Friday, September 4, 2009

Kansas Frontman Suffers Stroke

Legendary musician and composer Kerry Livgren suffered a stroke Tuesday morning. Livgren was a founding member of Kansas, and has been a tireless creative force since the early 70s. Currently he is a busy solo artist and producer, and manages his own label, Numavox Records.

Kerry is currently hospitalized near his home in Topeka, Kanasa, where surgery was performed to remove a blood clot in his brain. Kerry's nephew and Proto-Kaw bandmate Jake Livgren has stated the family continues to be encouraged by signs his uncle is giving following the stroke he suffered Tuesday morning.

Livgren, who in the '70s as a member of progressive rock band Kansas wrote "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust In The Wind" among other classic compositions. Livgren has been extremely active in recent months, working on an updated version of his autobiography Seeds Of Change which was also the title of his first solo record, released after his conversion but while he was still a member of Kansas.

The Vinyl Revival- Down Under

Vinyl records are a hot commodity as people both young and old are reverting back to this historical audio medium. Older folks are recapturing a bit of the past and buying up classic rock records, the exact records they dumped with the advent of the dreaded CD. Younger music listeners, used to the sterile sound of the digital age, are now finding that the music sounds so much better on vinyl.

As I continue to write about music and vinyl records, I have made many friends all over the world. The Internet makes the world a much smaller place, and corresponding with a gentleman from Australia, I was curious about the world of vinyl records in his country and about his love for collecting records:

Record Collecting In Australia


My interest in music stems from my mother, who used to play in bands in the south west of the state. I started listening to music at an early age, possibly around 6 years of age. My first artist/group I got keen on was the Beatles. As soon as I heard a Beatle track, my ears were pushed into the speaker of our portable radio. My mother bought me the first 6 Beatles 45’s. My father came home one day and thought ”jeez, I think he likes music, I better buy him a record player.”

From then on my record collecting began, with my first LP being the Beatles “A Hard Days Night.” For some reason, of which, I can’t explain, my tastes always lent towards buying singles, not albums. In the seventies, I got influenced by a friend of mine who convinced me that albums were a great way to buy the music I wanted, especially when record companies were pulling at least five tracks off of albums and releasing them as singles.

My collection has expanded somewhat into a number of areas. I have mountains of hard to get 45’s. I also collect Australian artist’s overseas releases. My other passion is Japanese releases by major artists like Blondie, Heart, AC/DC, just to name a few. My collection also includes a smattering of compilation albums, purchased because they contain obscure tracks that I’m after. And finally I collect radio shows. My collection of shows is only small, but with eBay, I hope to increase my collection. Enough said.

On to another aspect of collecting and that is the vinyl record vs. CD debate. Here in Australia, we have a large yuppie population who are led either by media intervention - telling them how bad the vinyl sound is - or their friend’s influences - i.e. “I got rid of my records, because the CD is the coolest.”

Quite the reverse has happened over the years because the capabilities of CD are limited in the way music is translated on this ‘wiz bang’ state of the art music format. CDs cannot do justice to 50’s-60’s and 70’s music and the reasons are that the recording techniques were, by today’s standards, pretty basic, plus the music wasn’t recorded totally in digital format. Hence a Beatles, Stones or Abba LP will sound 100% better on vinyl than its CD counterpart.

Record companies ,in their efforts to make 60’s and 70’s music sound just as “new“ as a disc released last week, by decreasing the bass, and increasing the treble, which doesn’t work. Do yourself a favour, and pick any vinyl album, plus its CD equivalent. Play them both alongside each other and you will immediately feel and hear the difference.

Vinyl has a warmth that a CD cannot deliver. It also has equal bass and treble in the sound spectrum, whereas CD is all high end dynamics. Compact discs works for 80’s to present day music, because of the digital age. Most people who heavily invested in a high priced CD player, sold all their vinyl and replaced it with CD, are “NOW” getting rid of their discs, and going back to vinyl and the beloved record player.

Vinyl sales in Australia have soared an amazing 60% this year, drawing me to the conclusion that progress, (i.e.CD) sometimes doesn’t mean going forward; in fact it can mean going backward. I certainly believe this to be so, as far as listening to 50’s, 60’s and 70’s music. As mentioned above, compact discs do an injustice to the sound quality of the vinyl records pressed during these eras, lacking warmth, and feel to the music. In time, there will be new ways and means to listen to our much loved music.

However, as much as record companies want you to “LIKE“ the new formats, whatever concept that may be, I think that true “music” fans will always want to listen and enjoy his/her collection on their almighty record player. Millions of fans worldwide still love and appreciate those little crackles and other noises that tell us we’re listening to “real music,” and I can’t see things changing for the next twenty years or so.

As an added footnote, 9/9/09 sees the “new” digital remasters of all the Beatles albums, the first four in true stereo. Each album features extra sleeve notes, CD rom features and hopefully a better mix of each track than the previous version, which most of us have on our CD shelves. The Beatles have maintained a strong following, the world over, and in Australia, their music is sold, played, and performed hourly. I hope you enjoyed reading my article, and you give the humble vinyl another spin on your beloved turntables, and feel the warmth of the “real” music.

May your day be great and filled with music, brought to you by your “record player!”

What makes this article so intriguing is the message; music is a universal medium, played and enjoyed the world over. Here, Donald talks from the heart, with passion and a keen eye for the details. It’s always about enjoying the music and the appreciation of the medium; you can’t go wrong with that!

Donald Kay suggests an online vinyl shop for hard to find music in Australia, and the shop also runs at least 3 to 4 auction lists of collectible vinyl a year.

Rock/Pop Tidbits

Tommy Roe wrote and recorded a song called "Sheila" when he was just 14 years old. The effort went nowhere, but six years later, he recorded it again for ABC-Paramount and this time it went to number one in the US.

Peter Noone, better known as Herman of Herman's Hermits, once interviewed Elvis Presley for the UK music paper New Musical Express.

In 1972, Chuck Berry complained when his record company recorded a concert performance in London. But Berry stopped complaining after a song from his set went on to be his biggest-selling hit. The song? “My Ding-a-Ling.”

Danny and the Juniors' 1958, Top 20 hit "Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay" was written in response to a rock record smashing party sponsored by St Louis radio station KWK.

The first time that Dick Clark heard a Beatles' record he said, "I don't know what the heck you're so excited'll never fly."

According to vocalist Davy Jones, The Monkees were allowed to choose some of the songs they recorded. Two that they turned down were "Knock Three Times", which would become a Billboard chart topper for Tony Orlando and Dawn in 1970 and "Love Will Keep Us Together", which became a million selling number one for The Captain and Tennille in 1975.

The term "rock and roll", which was black slang for sexual intercourse, appeared on record for the first time in 1922 on Trixie Smith's "My Baby Rocks Me With One Steady Roll".

The term "rhythm & blues" was coined in 1948 by a young Billboard reporter and future Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler, to replace the negative term "Race Records".

After John Lennon made his unfortunate remarks about the Beatles being "more popular than Jesus", the Bishop of Montreal, the Rt. Rev. Kenneth Maguire said: "I wouldn't be surprised if The Beatles actually were more popular than Jesus. In the only popularity poll in Jesus' time, he came out second best to Barabbas."

In the summer of 2005, recording industry insiders estimated that there were still 28 billion songs being illegally downloaded yearly.

Mike Stoller, one half of the songwriting team of Leiber & Stoller, survived the 1956 sinking of the luxury ship Andrea Doria off Nantucket Island. When he returned to New York on a rescue freighter, he was greeted by his partner Jerry Leiber who told him that they had just scored their first hit record by "some white kid called Elvis Presley." Stoller replied "Elvis who?"

Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees considered himself to be quite the ladies man. In fact, his standard pick-up line was that he had fallen in love and wanted to get married. He was known to walk around with a pocket full of engagement rings but this technique got him into trouble especially when five or six of his ‘fiancĂ©es’ gathered together at the stage door.

"House Of The Rising Sun" is a traditional Folk song that was first recorded in 1920 and tells a story about a brothel in New Orleans named after Madame Marianne Le Soleil Levant (which means "Rising Sun" in French). It was open for business from 1862, when Union Troops occupied the town, until 1874, when it was closed due to complaints by neighbors.

After the death of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham in 1980, guitarist Jimmy Page refused to even pick up a guitar for nearly nine months.

Monkees’ guitarist Mike Nesmith wrote Linda Ronstadt's 1968 hit, "Different Drum".

Gene Chandler, who reached number one in the US in 1962 with "The Duke Of Earl", was the producer of "Backfield In Motion", a 1969 Top Ten hit by Mel And Tim.

34 years later, son repaints 'Yellow Submarine' Beatle album cover on garage door


The Beatles, as seen on George Donabedian's garage. (Bill Bresler | staff photographer)

Being a musician, Larry Donabedian always enjoyed music by the Beatles.

With a talent for drawing and art, he always liked the Yellow Submarine album cover.

He thought it would look cool on his parents' garage door on Beatrice.

The year was 1975, and he was given a class assignment to enlarge a picture to a grid. He used the Beatles' Yellow Submarine album cover for the assignment, deciding to paint the album design on his parents' garage door.

And 34 years later, Donabedian returned with his son, along with a sister and two of her three sons, and they repainted the garage door on Beatrice where his father, George, and mother Lydia still live.

“It got pretty weathered,” Larry said. “My parents always liked it. (Painting) seemed a good excuse to get my son and nephews together.”

Back in 1975, the cover's design and the band's music drew him to do his interpretation of the cover.

“I always liked the Beatles,” Larry said. “I played in different bands and liked their music. My family always liked them.”

Donabedian liked Peter Max and psychedelic art used on some of the album covers of that era.

“It's a pretty simple style,” Larry said. “It's not like you're painting the Sistine Chapel. It's pretty straight forward, pretty graphic.”

Larry followed his artistic love and pursued an education in art. After he graduated from St. Agatha in Redford, he studied at Wayne State University where he graduated with a degree in fine arts. Today he works in advertising as an art director at Doner in Southfield and lives in Troy.

Last month, the weekend before the Woodward Dream Cruise, Larry got together with his son, Nick, and his sister, Anna Marie Kamischke, and her two sons, Garret and Kyle, at their parents' home, which they built in 1959.

“I wanted to do the same cover, and replace the old one and I knew it would be time together,” Larry said.

Larry said this version was quite different from the original. “I'm a lot more technically savvy,” he said. “I analyzed a Jpeg of that art, and analyzed the colors. I cut out swatches and matched up the paint.”

“When I painted it in high school, I did the outline first; then this time we filled in the color first and I did a black outline last. The colors are more accurate. I'm anxious to see how it holds up, but I'll have to wait another 30 years.”

Larry said his sons like it, but adds “they aren't into it like I was.”

Garret Kamischke, Larry's nephew, enjoyed the project with his mother, uncle and cousins. He plays piano. “I enjoy the Beatles and growing up listening to them,” Garret said. “It was a fun project. I worked on a coat, I did a tie, shoes and hair” on the Fab Four. “It was raining all day, and we had to put up umbrellas.”

Larry's father, George, said that 35 years ago, he and Larry walked the neighborhood asking if neighbors wanted their door painted. But Larry doesn't remember the story quite that way, and said their work didn't bring additional income, but may have given other neighbors ideas. “There were a couple of houses who did paint murals on their doors,” Larry said.

George is thrilled with the new look and with the work from Larry and Anne Marie and their children. “Larry's gift is that he is creative,” George said. “I am so blessed with my five children and eight grandchildren,” he added.

George said he loves music. He enjoys the Beatles, Bob Seger, John Denver and Frank Sinatra.

Earlier this year, George and Lydia traveled to Branson. “We bought tickets to a show, and we had no idea what show we were going to see, and it was Liverpool Legends,” George said. “George Harrison's sister, Louise, was there and directed the show. She was answering questions, and we raised our hand. I said we didn't have a question but we had a story. We told the whole audience about our Beatles (garage door) experience and they gave us a nice round of applause.”

Recently Louise Harrison sent the couple a thank-you note for sending her photos of the garage door.

Larry was asked by his father jokingly if George's discussion of the door in Branson had anything to do with Larry wanting to repaint it. Larry smiled and responded: “It didn't discourage it. It looked so bad. It was so weathered.”


Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

Techno Trance DJ John De La Mora Releases Serenity Vol 2

Chicago, Illinois ( September 4, 2009 — DJ John De La Mora, one of America’s most eminent ambassadors of electronic dance music announces the release of Serenity Volume 2 - 70+ minutes of the most beautiful and jawdropping sounds and beats in trance and techno music today. A heart-pounding, non-stop mix, this release will be made available in 320kbps vbr mp3 format as a free download at:

Serenity Volume 2 is the follow to the original installment of the Serenity series. That release garnered Mr. De La Mora with international acclaim and recognition as being one of the most dynamic non-stop mix releases of the new millennium. Serenity Volume 2 promises even more beauty, power, energy and euphoria.

“I’ve had this project on the backburner for some time, as I found myself quite busy with other projects; playing overseas in Germany and India, as well as my continous, ongoing project of being the presenter and mixer of the Official Trance Nation Radio Show every week. I’ve longed for the opportunity to mix together and showcase some of the most amazing producers, remixers, ideas and sounds in electronic dance today using Serenity Volume 2 as that vehicle - and now I have seized upon a window of opportunity,” said Mr. De La Mora.

“The music scene in the U.S. in general is slow to evolve and adapt to new sounds. While rock, pop, hip-hop and contry music dominate radio formats domestically - the rest of the world listens to and dances to a different beat - with trance & techno being 2 of the most popular sounds for quite some time now. With Serenity Volume 2 I aim to ramp up the pressure on radio program directors in the U.S. to explore and program electronic dance music because it’s fans are fierely loyal to outlets in which they can obtain a steady diet of this amazing music.”

This new volume in the Serenity series promises to be a virtual who’s who in the worldwide techno trance music scene today, though the actual tracklist itself will remain sealed and under wraps until the official release of Serenity Volume 2 which has been slated for Tuesday, September 8.

Chicago-based DJ and radio producer John De La Mora is the presenter and mixer of the Official Trance Nation Radio Show which airs on 70+ stations with 10 million listeners each week around the world. The show is also made available each week as a free podcast. The Trance Nation Project began in 1994 and includes the Trance Nation mix CD series - the longest running and of the most successful mix CD series in all of music, with millions of units sold worldwide. The Trance Nation Project is based in Hamburg, Germany and headed by industry titans Aga Heller & Oliver Enkie (Heller & Enkie). Trance Nation can be found on the web at:

Press Contact:
John De La Mora
(312) 285-8012


Pelican Announces Fall U.S. Tour Dates

A full American Fall PELICAN tour has been announced. The tour begins just days before the release of the band's upcoming Southern Lord Records debut, "What We All Come To Need," which comes out on October 27th. A variety of bands will be joining PELICAN on the tour including labelmates BLACK COBRA for most of the dates.

PELICAN will also join EARTH, SUNN O))) and EAGLE TWIN for the Southern Lord showcase in the Blackened Music Series at Brooklyn's Masonic Temple later this month.

Here are the latest PELICAN Fall tour dates:

9/22/2009 Brooklyn Masonic Temple - Brooklyn, NY w/ sunn O))), Earth, Eagle Twin
10/18/2009 Triple Rock Social Club - Minneapolis, MN w/ Minsk, Sweet Cobra
10/19/2009 Riot Room - Kansas City, MO w/ Minsk, Sweet Cobra
10/20/2009 The Marquis Theatre - Denver, CO w/ Black Cobra, Sweet Cobra
10/21/2009 Club Vegas - Salt Lake City, UT w/ Black Cobra, Sweet Cobra
10/22/2009 Neurolux - Boise, ID w/ Black Cobra, Sweet Cobra
10/24/2009 El Corazon - Seattle, WA w/ Black Cobra, Sweet Cobra
10/25/2009 Hawthorne Theatre - Portland, OR w/ Black Cobra, Sweet Cobra
10/27/2009 Independent - San Francisco, CA w/ Black Cobra, Sweet Cobra
10/28/2009 The Troubadour - West Hollywood, CA w/ Black Cobra, Sweet Cobra
10/29/2009 The Casbah - San Diego, CA w/ Black Cobra, Struck By Lightning
10/30/2009 Clubhouse - Tempe, AZ w/ Black Cobra, Struck By Lightning
11/01/2009 Emo’s - Austin, Texas w/ Black Cobra, Struck By Lightning
11/02/2009 Granada Theater - Dallas, TX w/ Black Cobra, Struck By Lightning
11/04/2009 Outland Ballroom - Springfield, MO w/ Black Cobra, Struck By Lightning
11/05/2009 The Picador - Iowa City, IA w/ Black Cobra, Struck By Lightning
11/28/2009 The Shelter - Detroit, MI w/ Black Cobra, Gods & Queens
11/29/2009 The Soundlab - Buffalo, NY w/ Black Cobra, Gods & Queens
12/01/2009 First Unitarian Church - Philadelphia, PA w/ Black Cobra, Disappearer
12/02/2009 Highline Ballroom - New York, NY w/ Black Cobra, Disappearer
12/03/2009 Harper’s Ferry - Allston, MA w/ Black Cobra, Disappearer
12/04/2009 Rock And Roll Hotel - Washington, DC w/ Black Cobra, Disappearer
12/05/2009 The Orange Peel - Asheville, NC
12/07/2009 Earl - Atlanta, GA w/ Black Cobra, Disappearer
12/08/2009 Bottletree Cafe - Birmingham, AL w/ Black Cobra, Disappearer
12/09/2009 Cider House - Knoxville, TN w/ Black Cobra, Disappearer
12/10/2009 Ravari Room - Columbus, OH w/ Black Cobra, Disappearer, Brainbow
12/11/2009 Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL w/ Black Cobra, Disappearer


Slayer Reveals New Album "World Painted Blood" Details

Slayer's upcoming album "World Painted Blood" will be released Tuesday, November 3rd in North American and Monday, November 2 to the rest of the world.

There will be three different editions of the album: Limited edition CD with multiple CD covers, Deluxe edition CD/DVD, and a high-quality, 180-gram vinyl edition.


Thom Yorke Solo Music

Thom Yorke is releasing two solo tracks. “FeelingPulledApartbyHorses” and “The Hollow Earth” are the song titles, with the music to be initially released on 12-inch vinyl single format.

“FeelingPulledApartbyHorses is written & played by Jonny and I and is a radical rework of an old tune that's been kicking around without a home since 2001? i think,” says Yorke via press release in his customarily typo-ridden style. “The Hollow Earth is a bass menace that was born out of the Eraser period but needed a little more time.”

The vinyl single will be released Sept. 21 via the band’s W.A.S.T.E. online store, or in “good” record stores, Yorke says, “if you are lucky enough to have one near you.” The songs are scheduled for digital release on Oct. 6.


Cover Art for Tokio Hotel's 'Humanoid'

Tokio Hotel's cover art for their upcoming studio album "Humanoid" has been unveiled. Coming out via Rolling Stone, this artwork captures the headshot of the band's frontman Bill Kaulitz as a cyborg with his hair being replaced by cords and wires.

In addition to "Humanoid" cover art, a clip of the album's title track has also emerged. "At the end of this track we got rid of all the normal song structures. 'Humanoid' has so many different parts and melodies, it's a weird journey that might be a little confusing at the beginning, but we can't wait to play it live," so Bill said of the song.

Tokio Hotel's third studio album, "Humanoid" is scheduled to be released across United States on October 6. "We have a song but there are many different ways to interpret the song. And we have to find the best interpretation. We, then start to experiment with each song by changing the guitar-sounds or modifying my voice," Bill explained about what to expect from the set.


Echo and the Bunnymen Keyboardist Dead

Echo and the Bunnymen’s keyboard player Jake Brockman died in a motorbike accident at age 53, just a month before the release of the band’s new album The Fountain, the BBC reports. A statement on the band’s Website reads, “Our thoughts are with his wife, family & friends.”


Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Announce Live Box Set

om Petty and the Heartbreakers have long been known for their fantastic live concerts so the group has decided to summarize their 30 years of concert experience in the upcoming box set called "The Live Anthology."

The multi-CD (see configurations below) box sets will cover material from 1978 to 2007 with tracks covering every era of tours. The song selection was made by producers Tom Petty, Mick Campbell and Ryan Ulyate who wanted to music to tell the whole story, so they are giving the fans the true sound of the shows with no fixes or overdubs.

Included are not only the songs of which the group is known, but also numerous covers of classic rock, R&B and pop songs including Fleetwood Mac's Oh Well, Booker T. & the MG's Green Onions, the Grateful Dead's Friend of the Devil and even the theme from Goldfinger.

The set will be released in five configurations:

1. Standard 4-CD/48-track set
2. Deluxe Box with 5-CD/62-track set, 2-DVDs with 1978 New Year's Eve concert in Santa Monica, California and the documentary 400 Days, shot during the Wildflowers tour, a remastered vinyl copy of Official Live Leg bootleg (1976), a high resolution DVD with all 62 tracks in 5.1 and stereo and more.
3. Vinyl Box with 7-LPs
4. Superhighway Tour which gives buyers 24 of the standard box tracks over an eight week period with extras including commentary, classic review, memorabilia and more. The remaining 24 tracks will be delivered digitally when the set is released.
5. Standard digital releases

Petty's website promises that a release date will be published soon along with the sales of tickets for the Superhighway Tour.


Madonna Breaks Own Record For the Biggest Tour By a Solo Artist

Madonna finished her Sticky and Sweet Tour on Wednesday night in Israel after 85 shows and over 3.5 million tickets sold. Live Nation has announced that the tour brought in $408 million to become the biggest tour ever by a solo artist. The previous record holder was....Madonna. She still has it.

The Confessions Tour of 2006 grossed $194 million but played only 60 shows. Overall, it was seen by "only" 1.2 million fans because it concentrated on arenas versus Stick and Sweet's many stadium shows.

The all-time biggest tour belongs to the Rolling Stones who grossed $558 million on their Bigger Bang trek. The group played 144 shows for 4.7 million people.