Random tidbits

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Kasim Sulton in Japan - I love these lil’ video clips that musician (and long time Todd Rundgren band member) Kasim Sulton posts on youtube. it’s always neat to get a glimpse of what professional musicians do when they’re not on stage. In his most recent segment, Kasim shares a little of what he saw on his walk through Osaka, Japan. here’s the link to his video clip.

Geoff Downes interview - man, Asia is getting a whole slew of press surrounding the release of their brand new studio album Phoenix which just got released today. check out a great interview with keyboardist Geoff Downes over at classic rock revisited. I’m planning on posting a review of their new album in the next week or so. and also, if you’re a big fan, be sure to head on over to their official website tonight where there will be a special live webcast of their concert from the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY.

Bourgeois Tagg reunion! - Brent Bourgeois recently announced that he’ll be involved with a benefit concert in Sacramento on June 3rd that will feature a Bourgeois Tagg reunion. the concert is being organized to help his friend and former Uncle Rainbow lead singer Richard Oates who is in need of a liver transplant. Bourgeois states on his website that this will be a one time only reunion. tickets can be purchased through tickets.com. for more info, please head on over to Brent Bourgeois’ website.

blogger’s choice awards - and finally, if you like what you’ve been seeing here on retroblog, please take a minute and vote for me over at the Blogger’s Choice Awards. I’d really appreciate your votes. thanks.

Walk Hard

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Wow, what a disappointment. Judd Apatow’s Walk Hard - The Dewey Cox Story is a dud. I expected so much more from the creator of 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad. Walk Hard is essentially a rock-biopic parody using Johnny Cash’s story as a jumping off point. references to other music legends like Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Elvis and Brian Wilson are supposed to be funny (I guess) but end up being lame and amateurish. and what a waste of a great cast. John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Kristen Wiig, Tim Meadows and Chris Parnell did the best they could with the material but it’s hard to ignore the deafening thud of all the badly written jokes and gags. the whole time watching the flick I kept on telling myself that “it’d get better.. just give it a chance” but sadly that laugh out loud moment never came.

what essentially could have been a great video short on SNL unfortunately got expanded to a bloated and unfunny feature length film that just isn’t worth investing any time in. I recommend watching This Is Spinal Tap for the zillionth time over watching this laugh-free biopic spoof.

Midnight Boom by The Kills

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I’ve got to hand it to Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince of the Kills. their new album Midnight Boom is absolutely fascinating with its unique mixture of intricately layered rhythms, angular guitar squawks, playground chants and glam-rock like attitude. these songs aren’t your traditional acoustic guitar-based ditties. the songs rely heavily on repetition, rhythm and Mosshart’s twisted yet alluring personality. some people may call The Kills minimalists but there’s certainly more to these songs that simple drum and guitar lines. the songs keep you coming back for more as you discover layer upon layer of interesting bits to listen it to.

Tasty bits of hi-hat work, effects-laden guitars, meticulously programmed loops and slinky synths all reveal that these tracks weren’t haphazardly put together as some may have you believe. Mosshart and Hince along with producer Armani XXXchange (a.k.a. Alex Epton) have successfully created a soundscape all their own that pulls you in deeper with each listen. and where else are you going to find lines like: Time ain’t gonna cure you honey, Time don’t give a shit (Tape Song) and I’m bored of cheap and cheerful, I want expensive sadness (Cheap and Cheerful) highlight abound including the distortion filled Hook and Line, the hand-jivvy Sour Cherry, the soft/loud combo of Tape Song and the ever so haunting ballad Black Balloon.