Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kraftwerk Box Set in German!!!

Amazing but true. Fed up with hearing Kraftwerk singing their classics in English?

Interestingly, you can order their new digitally remastered Box set of albums on CD from - with Kraftwerk singing in their native German tongue? It's entitled "Kraftwerk - Der Katalog."

Why order the English edition from when you can order the real thing, the way the band was meant to be heard - in German.

Click here to order the German box set of reissues and forever hold your DAF record collection.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Europe Back On The Map With Stunning New Album

Sweden's hard rock band, Europe, best known for their 1986 global anthem 'The Final Countdown', have returned with an exhilarating new hard rock album that radiates an energetic blues rock and swagger.

Fans of Deep Purple, Journey, Bon Jovi, Van Halen - run for cover, because believe it or not, this could be the rock and roll album of the year.

Entitled 'Last Look At Eden', the album rips up vintage blues, R&B, hard rock, 70's funkin' rock grooves and merges it together with pounding drums and John Norum's signature guitar riffs.

Vocally, lead singer Joey Tempest exudes masterful tones and a conviction not heard since Robert Planet yelped his hear out with Led Zeppelin. Although the title track 'Last Look At Eden' is a majestic sexy rocker, with the lyric - "I've seen the truth, modified for you... and we just can't buy it," it's the power ballad, 'New Love In Town', that puts Europe back on the map.

'New Love' is a classic power ballad of the highest order. It reminds me of Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin' which has become something of a modern day anthem (thanks to the exposure the song had on the final episode of The Sopranos). 'New Love' is the kind of song Aerosmith and Bon Jovi would kill for. If rock and roll is supposed to be everlasting, this is the song to make it a reality. It’s Europe’s one way ticket to salvation.

With an imminent UK tour in February on the cards, and a whole new generation of hard rock fans looking for a classy return, Europe looks like they around going to be around for another 12 rounds of pure rock and roll mayhem.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Award-Winning SXSW winners "The Black and White Years" to open for KanYe West and Basement Jaxx at London's Wireless Festival

Austin indie electro dance rockers, The Black and White Years, will make their debut performance in London at the Wireless Festival in Hyde Park. The band is scheduled to play both dates of the two-day festival with headliners Basement Jaxx on July 4th and KanYe West on July 5th.

The Black and White Years were the standout band at 2009's South by Southwest with four outstanding showcases including a performance with Devo, Tricky and Datarock; plus a relentless week that kicked off by winning five major awards at the 27th Annual Austin Music Awards, the ceremony which marks the beginning of the SXSW Music Festival.

When revealing the band's achievement to the capacity audience at the Austin Music Hall, acclaimed journalist and Austin DJ, Andy Langer, who hosted the Austin Music Awards, announced, "The Black and White Years are tonight's big winners with five awards... a SWEEP!"

The Austin, Texas four-piece were presented with SXSW trophies for Best New Band and Best Song for their single, Power to Change, Best Performing Band - Rock and Best Bass Player (John Aldridge). In addition, Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads, Modern Lovers) won the award for Best Producer of the Year for his work on The Black And White Years' eponymous debut album.
Jerry Harrison first saw The Black And White Years' live performance in a parking lot amongst a handful of people during SXSW 2007 and was immediately taken by the quirky arrangements and lyrical themes. Soon after, Harrison produced the band's debut album in Sausalito Sound Studios.

The single, "Power to Change," became a hit song in Austin after the city's key rock station, KROX-FM, added it into full-time rotation after nearly a year of airplay on their weekly new music program, Next Big Thing. The song became one of the station's most requested favorites, while garnering airplay in other U.S. markets, most notably, Albany, were it spent four weeks at #1 on WEQX.

The band has become a fixture in Austin's legendary club scene via its high-energy sets that are true to the "electro-dance-rock" label that has often been used to describe them and the "wild-eyed, compulsive shuddering" performance of lead singer and writer, Scott Butler. The band has also taken this live experience out of the clubs and to the masses, performing at Austin City Limits Music Festival, CMJ Music Marathon, MIDEM, and now, London's Wireless Festival in July.

The album, The Black and White Years, was released nationally in the U.S. in September 2008 through ADA/Adrenaline after gaining momentum over the year as an "Austin-only" release on the Texas-based independent label, Brando Records.

The album is available in the UK on iTunes. A UK edition of their debut album, featuring five brand new tracks, will be released throughout the UK and the rest of Europe in early 2010. Meanwhile, the band is currently recording its second album and planning their first American tour in September.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Todd Rundgren revisits his psychedelic masterpiece: A Wizard, A True Star

It was inevitable. Brian Wilson started the trend a few years ago when he performed the album "Smile" for the very first time. Recently, Van Morrison performed the entirety of "Astral Weeks" to rave reviews, as did Lou Reed with the "Berlin" album last year and the year before that.

So it was only a matter of time until the enigmatic pop raconteur, Todd Rundgren, re-visited his 1973 psychedelic masterpiece "A Wizard, A True Star", and decided to perform its British Premiere at the London HMV Hammersmith Apollo on 6th February 2010.

This is the album that literally defied the law of gravity when it was initially released on an unsuspecting public. The album clocked in almost an hour's worth of running time, and back in those days, vinyl albums, on average, lasted 35 minutes.

But forget about the running time shenanigans, think about the music.

It was insane but melodic, pretty but subversive, poptastic but bombastic, sexy but banal, exciting and futuristic, progressive and intuitive.

At the time, Rundgren encapsulated everything glam rock and prog rock, pop and soul couldn't fathom - a reason to live, and a reason to believe.

From the Technicolor "Zen Archer" to "You Need Your Head", "You Don't Have to Camp Around", "Just One Victory", "Just Another Onionhead", "Never, Never Land" to the essential "International Feel" ("I only want to see if you'll give up on me"), this was the album that made David Bowie do a re-think, and also made every half decent rock star throw the rulebook out the window.

So with great applause, I congratulate the Philly Soul boy for having the sheer guts to dust off the sonic extravaganza and let the new generation of fans get a taste of what they missed out the first time around.

If Empire of the Sun and MGMT really want to trip the light fantastic, this will be the concert that will help them trip the day-glo light fantastique.

Interstellar appeal just got more appealing.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

New York Dolls Should Get A Grammy For 'Cause I Sez So

The new album from the New York Dolls - 'Cause I Sez So - continues to fascinate and entertain. The band have release what potentially could be their finest album of their career.

After 36 years since their 1973 debut album, the band have roped in their original producer, Todd Rundgren, to helm the new album. The results are incredible; with some of the best blues and R&B embellished rock and roll songs of their rollercoaster career.

Stand out tracks include 'Cause I Sez So, Ridiculous, My World, Exorcism of Despair, Muddy Bones and a slow bluesy rendition of Trash. So far, this year, there is no other album that comes close to the new Dolls album.

if you love albums like Raw Power by Iggy and the Stooges, Television, the Heartbreakers and Suicide, this album is right up your rock and roll street.

If the Dolls don't get a Grammy nomination for this album, there is no justice.

Oh, and bring back Creem magazine - all is forgiven!!!

With raw photographs of rock's greatest stars and insightful prose by the legendary rock journalists who were stars in their own right, CREEM magazine stood at the forefront of youth counterculture from 1969 to 1988 as "America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine."

A product of Detroit's revolutionary counterculture, CREEM cultivated an incredibly gifted staff of iconoclastic scribes, editors, photographers, and graphic artists whose work continues to resonate today, including: Lester Bangs, Dave Marsh, Richard Meltzer, Nick Tosches, and a not-so-famous Cameron Crowe.

They invented a raucous new form of journalism, where the writing and photographs were as much an expression of rock 'n' roll as the music itself. CREEM embraced and abused the best and the worst of the era: MC5, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, the Faces, Lou Reed, the Stooges, T.Rex, Kiss, Mott the Hoople, the Who, the New York Dolls, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, the Ramones, Cheap Trick, the Clash, and Van Halen, among many others.

Now the Mouth of the Motor City presents a retrospective of the beautiful haze that was rock's golden age—from the end of the hippie days through glam and punk and into '80s metal.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

New York Dolls sell out London's 100 Club in 4 minutes

The legendary New York Dolls recently announced a rare, intimate concert at London's celebrated punk rock venue "The 100 Club" on May 14th. The concert coincides with the release of the band's fourth studio album in 36 years - 'Cause I Sez So'.

Tickets went on sale on Tuesday April 4th at 9am, but by 9:04, the show was completely sold out. Apparently UK Dolls fans are not happy. Could this be their only UK show or will there be a full-blown UK tour planned for later in the year?

And what of the new album that reunites the band with their first producer, Todd Rundgren? Make no mistake, the Dolls have not lost their rock and roll bluesy edge on this album. If anything, the new album could very well be their best "sounding" album of their career. What's notable is David Johansen's impeccable vocals and lyrics, but the real highlight is Steve Conte's guitar playing. This guy is really amazing and has been kicking around the circuit for years.

So far, this year, there is no other album that comes close to the new Dolls album. It commands a wild energy, a looseness and a swagger that no other album released this year can ever hope to compete with. What's more, it sounds like a collaborative effort, not just a trademark Rundgren produced album. One wonders if Syl and David locked Todd in a cage, twiddled the knobs on the mixing desk, to get it just like they wanted to.

Somewhere in the tracks you can see the Runt trying to put his all into the overall production. So they meet halfway and come up with the best album of their career. From the title track to 'Muddy Bones', 'Ridiculous', 'Nobody Got No Bizness' and the half-assed slowed down re-hash of 'Trash' - this is an addictive collection of nicotine stained gems that just won't let go.

The Dolls are back with a vengeance.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New York Dolls To Release 'Cause I Sez So (And It Could Be The Album of the Year)

The New York Dolls' fourth album, 'Cause I Sez So, could be the 36-year career break they've been looking for. Stranger things have been known to happen.

One thing remains, and its the undeniable power and charm of David Johansen and Syl Sylvain - that undeniable Dolls edge is still potent, resilient and surprisingly honed and polished.

A long way from the rock'n'roll garage sound of their eponymous debut album "New York Dolls" (1973), the new album sees David Jo and Syl reunited with a producer who initially got a lot of flack for producing their first album. Enter Todd Rundgren, who many had thought he sold out after he produced Meatloaf's multi-million selling "Bat out of Hell" album.

I admit there was a lot of speculation when the initial news about the Dolls/Rundgren reunion burst on to the Internet last October. The odds were against this project taking legs.

Some critics got wet their panties, while others felt the news was nothing more then a desperate attempt of cashing in on cash money nostalgia. Sure, there were doubters who not only gave up on the Dolls when bassist Arthur Kane died a few years ago, but then again, Syl and David Jo are still very much alive.

Over the years there's been continued discussion about Todd Rundgren being one of the most talented and innovative record producers on the planet. Times changed, and the super producers became extinct to the point where the bands thought they could do it all by themselves, and in their bedrooms. Major studios closed down to lack of business, and suddenly producers like Rundgren were not on the main menu.

There was still that certain something about the Dolls/Todd reunion that had an element of promise and possibility. They had to be doing it for a reason.

The new album sees the Dolls a pop band without losing their Dolls edge. It doesn't even sound like a trademark Rundgren produced album. The only thing hits you in the back of your head is what a fantastic rock'n'roll band the Dolls really are.

The songs are addictive, full of pop hooks and they are non-stop. The title track blasts out, followed by another hit "Muddy Bones", and then it's just hit after hit after hit.

The new songs are much catchier than anything on the Dolls debut album. Classics like Personality Crisis, Private World and Jet Boy are pretty hard to beat, but somehow the Dolls take it to a completely new level on this outing.

Perhaps the oddest track on the album is slow bluesy version of "Trash" which originally appeared on the first album as a souped up rock ditty. Only the Dolls could get away with sending themselves up. It makes for hilarious listening.

This is an exciting, sexy, provocative, dirty, compelling and innovative rock and roll record from a band who has taken 36 years to find their groove.

I'll leave you with the Dolls performing "Personality Crisis" on Burt Sugarman's "Midnight Special" television show (1973).

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Who Put The Chicken Into Chickenfoot?

The news of the imminent debut album from the rock supergroup Chickenfoot leaves no room for metal trash talk debate or speculation.

The Chilli Peppers' "Chad Smith" (drums), ex-Van Halen "Sammy Hagar" (vocals, guitar) and newly departed Van Halen "Michael Anthony" (bass), plus the shredding guitar wizard "Joe Satriani" (guitar) = a shit hot Led Zeppelin personified electric rock and roll band. What else could you kill for?

The phone lines are closed, the votes have been counted...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Somebody Once Told Me Lux Interior Was Crazy, But I'm Not Too Sure About That

The news of Lux Interior's recent passing is unfortunate, but the great thing is that his contribution to rock music will live on.

The man who first gave us the buzz, buzz, buzz in "Human Fly" was always an oddball, but an enigmatic oddball who was a great entertainer.

A video tape on YouTube documents the time when The Cramps gave a free concert for mental patients at the California State Mental Hospital in Napa, California on June 13, 1978.

"We drove 3,000 miles to play for you people," said Lux to the mental patients.

Continued Lux, "Somebody told me you people were crazy, but I'm not so sure about that."

Only The Cramps would take it to the extreme in a mental institution. It's kind of like when Johnny Cash took his music to Folsom Prison.

Does this mean Poison Ivy might be going solo?

We hope so.

Butchering 'This Charming Man' Is Hard To Do (But Morrissey's Gotta Do It)

It pains me to say it but, I've had enough of Morrissey. He's past his sell-by date. I'm sincerely sorry to have to admit this, but I can only handle so many of his solo albums.

His recent performance on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross TV show was evident that the sun has long stopped shining on his solo works. Once treated and hailed as a god, the Mancunian has been running on empty for the last 5 years. The first few solo albums were okay, but none of his solo work has ever been up to scratch with the songs he co-wrote with the great Johnny Marr of The Smiths.

Morrissey's new album sees him holding a baby. How controversial!

The singer now looks like a middle aged bloke performing in the local pub. On the Jonathan Ross Show he butchered a live version of "This Charming Man" with a band that we on par with a local bar band.

One can't help but compare Morrissey's ill-fated solo works with that of John Lydon, when the latter continued with a bastardised version of PiL. Lydon's Live in Tokyo PiL album saw our opinionated glove-puppet performing with a really dreary rock and roll bar band.

Can't Lydon and Morrissey understand that they were NEVER the only ingredient to their original success?

It's like Mick Jagger going solo without Keith Richards (or vice versa).

How soon is now?

Oh, just about when The Smiths called it a day.

And on that note, here's the magic that made The Smiths that special something in their heyday (Les Miserables). . .

Magazine and Howard Devoto; Still Sitting Pretty On The Permafrost

North London, Kentish Town, Friday 13th February 2009. The ticket touts are out in full force trying to buy spare tickets for Magazine's first London concert together since 1980.

Howard Devoto (vocals), Dave Formula (keyboards), Barry Adamson (bass) and John Doyle (drums) - the four original members from Magazine, and new guitarist 'Noko' are back in London to perform their second concert in 29 years (the night before they played a warm up show in Oxford).

The scene is intense; the 2,750 capacity venue is so packed to the gills, people are left standing in the aisles on the second floor. You can feel the tension in the air. A few minutes before the band take to the stage the warm up intermission music consists of Simple Minds' 'I Travel' and David Bowie's 'Low' instrumental 'Speed of Life'.

The moment when Magazine walk on stage, the crowd goes nuts. The applause lasts for 3 minutes. Devoto walks out sporting a white dinner jacket, knee length trousers and slip on running shoes. He looks like a cross between Lex Luthor, Otto Preminger and Humpty Dumpty (I saw this in the nicest sense). His stage persona has mellowed but the drama still prevails. The crowd is in awe, and rightfully so.

The one hour and fifteen minute set is short but to the point and doesn't dissapoint. The song choices are eclectic. The band perform songs from their 1978 debut album 'Real Life'. The hypnotise the audience with 'Definite Gaze', 'The Light Pours Out Of Me', and they work the crowd into a frenzy with 'Shot By Both Sides'.

While the concert continues, you can't help but wonder why Magazine didn't reform sooner. The evocative 'Parade' calms the crowd with a sense of mystery as Devoto sings "It's so hot in here, what are they trying to hatch."

And now that Howard's "out of touch with anger," - anything is possible.

The band continue their aural assault with songs from the 'Secondhand Daylight' album with the infectious full-throttle rendition of 'Rhythm of Cruelty', as song which Devoto pays tribute to the late guitarist John McGeoch, who died in 2004. The concert rolls on with more songs from 'Daylight' including 'I Wanted Your Heart' and the menacing 'Permafrost'.

Surprisingly, the band performed songs from their underrated 1980 album 'The Correct Use Of Soap', kicking off with a frenzied, energetic version of 'Because Your Frightened, then straight into 'Model Worker', 'You Never Knew Me', 'I Want To Burn Again' and the ever-popular 'A Song From Under The Floorboards'.

The band return for their first encore with an ominous version of the Sly and the Family Stone 'Thank You (Faletin Me Be Mice Elf Again)'. A standing ovation ensues, the band leave the stage, and return for a second encore with the Captain Beefhart classic 'I Love You, You Big Dummy'.

Barry Adamson is like the rock of the band with pulsating bass heavy rhythms, while Dave Formula sets the pace and setting with magnificent keyboard textures and melodies. Devoto prances around the stage like he owns it but is oblivious to the trappings of rock and roll cliches.

The concert is a testament to a band that meant more than the sum of their parts. Their contribution to music has been missed by many, and so, as you can well imagine, seeing Magazine perform for the first time in almost 30 years, was an unforgettable experience for all.

The band bow to the enthusiastic crowd.

The lights go down to the sound of Simple Minds' 'Themes For Great Cities'. The crowd empties out on to the street.

The rest is history.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Moe Berg's still looking for The Pursuit of Happiness

Some things come in small packages. Others come wrapped in tin foil. The leftovers are usually somebody else's other problem. But for The Pursuit of Happiness, after their fifth album, they decided to call it quits.

Best known for their first hit single "I'm An Adult Now", the band went on to release some rockin' guitar albums decked out with hookier than now female backing vocals and a lead singer in the long haired Canadian super geek called Moe Berg.

On their third album "Downward Road" they rocked out with the best of 'em with cool tracks like "Cigarette Dangles", and on their fourth album "Off The Bone", their razor sharp wit got the best of them. By the fifth album, like any decent rock band, they imploded.

At the best of times the band sounded like a cross between Cheap Trick, Utopia, Ted Nugent and the Beach Boys, and even Todd Rundgren. Melodic hooks and pop were the order of the day.

Maybe it's time for a comeback?

"She's so young, she's got the answer, she doesn't need to question the world like I do." - 'She's So Young' / TPOH