Archive for david bowie

WHEN HEROES GO

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

Its not the first time a musician I admired, respected, and was awe struck by, has passed away. There were the untimely deaths of Pete Ham, Ronnie Van Zandt, Lowell George, John Lennon, Randy (California) Wolfe, George Harrison, Freddy Mercury, and I am sure, many more. So, what is it that has me so disturbed and disheartened by the recent deaths of so many musicians?

In the past 18 months or so, we have lost, among others, Jesse Winchester, Jack Bruce (Cream), Chris Squire (Yes), Lemmy, David Bowie, Dale Griffin (Mott The Hoople), Glen Frey (The Eagles), Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane),  Merle Haggard, and Prince. What the hell is going on? I was fortunate to have met some, was a fan of them all, and considered myself a contemporary of many. I grew up with the music of most of them, and carried it with me throughout my adult life. There are songs by these artists that will forever be etched in my memories, as one of those, ‘this is what I was listening to when…’, or ‘this is what I was doing the first time I heard….’ moments.

 

Perhaps it is my own mortality that is being thrown in my face, as I am just about the same age as most of them. Maybe it is the realization that the talent pool on this planet is being depleted faster than it can be replaced. Or maybe it is simply the understanding that my heroes were, in fact, only human.

I am deeply saddened by it all. I have been spending a great deal of time listening to the music these giants have created, maybe reliving my youth, but also to ingest the insanely wonderful legacy they have left for me. The memories, the emotions, the thoughts that each song creates in me will never wane. I am saddened. I am hurt. It is so very hard to say goodbye to a hero.

 

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THE LOST BOYS-Answers On A Postcard

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

lostboys1The second album from Southampton, England’s The Lost Boys , has thrilled me with yet more U.K. pop. Answers On A Postcard, the follow up to 2011’s Not Arf It’s…The Lost Boys, delivers 5 incredible pop songs.

The album opens with “Broken Story 1“, an interesting ballad, with a wonderful melody and great harmonies. The vocals are dropped behind the instrumentation that includes acoustic guitar. The changes and transitions are nice, and the vocal track stands out. “I Fall For Everyone” has a way cool surf music hook, an amazing bridge, and a dynamite guitar solo. The wonderful drumming, the sweet riff, and the exceptional chorus, make this a terrific power pop song. The cool melody, and great hook of “Moving Pictures“, pull the incredible bridge, amazing changes and transitions, and the wonderful instrumentation together. A dynamite 60’s pop song with modern elements. “The Karaoke Age“, returns us to power pop, and offers some incredible screaming guitars, a wonderful melody, with exceptional harmonies, great changes, and some very cool riffs and mini solos. My favorite track, “From Love To Hate“, lostboys2has several different songs within it. It plays like a concept song, with distinct musical movements. The changes and transitions are effortless and perfect. The harmonies and melody are indescribably good. I hear acoustic guitar, bells, cool lead riffs and great keyboards, and an unbelievable bridge. Brilliant!!

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The album is dynamite. Fueled by the song writing of Daniel Ash (not to be confused with the Daniel Ash of Bauhaus and Love And Rockets fame), The Lost Boys have created an Indie-Mod-Pop sound that is eccentric, eclectic and esoteric. The guitar is subtle, yet always evident. The effects are cool. Daniel Ash’s vocals, which drive the songs, are reminiscent of Ray Davies, with distinct, working class English sensibilities. There is an Andy lostboys3Partridge influence to the transitions, with different musical themes  incorporated into 1 song. This guy is not afraid to put any element he wants into his music. The melodies are infectious and the hooks, unforgettable. On opening for Paul Weller (The Jam, The Style Council), Weller called Daniel Ash “a great little song writer”. I don’t know how big or tall Daniel Ash is, but he is, indeed, a great song writer Like something out of Bowie‘s Absolute Beginners, this mod-popster could very well be the pop genius of a new generation.

Check out The Lost Boys for yourself: https://soundcloud.com/thelostboys-1

 

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GAR FRANCIS-Shine On

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

gf1Over a year after its release, I was fortunate enough to get a copy of the Gar Francis EP, Shine On forwarded to me by New Jersey indie label, Bongo Boy Records. With reckless abandon, and much anticipation, I sat back, strapped myself in, and turned up the volume.

The title track, “Shine On“, both rhythmic and haunting, contains elements of psychadelica and Jersey garage rock. Gar’s vocals, somewhere between Tom Waits and Bowie, are perfectly gritty and raw. The guitar riff is way cool, the lead solo is wonderfully 1960’s, and the hook, unforgettable. “1985“, a prototypical Asbury Park anthem, delivers more outstanding vocals and a way cool harmonica part. The melody rocks, and I swear I hear some Joe Strummer woven into the fabric of the music. There is perfectly placed guitar picking, and the song has a great 60s garage rock feel to it. With some of the coolest lyric I have heard in a very long time, “Was I off somewhere, or just too high? Did I miss the signs, hiding there in your eyes? Back in 1985?”, this song kills.  The rhythm and blues tune, “Blue Cadillac“, shines with a sound that at times reminds me of Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes. A wonderful track, complete with twangy guitars. The great guitar riff and harmonies of “Tragedy” drives this incredible song through the  wonderful Beatlesque chorus. The album closes with “I’m Still Alive“, a great rock song with a punk edge.

gf2Shine On never lets up. It rocks from start to finish, grabbing you by the throat with the very first note, and never letting go. The songs are exceptional.  Each one superbly crafted, and played with passion and grit. And why not? It’s what Gar does!  To nail the sound, Gar recruited the rhythm section of The Doughboys for this album.  How cool is that?

The work is filled with 1960’s references, smoothly blended into East Coast garage rock. There is cool, and there is Gar Francis cool. Shine On is Gar Francis, being Gar Francis. And that is cool. Way cool. Gar Francis cool.

You can check out Shine On and all of Gar’s music at: http://www.garfrancis.com/ or:  http://www.bongoboyrecords.com/

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