Thursday, December 21, 2006

Not the usual kind of post for this site, but here are my top 10 list of the things that have occupied me this year ..

Albums of the Year
Picking my favourite 10 albums of the year was actually very hard this year, whilst 7 jumped straight in, there were then about another 10 that were all worthy of taking one of the final 3 spots in my list, so a pretty good year on that evidence. However, to keep things to 10, my list (in no particular order) is:

1. Bruce Springsteen - The Seeger Sessions
Who would have thought that an album of Pete Seeger covers would result in one of the finest albums of Springsteen's career? This album is just a joy. It really is impossible to play this and not end up singing along with the likes of 'Oh Mary don't you weep' and to do so with a big smile on your face. Quite probably my album of 2006.
2.The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics
From the sing-a-long joy of 'The Yeah Yeah Yeah song', 'It Overtakes Me' and 'Race for the Prize'; through to the psychedelic wonderfulness of 'The Wizard Turns' and 'Pompeii am goetterdaemmerung' this is just a fantastic record, indeed maybe the band's best - just edging out The Soft Bulletin in my view. [Also one of the live highlights of 2006]
3.The Dresden Dolls - Yes Virgina
I’m taking back the number of the beast, cause 6 is not a pretty number, 8 or 3 are definitely better, a is for the address on the letter, to my alcoholic friends ... Punk rock cabaret? Who knows. What I do know is that, in songs like 'Backstabber', 'My Alcoholic Friends', 'Delilah' and 'Shores Of California' Amanda and Brian delivered a handful of the best songs of 2006.
4. The New Cars - It's Alive
Considering this was recorded when they had only played live together a couple of times, I think this is a pretty decent record. I come at this as a fan of both the original Cars and of Todd Rundgren, and not only is it great to hear these songs live - and a number of them sound much better live than they ever did on record - but also the surprise is actually what a good fit Rundgren is vocally - although he does perhaps try a bit too hard on a couple of numbers to be Ocasek-ish. The three new studio cuts all grown on you and give a hint of possible things to come if they so decide to record a full 'Cartopia' studio album. Highlights for me are: 'Let's Go', 'You Might Think' and 'Not Tonight'.
5.Union of Knives - Violence & Birdsong
It is really great to see another Glasgow band on the scene and making a quite exceptionally good debut album. A fantastic blend of dance beats and rock music result in one the essential records of the year. "You won’t be disappointed, easily one of my favourite tracks at the moment… bit of Radiohead, DJ Shadow, Aphex Twin, The Eels... incredible" - Zane Lowe (Radio 1) on 'Operated On'
6.Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
Suddenly that classic 60s soul sound is back with this very retro sounding album by Winehouse. What makes it work is that the quality of the songs; from the brilliant opener (and first single) 'Rehab', through the fuckery, tongue in cheek fun of 'Me and Mr Jones', the class of the title track and the lovely ballad 'Love is a loosing game'. This album was perhaps the biggest surprise of this year, and one I would never have predicted liking.
7.Giant Drag - Hearts And Unicorns
I love this record. I love Annie Hardy. I love Giant Drag. Take one part My Bloody Valentine (Kevin is Gay) add to one part Pixies/Breeders (Pretty Little Neighbor , YFLMD) add a bit of insanity and Voila. 'This isn't it' is one the songs of 2006. They were also bloody good live too. Although there is some sad news, founding member and drummer/keyboardist Micah Calabrese has departed the band for unspecified reasons, which just leaves Annie in 'the band'.
8.Thea Gilmore - Harpo's Ghost
Just piping The Lemonheads into the final pace in my list, Gilmore's latest album, most of which was co-written with Mike Scott (Waterboys) provides apple evidence of why she is one of the best singer songwriters in the UK.
9.Neil Diamond - 12 Songs
What does Rick Rubin put in the water when he goes to work with people? It had been about 30 years since Diamond had made an album which was even remotely listenable to, and suddenly out of nowhere he delivers a piece of work equal to anything he did in his late 60's early 70's prime.
10.Killers - Sam's Town
Ah, difficult second album time. Not to worry, the band seem to have decided to rock a bit more. Kicking off with Sam's Town, followed by the brilliant 'When we were young' this album hits the ground running. There is a little bit of filler, buy with other tunes such as This River Is Wild and Bones, it is mostly killer(s).

Honourable mentions, and lots of them too: The Lemonheads - The Lemonheads (The return of Evan Dando just misses out on my top 10. I wasn't sure about this album when it first came out, but as the year has gone on I have found myself listening to it more and more); Jarvis - That Jarvis Cocker Record (Disney, fat children, Live-8 ...Jarvis takes a pop at them all in this very welcome return by the ex pulp front man); Bob Dylan - Modern Times ( just a great record ); Camille - Le Fil (whilst re-released, this really came out in 2005, otherwise it may just have made the top 10); Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones (very close to making the top 10 list. A very fine record); Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Stadium Arcadium (hard not to like this record, but also hard to get overly enthused by it) ; Muse - Black Holes and Revelations (one part spinal tap, one part prog rock sad bastards, one part genius); Graham Coxon - Love Travels At illegal Speeds (fun punchy rock); Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther (weird and wonderful); Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways (a fitting tribute); OutKast - Idlewild (by all accounts the film sucked, but the album was full of pleasing tunes); Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not; (certainly not even half as good as people and hype would have you believe, but still a strong debut effort); Shawn Colvin - These Four Walls (I just love Colvin's voice, and frankly the woman doesn't make bad records) ; Allison Moorer - Getting Somewhere (enjoyable songs from the latest Mrs Earle); Basement Jaxx - Crazy Itch Radio ( Just a great dance record ) ; Rosanne Cash - Black Cadillac (moving stuff); The Like - Are you thinking what we're thinking (no, not an album of Tory party tunes, but a surprisingly good pop debut); Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam ( a good, if slightly disappointing album); and Lady Sovereign - Public Warning (not actually released in the Uk until February, but already out in the US, I have to confess to actually quite liking our very own queen of chav rap. A Little Bit Of Shh is just fabulous.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

And a partridge in a pear tree

Q. Here's a strange thing. Did you see that Todd Rundgren, whom you fought with so much when he produced "Skylarking," is touring around as the lead singer of the Cars?

A. I always thought the Cars were frighteningly bland. I thought they were like the food that people serve in old people's retirement homes, the stuff where there's somebody behind the screen chewing up the food before they serve it.

From an interview with Andy Partridge in the Boston Globe last week.

Monday, December 18, 2006

End of Year - Singles of the Year

In no particular order - although the first 5 are are those that would be in my top 5.

1. Christina Aquilera - 'Aint No Other Man'
2. Union of Knives - 'Operated On' EP
3. The Lemonheads - 'Become the Enemy'
4. The Killers - 'When We Were Young'
5. Amy Winehouse - 'Rehab'
6. Pearl Jam - 'World Wide Suicide'
7. Nerina Pallot - 'Everybody's Gone to War'
8. The Dresden Dolls - 'Backstabber'
9. Kasabian - 'Shoot the Runner'
10. Depeche Mode - 'Suffer Well'

Saturday, December 09, 2006

End of Year - Part One

Well, it is almost time for my favourite albums of 2006 list, but before that I feel that a post covering some of the worst records of the year and maybe one on old classics re-discovered too maybe.

So. Worst/Most Disappointing records of the year?

Paul Stanley - Live to Win

Oh no, tears are falling ... and alas Paul these are not tears of joy. This really isn't a very a good album. A collection of very average pop rock tunes, which thankfully only lasts just over 30 minutes.

Panic at the Disco - A Fever you can't sweat out

Too clever by half - or at least they think they are. Some amusing lyrics, but the album is just too samey musically. I reckon they have a great album in them, this just isn't it.

The Ordinary Boys - How to Get Everything You Ever Wanted in Ten Easy Steps

A few years ago the Ordinary boy's debut album ' Over the counter culture' filled me with great hope. A nice mix between the Jam and Ska, blended into jolly pop tunes (good live too). Now since singer Preston's appearance on celebrity Big Brother, his marriage to Chantel who he met on there, and the band have become, well, shite really.

Nina Gordon - Bleeding Heart Graffiti

This isn't a bad album, but I must admit I was expecting better. Her first solo album 'Tonight and the rest of my life' was a delightful pop record. This one, isn't bad, but it's also a bit average and could frankly be any one of a hundred artists. Sad.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fairlight and Todd

There is a vintage Fairlight CMI keyboard up on eBay signed by 44 legendary artists include Lindsey Buckingham, Nick Rhodes, Stuart Copeland, Elvis Costello, Mike Oldfield, Hans Zimmer, Roland Orzabal, Barry Gibb, Steve Winwood, Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson, JJ Jeczalik, Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox, Boris Blank, Midge Ure, Alan Parsons, Geoff Downes, Brian Wilson, David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Sir George Martin, John Paul Jones, Trevor Horn, Jim Kerr, Brian Eno, Jean Michel Jarre, Howard Jones, Herbie Hancock, Thomas Dolby, Keith Emerson, Mark Mothersbaugh, Bono, Jan Hammer, Todd Rundgren, Stevie Wonder, Iva Davies, David Hirschfelder, Chick Corea, Daryl Hall, Mike Rutherford, Billy Gibbons, Peter Gabriel and David Bowie.

All used the Fairlight during the Eighties. The Fairlight will be auctioned online up until a live auction at the WITNESS Benefit Dinner and Concert in New York City on December 11, 2006. WITNESS is a human rights organisation set up by Peter Gabriel. Starting bid is $100,000

Speaking of Todd and the Fairlight, there is a great clip of Todd speaking about A Cappella on Entertainment tonight, with a clip showing him with a Fairlight Series II CMI. Whilst you're there why not check out Couldn't I Just Tell You (Live 2000);
A Dream goes on forever; and Todd and Eliot trading licks at the end of Dangerous Type for the The New Cars

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Man Utd, Chelsea and Todd

You find mentions of Todd in strange places, none stranger that a report on last Sunday's Man Utd v Chelsea game at where John Nicolson's thought's suddenly go back to Knebworth 1979 and Todd and Led Zep.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Todd & Elliot speak

On Milwaulkee has a good interview with Todd speaking about The New Cars. On the question of a possible album of new material he says: "It's one of those things where there has to be a legitimate business foundation to this," he says. "You can't do it on a whim. The audience has a lot to say about the longetivity of the idea. If they come out and buy tickets, there's life. If they do not, then the audience has spoken. If we can't leverage a brand that's already famous to so many people, it doesn't make sense to start over."

Meanwhile Elliot told the Detroit Free Press "We're still developing our own chemistry. As this thing solidifies and grows, we're all hoping that Todd will be inspired to write new material specifically for this group. It's great to play the old songs and reconnect with the audience, but the goal of any musician with a pulse is to make new music ...Todd Rundgren's not only a fantastic musician and showman, he's a great guy to be in a band with"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Flaming Lips - Hammersmith Appollo 13/14 Nov

For some reason I ended up going to both nights of the Flaming Lips' London gigs, and had a ball at both (First night on my own, second with a group of friends - Hi Debs, Pete, Sally). Here are a band that like to make the whole concert experience fun and - as it should be - like a big party.

They accomplish this with the help of giant ballons thrown into the audience and lots of confeti and streamers shot into the audience at various stages during the night. Thankfully, it is not all about the Gimmick (did I mention the santas on one side ofthe dtage and the aliens on the other? or the people in superhero costumes?) because the Lips are also a exceptionally good band. Take Todd of AWATS stage and bring him into the 21st Century and I think a lot of what you'd get the Flaming Lips have (Just listen to WAND off current album).

The 105 minute set (inc encoures) featured a good mix of material from their albums with musical highlights for me being: Do You Realise; Spoonful Weighs a Ton; She Don't Use Jelly; Yeah Yeah Yeah Song; Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots; and The WAND (14th, vocal mix better). Oh, and the sing along version of Bohemian Rhapsody on the 13th was pretty fun too.

Great fun, and the kind of gig you cannot help but leave with a smile on your face.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A musical round up - Part Two

It's time for part two of my round up of some of the things that I have been listening to over the past months, and those records that are trying to break into my yearly top 10.
The Lemonheads - The Lemonheads
Evan Dando is back doing what he does best - pleasing power pop - and back doing it under the name of The Lemonheads. This album is liking meeting a old friend who you have not seen for a while, and thankfully, you still like them. I would stop short of calling this classic, but when this record is good it is very good - Become the Enemy is pound for pound as good as anything dando has written; No Backbone; In Passing; Black Gown and many more hit the spot nicely. A welcome return.
Union of Knives - Violence and Birdsong
One of the true surprises of 2006, this Glasgow band are well worth checking out. Described by NME as "Quivering Big Rock songs being circled by tribal electro-drums with guitars of solid glacier" there is a lot going on. Operated On is full of industrial drum beats and is one of the tracks of the year. Other highlights include: Evil has Never; Taste for Harmony; and Go Back to School. Recommended
Basement Jaxx - Crazy Itch Radio
Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe have produced some of the more interesting and inventive modern dance music of recent years, and it is pleasing to see this continue on this album - just check the disco joy of Hush Boy for example. At times the need to do everything can make things hard going - Run 4 Cover featuring the talents of MIA and Lady Sovereign has a Jamaican dance-hall beat that grates. But move past here and take in Smoke Bubbles and On the Train. Actually on tracks such as these this album reminds me of Bran Van 3000.

Christina Aquilera - Back to Basics

God this album (or two albums) goes on a long time. Is it bad? No, it just isn't that great either. I am of the opinion that Aint no other Man is one of the finest singles of this year. Sadly nothing else here gets anywhere near this joy of this track. A few other tunes - Candyman; Still Dirrty; Back in the Day; and the album's second best track, Save me from Myself are all enjoyable enough (and in the last of these CA shows vocal restraint).


I promised a review of the new album so here it is. First off, I have to say that I was surprised to find myself enjoying this record more than I expected. It is - in my mind at least - better than Bat Part II.

Having said that, the pseudo new metal opening of Monster's Loose is rather ropey (with Meat sounding a bit crap), and that's before we get near anything like In the land of the pig ... which is frankly just fucking dreadful.

So what do I like? Well, some of the cheesy badness works very well with me, so I have found myself won over by the likes of Blind as a Bat (the title alone is just so bloody stupid, it is impossible not to love it), What about the Love, and Bad for Good (with Brian May noodling away on guitar) . Cry to Me, If God could talk, and The future ain't what it used to be are also passable in a naff kind of way.

What about It's all coming back to me now you say? Dig out the Pandora's Box version and hear how this song should sound in full over the top manner - again complete with Todd arranged vocals.

Overall, the problem is this record just goes on and on and on. It is far far too long. So by the end boredom has pretty much set in. Still my good will means that I would give this outing ***/*****


I promised a review of the new album so here it is. First off, I have to say that I was surprised to find myself enjoying this record more than I expected. It is - in my mind at least - better than Bat Part II.

Having said that, the pseudo new metal opening of Monster's Loose is rather ropey (with Meat sounding a bit crap), and that's before we get near anything like In the land of the pig ... which is frankly just fucking dreadful.

So what do I like? Well, some of the cheesy badness works very well with me, so I have found myself won over by the likes of Blind as a Bat (the title alone is just so bloody stupid, it is impossible not to love it), What about the Love, and Bad for Good (with Brian May noodling away on guitar) . Cry to Me, If God could talk, and The future ain't what it used to be are also passable in a naff kind of way.

What about It's all coming back to me now you say? Dig out the Pandora's Box version and hear how this song should sound in full over the top manner - again complete with Todd arranged vocals.

Overall, the problem is this record just goes on and on and on. It is far far too long. So by the end boredom has pretty much set in. Still my good will means that I would give this outing ***/*****

Ocasek on New Cars

Two interviews with Ric Ocasek touch on his feelings about the New Cars. In a interview with AV Club he says on the question of - Any lingering hard feelings over the Rundgren affair? "I don't know, you know? Why make trouble? That will stand or fall on its own. People can decide for themselves". While over at the Rocky Mountain News when asked - Approve of the New Cars? Disapprove?, says "It's somewhere in the middle." But honestly, wouldn't you have liked to tour? "I have this reputation for not liking to tour, and I can't say I do love it. I certainly didn't want to do a reunion tour. There were different factors why I didn't want to do that. I don't feel like I need to be revived. I've got things to do."

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Dresden Dolls at The Roundhouse, 4th November

Fuck the rock and roll circus, this is the punk cabaret ... is how the Dresden Dolls were selling their two night stint at the Roundhouse in Camden. And, they were not kidding. Doors opened at 7pm and the entertainment started immediately.

From the moment you walked in the door and up the stairs to the main hall, bubbles were falling down on you - being blown from people on stilts at the top of the stairs, women were dressed as harlots, men looking like outcasts from Moulin Rouge and music coming at you from the main hall - a guy on the accordion as I arrived at 7.25. I must add that many of the audience had also dressed up for the show too, and very fine many of them looked too.

Yes, when the Dolls hit town they do so with a cast of thousands (well, about 30 anyway) including weird musical turns, comedians, and performance artists. The shows in london were lead by their mistress of ceremonies, Margaret Cho.

The lay out of the venue suited the performance with a main stage and then a couple of mini stages to the right and left, which fitted in well in the circular hall. Among those performing were actually a couple of people I knew, comedian Reggie Watts and Edward Ka-Spel and The Silverman of the not that well known by many, adored by others (including Amanda) The Legendary Pink Dots (Syd Barret meets Leonard Cohen with mid 70's electronica). Very entertaining.

By 9.30 we were ready for the main course and the Amanda and Brian took the stage. How were they? Pretty bloody good. From the opening notes of Sex Changes right through to the end of the set at 11.20, they kicked arse.

Highlights included: Backstabber, Coin-operated Boy, Jeep Song, Delilah, Shores of California and Sing. They had Edward Ka-Spel, Lena Lovich, and some of the performance artists helping out at various points in the show adding to the sense of fun. The show was being filmed for a DVD, which will have to be purchased.

Essentially if you have yet to introduce yourself to Amanda and Brian, now is the time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Monster Is Loose

In the News has a review of the new Meatloaf Album. My own views will be posted here soon, after I have had a chance for a couple more listens.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A musical round up - Part One

It's time for one of my more random posts. Basically with todd news short at the moment it is a good time to list some of the other things that i have been listening to over the past months, and those records that are trying to break into my yearly top 10.

The Killers - Sam's Town: Ah, the difficult second album. A bit less Duran Duran influenced that their debut 'Hot Fuss' this second album - playing as I write this - is a grower. It still has too much filler, but the title track, "This river is wild" and "When you were young" all hit the spot.

Bob Dylan - Modern Times: Well if you paid any attention to reviewers you'd have thought this album marked the second coming or something. This is not to say that this is not a fine record, but what itamounts to is an old fashioned blues album filed with needlesssly overlong songs. Theres vert few of th track here that would not benifit from being trimmed down. All that aside: "Nettie More", "Spirit on the Water"; "Someday Baby"; and "When the deal goes Down" are all still top notch.

Shawn Colvin - These Four Walls: I have been a fan of Colvin's for quite a few years now. There are very few artists that do the whole female folk/pop singer songwriter thing better. This album reinforces that view kicking off with two fantastic tracks as good as anything she's written - "Fill me Up"; the title track. Other highlights include "The Bird" and the cover of "Words".

Allison Moorer - Getting Somewhere: From the opening notes of "Work to do" it is clear that new hubby, Steve Earle has had a lot of influence on this album. This album does country in very much the way Earle does, with a big slice of rock - "Fairweather" also follows this mode very well. As that is someting that appeals to me this album hits the mark well. It's not all rocker though, there is plenty of time to listen to Moorer's wonderful voice too, on such tracks as " Hallelujah" and "Where you Are" (which is very like sis Shelby Lynne).

Essential Rock Discography

The Sunday Times had an article on Martin Strong, author of the very entertaining The Essential Rock Discography. "When pressed he’ll recite a personal all-time top five (descending) of Captain Beefheart, Pink Floyd, the Fall, Genesis (“until Peter Gabriel left”) and Todd Rundgren"

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

mutual musical respect

According to Todd seems comfortable playing with the New Cars "I think nothing, you know, would have moved anywhere unless there was a, you know, a foundation of mutual musical respect. Success isn't what gets us together -- it's the fact that when you pick up your instrument and you suddenly get into sync with somebody else, there's a feeling there that is the essence of what a band tries to convey to the audience."

Eliot Easton also stressed that Kasim will always have a spot in the band

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Kasim gets out of the Car

It seems that Kasim has 'left' the New Cars (or at least will not be part of the band when they hit the road again) due to his participating in the Bat out of Hell III tour.

Kasim has a blog here

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hall of Fame

Todd at the Royston gig as reported by Fox News

As for Rundgren, we did talk about his exclusion so far from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "I wouldn't go even if they inducted me," he insisted. "I loved what the Sex Pistols did this year."
Rundgren has every right to be bitter. Apart from hits like "Hello It's Me" and "I Saw the Light," he has also been a seminal producer for Grand Funk Railroad, Badfinger, XTC and other groups.
After a while he said, "Let me know if I get in. I could come and not be happy about it."

Monday, August 07, 2006

Todd & Liv

Todd showed up - along with Bebe Buell, Stephen Tyler, and Liv Tyler to the performance by Arckid, Liv's husband Royston's (ex Spacehog) latest band. David Bowie was also at the gig in New york for the Hugo Boss and Interview Private Rooftop Concert.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Weakerthans @ Meanfiddler 2nd Aug 2006

So, went to see the Weakerthans on Wednesday evening at the mean fiddler. This was the same place I saw them for the first time back in 2004. There were a few more people in the audience this time around I must say.

They had two support acts, but only arrived in time to see Tomte, a German band (who perform in German - aside from links to the songs in English). It seems they and the Weakerthans are sharing headline staus on this European tour, swapping to suit popularity in a given country. As such both played for around an hour. Tomte weren't too bad actually, can see why they have supported Cold Play in the past.

But to the main event. John K Samson walked on his own and got things rolling with One Great City (aka I hate Winnepeg) It was good to see John K is still parting with money when he fucks up songs - this time it was £7.20 (i think) for forgetting a couple of words during a rip-rawing rendition of Aside.

Surprisngly the set was quite light on the quieter more introspective tunes and stuck with the more rockier tunes. Diagnosis, Wednesday's Wellingtons, The Reasons, A Plea from a Cat Named Virtue.

We got a few new tracks from an album that is half finished and will hopefully see the light of day in 2007 .

They do, in my opinion, remain a very good live band. Roll on next time. A bit sooner would be good boys.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Another New Cars review

Harp has a review of It's Alive . Generally the reviewer seem to think it sound pretty good, although he's not as keen on the new tracks Warm and More

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell III is due out in the next couple of months. This time around it is produced by Desmond Child but as with BOOH II Todd once again maintains his connection with the original project by once again providing additional vocal arrangements. Interestingly, the new album contains songs penned by both Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) and John 5 (Marilyn Manson/Rob Zombie) as well as the usual Steinman numbers

Monday, July 31, 2006

101 songs to burn before you die

A few weeks back I set myself a challenge to come up with 101 tracks - classic tracks - that don't get played endlessly on the radio, MTV, and the like, but in my mind should do. I didn't sit down with pen and paper but instead posted off the top nof my head in 10 posts on a family and friends blog. As such some of these probably shouldn't be in here, and some of the links to youtube are to versions that in some cases plane suck, but ... I still like to think I've put a few interesting and overlooked gems in here (also I tried not to put too mant todd/utopia tracks in - only 4 ... maybe the 101 todd tunes is next???

1. The Dream Academy - Life in a Northern Town.
2. The Swimming Pool Q's - Some New Highway.
3. Guadalcanal Diary - Always Saturday.
4. Lucinda Williams - Essence.
5. Bob Dylan - Not Dark Yet.
6. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - The Ship Song.
7. Kathyrn Tickell - Mr Nelson's Birthday Waltz.
8. Frank Zappa - Whippin' Post.
9. Liz Phair - Never Said.
10. Will Powers - Kissing with Confidence
11. Supergroove - Scorpio Girls

12. The Smithereens - Behind the Walls of Sleep (was tempting to choose In a Lonley Place )
13. The Pursuit of Happiness - All I Want
14. The Outlaws - There Goes Another Song
15. Suzanne Vega - The Queen and the Soldier
16. Fannypack - Cameltoe
17. Subsonic 2 - The Unsung Heroes of Hip Hop
18. Paw - Jessie
19. Ruby - Paraffin
20. Veruca Salt - Seether
21. Mott the Hoople - The Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll 22. Boz Scaggs - Lido
23. Tom Petty - Southern Accent
24. Al Di Meola - Cruisin'
25. Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Moon and St Christopher (but He thinks He'll Keep Her is a good runner up!)
26. Todd Rundgren - Just One Victory
27. Matraca Berg - Back When We Were Beautiful
28. Richard Thompson - The Ghost of You Walks
29. Scorpions - Still Loving You
30. Bangles - If She Knew What She Wants
31. Dinosaur Jr - Start Choppin'
32. Shawn Colvin - Something to Believe In
33. Gouge - Get Odd
34. Voice of the Beehive - Perfect Place
35. Lone Justice - Ways to be Wicked
36. Cowboy Junkies - Sweet Jane 37. Kris Kristofferson - A Moment of Forever
38. Janis Ian - All Roads to the River
39. Jackson Browne - Lives in the Balance
40. Dixie Chicks - You Were Mine
41. K's Choice - Not an Addict
42. Juliana Hatfield - Dying Proof
43. Utopia - The Very Last Time
44. Sonic Youth - Drunken Butterfly(This live version is not exactly the song at its best ... but apparently Thurston Moore himself uploaded it)
45. Witness - When it Comes From the Heart
46. Deanna Carter - I've Loved Enough to Know
47. Queensryche - Revolution Calling
48. Husker Du - Could You Be The One
49. Catherine Wheel - Delicious
50. Mudhoney - Touch Me I'm Sick
51. Andy Taylor - Thunder
52. Charlie Sexton - Picturess for Pleasure
53. Green on Red - Time Ain't Nothing
54. Grateful Dead - Box of Rain
55. Billy Cobham - Quadrant
56. Jude Cole - Baby It's Tonight
57. Dolly Parton - Sugar Hill
58. Charlie Mingus - Pork Pie Hat
59. The Neville Brothers - With God on Our Side
60. Superdrag - The Staggering Genius
61. Tim Finn - Hit the Ground Running
62. Squeeze - This Summer
63. ‘Til Tuesday - RIP in Heaven
64. Michael Penn - High Time
65. NWA - 100 Miles and Running
66. New Model Army - 51st State of America
67. Sarah McLachlan - Stupid
68. Guided by Voices - Avalanche Aminos
69. The Offspring - Come out and Play
70. Fuzzbox - International Rescue ( or Irish Bride)
71. Nena - Nur Getraumt ... and how it sounds these days
72. Sugarcubes - Cold Sweat
73. Curve - Fait Accompli (and here's the video for the also excellent Missing Link from the same album)
74. Innocence Mission - Paper Dolls
75. Katydids - What's the matter here
76. 10,000 Maniacs - Cherry Tree
77. Hanoi Rocks - Boulevard of Broken Dreams
78. Madder Rose - Panic on
79. Dresden Dolls - My Alcoholic Friends
80. Nick Drake - Time has Told me ( or Pink Moon)
81. XTC - Mayor of Simpleton
82. Katrina and the Waves - Do you Want Crying
83. The Softboys - I Wanna Destroy You
84. Spirit - Natures Way
85. Solid Harmonie - I Wanna Love You
86. Wendy & Lisa - The Life
87. Joe Walsh - Second Hand Store
88. 24-7 SPYZ - Jungle Boogie
89. Wonderstuff - Size of a Cow
90. Fishbone - Mighty Long Way
91. Hunter - Dreams of Ordinary Men
92. Utopia - If I didn't Try
93. Sugar - Granny Cool
94. Hijack - Back in Brixton
95. Professor Griff - The Verdict
96. Hoodoo Gurus - Bittersweet
97. Shampoo - Girl Power
98. Breeders - Cannonball
99. Belly - Feed the Tree
100. Marilyn Martin - Night Moves
101. Todd Rundgren - It Wouldn't Have Made any Difference

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Todd on music at Amazon

Interesting interview with Todd on Amazon, where Todd talks of some things we should be listening too. Great to see Tricky, KLF, and PE.

Albums of 2006 - So far

In no particular order ...

1. Dresden Dolls - Yes Virginia
2. The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics
3. The Like - Are you Thinking what I'm Thinking
4. Neil Diamond - 12 Songs
5. The New Cars - It's Alive
6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show your Bones
7. Jewel - Goodbye Alice in Wonderland
8. Bruce Springstein - We Shall Overcome
9. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
10. Giant Drag - Hearts & Unicorns

Thursday, June 08, 2006

We have conflicting view at the Boston Herald

Larry Katz “It's pathetic seeing these Cars remnants and Todd Rundgren shamelessly exploiting fan nostalgia. Looks to me that Todd has admitted he's washed up”
and ...

Brett Milano “What makes it for me is the new song "Not Tonight." Here's where Rundgren's skills come in: The song's a good-natured sendup of Ocasek's style,but it's also catchy enough to be a classic Cars single. I'd probably be jumping less to defend this project if the three new songs weren't as solid as they are".

"It sounded OK. But it just felt wrong" according to the Plain Dealer’s John Soeder on their Blossom Music Center gig.

A ‘Get Well Soon’ to Elliot who fractured his left collar bone whilst en route to Washington DC, after the band's show in Cuyahoga Falls on 4 June, when he fell out of his bed when the tour bus swerved to avoid an accident.

"It's Alive," The New Cars (Eleven Seven) - By Jim Harrington, BayArea Music
I can personally confirm that the New Cars, even without mastermind-vocalist-songwriter Ric Ocasek, are a joy ride in concert. That doesn't necessarily mean that fans should be drooling to take the New Cars' new CD out for a spin. The Rundgren-fueled Cars work in concert because fans don't have any other option if they want to hear this material performed live. But, honestly, why would you want to listen to "It's Alive" when you could just as easily listen to the records by the original Cars?

Beef out of Hell

It seems Meat Loaf has taken Jim Steinman to court over the rights to use the phrase ‘Bat out of Hell’ claiming Steiman has been trying to delay the release of his Bat Out of Hell III album.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Vince Welnick R.I.P

I was sorry to read of the passing of Tubes keyboard player Vince Welnick - that's what happens when you joing the Grateful Dead as a keyboard player. Welnick, aside from being a Tube, also appeared - and toured - on several Todd albums, Nearly Human, and Second Wind in particular. RIP Vince.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Better 2nd Time Around

"This was no New Coke or Faux Queen. It was, as Bono once sang, even better than the real thing".

Someone like the New Cars

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I Like The Like

Went to see The Like tonight at the 100 Club on oxford street. Good gog. Sean Na Na suppoting (aka Har mar superstar) His band were pretty good, and he was standing selling The like T-shirts and stuff at the end of the gig - and was open to a chat and agreed that not being tied down to one kind of music was important. He is also a star.

Also big thank you ( BIG THANK YOU) to charlotte who kindly agreed to this photo. I made a bit of a pratt of myself by not being able to remember 'The Key of Cool' when i said i was a fan of her father's work, and sounded like i just knew he produced crowded house and richard thompson.

Monday, May 15, 2006

New Cars Reviews - 1

The Fort Worth Star Telegram has a review of the Blondie/New Cars gig and say of the Cars: "The New Cars is a reincarnation of the Cars (do we now call the old version the Used Cars?) with Ric Ocasek's spot in the band taken by studio wizard Todd Rundgren. Since this was only the second performance by this new lineup, it was not surprising that the group hasn't yet jelled as a band.

On the whole, it was pretty easy to kick a couple of the tires on this model and just walk away".

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Todd speaks to Seante Committee

Todd's Testimony at the Hearing on "Parity, Platforms and Protection: The Future of the Music Industry in the Digital Radio Revolution" before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary 26 April, 2006.

In it he says: "The behavior of the majors has been that of a mindless parasite, contributing nothing yet trying to get its snout into the bloodstream of any new development. The knee-jerk justification is 'protection of artists,' which would more accurately be represented as the interests of highly bankable artists still under contract. For every one of those, there are a hundred with a lifelong bad taste in their mouths over the way they were treated when their sales began to lag ... The fantasy that this type of legislation helps music or musicians should be summarily exposed for what it is: yet another futile attempt to turn back the clock to the days when they were the sole gatekeepers to an artist's future"

Monday, April 24, 2006

Another NewCars interview

Jam! Music has an interview with the NewCars

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

What a Drag

I spent last night seeing Giant Drag live, and have to say what a great gig. Support act good (who were you?) and then Annie took over. She is a bit mad, but also sweet and makes a connection with the audience that many could only dream of. A touch of humour helps to make her the ideal front woman, crisps (chips) an' all. 'This isn't it' , 'YFMLD', ' Wicked Game' and 'My Dick sux' all sounded brilliant.

A band to watch.

Monday, April 10, 2006


I went to see Depeche Mode on the final date (Wembley Arena 3rd April) of the European leg of their World Tour last Monday. Pretty good gig, with the band it good form and looking like they were still ejoying being on the road together. A nicely balanced set saw them play about half the current album - A Pain That I'm Used To, John The Revelator, Macro, Precious, Suffer Well etc mixed with some old classics - Personal Jesus, Enjoy The Silence, I Feel You, Never Let Me Down Again, Policy of Truth, Just Can't Get Enough etc.

Highlights for me were Personal Jesus, I Feel You and an excellent Shake the Disease.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Pearl Jam

Their excellent new single is now out - World Wide Suicide. The flip side Unemployable is also great. The new album Pearl Jam is out 2 May.

They announce a date at the London Astoria for the 20 April, which sadly sold out in minutes yesterday morning before I knew about it.

Friday, March 31, 2006

From the Guardian review of the new Flaming Lips album

The Flaming Lips have by now explored so many avenues that anything goes. At various points, you might be reminded of Black Sabbath, Bill Withers, Frank Zappa, Prince and Yes. While Mr Ambulance Driver is wistful, rippling soul, the colossal Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung could be a late addition to Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. It's fitting that Coyne and musical linchpin Steven Drozd first bonded over a Todd Rundgren song; Rundgren's marriage of sweet pop-soul and lysergic freakery on his 1973 album, A Wizard, A True Star is the closest point of comparison

More NewCars

The Full live performance of the NewCars peforming 'Not Tonight' is available on

The first review of the album is also online at Get Ready to Rock. They also have interviews with Todd and Greg.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Todd Interview

Live Daily has an interview with Todd and his decision to join the Cars ...

"I thought, 'Well, The Cars thing will satisfy a number of things.' One thing that it won't satisfy is that I won't be playing a lot of my material. There's so much Cars material, it fills up most of the show, although we will do a couple of my things. From the standpoint of my audience, they'll have to be satisfied to watch me sing Cars songs. [laughs] And other aspects made it potentially a good idea from the standpoint of my own career and what I want to do, in that I'll definitely be playing for larger audiences than I usually do".

Another interesting quote - for me at least - comes when he talks about Producing other artists

"I regret that I never got to do a serious rap act like Public Enemy, because some of those records are really amazing and transcendent from a production standpoint"

Todd producing PE, now that would have been interesting.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

More New Cars

New Cars Coverage / Articles

New Cars Day

The New Cars (website now up and running) will be on Jay Leno Tonight. For those in Europe you can catch this at 11pm CET on CNBC Europe on Friday Night (17th)

On the new website if you click on Jukebox in the top right hand corner you get to hear snippets of the new line up playing Drive (Kasim Vocal), Good Times Roll, Just What I needed, and Shake it Up. Sounds pretty good to me.

The New Cars: It’s Alive, a greatest hits collection performed live by The New Cars (plus a couple of new studio tracks), is out 9 May

Monday, March 13, 2006


The new Donald Fagen album 'Morph the Cat' is out, and pretty damn good it is too. The download version on napster features Fagen's cover of Al Green's "Rhymes" . "Rhymes," according to Billboard and others was produced by Todd who also apparently plays on the track.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cars on Leno

The NewCars (featuring Todd and Kasim) will be playing their new single 'But Not Tonight' on The Jay Leno Show on Tuesday 14th March when they'll also announce their tour dates.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The New Cars

The New Cars have a website (although not much bar a short promo vid and a place to sign up for info at the moment.

For more material, the ever reliable TR Connection points us in the direction of this site

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Liars Live DVD

OPed News has a review of the Liars Live DVD which is amusing for how the reviewer had his expectations confounded "First prepared to rip this release to shreds, ‘cause I was extremely unhappy with several of his last CDs, I came away dazed. Never expected it. If this is what Rundgren can still do, then he should devote his future to documents from the rostrum, before admiring throngs, happily ensconced amidst kliegs in teatros. Liars Live blows everything he’s done in the last 15 years to smithereens. His voice is in very good shape, the band’s as cool and snazzy as a West Coast Cool ensemble blent with lounge pop-rock and frequently blazing to the heavens, not a moment is wasted. Those lamenting the fading inspiration and skills of theoretically declining Baby Booming musicians are going to have a very hard time continuing justifications of the sentiment in light of this".