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 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