Pink Floyd fans are about to shine on like crazy diamonds. The iconic English psyh rock group is about to empty the vaults on rare and live tracks as part of a massive campaign their music company EMI are about to launch. Starting tomorrow, Sept. 27, the company — in a joint move with the band — will release collectors’ box sets, remastered recordings, and unreleased music from the band courtesy of an “anthology” that recalls EMI’s epic 1995 release of Beatles material. Continue reading
Photo/Cylla von Tiedemann
There is a lot of “Love” at the Neil Simon Theatre on 52nd Street, and it is contagious. The Beatles have finally reunited! John, Paul, George and Ringo are touring again…finally!
They are not performing “Eight Days a Week”, but “Across the Universe” “It’s Only Love”. Steve Landes (as John), Joey Curatolo (as Paul), Joe Bithorn (as George) and Ralph Castelli (as Ringo) bring a “Revolution” “Because” this show is definitely a “Ticket to Ride”!
In concert form, “Michelle” Obama would love this! Even “Eleanor Rigby” would have a blast, jumping and dancing and singing along with this faux group from Liverpool! You’re “Nowhere, Man” unless you pick up tix to this show, before they leave for England in January.
“I’ll Follow the Sun” to this happy concert, put together by Mark Lewis. He became enraptured with the Fab Four after seeing them on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. Thus, RAIN was born, and now they live, as the aforementioned Beatles, on stage. “In My Life” “Come and Get It” and “Come Together” at this show, where “Here, There and Everywhere” Beatlemania runs rampant! “I’ll Follow the Sun” to hear the many Beatles standards, and with the costume changes and set changes (thanks to Scott Christensen, Todd Skinner) and the videos that bring back nostalgic longings (by Darren McCaulley and Mathieu St-Arnaud) “I’ll Be Back” to “Follow the Sun” and “Yesterday” I was enthralled.
“Hey, Jude”, bring your friends “Because” “All You Need is Love” and “Maybe I’m Amazed” that the Sixties still live on 52nd Street! “Don’t Let Me Down”, for you will be “Nowhere, Man” if you miss this. “Every Night” these great, talented performers will channel the works of Lennon and McCartney for three generations of fans. “Across the Universe” fans will be talking about RAIN. “Run for Your Life”, even if you must take a “Yellow Submarine” and call on “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” to accompany you. This show will “Help!” you remember, and, you can bet, “I’ll Be Back” with my pet “Blackbird” because “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” if you see RAIN at the Neil Simon Theatre!
“Don’t Let Me Down”!
Photo/Cylla von Tiedemann
Joey Curatolo, who plays Paul McCartney in the new Broadway revue “Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles,” pointed out moments before belting “When I’m 64″ how the audience that evening consisted of three generations of Beatles fans. A large round of applause followed that statement, and almost immediately the all-ages group either shook in their seats or stood up, and sang the songs gloriously off key and out loud. Imagine that scenario for two hours, and you’ve got “Rain.”
The Beatles’ music is timeless, and “Rain” celebrates that. Don’t dismiss this as a tribute band, the entire production skillfully recaptures the band’s magic with faithful, spot-on live recordings of some of the band’s best songs (each “Rain” member is a skilled musician in their own right), and add to the nostalgic trip by recapturing their mannerisms and showmanship on stage. The scenic design (Scott Christensen, Todd Skinner) help you feel the time warp, too.
Split into sections of their careers much like The Beatles: Rock Band videogame, the band (Curatolo is joined by Steve Landes as John, Joe Bithorn as George, and Ralph Castelli as Ringo) takes us on a journey through Beatles history from Sgt. Pepper to Abbey Road. Yep, it all starts with their legendary Ed Sullivan appearance (a large TV-set with a see-through screen is shown in front of the performers) and moves to their Shea Stadium landmark appearance, and ultimately walks us through the psychedelic 60s and hippie 70s.
What’s the difference between seeing “Rain” and a Beatles cover band? It’s easy – the attention to detail. Right when we walk into the Neil Simon Theatre, we’re greeted with screens with images and trivia of the era with a soundtrack of 1960s tunes. Immediately, we’re transported. When the curtain goes up, and the performers come on stage with their mop tops and trademark suits playing those classic songs, forget about it. We’re sold.
“Rain” is just about the closest you’ll come to seeing The Beatles live ever. If there’s any drawback with the production it’s song choice, but everything’s relative. I would’ve included “Something” or “All You Need Is Love” in favor of – say “Mother Nature’s Son,” but narrowing down The Beatles’ catalog must’ve been an impossible feat for the show’s creators. I will say this – “Rain” especially nail “Hello Goodbye” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in which Bithorn shreds like a madman. I’ll also note The Beatles never toured for their last couple albums so it adds a real cool vibe to see, for example, the trippy “I Am The Walrus” live.
Personally, as a kid who first learned of McCartney through the Michael Jackson “Say, Say, Say” video and never saw The Beatles together as a band, it’s one cool trip.
If you like Vampire Weekend, you’ll love Ra Ra Riot. That’s a tag line that’s probably followed the latter indie rock band wherever they go, unrightfully so. The two bands, who both broke through the indie rock scene two years ago or so, have some songs that sound similar but other than being young and indie, that’s where the comparison dies. New York Magazine got that, calling their sophomore effort, the August-released The Orchard, “poised to become the soundtrack of your life.” True that, but my job isn’t to plug the band. It’s to chat with them.
Last week I spoke with the band’s lead singer Wes Miles and bassist Mathieu Santos (the rest of the mostly Syracuse, NY natives include guitarist Milo Bonacci, drummer Gabriel Duquette, violinist Rebecca Zeller, and cellist Alexandra Lawn) and asked them about touring (their extensive tour of duty has already included Japan, California, and New York City), what the new sounding record represents to them, and the songwriting process.
Some band frontmen use their hiatus to shack up in a some faraway villa and take a full-on sabbatical from the studio. Then there’s people like Serj Takian, who uses the extended time to feed his creative juices in the form of solo work. The frontman of System of a Down releases Imperfect Harmonies today — the second solo album since the band took its hiatus some four-plus years ago, and he’s quite please with the end result. “It fuses electronic beats and sounds with a full legato orchestra,” he explained.
The new album, like his previous effort, Elect the Dead, is also filled with his signature political rage, as well as angst, hope, and everything else in between. And it seems the videos off the new album will follow other Tankian gems in that they’re mind-numbingly stunning. Take the video for the first single, “Left of Center,” for example, in which a near claymation world gets skewed. I spoke with Tankian recently and asked him about the new album, touring, and how he felt performing in his homeland.
Is it me or does it seem like you can’t leave your house without knowing what this kid is up to? OK, I want to clarify something..I know who he is…but for WHAT..that’s another story. Apparently he wants to act (if his Oscar-winning moment came on that teacher/student sketch with Tina Fey on SNL..we’re in trouble);catches foul balls at White Sox games;says Kim Kardashian is “just a friend” to prevent any assassination plots on the reality star (and we all know how Larry King’s show THAT night would turn out);gets inked on his hip (translation;tramp stamp); and worst of all..your 12-year-old nephew wants to look like him!
Not since The Beatles or Leif Garrett for that matter has anyone been so fascinated with what a teen heartthrob does at every waking moment of the day. So…time to go Chris Hansen on this kid (minus the sweet tea and cookies) and conduct full-on investigations. Some people prefer Perez, but once you follow my constant bulletins just as delicious,if not salacious – never will you wonder what this kid who makes David Archuleta look like John Cena not been up to. Time to get all up into Bieber. Ladies and gentlemen, keep your eyes peeled here for our Bieber watch all summer long.
With sincere apologies to Marilyn McCoo, Solid Gold is not just synonymous with an afro-infused flashy top 40 countdown dance show anymore. It’s also a psych funk dance and groove band out of Minneapolis (by way of Wisconsin) who kick and make you shake some serious tush. The band, who sadly don’t come with Solid Gold Dancers (although many audience members make for some nice ba dunk-a-dunk moments), recently released their EP “Synchronize,” have showcased for years at various fests including SXSW, and are on to – what Peter Noone might sing off key – “something good.” I spoke with one of the band’s founders Matt Locher on their tour (dates include May 2 at Spaceland in L.A. and the Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City on May 6), their evolution, and some pretty inane things.
The Beatles catalog is released digitally remastered as we all know. To celebrate that plus the “Rock Band” game, box sets, and the fact that the band still kicks ass, we’re giving away a holiday poster of the Fab Four. Want to win? Comment below and convince me.
The Beatles’ catalogue Remasters are out today (September 9th). To celebrate the release – I’m giving away a free lithograph. Want it, comment below and tell me why. Only one winner, people – make it good!
By Jon Chattman
What do you get when you cross The Doors with Phil Collins and throw in a little Billy Joel? A super group of Jim Morrison, Phil Collins and Billy Joel? Yes, but for the purposes of this article – you get a sound like The Queens Killing Kings – a group on the rise from New Haven. Yes, New Haven, CT. I spoke with frontman Coley O’Toole and asked him about the band while secretly idolizing his sideburns.
How long did it take you to put this album together?
It took us roughly two and a half years to complete “Tidal Eyes.” The record was being worked on in the midst of my touring the country as a hired gun. Having no time constraint for its completion proved to be beneficial because we were able to digest all of our ideas and sit with them to make sure we had the best possible arrangements, instrumentation, and production for what we wanted to accomplish. Continue reading