Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Powder - Mean Fiddler - 10th march 2004

It's taken me 'til March to get my first gig of the year under my belt, and at eight quid, this seemed too good to miss. And if value for money is a good indicator of a good gig, this was it. 3 bands for your cash.

First up were Johnny Panic, a London punk-pop band with a host of good - if formulaic - tunes. They were followed by a 9 piece outfit who's name sadly I did not catch, but who were sort of meatloaf meets the darkness, covering jamiriqai, doing the blues brothers. Crazy stuff, 4 different vocalists - one wanna be robbie williams (and destined to be a star) and a great female singer among them. Need to find out who they were.

And Powder. what can you say? Ninette doing he ditsy blonde routine; Phil with his mad spiky hair; a monster on stilts (suddenly teenage Iron Maiden gigs came flooding back to me); Dance routines with 2 look-a-likes (apparently not uncommon for their to be 4 on stage in some Powder gigs - and it seems we missed out on the pole dancing routine this time too); a skipping display - the likes of which you've never seen (certainly not in the middle of a Rock gig, at least) ; a flip chart to sing along to 'Go'; and goodies galore thrown to the audience. This was fun! You could argue that Powder's bubble gum rock needs these touches as many of the tunes are not good enough for the band to carry it off on music alone, but that would probably be unfair on the band. Whilst you could not argue that some of their material could be stronger, there is no denying the pop brilliance of current single 'Up Here', 'Go' and a couple of other tunes. I can certainly see why they have gone down a storm on the LA club circuit. When Robbie Williams sings " Let me Entertain You", I can only think he must have been referring to Powder. This was the bands first uk visit, I doubt it will be their last. I had a good happy feeling all over on leaving the venue, and let's be honest you can't ask much more than that. One thing's for certain, I'll be there again next time around.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Like a rollin' stone

Today's Miami Herald reviewed Mark Coleman's book - 'Playback: From the Victrola to Mp3, 100 years of music, machine, and Money', which mentions along the way that "observers such a writer Bob Lefsetz and musicain Todd Rundgren advocate embracing the opportunities created by file-sharing and digital downloads, but industry executives resist". The Herald also links to Todd's commentary from Rolling Stone from october last year

Top Dog

Article on Randy - American Idol 'Dog' - Jackson in latest issue of the Bass player, mentions the fact the Randy has once recorded with Todd.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Spin the black circle

Two weeks worth of listening to cover today. Stuck with the Avril wanna-bees.

Fefe Dobson: Fefe Dobson - This is certainly one of the better pop records of the year so far. Fun record.

Kathryn Tickell: The Gathering - Ok, so with the music above, how do we explain an album of Northumbrian pipe music? As genius perhaps. This album, which came out in 1997, is still a favourite of mine. Wonderful folk music, and featuring 'Mr Nelson's Birthday Waltz', which is one of my favourite pieces of music of all time. Beautiful.

Katy Rose: Because I can - Whilst Fefe's album is good, Rose's is a much better and more mature record. Sure it does its Avril bits, 'Overdrive' and 'I Like ' for instance, but it also hints at much more with tracks such as 'Snowflakes' and 'Lemon ' reminding me much more of someone like Heather Nova. Apparently Liz Phair - and I'll skip the sell out, or good pop record discussion on Liz's last album for another time - thought she was good enough to take the support slot on her last tour. If she can channel here enery down the Heather Nova sound route, there is a lot to like here, and some great music to look forward to from this 16 year old.

Speedway: Save Yourself - Had a hit here with their "genie in a bottle' cover and now deliver a debut album that is pleasing and competant without being anything out of the ordinary. Still, with a sound leaning towards the rocky side of Texas (the band, NOT the US State!) there should be very healthy album sales and several more hits to come from this Glasgow bunch. The potential to big a very big band. Highlights include: 'Talk to Me', 'Thinking about you lately', and 'Last Surprise'

Transplants: Transplants - More rap-rock, but quite entertaining in a loud party kind of way.