Saturday, July 31, 2010

Roger Dean: Other Wordly Art or How Avatar Ripped Him Off

Special thanks to Todd Johnson from  for exclusive permission to reprint this great post:

Roger Dean: Other Wordly Art or How Avatar Ripped Him Off

Roger Dean was way ahead of his time. As an artist, he said he drew what he saw. Well, he must have seen some crazy stuff because his art has always been out of this world. I was a fan of the rock group Yes growing up and Dean’s artwork was front and center on their album covers. To get a Yes album, was not only to get the record, but to get the Roger Dean artwork. However, something has been haunting me the last few months. It had to do with the movie Avatar.

I have to be upfront about this, I did not go gaga over the movie. Visually stunning…yes. The story….no. I felt as if I had just watched Ferngully 3 or The Smurfs Updated. But there was something familiar about the visuals. I just couldn’t place it at the time.

Roger Dean was a designer at first. He designed chairs. Eventually, he made his way into art and his first album cover was The Gun’s Gun in 1968. He gained fame in the 1970s for two reasons. First he designed the famous chair in “A Clockwork Orange” and then he began designing Yes albums beginning with Fragile in 1971. It would lead to a long-enduring relationship between Dean and members of the band that exists even to this day. Dean would go on to design album art for Uriah Heep, Greenslade, and Asia. But it is Yes for which he has achieved the greatest acclaim. I remember coming home with the Relayer album and unfolding it. Staring at the exotic landscapes and rich detail of his art from what appeared to be other worlds.

This was only the beginning for me.

In the 1980s, Dean designed video game art as well. In addition, he continued his work and created more and more landscapes with organic architecture. One of his most famous works from the period is called “Floating Islands”. Dean said he was inspired by looking down from a mountain and seeing other bits of land in the clouds. It was if those bits were floating in the sky. Dean describes his process:

"Yeah, as much as any of these things are intentional. It’s like when I’m working, I try to do as little conscious manipulating and thinking about what I’m doing as I can and have it work as intuitively as possible, so I’d say that the DRAMA work was very much an intuitive approach to how to do that cover. I was very interested in having a very stormy sky; that was something I was really interested in. I was very interested in the light playing across the landscape, so there were some bits that jumped out and very stark and bright, and other bits that are very dark–black on dark grey. Yeah, there was a lot going on for me in that, and it was like cooking I guess; I put in the ingredients and stirred it up, and they came out in a way I guess that training and good luck worked together." ~ NPR radio

And then this image came to me the other day as I was going through some files…

It looks eerily similar to this….

And this…..

Looks a lot like this…

And there are many more images which share commonalities.

After doing some digging last night, my mind is not working as fast as many other people have made the connection before me including Roger Dean. I have read there is a lawsuit in the works. It appears that the world of Avatar was basically James Cameron doing his best Roger Dean impersonation. I would have preferred for him to try this landscape…

Here is a nice slideshow of his work with music by Yes and the London Philharmonic Orchestra

Friday, July 30, 2010

Music News & Notes

Gang Gang Dance Break Silence with New Latitudes EP

Combining dubstep, hip-hop, tribalism and dreamy pop, Gang Gang Dance are one of the most relevant and forward-thinking bands around. They've even got their own contemporary imitators. That's why it's so critical that they break the two-year silence since Saint Dymphnia with some new material. Fortunately, they'll do just that when they release a new EP later this summer.

Kamakaru will be limited to 1,000 hand-numbered CDs and 1,000 vinyl records (300 white, 700 black).


Opeth To Release New Live Album and DVD

As part of the ongoing celebration of their 20th anniversary, Sweden’s Opeth is releasing live footage and audio from the band’s recent performance at London’s famed Royal Albert Hall. In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, and is due out September 21st.

20 years and nine records later, Opeth embarked on the “Evolution XX: An Opeth Anthology” tour, which brought the Swedish group to six of the world’s most unique venues, and now, with the release of In Live Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, into the homes of their fans.

The release will be available as three very special configurations: a limited edition vinyl box set, 5-disc set that consists of 2-DVD and 3 CD’s and as a double-DVD set with bonus features. Full details and track listing below.

Limited Edition Vinyl Box Set:

·Double-DVD set of Opeth’s performance at the legendary Royal Albert Hall, in its entirety, including bonus features.

·A set of four 180-gram LP’s of the concert’s live audio in its entirety. The vinyl is housed in black poly lined inner sleeves which are packaged as 2 double gatefold set with exclusive artwork. Vinyl only available in this box set.

·Exclusive, numbered lithograph with artwork designed by Mikael Åkerfeldt and longtime Opeth designer, Travis Smith.

·20-page, LP sized booklet printed on coated paper stock that chronicles the night’s events in photos.

·Expanded, exclusive artwork and more.


Superchunk To Rock Museum For Album Release Show

Superchunk is set to celebrate the release of their first new album in more than nine years with a concert at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University on Sept. 16, 2010.

The museum is the only North Carolina venue for the Chapel Hill-based band's national fall tour in support of their new album, "Majesty Shredding." The concert is open to the public and begins at 8:30 p.m.

The Superchunk performance, a complement to the Nasher Museum's exhibition "The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl," will take place after a 6 p.m. talk by New York-based visual artist Xaviera Simmons, whose work is part of the exhibition. "The Record" explores the culture of vinyl records through 50 years of contemporary art and features work by 41 artists from around the world who use vinyl records as subject or medium.


Van Halen Top Guitar Albums List has been rolling out their Top 50 Guitar Albums list. They also launched a reader's poll to let their readers in on the action.  Today they revealed the full list with Van Halen's 1978 self-titled debut topping the list.

As for the list, here is how the rest of the Top 10 came out:

2. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced (1967)
3. Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
4. Derek and the Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)
5. Guns N' Roses, Appetite for Destruction (1987)
6. Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II (1969)
7. The Allman Brothers Band, At Fillmore East (1971)
8. Cream, Disraeli Gears (1967)
9. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland (1968)
10. AC/DC, Back in Black (1980)


Bad Religion To Celebrate 30th Anniversary With Release of 15th Studio Album

Celebrating three decades of influential, thought provoking and groundbreaking punk rock, Bad Religion will release their fifteenth studio album, 'The Dissent of Man,' on September 28. Fans can preorder The Dissent of Man now at Additionally, Bad Religion will kick off a North American tour in October with support from Bouncing Souls and Off With Their Heads.

Produced by Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool), The Dissent of Man finds Bad Religion pushing the boundaries of their music as much today as they did in their formative years as a genre defining punk band. The Dissent of Man is a testament to why Bad Religion has remained relevant for the better part of three decades.


AUTOPSY to release first new album in more than 10 years

West Coast gore legends, Autopsy, have completed the recording of their first tracks since officially reforming last year. 'The Tomb Within' EP was recorded in mid-July 2010 at Fantasy Studios with Adam Munoz. 'The Tomb Within' unites the original trio of Chris Reifert, Danny Coralles, and Eric Cutler, joined on bass by Joe Trevisano (ex-Abscess).

The new EP – the band’s first in over a decade - consists of five new tunes of gore and depravity, and will be released on CD and 12” vinyl on September 13th through the Peaceville Records webstore, with a general release set for later this fall. Cover art is supplied by renowned fantasy/horror artist Matt Cavotta. 

The track list:

1. The Tomb Within
2. My Corpse Shall Rise
3. Seven Skulls
4. Human Genocide
5. Mutant Village

Autopsy decided to make an official comeback after working together on two songs for the special 20th anniversary edition of their debut album, Severed Survival, in late 2008. The band had originally decided to split before the release of their fourth album, Shitfun, in 1995.

The 12" vinyl edition of 'The Tomb Within' comes with a free poster of the stunning cover artwork, and is limited to just 1000 numbered copies. It can be pre-ordered at:  The CD edition can be pre-ordered at: and will include a special limited postcard.


DEATH OF DESIRE: 'ANTIhuman' Artwork Unveiled
German extreme metallers DEATH OF DESIRE, whose recording lineup includes MAYHEM drummer Hellhammer (a.k.a. Jan Axel Blomberg), have unveiled the cover artwork for their upcoming debut album, "ANTIhuman". According to the band, "The main idea for the cover art was designed by [guitarist] Morbid and F.Z. from the black metal band KYTHRONE is the man responsible for this evil 3D composition."


Rascal Flatts Cover Art For New Album ‘Nothing Like This’29

Rascal Flatts released the new cover to their album ‘Nothing Like This’ to be released on Big Machine Records. Produced by Dann Huff, ‘Nothing Like This’ will be in stores on November 16. The first single ‘Why Wait’ is being released to country radio immediately.

Tegan and Sara to Release "The Official Vinyl Collection Box Set," Featuring Five of the Band's Albums, Plus an Exclusive Bonus Album, on August 31st

Tune in to on Friday, July 30th, at 1 PM PDT to Hear Bonus Demo Recordings

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - 07/30/10) - Beloved Canadian pop-rock icons Tegan and Sara will release "The Official Vinyl Collection Box Set" on Warner Bros. Records on August 31st. This very special package is the definitive vinyl collection of the band's recordings, gathering five of their albums -- 2000's "This Business of Art," 2002's "If It Was You," 2004's "So Jealous," 2007's "The Con," and 2009's "Sainthood" -- on vinyl for the first time. The box set also includes an exclusive bonus record, entitled Home Recordings, which features nine demo tracks dating back to the recording of "So Jealous." Tune in to  this Friday, July 30th, to sneak a listen to the "Home Recordings" bonus album.

The box set is now available for pre-order at  Those who pre-order will also receive a very limited-edition signed poster.

Tegan and Sara's current album is "Sainthood," which was released by Sire/Vapor Records in October 2009. "Sainthood" was produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla (who also produced "The Con") and Howard Redekopp (who produced 2004's So Jealous) and mixed by Grammy Award winner Dave Sardy (Oasis, Primal Scream, Marilyn Manson).

Tegan and Sara are currently on the road for The Honda Civic Tour with Paramore. They will also perform at the Lilith Fair at Boston's Comcast Center on July 30th. Don't forget to check out the 2010 Summer Tour EP, featuring six tracks from the four bands touring together on The Honda Civic Tour, including two tracks -- "Sheets" and "Back In Your Head" -- from Tegan and Sara. The EP is available on iTunes now and at Hot Topic stores, in limited quantities beginning August 10th.

For info, tour dates, merch, personal blogs and much more, visit:

When it comes to collectibles, is John Lennon 'bigger than' The Beatles?

As Lennon and the Fab Four impress at auction, we compare their potential for investment

In a time of great uncertainty in traditional investment markets, it's sometimes reassuring to know that some things in the collectables market will never lose their value. Whether it's an investment in collecting rare stamps, coins or even The Beatles memorabilia, collectibles won't lose you thousands overnight.

In fact, the Fab Four have been making a big impression at auction sales for over twenty years now, thanks in part to the scarcity of John Lennon collectibles, following his death in 1980.

Recent years have seen the two remaining members of The Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, announce that they would no longer be signing memorabilia, creating a scarcity of Beatles memorabilia for sale.

With this news in mind, when it comes to investing in collectibles, is John Lennon now bigger than The Beatles?

Whilst The Beatles may lead the way in album sales, with 600 million worldwide, eclipsing the figure achieved by Lennon and the other members' solo careers, when it comes to investing in memorabilia from Beatles and Lennon album covers, it's a very different story.

At Bonhams in Los Angeles in 2004, four rare Beatles worn suits from the debut album cover "Please Please Me" and the singles "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love you," went up for auction, fetching £71,350 ($110,500).

John Lennon's Talisman Necklace

In comparison, a leather collar worn by Lennon in 1968-1969 and described as his talisman came up to buy at auction in May 2008.

The piece featured on Lennon's naked body for the "Unfinished Music No1 - Two Virgins" album cover and sold to a private collector for £340,900 ($528,000) having previously sold for £117,250 ($210,347) at a Christie's auction in London in 2004.

That's an increase in value of 143.8% in just four years. Not a bad short term investment.

According to the PFC Autograph Index, The Beatles have seen big price increases for autographs in the last decade.

The value of an autograph, signed by the four members of The Beatles, has gone from £2,950 ($4,560) in 2000 to £8,500 ($13,150) in 2010, that's an increase in value of 188.1%.

In comparison, a John Lennon autograph that was worth £695 ($1,075) in 2000 is today worth £5,950 ($9,210). Anyone investing in this signed Lennon collectible would have seen an increase in the value of their investment of 756.1%.

Handwritten lyrics from both The Beatles and John Lennon have also impressed at auction. The relative privacy of McCartney has led to only a limited amount of his contributions, coming to the auction block.

In November 2006, a page of lyrics written by McCartney for the song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" sold for £124,000 ($192,000) in New York. The song was significant to collectors, given that it was one of the last ever recorded by the band.

John Lennon lyrics for
A Day in the Life

More recently in the news, the lyrics to "Hey Jude" were expected to star at a Christie's auction, but were prevented from making it to the auction block, following a late intervention from McCartney, who had questioned the provenance of the piece.

Any handwritten lyrics from McCartney are hard to come by and could have huge potential for any investor.

All of this has contributed to Lennon leading the way in unique signed memorabilia.

The autographed lyrics to John Lennon's song "A Day in The Life" written for The Beatles "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band" album came up for sale at Sotheby's in New York in June 2010.

Featuring crossing outs and corrections, the piece sold for £776,500 ($1,202,500).

In terms of collecting instruments, investors may also wish to compare those collectibles relating to the Beatles, with those from Lennon himself.

A rare Gibson SG guitar used by George Harrison and John Lennon on "Revolver" and "White Album" sold for £370,000 ($567,500) at Christies in New York in 2009. In comparison, John Lennon's Steinway piano, was sold for $2,100,000 in 2000 to George Michael.

That's nearly four times the price paid for the guitar last year. Given the rise in value of John Lennon collectibles over the past decade, George Michael's $2,100,000 investment, could potentially be doubled, if he were to sell to another collector on the market, which could lead to a world record price.

The current top auction prices for Beatles and John Lennon memorabilia make for impressive reading to any potential investor.

The hand painted decorative drum, used as the centrepiece of the "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album" sold for a £710,300 ($1,100,000) in 2008, setting a world record price for Beatles memorabilia.

The painted drum from "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"

In terms of John Lennon collectibles, the world record price instead belongs to the famous hand painted Rolls Royce Phantom V which sold for $2,230,000 in 1985. The car remains at a world record price for a Lennon collectible, some 25 years since its sale, if it were to come onto the market today, it could set a new record for music collectables as we know them.

These auction results clearly demonstrate the potential returns for investing in rare collectibles from both The Beatles and John Lennon. Lennon's death had an effect on both the value of his and the Beatles collectibles.

Yet while Lennon's signed memorabilia will continue to rise in value, thanks to his role in the group and the so called "James Dean" effect of his death, the market price rises for memorabilia relating to The Beatles, may have only just begun.

The next decade could see further developments, in terms of health and public appearances from the remaining members of the group.

Buying into their collectibles now may prove a good move for collectors, before more investors flock to the market looking to buy anything Beatles related and drive prices up even further, at which point a previously purchased collectible can be sold for a profit.

Furthermore, the next twenty years could see the release for auction of other hand written lyrics from Paul McCartney, who has until now kept much of his collection in private.

The Beatles once sang about "a revolution" - they could soon prove a revelation to collectors and investors alike.

Thanks to Paul Fraser Collectibles for this fine story:

News & Notes

Specialty vinyl store to open in Midtown

by Suzanne Hurt

In an era dominated by MP3 players and downloaded music, two music lovers are confident other fans are hungry for the real thing: vinyl, and lots of it.

Dal Basi, a longtime Tower Records music buyer, and his partner, Nich Lujan, are banking on the importance of being able to touch your music collection. They are opening an independent vinyl specialty store, Phono Select Records, in Midtown in early September.

"Digital music is so soulless," said Basi, 42. "Fast food is kind of like an MP3. You're getting what you need for the moment, but it's not something special."

Basi and Lujan both use digital audio players. But the most devoted music fans are into the entire "organic" experience: owning a collection, pulling out an album or cassette tape, putting it on, listening to the recording and checking out the art and liner notes, Lujan said.

More than half the inventory will be vinyl records — about 5,000 to 6,000 will be 33s or "long-playing" records (LPs), and about 1,000 will be two-song 45s. The store at 2312 K St. will stock almost as many CDs and a smattering of cassettes, which are seeing a revival among indie rock labels. About 70 percent of the merchandise will be used.

A lot of LPs are being reissued now. Some of those have thicker, higher-quality vinyl and better sound, making this a good time to buy records, Basi said.

The roughly 1,200-square-foot store will contain listening stations with phonographs, cassette players and CD players. The store will sell more than music. Phono Select will carry old and new posters, books, magazines, T-shirts, band buttons and pop culture curios.

The focus will be on independent music: indie pop, punk rock, metal, hip hop, reggae, world music and old, avant-garde jazz — from The Clash and Bad Brains to Miles Davis and John Coltrane, Basi said.

The store will carry local bands and small, independent labels such as Burger Records of Los Angeles, and London's B-Music and Sing Sing Records of New York.

The interior will be somewhat spare and stylized to spotlight the selective inventory.

"Record stores have the reputation for being a place where you just pack stuff in. People have to sort through the madness to find the
jewels," Lujan said. "We want the jewels to be right there when you walk in."

Basi has worked in the music business for more than 20 years. He was just 18 or 19 when he went to work for Tower Records in Stockton in 1986 or 1987. He quickly became the buyer for independent music.

"I was the kid who read all the magazines and went to the shows," he said. Basi later did a brief stint managing Tower Records on Broadway. He also worked at a music wholesaler, Valley Media, and for R5 Records, opened on Broadway by Tower founder Russ Solomon.

In that time, he's amassed a huge collection of music. Half of the store's inventory will come from that collection.

Lujan, 28, was working in computer-based graphic and print design at the Academy of Art in San Francisco until Basi called, saying he wanted to open the record store the two had talked about for the last few years.

A mutual friend introduced them because they like many of the same bands and are both open-minded enough to listen to anything at least once, they said.

Lujan and Basi, who will be the only ones staffing the store, said they want to share that same kind of experimental, collaborative, interactive experience with customers. With the store's eclectic focus and only 30 percent new inventory, they won't be able to carry everything. They hope to engage customers in conversation to find out what they like, then either find that or introduce them to someone similar they might not have heard of.

"There's so much music that flies under the radar and doesn't get promoted every day," Basi said. "That's what we want to champion."

Hours will be Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Sundays noon-5 p.m.



World’s oldest record shop make its second move in 116 years, to a Cardiff arcade

THE WORLD’S oldest record store was reopening in a Victorian city centre arcade today after moving from its long-standing home.

The history of the Spillers records store in Cardiff stretches back 116 years, with some 60 of those years spent at its shop on The Hayes where members of Wales’ biggest bands have long counted themselves among its customers.

Now, one month after closing its doors at The Hayes, the shop is due to reopen for business at 11am at 31 Morgan Arcade.

It is only the iconic record shop’s third location since Henry Spiller began selling wax cylinders, gramophones and records in 1894.

The CD and vinyl stands have been scoured by the Manic Street Preachers, the Super Furry Animals, former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston, Billy Bragg, among hundreds of thousands of customers.

Read the rest here: Record Shop

Michael Fremer Album Review

Spoon (new release)

Merge MRG 365 180g LP+MP3 download

Produced by: Britt Daniel and Jim Eno
Engineered by: Nicolas Vernhes, others
Mixed by: D. Sardy, Nicolas Vernhes, Mike McCarthy, Britt Daniel
Mastered by: Howie Weinberg at Masterdisk

Review by: Michael Fremer

Spoon’s latest is an introspective affair that trades the group’s usual tuneful exuberance for something more contemplative. But don’t be aFreud! It’s got all of the group’s signature moves, from deep, behind the grooves beats to catchy melodies set against vast empty spaces punctuated by exclamatory soundscapes.

I don’t follow rock star personal lives anymore so I’m not sure if Mr. Daniels’ love life hit a snag last year, but there’s a feeling of betrayal and of ground shifting under feet in both the music and lyrics.

The opener, “Before Destruction” sets the uncertain tone as does the next in sequence “Is Love Forever.” It sounds as if Mr. Daniels’ world has been turned upside down. If he’s simply imagining it in an effort to get you off-kilter, he’s done a great job of it!

The song titles seem to tell the story: “Trouble Comes Running,” “Out go the Lights” and “Got Nuffin,” but the lyrics are sufficiently obtuse to set the mood while letting your imagination set the table.

The tunes alternate between carefully produced and simply laid down. The back and forth movement mirrors the lyrical shifting sands, helping to produce a package that’s conceptually tight yet ambiguously generous.

Side two’s opener “I Saw The Light” has the group flirting with Lennonesque chord changes and hard-edged guitar riffs in a tune that simultaneously evokes security and dread.

Melody takes a backseat to rhythm, the sense of a band playing live gives way to guys playing in the studio and the effort sounds like a desperate, yet liberating shedding of skin.

Recording quality is impressive in that when the group wants it to sound really good it does and when it wants the sound to be primitive/basic, it sounds that way too. There’s nothing haphazard about it and no guesswork is involved.

Not until song seven “Trouble Come Running Again” do you get the hard driving, tuneful Spoon, though others will remind you of previous efforts and the sense of Spoon continuity remains strong.

The gorgeous lullaby “Goodnight Laura” followed by “Out Go the Lights” shifts the ground to more reflection and less self-pity. With its insistent bass/guitar line and flat melodic riff “Got Nuffin” ups the beat and evokes late ‘70s pop ala The Buzzcocks, or Wire, while the closer “Nobody Gets Me But You” kicks off a Before and After Science vibe thanks to the oozy bass line.

Over the course of the eleven tunes Spoon moves you subtly from an uncertain landscape to one more rhythmically resolute and self-assured. When they’re done you simply can’t wait for the next installment.

Thanks to Michael over at  for the exclusive rights to reprint this material.

Copyright © 2008 & Michael Fremer - All rights reserved Reprinted by Permission

This Date In Music History - July 30


Christine McGuire - McGuire Sisters (1929)

Edd "Kookie" Byrnes (1933)

Paul Anka (1941)

David Sanborn (1945)

Jeffrey Hammond Hammond - Jethro Jethro Tull (1946)

Andy Scott - Sweet (1949)

Hugh Nicholson - Marmalade (1949)

Chris Miller (Rat Scabies) - The Damned (1957)

Kate Bush (1958)

Craig Gannon - Bluebells (1966)

Dwayne O'Brien - Little Texas (1964)

Sean Moore - Manic Street Preachers (1968)

Brad Hargraves - Third Eye Blind (1972)

Ian Watkins - Lostprophets (1979)

They Are Missed:

Glen Goine, singer and guitarist with Parliament Funkadelic died from Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 1978 (age 24).

Founder member and original bassist for The Wonder Stuff, Rob Jones died in New York in 1993 (age 29).

In 2003, Sam Phillips the founder of Sun Records and studio died of respiratory failure at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. In the 1940s, Phillips worked as a DJ for Muscle Shoals, Alabama radio station WLAY. Phillips recorded what some consider to be the first rock and roll record, "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats in 1951. He discovered Elvis Presley, worked with Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Ike Turner, B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis.


In 1954, Slim Whitman, Billy Walker, Sugarfoot Collins, Sonny Harvelle, Tinker Fry, Curly Harris and a young Elvis Presley appeared at the Hillbilly Hoedown, Overton Park Shell, in Memphis Tennessee. Elvis was so nervous he stood up on the balls of his feet and shook his leg in time with the music, when he came offstage he asked why people were yelling at him. Someone told him it was because he was shaking his leg, which with the baggy pleated pants created a wild gyrating effect in time with the music.

Brenda Lee recorded her first hit, "Jambalaya" and "Bigelow 6-500" in 1956.

Elvis Presley's "Loving You" movie opened nationwide in 1957.

The Beatles started a five week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1966 with 'Yesterday...And Today', the group's 8th #1 album.

The Troggs started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1966 with "Wild Thing."

The Beatles closed their Apple Boutique in London in 1968 after seven months of business, giving away all the stock to passers by and Apple staff.

The Ventures recorded "Hawaii Five-O" in 1968.

In 1969, the Beatles continued working on their forthcoming album 'Abbey Road,' recording overdubs on "Come Together," "Polythene Pam/She Came In Through the Bathroom Window," "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight." The Beatles began to assemble the "medley" that would make up side two of the album. Paul McCartney told tape operator John Kurlander to discard "Her Majesty," but Kurlander tacked it onto the end of the tape, about 20 seconds after the end of "The End." Hearing it like this, Paul decides to keep it, including the lengthy silence preceding it.

The Rolling Stones fired Allen Klein as their manager in 1970.

Led Zeppelin’s Madison Square concert was filmed in 1973. Portions appear in the band’s film, 'The Song Remains The Same.'

In 1974, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played The Troubadour in Los Angeles, California on a double bill with Roger McGuinn from The Byrds.

The Bee Gees younger brother Andy Gibb started a four-week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1977 with "I Just Wanna Be Your Everything," his first of three US #1's.

Variety magazine reported that RCA had dropped John Denver from its roster in 1986 after the release of his single, "What Are We Making Weapons For." Variety said the song upset the record company's new owner, General Electric, one of the largest defense contractors in the US.

David Bowie kicked of the North American leg of The Glass Spider Tour at the Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1987.

Steve Winwood started a four week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1988 with "Roll With It."

In 1991, a police officer was forced to tear up a traffic ticket given to the limousine that Axl Rose was travelling in after it made an illegal turn. Rose threatened to pull that nights Guns N' Roses gig if the ticket was issued.

In 1997, a judge in Los Angeles ruled that Michael Jackson and members of his family were not liable for losses incurred by the producers of the failed 1994 Jackson Family Honors TV special. The show was delayed for several weeks because Jackson was ill and could not perform solo as expected.

In 2003, the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, The Guess Who, Justin Timberlake, The Flaming Lips, Sass Jordan and The Isley Brothers played a benefit concert in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to prove that the city is safe from SARS. With 450,000 spectators, it was the largest concert in Canadian history.

A new book published in 2005 to mark the 35th anniversary of the death of Jimi Hendrix claimed the guitarist pretended to be gay so he would be discharged from the army. “Room Full of Mirrors” by Charles Cross said army records showed Hendrix was discharged from the 101st Airborne Division aged 19 in 1962 for "homosexual tendencies."

In 2006, British gay magazine ‘Attitude’ listed the ‘Top 10 Gay Albums’ of all time. #1 was Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters, 2, Arrival – Abba, 3, Vauxhall and I – Morrissey, 4, Light Years - Kylie Minogue, 5, Older - George Michael, 6, Welcome To The Pleasuredome - Frankie Goes to Hollywood, 7, Erotica – Madonna, 8, I Am a Bird Now - Antony and the Johnsons, 9, Bad Girls - Donna Summer and No. 10 The Man Who Sold the World - David Bowie.

In 2009, Procol Harum organist Matthew Fisher won his long battle to be recognized as co-writer of the band's hit "Whiter Shade of Pale." Law Lords ruled that Fisher, who claimed he wrote the song's organ melody, was entitled to a share of future royalties. In 2006, the High Court ruled he was entitled to 40% of the copyright, but the Court Of Appeal overturned the ruling in 2008 saying he waited too long, 38 years, to bring the case to court. "[This was] never about money," insists Fisher. "This was about making sure everyone knew about my part in the authorship." Yeah, right.....

Queen: The Unseen Archive, a collection of previously unreleased photographs taken by Peter Hince, the head of the band’s road crew in the ‘70s and ‘80s, was unveiled at London's Proud Central gallery in 2009.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

European Group South Froggies Releases New Track And Video "Paris" From CD Nu Jazz Universe


PRLog (Press Release) – Jul 28, 2010 – "Paris" is the first track being released from the European Nu-Jazz group South Froggies' CD Nu Jazz Universe. Currently, the album is only available as an EP through the following online retailers: iTunes,, Napster and eMusic. A music video of the track was just completed and will be available in September 2010, just prior to the release of the physical CD in October.

"Paris" springs into action with a great conga solo, while the keyboards and guitar carry the harmony. There is a nice guitar solo which is then followed by a very creative guitar solo. The melodic line reminds one of jazz mixed with tropical island music. The voiceover and sound effects add the right touch to this most satisfying groove.

Nu Jazz Universe is the South Froggies' second full length album. Nu Jazz Factory was released in September 2007 with 13 tracks. The South Froggies also released two other EPs in May 2009 - South Froggies Live Collection EP with two singles "Cantaloupe Island" and River's Stream (remix), and Unpublished Works, which boasted four tracks.

Originally from the South of France, South Froggies was founded by Dee Jay Rubio (aka Jean Luc Prosperi) in 2001. One of the band's composers and originally a trumpet player, he is also the DJ on stage. Other members of the group include 23 year old William Davood on sax, and Mr Cheb (aka Christophe Guiraud), who plays guitar.

The band was born after a meeting in a bar somewhere in the French Riviera. Describing their sound, the group says that it comes from a "electronic music fused with jazz, with black groove music touch. On stage, the South Froggies perform with a variety of other instrumentalists and vocalists. The music of the South Froggies is relaxing and exhilarating, classy and cool, and the kind of music that will make you feel good about life.

"Paris" and Nu Jazz Universe can also be purchased on the South Froggies official website at s

EP " Nu jazz universe " available at,nu-jazz-universe.html

Angel Sweet Records
3 Rue Poussin
Paris, France 75016
+33 0 622 736 373 l

# # #

MusicDish LLC is a veteran internet company that is composed of several divisions designed to help both indie artists and business professionals expand their reach in the digital world.

Music News & Notes

The Flatliners To Release New Seven Inch Record

Toronto’s The Flatliners have announced plans to release Monumental on September 28th, a three song release only available on vinyl and digitally. Two tracks are exclusive to the release and “Monumental” is off their latest full length titled Cavalcade. Chris Cresswell from The Flatliners had this to say about the release:

"Remember when bands used to release “singles” on 7” pieces of wax? They’d also come with B-sides from their records on them. Remember? Well since we just recently got “vinyl records” in snowy Canada, we don’t remember either…

Alas! This coming September we bring you the ‘Monumental’ single! (Applause) And of course, the lovely folks at Fat Wreck Chords are (man)handling the release. The A side will be the title track (“Monumental”) from our latest album Cavalcade, while the B-side boasts 2 songs picked up and dusted off from the Cavalcade cutting room floor that are just far too sweet to rob from you folks. And on top of all that, our very talented friend and delicious food enthusiast Richard Minino (AKA Horsebites) has whipped up some really awesome artwork for it. So get stoked, cause we’re already there."

The Flatliners have recently been tagged to tour with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and they’ll be at Riot Fest, CMJ and Fest.


Go Rydell Signs To Black Numbers Records, Debut Vinyl Due Out Tuesday

Florida’s Go Rydell have signed to Black Numbers Records. Their debut offering, “The Golden Age,” is out now on Blue(100), White(150), and Green(250) vinyl. Go Rydell will be kicking off a month long tour with fellow Florida natives, Nightlights.


Pretty Reckless unveil album artwork

The Pretty Reckless have unveiled the controversial artwork for their debut LP Light Me Up. The New York-based group, fronted by Gossip Girl's Taylor Momsen, posted the album sleeve on their official website yesterday, a month ahead of its release. The cover shows a young blonde girl wearing a leather jacket and holding up a cigarette lighter.

The group posted underneath the image: "We wanted our fans to be the first to see - check out the album cover art for Light Me Up, out in the UK on August 30th!"

The Pretty Reckless's debut single 'Make Me Wanna Die' peaked at number 16 on the UK singles chart earlier this year. The follow-up 'Miss Nothing' is released on August 23.


John Lennon Time Capsule Project Announced

Three time capsules are to be buried to mark what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday. Lennon would have turned 70 on October 9. The capsules will include Lennon's post-Beatles recordings, as well as contributions from fans.

They will be preserved and stored at the Rock Hall of Famein – as well as two other significant locations – until they are opened in a ceremonial presentation on October 9, 2040.

The project has been endorsed by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, who said she was “delighted” to be involved.

“I know that John's work, life and dreams will help inspire them to bring a better world for everyone. Children Power!” she added.


Kowloon Walled City / Fight Amp / Ladder Devils Split 12″ To See Release!

Brutal Panda Records is set to release Lose/Lose/Lose, a three-way split 12″ featuring noise rock powerhouses, KOWLOON WALLED CITY, FIGHT AMP and LADDER DEVILS. The album, recorded this summer, will feature 2 brand new songs from each band. These mark the first new tracks from New Jersey’s FIGHT AMP and San Francisco’s KOWLOON WALLED CITY since their previous full lengths, both released last year. The split also features the first ever recorded tracks from Philadelphia’s LADDER DEVILS, the new band featuring members of The Minor Times.

The pressing is strictly limited to 300 copies on clear vinyl and is packaged with a special silk screened poly bag plus a 12″x16″ fold-under insert. The record will be available in early September with pre-orders available now!


This in my email box from Marc Wierenga (signal snowboards -

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I am curious about one of my Marty Robbins albums, a 1964 release titled “R.F.D.” (Columbia CS-9020).

There is no song by that title on this LP, no reference to it in any of the tracks, and no explanation in the notes as to what it means, or stands for. All it says on the back cover is “Good things come in packages marked R.F.D.”

I have never seen a package with that marking, so can you please tell me what this is all about?
—Marlene Dryden, Winston-Salem, N.C.

DEAR MARLENE: Until now, it seemingly stood for Robbins Flummoxes Dryden!

Unless you've always been a city dweller, you might have crossed paths with this initialism and not known it. RFD, normally shown without periods, is postalese for Rural Free Delivery.

The term could not be more accurate, as the service it provides is free mail delivery (and pick up) for those in rural areas.

Introduced in 1899, RFD primarily served farmers in outlying areas who could not easily get to town to conduct postal business. Then, and for a few decades to follow, their only mode of transportation was horse powered.

The arrival of the horsepower era, and automobiles, did not spell the end of RFD. Even today, those outside the city limits still receive that same free delivery, by carriers on what are simply called “rural routes.”

Though Marty's mysteriously titled “R.F.D.” album seems to have no connection, several other folks did record real RFD tunes. Spanning 63 years, here are a few (rural) free samples:

(1947) “Anyway in Texas, RFD” (Louis Prima and His Orchestra); (1950) “RFD Blues” (Jimmie Dolan); (1987) “RFD 30529” (T. Graham Brown); (2007) “RFD Home” Andy Bryner; (2008) “Mayberry RFD” Gary James Farias; and (2010) “RFD” Phil Manzanera & Quiet Sun.

“RDD 30529” is the zip code for Commerce, Georgia, about which this native Georgian sings.

The Bryner and Manzanera tracks are instrumentals.

Despite the title, “Mayberry RFD” is not about the TV sequel of that name. It is a brilliant tribute to the original Andy Griffith Show, with nearly all of the main characters lovingly referenced.

DEAR JERRY: I have found some wonderful kinescope performances online of Your Hit Parade, the popular 1950s television show.

While watching well-known recording artists singing the top hits of the week, I wondered how they handled things when one of Top 10 turned out to be by one of the Hit Parade regulars.

Considering the number of hits by Dorothy Collins; Gisele MacKenzie; June Valli; Snooky Lanson; and Russell Arms, this situation must have come up — though I find no video examples of it.

For example, when “Crying in the Chapel” was popular, did June Valli sing her own hit on the show? Someone would have to. How could it not be her?
—Kelly Hunter, York, Pa.

DEAR KELLY: As for the last question, June could not because she left Your Hit Parade in June 1953, opening the door for Gisele MacKenzie to replace her. Unfortunately, “Crying in the Chapel” came out just one month later.

By September, the tune was No. 1 on Cash Box, No. 4 on Billboard, and being sung each week on Your Hit Parade by either MacKenzie; Collins; Arms; or Lanson.

Two years later, Gisele's “Hard to Get” landed in the Top 5 on all the charts, thus it qualified for the Hit Parade Lucky 7. Of course MacKenzie performed her own hit, something not done by any other artist in Hit Parade history.

Notice it is Lucky 7 (sponsor Lucky Strike picked the name) and not 10. In this half-hour program, Your Hit Parade managed to present only seven ranked songs, plus a couple of “extras,” such as seasonal, holiday, or topical tunes.

IZ ZAT SO? As a surprise tribute to Gisele, the week “Hard to Get” would have been No. 2 or 3, Hit Parade announcer Andre Baruch introduced her performance with assorted laudatory comments:

“Number one this week … the song the survey finds in first place … the top tune all over America, as determined by Your Hit Parade survey, which checks the best sellers in sheet music and phonograph records. “The song most heard on the air and most played on the automatic coin machines … an accurate and authentic tabulation of America's taste in popular music. Gisele MacKenzie sings “Hard to Get.”

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.

Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Visit his Web site:

All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

Grateful Dead celebrate 40th Anniversary of Workingman's Dead with vinyl box set release

The Grateful Dead and Rhino Records have announced plans to release a 5 LP vinyl box set called 'The Warner Bros. Studio Albums.'  The box set will contain 1967's The Grateful Dead, 1970's American Beauty and Workingman's Dead, plus the original mixes for 1968's Anthems of the Sun and 1969's Aoxomoxoa, which are available on vinyl for the first time in 40 years.

Hardcore Grateful Dead fans have collected these original mixes for years, especially Aoxomoxoa, which was remixed by Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia 2 years after its release in an effort to cut through the dense mix. The alterations created an album that was vastly different in sound, making the original a highly sought collector's item.

The set will also offer detailed replicas of the original albums in hardshell cases and a book containing previously unpublished photos and liner notes by Blair Jackson. Fans who order from the Grateful Dead's official website will receive an additional exclusive, a reproduction of the rare 1968 7" single of "Dark Star" and a reproduction of the rare promotional poster from the first album.

The Warner Bros. Studio Albums runs $134.98 and is available to pre-order now. The official tracklist is as follows:

The Grateful Dead
Side One
1. “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)”
2. “Beat It On Down The Line”
3. “Good Morning Little School Girl”
4. “Cold Rain And Snow”
5. “Sitting On Top Of The World”
6. “Cream Puff War”
Side Two
1. “Morning Dew”
2. “New, New Minglewood Blues”
3. “Viola Lee Blues”

Anthem Of The Sun
Side One
1. “That’s It For The Other One”
I. “Cryptical Envelopment”
II. “Quadlibet For Tender Feet”
III. “The Faster We Go, The Rounder We Get”
IV. “We Leave The Castle”
2. “New Potato Caboose”
3. “Born Cross-Eyed”
Side Two
1. “Alligator”
2. “Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)”

Side One
1. “St. Stephen”
2. “Dupree’s Diamond Blues”
3. “Rosemary”
4. “Doin’ That Rag”
5. “Mountains Of The Moon”
Side Two
1. “China Cat Sunflower”
2. “What’s Become Of The Baby”
3. “Cosmic Charlie”

Workingman’s Dead
Side One
1. “Uncle John's Band”
2. “High Time”
3. “Dire Wolf”
4. “New Speedway Boogie”
Side Two
1. “Cumberland Blues”
2. “Black Peter”
3. “Easy Wind”
4. “Casey Jones”

American Beauty
Side One
1. “Box Of Rain”
2. “Friend Of The Devil”
3. “Sugar Magnolia”
4. “Operator”
5. “Candyman” Side Two
1. “Ripple”
2. “Brokedown Palace”
3. “Till The Morning Comes”
4. “Attics Of My Life”
5. “Truckin’”


VOLBEAT: 'Beyond Hell/Above Heaven' Track Listing, Artwork Unveiled

Danish metal rock 'n' rollers VOLBEAT will release their fourth album, "Beyond Hell/Above Heaven", in Germany on September 10 and in most parts of Europe on September 13 via Vertigo/Universal.  The CD was once again recorded at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark with producer Jacob Hansen. The cover artwork was created by illustrator Karsten Wrysand and can be viewed at the left.

Commented the band: "It's been a long process, but damn well worth it. The artwork for 'Beyond Hell/Above Heaven' is done and we're absolutely very proud of it."

"Beyond Hell/Above Heaven" track listing:

01. The Mirror And The Ripper
02. Heaven Nor Hell
03. Who They Are
04. Fallen
05. A Better Believer
06. 7 Shots
07. A New Day
08. 16 Dollars
09. A Warrior's Call
10. Magic Zone
11. Evelyn
12. Being 1
13. Thanks

VOLBEAT is "very excited" about the new material, "carrying the songs into both extreme metallic territory, punk variations and some very catchy stuff at the same time," according to a posting on the band's web site.


Elton John And Leon Russell Announce New Album 'The Union'

It's been announced that Elton John and Leon Russell are set to release a new album,'The Union.' The LP, due out on October 25, marks the first time the performers have worked together since 1970.

Produced by Oscar and multiple-Grammy winning producer T Bone Burnett, the 16-track album features songs written by Sir Elton and lyricist Bernie Taupin.

It was recored live and includes guest appearances from Neil Young, Brian Wilson, R&B organist Booker T. and a 10-piece gospel choir.


Anberlin pushes up release date and unveils album cover art Anberlin has just announced a handful of updates that fans will be super stoked about.

The first is that their new album, “Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place” will be released two weeks earlier on September 7th and their new single “Impossible” is officially on sale at iTunes and Amazon today. In addition, the band has just released the album cover art at Absolutepunk and Nate Young from the band has left a message:

What up! Nate Young from Anberlin – as you know we are gearing up for our new album release and we are so stoked for you to hear the whole thing. A few months back I stumbled upon an amazing Australian artist named, Michael Zavros. His work blew my mind, and we were able to use one of his pieces for our cover of our new album, Dark is the Way, Light is a Place. In my opinion, it’s some of the best artwork I’ve seen in years. Its a hand-drawn charcoal painting and just seem to fit perfectly with what we were feeling for these songs. We are so honored to be able to have it be apart of this album. Hope you all like it. We will also be announcing tour news very soon! Stay on the look out. See you all out on the road soon.


BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION's Debut To Be Made Available In Three Different Formats

BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION — the Anglo/American rock supergroup featuring vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH, TRAPEZE), drummer Jason Bonham (LED ZEPPELIN), Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER) and blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa — will release its self-titled debut album in Europe on Monday, September 20 via Mascot Records and North America on Tuesday, September 21 through J&R Adventures. The CD was produced and mixed by Kevin Shirley (BLACK CROWES, AEROSMITH, LED ZEPPELIN), and mastered by the legendary Bob Ludwig. It was recorded at Shangri-La Studios in early 2010.

"Black Country Communion" will be available in the U.K. in three different formats:

** Format #1 - Limited-Edition 2-Disc CD/DVD

Featuring the 12 album tracks on CD, complete with an additional DVD jam-packed with band member interviews, exclusive studio and live images, Kevin Shirley's album production notes, "The Great Divide" music video, behind-the-scenes in-studio footage, plus live tracks as performed by BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION at Riverside, California.

** Format #2 - Single-Disc CD

Regular 1 disc CD edition

** Format #3 - Vinyl

Double-sided 12" vinyl album edition


New Michael Jackson Album To Be Released
Producer Rodney 'Darkchild' Jerkins reveals...

by Jason Gregory over at

An album of new Michael Jackson songs is set to be released, producer Rodney 'Darkchild' Jerkins has revealed.

Jerkins said he was about to start working on the album, which will contain previously unreleased material.

He told VladTV: "It's definitely going to come, but it takes time. You got to do a lot of the red tape but there's definitely going to be an unreleased Michael Jackson [album].

“There's definitely going to be stuff to come and hopefully I'll be a part of that."

Jerkins, who worked with Jackson on his 2001 album 'Invincible', said the experience had been a “blessing”.

He added that he still missed “dearly” the singer, who died last June at the age of 50.

Jackson is understood to have been working on a new album when he died. The star's back-catalogue also contained a wealth of previously unheard material.

This Date In Music History - July 28


Jonathan Edwards ("Sunshine") is 64

George Cummings - Dr Hook (1938)

Simon Kirke - Free, Bad Company (1949)

Guitarist Steve Morse was born in Hamilton, OH. Aside from a solo career, Morse had a short stint with Kansas and a lengthier stay with Deep Purple. He replaced Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple following Blackmore's second departure, in ‘94. (1954)

Rachel Sweet (1962)

Nick Banks - Pulp (1965)

Texas Axile -Transvision Vamp (1965)

Dan Warton - Neds Atomic Dustbin (1972)

Jacoby Dakota Shaddix - Papa Roach (1986)

DeAndre Cortez Way (Soulja Boy) (1990)

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1949, Steve Took, percussion, T Rex. Took died on October 27, 1980.

Marge Ganser from The Shangri-Las died of breast cancer in 1996. The group scored over ten hits during the 60's including the 1964 US #1 "Leader Of The Pack."

Born today in 1949, Peter Doyle, singer, The New Seekers. Doyle died on 13th October 2001.

Soul singer George Williams from The Tymes died of cancer in 2004. Had the 1963 US million seller "So Much in Love."

Born on this day in 1945, Rick Wright, keyboards, vocals, Pink Floyd. 1973 album 'Dark Side Of The Moon', spent a record breaking 741 weeks on the US chart. Pink Floyd have sold over 200 million albums worldwide. Wright died on Sept 15, 2008 (age 65) from cancer. Wright appeared on the group's first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, in 1967 alongside Syd Barrett, Roger Waters and Nick Mason.


Johann Sebastian Bach died in 1750 after an unsuccessful eye operation.

The first singing telegram was sent in 1933. It was given to Rudy Vallee on his 32nd birthday.

Judy Garland recorded "Over the Rainbow" in 1939.

The first press interview with 19-year-old Elvis Presley was published in the 'Memphis Press- Scimitar' in 1954.

In 1956, Gene Vincent made his first appearance on national TV in the US on The Perry Como Show. Vincent had released "Woman Love" the previous month, but it was the B-side, "Be-Bop-A-Lula," that eventually made the top 10. The song had been purchased from a fellow hospital patient when Vincent was recovering from leg injuries. A demo of the song made its way to Capitol Records as part of an Elvis sound-alike contest and a re-recorded version gave Vincent a hit.

"I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” was Elvis Presley’s second #1 (“Heartbreak Hotel” was the first) in 1956.

Jerry Lee Lewis made his network television debut in 1957 on The Steve Allen Show performing "Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On." Afterwards, the song’s sales go through the roof. The appearance was a ratings triumph for Allen. A win-win all the way around.

On their second visit to Sweden in 1964, the Beatles played two shows at an ice hockey arena, the Johanneshovs Isstadion, Stockholm. During the first show, both Paul McCartney and John Lennon received mild electrical shocks from ungrounded microphones. Supporting acts included The Kays, The Moonlighters, and The Streaplers.

James Brown appeared at The Apollo Theatre in New York City in 1966.

In 1969, police in Moscow reported that thousands of public phone booths had been vandalised after thieves were stealing parts of the phones to convert their acoustic guitars to electric. A feature in a Russian youth magazine had shown details on how to do this.

Mick Jagger's "Ned Kelly" movie premiered in Glenrowan, Australia in 1970, near where the film's title character lived.

Grand Funk Railroad's "We're An American Band" was released in 1973.

Chicago went to #1 on the US album chart in 1973 with 'Chicago IV', the group's second US #1.

MCA Records introduced Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1973. They’d just signed the Southern Rock group.

In 1973, the Watkins Glen outdoor summer jam was held outside of Watkins Glen, New York with The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead and The Band. Over 600,000 rock fans attended. Many historians claimed the event was the largest gathering of people in the history of the United States. 150,000 tickets were sold for $10 each, but for all the other people it was a free concert. The crowd was so huge that a large part of the audience was not able to see the stage.

In 1979, 'I Don't Like Mondays' gave The Boomtown Rats their second UK #1 single. Bob Geldof wrote the song after reading a report on the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer, who fired at children playing in a school playground across the street from her home in San Diego, California. She killed two adults and injured eight children and one police officer. Spencer showed no remorse for her crime, and her full explanation for her actions was "I don't like Mondays, this livens up the day."

The World Series of Rock was held at Cleveland Stadium in 1979, with Journey, Ted Nugent and Thin Lizzy.

In 1987, the Beatles sued Nike over the use of their song "Revolution" in a TV commercial for the athletic company.

In 1991, almost 100 arrests were made after an estimated 2,000 youths rioted after a MC Hammer concert in Penticon, Canada.

The 10,000 Maniacs played their last show with lead singer Natalie Merchant in 1993. Merchant left the group to pursue a solo career.

In 1995, Jimi Hendrix' father James Al Hendrix won back the rights to his son's name, likeness, image and music after a number of companies had profited from them over the years.

It was announced in 1998 that Toad The Wet Sprocket was disbanding.

Mary J. Blige's first album, "What's the 411?", was released in 1998.

Dave Matthews Band went to #1 on the US album chart in 2002 with ‘Busted Stuff.’

Listen Live Now! allows Rolling Stones fans to hear a direct feed from the soundboard at each of the Stones’ last 15 stops of their European tour in 2006 (starting with their Paris show) via both cell phones and land lines, at $1.99 for seven minutes.

A second edition of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival was held in Chicago in 2007. Aside from Slowhand, there's B.B. King, the Allman Brothers Band's Derek Trucks, fellow Blind Faith vet Steve Winwood, ex-Band guitarist Robbie Robertson, ex-Yardbirds axeman Jeff Beck and Blues legend Buddy Guy. "Some of it's mapped and some of it isn't," says Eric Clapton, the festival's founder. "We have to leave a little bit of it to chance." Proceeds go to the Crossroads Centre, a rehab facility founded by Clapton on the island of Antigua.

George Thorogood & the Destroyers issue “The Dirty Dozen” in 2009. The 12-track effort (hence the title) has six new recordings and a selection of fan favorites. "This album is . . . a real Rocker, full of songs we've always loved playing," says Thorogood. The album contains "Drop Down Mama," "Tail Dragger" and "Twenty Dollar Gig."

“At Woburn,” a Jimi Hendrix Experience concert CD was released in 2009. Recorded in ’68 at the Woburn Music Festival in Bedfordshire, England, the set includes "Purple Haze,” "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," and a cover of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Music Releases - July 27, 2010

36 Crazyfists - Collisions & Castaways
Art of Noise - Influence: Best of Art of Noise

Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare Buy Avenged Sevenfold Here

Best Coast - Crazy for You [vinyl]
Billy Squire - Don't Say No (Remastered plus 2 live bonus tracks)
Blood, Sweat & Tears - Mirror Image / New City (2 CDs)
Bombay Bicycle Club - I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose
Brutal Truth - No Need to Control Re-Release
Buck Owens - Buck Owens: All Time Greatest Hits
Burning Spear - Marcus Garvey / Garvey's Ghost
Butcher Holler - Butcher Holler: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn
Cactus - Ultra Sonic Boogie: Live 1971
Carlos Santana & John McLaughlin - Love Devotion Surrender (Vinyl)
Charlie Louvin - Hickory Wind: Live at the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull
Charlotte - Medusa Groove
Chipmunks - Chipmunks: All Time Greatest Hits
Christopher Willits - Tiger Flower Circle Sun
Clyde McPhatter - Lover Please: The Complete MGM & Mercury Singles
Cruel Hand - Lock & Key
Cut Chemist - Sound Of The Police [vinyl]
Dave Mason - Mariposa De Oro / Old Crest on a New Wave
David Bromberg - Wanted Dead Or Alive / Midnight on the Water
Dean & Britta - 13 Most Beautiful… Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests
Decrepit Birth - Polarity
Delaney & Bonnie - On Tour with Eric Clapton (4 CDs) (Rhino Handmade Exclusive Release)
Die Antwoord - 5 EP
Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis (box set)
Dru Hill - Indrupendence Day
Emerson, Lake & Palmer - High Voltage (2 CDs)
Eminem - Recovery [vinyl]
Eric Carmen - Eric Carmen / Boats Against the Current / Change of He
Eric Gales - Relentless
everyBoy - The Last Lala's
Fat Joe - Dark Side
Foreigner - Can't Slow Down (2 LPs)
Futurebirds - Hampton's Lullaby
George Thorogood & the Destroyers - Live in Boston 1982
Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five - Kings of The Streets: Definitive Collection (2 CDs)
Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five - The Message (Expanded Edition)
Heart - WTF (Single)
Insidious Disease - Shadowcast
Jaill - That's How We Burn [mp3] [vinyl]
Jerry Castle - Don't Even Ask
Jesca Hoop - Hunting My Dress
Jesu - Lifeline EP [vinyl]
Jimmy Edgar - XXX
Journey - Look Into The Future / Next
Judy Collins - Bread & Roses
Judy Collins - Christmas at the Biltmore
Judy Collins - Fifth Album
Judy Collins - Home Again
Judy Collins - In My Life
Judy Collins - Running For My Life
Judy Collins - Times of Our Lives
Judy Collins - True Stories & Other Dreams
Judy Collins - Whales & Nightingales
Kate & Anna McGarrigle - The McGarrigle Hour [vinyl]
Kimberly Caldwell [American Idol] - Without Regret
King Crimson - Collectable King Crimson, Volume 5
King James - The Fall Re-Release
Kinks - Give the People What They Want (reissue)
Kinks - Low Budget (reissue)
Kinks - Misfits (reissue)
Kinks - One for the Road (reissue)
Kinks - Schoolboys in Disgrace (reissue)
Kinks - Sleepwalker (reissue)
Kinks - Soap Opera (reissue)
Kinks - State of Confusion (reissue)
Kinks - Word of Mouth (reissue)
Lachi - Lachi
Loudness - Best of Loudness 8688: Atlantic Years
Loudon Wainwright III - 10 Songs for the New Depression
Madlib - Medicine Show No. 7: High Jazz (Yesterday's New Quintet) [vinyl]
Magic Slim - Legend of the Blues, Vol. 1 & 2
Major Lazer - Lazers Never Die EP
Manhattans - Black Tie / Love Talk
Mark Olson - Many Colored Kite [vinyl]
Masada String Trio - Zorn: Haborym: The Book of Angels Vol 16
Matt Pond PA - The Dark Leaves [vinyl ]
Melissa Manchester - Melissa / Better Days & Happy Endings
Melvin Van Peebles - Brer Soul
Menomena - Double Seven Inch [vinyl]
Menomena - Mines
Merle Haggard - Amber Waves of Grain / Kern River
Michael Sarver - Michael Sarver
Miniature Tigers - Fortress [mp3] [vinyl
Mystery Jets - Serotonin [vinyl]
Pete Seeger - Tomorrow's Children
Proghma-C - Bar-do Travel
Propaganda - Secret Wish: 25th Anniversary (2 CDs)
RPA & United Nations Of Sound [The Verve's Richard Ashcroft] - RPA & United Nations Of Sound
Raydio - Raydio / Rock On
Red Wanting Blues - These Magnificent Miles
Renaissance - Scheherazade & Other Stories (CD) + Filmed At Mill House & Bray Studios 1979 (DVD)
Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band - Live at the Greek Theatre 2008
Robert Cray Band - Cookin' in Mobile (CD/DVD)
Robert Randolph & The Family Band - We Walk This Road [vinyl]
Robin Trower - Bridge of Sighs [vinyl reissue]
Savannah Jo Lack - Knitting Songs
Seu Jorge - Seu Jorge And Almaz [vinyl]
Shimmies - To All Beloved Enemies
Sky Sailing - An Airplane Carried Me to Bed
Slum Village - Villa Manifesto
Social Studies - Wind Up Wooden Heart
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Couldn't Stand the Weather (remastered with bonus disc)
Sugarhill Gang - 30th Anniversary (2 CDs)
Sugarhill Gang - Rhythm & Rhymes- Definitve Collection (2 CDs)
The Robert Cray Band - Cookin' in Memphis
Tim Easton - Live at Water Canyon
Tom Jones - Praise and Blame
Tony Da Gartorra vs. Gruff Rhys -The Terror Of Cosmic Loneliness
Various Artists - Babylon Central (soundtrack)
Various Artists - Beginners Guide to Cumbia
Various Artists - Get Low (soundtrack)
Various Artists - Let Me Tell You About The Blues: West Coast (3 CDs)
Various Artists - Sugar Hill Rap Classics: Pioneers of Hip-Hop (2 CDs)
Various Artists - This Is Southern Rock
Young Galaxy - Invisible Republic

Buy All Your New Vinyl Here:

Buy it at Insound!

Upcoming New Jazz Releases - July 27, 2010

Adrian Iaies Trio - Child's Smile
Al Cohn - Four Classic Albums
Al Di Meola - Splendido Hotel/Electric Rendevous
Anita O'Day - Anita Sings The Most/The Lady Is A Tramp
Anja Lechner W / Metrop / Dino Saluzzi - El Encuentro
Antonio Sanchez - Live In New York At Jazz Standard
Big Town Playboys - Roll The Dice
Blossom Dearie - Four Classic LPS
Bwana If - 31
Cab Calloway - We Cats Can Hep You
Cafe Bossa - Cafe Bossa Vol. 3-Cafe Bossa
Chico Hamilton - Chico Hamilton Quintet/In Hi-Fi/Chico Hamilton Trio
Chie Sugiyama - Meets Benny Green
Chris Dean - Once Upon A Time
Cleo Laine & John Dankworth - Three Early LP's & More
Courtney Pine - Journey To The Urge Within
Dizzy Gillespie - Four Classic Albums
Eartha Kitt - Four Classic Albums
Ella Fitzgerald - One Side Of Me
Evelyn Laye - Queen Of Musical Comedy
Food - Quiet Inlet
Freddy Gardner - Essential Collection
Fusion Flavours-20th Anniversary Edition - Fusion Flavours-20th Anniversary Edition
Gabor Szabo - Jazz Raga
Gen Ken Montgomery - Birds & Machines
Gerry Hemingway - Old Dogs
Gerry Mulligan - Three Classic Albums Plus
Gilberto Gil - Fe Na Festa
Glenn Miller - We're Still In Love
Henry "Red" Allen - Four Classic Albums Plus
Incognito - Transatlantic RPM
Instroville-Hits & Rarities From The Golden Age Of - Instroville-Hits & Rarities From The Golden Age Of
Janko Nilovic - Rythmes Contemporains
Jeff Steinberg - Romance In Tuscany
Jessica Walker - A Quiet Girl
Jimmy Giuffre - Jimmy Giuffre/Jimmy Giuffre 3/Tangents In Jazz/Historic Jazz
John Coltrane - Bags & Trane
John Lewis & The Modern Jazz Quartet - Lewis,John & The Modern Jazz Quartet Vol. 2four Classic Albums
Johnny Dankworth & His Orchestra - Too Cool For The Blues
Lena Horne - Performance
Les Baxter - African Jazz/Jungle Jazz
Lionel Hampton - Three Classic LPS
Marcus Johnson - This Is How I Rock
Matthew Shipp - Creation Out Of Nothing: Live In Moscow
Mike Phillips - MP3
Miles Davis - Miles In The Movies
Modern Jazz Quartet - Modern Jazz Quartet/Django/Fontessa
Mop Mop - Ritual Of The Savage
Mose Allison - Way Of World
Muggsy Spanier - Essential Collection
Nat "King" Cole - Essential Collection
Nat Gonella - Confessin
Norfolk & Western - Dinero Severo
Ornette Coleman - Something Else
Pat Kirkwood - Unforgettable Pat Kirkwood
Rachel Pennell - Bare 'N' Blue
Ralph Alessi - Cognitive Dissonance
Rpa & The United Nations Of So - United Nations Of Sound
Rpa & The United Nations Of Sound - United Nations Of Sound
Sam Levine - Smooth Worship
Scott Colley - Empire
Sidney Bechet - Essential Collection
Soft Machine - Softs
Sonny Rollins - Bridge
Sonny Rollins - Four Classic Albums
Stan Getz - Three Classic LPS
Syd Orchestra Lawrence - Re: Generation
Syd Orchestra Lawrence - Strictly Big Band
Syd Orchestra Lawrence - Salute To Glenn Miller
Teddy Sexte Charles - On Campus
Thelonious Monk - Four Classic Albums
Tommy Dorsey - Irish American Trombone

Hi-Lo's - Listen!
John Coltrane - Coltrane's Sound
Ornette Coleman - Tomorrow Is The Question!

Special thanks to  for New Release information. The Upcoming Release Center at is the most comprehensive new release listing for jazz music on the internet. The information is updated biweekly by John Kelman

New releases put together from a variety of online sources by Robert Benson -  

Have new music for the list? Email me at  

Record collectors keep Valley's passion for vinyl alive

Special thanks to author Crystal Olvera of The Monitor ( for the exclusive rights and permission to reprint this interesting article.

As CD sales continue to fall and music giants like Tower Records are all but a memory, there’s an unexpected medium that is slowly rising from the dead: vinyl.

According to Nielsen Soundscan, vinyl sales sky-rocketed, surpassing sales of the previous year by a whopping 89 percent in. Although the pace slowed in 2009, Vinyl sales were still up 33 percent from the previous year.

Whether it’s people feeling a little nostalgic, or just a trend, vinyl’s return to popularity has brought longtime collectors out of the woodworks and into the business market.

Independent music shops are popping up in the Rio Grande Valley to help baby boomers rediscover their love for the old school and introduce a new generation to a music medium that’s been brought back to life.

123 E. Jackson St., Harlingen | (956) 245-9777

Tony Ramirez sits at a wooden table on the third floor of what used to be the Palm Hotel in Downtown Harlingen, overlooking Jackson Street. The third floor is equipped with a pool table, a bar and a smorgasbord of pop culture memorabilia. With a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of Shiner Bock in the other, Ramirez talks about the significance of Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction,” how The Beatles’ mop tops changed rock ‘n’ roll and why he prefers the sound of a classic vinyl record over a CD any day.

“A CD is perfection,” said Ramirez as he takes a swig of his beer. “A record is used, scratched, and it takes you back to the club, back to the concert — because bands, musicians, they don’t play perfectly. A CD is pristine, but there’s nothing pristine in music.”

Having spent the past 50 years collecting records, Ramirez is a rock ‘n’ roll relic with expertise in classic rock that could arguably rival any modern music historian. He spent much of his life as an English instructor at the University of Texas at Brownsville, Texas A&I Kingsville and South Texas College, but also dabbled in disc jockeying and record collecting, finally retiring to open Frank’s Record Shop with his daughter Shannon.

“He’s the beauty, and I’m the brains,” Shannon jokes.

Ramirez and his wife June purchased the Palm Hotel nearly 20 years ago and converted the first floor into an antique shop and record store. They made the second and third floors their home.

Shannon recalls the slow metamorphosis of her father’s collection from merely a fun project into something out of control.

“He just wanted to sit around, listen to music and drink beer,” Shannon said. “It started off as just a hobby, but it turned into a monster.”

Tony’s shop is currently the largest vinyl shop in the Valley. He offers every popular musical genre you can think of along with CDs, cassettes, antique knives and coins. He began collecting records as a 12-year-old paperboy in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s.

“My first album was Big John,” said Ramirez. “I bought it for 39 cents because I couldn’t afford the full-length albums.”

With the advent of CD players and cassettes, he said he spent much of the ‘80s in flea markets buying up the vinyl albums many people were abandoning. But he doesn’t blame vinyl’s demise on new technology.

“Vinyl died because no one was selling record players,” said Ramirez. “They stopped selling them and stopped selling the parts to fix them.”

But Shannon begs to differ.

“The ‘80s was about keeping up with the Joneses,” said Shannon about people’s obsession with new technology. “But vinyl never died. People kept their vinyls and stuck them in closets or hid them under their beds.”

The father and daughter team have partnered with Victor Cantu of Valley Vinyls in McAllen. Both stores work together to help customers find whatever they’re looking for, be it Kitty Wells or Iron Maiden.

Ramirez said he takes pride in owning a “mom-and-pop” store. He invites shoppers to bring in their own vinyl records to sell or spin on the shop’s record player. He spends much of his time chatting about music with customers and telling stories — like the one about how his copy of Marvin Gaye’s Soulful Mood met an untimely death on the floor of his house. The record was worth $800.

“I can’t compete with volume,” says Ramirez of the large corporate-owned music outlets. “But I can compete with personality.”

Ramirez is also happy a new generation is discovering music through vinyl. He equates vinyl records with the stories and lessons passed on from generation to generation.

“Vinyl records are memories. They were meant to last forever,” Ramirez explains.

2201 N. 10th St. Suite I, McAllen (Inside the Petite Mall) | (956) 928-1005

Twenty-one-year-old Bianca Cantu sifts through a crate of records labeled “P” at Valley Vinyls, inside The Petite Mall on 10th Street in McAllen. She pulls out Prince and The Revolution’s Purple Rain album.

“It’s only worth something if you get the double set, which is a regular black vinyl and a purple vinyl,” she said. She goes on to explain the importance of an orange label on a Jimi Hendrix album, and that anything by the Beatles is a good buy.

Bianca has slowly become a connoisseur of vinyl and she’s learned from the best. Her father, Victor Cantu, raised his kids on Kiss, The Beatles, Janis Joplin and most classic rock from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Victor said it was always a dream of his to open a record store, and after partnering up with Tony Ramirez of Frank’s Record Shop in Harlingen, he decided to take the leap last October.

Since then, he’s never looked back. His store, which began with only a handful of crates, is now overflowing with music. Cardboard sleeves filled with classical music lie behind the counter and a sea of 45s hides underneath tables covered with rock, jazz, Spanish language, hip-hop and pop records.

Winter Texan shoppers in search of older fare by the likes of Trini Lopez, Frank Sinatra and Liberace are Victor’s usual clientélè but he’s seeing a larger number of young people who have become interested in record collecting.

“We see 16-year-olds in here buying Janis Joplin and Grand Funk Railroad,” Victor said. “I’m standing there thinking, ‘Do you know who this is?’”

Victor said he doesn’t know the exact number of records in his home collection anymore, but he estimates it’s about 10,000.

“The first record I got was Kiss Alive!” said Victor, wearing a pair of John Lennon-style sunglasses and an AC/DC shirt as he sits on a mall bench just outside the shop. He was just a preteen in the seventh grade. “Ever since then I was hooked.”

Why has he stuck with vinyl all this time?

“There’s nothing like a vinyl record – opening the sleeve up and looking inside,” Victor said. “With a CD, it’s not the same. Digital has a quieter sound. You don’t hear the Rice Krispies you hear on a vinyl when you pick up the volume,” Ramirez said referring to the common crackling sound on a vinyl record. “Vinyl makes you feel like you’re in the room with the band.”

Victor’s love for vinyl and classic musical formats has prevailed over decades of technological developments. He says vinyl can stand the test of time and blames convenience for the downfall of CDs, cassettes and eight-tracks.

“CDs are disposable, and they’re easily damaged because you’re always taking them everywhere. Vinyls you can’t take anywhere,” Victor said. Portable devices allow for more carelessness, like leaving cassettes in hot cars, he added.

“Vinyls are more like keepsakes that you can pass down to your children.”

But he isn’t completely against new technology. He still has an eight-track player in his truck, which he uses regularly.

“I’m old school,” he confesses.

416 N. 10th St. Suite 4 (Next to The Gallery) | (956) 627-2742

What do Radiohead’s OK Computer, Lady Gaga’s The Fame and the Twilight Soundtrack have in common? Besides being some of the most popular albums on the planet, they can also be found in vinyl form at Havok Records on 10th Street in McAllen. Apart from a corner of crates with used records of yesteryear, hundreds of newly packaged 12-inch sleeves glisten on the stores’ shelves. Havok Records is filled with the latest punk, rock and even hip-hop and pop records of today.

Owner, Orlie Ozuna, hails from a new generation of record collectors. Unlike most vinyl addicts, The 31-year-old wasn’t around for the first pressing of The Beatles’ Abby Road or Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced. He was, however, born a music lover and his interest in vinyl grew from his love of punk rock. He bought his first album, a seven-inch NOFX record, in his early 20s.

After finding success as a licensed contractor, he saved enough money to open up his own record store with the help of his friend Abel Herrera. The shop sells record players and accessories, T-shirts, skate decks and other novelties. He said business has picked up since the store opened in February.

Punk-wise, the most popular artists customers look for are NOFX, 7 Seconds, Propagandi and Fugazi, while rock lovers seek classic records by The Beach Boys or contemporary artists like Depeche Mode and Radiohead, Ozuna said.

He believes that collecting vinyl is simply more fun than collecting CDs because the LPs offer larger album art and lyric sheets. Ozuna’s home collection is now made up of nearly 600 albums. But Ozuna said they weren’t easy to find. Much of his own catalog was attained from scouring bigger cities like Austin and San Antonio and winning auctions on eBay.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” Ozuna said. “Many people go giving their records away not knowing what they have. The search in itself is quite exciting.”

The vinyl industry has also evolved to accommodate today’s techno-savvy buyers by offering ways for purchasers to place digital copies of albums on their iPods or CDs. Many newly released LPs offer coupons or download cards to allow buyers to download albums in Mp3 format for free.

“There are (new) record players with USB cables, which are universal that can connect to any desktop or laptop (computer),” Ozuna said. “Software is usually included, and it’s a matter of installing software and having your laptop recognize the record player. You can pretty much convert all your vinyl to mp3s.”


The value of vinyl records will change over time and vary according to what region of the world you’re in, but these three albums are commonly listed as the most valuable.

John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy (Geffen US Album, 1980) - This copy of the album was autographed by Lennon five hours before he was assassinated by Mark David Chapman. It’s valued at $525,000.

The Quarrymen – “That’ll Be the Day”/”In Spite Of All The Danger” (UK 78 RPM, Acetate in plain sleeve, 1958) - There was only one copy pressed of this album by The Quarrymen, a band which would later become The Beatles, and Paul McCartney owns it. Value: $180,000

The Beatles – Yesterday and Today (Capitol, U.S. Album in ‘butcher’ sleeve, 1966) Value: $38,500. The album, which features the Fab Four posing with pieces of meat, fake blood and baby doll parts, was pulled after an outcry from retailers.