Releases::Dappled Cities Granddance out today

Today Dappled Cities’ new record Granddance comes out on Dangerbird records. The record is a pop listeners treat with lots of curves and intersections to meander through.

Dappled Cities July tour dates
13 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge (w/ Besnard Lakes)
17 Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection Front Room *
18 Indianapolis, IN – Birdy’s Bar & Grill *
21 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge *
23 San Francisco, CA – The Independent *
25 West Hollywood, CA – Troubadour *
26 San Diego, CA – Beauty Bar *
27 Phoenix, AZ – Anderson’s Fifth Estate *
29 Austin, TX – Emo’s ** = w/ Tokyo Police Club

Review::Queen – DVD Collector’s Box

I sat back and watched the two dvd Queen Collector’s box this last weekend. The first dvd Under Review 1973-1980 incorportates a lot of Queen video footage to tell the story of this incredible band during the afformentioned period. There has never been a rock singer like Mercury that crossed so many rivers into so many genres. The video is in short an examination of the band in the 1970’s and how from the beginning they were the whole package – ready to take over the world. In fact they were so together that some critics accused them of being manufactured. In the midst of the video is a Brian May guitar clinic by a Queen expert. The guitar clinic seems pertinent when you take into account Queens two greatest trademarks – their vocal harmonies and May’s distinctive guitar sound. The band created a hybrid of glam rock and heavy rock that was at times vaudevillian, theatrical, carnivelesque, but always esquisite. The almost two hours of footage is entertaining for the Queen lover and the new fan.

The second dvd Magic Moments is a shorter Queen documentary that breezes over some of the bands highlights. We are reminded that Queen were a dynamic, huge sounding stadium rock band. We won’t see a Freddy Mercury again. The times have changed and shut the door on that proposition. Freddie’s voice stretched from operatic to folk, and his composing comes from a classical world with a crossover to pop music. This dvd includes a lot of interviews from personal friends and is a nice addition to the first dvd.

Notes/Release News:: The Monkees – "Making The Monkees" & Deluxe Reissues

The Monkees are a group that seems to surface with much interest every several years. We’ve always been huge fans so with news of a new Documentary for BBC television – it’s brought new interest in the group once again. Doubleband films recently interviewed Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz. The resulting BBC4 TV special recently aired “Making The Monkees” promises to be one of the better bios – see also 1996’s “Hey Hey We’re The Monkees” (Which used some new interviews but relied mainly on footage from the TV show – it aired I believe on the Disney Channel) and MTV’s 1986 classic doc “They Made A Monkee Out Of Me”. Here’s more info on the special which hopefully will be released on DVD in the future.

From The Monkees mailing list:
Making The Monkees Documentary“MAKING THE MONKEES,” a documentary Peter Tork, David Jones and Micky Dolenz filmed in the fall of 2006 and early 2007 for BBC4 has been completed. The official premiere air date is:Sunday, June 3, 2007 10pmBBC4 United Kingdom
Michael Nesmith makes an appearance via footage shot in 1997.Also appearing in the film are: Bobby Hart, Don Kirshner, Bob Rafelson, Jeff Barry, Eric Lefkowitz and Andrew Sandoval.
Archival footage from The Monkees TV series and film, Head is also featured.Watch closely for very brief appearances by: Aviva Maloney, Donna Dolenz and Marilyn Ingram.The film will continue to air during the summer on BBC4. “Making the Monkees,” is a production of DoubleBand Films of Northern Ireland for BBC4.
In even more Monkees news, Rhino appears to have a release date for the next batch of Monkees reissues – their third LP “Headquarters Deluxe Edition” and “Pisces, Aquarius, and Jones, LTD. Deluxe Edition” will be released on July 10th. No track listing has been released at this time. We’re guessing the “Headquarters” deluxe will probably feature much of the material that was available via Rhino Handmades limited 3xCD edition release in 2000.

Notes::Phillip Chapman Lesh and The Flying Carpet

People, today it has been widely circulated that one Mr. Phillip Chapman Lesh has been sited in Hunter, New York. This means that we’re all expecting Mr. Phil to be playing with Gov’t Mule by the second set. This is priceless stuff here folks. This guy is a legend. Come see this one of kind sonic alchemist work his rumblings. Just because most people can’t begin to understand what Phil and the Boys have done musically, doesn’t mean batoodles. Come and take that leap, because one day music people will praise them as the prophets they are. In twenty years from now, the answer to every important rock n roll trivia question will be answered with Grateful Dead. Also, last night I saw Gov’t Mule do their last song via the webcast. The quality is really nice and the audio is pretty awesome. I encourage you to turn it on.

Notes::Fergie & Peter Murphy

You better think twice about your purchase next time you plop down for that vintage Unknown Pleasures, Bowie, or Smiths’ t-shirt, because Fergie has one upped you all. Here she is above going deep with the Peter Murphy shirt. By the way Fergie, how much do clothes cost in the Matrix?

Rock shirts are funny these days, because you see them everywhere from Macy’s to your neighborhood vintage store. It is like the other night when my friend Hank and I are having some drinks at this outside bar and these hipster kids come up on bikes and one of the guys has a Van Halen shirt on. Hank goes “For some reason I don’t think that kid listens to Van Halen.”

Musings::Hanging out with Bob and Jimmy

Being a beach lover I have to deal with being inundated constantly with the sounds of Bob Marley Legend, Jimmy Buffet, and whatever current fair of hip hop hits. It really doesn’t matter where I’m hanging out, I know what to expect. Frankly the hip hop doesn’t grate on me too much, because women love hip hop and hip hop makes them excited, and that makes me happy.

Shootin’ The Tube:: The Five Americans & The We Five

Another installment of our very popular feature, “Shoot’in The Tube” – where we sift through the over populated – and find some cool, maybe music clips you haven’t seen before.

This week, a doubleshot of two 60’s bands with the “Five”:

The Five Americans are one of our favorite bands. “Western Union” was a huge hit which is still played on many oldies stations around the world – proof it’s a timeless classic, heck people still use Western Union! – The band had a slew of hits in the mid/late 60’s – Here’s Mike Rabon and company on the Steve Allen show

San Francisco’s The We Five were also another cool little combo – banging out their biggest hit “You Were On My Mind” further taking the mid 60’s folk rock scene into the top of the charts – another staple of oldies radio the song remains a timeless gem…This is the live version – the band performans their hit on the Hollywood Palace.

Check back next time for more fine videos from the vaults of – see you soon!

Tour Notes::Phil Lesh’s only summer festival appearance at Warren Haynes’ Mountain Jam

Well folks my brother just sent this picture of the parking lot while calling me from upstate New York. He just got his tent set up for a weekend at the 3rd annual Mountain Jam. Gov’t Mule will headline tonight and tomorrow night, with a whole bunch of supporting acts. The highlight of the event is Phil Lesh and Friends who will be making their only summer appearance on sunday. I can’t say that most of the line up holds much appeal for me, but being up in this majestic part of the country watching Phil sounds like a good enough reason to be there. It is summer and it’s festival season and that means having some fun time. There is no easier way to meet new friends than at a summer festival. Everyone wants to have a good time, so it’s not hard to find one. Rock is supposed to be about smiles and happy times. There will be time for brooding later. Watch it live from the site or get on up there.

Notes:: Crowded House "Don’t Stop Now" Video

Crowded House is back and with a pretty cool new single and video called “Don’t Stop Now”. It’s produced by Steve Lillywhite (U2, Morrissey) and features the new Crowded House line-up – Neil Finn (guitars and vocals), Nick Seymour(bass), Mark Hart (piano and harmony), and Matt Sherrod (drums) – plus the legendary Johnny Marr. The new LP “Time On Earth” is due out July 10th on ATO Records – enjoy the video!

Croweded House is also set to tour the US for the first time in more than ten years – visit the official site for up to date show listings.

Notes::Crowded House in the Times today

Speaking of Crowded House, The Times Online has a nice article on the band in today’s issue.
Here is the link: Crowded House in the Times article

Interview::Lavender Diamond

There is an exclusive interview with Lavender Diamond up on Urge. Check it out: Lavender Diamond interview

Here are some excerpts from the interview if you don’t want to get involved with all that.
URGE: Was the ideological aspect one of the starting points of the band? Was that there from the beginning?

Ron Regé Jr.: When I met Becky, she was performing as Lavender Diamond, just singing solo and guitar, slower and a little drawn out. But she had played with a few different guitar players, one was Jeff [Rosenberg], and another was Elvis Perkins. The two of us had a band called the Mystical Unionists, where we wore these crazy costumes, and it was just drums and vocals, and I had this weird machine, an echo box. Ideologically, all those songs were pretty much the same, probably more so than Lavender Diamond because the music was weird, and we were wearing these robes.

Stark: We weren’t wearing robes, we were wearing sexy outfits.

URGE: Where did those ideas come from? Was it upbringing and musical taste, or was it art-school ideas?

Regé Jr.: It was things going on, and probably the times we live in. I’m feeling really strongly about [our surroundings] these days. I look around at popular culture and youth culture, and I’m [wondering] “What the hell is going on?” I can’t believe how many artists are just singing about nothing. It completely baffles me. When I was in my twenties in the ’80s, we were all yelling punk-rock kind of stuff, mostly shouting about Reagan. But nowadays, even the folk movement and people with the hippie trappings, they don’t seem to be having any kind of protests. I know people might not want to be specific, or get pigeonholed, but … in my art and in my paintings, I came to [a] realization that I can’t make art that doesn’t mean anything, and I can’t make art that isn’t specifically about finding peace in this world. So, then Becky met Steve [Gregoropolous], who plays piano, who’s been doing music forever. Steve was also on board with making really subversive pop music. That’s how Becky got Steve to be in; with writing.

Stark: I said, we’ll do it really consciously, like Abba.

Regé Jr.: Yeah, like Abba or Human League or Blondie. Human League is the one that got him. Steve made industrial music in the early ’80s, and is also a pop and classical guy. So he definitely understands the idea, because he saw bands like the Human League go from being like Throbbing Gristle to being a Top 40 band.

Album Spotlight::Dinosaur Jr. – Green Mind

I know a lot has been written on Dinosaur Jr., with a special concentration on Bug and You’re Living All Over Me. No doubt those records are good, but I have been a long time fan and Green Mind is by far my favorite. Originally released on Sire records in 1991 after a lineup change and some musical alterations, the record is full of one great song after another and shows J. bringing out a lot more acoustic guitar. I think the melodies on Green Mind are Dinosaur Jr.’s best, and I think J. does some fine singing here. A lot of the songs are long on this record with a couple closing in on six minutes. Right out of the gate “The Wagon” rips us into submission and later throws it into high gear with that bridge – “theres a place I go but you’re not there and I’m supposed to know.” Furthermore, I love how the end of “Blowin’ It” morphs into I Live For That Look and just when you think it can’t get any catchier here comes that sassy chorus – “you run around. you want see tomorrow see today no way.” Flying Cloud is an acoustic number with a Neil Young vibe and some sinister bass drum hitting. Then we’re back in high gear again with the driving”How’d You Pin That One On Me?,” which has J. going off on guitar with one of those raging ragged solos of his. “Water” has a shimmering guitar strum that highlights the chorus, and of course there is a great bridge in there as well. I love the hippyish sway to “Muck,” complete with double tracked vocals on the verses to give the track a nice effect.

For the most part I don’t know what the lyrics are about in these songs, but there are always these lines which stick out and make some connection with me. I love the sardonic lyrics that start “Thumb” off – “There never really is a good time. Theres always nothing much to say. Pretty good, not doing that fine. Getting up most every day.” It pretty much sums up how a bunch of us probably feel. Last but not least, on the title track J. tells us “…on a certain level I think they’re great but on another I can’t relate to anything they do.” Green Mind has the songs, sounds great, and feels like J.’s coming out confessional party.

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