Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Xmas Podcast: 2015

The one where we ditch the ho ho ho's and instead talk about: Kiss, Pet Shop Boys, Fishbone, NIN, Spirit and David Bowie (and not a little drummer boy in sight).

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Podcast Eleven: 2015

Dave Gahan & Soulsavers - Angels & Ghosts

Little Mix - Get Weird

Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete

Derrhunter - Fading Frontier

Anna Von Hausswolff - The Miraculous

Grimes - Art Angels

Check out this episode!

Monday, December 07, 2015

A touch of Todd in a Very Murray Christmas

So, there I was watching the (rather patchy) A Very Murray Christmas on Nextflix last night when mid programme Jason Schwartzman and Rashida Jones (playing a couple who are meant to be getting married) launch into a duet of 'I Saw the Light'. Made me smile. The presence of Paul Shaffer and David Johansen (both artists produced by Todd) made this even funnier.

Monday, November 23, 2015

You am I

Davey Lane Spoke, guitarist with Aussie band  You am I was asked the following question in an interview (21 Nov) published in Townsvilleeye


"One of my favourite songs of all time is a song called International Feel by Todd Rundgren and that's on his album A Wizard, A True Star. It's a pretty short song but just in terms of the song itself and the production. I've talked about it with the guys from Tame Impala because they're all big Todd Rundgren fans too and if there's anything that's a template for what I've set out to achieve it probably would start with that song."

Monday, November 16, 2015

Podcast Ten :2015

Chvrches - Every Open Eye

John Grant - Grey Tickles, Black Pressure

New Order - Music Complete

Deafheaven - New Bermuda

Janet Jackson - Unbreakable

Taylor Swift/Ryan Adams - 1989

Check out this episode!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Nashville Runt

This list of 50 Classic Albums of Nashville's Post-Dylan Era, Part I (1966-72) from the Nashville Scene has two mentions of  Todd:

Dennis Linde, Linde Manor (Intrepid/Mercury, 1970)
Today, the Texas-born Linde is probably best known for writing such hits as "Burning Love," definitively recorded by Elvis Presley. But Linde, who died in 2006, was Nashville's equivalent to Todd Rundgren — an experimental pop musician. Produced by Jerry Kennedy and Billy Swan at Wayne Moss' Cinderella Studios, Linde Manor features horn arrangements by Bergen White. DJ Shadow sampled the title track on his 1996 trip-hop classic Endtroducing.

Great Speckled Bird, Great Speckled Bird (Ampex, 1970)

Moderately famous as Todd Rundgren's first production credit, Great Speckled Bird was a Nashville version of the kind of folk-rock Fairport Convention was making at the same time. "Rio Grande" was about a cocaine bust, while "Smiling Wine" was straight country.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Strike while the iron is hot ...

S. Victor Aaron over at Something Else cast thoughts back to Arena, correctly describing it as 'unabashed, hook-filled fun.'

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Podcast Nine:2015

It's autumn or fall but the music is still coming. This month we cast our ears over

The Libertines - Anthems for a Doomed Youth

Craig Finn - Faith in the Future

David Gilmour - Rattle that Lock

Keith Richards - Crosseyed Heart

Dam Funk - Invite the Light

Duran Duran - Paper Gods

Check out this episode!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Dam Funk on being with Todd

"I just got off a tour with him. I learned a lot from the tour bus. He’s a little aloof, but he’s a genius. I didn’t realize he was a tough guy, but he’s a sensitive guy as well, by the lyrics that he’s written. There’s a lot of positive material; a lot of cynical stuff too. It just came about because a few people invited him to Funkosphere, which is my club. He ended up saying, “You know what? I can’t make it there, but are you interested in going on tour?” Because he wants to not take a band anymore, just go for a DJ type of vibe. I’m not even DJing, I just play keyboards and background vocals."
What was the most surprising thing you learned on tour with him?
That he’s really prompt. That’s what taught me about in the future, and even now with my band, staying on time, being in the lobby at the right time, starting the soundcheck at the right time. He’s very professional. He’s very methodical. Every set each night went the same way. And it was good because every audience had the same experience. And a few other things, but I’ll keep that off the record. I can’t snitch.
From Spin

Monday, September 07, 2015

Podcast Eight: 2015

Feels like the end of summer doesn't it

Frank Turner - Positive Songs for Negative People

Foals - What Went Down

Public Enemy - Man Plans God Laughs

Ghostfaced Killah - Adrian Younge presents 12 Reasons to Die II

Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss

Wilco - StarWars

Check out this episode!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Just like fine wine

Michael Austin in his Orlando Sentinel (Florida) article 'How to take wine just seriously enough' has one of my favourite throw away Todd mentions I've seen in a while:

"Dogs are funny and wine culture can still be a little too serious, even today. For the people who make it, serve it and sell it, OK. It's your business -- you can be serious about that side of it. But for the rest of us who have no obligation other than to enjoy it and simply appreciate it for what it is, let's keep it fun. Even though wine is one of our greatest creations -- right up there with language, flight, medicine and the music of Rush and Todd Rundgren -- let's not fetishize it."

Meanwhile another review for the Runddans album - this time from The Age in Australia.

Todd Rundgren is mercurial. In his long career he's been a guitar-shredding rock star, a creator of sublime pop, recording studio wizard, pioneer in the use of synthesisers, he's dabbled in techno and dance, and he's even done an album of Robert Johnson "blues" standards. So now he's collaborating with Norwegian electronica artists Emil Nikolaisen and Hans-Peter Lindstrom - naturally. There are 12 tracks listed, from B for Birth, to Ohr ... Um ... Am ... Amen (Aftermath), but really it's all one work, with elements that touch on pretty much every aspect of Rundgren's career. It's alluring, intricate, involving, and one of the best things he's done in years.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Podcast Seven: 2015

Seether is neither black nor white ...

Yes, another helping of mimbling and rambling from your friends at CTTB

Veruca Salt - Ghost Notes

Jason Isbell - Somethinh More than Free

Joy Williams - Venus

Ashley Monroe -The Blade

Tame Impala - Currents

The Chemical Brothers - Born into the Echoes 

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

More from John Lydon on Todd

The Onion's AVC Club spoke to John
AVC: You’ve got a great story in Anger Is An Energy about how, while you were making Psycho’s Path, you spent an evening sitting, drinking, and listening to music with Todd Rundgren.
JL: Yes! What a great fella he can be. And in a madhouse way, you would never expect a chap like him or me to get on with each other. Well, we did! I introduced him to things that he hadn’t heard. His music is very soulful, really. White soul, which is not to say invalid at all. It’s a very seriously interesting thing. But I played a Tim Buckley track to him that he hadn’t heard of called “Sweet Surrender,” and we hit it off musically. We’re sort of on the same page, but very different from each other. And he’s a great drinker. [Laughs.] You know, you’ve got to come fully prepared for the man! But more so than that, he’s a great thinker. And I’m always—always!—happy in the company of thinkers.
AVC: Could you imagine working with him?
JL: No, I don’t think that’d be necessary. I think we’d end up canceling each other out, oddly enough. I think we’re better off as friends. But you never know. I’m not closing any doors, and I’m not opening any. It’s, like, what will be, will be. I’m only, what, 60 years young at the moment. I’ve got plenty of time for that. And if you know anything about either of us, you know we won’t run out of energy! We’re Duracell bunnies! [Laughs.]
AVC: I have to wonder how much time in the studio would be spent on being right. You’re both very opinionated about what you want.
JL: Oh, yes, but when a thing is right, it’s right, and then there’s a common consensus and a meeting place on that. So that’s hardly a problem. [Laughs.] A problem begins with a situation like that when people don’t think deep enough, don’t know what they’re saying, and are merely opinionated. We must all have opinions, but they’ve got to be valid in order to work. And healthy debate is the most fabulous way to achieve anything. It truly really is. I mean, you try having a debate with Ginger Baker and be wrong. [Laughs.] You know, you’ve got to be right! But he’s sensible enough to know, when you’re saying something and it’s right, then it’s right. People claim he’s difficult to work with, but I never found that. I found quite the opposite. He’s fantastic. I love him to death.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Podcast Six: 2015

In the words of the great Billy Idol, it was hot in the city, hot in the city tonight for this recording. Studio fans set to hurricain.

Kacey Musgaves - Pagaent Material

Faith No MOre - Sol Invictus

Giorgio Moroder - Deja Vu

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Florence & The Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Summer Camp - Bad Love

Check out this episode!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

John Lydon on Todd

John Lydon: "Oh, I really love Todd Rundgren. His whole attitude musically is thrilling. He does what he wants to do, therefore he gains maximum interest no matter what he gets up to, for me. I would say he was more punk than a lot of these wannabes because of the variances and the challenges he gives himself musically, which is massively entertaining. That's inspiring stuff to me. People that don't wear the uniform of genres will always thrill me." [Goldmine, July 2015]

Monday, June 08, 2015

Greta Paste interview with Dam and Todd

Paste magazine talks to Todd and Dam about the tour.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

"It may be more interesting to go to a Motorhead band camp"

The LA Record has a really enjoyable interview with Todd conducted by Jonathan Rado  of Foxygen

Some good insight into the making of Something / Anything   and comments about Skrillex (and the longevity of atmospheric music) I agree with too.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Podcast Five: 2015

We've come over all electronica this month. Whether or not that is a good thing or not, you'll need to listen and find out. Also do we REALLY need a new Blur album? 

Blur – The Magic Whip


Rundgren /Nikolaisen/ Lindstrøm - Runddans

Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh

Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer

Hot Chip - Why Make Sense?

Check out this episode!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Weller weller uh

The Guardian review of the new ( v good) Paul Weller Album makes a mention of Todd.

"Weller is a magpie in terms of where he finds inspiration. Long Time chugs along menacingly like the Stooges' I Wanna Be Your Dog, while Going My Way's simple refrain veers into a Todd Rundgren-meets-the Beach Boys stomp."

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Around and around and around

Great Interview in Rolling Stone with Hans-Peter, Emil and Todd

 Runddans means "rondel" in Danish, "circular object," and the title of one track is "Rundt Rundt Rundt" – around, around, around. Rundgren: "That's the central theme. The chords keep repeating, and it's hard to tell where the beginning of the sequence is. It's like an aural illusion where the sound sounds like its continually ascending when it's really repeating a cycle of harmonics. It's like you're tuning in a cosmic radio that keeps playing the same song over and over again – but it comes out different every time. It's like Groundhog Day. We refer to it as "the beginning and end of all music."

 Meanwhile, Angus Findlayson at Resident Advisor is not totally convinced: "Runddans is an intriguing and sometimes fun experiment, but it's not quite a meeting of great musical minds. A pessimist might say that they've missed one another by a few decades." 

Guy Oddy at the Arts Desk is even less impressed saying whilst it's "commendable that Rundgren refuses to let the grass grow under his feet by trying new angles with each new album, it’s a shame that Runddans is all head and not enough heart – and feels like the work of a millionaire hippy for whom making music has become a hobby."

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Camp Treat

Ben Beaumont-Thomas in Yesterday's Guardian called Runddans "A deliriously camp treat."

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Todd talks to the Onion

Onion/AV Club has a really nice interview with Todd about Runddans and other things. On Runddans: "It’s totally sideways. Actually we worked on this project over the past almost three years, I guess. It started out as something relatively small and concise and then it just kept spreading like a disease. I guess we finally got to the point where we couldn’t think of anything else to do with it anymore and decided to wrap it up and release it. So it is something that is different by today’s terms for the most part because it isn’t songs."

Pop Matter doesn't think Runddans does

Pop Matters reviews Runddans and doesn't really get it: "Rundgren’s presence is mostly limited to some lyric-less chiming, and even those tracks—“Put Your Arms Around Me” and “Altar of Kauaian Six String”—the songs where his participation is most apparent, yield results that are, in an actual song sense, almost negligible. Fans of psychedelic soirees ala early Syd Barrett-led Pink Floyd will likely find satisfaction. As for everyone else, well, suffice it to say, drugs of another sort may indeed be needed." P.S. I gave it a listen this morning and I think it is one which will be a marmite album.

Action Bronson

The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday reviewed the new album from Action Bronson – "Mr. Wonderful" saying " Bronson's back-and-forth between grainy, soulful singing and rapping comes across like a modern-day Todd Rundgren circa "I Saw the Light.""

Friday, May 01, 2015

Lindstrom on Runddans

XLR8R has a good interview with Hans-Peter Lindstrøm on what it was like working with Todd and Emil on the Runddans album and more detail son how it came about and who did what. "[I]t’s not the kind of album that you put on and do some work while it’s playing; you really have to concentrate, I think. And you’ll get different things out of it every time you listen—there are a lot of musical references to Todd’s past, for instance, and all kinds of things that are important to us, and that we hope listeners will enjoy as well. So, basically, it’s serious listening music."

4 Star review of Runddans

The Guardian says of the collaboration "The vibe is more often trippy and transcendental than indulgent, whereas even the most far-out moments fail to disguise Rundgren’s pop nous, most evident in the synth rushes of Put Your Arms Around Me and the electrifying soloing that follows it."

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Podcast Four: 2015

PING! Yes, a new podcast and some Todd to talk about. But there is more with 3rd album's galore.

The Prodigy - The Day is My Enemy

Todd Rundgren - Global

Halestorm - Into the Wild

Laura Marling - Short Movie

Marina & The Diamonds - Froot

Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Todd on Letterman

30 Years of Todd on Letterman Meanwhile John Mellencamp asks why Todd isn't in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Beatles Time

 Advance stream of Todd Rundgren’s quite straight version of “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” from the forthcoming multi-artist Cleopatra album Keep Calm and Salute the Beatles.

Monday, April 27, 2015

More reviews for Global.

Q Magazine in a 2 star review says whilst Global is 'more cheery than 2013's State' it is 'less appealing'.

Mojo Magazine too are not feeling the love, stating it lacks" the quality of songwriting in his best best work from the '70s"

The Evening Telegraph's Kevin Bryan says: "It's not the most subtle offering that Rundgren has ever unleashed on his discerning devotees but as an exercise in rather superior synth-based dance music it fulfils its function more than adequately, with Evrybody, Blind and Terra Firma emerging as the best of the bunch."

Meanwhile, Record Collector's Joseph Adair says: "Global is as pastiche-y as the album’s cartoon-styled portrait sleeve, but no less enjoyable for that"  in its 3 star review.

It's about playing live, stupid

There is an interview with Todd in the ClevelandPlain Dealer where he once again speaks up against artist that are obsessed with maintaining the album/CD cash cow

“The performing is what you’re there for,” he said. “Musicians have to be reminded that 120 years ago, there was no such thing as a record industry. Since then, artists have come to rely on album sales for the bulk of their income. But with today’s technology, where anyone can record and distribute a record via programs such as Pro Tools or Garage Band and sites such as Soundcloud and Reverbnation, it’s almost as if we’re going back to the good old days.The changes only highlight the fact that the live performance is the most essential part of a musician’s life, and the rest is all merchandise,” he said.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It's a Goldmine

Goldmine magazine spoke to Todd and have him on the cover of the latest issue (April) . Things he talks about include:

The new album: With "Global," there's a song called "Flesh and Blood," and that's about the phenomenon if you create the right sort atmosphere and the right music and the right place you can turn tens of thousands of people into a single organism. And that's kind of what you need to accomplish the stuff that we need to accomplish. We need to be able to unify people in that way, and music is one of those things that in some way short circuits people's brains (laughs) and makes them stop thinking about other things and focus on the thing that you're dealing with right now. 

The Beatles ( and Deface the Music): The reason why we did that record wasn't really because we had some long standing desire to make a Beatles-style record; we were kind of contrarians. The Knack was really hot at the time with "My Sharona." They dressed like the Beatles and were doing that whole '60s English Invasion thing, so we recorded a power pop song called "I Just Want to Touch You" for laughs and submitted it for the movie soundtrack for a film called "Roadie." I had produced two songs for Alice Cooper for that album and they said to us, "Why don't you put a Utopia song on the soundtrack?" We weren't using Alice's band, so Utopia played on the records and actually appeared in the movie, except for me (laughs). So we gave them that song and they came back and gave us the excuse that it sounds too much like The Beatles. They were afraid The Beatles might take some issues with it and sue them. 

Goldmine also spoke to Record Store Day organizer Michael Kurtz and Todd got a mention when he was asked: What are some exciting releases for Record Store Day in the classic rock genre?

MK: I'm a huge Todd Rundgren fan, and there is a 7-inch coming out that is the first official full single/segment to be heard from "Runddans," the single track /continuous album by Todd Rundgren, Lindstrom and Emil Nikolaisen from Serena-Maneesh. The B-side will be an a cappella version of parts of the album put together by Lindstrom.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Blues Magoo's Peppy Casto shows some Todd love

Asbury Park Press (New Jersey) has an interview with Blues Magoos' Peppy Castro, and Todd gets a mention.

Castro discussed the prospect of revisiting his band's signature song.
"When we were really young, I remember thinking to myself I loved a guy like Todd Rundgren who always re-invented himself and always went on to new things," he recalled. "And I said, 'Oh God, please don't let me have to keep playing "We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet" for the next 40 years and beat it to death and become an imitation of myself. Well, due to circumstances beyond my control and the band being a one-hit wonder, that was never the case." 

Personally the thing that always struck me about the song was how blatant a rip off Deep Purple's Black Night was

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Kasas City review enthralling

Timothy Finn at the Kansas City Star gave the new tour a big thumbs up. In his review

"[H]e concentrated on his 25th solo album, “Global,” and performed against a backdrop of throbbing synthesizers and programmed drums. It could easily have been a mess. It was enthralling."

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/ent-columns-blogs/back-to-rockville/article18849894.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, April 17, 2015

Set List for the first dates on the Gloabl Tour

I Wanna Thank You (For Steppin' Into My Life) - (performed by Dam Funk)
Flesh and Blood
Secret Society
Ping Me
Earth Mother
Party Liquor
Terra Firma
One World
Global Nation
Can We Still Be Friends / I Saw the Light / Hello It's Me
Worldwide Epiphany
This Island Earth

International Feel
Just One Victory

More Live action from the Global tour

Soothe International Feel & Just One Victory

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ralegh Long

The Straits Times (Singapore)has an article (behind paywall) 'An Eden where time stands still' on the the music of Ralegh Long stating "his magic-realist ideas are more aligned with those of English originals Nick Drake, early Todd Rundgren and Vashti Bunyan, rather than the more urbane musings of his contemporaries."

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

From the tour

First video from the new Todd tour from mrtrips99 on YouTube

Dam and Todd chat about working together

Here's a video interview with Todd and Dam Funk. So when did you guys meet ... 'This morning' Classic.

More Global Reviews

Howard Whitman at Technology Tell gives the album a thumbs up. He gives us

a track by track break down of the album and concludes (correctly in my view) that "the hits far outweigh the misses."

Sam Moore at Drowned in Sound gives the album six out of ten in a review that says " it’s a credit to Rundgren that he can still make this 20-something listener sit up and take notice" and concludes  "Global isn’t a bad album – it’s just the product of a gifted artist who’s remaining true to the now-dispended-with culture of being able to make a record out of every creative idea he has." 

Lee Zimmerman at Blurt gives the album a three star (out of five) rating and calls it "a welcome return."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Todd Rundgren - Global

So, it's here. The 25th solo album from Mr Rundgren.

Let's start off by saying that Global is a continuation of musical ideas explored on the last album State. The main problem with State (which has good stuff on it) was it felt like the gimmick of adding more EDM into the mix resulted in that often leading and overwhelming the songs, rather than the songs leading the need for the addition of an EDM feel. I think this has been addressed on Global, where (regardless of whether you think it works or not) it's the songs that seem dictate the need for the musical style. This makes Global a much more accessible and ultimately more enjoyable than State.

It all kicks off with a Evrybody, a silly, frothy pop song. It's a catchy sing-a-long that is hard not to want to join in with. From there on in we move from straight out EDM (Global Nation, Flesh and Blood) a throw back to 80s Utopia and 'So' era Peter Gabriel (Skyscraper), some funk pop (Earth Mother), and most importantly some soul. Where the album scores highest and works best is when 'soul' Todd is in the driving seat: So on tracks such as Soothe, Fate, and Blind [complete with great sax solo] the quality of Rundgren's song writing shines through, as it does on Rise, possibly my favourite track at time of writing. The added EDM influence of Terra Firma, This Island Earth also work well.

Not everything works: Earth Mother, whilst having its heart in the right place, is a little too cheesy for me, and I could have done without the 'whoah's'  on Holyland too. But these are minor quibbles.

It may not go down as a classic but there is much to like on Global with its hints of Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys added to Rundgren's song writing skills. I like.

Todd not a fan of Katy and Taylor

Really good interview with Todd in Rock Cellar magazine, where he talks about the album and the current state of music. And Todd doesn't hold back in his dislike for some of pop music's current top artists:

"I can’t stand the modern generation of young pop artists pretty much. So your Taylor Swifts and your Katy Perrys, just “neener-neener-neener,” I’d stick my fingers into my ears...so many of these people have no talent. Or they just get produced up the freaking wazoo. And you don’t know whether they actually can do any of the things that they supposedly do."

He also talks about the lyrical inspirations of the album including global warming etc

"Probably the biggest bane to us dealing with these problems is the human potential for inertia. The fact that people just hate changing – which is the essence of conservatism. Conservatism means to resist change, to hold onto the past for as long as possible.Unfortunately, that past is gone. There is no past to hold onto any longer. At a certain point, even somebody like me, who is somewhat cynical and skeptical, even I will get fed up at some point."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hodja and Lost Horizon

Todd was a guest lecturer for a week at the University of Colorado Denver's School of Music, and this was from the concert Thursday evening of that week:

Todd stuff

The Park Record has an interview with Todd about the new album and production in general.

"It's the reason why I never developed a particular style as a producer. My reputation is that I could take a new artist who wasn't sure of what they wanted or an established artist who had hit a dead end and be able to get something different out of them."

There is a really good interview on Songfacts about the new album and some old stuff too, including this on my fav The Psychedelic Furs track:

Songfacts: Todd, "Love My Way." Whose idea was the marimbas?

Todd: They had a demo of the song, and I don't remember what the instrument was that they were using. It might've been just a guitar. But I happened to have the marimbas in the studio. I happened to have owned a set of marimbas. So I thought, Well, let's see what it sounds like with the marimbas. And it turned out that the little musical theme just sounded perfect with the marimbas, and became a signature element of the song. So it just was a question of availability. It's not like I had to go rent some marimbas. I happened to have them

Todd doing I Saw the Light, and Song of the Viking, at OpenAir during residency at CU Denver. Also an interview here

Todd also came up in an article about the neuroscience of songs triggering memories in The San Diego Union-Tribune (3 April)

Q: Todd Rundgren released his hit song “Hello It’s Me” in 1973. Every time I hear it, I recall a vivid memory from my teenage years that involves moments spent with my friend Linda Russell at a cabin on coast of Maine.
How do long-term memories like this form? Do scientists know how many neurons are involved and how they interact in different parts of the brain?
A: We don’t know how many neurons are required, but the collaboration of different areas within the brain is necessary. The memory you describe involves components of rhythm and music, the name of the song and specific words within it, and experiences that associate that memory with different ways in which the cabin in Maine was encoded, such as vision (the furniture and interior of the cabin, perhaps a log fire, the sound of the ocean), bound even more strongly by a pleasant emotion of having a good time in the company of someone you like.
So, areas of the brain involved in vision, sound, language and emotion are helping to bind aspects of that memory into something stronger and easier to retrieve later.
Q: Why does a particular song trigger a specific memory?

A: Complex memories often involve association or binding of different aspects of information, some which have more fine-grained or specific detail than others. Such a memory can be retrieved (or reassembled) in part or as a whole by the areas of the brain that laid the memory down. Although it is possible that a different Todd Rundgren song could trigger this memory, “Hello It’s Me” is more likely to do so because of its more direct associations.

Two star reviews abound

"Apart from rollicking opener Evrybody, much of this doesn't bear comparison with his 70s pomp." - Scottish Express (10 Apr)

"Global sounds more like the work of a teenage bedroom DJ than a 66-year-old veteran with 25 albums under his belt, but this is a poor showcase for a man of his talent and originality." - The Times (10 Apr)

"Global" sounds sterile. Even the clever moments simply sound like Rundgren having a good old time with the Garage Band app. The exceptions are the beautiful ballad "Soothe," a yearning-infused piece with a killer melody and pathos-drenched lyrics; and the album-concluding one-two punch of "Skyscraper" (power-pop masquerading as EDM with soul overtones) and "This Island Earth," which would've been at home on Rundgren's far more successful electronic music collection "Liars." - Buffalo News (NY) 12th Apr

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Release date slips

Don't know about elsewhere but in UK, the release of the new Todd album has slipped until next week - was originally due out today. Slightly annoying. 

Monday, April 06, 2015

Global Gem

Martin Townsend of the Sunday Express Newspaper says of Global:-

"EVEN a partial return to form by Rundgren, one of the finest singer/songwriters of the past 40 years, would have been a revelation. But Global, his 25th solo album, turns out to be a gem."

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Hear Runddans track on Tidal

Tidal launched or (re)launched yesterday - here's my take on my other blog, and here's a reason why you might want to, at least, trial it for a month:

According to NME "there are playlists curated by Arcade Fire, Jay Z, Beyoncé and Coldplay, plus a preview of Todd Rundgren’s new collaboration with Lindstrøm and Emil Nikolaisen." maybe a reason to sign up for the free month and then cancel.

There is a press release too with more on the album 

“It’s almost like a train ride, going through little towns, big cities and rural fields, giant thresholds over great valleys, through mountain tunnels and things like that. The only way I can characterize it is like this journey, and it’s of such a character that it doesn’t have the typical linearity to it.” - TR

In other news the latest issue of Q Magazine does NOT have a review of the new Todd album (unless it was well hidden) .

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Howl of Thunder

Black Sabbath: Symptom of the Universe
Mick Wall
Pub Date : Apr 14 2015
This book seems to have originally come out back in 2013, so I’m not totally sure if this is just a re-issue or just a new version? Not sure. Anyway. Growing up in the midlands during the 1970’s and early 80’s it was impossible not to be aware of Black Sabbath. My first exposure to them was through my brother who owned their first few albums. It was initially a bit too bleak for my then young ears, and it wasn’t until Paranoid that I saw anything to like – WarPigs, Iron Man and NIB would then quickly become favourites. However, if I’m honest my first real ‘love’ in Sabbath terms was when Ronnie James Dio joined the band, and Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules came out. I loved both of these records. It was only later that I really stated to get into the original Ozzy period more earnestly and diligently.
I came to this book knowing some of the story – having read Ioimi’s and Ozzy’s books, but was still impressed with how Wall (who I I originally knew as a writer for Kerrang and Sounds) has managed to craft a tale that tries to tell a tale of the ups and downs of a band without too much bias to any particular version of events. Of course, the fact that Wall worked for the band – he was a PR man for them during the late 70s early 80s, as well as for Dio in the 90s – also means he was around the band when part of his story is taking place and his friendship with the various band members means that he doesn’t just have to rely on previously published material.
It’s an informative and easy read that ticks off all the boxes along the sabbath journey: early years, early success, being dismissed by music press, inner power struggles, outer power struggles, reunions and the role a powerful father and daughter would play in their history.
You certainly get a feeling here was a band who didn’t think they got their due – at least not at the time. I could perhaps have done without Wall’s reviews of the albums as we go along, especially as when he does comment he does so in an authoritative, I’m clearly right manner. At one point, he declares Heaven and Hell one of the greatest HM records of all time. This made me crack out the Vinyl and play a record I hadn’t listen to from start to finish in almost 10 years.  For me, it’s half an excellent record and half ok filler. But, this is a minor gripe. The book, which is also packed with great photos, is a great introduction to the band and it’s various line-ups.

Review copy provided by St. Martin’s Press/ Netgalley
Also published on my www.informationoverlord.co.uk site 

Lack of Mojo

UK Music mag Mojo reviews the new album 'Global' giving it just two stars and comments "Rundgren remains unpredictable, Impressively so, but he is better than this."

Meanwhile Todd tell's Billboard (who have a stream of the track Rise) where the album was coming from lyrically:-

"Most of my albums have been insular and about self-examination, and this is a little more about the collective and the issues that face everybody. I wanted to make a record that was sort of simultaneously like a cheerleading record but at the same time not letting anyone forget that we have issues that can only be addressed collectively."

Monday, March 30, 2015

Todd Live Internet Gig

 Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park - Hard Rock Live, Northfield, OH

Promoted with a great clip of Black Maria 

Todd? Moi?

Toro Y Moi releases What For? this week an album the record's press release describes as .
“The music is influenced by bands like Big Star, Talking Heads, Tim Maia, Todd Rundgren, but it doesn’t quite sound like any of them in particular. And it isn’t trying to. It has that special something that Chaz imbues in every Toro Y Moi album, his personal filter on the world he experiences”

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Three Months in: Best of 2015

These are the five albums that have made the most impression on me so far in 2015. Female voices to the fore, and still waiting for first real 'rock' fix.

BC Camplight - How to Die in the North
Susanne Sundfor - 10 Love Songs
Nathalie Prass - Nathalie Prass
Allison Moorer - Down To Believing
The Unthanks - Mount the Air

Kendrick Lamar, A wizard a true star?

Loring Wirbel from the Colorado Springs Independent describes parts of the new Kendrick Lamar album - To Pimp a Butterfly - to Todd.

 "The keyboards and wild sax riffs add a collage-like quality that sometimes suggests a hip-hop version of Todd Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star.... A genuine magnum opus."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's not out yet but ...

Erol Alkan , London-based electro DJ , is already working on a remix of the Runddans album 

Epiphanies: Life Changing Encounters With Music.

New Book: It's a collection of 55 essays previously featured in Epiphanies, a column which has been running in magazine the Wire since 1998, and over that time its contributors have each written about singular moments of musical realisations. 

The Collection includes an essay by Edwin Pouncey (AKA Savage Pencil) on Todd Rundgren's sweet soul music. 

Pouncey, as well as being in bands in his youth, was also responsible for album covers for bands such as the Fall and Sonic Youth 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Podcast Three: 2015

Pop, Rock and Country all in the mix this month.

Susanne Sundfor - 10 Love Songs

Father John Misty - I love You, Honeybear

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Chasing Yesterday

Charli XCX - Sucker

The Shires - Brave

Black Star Riders - The Killer Instinct




Check out this episode!

Todd Uncut

There is a piece on Todd and a review of Global in the May edition of Uncut Magazine. In the article he mentions that he's been working on a collaboration with The Roots (their music , his vocals and guitar), and signing on as choir-master forthe stage adaptation of Bat out of Hell.

Of Global he says sees it "like an '80s record, at the point where new wave moves into synth pop, like Depeche Mode or something."

The review of the album gives it 6/10 saying 'he always wants to explore idiosyncratic digital terrains:admirable but ... not always convincing" Singles out Earth Mother, Soothe, Blind and Holyland as highlights.

Supreme Court wont hear Rundgren's appeal against foreclosure sale

Reuters reports that the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to revive a lawsuit by singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren and his wife Michele accusing JPMorgan Chase of wrongfully attempting to foreclose on the couple's Kilauea, Hawaii home. The court's rejection of the couple's appeal lets stand a lower court's dismissal of their claims for damages and an order to stop a foreclosure sale.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Another 'Global' Review

This one comes from BAM South and concludes:

“Global” is a strange, but vital, mix of party anthems, dance tracks and foreboding warnings. I believe this particular record has a very good chance of being one of Rundgren’s most successful in years because it is accessible while simultaneously retaining the quirky and brilliant individuality which is the modus operandi of all Todd Rundgren work."

Friday, March 13, 2015

Record Store Day 2015

A Limited edition 12" single of Todd Rundgren / Lindstrom / Emil Nikolaisen - Put Your Arms Around Me will be released for this year's RSD.

Piano pop ballads

Rolling Stone (Australia) has an interview with Tobias Jesso Jr. , a Canadian singer songwriter (who he counts Taylor Swift and Adele as fans) whose debut album, Goon, they claim is one of the most anticipated of the year. Clearly if I am mentioning this at all you know that he must mention Todd, and he does.

With its sunny melodies and heartsick subject matter, Goon earned comparisons to Harry Nilsson, Nick Drake, Randy Newman and Todd Rundgren – artists Jesso wasn't even familiar with. "I wasn't a big music-digger," he admits. "When it came to oldies stuff, I didn't know Todd Rundgren and Harry Nilsson and stuff like that, but when I was writing, J.R. [White] would say, 'I get this Todd Rundgren vibe.' He would send me those songs, and then I'd learn the chords." Still, Jesso says, he wants a contemporary record and plans to move away from the throwback.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Blurred Law

The Yahoo Music blog has one of the best discussions on the terrible 'Blurred Lines' court decision yesterday (now being appealed), and mentioned Todd in doing so:

"Was Christina Aguilera paying tribute to or stealing from the Andrews Sisters with “Candyman”? Should the Beatles have sued the Knickerbockers for “Lies”? Or the Rutles, the Dukes of Stratosphere, and Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, all of whom recorded delectable Beatles soundalike albums, with varying degrees of straight faces?"

In case you missed it, Blurred Lines songwriters – Pharrell Wiliams, TI and Thicke – have already been ordered to pay Marvin Gaye’s family $7.3m in damages for the infringement. Now lawyers say they want to stop sales of the song altogether.

Now it seems the lawyers representing Gaye’s family, want to prevent further sales of the song until songwriting/future royalties sorted out. They told Rolling Stone: “We’ll be asking the court to enter an injunction prohibiting the further sale and distribution of Blurred Lines unless and until we can reach an agreement with those guys on the other side about how future monies that are received will be shared. We’ll be doing that in about a week or so.”

On the actual question of 'infringement' , I think there is certainly a similarity between Blurred Lines and Got to Give it Up, but one that owes more to the arrangement – in particular the percussion (at start of Gaye's song) than of the actual song - lyrically or underlying melody - itself. And even if it does, I'm still not sure this is a good decision.

Gaye has been dead 30 years. He's the person who created the 'original' (if such a thing exists) work. I've banged on about this before, but copyright is not supposed to be a pension fund or an inheritance fund. Gaye has not been 'harmed' by the existence of this track, indeed the very fact some people noticed some similarities would have – as it always the case now – drive people to check out, stream, buy his original track. Pharrell even admitted when the track came out that the vibe of the track had inspired Blurred Lines.

Let's no kid ourselves here. Had Blurred lines sold a few thousand copies instead of being one of the biggest selling tracks worldwide of the last few years, would the estate have done anything? I think we all know the answer to that one. This case is about greed, not protecting Gaye (whose own contribution to the writing of the original track has often been questioned).

Indeed it is ALWAYS about greed.

It's why I was also less than impressed with Tom 'yes I'm' Petty and Jeff Lynne in relation to the Sam Smith track 'Stay with Me' Yes, they sorted it out without recourse to the courts but, I'm a long time Petty fan, and until the story came out I have never once picked up the similarity between the two tracks, and I'd heard the Sam Smith song A LOT on UK radio. Compare that to 'Last Nite,' by the Strokes when you immediately go, Woah there, that's American Girl.

Then again, Tom was seemingly fine with The Strokes more blatant rip-off/homage back then: " I saw an interview with them where they actually admitted it. That made me laugh out loud. I was like, ‘OK, good for you.’ It doesn't bother me.” Similarly when The Red Hot Chilli Peppers song “Dani California” came out and people pointed to its similarity with Petty’s Mary Jane's Last dance, he even more pointedly stated : “The truth is, I seriously doubt that there is any negative intent there.” He pretty much made the same comment with Sam Smith and yet he wanted his share of the royalties from that one.

Total hypocritical bollocks. I'll admit I've lost most of the respect I had for Petty off the back of that.

The thing that irks me most is when it is already rich musicians crawling on their bellies after more money.

The only time I have any time for these types of cases is when some jake or joan blogs writes a song and sends it to someone who rejects it and then 2 years later a song co-written by the artist and helpers – which is clearly a blatant rip off of joan blogs' original song – gets released and becomes a hit. This is when it's not homage or inspired by, it is clearly theft. Of course the big difference is that the Joan Blogs' of this world never win their cases – if they even manage to raise enough money to take it through the courts in the first place.

Let's end with Todd. As Todd once said: “Louie Louie” is “More Than a Feeling” is “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” ... Amen.

Tuesday's The Albany Herald (Georgia) had a nice interview with Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers, where he mentioned Todd.

Does it bother you that some of your songs may be better known by other artists’ versions?

"It’s a feather in our cap. It’s just like us doing Seals and Crofts’ “Summer Breeze” or Todd Rundgren’s “Hello It’s Me.” We all like that. I ran into Todd in California when he was doing an interview and stuck my head in the door. I said, “Hello, it’s me.” We both had a big laugh at that."

Friday, March 06, 2015

Taylor Locke track hints at Todd

Todd gets a passing mention in a review of new Taylor Locke album - Time Stands Still. According to Scottish Daily Express today the influences included The Beatles and The Cars. "But there is also a Laurel Canyon vibe going on, especially on breezy opener Burbank Woman, which has a Jackson Browne/Todd Rundgren feel to it."

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Runddans arrives 5 May

Pitchfork has details about the Runddans album including some snippets behind a Todd interview explaining how it came about. Sounds like a throw back to 70s experimental Todd.

Billed as a "spiritual magnum opus," it is one single (sub divided) track that spans 39 minutes, and is said to fuse Rundgren's "trippy. blue-eyed soul" with Lindstrom's "disco epics" and Nikolaisen's "studio trickery" to result in a "cosmic mix of soul, synth, pop, and disco".
Going to be interesting this one.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Global: good intentions are often inextricable from the silliness

All Music reviews the new Todd album , and awards it three and a half stars (out of five).

"[I]t's perched at a point between the past and the present, protest and satire, and that inscrutability is often where Rundgren does interesting work."

Todd talks Global with Vintage Rock

"Global is essentially what I learned making State, merged with my more traditional approaches to songwriting and album production."

Vintage Rock talks to Todd about the new album and the writing process. Good interview. Todd points to a couple of his favourite album:

 "I think two of the best records of my career came out of that period, Nearly Human and 2nd Wind. Those two records I am especially fond of."

Meanwhile, Argentinian publication Pagina/12 has an brief interview with Todd too (think done a while back)

Monday, March 02, 2015

British singer Rumer, who has previously covered Todd's 'Be Nice to Me' , is currently doing a version of 'Love is the Answer' in her live set.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Podcast Two: 2015

There's seventies mood over a large slice of this month's podcast.


The Decemberists - What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World

Belle & Sebastian - Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance

BC Camplight - How to Die in the North

Nathalie Prass - Nathalie Prass

Meghan Trainor - Title

Gaz Coombs - Matador

Check out this episode!

Whitesnake do Purple

OK, this is interesting. The new Whitesnake album [out in Europe on May 15th, the UK on May 18th and in North America on May 19th] is called The Purple Album and is a re-imagining/covers album of Deep Purple songs from David Coverdale’s time as lead singer. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dan Deacon

The AV Club has a review of  Dan Deacon's new album Gliss Riffer "

"The first half of the record plays to the cheap seats, with slices of catchy, hummable melodies and baldly commercial vocals seemingly designed for maximum pop appeal. This isn’t shocking—Deacon has always been a populist, especially in his live shows—but it still feels a bit off-putting to hear the first single, “Feel The Lightning,” come across like the love child of Daft Punk and Todd Rundgren."

I'm often Told I hear 'Todd' everywhere, but it wasn't especially something that came to mind with this. Brit synth pop of the 80s and 90s, yes, Todd not so much.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Todd, the DJ, and Utopia

Rundgren Radio spoke to Todd and got the low down on the new record and the tour.  As I mentioned last week Dam Funk is going to be the tour DJ, and he will essentially be 'the band' on this tour.  Also of interest was that Todd doesn't rule out a possible Utopia reunion tour for 2016. Says he and Kaz have talked about it but that it would need to be for a proper tour with proper rehearsal time so that it wasn't just a going through the motions exercise. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Runddans album getting closer?

The Smalltown Supersound label Instagram account has a visual update on the collaborative album between Todd and Norwegian DJ and producer Lindstrøm and fellow Norwegian Emil Nikolaisen of alt-rock band Serena-Maneesh, that I first mentioned on the blog a year ago.

The intragram shows a white label vinyl with the caption: "Testpressing approved"

So it looks like we'll have two 'Todd' albums this year.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Todd on why music is important in schools

Todd Rundgren shares his thoughts on his own music educational experience - as well as his Spirit of Harmony Foundation - as well as the strong need to bring back a dynamic music educational program in our schools on Storytime from PRX.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dâm-Funk to DJ for Todd?

According to Paul Lester at The Guardian, Dâm-Funk is due to be the DJ on Todd's summer tour. That sounds cool. A great DJ and a man who if you check out his interviews over the years mentions Todd a lot.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Global Nation single out today

The lead track off the new Todd album (very much a 'State' style dance track) is out today. Simple repetative beat and lyrics, but after a couple of listens I think I'm sold. Full preview of album is also available via iTunes

Friday, February 13, 2015

Kasim talks

Since I was talking about Kasim the other day,  thought I'd also share this interview with him from Goldmine - lot of interesting stuff including read between the lines answers such as:

GM: Richie Sambora.
KS: You don’t get any nicer than Richie. You just don’t.
GM: Then what the hell happened with him and Bon Jovi?
KS: I don’t know if I should say this …
GM: Oh, c’mon …
KS: You work with someone enough and you contribute to them enough over the years, through the course of your career, and you’re still second fiddle, when, in reality, they would not be who they are were it not for you. That’s when you go, “Y’know what? I got my millions. I’m OK. I don’t necessarily need to be in this position anymore. It’s painful. So I’m just going to take my toys, and you go have a good time without me.”

Swim Mountain

Over at the Guardian, Paul Lester (who can see Todd anywhere - bit like me) comments on new band Swim Mountain and says their sound "draws on “60s studio ethics and modern production techniques … the harmony-heavy songwriters of the 60s and 70s (Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone, Rundgren, Nilsson and the Wilson brothers) "

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Couldn't I Just tell You about ... Powerpop perfection

The Guardian yesterday published a powerpop - ten of the best list and quite rightly Todd was on it.

Todd Rundgren - Couldn’t I Just Tell You

Powerpop, some say, began with Emitt Rhodes’s 1970 debut album or Badfinger’s Magic Christian Music (also 1970), but really those were more like late Beatles works. Powerpop may have drawn on the 60s – in fact, there is a school of thought that has the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Who and the Small Faces as original powerpoppers – but powerpop is really a 70s invention. It’s about young musicians missing the 60s but taking its sound in new directions. In its insistence on brevity, energy and melody, powerpop was not just an alternative to prog and the hippy troubadours, but a cousin to glam. And like glam, it has a claim to being one of the first postmodern genres.
This is largely a 70s list because powerpop is era-specific. You can re-create it outside the time from which it came, but it becomes something different. So you’ll read arguments in favour of 90s musicians such as the Rooks, Brad Jones and more, but they lack powerpop’s edge, which arises from the tension between the music and the audience’s expectations. They just weren’t meant to make music like this in the early 70s. That created problems for powerpop’s main players, as their commercial, catchy material failed to catch on, resulting in a preponderance of tortured artists and casualties.
Talking of glam, Todd Rundgren could easily feature in a 10 of the best list on glitter rock, just as he could be on a list of piano ballads, blue-eyed soul, proto-electronica, even prog. But he staked his claim to powerpop immortality with this track, which set the whole ball rolling (look out for 1972-73 and 1977-78, because they’re key periods within the overall powerpop time frame). If Something/Anything?, its parent double album, featured multiple styles, then Couldn’t I Just Tell You was a masterclass in compression, from the deceptively sweet acoustic intro and opening salvo – “Keep your head and everything will be cool/ You didn’t have to make me feel like a fool” – to the incandescent 15-second guitar solo, the breathtaking “drop” at 2min 36sec and the climactic eruption of guitars, bass and drums, of which Rundgren played and produced every last note.