Recorded in 2009, this album is available in multiple different formats, including swirled vinyl and a CD/DVD set etc. As one may be able to work out from the album title, this is a live run through of one of his most controversial albums, at least when it was first released back in 1973. His previous album, ‘Something/Anything/’ had charted well in multiple countries, and spawned some hit singles, but this saw him undertaking far more inventive paths, something which was exacerbated by his experimentation at the time with psychedelic drugs. Many Todd fans now look back on this very favourably indeed, while I have always felt there is some very strong material contained within but others which are not as good, so a rather inconsistent release.
Needless to say, this means that this album contains the same flaws and strengths as the original, but he has surrounded himself with a strong band and there is no doubt that the crowd in Akron, Ohio, had a great time. Mind you, whether they would say the same about this release would be another matter altogether. Todd has released a great many live albums over the years, both under his own name and Utopia, and I have a few different boxed sets so it can be said I am quite a fan, but what has been done with these recordings is quite unforgiveable. The production is great, as is the performance, but whoever messed with this needs to be sacked. I know that in these days of people using Spotify (I don’t) and shuffling albums (I don’t do that either), there are few of us who like to play an album from beginning to end, but surely when it comes to live albums everyone does? Whoever mutilated this album obviously does not, as what has happened is that each track fades out and then back in again, even though this is taken from a single night performance of a complete album. But worse than that, sometimes as it fades back in, we get a few seconds of the previous song again. Did no-one listen to this? Did Todd sign it off?
The end result is an album which in many ways should be a masterpiece, but instead it is an annoyance, and incredibly frustrating. To me this is a great opportunity ruined – I guess it would be okay if I played it on shuffle, but I can’t bring myself to do so. A real shame. 6/10 Kev Rowland
What I have here is a recording of Joe Jackson, Todd Rundgren, and NY-based string quartet Ethel. I really was not sure what to expect from this, and I am sure the people there that night did not either, as while I thought all acts would be playing together onstage, I wasn’t aware that each would have an individual set and they would only come together for a few songs at the end. This means we start with a series of classical pieces from Ethel, which is very clever but not what I would expect at a rock concert. I played this part once and then found myself skipping the first five numbers and I would expect many others to do the same.
To be honest, I was not sure what to expect from Jackson either and thought I would probably listen to his songs and then skip smartly to the main attraction, so I was amazed at just how good this section was and how much I enjoyed it. It has made me totally rethink my opinion on Jackson, (I used to see him on Top of the Pops but don’t own any of his material), as he is a very good pianist indeed and has some fine songs. He also has a strong rapport with the audience who react strongly when they recognise one of his songs. He plays all the hits, from “Steppin’ Out” to “Different For Girls” and “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”, and the 11 songs he performs are an absolute delight. The crowd are well up for it, and on the last song they all happily shout “where?” at the correct moment, with so much force that Jackson even loses it as he chuckles.
From an all-piano set we get Todd, the wizard, the true star. He kicks off with “Love of the Common Man” on a 12-string, and after a few more numbers in that vein we get “Compassion” with him now sat at the piano. The highlight of his set is probably “Hello, It’s Me” with his delicate vocals as he gets into falsetto, accompanying himself on piano. The last of the four sections finds everyone on stage, and “While My Guitar Gently Sleeps” is a delight, with the string section rocking along, Joe on piano and Todd on electric. The finest version ever recorded is of course the one by Yellow Matter Custard but this is still mighty fine.
This available as a 2 CD and DVD set, and I am sure fans of both Jackson and Rundgren will find this a long overdue release. 7/10 Kev Rowland
Los Angeles, CA – LA-based indie label, Cleopatra Records, is proud to announce the signing of industrial metal superstars, Powerman 5000. Fronted by the creative mastermind Spider One, the band will launch a new album later this year and tour in support of the release both in the US and overseas.
Most notably known for their 1999 smash hit album Tonight The Stars Revolt, which included the explosive, culture-shocking single “When Worlds Collide,” PM5K have been building a catalog of solid, creatively adventurous albums that range from punk to space rock to a covers album that saw the band re-visioning tracks by T.Rex, Devo and INXS. In fact, it was this latter project, 2011’s Copies, Clones & Replicants, that first brought PM5K into the orbit of Cleopatra Records. But now this partnership is set to hit another level with the release of a brand new, all original studio album later this year.
PM5K frontman Spider proclaims “We are incredibly excited to partner with Cleopatra Records for our latest release The Noble Rot. We feel like we have put together our most diverse and interesting record ever. All boxes have been checked in the strange universe that is Powerman 5000 with this one, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Brian Perera, owner of Cleopatra Records, declares “We’ve been fans of Powerman 5000 for years, watching how they have stuck to their guns throughout their career and maintained a high level of creative ambition and risk. They are a rare breed of electronic/industrial metal bands who have crossed over and gained fans from multiple genres. This new album is really going to shock the world and we are honored to be releasing it!”
Ugly Runner is a 3-piece rock ‘n’ roll outfit from Asheville, North Carolina. As broad as the spectrum of rock ‘n’ roll itself, so are the influences of Ugly Runner, which range from California Punk to British Rhythm & Blues. Aiming to create timeless rock ‘n’ roll that dances on the edge of psychedelia, and invokes nostalgia from the first listen, the band entered the studio in May 2019 to record their debut EP, “Romanticizer,” at Sedgwick Studios in Flat Rock, NC. Working with engineer, Peter Brownlee, they tracked the 6-song EP and spent the remainder of the summer playing shows and preparing for the release of their debut EP. Ugly Runner’s “Romanticizer” will be released on Cleopatra Records on January 2nd.
Says the band, “’Romanticizer’ is an EP we wanted to put out as a rock ’n’ roll showcase. It’s not a concept album in a lyrical sense, but it is a representation of personal growth, addiction, relationships, and the hope for societal awareness all around us. The concept: let’s put out rock ‘n’ roll music that flirts with various sub-genres while harnessing a fresh aesthetic, a unique delivery, and striving for distinction between tracks.”
Ugly Runner music evokes sounds of The Stooges, Ty Segall & The Pixies on their debut EP!
Says Brett, “’Romanticizer’ was mostly written in the winter of 2019 before Ugly Runner was formed. Stephen had written a collection of songs, and we picked the songs we thought best represented Ugly Runner. The entire EP was tracked over 3 days at Sedgwick Studios in Flat Rock, North Carolina. Peter Brownlee was brought on to engineer the project, and then we spent the next few months at Peter’s home studio mixing and finally mastering the record. Drums, guitar and bass were tracked live, with overdubbing on guitar, vocals, and some additional keys/percussion. It was an exhaustive, creative process but well worth it, and we can’t wait to begin tracking our full-length LP.”
Ugly Runner: Brett J Kent (bass) Stephen Britt (guitar/vocals) Russell Walker (drums)
Says Stephen, “We are best friends who have been playing music together since 2016. I love writing songs, and Brett loves playing songs. It just worked out that way. There’s definitely a synergy in our collaborative process and we effortlessly complement one another. Brett’s parts are always played with the song in mind, and no matter what I write, I know Brett will make it objectively better with his bass parts. Brett listens to way more music, and he’s who I trust to say if something is cool or not quite there.”
Ugly Runner is looking forward to touring to promote their new release and recording the next album!
The Pretenders with friends features. Chrissy Hynde With Special Guests Iggy Pop, Shirley Manson of Garbage, Kings of Leon and Incubus!
Blu-Ray/DVD/CD package featuring Bonus interviews with Band members, Slide show, Trailers & More!
Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling band The Pretenders featuring the Legendary Chrissy Hynde performs with special guests including Iggy Pop, Shirley Manson of Garbage, Kings of Leon and Incubus, recorded live at the Decades Rock Arena in Atlantic City, NJ.
Songs include “Brass in Pocket”; “Message of Love” by Incubus, “I’m Only Happy When It Rains” by Shirley Manson, “Precious”; “Candy” by Iggy Pop and Chrissy Hynde”, “Talk of the Town”; “Back on the Chain Gang”; “Drive” by Incubus; “Mystery Achievement”, “Fools Must Die” by Iggy Pop, and “Middle Of The Road” encore performance featuring The Pretenders with Iggy Pop, Incubus, Kings Of Leon and Shirley Manson.
Decades Rock Live is an innovative live concert series that features performances by celebrated artists from rock to soul who have influenced popular music over the last 50 years, as well as performances from some of today’s hottest recording acts who have been inspired by these legends. This 75 Minute concert program was filmed in Hi-Definition and is presented in Stereo and 5.1 Surround Audio.
Track Listing: 01 ”The Wait” 02 “The Losing” 03 “Back In The Chain” 04 “Talk Of The Town” 05 “I’m Only Happy When It Rains” 06 “Day After Day” 07 “Bucket” 08 “Up The Neck” 09 “Drive” 10 “Message Of Love” 11 ”Precious” 12 “Fools Must Die” 13 “Candy” 14 “Mystery Achievement” 15 ”Brass In Pocket” 16 “Middle Of The Road”
Bonus Materials DVD includes Bonus interviews with Band members, Slide show, Trailers & More! Includes a CD also!
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