Thursday, January 31, 2019
Here's the match video of Kairi Sane and Io Shirai vs Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir from this week's episode of NXT. This was taped on Saturday in Phoenix. The first thing I noticed is the crowd went nuts the moment Kairi came out. That didn't surprise me. It's more significant outside of Full Sail. Marina was wearing a mask to protect a broken nose. Percy Watson says on commentary that the big bad MMA fighters don't take Kairi and Io seriously because they are small and weak. Of course that's a fatal error because Kairi and Io are the opposite of weak. And their quickness befuddles Jessamyn and Marina. The heels get some heat on Io. But she escapes using a Sliced Bread #9. Kairi gets the hot tag and goes wild on Marina. After a double team elbow drop, Io does a suicide dive to keep Jessamyn from interfering and Kairi hit her elbow drop finisher for the win. They show Io's suicide dive on replay. That's how that move should be executed. Not surprisingly, Kairi and Io are a lot of fun to watch. Enjoy the video!
Song:I Love This Life
The country music duo LoCash should remind you of Florida Georgia Line. It took them a while to get going due to record company problems. But I Love This Life was one of two top five country hits from the 2016 album The Fighters. They have a new album coming shortly. Chris Lucas is from Baltimore. Preston Brust is from Kokomo, IN. They started writing together and called themselves The LoCash Cowboys. They self released a 2008 album and then released a couple of singles on R&J Records. The singles charted but then R&J ran into financial problems and they were forced to take their album to Average Joe's Entertainment who released it in 2013. Meanwhile Lucas and Brust wrote hits for Keith Urban (You Gonna Fly) and Tim McGraw (Truck Yeah). They changed their name to LoCash when they signed with Reviver Records in 2015. I Love This Life reached #5 on the Country Singles chart. And then I Know Somebody reached #4. The album The Fighters followed. The album was produced by Lindsay Rimes who has worked with Kelsea Ballerini. Lucas and Brust write most of their songs. They wrote I Love This Life with Chris Janson and Danny Myrick who also wrote Truck Yeah with them. LoCash have signed with the Broken Bow Records label Wheelhouse. A release date and title for their new album has not been revealed. But the single Feels Like A Party was released in Aug. 2018. They wrote it with Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line. And they are going on tour in February. So the album is coming very soon. They should do better on a larger label. Here's the video for I Love This Life by LoCash.
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Culture Club was one of the most popular groups of the early 80s. Karma Chameleon was their only number one hit and they had six top ten hits. The lead singer of Culture Club was George "Boy George" O'Dowd. He was born in England but his parents were Irish. In the early 80s he was hanging around the London club Blitz. O'Dowd was gay and a cross dresser. Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren spotted him and got him into the group Bow Wow Wow as Lieutenant Lush. When that didn't work out, O'Dowd started his own band with Mikey Craig on bass, Jon Moss on drums and Roy Hay on guitar. They called themselves Culture Club because of their diverse backgrounds. They recorded demos which EMI rejected but then they were signed by Virgin Records. They were on Epic in the US. This was when O'Dowd started calling himself Boy George with an androgynous look influenced by Siouxie Sioux of Souxie Sioux and the Banshees. Their third single Do You Really Want To Hurt Me topped the British charts and became a worldwide hit. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. After Culture Club appeared on Top Of The Pops, O'Dowd's look became a big deal. Culture Club's debut album Kissing To Be Clever was certified Platinum. Their second album Colour By Numbers did even better. Time, I'll Tumble 4 Ya and Church of the Poison Mind were all top ten hits. And then Karma Chameleon was Culture Club's only number one US hit. The album was certified 4XPlatinum. That was the peak of their success. O'Dowd was using drugs and he also had a turbulent romantic relationship with Moss. And that eventually forced the end of Culture Club in 1986. You can get all their hits on this comp. O'Dowd recorded a couple of solo albums. Culture Club reunited in 1998 and released an album. An album was recorded and then shelved in 2016. It was released in 2018 and Culture Club toured. They are a nostalgia act at this point. But they were sure big in the early 80s. Here's the video for Karma Chameleon by Culture Club.
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Album:...And Out Come the Wolves: 20th Anniversary Edition
Rancid was a big part of the 90s punk revival. They had their greatest success with the 1995 album ...And Out Come The Wolves and the single Time Bomb. Rancid are from Berkeley, CA. Lead singer and guitarist Tim Armstrong and bassist Matt Freeman were childhood friends. They were in the late 80s ska punk band Operation Ivy. After that band split up in 1989, Armstrong and Freeman made several attempts to start bands. They finally succeeded when they formed Rancid in 1991 with Armstrong's roommate Brett Reed. After performing locally and releasing an EP, they got a record deal with Epitaph Records owned by Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion. Their debut album was released in 1993. They got a boost when Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day co-wrote the song Radio and then performed live with Rancid. They added UK Subs guitarist Lars Frederiksen to the band. The album Let's Go was released in 1994. They toured with The Offspring who had become successful. And it helped Rancid's album sales. Rancid was courted by other labels. But they decided to stay with Epitaph for the 1995 album ...And Out Come the Wolves. It did better than Let's Go. It was soon certified Gold and later Platinum. The video for Time Bomb went into heavy rotation on MTV. And Rancid appeared on Saturday Night Live. ...And Out Came The Wolves is available in a 20th Anniversary Edition with two bonus tracks. That is the peak of Rancid's run. Though not as successful since then, they continue to record and tour. Brett Reed left in 2006 and was replaced by Branden Steineckert of The Used. Rancid's latest CD Trouble Maker was released in 2017. They plan to tour later this year. Here's the video for Time Bomb by Rancid.
Monday, January 28, 2019
Here's the match video of Asuka defending her Smackdown Women's Championship against Becky Lynch from Sunday's Royal Rumble. Asuka was featured in a segment on last week's This Week In The WWE. She said her goal is to create high quality matches. And last night she succeeded in spades. Of course Becky is a great opponent. The only problem with this match is it kicked off the show and by the time the show ended, I think many fans forgot how good this match was. I don't want to go into detail because I want you to watch the match. But both Asuka and Becky were great. They beat the crap out of each other. And as the match progressed, they picked up the pace. They even got out of each other's finishers. Asuka won when she bridged out of her Asuka Lock into a neck crank. Asuka has so many tools in her tool box, you never know when she will bust out a new move. It's a great match. Be sure to watch the video.
Album:Camelot: Original Broadway Cast
The 1960 Broadway show Camelot was of two Tony awards won by conductor and arranger Franz Allers. He worked on several Lerner and Loewe musicals of the 50s. He was born in 1905 in Calsbad, Czech Republic. He learned to play the violin as a child. He moved to Berlin, Germany in 1920 and was a violinist in the Berlin Philharmonic. He eventually turned to conducting and toured Europe until he moved to the US in 1938. He toured with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. He got to Broadway when Utah State Symphony Orchestra conductor Maurice Abravanel asked Allers to fill in and conduct the orchestra for the Lerner and Loewe musical Day Before Spring. They liked him so much Allers was made the permanent conductor for Lerner and Loewe. He was conductor and musical director for Paint Your Wagon, Brigadoon and then he won a Tony Award for My Fair Lady. He also won a Grammy nomination for the soundtrack of the 1959 film Hansel and Gretel. Then he won another Tony for Camelot starring Julie Andrews and Richard Burton. When Lerner and Loewe split up in 1962, Allers returned to Europe and he was music director for the Tonkunstler Orchestra in Vienna and the Gartnerplatz Theater in Munich. Later he moved back to New York and was musical director at Lincoln Center. Franz Allers died on Jan. 28, 1995 at age 89 in Las Vegas. He was travelling to California. It is said that Allers raised the standard of Broadway show orchestras and that high standard continues today. Here's a video of Overture by Franz Allers from the 1960 show Camelot.
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Song:Baby I Love You So
Album:Who Say Jah No Dread
Jacob Miller was best known as the original lead singer of the reggae group Inner Circle. Miller died in a tragic 1980 car crash. Before he joined Inner Circle, Miller recorded solo and those recordings are worth checking out. He was born May 4, 1952 in Mandeville, Jamiaca. He moved to Kingston and was raised by his grandparents. As a teen he hung out at recording studios like Coxsone Dodd's Studio One. Dodd let Miller record a couple of songs in 1968. Though Dodd wasn't interested in promoting him, Miller got the attention of Horace and Garth Swaby and their Rockers Sound System. When the Swabys started their own label in 1972 and Horace started calling himself Augustus Pablo, he brought Miller with him. Miller recorded Baby I Love You So and other songs in the mid-70s. All songs were produced by Pablo and you can get them on this CD. The success of these singles led to Inner Circle leader Roger Lewis hiring Miller as lead singer in 1976. Of course Inner Circle had great success after they signed with Capitol Records. Miller continued to record solo while fronting Inner Circle. So things were going well until Miller and his son died in a car accident on Mar. 23, 1980. Miller was 27. Inner Circle was about to go on a US tour with Bob Marley. So it's likely that if Miller had lived, he would be a legend of Jamaican music. Here's a video of Baby I Love You So by Jacob Miller.
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Album:Lost Weekend: The Best Of Wall Of Voodoo: The I.R.S. Years
The 1983 New Wave classic Mexican Radio was the only chart single for Wall Of Voodoo. The band went through personnel changes soon after and were never the same. Wall Of Voodoo were from Los Angeles. Lead singer and harmonica player Stan Ridgway owned Acme Soundtracks, a film score business heavily influenced by Ennio Morricone's Spaghetti Western scores. His office was across the street from the punk music club The Masque. Ridgway started jamming with guitarist Marc Moreland of The Skulls and they turned it into a band. Other members were Moreland's brother Bruce Moreland on bass, Chas T.Gray on keyboards and Joe Nanini on drums. The band name came when Ridgway compared his music to Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound and a friend said it was more like a Wall Of Voodoo. A 1980 EP got them a deal with I.R.S. Records. Their debut album Dark Continent was released in 1981. Bruce Moreland left and for the 1982 album Call Of The West, Gray and I.R.S. house producer Richard Mazda played bass. MTV put the video for Mexican Radio in heavy rotation and that led to radio airplay. The single reached #58 on the Billboard Hot 100. Today the song is considered a New Wave classic. Moreland wrote the chorus and Ridgway wrote the verses. Keyboard player Bill Noland joined. They went on tour. Ridgway says there was plenty of drug use and bad behavior and shady business practices by the band's management and label. Ridgway, Nanini and Noland all left after Wall Of Voodoo played the US Festival on May 28, 1983. Ridgway has recorded solo ever since. His 1986 single Camouflage was a hit in Europe. Wall Of Voodoo continued with the Moreland brothers, Gray, new lead singer Andy Prieboy and drummer Ned Leukhardt. They released two more albums and split up in 1988. This comp mostly covers the first two albums. Marc Moreland went on to form Pretty and Twisted with Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano. They split up after one album. Moreland recorded a solo album in 2002 and then died of renal failure on Mar. 13, 2002 at age 44. Joe Nanini died in 2000. Ridgway revived Wall Of Voodoo for one show in 2006. There were no original members though producer Richard Mazda played bass. Ridgway still performs live and he released his latest album in 2016. Here's the video for Mexican Radio by Wall Of Voodoo.
Friday, January 25, 2019
Here's the match video of Io Shirai and Kairi Sane vs Amber Nova and Tanea Brooks from this week's episode of NXT. Io and Kairi were supposed to be on last month's tapings but Kairi was sick. Amber and Tanea both worked for Impact Wrestling a couple of years ago. Tanea was known as Rebel. Not surprisingly, there's nothing much to this match. Io and Kairi get in all of their stuff including some excellent double team moves. We always say that pro wrestling isn't ballet. But Io and Kairi make it resemble ballet sometimes. Afterwards, they cut a promo about being best friends and Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir interrupted. That match will be taped at Saturday's NXT Takeover show and it will appear on next week's episode of NXT. Of course with the WWE creating Women's Tag Team Championships, Io and Kairi could be champs someday. They are probably the best women's tag team in all of the WWE. Enjoy the video!
Song:On The Upside
Album:Electro Classics Volume 2: Deep Beats
On The Upside was a hit in dance clubs in 1983. Xena is a pseudonym for legendary background singer Lisa Fischer. She was one of the stars of the 2013 Oscar winning documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom. You can watch that on Netflix. She still tours. I saw her live a few years ago. She was born Dec. 1, 1958 in Brooklyn, NY. She got into studio work in the early 80s. After appearing on albums by Kleeer and D-Train, she recorded On The Upside as Xena. Most of the folks behind this record were also behind the 1984 smash hit Let The Music Play by Shannon. It's on the same label Emergency Records. The key guy seems to be veteran session musician Robbie Kilgore. On The Upside was early in his career. He would go on to work on among other things the 1988 Steve Winwood album Roll With It. The producer is Chris Barbosa who is mainly a remix guy but he also produced Let The Music Play. After recording a couple more songs as Xena, Lisa began her backup singing career with Luther Vandross. And she has toured with The Rolling Stones since 1989. After scoring a huge hit with How Can I Ease The Pain in 1991, Lisa returned to studio work and was mostly anonymous until Twenty Feet From Stardom. She currently tours with her band Grand Baton. I saw them live a couple of years ago. Check them out if they are coming your way and watch Twenty Feet From Stardom on Netflix. Here's a video for On The Upside by Xena.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Pianist Bob James and sax player David Sanborn were very successful individually when they decided to join forces for the 1986 album Double Vision. James is probably best known for his theme for the TV show Taxi. But he has played on hundreds of records and produced and arranged many of those. He also leads the band Fourplay. Sanborn has also played on hundreds of records. I first heard of him when he recorded and toured with The Brecker Brothers. Sanborn was very successful since recording his 1975 debut album Taking Off for Warner Bros. Meanwhile James recorded for his own Tappan Zee label with Columbia distribution. Sanborn appeared on James' 1977 album Heads. In 1984 James closed Tappan Zee and left Columbia for Warner Bros. So it was an easy decision for Warners to have James and Sanborn record together. Double Vision was released in 1986. It was very successful in the Smooth Jazz market. And it won a Grammy for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. Musicians were Marcus Miller on bass, Steve Gadd on drums, Paul Jackson Jr. on guitar and Paulinho Da Costa on percussion. Miller wrote Maputo. Singer Al Jarreau and guitarist Eric Gale make guest appearances. Double Vision is available as a budget CD. James and Sanborn reunited for the 2013 CD Quartette Humaine on Okeh Records. Here's Bob James and David Sanborn with Fourplay performing Maputo at the Tokyo Jazz Festival. It doesn't give a date but it looks recent. So I think the musicians are Nathan East, Chuck Loeb and Harvey Mason.
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
With the success of Kane Brown, it looks like Nashville may look at more black country singers. Jimmie Allen could ride on Brown's coattails to his own success. His debut single Best Shot did well. We'll see how he develops. He was born June 18, 1986 in Milton, DE. He moved to Nashville in 2007. After a failed audition for America's Got Talent, Allen signed a publishing deal with Wide Open Music owned by singer songwriter Ash Bowers. Bowers recorded for the Broken Bow Records label Stoney Creek. A record company talent showcase led to Allen signing with Stoney Creek. Bowers produced Allen's debut album Mercury Lane. Best Shot reached #5 on the Country Singles chart. And it topped the Billboard Country Airplay chart for two weeks. That run was ended by Kane Brown. Allen co-wrote most of the songs on Mercury Lane. He co-wrote Best Shot with Josh London and JP Williams. It's the first hit single for all three guys. In February Allen is going in tour opening for Kane Brown. We'll see if he can break out of Brown's shadow and make his own way. Here's the video for Best Shot by Jimmie Allen.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
The Astors recorded a handful of singles for Stax in the mid-60s. The 1965 single Candy was the only one that charted. They started out in 1958 as The Duntinos. They all went to Melrose High School in Memphis. They were Curtis Johnson, Eliehue Stanback, Richard Harris, Sam Jones and Richard Griffin. Pianist Herman "Red" Arnett and the legendary Rufus Thomas mentored them and helped them get gigs. After recording some backup vocals, They recorded a couple of singles in 1961 as The Chips named after producer Chips Moman. And then in 1963 the group name was changed to The Astors. The 1965 single Candy was their only chart single. It reached #12 on the R&B Singles chart and #63 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was written and produced by Stax legends Steve Cropper and Isaac Hayes. Curtis Johnson sang lead. The Astors went on tour as part of The Stax Review. Richard Harris left The Astors in 1967. He was replaced by Curtis Johnson's brother Harold Johnson. The Astors split up after Stanback and Jones were drafted into the military. Candy turns up on Stax box sets like this 3CD comp released in England. Curtis Johnson was a producer for Mercury Records in 1968. He and Harold Johnson were members of Brothers Unlimited who recorded an album for Capitol in 1970. Here's a video for Candy by The Astors.
Monday, January 21, 2019
Here's the match video of Joanne Calderwood vs Ariane Lipski from Saturday's UFC show in Brooklyn. Ariane is from Brazil. She is the former KSW Flyweight Champion. So she's new to the UFC but she has a rep as the Queen of Violence. We've all seen Joanne. She is a kickboxer. But the big thing is she is now training at Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas with John Wood. So though Ariane was favored, I wondered if Wood could make a difference. He did. Ariane started out aggressively in round one until Joanne took her down and controlled her for the rest of the round. And she wasn't sitting on her. Joanne was trying for subs. Joanne has never had a ground game so I credit John Wood for that. Two of the judges scored the round 10-8 for Joanne. I scored it 10-9. I didn't think it was a 10-8 round. But what it did was tire out Ariane and put the fear of a takedown in her mind. I didn't think there was any way she could win after that. Obviously she didn't expect that. So the other two rounds went as expected and Joanne won the fight 30-27. One judge scored it the same and the other two scored it 30-26. I thought Joanne's use of front kicks was especially effective. Joanne called out Jessica Eye after the fight. But then Dana White announced that Jessica will get the next Flyweight title shot. I've known about that since Jessica won last month. But White said at the time that he was reluctant to give a title shot to a split decision winner. I expect we will see that in the spring. Enjoy the video!
Here's the match video of Paige VanZant vs Rachael Ostovich from Saturday's UFC show in Brooklyn. I called this fight The Battle of the Babes because neither fighter is very good. Sex appeal is their main attribute. I thought Paige would win as she is marginally better. This was her first fight since she broke her arm last year. She trains with Chael Sonnen at Gracie Barra in Portland. Of course we know about Rachael's husband and coach charged with domestic assault. Her parents and brother were in her corner. Rachael got off to a good start in round one. She took Paige down but she wasn't able to advance her position so the ref stood them up. To me it looked like Rachael didn't know what to do. I scored round one 10-9 for Rachael. Round two was different. They went to the ground again. But this time Paige was able to get the advantage and she won with an armbar. We didn't see Rachael tap but we saw it on the replay. Her elbow was dislocated. She will undergo further examination when she returns home to Hawaii. This didn't make me think that Paige could beat anyone good. Look, I feel bad about what happened to Rachael. But it doesn't change that she's a terrible fighter whose only upside is her sex appeal. And that's why she is in the UFC. I knew she was bad from her Invicta days. Should she be in the UFC? I don't think she should be a fighter. And I know she has a devoted fanboy following. That doesn't make her a fighter. Enjoy the video.
The Pussycat Dolls started out as a dance group and then were turned into a music group. Don't Cha was their biggest hit in 2005. They only recorded two albums. The Pussycat Dolls were formed in 1995 as a modern day burlesque act by choreographer Robin Antin. They were in residency at the Los Angeles club The Viper Room from 1995-2001. They appeared in movies, TV and Playboy. Guests like Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani appeared with them. And Interscope producers Jimmy Iovine and Ron Fair made a deal with Antin to turn The Pussycat Dolls into a music group. They auditioned singers because most of The Pussycat Dolls couldn't sing. The main singer to come from this was former Eden's Crush lead singer Nicole Scherzinger. They hired other singers like Carmit Bachar, Melody Thornton, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta and Kimberly Wyatt. But Fair made the decision to focus on Nicole. This was the main reason The Pussycat Dolls split up. If Fair had spread the lead vocals around, that could have been avoided. Universal Chairman Doug Morris suggested the song Don't Cha written by Cee Lo Green for OutKast backup singer Tori Alamaze. It was released as a single but Tori left Universal and gave them back the song. The only difference between the two records was Busta Rhymes' rap was added. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. So now they had to record an album. PCD was certified 2XPlatinum and it sold 9M copies worldwide. Stickwitu was the other top five hit from the album. Of course they toured and appeared on TV. They even did the show The Pussycat Dolls Present The Search For The Next Doll to add a new member. The winner never joined the group. Then Carmit Bachar, who had been a Pussycat Doll since 1995, left in 2008 to go solo. The 2008 album Doll Domination didn't do nearly as well as the first album. And an attempt to launch Nicole as a solo artist was unsuccessful. After The Pussycat Dolls toured, they split up in 2010. Nicole has been blamed for the split. But her solo career and the others has been unsuccessful. So now there is talk that The Pussycat Dolls could reunite. Time will tell. Here's the video for Don't Cha by The Pussycat Dolls featuring Busta Rhymes.
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Song:No One To Love Me
Album:The Willie Dixon Story
Most blues fans should be familiar with Willie Dixon for his many years writing and producing for Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and all the greats at Chess Records in the 50s. But before that he was a member of The Big Three Trio. They recorded for Columbia's Okeh label in the late 40s. Dixon was born July 1, 1915 in Vicksburg, MS. He grew up singing in church and he was in a gospel group as a teen. Dixon moved to Chicago in 1936. He took up boxing and won the Illinois Golden Gloves in 1937. He was a Joe Louis sparring partner. After quitting boxing over a money dispute, he met Leonard Caston who convinced him to get into music. Caston was a singer and pianist. They were part of The Five Breezes, a vocal group similar to The Mills Brothers. They split up in 1941 and then Dixon was imprisoned for refusing induction into the military as a conscientious objector. After WWII, Dixon reunited with Caston to form The Big Three Trio. The third member was guitarist Bernardo Dennis who was replaced by Ollie Crawford. They recorded a dozen sides for Columbia and Okeh from 1947-49. I think only one of their songs charted but the group is historically significant. No One To Love Me was written and sung by Caston. The group ended after Dixon went to work for Chess in 1951. This 4CD box set from the British label Proper has all The Big Three Trio recordings and lots more. Of course Dixon was the architect of the Chess Records sound. Caston continued to perform but he was never a significant player. His son Leonard Caston Jr. was a member of The Radiants and a producer for Chess and Motown in the 70s. Dixon and Caston reunited in 1984. Caston died in 1987. Dixon died in 1992. Here's a video for No One To Love Me by The Big Three Trio.
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Song:When I Look Into Your Eyes
When I Look Into Your Eyes was one of two top ten hits in the early 90s for the hard rock band FireHouse. Not surprisingly, it's a power ballad. FireHouse was formed in Richmond, VA in 1984. Guitarist Bill Leverty was looking for a drummer for his band White Heat. Michael Foster auditioned and joined. They saw the band Maxx Warrior at a club and they liked lead singer C.J. Snare and bassist Perry Richardson. When that band split up, Snare and Richardson joined White Heat. They moved to Charlotte, NC. There was already a band called White Heat so the name was changed to FireHouse. They signed with Epic Records in 1989. Their 1990 debut album FireHouse was produced by David Prater. He was the drummer for the 70s band Baby Grand. Leverty and Snare wrote all the songs. The single Love of a Lifetime reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified 2XPlatinum. The 1992 album Hold Your Fire didn't do as well but it was still certified Gold. When I Look Into Your Eyes reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Things didn't go so well after that mostly because hard rock wasn't popular anymore and Epic stopped promoting them. They left Epic in 1997 after four albums. This comp has all their hits. FireHouse was still successful internationally especially in Asia. They released the 1999 album Category 5 on the Japanese label Pony Canyon and toured successfully in Asia. Richardson was replaced by Bruce Wraibel in 2000. Sadly Wraibel died in 2003 and was replaced by Dario Saixas and then he was replaced by Allen MacKenzie. FireHouse released two albums for Eagle Rock's Spitfire label. Leverty has released a few solo albums and Snare has recorded with the band Rubicon Cross. But FireHouse released an album in 2011 and they continue to tour. Snare says FireHouse will never stop touring. Here's the video for When I Look Into Your Eyes by FireHouse.
Friday, January 18, 2019
Song:I Love You Always Forever
Album:Now In A Minute
I Love You Always Forever was a top five hit in 1996. It was the only big hit for Welsh singer songwriter Donna Lewis. One of her other songs charted so she's not quite a one hit wonder. Her birth date is listed as Aug. 6, 1973 in Cardiff, Wales. Her father was a jazz musician. Donna learned to play piano as a child. She started writing songs as a teen. She studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. After graduating Donna taught music for a year and then moved to Birmingham, England to sing in a bar band. She set up a home recording studio and one of her demos got the attention of Atlantic Records chairman Doug Morris. He brought her to New York and signed her. Her debut album Now In A Minute was released May 1996. I Love You Always Forever was the first single. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks. Apparently that is some sort of record. What was number one? Macarena by Los Del Rio. Donna wrote and produced the album with recording engineer Kevin Killen. One thing Atlantic tried to do is try to make Donna about ten years younger by among other things saying she was born in 1973. It made no sense as she had been married for ten years. Donna wouldn't reveal her age in a 1996 Entertainment Weekly interview but she did acknowledge some messing around by Atlantic. The album was certified Platinum. Her 1998 album Blue Planet didn't do nearly as well and there were no hit singles. She left Atlantic. Now In A Minute is available as a budget comp. After releasing a couple of albums on her own label, she released the 2015 album Brand New Day on the jazz label Palmetto Records backed up by the world famous jazz group The Bad Plus. That might be interesting. Here's the video for I Love You Always Forever by Donna Lewis.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Song:Been Caught Stealing
Album:Ritual de lo Habitual
Jane's Addiction were successful in the early 90s especially with the 1990 CD Ritual de lo Habitual. They would have had a bigger impact if they had remained together. But they split up while on tour to support the album. Perry Farrell formed Jane's Addiction in Los Angeles in 1985. He was looking for a bassist for his band Psi Com. He was introduced to Eric Avery and Farrell decided to name the band after his housemate Jane Bainter. Other members were Dave Navarro on guitar and Stephen Perkins on drums. Jane's Addiction's success in local clubs attracted record labels and they signed with Warner Bros. They released the 1988 album Nothing's Shocking. But their commercial breakthrough came with the 1990 album Ritual de lo Habitual. The singles Stop! and Been Caught Stealing topped the Alternative Rock charts and the videos were in heavy rotation on MTV. The album was certified 2XPlatinum. The band fell apart during the tour. While recording the album, Navarro was addicted to heroin. He says he doesn't remember recording the album. He recovered for the tour. Farrell and Perkins continued to use drugs while Avery and Navarro abstained. Then they both left. Navarro joined Red Hot Chili Peppers. Avery formed Polar Bear in 1996. Farrell and Perkins formed Porno for Pyros. Farrell went solo after they split up. Jane's Addiction reformed to tour in 2001 and they released an album in 2003. They continued to tour though they don't seem to be active right now. Farrell has a solo album coming out soon. It would not surprise me if Jane's Addiction reformed in the future. Here's the video for Been Caught Stealing by Jane's Addiction.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Album:Sweet Smell Of Success: Original Broadway Cast Recording
Here's a Broadway musical that had all the pieces to be successful including a Tony award for star John Lithgow. But it only ran for two months. Sweet Smell Of Success is based on the 1957 film starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. It's about legendary newspaper columnist Walter Winchell. Livent decided to turn it into a musical in 1998. It was written by Marvin Hamlisch, Craig Carnelia and John Guare. Nicholas Hytner directed. The show was cast after holding workshops in Toronto. Livent was based in Toronto. The original stars were Jonathan Pryce as JJ Hunsecker and Brian D'Arcy James as Sydney Falcone. Pryce was replaced by John Lithgow. Though Lithgow is best known for his film and TV career, he started out on Broadway in the 70s. He won a Tony for the 1973 show The Changing Room. And though he won a Tony for Sweet Smell Of Success, I'm not sure he should have been starring in a musical in the first place. Most of the songs in the show were performed by a chorus like the song Dirt which was performed on the 2002 Tony Award broadcast. One of the major criticisms of Sweet Smell Of Success was it didn't have that big showstopping number. So though the show was nominated for seven Tonys, it only ran for two months before closing. The original cast album is available on mp3. Here's the Sweet Smell Of Success Ensemble performing Dirt on the 2002 Tony Awards broadcast.
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Album:The Very Best of Celtic Thunder
Celtic Thunder is more stage show than vocal group. They are very popular at home. In the US their Christmas albums are popular and they are a staple of PBS pledge drives. So they appeal to an older audience who don't listen to today's music. If Celtic Thunder reminds you of Celtic Woman, that's not a coincidence. Sharon Browne is one of the creators of Celtic Woman. Based on that success, she created Celtic Thunder in 2007. The concept is the same and both acts have been internationally successful. Phil Coulter is the musical director. He's been around since the 60s as a songwriter, producer and arranger. With his partner Bill Martin, Coulter wrote the 1975 Bay City Rollers chart topper Saturday Night. There's no question that Coulter is a big reason Celtic Thunder has been successful. The group membership is constantly changing and Coulter is responsible for keeping the music consistent. Celtic Thunder released their debut CD in 2008 on Decca. And of course they are constantly touring and releasing DVDs. Ireland's Call is from the 2012 CD Voyage II. While watching audience reaction during the video, you might think Ireland's Call is a traditional patriotic anthem. But no, Coulter wrote the song. So clearly, he knows what he's doing. At the time there were eight singers in Celtic Thunder led by Neil Byrne who started out as a guitarist in the band and made a singer in 2009. The one in the video who looks younger than the others is Damian McGinty. He was an original member at age 15. He left when he joined the cast of Glee in 2011 and he returned when that show ended. Ryan Kelly has been a member for their entire run. Other guys seem to come and go. Obviously the concept is bigger than the individual members. Celtic Thunder left Decca for Sony in 2013 which was when this comp CD was released. They are always on tour and releasing new CDs and DVDs. Here's Celtic Thunder performing Ireland's Call 2014.
Monday, January 14, 2019
Song:All The Small Things
blink-182 may have been the most successful post punk group of the late 90s. All The Small Things was their only top ten pop hit. But they were a very successful album and touring band. And they are still around. blink-182 were formed in 1992 in the San Diego suburb of Poway, CA. Guitarist Tom DeLonge was looking to form a band. He met drummer Scott Raynor at a Battle of the Bands competition. A friend introduced him to his girlfriend's brother bassist Mark Hoppus. And they started jamming in DeLonge's garage. They called themselves Blink. They wanted to appeal to skateboarders. They recorded a demo and started to perform locally. They signed with Cargo Records and released an album in 1995. When they discovered there was already a band called Blink, the name was changed to blink-182. After a record company bidding was, blink-182 signed with MCA. Their breakthrough was with their 1999 album Enema of the State. All The Small Things reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified 5XPlatinum. It sold 15M copies worldwide. DeLonge wrote All The Small Things about his girlfriend. And it was also designed to be a big hit single by producer Jerry Finn. By this time Raynor was replaced by Travis Barker. They appeared in the hit film American Pie. The 2001 album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket was as successful as Enema of the State. Of course nothing ever lasts in the music business. DeLonge thought blink-182's music was too commercial. So he recorded Box Car Racer. Barker played drums on that and that upset Hoppus. But they got back together and released the 2003 album blink-182. This was not as successful as previous albums. blink-182 went on hiatus in 2005. DeLonge wanted to spend more time with his family. Barker and Hoppus recorded as +44. Barker also appeared on the MTV reality series Meet The Barkers. He was also addicted to painkillers. And Barker was seriously injured in a 2008 plane crash. And producer Jerry Finn died. But the plane crash actually got blink-182 back together. They reformed in 2009 and released an album in 2011. Then DeLonge quit for good. He was replaced by Matt Skiba and blink-182 released the 2016 album California on a new label BMG. They continue to tour and they did a Las Vegas residency in 2018. We should see new music from them in 2019. Here's the video for All The Small Things by blink-182.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Album:All The Good Sh**: 14 Solid Gold Hits 2000-2008
It could be said that Sum 41 rode the coattails of the more successful group Blink-182. They were on the same record label, toured with them and even worked with the same producer. But Sum 41 were very successful in their native Canada and that has kept them going. Fat Lip was their biggest hit in 2001. Sum 41 are from Ajax, ON which is east of Toronto. They were formed in 1996 by lead singer Deryck Whibley and drummer Steve Jocz as Kaspir. After auditions they added lead guitarist Steve Baksh and bassist Jason McCaslin. Their first show was on the 41st day of summer vacation so they changed the band name to Sum 41. After sending out demos, they signed with Aquarius Records and released the 2000 EP Half Hour Of Power. It did well enough to get them a US deal with Island Records. It was always Island's plan to package Sum 41 with Blink-182. They even used Blink-182's producer Jerry Finn on the 2001 album All Killer No Filler. And most reviews noted the similarities. The video for Fat Lip went into heavy rotation on MTV and MuchMusic. It topped the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. They also toured with Blink-182. The album was certified Platinum. The strategy worked. Sum 41 went to the Republic of Congo in 2004 to document the civil war there. Fighting broke out while they were there and they had to be airlifted out. A documentary about the trip aired on MTV. Baksh left in 2006. The band did not replace him. They hired guitarists for tours. Baksh returned in 2015. Sum 41 left Island and Aquarius after the 2011 album Screaming Bloody Murder. This comp is available as an mp3. They released their latest album 13 Voices on Hopeless Records in 2016. Jocz left in 2013. Sum 41 still tours. They have done well for a band that was supposed to be a Blink-182 knockoff. Here's the video for Fat Lip by Sum 41.
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Song:He's Gonna Step On You Again
Today John Kongos is known as the father of the four brothers in the popular group Kongos. But back in the 70s he recorded the classics He's Gonna Step On You Again and Tokoloshe Man. Both were top five hits in England and popular on FM rock radio. He was born Aug. 6, 1945 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He recorded as a solo artist and as Johnny and the G-Men in the early 60s. Kongos moved to England in 1966 and led the bands Floribunda Rose and Scrugg. Neither band was successful. So he released the 1969 album Confusions About a Goldfish on the Pye Records label Dawn. He switched Fly Records for the 1971 album Kongos. The album was produced by Elton John's producer Gus Dudgeon. When He's Gonna Step On You Again and Tokoloshe Man became top five hits in England, the album was picked up by labels worldwide including Elektra in the US. This album is available as an mp3. The Guinness Book of World Records claims that He's Gonna Step On You Again was the first record to sample another recording, in this case African drums. The Happy Mondays 1990 cover of He's Gonna Step On You Again was also a top five hit in England. After that Kongos opened his recording studio in London and I don't think he ever recorded another album. Probably his best known music is for the TV series Fraggle Rock. Kongos still owns a recording studio in Phoenix and of course his four sons are internationally famous as Kongos. Here's John Kongos performing He's Gonna Step On You Again on the French TV show Pop Match 1971.
Friday, January 11, 2019
Song:The Last Time I Made Love
Album:Ultimate 16: Classic Love Duets
Joyce Kennedy is best known as the lead singer of the 70s group Mother's Finest. But she also recorded solo before and after she was in that band. She scored a top five R&B hit in 1984 with The Last Time I Made Love, a duet with Jeffrey Osborne. She was born in 1948 in Anguilla, MS but she grew up in Chicago. Joyce recorded a few singles in the 60s with producer Andre Williams. then she met Glenn Murdock of The Vondells. They married and formed Mother's Finest. If you're not familiar with them, Mother's Finest were not R&B or funk. They were a rock band. They recorded several albums for Epic. They were a successful album and touring band. When Mother's Finest ended in 1981, Joyce signed with A&M Records. Her debut album Lookin' For Trouble was released in 1984. Half of the album was produced by Leon Sylvers III and the other half was produced by Jeffrey Osborne. And he made a guest appearance on The Last Time I Made Love. It reached #2 on the R&B Singles chart and #40 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was written by songwriting legends Jeff Barry, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill. This song did not appear on a Jeffrey Osborne album but it does appear on a couple of his comp CDs. And you can get it on this various artists duets CD. Osborne also produced a couple of songs on Joyce's 1985 album Wanna Play Your Game. Other producers were Joyce's husband Glenn Murdock and John "Jellybean" Benitez. When that album was unsuccessful, Joyce turned to studio work and songwriting. Mother's finest reformed in 1989 and released an album. And Joyce did a farewell tour with Mother's Finest in 2017. Here's the video for The Last Time I Made Love by Joyce Kennedy featuring Jeffrey Osborne.
Thursday, January 10, 2019
The Tragically Hip are beloved in their native Canada. But despite several attempts they were never able to break through in the US. Bobcaygeon is considered to be one of their signature songs. The Tragically Hip were formed in 1984 in Kingston, ON. The lead singer and songwriter was Gord Downie along with Paul Langlois and Rob Baker on guitar, Gord Sinclair on bass and Johnny Fay on drums. The band name was from the Michael Nesmith video Elephant Parts. They signed with MCA Canada in 1989. Up To Here was their 1989 debut album. They were very successful touring Canada and their albums sold OK. They didn't have any hit singles until later. MCA in the US didn't seem too interested in them. So they signed with Sire Records in the US. The Tragically hip appeared on Saturday Night Live through fellow Canadian Dan Ayckroyd. For the 1998 album Phantom Power, Sire really tried but were unable to break The Tragically Hip in the US. They brought in Steve Berlin of Los Lobos to produce. The album did great in Canada. Bobcaygeon was one of five hit singles. Bobcaygeon is a small town in Ontario. The song is about life in a small town. Downie says it could have been any town. He chose Bobcaygeon because it rhymes with constellation. It won a Juno for Single of the Year. Phantom Power is available as a budget CD. But there are no Tragically Hip comps available. Universal only released one and it's out of print. The Tragically Hip continued to record and tour Canada very successfully until Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2016. After a farewell tour, Downie died on Oct. 17, 2017. Though The Tragically Hip retired, they recorded a lot of new songs before Downie died. So I expect we will see new CDs in the future. The surviving members own a cannabis company using Tragically Hip branding. Here's the video of Bobcaygeon by The Tragically Hip.
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Song:Miserable At Best
Album:A Lesson In Romantics: Anniversary Edition
The 2007 album A Lesson In Romantics is the best selling album by Mayday Parade. They are a successful touring band but they have never had a hit single. Mayday Parade are from Tallahassee, FL. They formed in 2005. It was a merger of two bands who rehearsed in the same building. Jason Lancaster and Derek Sanders shared lead vocals. Lancaster played guitar and Sanders played piano. Other members were Alex Garcia on lead guitar, Brooks Betts on rhythm guitar, Jeremy Lenzo on bass and Jake Bundrick on drums. They released an EP in 2006 and toured. They signed with Fearless Records with Atlantic distribution. While recording the 2007 album A Lesson In Romantics, Lancaster left over songwriting credit. All of Mayday Parade's songs were credited to the band and I assume the royalties were equally divided. Obviously Lancaster wanted more money. He was never replaced. Lancaster recorded two albums with the band Go Radio and he has released two solo albums. A Lesson In Romantics was released and the band toured to support it. The album was eventually certified Gold and it is still their best selling album to date. It was rereleased in 2017 with bonus tracks that are previously unreleased demos. Since then Mayday Parade has released five albums. For their 2018 CD Sunnyland they moved to Rise Records. They are currently on tour and they are going to Europe in February. They are recommended to those whom enjoy the emo style of pop music. Here's the video for Miserable At Best by Mayday Parade.
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Trick Pony had success on the country charts with their 2001 debut album and four top twenty singles. But it didn't last and they only recorded three albums before splitting up. They were formed in 1996. Guitarist Keith Burns and bassist Ira Dean were working as sideman. Burns was working for Joe Diffie. Dean was working for Tanya Tucker. They decided to form a group with singer Heidi Newfield. She was a friend of Burns' wife. The name Trick Pony is from the 1980 Paul Simon album One Trick Pony. The music is country with Southern Rock leanings. They signed with Warner Bros. and Pour Me was released in advance of the 2001 album Trick Pony. Pour Me reached #12 on the Country Singles chart. After the album was released, On A Night Like This reached #4 on the Country singles chart. The album was certified Gold. The album was produced by Chuck Howard who had success producing Billy Dean and John Berry. Burns and Dean wrote most of the songs on the album. There was a cover of the Johnny Cash song Big River featuring Cash and Waylon Jennings. Trick Pony's 2002 album On A Mission didn't do as well. After Just What I Do was a top twenty hit, Warners dropped them. They signed with Asylum-Curb for the 2004 album R.I.D.E. And then Heidi left to go solo. She released an album on Curb in 2006. She was replaced by Aubrey Collins who appeared on the ABC series One: Making of a Music Star. But she left after a few months and Trick Pony split up. Burns formed Burns & Poe with former DreamWorks recording artist Michelle Poe. They released an album in 2011. Dean had success as a songwriter and he did sign a record deal. But it doesn't look like he ever recorded an album. Trick Pony reformed and announced plans to tour and record in 2014. But that was derailed when Dean left shortly after the announcement. Trick Pony did release an EP in 2016. They don't seem to be active now. Here's the video for Pour Me by Trick Pony.
Monday, January 07, 2019
There was a time not that long ago when a singer like Yuna Zarai would have been content with success in her home country of Malaysia. But with the success of her 2016 hit single Crush, she could be the next big star. She was born Nov. 15, 1986 in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. Her father is a judge. Yuna got into the music scene while studying law at Universiti Teknologi MARA. She has a law degree which will come in handy dealing with music industry sharks. After appearing on the talent contest TV show One In A Million, Yuna released a 2008 EP and exposure through MySpace made Deeper Conversation a local hit. She signed a US deal with Fader Label and released a 2010 EP and the 2012 album Yuna. The single Live Your Life was produced by Pharrell Williams. Yuna appeared on all the late night talk shows. But it wasn't enough for a breakthrough. So Yuna signed with Verve. She released her major label debut CD Nocturne in 2015. But the breakthrough came with the 2016 album Chapters and the single Crush featuring Usher. Crush reached #3 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and it also made the R&B chart. Much of Nocturnal was produced by Danish producer Robin Hannibal. He also worked with her on Chapters. But she seemed to click with Brian Warfield and Mac Robinson AKA Fisticuffs. They have produced Jhene Aiko and Miguel. And Jhene makes a guest appearance on Chapters. Obviously Usher's star power helped too. She recently released the single Better Now so a new album is on the way. And she is touring Europe in March. Yuna has the talent and looks to be a big star. We'll see if that comes true. Here's the video for Crush by Yuna featuring Usher.
Sunday, January 06, 2019
Album:Discoteca: Firin' Latino House, Funk, Electro and Disco
Acid Jazz was an attempt by British DJ Gilles Peterson to get people to listen to jazz. Since most of the Acid Jazz I have heard is really R&B, I don't think Acid Jazz was very successful. But the music was pretty good. United Future Organization (UFO) was a more obvious attempt to get people to listen to jazz. They were Japanese DJs Tadashi Yabe and Toshio Matsuura and French DJ Raphael Sebbag. Loud Minority was their second single. When Peterson heard UFO, he signed them to his Talkin' Loud label and brought then to England. Peterson's relationship with PolyGram got UFO an appearance on the charity CD Stolen Moments: Red, Hot + Cool and that appearance generated enough interest to get a couple of UFO CDs released in the US on Verve. Loud Minority is based on the 1974 song The Loud Minority by sax player Frank Foster. The trumpet solo is by Hannibal Marvin Peterson. It also samples songs by Lonnie Smith, Michel Legrand and Art Blakey. The spoken word is from the 1960 comedy album Out Of My Head by New York radio personality George Crater. He hosted a jazz radio show. Most of UFO's albums are out of print. But you can get Loud Minority on this various artists budget CD compiled by DJ Martin Morales who is from Peru but he lives in England. UFO last recorded in 2002 when Matsuura left to work for Universal Japan on a remix project. All three guys still do remixes. Here's the video for Loud Minority by United Future Organization.
Saturday, January 05, 2019
The dance group 2 Unlimited are successful mostly in Europe. The 1992 single Twilight Zone was one of two US chart singles. The guys behind 2 Unlimited are producers Jean-Paul De Coster and Phil Wilde from Antwerp, Belgium. As Bizz Nizz, they scored a British top ten hit in 1989 with Don't Miss The Party Line. They created the instrumental Get Ready For This and they decided it needed a vocal. They gave the tape to rapper Ray Slijngaard who they had worked with before. When he returned the tape, it not only had Slingaard's rap but a chorus sung by Anita Doth. They decided to feature them as 2 Unlimited. They signed with the Belgian label Byte Records who licensed then to labels worldwide including Radikal Records in the US and Pete Waterman's PWL International in England. Twilight Zone was the second single and the first single to feature Anita. It reached #49 on the Billboard Hot 100 The NHL still uses an instrumental loop of Twilight Zone during games. 2 Unlimited continued to have success with songs like No Limit mostly in Europe. Slijngaard and Doth left in 1996. De Coster and Wilde hired two new singers. They released an unsuccessful album in 1998. Slijngaard and Doth reunited in 2009 and 2 Unlimited officially reformed in 2012. 2 Unlimited has performed live and released remixes of hits. But they haven't recorded new music. Doth left in 2016 and 2 Unlimited continue to tour with a new singer. Here's the video of Twilight Zone by 2 Unlimited.
Friday, January 04, 2019
Song:What Makes You Beautiful
Album:Up All Night/Take Me Home
One of the things I find odd about Simon Cowell's TV show X Factor is he takes total strangers and puts them in groups to compete on the show. One Direction is probably the most successful example of this. What Makes You Beautiful was their first big hit. Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson auditioned for the 2010 season of X Factor. When they failed to progress individually, Cowell put them together. Styles came up with the name One Direction. After finishing third in X Factor, Cowell signed them to his Syco label. He sent them to Los Angeles to work on their debut album Up All Night. What Makes You Beautiful was the first single. It topped the British charts and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified 2XPlatinum and sold over four million copies. One Direction worked with several producers. What Makes You Beautiful was produced by Rami Yacoub and Carl Falk and they wrote the song with Savan Kotecha. Kotecha wrote other One Direction songs and he has written for Ariana Grande. Yacoub and Falk are from Sweden and they have worked with Nicki Minaj among others. The 2012 album Take Me Home was just as successful. Live While We're Young was the big hit from that album. Up All Night and Take Me Home are available as a twofer CD. One Direction's success continued. After the 2014 album Four, their tour manager left and then Malik left to go solo. They went on hiatus after the 2015 album Made In The A.M. On the last two albums, the group had more input into the songwriting. But they must have felt that they were stuck in a music format and they couldn't escape. At the time, Us Weekly reported that the One Direction split was permanent. All four guys have recorded solo and it doesn't look like they will reform. Here's the video for What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction.
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Song:Shut Up And Dance
Album:Talking Is Hard
Shut Up And Dance was a top five hit in 2014. It is the only big hit to date for Walk The Moon. That should be enough to keep them on tour for years. Walk The Moon is from Cincinnati. Lead singer, songwriter and keyboard player Nicholas Petricca formed the band while he was a student at Kenyon College in 2006. The band name is from The Police song Walking On The Moon. The band went through many changes until 2010 when they solidified their lineup with Eli Brose Maiman on guitar, Kevin Colter Ray on bass and Sean Byron Waugaman on drums. Walk The Moon self released an album in 2010. And the single Anna Sun got enough airplay to spark a record company bidding war. RCA Records won that war and released the 2012 album Walk The Moon. The album did OK but things really blew up when Shut Up And Dance was released in advance of the 2014 album Talking Is Hard. It reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album was certified Platinum. Petricca and the band wrote the song with producers Ben Berger and Ryan McMahon aka Captain Cuts. I can see why it was a hit. It's an earworm. It gets into your head and you can't get rid of it. Walk The Moon was nominated for several awards. They won two Billboard Music Awards for Top Radio Song and Top Rock Song. Since then Walk The Moon has been very successful on tour. They released a live album in 2016 and then the 2017 album What If Nothing. Talking Is Hard is available as a budget CD. I don't know if Walk The Moon will ever have another big hit but they probably don't need one. Here's the video for Shut Up And Dance by Walk The Moon.
Wednesday, January 02, 2019
Song:Black Hole, Weirdo Shrine
La Luz is an all girl band that I would describe as neo psychedelic with surf music influence. They are from Seattle. Lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Shana Cleveland and drummer Marian Li Pino were in the band The Curious Mystery. They recorded two albums. When they split up, Shana formed La Luz with Marian, Alice Sandahl on keyboards and Abbey Blackwell on bass. Major influences are Link Wray, The Ventures and Dick Dale. After releasing an EP, La Luz signed with Sub Pop's Hardly Art label and released the 2013 album It's Alive. They went on tour with Of Montreal. On Nov. 5, 2013, La Luz was travelling from Boise to Seattle when their tour van skidded on black ice. The van crashed into a highway divider and then hit by a truck. Everything was destroyed. The girls escaped with minor injuries but of course the tour was cancelled. Abbey was replaced by Lena Simon. They returned to the studio in 2015 and released the album Weirdo Shrine. The album got positive reviews and they toured to support it. La Luz then moved to Los Angeles. Their latest CD Floating Features was released in 2018. They toured to support it and they are going back on the road in February. I recommend La Luz to fans of neo psychedelic music. Here's the video for Black Hole, Weirdo Shrine by La Luz.