Monday, December 12, 2016

Childish Gambino back with a 70's infused album

Boston Globe has an article (A must-see Donald Glover experience – 11 December) on Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino's latest album, "Awaken My Love!" The paper describes it as is a "throwback tour de force to the funk 'n' soul sounds of the 1970s. To be precise, the thing plays like it's August 1974 on your midnight radio. There are elements of Philly Soul, Parliament-Funkadelic and Bootsy Collins, Rick James, and Rare Earth; echoes of Stevie Wonder and Kiss, smatterings of Todd Rundgren and even Frank Zappa (the George Duke era); look-aheads to Prince on the horizon. I'm just scratching the surface here."

Friday, December 09, 2016

Todd joins charity tribute concert celebrating Aretha Franklin

'The Music Of Aretha Franklin', 14th annual Michael Dorf Carnegie Hall 'music of' tribute concert benefiting music education non-profit organizations, this year celebrating 18-time GRAMMY-winner and Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame-inductee Aretha Franklin. Performers include Antibalas, Melissa Etheridge, Kenny Loggins, Ann Wilson, Todd Rundgren, Sarah Dash, Glen Hansard, Rhiannon Giddens, Taj Mahal, Living Colour, Allen Stone And Bettye Lavette. 100% of net proceeds given to music education organizations for underprivileged youth

Monday, December 05, 2016

Honest Work Performed By Lady Maisery

A Folkie take on Todd's Honest Work

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Podcast Eleven:2016

Little Mix take on Metallica when nothing else matters in podcast 11.

Sting - 57th and 9th

Robbie Williams - The Heavy Entertainment Show

Simple Minds - Acoustic

Honeyblood - Babes Never Die

Little Mix - Glory Days

Metallica - Hardwired ... to Self Destruct

Check out this episode!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Podcast Ten: 2016

We talk death, fannies, and acid.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree

The Divine Comedy - Foreverland

Teenage Fanclub - Here

Regina Spektor - Remember Us to Life

Angel Olson - My Woman

Bon Iver - 22, A Million

Check out this episode!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Todd talks of new album

...Rundgren is preparing his next record for release by the end of the year, but since he moved to Hawaii around 20 years ago, he's found it difficult to put a band together.
"I live so far away from all of the players that I am used to," he says. "I can't just call a session anytime I want. The end result has been that I wind up singing and writing and playing everything on the records. I've decided that I want to make something that is more collaborative, that includes other influences, that doesn't just sound like all me again, so I will be working with a whole bunch of other artists on this record." [ South Bend Tribune, 29 Sept, 2016]

This sounds more like 'end of 2017' than 2016 for the new album to me going by the use of 'I want' and 'I will', but still, nice to know there is another in the works. Still looking out for that collaboration with The Roots to see the light of day too.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Podcast Nine: 2016

Country, pop, grime, rap, indie ... yes, it's another podcast.

Dolly Parton - Pure & Simple

Britney - Glory

Ryley Walker - Golden Sings that have Been Sung

John Paul White - Beulah

Giggs - Landlord

Viola Beach - Viola Beach

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Flamingo in the Ocean

Frank Ocean has published a list of songs that mean a lot to him, and it is interesting to see the Todd song Flamingo amongst them.

This is nice as Todd has praised Ocean in the past and his writing and singer skills: "That's what I like about Frank Ocean or Bon Iver - they try to capture a feeling in the most sincere way."

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Podcast Eight:2016

Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis

Michael Kiwanuka - Love & Hate

Blood Orange - Freetown Sound

Mitski - Puberty 2

Bat for Lashes - The Bride

Steven Tyler - We're All Somebody from Somewhere


Check out this episode!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Podcast Seven:2016

We move into part II of 2016, with an album that is a part II and more. We'd also like to dedicate this particular episode to the memory of Chris Crowley. 

ABC - The Lexicon of Love II

Garbage - Strange Little Birds

Brandy Clark - Big Day in a Small Town

Colvin & Earle - Colvin & Earle

Lacuna Coil - Delirium

Rick Astley - 50

Check out this episode!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Podcast Six:2016

The one where Scott really takes against one of the albums  ...

PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project

Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Things That We Are Made Of

Santana - IV

Misty Miller - The Whole Family is Worried

Drake - Views

Foy Vance - Wild Swans


Check out this episode!

Monday, May 09, 2016

Podcast Five: 2016

As another musical great is snatched from us, we remember Prince Rogers Nelson and review the following:

PSB - Super

Yeasayer - Amen & Goodbye

Deftones - Gore

Bob Mould - Patch the Sky

Parquet Courts - Human Performance

The Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You've Come to Expect

Check out this episode!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Partridge in a Rundgren Tree

I follow Andy Partridge on Twitter so saw most of this unfold online, but Ultimate Rock have pulled it all together nicely. Nothing new really in the P v T ongoing spat but still amusing it continues.

“a great arranger. Really talented, we were lucky to work with him.”  “He is a mediocre engineer at best. As producer his ‘bedside manner’ is appalling. He was bullying, hectoring, divisive to the band, and if you think that’s sour grapes from me, just ask anyone else who has worked with him. I’ve met several and they all have the same stories. Ask Sparks, the Dolls, Meat Loaf and on and on.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Petty and Rundgren

The Gainesville Sun (Florida) has an interesting article mentioning the beginnings of Tom Petty 'How one Southern college town - Gainesville - changed the historyof rock 'n' roll' (Marty Jourard) which in turn mentions Todd:

Nothing is sharper than hindsight, and the mystique that surrounds Tom Petty today has led to much speculation about his early years in Gainesville. At first meeting, Tommy presented as a longhaired Southern hippie musician, part of a large community of like-minded souls. Further observations revealed Petty as a serious songwriter who was fully engaged in music, with a quick mind and a truly indescribable sense of humor.

In early 1972, he lived for a while in the converted attic of a house on a property adjacent to the railroad bridge at SW 13th Street, now the site of Wildflower Apartments. I visited one day as Tommy was listening to Todd Rundgren's new double album, "Something/Anything," a collection of 25 tracks that included the hit "Hello, It's Me." We sat and listened for awhile and he explained that Rundgren had not only written the 18 songs on the first three sides but had also played every instrument on those recordings, including the hit "I Saw The Light." We looked at the inside photograph of Rundgren standing on a table in his house with his electric guitar, surrounded by musical instruments and an 8-track recorder. "He did it all himself" was Tommy's general comment. Several months later Mudcrutch recorded the demo tape that led to their record deal — in the living room of keyboard player Benmont Tench's parents' house.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Podcast Four:2016

School of Seven Bells - SVIIB

Rick SpringField - Rocket Science

The Jezabels - Synthia

Esperanza Spaulding - Emily's D-Evolution

Wild Nothings - Life of Pause

1975 - I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

Bonnie Raitt - Dig in Deep




Check out this episode!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Rundgren's Road Less Travelled

Latest issue of Goldmine [Goldmine - Spring 2016 - Pg. 34 Vol 42 No. 5 ISSN: 10552685] has a really good Ken Sharp interview with Todd, with him talking about song inspirations (Open My Eyes: "That whole introductory thing was "I Can't Explain" with a slight variation. We just essentially stole stuff from all the different things that we liked. We had that whole kind of almost jazzy Beach Boys bridge in it. The song was a pastiche of all the influences that we wanted to exhibit.") , the Utopia reunion ("you shouldn't hold your breath but it would be nice if we could"), Bowie ( "I have to be quite honest and say that I was not always impressed with him artistically"), and a few other things.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Podcast Three: 2016

DIIV - Is The Is Are

Money - Suicide Songs

Eleanor Friedberger - New View

Shearwater - Jetplane and Oxbow

Foxes - All I Need

Check out this episode!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Podcast Two: 2016 - Bowie Special

Pete and Scott look back on Bowie

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Kaz on Todd, BOC, Meat

Nice interview with Kazim in Downtown magazine:

On Working with Todd: -

"But it seems I’m always working with him. Comfortability? Familiarity? I’m not sure. I do know that we sing well together, I respect his talent and over the years have gotten to the point where I know what he wants and expects from another musician without having to have it spelled out…April [2016] will mark my 40th year working with Todd."

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Todd on Hall of Fame, Oscars etc

Explore New Jersey spoke to Todd ahead of his upcoming local gig.

"The experience of listening to the music is what’s important. The Hall of Fame stuff really is, to my mind, just a way to kind of try to move more product."

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Podcast One: 2016

BBC Sounds of 2016

Hinds - Leave me Alone

Savages - Adore Life

David Bowie - Blackstar

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I posted this on my other blog yesterday, but thought it deserved a place here too.

“ I’m looking for backing for an unauthorized auto-biography that I am writing. Hopefully, this will sell in such huge numbers that I will be able to sue myself for an extraordinary amount of money and finance the film version in which I play everybody” – David Bowie

 My relationship with the music of David Bowie began in 1975 with the re-release of Space Odity. I was seven. I’d been vaguely aware of his existence before then, but this was the moment when I said: I like this song, play it again. NOW. What a song.

 The next few years gave me other little gems: Golden Years, Sound and Vision, Heroes, Boys keep Swinging. But as the seventies drew to a close I still don’t think I’d actually bought a Bowie record. My brother had a few and I’d listened to his, but I’d not bought anything myself.

That changed with Ashes to Ashes (1980). Major Tom was back and he coincided with a big single buying year for me. I’d buy the brilliant Scary Monsters single too.

But it was the move from Trench (Telford) to Glasgow at the end of 1982 and the access to a brilliant second hand record shop (Lost Chord) when my real love affair with Bowie began. It allowed me to pick up the Bowie back catalogue quite cheaply and really start a minor obsession with his music. In particular I took the albums Diamond Dogs and Lodger to my heart. They seemed less loved than say, Ziggy, Hunky, or Heroes. To me they were genius (a view any re-listen merely confirms).

I remember winning a prize at School (Hillhead High School) – this would have been around 1985/6. I’m not totally sure what it was for now, but I got to pick a book to have/buy as a prize and I choose a biography of David Bowie. I think I was supposed to chose something a little more ‘literary’ but this was where my mind was at, at the time. I wanted to read about Bowie. How did he end up with two different colour eyes? Was he really gay? Bi? Alien?

 Of course by this stage he’d once again become a mega-star. Let’s Dance and Tonight albums in particular providing a collection of global smash hits. I remember going to tape fairs and buying bootleg gig tapes – I had Milton Keynes 1983 gig, Cleveland 1978, Melbourne 1978, and one from the 1987 Glass Spider tour too. I no longer have any of them now. The Milton Keynes and Cleveland ones were the two that got played to death though. Both great gigs that even the sound of the people recording them chatting and singing along couldn’t spoil for me at the time.

 In 1998 came Tin Machine. Oh how these years have been pilloried. This was Bowie reacting against what he had felt himself becoming in the mid eighties – almost a parody of himself lost in pop megastardom and at risk of becoming little more than a greatest hits package. He admitted he felt unfulfilled by the whole thing. Suddenly it was like he was chasing commercial success rather than just being Bowie and making records regardless of commercial success. It wasn’t that he was making bad records – Never Let me Down, which was the record the Glass Spider Tour supported, has some great stuff on it, but it was still clear he needed to press the reset button.

 I loved Tin Machine. I loved that he’d formed a band, fought to not have his name in the band title, and just seemed to be relaxed and having fun. The first Tin Machine album is a great record. I will repeat that: A GREAT RECORD. I’ve had to defend it many times over the years, but it is worth it. In truth the same cannot be said for either the follow up album or the subsequent live record – I’ll happily concede that those are pretty rubbish. But Bowie himself always said he looked back on the Tin Machine experience with great fondness and that it was the spark to make him be adventurous again. And it did. What followed was: Black Tie, White Noise; 1:Outside; Earthling; Hours; Heathen; Reality; The Next Day; and Blackstar.

This run of albums shows just why news of his death is so sad. If you listen to these albums you discover that unlike many of his contemporaries his forays into different music styles: Industrial, Jazz, Drum and Bass etc never seemed like a calculated attempt to be ‘current’ but more a reflection on his unabashed and genuine love of music. He was a big music fan who regularly sought out and championed new music and artists he liked. He was an enthusiastic music fan. He was, essentially, one of us.

David Bowie released his first album on 1 June 1967. I was born the following year. He has, quite literally, been the soundtrack to my life. He leaves us with almost 50 years of music. But it is more than that. For many artists it is a case of law of diminishing returns and, despite protestations, the case where clearly their best years are long gone and the spark of genius gone. Not so with Bowie. 2013’s The Next Day, and 2016’s Blackstar are not ‘let’s just re-record my old classics and/or roll out a duets album’. These are albums that showed an artist still fresh and full of ideas. These albums can stand proud next to the classics from the 1970s. They’re not just albums you listen to once and never revisit again, they are records to listen to today … And the next day/And the next/And another day.

David Bowie: 8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016

Todd nods to Bowie

Last night.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Jill Sobule and giving people you adore more power than you should

San Jose Mercury News, 7th jan has an interview with Jill Sobule, ahead of a gig this Sunday at Redwood City's Club Fox on Sunday, where she shares the bill with Mr Kasim Sulton.

The piece talks about Todd.

Sobule's first album, 1990's "Things Here Are Different," was produced by Todd Rundgren.
"I was a big fan. I hadn't met, really, any celebrities, let alone one of my icons. I hadn't been in the studio much. And Todd was really intimidating back then, in that time period. So it was really sort of semi-terrifying.
"Right before then, I was just excited to play an open mic at The Bitter End in New York. That was a big deal. Or right before that, I played Josephina's Pizza in Denver, Colorado. So my eyes were overly wide open," she says, laughing. "I didn't have any expectations."
The album failed to register with record buyers. The next one, produced by Joe Jackson, went unreleased. "People who you adore, you sometimes give them more power than you should. And I was having problems singing. I was tense and probably going through some sort of mental state. Part of it was not having confidence in myself."

Claire Wells

Peter Guy at the Liverpool Echo talked to local musician Claire Wells (Liverpool Echo, January 8) about her music and influences.

What are your influences and which artists do you listen to at the moment?
For this current LP, I was listening to a lot of late '70s-early '80s Sparks (their Georgio Moroder era), Julian Jumpin' Perez mixtapes circa 1986/7 and Todd Rundgren - who has been a mainstay for many years now.
More recently, I've been really impressed with artists such as Julia Holter, Jenny Hval, Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) and Susanne Sundfør. Note my preference for solo artists!
I also enjoy listening to absolute crud such as Hall & Oates, Phil Collins and enigmatic '80s musician/ Wall Street trader "Lewis".

Great seeing Todd mentioned but also Oneohtrix Point Never  and Susanne Sundfør who produced two of my favourite records of last year.

Erykah Badu - Hello (Ft. Andre 3000)

Erykah Badu recently recorded this interesting re-working of Todd's Hello It's Me [Based more on the Isley Bros cover]

Monday, January 04, 2016

Victim Singer: Adele?

I think Mr R being a little harsh here:

“I don’t have the same kind of feelings that a lot of people do about this new generation of victim singers like Adele and Sam Smith, where it just seems like they’re abused animals,” he added. “Everything they sing about is, ‘Oh, I’m so needy, I’m so hurt.’ I don’t think the world needs more of that. The world needs more of ‘I can’t feel my face.’” [Revue 29 Dec]

Live At The Old Waldorf

The new year begins with this from the Scottish Daily Express...

TODD RUNDGREN & UTOPIA: Live At The Old Waldorf **** (Esoteric) 

Another entry to the Rundgren Archive Series, this is a first official release for an August 1978 concert in San Francisco, where Rundgren mixed songs from his cosmic prog rock band Utopia and the more soft-rock material from his solo career. So while they can ramp it upon the more outlandish tracks like The Seven Rays, Abandon City and Gangrene, Rundgren likes to tone it down a bit when he offers Can We Still Be Friends and Couldn't I Just Tell You.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Podcast Thirteen: 2015: Best Albums etc

Awards and a look back at 2015, including our all important album of the year. 

Check out this episode!