception, “Pet Sounds” has influenced various musicians, ranging from Paul McCartney (he has said the sonic experimentation of “Sgt. Pepper” was a direct result) to Sameer Gadhia of Irvine alt-rock band Young the Giant (who recently told Consequence of Sound that it gets “us to believe in the magic of songs and wade beyond the borders that have been set for us”).

A new legion of fans has been turned onto the classic pop music lately, thanks to a highly successful 2012 Beach Boys reunion tour including all surviving members (not to mention the underrated studio album “That’s Why God Made the Radio”). Then there was “Love & Mercy” – last year’s Golden Globe-nominated biopic on Wilson’s life starring John Cusack and Paul Dano. The most fascinating scene involved the recording of “Pet Sounds,” which Wilson later said was very accurate. This fall, a new autobiography, “I Am Brian Wilson,” hits stores.

Backed by a 12-piece band comprising former Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, Wilson was seated at a white piano toward center stage. He immediately asked how loud the “girls and boys” in the crowd could yell.

The nearly two-hour, sold out show opened with wordless hymn “Our Prayer,” which blended into the upbeat, carnival-like “Heroes and Villains.” A few seconds into a high energy “California Girls,” the audience went wild. Despite a well-publicized history of health issues, Wilson, 74, was mostly lucid, adequate vocally and sporadically played his instrument.

Much of the heavy lifting though came from Al’s son Matt (whose heavenly falsetto is a dead ringer for the late Carl Wilson) and the other younger musicians. “I Get Around” instantly had some people dancing; the harmonies on “Hushabye,” were truly sublime.

Brian Wilson’s song introductions were filled with adolescent wonder. “Don’t Worry Baby” was an early concert highlight. Al Jardine, 73, held his own on self-penned country-tinged shuffle “California Saga: California.” Wilson’s subtle “One Kind of Love” ode to wife Melinda came across nicely; unfortunately, it was the lone selection representing 2015 solo effort “No Pier Pressure” (it’s also on the “Love & Mercy” soundtrack).

Chaplin only appeared on certain songs. He briefly raised the rock quotient with stage strolling electric guitar work (reminiscent of ex-boss Keith Richards) and vocals during an intense “Wild Honey,” yet was a bit shaky for his best-known number, “Sail On, Sailor.”

Diving straight into the complete “Pet Sounds,” the band excelled throughout the original Side 1, especially the glorious “You Still Believe in Me,” an idyllic “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder),” a highly rhythmic “I’m Waiting for the Day” (kudos to exuberant player Nelson Bragg) and later, the dramatic “I Know There’s an Answer.” A standing ovation greeted the end of "God Only Knows."

Old and young fans jubilantly sang along to a strong “Good Vibrations,” which capped the main set. For the party hearty, seven-song encore, “Pet Sounds” co-lyricist Tony Asher came onstage and played tambourine awhile. Al Jardine delivered a satisfying vocal on “Help Me, Rhonda” (propelled by Paul Mertens snazzy sax work).


Several Wilson family members (including daughter Carnie) arrived to help out on “Barbara Ann.” The fun continued with “Surfin’ U.S.A.” Wilson did his usual tender piano ballad “Love and Mercy” to end the concert and inserted a line to reflect the recent nationwide tension of police custody deaths.

photo by K. Gong/OC Register
M. Ward – like Wilson, a Southern California native – opened the bowl proceedings with a solid 50-minute set backed by a band that included bassist Scott McCaughey (R.E.M., The Minus 5).

Although enticing new album “More Rain” features a cover of the Beach Boys’ “You’re So Good to Me,” he didn’t play it live (Wilson had done it previous tour stops).

Instead, the Portland-based indie folk singer/guitarist offered such new tunes as the shimmering, reverb-drenched “Confession” and swirling, synth-laden “Girl from Conejo Valley.” Each prominently spotlighted Ward’s burnished vocal purr and vigorous electric guitar style; “I Get Ideas” did too.

Zooey Deschanel, Ward's partner in She & Him, livened things up, thanks to some heavenly harmonizing and tambourine on the peppy “Magic Trick,” “Never Had Nobody Like You” and a stark take on Buddy Holly hit “Rave On” (incidentally, both guested on “No Pier Pressure”). 


Other special guests included My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst – Ward’s compatriots on 2009’s “Monsters of Folk” project. They added sprightly guitar and vocals during to the poppy “To Save Me,” the driving “Vincent O’Brien” and strident, synth-driven “Whole Lotta Losing,” where the guys all took turns singing.

Brian Wilson set list

Main set: Our Prayer / Heroes and Villains / River Deep, Mountain High (snippet) / California Girls / Dance Dance Dance / I Get Around / Hushabye / Surfer Girl / Don't Worry Baby /California Saga: California / One Kind of Love / Wild Honey / Sail On, Sailor /Pet Sounds: Wouldn't it Be Nice / You Still Believe in Me / That's Not Me / Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) / I'm Waiting for the Day / Let's Go Away for Awhile / Sloop John B. / God Only Knows / I Know There's an Answer/ Here Today /I Just Wasn't Made for These Times / Pet Sounds / Caroline No (end of Pet Sounds) / Good Vibrations / Encore: Row Row Row Your Boat (snippet) / All Summer Long / Help Me Rhonda / Barbara Ann / Surfin U.S.A. / Fun Fun Fun / Love and Mercy


My review originally appeared at ocregister.com

Saint Motel news

Elektra Records band Saint Motel has announced the release of its full-length label debut album, “saintmotelevision,” due Oct. 21.

Tim Pagnotta (Walk The Moon), Saint Motel’s AJ Jackson and others co-produced. The lead single is set for release on Aug. 12 in conjunction with the album pre-order. Further details will be announced soon. For updates, please see www.saintmotel.com.

Saint Motel will launch a tour in September. Each ticket purchase includes a digital copy of “saintmotelevision” to be delivered on album release, as well as digital delivery of all pre-release instant grat tracks. VIP pre-sales have started, with general on-sales beginning Friday, July 15 – for complete details, please log on to www.saintmotel.com/tour.

In addition to the “Ones To Watch” tour, Saint Motel has also slated summer live dates and festival appearances, including Winter Park, CO’s Divide Music Festival (July 23), Chicago, IL’s Lollapalooza (July 29), Austin, TX’s ACL Music Festival (October 1 and October 8), and New Orleans, LA’s Voodoo Music + Arts Experience (October 29).

“saintmotelevision” follows 2014 label debut EP, “My Type,” highlighted by such singles as “Cold Cold Man” and the breakthrough hit title track. “My Type” – which is also featured on Atlantic Records’ “Paper Towns Soundtrack” – was a top 5 AAA and top 10 Alternative radio hit in the US. The song has garnered over 46 million streams on Spotify and was top 40 in such European countries as Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, where it received platinum sales certification. In addition, the “My Type” companion video – directed by Saint Motel frontman AJ Jackson – has drawn more than 12 million views at the band’s official YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/saintmotelvideo.

Saint Motel came together when AJ Jackson met fellow Southern California film student Aaron Sharp, and together launched a new musical project. Bangkok-born bassist Dak Lerdamornpong and drummer Greg Erwin completed the group, which immediately attracted attention for their striking visual presentations and dynamic indie rock.

Saint Motel has spent much of the past year in the studio and on the road, including high-energy sets at festivals including Indio, CA’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, Dover, DE’s Firefly Music Festival, George, WA’s Sasquatch! Music Festival, and Manchester, TN’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. The band has also made major network TV appearances including NBC’s TODAY, CBS’ The Late Late Show with James Corden, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and TBS’ CONAN.

Saint Motel is: AJ Jackson (vocals), Aaron Sharp (guitar), Dak Lerdamornpong (bass), and Greg Erwin (drums).

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2016

JULY

16 Montauk, NY The Surf Lodge
23 Winter Park, CO The Divide Music Festival
25 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
26 Columbia, MO Rose Music Hall
27 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s
29 Chicago, IL Lollapalooza
30 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall

SEPTEMBER

15 San Diego, CA House of Blues
16 Los Angeles, CA Belasco Theater
17 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
18 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
20 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
21 Seattle, WA Neptune
23 Salt Lake City, UT Complex
26 Phoenix, AZ Crescent
27 Santa Fe, NM Meow Wolf
29 Tulsa, OK Cain’s

OCTOBER

1 Austin, TX ACL Music Festival
4 Houston, TX House of Blues
5 Dallas, TX House of Blues
7 San Antonio, TX Paper Tiger
8 Austin, TX ACL Music Festival
10 St. Louis, MO Delmar Hall
11 Lawrence, KS The Granada
13 Minneapolis, MN Varsity Theater
14 Milwaukee, WI The Rave II
16 Indianapolis, IN Deluxe
17 Cleveland, OH House of Blues
19 Boston, MA Royale
20 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
21 New York, NY Webster Hall
22 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
24 Cincinnati, OH Bogart’s
25 Nashville, TN Cannery Ballroom
27 Charlotte, NC The Underground
28 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
29 New Orleans, LA Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

www.saintmotel.com/tour

Stagecoach Festival 2017 advance sale

This concert is always one of my highlights of the year. Hope I get to cover it again...

The next edition of Stagecoach (Southern California's Country Music Festival) is set for Friday, April 28, Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30, 2017 and marks the event's 11th year at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA.

Festival passes will go on advance sale for one day only, Friday, July 15, from 9am PDT to midnight or while limited allotment lasts.

Purchasers can pay in full or use the payment plan. Festival passes can be purchased during the advance sale through stagecoachfestival.com.

The advance sale will be the only opportunity to purchase 3 day GA weekend passes at the advance sale price of $269. Corral Standing Pit passes are $999 and Corral Reserved Seating passes are $899/$1199. All taxes, domestic shipping and fees are included in listed ticket prices. Children 10 and under are free.

For complete festival information, to review reserved seating options or learn about available travel packages, please visit www.stagecoachfestival.com.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Bryan Adams concert review: Los Angeles

photo by Kyusung Gong/SoCal Newsgroup
Bryan Adams couldn’t have picked a better title for his latest studio album, “Get Up.”

The engaging effort produced by Jeff Lynne includes several quick rockers with the same trademark chugging sound as the ELO main man’s previous projects by Tom Petty, Traveling Wilburys and various ex-Beatles. La Habra native (and Paul McCartney guitarist) Rusty Anderson guests on one track.

In recent interviews, Adams has said “Get Up” could’ve easily been the successor to his 1984 career-defining LP, “Reckless.” That’s debatable, but six songs performed during a rousing, two-hour show Wednesday at the Greek Theatre definitely fit well alongside the old hits.

This past spring, the veteran Canadian pop/rocker garnered a second Ivor Novello (the prestigious U.K. songwriting award). He’s also been working on a Broadway adaptation of the film “Pretty Woman” with frequent collaborator Jim Vallance.

Before the Los Angeles show, a half-dozen people walked around the venue hawking the new CD. One concertgoer responded to a pitch by saying, “I already have Rhapsody” – an example of music streaming’s continued popularity. Reps from Al Malaikah Shrine Temple in Los Angeles sold many physical copies, though. All proceeds were earmarked for Shriners Hospitals for Children and included an after-show meet-and-greet drawing.

Following a prerecorded sitar intro, Adams and his tight four-piece band (including guitarist Keith Scott and drummer Mickey Curry, both longtime sidemen) kicked the 28-song set off with the insanely catchy new song “Do What Ya Gotta Do.” Then they went into the high energy “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started.” A darkly simmering “Run to You” (whose accompanying music video placing Adams in a blizzard immediately came to mind) sent fans into a frenzy. Especially when the singer/guitarist and Scott did joint guitar lines together.

“Go Down Rockin’,” a brawny new statement of intent bolstered by prominent piano, got a good crowd response; ultimate ’80s power ballad “Heaven,” even more so. Fans sang the first verse loudly and Scott played an elegant solo. “Kids Wanna Rock” and “It’s Only Love” provided a fiery “Reckless” double shot and showed Adams can still wail with the best of them after 30-plus years.

“It’s time for a wiggle. Don’t be shy. Put your phones down,” Adams said, before the new upbeat, skiffle-influenced “You Belong to Me.” The entire Greek audience kept standing and once again sang along during “Summer of ’69,” which raised the energy level considerably. Another well-received tune was the 6½-minute version of “Everything I Do (I Do It for You),” with more crowd participation, earnest Adams vocals and Scott’s amazing, weepy guitar solo. Couples swayed right along to the romantic 1991 chart-topper.

A stretch of midtempo acoustic-based numbers caused the momentum to lag slightly. Yet the guys made up for it during the final stretch with their raucous delivery on “Cuts Like a Knife” (much like when Paul McCartney performs “Hey Jude” live, the overlong “na na na” breakdown section has become tiresome), Adams’ pseudo life mantra “18 ’Til I Die” and “The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You.”

Come encore time, the strident “Brand New Day” was a standout among all the “Get Up” material, while covers of Eddie Cochrane’s “C’mon Everybody” and Otis Blackwell’s “All Shook Up” were spirited fun. The band exited and Adams did another trio of songs acoustically; the freshly enhanced harmonica of “Straight From the Heart” fared best.

My review originally appeared at ocregister.com

Friday, July 8, 2016

Amos Lee gets into 'Spirit,' plots tour

Amos Lee announces his forthcoming full-length album and first for John Varvatos Records/Republic Records, Spirit —available Aug. 19. The digital pre-order is available  HERE, unlocking instant downloads of the title track and the first single “Vaporize.”

Listen to the new instant grant track, “Spirit”, HERE. The lead single “Vaporize” recently became the #1 most added song at Triple A Radio. Listen HERE. Check out the full album track listing below.

On Spirit, the Philadelphia singer/songwriter acted as his own producer for the first time. 

Lee embarks on a North American headline tour this fall.

Before the most recent acclaimed album, Mountains Of Sorrow, Rivers Of Song, the previous offering, Mission Bell, reached #1 on the Billboard Top 200.
 

Track listing:
 

New Love
Running Out of Time
Spirit
Lost Child
Highways and Clouds
Lightly
One Lonely Light
Wait Up For Me
Til You Come Back Through
Hurt Me
Vaporize
Walls
With You 


Tour dates: 

9/6 Burlington, VT Flynn Center for the Arts
9/7 Torrington, CT Warner Theater
9/9 Boston, MA Boston Opera House
9/10 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
9/11 Philadelphia, PA Academy of Music
9/13 Washington, D.C. Kennedy Center
9/14 Richmond, VA The National
9/16 Nashville, TN Ascend Amphitheatre
9/17 Louisville, KY Iroquois Amphitheatre
9/18 Asheville, NC Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
9/20 Charlotte, NC Ovens Auditorium
9/21 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center
9/23 Atlanta, GA Cobb Energy Center
9/24 Memphis, TN Orpheum Theater
9/26 Knoxville, TN Tennessee Theater
9/27 Saint Louis, MO The Pageant
9/28 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theater
10/26 Indianapolis, IN Old National Centre - Murat Theatre
10/28 Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre
10/29 Milwaukee, WI Riverside Theater
10/30 Minneapolis, MN Northrop Auditorium
11/1 Des Moines, IA Hoyt Sherman Theater
11/2 Salina, KS Steifel Theater for the Performing Arts
11/4 Denver, CO The Buell Theater
11/9 San Diego, CA Spreckels Theater
11/11 Los Angeles, CA The Theater at The Ace Hotel
11/15 Oakland, CA The Fox Theater
11/17 Eugene, OR McDonald Theater
11/18 Portland, OR Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
11/19 Seattle, WA Paramount Theatre

The Chills' 'Kaleidoscope World' to get first reissue

Kaleidoscope World is not just the starting point for The Chills, but an insight into the world of New Zealand guitar-pop and the ‘Dunedin Sound’ – an influence which carries on to indie-pop bands around the world today.
 
Originally released in 1986, the compilation captures the best of the magical early period recordings of The Chills and simply oozes excitement and possibility.
 
Now set for re-issue Aug. 19 via Flying Nun on deluxe 2xLP and CD set, it will feature six bonus, b-sides, demos and live tracks plus an expanded gatefold cover with photos, posters and liner notes from journalist Martin Aston.

The world’s first look at The Chills came via the 1982 Dunedin Double compilation – featuring four acts (The Chills, The Verlaines, Sneaky Feelings and The Stones) all hailed from the New Zealand city in the deep south. Recorded on a portable 4-track it was distinctly lo-fi and in tune with the DIY ethic at the heart of the burgeoning Flying Nun label.

It was a sound in part born out of geography and location, with the spaciousness and remoteness of New Zealand itself matched with the glowing songs of chief Chill - Martin Phillipps - a music savant that somehow wrangles psychedelic pop and folk, Syd Barrett and Brian Wilson, all with Phillipps’ innate ability to sound both joyous and sad within a moment.

What was initially 8 songs (later expanded to 18 and now 24) have a unique bittersweet innocence from the title track through to the happy - sad aura of “Frantic Drift” and “Rolling Moon.” And amongst all the fragile melodies mixed with a childlike wonder, is “Pink Frost” – for many The Chills’ most beloved track – an eerie, haunting track, the band’s first ‘hit,' the Flying Nun equivalent of “Love Will Tear Us Apart”.
 
Surrounded by the aura of death following a dream Phillipps’ had, it also touches on a sense of desolation and yearning for a connection to the wider world and is no better example of the marvelous songwriting ability of this band from the world's southernmost point. 

Listen to previously unreleased track, "Oncoming Day (Early Version)"
http://bit.ly/294553r

Track list:
 
1. Kaleidoscope World
2. Satin Doll
3. Frantic Drift
4. Rolling Moon
5. Bite
6. Flame Thrower
7. Pink Frost
8. Purple Girl
9. This Is The Way
10. Never Never Go
11. Don't Even Know Her Name
12. Bee Bah Bee Bah Bee Boe
13. Whole Weird World
14. Dream By Dream
15. Doledrums
16. Hidden Bay
17. I Love My Leather Jacket
18. The Great Escape
19. Oncoming Day (Early Version)
20. Dan Destiny and The Silver Dawn (Unplugged)
21. Martyns Doctor Told Me
22. I’ll Only See You Alone Again
23. Green Eyed Owl (Live)
24. Smile From A Dead Dead Face (Live)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Butch Walker tries to 'Stay Gold,' on the road soon

Grammy nominated singer/guitarist and producer Butch Walker will release his eighth studio album Stay Gold on Aug. 26 via Dangerbird Records. He has co-written tracks with acts like Frank Turner, Brian Fallon, Taylor Swift and many more. 

The new song "Descending" is a duet with Grammy nominated country singer Ashley Monroe - LISTEN HERE

Walker's last album, 2015’s Ryan Adams-produced Afraid Of Ghosts, was a cathartic record that dealt with a devastating personal experience, the passing of his father. This one’s a celebration. The stories on Stay Gold are very well fleshed out, something Butch credits to “growing up on some of those dudes - Elton John and the (Bernie) Taupin lyrics, Springsteen and Joel."


Lead single "East Coast Girl" and "Mexican Coke" were inspired by Walker's move to Los Angeles. To listen to the album's title track - CLICK HERE
 

When asked if the songs' stories are real or imagined, he replies, “All the songs are half true.” The album is now available for pre-order with "East Coast Girl" and title track "Stay Gold" as an instant grat download. In addition, Walker will embark on a North American tour, tickets on sale now.

Track list:


1) Stay Gold
2) East Coast Girl
3) Wilder In The Heart
4) Ludlow Expectations
5) Descending
6) Irish Exit
7) Mexican Coke
8) Can We Just Not Talk About Last Night
9) Spark Lost
10) Record Store

Tour dates:

8/17 - Orlando, FL @ The Social*^ - http://ticketf.ly/28lpKdn
8/18 - Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club*^ - http://ticketf.ly/1Zz3l6t
8/19 - Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom*^ - http://tktwb.tw/1Ya8cMu
8/20 - Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle*^ - http://bit.ly/1PhW4Ca
8/22 - Charleston, SC @ The Pour House*^ - http://bit.ly/25N2S4n
8/23 - Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre*^ - http://bit.ly/22QTOcX
8/24 - Washington, DC @ U-Street Music Hall*^ - http://ticketf.ly/1swq0FH
8/26 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of Living Arts*^ - http://bit.ly/1UBndkT
8/27 - Asbury Park, NJ @ House of Independence*^ - http://tktwb.tw/1rdDvJn
8/29 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza*^ - http://bit.ly/1OdMncX
9/01 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair*^ - http://bit.ly/1VN6xw1
9/02 - South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground*^ - http://ticketf.ly/22QUDlK
9/03 - Toronto, ON @ Virgin Mobile Mod Club* - http://ticketf.ly/1UBntAn
9/06 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small's*^ - http://tktwb.tw/1UAVaSP
9/07 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues*^ - http://bit.ly/1tisQ1N
9/09 - Detroit, MI @ Saint Andrews Hall^ - http://bit.ly/1UoUCzm
9/10 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues^ - http://bit.ly/1WFrydd
9/11 - Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theatre*^ - http://tktwb.tw/22Qgee5
9/13 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre*^ - http://bit.ly/1UBoY1x
9/17 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom* - http://bit.ly/1taCHWQ
9/18 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall* - http://bit.ly/28lqRd8
9/19 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues*^ - http://bit.ly/1VN7hBf
* w/ The Wind and The Wave
^ w/ Suzanne Santo

The return of Rick Astley

photo: PIP

 











Rick Astley has announced ‘50,’ his first new album in a decade and his first official US release since 1993’s ‘Body & Soul,’ will arrive Oct. 7 via BMG. It debuted at #1 on the Official Album Chart in the UK last month.

He wrote, produced and performed all of the instruments on this new 12 track collection, the title a nod to Rick’s milestone age. Rick and his band will come to the US for select intimate rare performances in August, more details to be announced soon.

The first pieces of ‘50’ appeared in early 2015, as Rick started penning new songs and structuring them in his home studio. With encouragement from old friends in the music industry he set forth on crafting this 12 song collection.

Lead single “Keep Singing” has over 2 million views on YouTube.

Says Rick: “‘50’ marks both a new chapter in my journey as an artist, and a return to the music I first fell in love with. I could not be more excited to share it with my fans, and take these songs, that have been years in the making, out of the studio and onto the stage.”

With over 40 million records sold and several hits, Astley remains one of the most successful solo artists to have emerged from the United Kingdom, holding the distinction of being the first male solo artist to see his first eight singles reach the UK Top Ten.

Born in Lancashire, Rick was just 21 years old when “Never Gonna Give You Up” became the major hit of 1987. The single reached No. 1 in 16 countries and propelled his debut album ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’ to worldwide sales of 15 million. Rick returned with new work in the early 2000s and began touring again to acclaim and sold-out shows across the globe.

Two music videos for songs from the new album have been revealed...
“Keep Singing”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC3Ejf7vPEY  
“Angels On My Side”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc91EfoBh8A

Pre-Order 50 on iTunes and Get “Keep Singing” and “Angels On My Side” now: http://smarturl.it/RA50IT

Track list:

1. Keep Singing
2. Angels On My Side
3. Wish Away
4. This Old House
5. Pieces
6. God Says
7. I Like The Sun
8. Somebody Love Me
9. Let It Rain
10. Pray With Me
11. Coming Home Tonight
12. Let it Be Tonight

http://www.rickastley.co.uk/