Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DEVO Perform "Fresh" on David Letterman

Akron, Ohio's finest export since Canadian Tire, just performed what could possibly be the most exciting electro rock TV performance ever on the David Letterman Show on Tuesday June 15th.

Dig this sonic, Boogie Boy apples my fellow Spuds and learn from the true masters of electronic shennanigans. Welcome back, DEVO!!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

DOM: Is It Really That Sexy Living In America?

Quite possibly one of the most exciting new bands to emerge from the lo-fi world of online guitar synth rock is the Massachusetts three piece DOM.

The band recently put together a magnificent low budget promo video for their song Living In America (no, not the James Brown song), recently released as part of their Sun Bronzed Greek Godz EP (available on vinyl via Burning Mill Records). Check it out on YouTube.

LIA sounds like it was recorded in their bedroom, but evokes wild abandon, trash pop and rock and optimism. The video explores girls in bikinis, skateboarding and other daredevil juvenile delinquent shenanigans. Best lyric is "It's so sexy to be living in America." Although, truth be told, I could think of ten other places I'd rather be living.

Dom's music has been described as "sunburned guitar pop with fat hooks and stargaze synchs that sound triumphant, heartbreaking, and totally immediate." I, for one, would have to agree. The key to the band is their unslick production and Beach Boy harmonies. It's deliberately low-fi, hopeful and messy but it works incredibly well.

Another one of their songs, Burn Bridges, also makes for essential listening.

Watch this band. Things could get dangerous.

DEVO, Cheeseburgers and the Best Album of Their Career

Bob Mothersbaugh's distorted guitar shatters your skull at the begining of What We Do, the second track from Devo's phenomenal new album Something For Everybody.

It's been a long ride since their 1978 Eno-produced debut album Are We Not Men?, but through the years and beyond all the music trends and muscial innovations, Devo have miraulously weathered the storm, and comfortably adapted to the techno-savvy world of the Internet, mobile phones and iPads.

This album proves the band have always been ahead of the game. Finally everybody seems to be catching up to the band's theory of De-evolution.

When you usually hear a new album, there's always three songs that aren't up to scratch. Not so on Something For Everybody. For the new kids on the block, power and punch and pristine electronica and dangerous rock guitars fuse together like a Black & Decker power drill.  Metal heads will love this album because it balances synth pop and guitar art rock set to a unstoppable rhythm track. 

This is art rock at its most exciting. I bet you Nine Inch Nails will be flipping out to this platter.

What's intriguing is how a band like Devo can toy with subversive pop irony and cleverly generate it into a yellow sunshine, executive robot monster killer sound.

When the band formed in 1973 it was all Boogie Boy and Akron, Ohio eccentricity. Then by 1980, things became slicker with Freedom Of Choice. MTV discovered the band, Whip It made Devo a household name in redneck middle America, and towards the latter albums, they became victims of their own game.

What was Devo thinking when they joined forces with Disney to create a kiddies' version of themselves in DEVO 2.0?  A few years later, the band slapped a lawsuit against McDonald's for ripping off their likeness.  No wonder I never trusted Ronald McDonald,
Twenty years after the release of the album Smooth Noodle Maps, Devo are back with a vengeance, equipped with a killer sound and 12 pop masterpieces that effectively detail the depravity, hypocrisy, global chaos, irony, and stupidy of the human race. The riffs, the beeps and the beats are neatly crafted into hypnotic pop melodies with an eerie edge.

"What we do is what we do. It's all the same, there's nothing new. Eating and breathing and pumping gas. Cheeseburger cheeseburger, do it again." This is a perfect example how Devo can turn an ordinary mantra into a nuclear pop reality nightmare.

Welcome back Devo. Life's been really rather boring... until now.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Joe Bonamassa's triumphant London Hammersmith Apollo gig paves the way for Black Country Communion

Joe Bonamassa played his biggest concert ever at the London Hammersmith Apollo on Friday May 28th. 5,000 people were in awe.
The guitar slinger from Utica, New York, started playing Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix licks at the ripe age of eight, opened shows in the US for B.B. King at the age of 12, and John Lee Hooker at the age of 14. Now, at the age of 33, and having won Breakthrough Artist of the Year at last year's Classic Rock Awards, Bonamassa is championed by the likes of Eric Clapton, and makes Jeff Beck sound almost prehistoric.

Joe kicked off the festivities with The Ballad of John Henry, and continued to slay the audience song after song including Last Kiss, So Many Roads, So It's Like That, If Heartaches Were Nickels, Further Up the Road and Sloe Gin.

Last year, Slow Hand guested at Joe's Royal Albert Hall gig, but this year, Joe invited Jethro Tull's pied piper, Ian Anderson, to the stage to perform to Tull classics - New Day Yesterday and Locomotive Breath. The audience went wild.

Next up, Joe dipped back into the Ballad of John Henry album and performed Lonesome Road Blues and Happier Times, plus the Zepplinesque Jimmy Page dazzler Blue and Evil (the latter from Bonamassa's stunning new album Black Rock).
In 2009, Bonamassa played the London Royal Albert Hall to great critical acclaim, however, was was noticibly apparent at Friday's Hammersmith Apollo gig was that Joe has definitely veered into a heavier blues rock style that leaned more towards Jimmy Page than Clapton or Beck.

Ballad of John John Henry
Last Kiss
So Many Roads
So It's Like That
If Heartaches Were Nickels
Further On Up the Road
Sloe Gin
New Day Yesterday (feat - Ian Anderson)
Locomotive Breath (feat - Ian Anderson)
Lonesome Road Blues
Happier Times
Blue And Evil
Three Times A Fool (part VIDEO)
Blues Deluxe
Young Man Blues
Woke Up Dreaming
Django/ Mountain Time
Bird On A Wire
Just Got Paid

One wonders if Bonamassa's energetic and trippy heavy blues rock guitar direction will lead to Joe's next chapter in rock and roll history books with his new rock supergroup Black Country Communion with Jason Bonham, Derek Sherinian and Glenn Hughes.

Heaven 17 celebrate 30th Anniversary of Penthouse And Pavement

Sheffield-bred electronic pop group Heaven 17 recently announced they would embark on a nationwide UK tour in November to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their seminal 1980 debut album Penthouse And Pavement.

The band consisting of original founding members Martyn Ware (keyboards, vocals) and Glenn Gregory (lead vocals) recently performed a studio session with LaRoux for BBC 6 Music.

With a recent sold out tour of Germany earlier this year, and rave reviews of a recent H17 documentary that aired on BBC 2 Television entitled Heaven 17: The Making of Penthouse And Pavement, the band that was a spin off from the Human League, has suddenly re-captured the attention of the general public.

They were one of the first British electronic bands to mix synthesizer music with bass guitars, horns and strings. Although Penthouse And Pavement wasn't a commercial success in terms of sales, what it did generate was intense critical acclaim from the music press, in particular with the songs (We Don' Need) That Fascist Groove Thing and Let's All Make A Bomb.

Penthouse And Pavement was one of the first electronic music albums to combine political left wing lyrics with synthesized dance music. When Fascist Groove Thang was released, it was banned from British radio for having lyrics that were deemed too controversial. Now, thirty years later, the band's anti Thatcher sentiments seem to be relevant again, now that the conservative government is back in power.

What is interesting about the album is the consistency of the songs in both the lyrics and music. The album veers between electronic funk in the title track Penthouse And Pavement to radiant electronic synth classics like Geisha Boys and Temple Girls, Play To Win and I'm Your Money.

The recent BBC 2 documentary also revealed how Martyn Ware was kicked out of the band that he originally founded (the Human League), only to be awarded with a record contract of his own which led him to quickly form Heaven 17 (the name of the band was taken from the Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange... a band that was formed in 1980). If that's not ironic, what is?

Heaven 17 - November UK Tour:
The Story of Penthouse And Pavement:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

DEVO confirms track listing for new album "Something For Everybody"

Akron, Ohio's finest "DEVO" just confirmed the track listing for “Something For Everybody” – their first album of new material in 20 years. Stop the train, I'm coming!!!

The track listing was a result of an innovative online Official Song Study that DEVO recently ran on their official website - Fans from around the world were asked to listen to sixteen new DEVO songs, and select their favorite twelve. The twelve songs that received the most votes made it to the final cut of the album.

The album, which includes the single “Fresh,” is released by Warner Bros. Records in UK on June 14th, followed by a US release on June 15th. The album will be available on CD, Vinyl and as a digital download.

CD Track listing is as follows:

1) Fresh
2) What We Do
3) Please Baby Please
4) Don't Shoot, I'm a Man
5) Mind Games
6) Human Rocket
7) Sumthin'
8) Step Up
9) Cameo
10) Later Is Now
11) No Place Like Home
12) March On

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Joan Jett Kicks Ass in London with Sold Out London Show

Things are cyclical, and when you're talking about the rock and roll world, people like Joan Jett get what's coming to them.

Earlier this year the Runaways biopic was released to much fanfare in America, but the real starts that burned brightly weren't the key actresses (Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning) but Joan Jett, the black leather clad rock warrior chic that was the blueprint for the sound, the look and the style.

But it’s been a long ride since Cherry Bomb and I Love Rock N Roll, and along the way there were casualties, Cherie Currie's breakdown and then the passing of drummer Sandy West.

Over the years, Joan Jett's been a trooper, and she's possibly the only rock and roller who can still perform Gary Glitter songs (and get away with it). Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) is a perfect example of how you can make a dumb song sound so dead cool.

Earlier this week it was announced that Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were going to play what was described as "an intimate concert at the legendary punk rock music venue 'The 100 Club' in London, England.

Tickets went on sale this morning and sold out in a matter of minutes. Ebay is selling tickets for £500 a pop. A few days after the 100 Club gig Jett will support Green Day at Wembley Stadium.

This is a rags to riches story about the hardest working woman in the rock and roll business, far more significant than KISS, much more potent than the Sex Pistols, and ten times more meaningful than the Bangles or the Go-Go's.

The point is, you either rock or you don't rock. Joan Jett is in a completely different ballpark. Stick another dime in the jukebox, baby.

Monday, May 17, 2010

DEVO Gets Ready With Something For Everybody

Interesting news from in theat the Akron, Ohio funsters will release their first studio album in 20 years on June 14th (UK) and June 15th (US). Entitled Something For Everybody, the album includes the songs Fresh and Don't Shoot (I'm Alive).

The boys have opted for blue energy domes instead of red, but they are drawing the line at eating Frankenberry,

"Thirty years ago, people said that we were cynical, that we had a bad attitude," says Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh. "But now, when you ask people if de-evolution is real, they understand that there was something to what we were saying. It’s not the kind of thing you want to see proven right, but it does make it easier to talk about."

More than three decades after the release of their visionary debut, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo, and a full 20 years since their last studio album, Devo is back with the aptly titled Something for Everybody.

The highly anticipated album (which was launched with a memorable performance in Vancouver at the Winter Olympics) features the band's classic line-up - Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh, Gerald and Bob Casale—joined by drummer Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, Guns n' Roses).

Produced by Greg Kurstin (The Bird & The Bee), the album also includes contributions from John Hill and Santi White (better known as rising hip-hop star Santigold), John King of the Dust Brothers, and the Teddybears.

Though the 12 songs on Something for Everybody are built on Devo's signature mechanized swing, the recording and presentation of the album saw the band experimenting with an entirely new approach. Greg Scholl was brought in to serve as COO for Devo, Inc., and - working with the advertising agency Mother LA - conducted a series of studies through the site to help the band with its creative decisions, from color selection to song mixes.

Gerald Casale adds that Devo really was looking at today’s world when writing the new songs. “The tautology of a line like ‘What we do is what we do' is taken straight from hip-hop,” he says. “And words like 'bro’ and 'dude'—we're surrounded by it all the time, 20-year-olds don’t even see any irony in it anymore.”

A Devo for our times. A band that evolves, even as the world around them confirms the decay they have long suspected. With Something for Everybody, Devo has gained from experience, honed its attack, and stands ready to sound the alarm for another generation.

“As angry young men who have been validated, we have the possibility to do something that resonates like it did back in the early days,” says Mark Mothersbaugh. “It’s the same car, just now with air bags, power brakes, and steering.”

“We're inspired by reality,” says Gerald Casale, “because the world is so ridiculous and stupid. DE-EVOLUTION IS REAL.”

Duty Now!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Smokin' Joe Bonamassa brings Black Rock tour to the UK

Following the critically acclaimed release of his latest studio album Black Rock featuring the great B.B. King, Joe Bonamassa will embark on a UK tour on May 28th.

Dates include London Hammersmith Apollo (May 28), Rotherham Magna Centre, South Yorkshire (May 29), Bournemouth BIC (May 30) and Birmingham NIA (May 31).

Last year Bonamassa scooped the Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Classic Rock Awards, and in 2009's Live From the Royal Albert Hall DVD, Joe was joined onstage by Eric Clapton.

Only 32 years of age, Bonamassa has to be the hottest blues rock guitarist around at the moment. Legend has it that when he was twelve he opened for B.B. King on one of the blues legend's American tours. Now thirty-two, Bonamassa has B.B. King performing guitar Night Life - a track from the new Black Rock album.

"Right now, there's no better blues rock guitarist than Bonamassa," hails If Joe's new Black Rock album is anything to go by, the UK concerts are gonna to be smokin' hot.

Box office: 0871 230 1101,,

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Iggy and the Stooges to release Raw Power "Live" on USB stick and MP3 Download

Fans of Iggy and the Stooges and their 1973 seminal punkfest garage rock and roll album RAW POWER will hit the decks when they hear that the London Hammersmith Apollo concert on Sunday May 2nd will be recorded live on USB stick and MP3 download.

Thanks to the latest in digital live recording technology, Iggy diehards will be able to but the USB flashdrive directly after the concert at the merch stand.

For those Stoogeheads who won't be attending the show, don't fret because they'll be able to order the USB sitcks and the MP3 downloads online from

There's also a UK site that details more information about the Raw Power "Live" USB concert sticks via the following link -

Your Pretty Face is Going To Hell, Shake Appeal, Search and Destroy, Gimmie Danger - all the hits and more.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Batusis featuring Sylvain Sylvain and Cheetah Chrome to release EP and embark on UK tour

Punk Rockers of the world unite. If you love the New York Dolls and the legendary punk band the Dead Boys, then this punk rock supergroup is for you!

Smog Veil Records today announced the SXSW debut concert and debut recording by punk rock supergroup “Batusis” featuring the seminal punk icons Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls) and Cheetah Chrome (Rocket From The Tombs/Dead Boys).

Batusis will perform their debut SXSW concert in Austin, Texas at 10pm on March 18th at the Prague, followed by Cheapo Music at 5pm on March 19th.

Check out the Batusis at SXSW on March 18th:

Batusis, whose name is derived from when Adam West danced a version of the watusi on the Batman TV series, release their self-titled debut EP on collectable 7” inch multi-colored vinyl and digital download on Smog Veil records throughout North America & Europe on May 4th.

“I’ve known Sylvain since 1975,” says Cheetah. “The Dolls were a huge influence on me.” Sylvain adds “We’re just nuts about rock ‘n’ roll. We knew that’s what we’d come up with, no matter what!”
The EP also features Enzo Penizzotto (bass) and Thommy Price (drums) of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

To coincide with the record release, Sylvain and Chrome will undertake a nationwide “Batusis” UK tour in May as follows:

Glasgow ABC2 - May 3
Sheffield O2 Academy2 - May 4
Liverpool O2 Academy2 - May 5
London Islington Academy - May 7
Hatfield Forum, Attic Room - May 8
Oxford Academy2 - May 10
Southampton Joiners - May 11
Bristol O2 Academy2 - May 12
Birmingham O2 Academy2 - May 13

Ticket Hotline:0844 477 2000
Book Online:

Southampton Joiners Box Office: 02380 632 601
Southampton Joiners Online Booking:

Check out the track from the forthcoming debut EP from

Also check out Smog Veil's official website

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Todd's bananas, but he's still a True Star

Today, the Mail on Sunday newspaper's David Bennun wrote a glowing review of the sold-out British concert premiere of Todd Rundgren's legendary 1973 album 'A Wizard, A True Star'.

"Todd's bananas, but he's still a True Star"
By David Bennun, Mail on Sunday (UK)
14th February 2010

The influence of The Beatles spreads so far through pop that tracking it is almost impossible, apart from one particular aspect: their eclecticism. That prompted a brief flurry of records that leapt gleefully from one genre to another, but the trend faded in the mid-Seventies.

Lately, however, it has been taken up by acts as hip as Super Furry Animals, as middle-of-the-road as Mika and as offbeat as Lawrence Arabia.

The missing link between such modern-style-hoppers and Liverpool's finest is Todd Rundgren (HMV Hammermsmith Apollo, London **** (4 stars).

Although the American rocker most widely known for producing Meat Loaf's 43 milion selling Bat Out of Hell is not so much missing as under-appreciated.

His Seventies solo work has a cult following and A Wizard, A True Star (1973) represents a peak among those albums inspired by Abbey Road, before the format buckled under the weight of Queen's A Night At The Opera.

AWATS, as Rundgren fans know it, is the beneficiary of another current trend: live performances of classic albums. But rather than simply turning up and playing AWATS to a full house, Rundgren has staged a show every bit as magnificently bananas as the record itself.

Picture a hotchpotch of Roxy Music, Monty Python and Tex Avery, set to a soundtrack that lurches between power pop, glam, cosmic rock, proto-metal, classic soul, chanson and Vaudeville. That last influence is particularly telling of Rundgren's debt to The Beatles, who kept a touch of the music hall about them to the last.

AWATS was an impossible album, dazzling, comical and endearingly outlandish. The same goes for this low-budget, high-concept performance. Rundgren hams it up through hilarious costume changes that reveal he might share Iggy Pop's haircut, but not his exercise regime.

Yet while Iggy is selling car insurance, Rundgren is dishing out mirth and rock'n'roll thrills.
It's taken long enough, but perhaps the world is ready to recognise his peculiar brilliance.

Photo Credit: (c) Carey Brandon

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Todd Rundgren triumphs with A Wizard, A True Star at the London Hammersmith Apollo

Todd Rundgren and his all-star band rolled into London last night for what will be remembered as a career defining concert - the British concert premiere of his 1973 epic album "A Wizard, A True Star."

The concert has been highly anticipated for a year now. Rundgren opened the show with a 30 minute set entitled Todd Rundgren's "Johnson." Todd (vocals, guitar), Kasim Sultan (bass), Jesse Gress (guitar) and Prairie Prince (drums)performed their own renditions of bluesman Robert Johnson. An album's worth of material is to follow in the coming months.

I was very sceptical about how Rundgren would pull off re-creating the music from Wizard and how he would keep the audience's attention. But like some outerspace theatrical glam rock, tongue and cheeck rock concert, the minute Todd walked on stage dressed in NASA astronaut's suit, you new this show was going to be on par with David Bowie's famous farewell Ziggy Stardust gig (at the same Hammersmith Apollo venue).

But this was Rundgren's defining moment. There were rock star moments in a rock and roll circus spetacle that was chaotic, fun and emotionally uplifting, and at times, heartfelt and poignant. Wizard was the album that defined a generation, and although it was originally panned by critics when it was released in 1973, it has since been namechecked by tons of young British bands.

Not only did the album combine several music genres and styles, but it also told the rollercoaster story of a psychedelic trip as driven by one of pop's greatest DIY wonders.

The costume changes brought back the theatricality of when rock and roll shows were an event. I don't know if Rundgren did this concsiously, but I haven't witnessed something theatrical like this since David Bowie stunned audiences with his memorable Diamond Dogs tour.

Vocally, Todd sounded impeccable. His Philly soul stylings touched a nerve, particularly when he sang the soul medly I'm So Proud / Ooh Baby Baby / La La Means I Love You / Cool Jerk.

When Bobby Strickland told everyone to get up on their feet during Cool Jerk, suddenly the gig skyrocketed into orbit with Hungry for Love, I Don't Want To Tie You Down, Is It My Name? and the encore One Last Victory.

As the concert drew to a close, the sold out 3,500 strong crowd, stood on their toes with wild applause. Todd Rundgren conquered London. It will be interesting to see what the 'True Star' will do next.

As we left the venue, there was a stall selling the entire concert on USB stick. The USB is available to order online from

Photo Credit: (c) John Rahim

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Introducing the iGarage-Door-Opener""

Apple's newest product offering, the iGarage-Door-Opener, comes hot off the heels of the release of the immensely-popular iPhone.

Featuring a multi-touch display and easy-to-use software, control of all vital garage door functions is at your fingertips.

Similar in appearance and functionality to its telephone counterpart, the iG.D.O. contains a 350MHz transmitter and is capable of downloading and storing up to 10GB of mp3 files.

The advanced settings menu allows you to select various "operation tones" that will play while the door is in the process of opening and/or closing, and the bottom surface of the iG.D.O. even contains a heavy-duty titanium clip if for those who choose to mount it on a belt or sun visor.

With a retail price in the neighborhood of $350, Apple quickly admits that the iG.D.O. isn't for everyone.

However for those well-to-do people who have everything but a fashionable means of opening and closing their garage doors, this product will likely make the perfect Father's Day gift.

Todd Rundgren to release A Wizard A True Star European Gigs on USB Stick

Todd Rundgren today announced that he will release both his forthcoming London Hammersmith Apollo and Amsterdam Paradiso February 2010 concerts on USB stick.

The news recently came as part of an announcement from the German based live music recording company Fans will be able to pre-order both concert sticks weeks before Rundgren and his all-star AWATS band fly to Europe.

A Wizard A True Star is a milestone psychedelic album from 1973 that has influenced a generation of new British bands including The Big Pink, Simian Mobile Disco and Hot Chip. When the album was originally released in 1973, it held the record for being the longest playing vinyl album of all time (over 60 minutes), came in die-cut packaging and was double grooved.

The USB sticks retail for £20 Pounds Sterling and 25 Euros. If you don't want to pre-order the USB sticks, and you will be attending one of the concerts, you can purchase your stick directly after the shows.

The London show will take place at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo on Friday February 6th, followed by the only Dutch show at the Paradiso, Amsterdam on Sunday Feburary 8th.

The impressive all-star AWATS line-up will comprise former members of Utopia, The Cars and The Tubes and includes Ralph Schuckett (keys, vocals), Prairie Prince (drums, vocals), Jesse Gress (guitar, vocals), Greg Hawkes (keys, vocals), Kasim Sulton (bass, vocals) and Todd Rundgren (vocals, guitar).

To pre-order the USB sticks, please visit