Archive for the ‘New Wave’ Category


In 1982 a band from Boston entered an annual radio contest – a “battle of the bands,” if you will. They were a new wave bandthat consisted of 2 Berklee college alums (including indie darling Aimee Mann on bass and lead vocals) and a few other locals. Their song “Love In A Vacuum” was a hit and won them the contest. This eventually led to them landing a record deal with Epic Records – home of such legends as Michael Jackson, Blondie and Wham!.

That band was ‘Til Tuesday. In 1985 they released Voices Carry . It became a staple on Mtv when the network actually aired videos.

Voices Carry is a catchy little album. Mann’s bass playing combined with her vocals are hard to ignore. She plays hard on that

Cover of "Voices Carry"

bass and it shows on such tracks as Love In A Vacuum, Looking Over My Shoulder and the album’s title track.

However, the album falls flat on such tracks as Sleep, Maybe Monday, and Don’t Watch Me Bleed. Essentially, aside from the great new wave track that is Winning the War, side b is filler music and nothing more. It adds nothing to the listening experience.

Also one of the more quirkier things about this album is the fashion: lead vocalist Aimee Mann is wearing a rats tail hairdo. While this factor does date the album as far as the cover goes.

B-

 

 

Advertisements

I have come to the conclusion that the city of Houston and surrounding areas of Galveston and Lake Jackson Freeport needs a music festival. Yes I know we have the Free Press Summer Fest and all and that is great. I am in no way bashing them. However, I think we need something much bigger. When I say bigger, as far as festivals go, I mean something on the scale of the original Woodstock festival and Us Festivals.

One thing that often plauges Houston during the summer is the heat. Every year we have  100% humidity. This past year, we had a record-breaking triple digit summer that brought on a drought.

However, outdoor concerts and venues, despite the heat, are still very popular. Every year, Free Press Summerfest brings in hordes of crowds from all over the country. Also, there are many concerts at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion, as well as free concerts at places like Miller Outdoor Theater, Eleanor Tinsley Park and Discovery Green.

Also, the beach is quite nice to go to during the summer.

So what am I proposing? A festival on or near the beach. It would be called “Beachfest” and it would take place on or near the beaches of Galveston or Lake Jackson Freeport.

It would be like the Us Festival meets Woodstock at East Beach – the largest beach in Galveston. It would have specified days for each act – much like the Us Festival did. It would take place either at the very beginning of summer or near Labor day over the course of 3 days.

If this were to happen, each day would be as follows:

Coming up! (day 1)

This would be a day for up and comers. One day, they shall be big – least I think they will! It would also include indie bands and local talent too.

  1.  Ellie Goulding
  2. Foster the People
  3. Jay-z
  4. Beyonce
  5. Lecrae
  6. Florence + the Machine
  7. No Doubt
  8. Janet Jackson
  9. P!ink
  10. Them Crooked Vultures

blast from the past and future (day 2)

On this day, we would have obscure rock bands that were once hits but aren’t anymore. Kinda like a mini “80’s Rewind” Festival – or 90’s. Also we would feature up and comers too.

  1. Breakfast with the Phish (as in the band Phish)
  2. Missing Persons
  3. Animotion
  4. A Flock of Seagulls
  5. Jars of Clay
  6. Toad the Wet Sprocket
  7. Vertical Horizon
  8. The Offspring
  9. Everclear
  10. Fatboy Slim
  11. The B-52’s

Legends of rock (day 3)

This would have to be sponsored by 93.7 the Arrow.

  1. Heart
  2. Peter Frampton
  3. Pat Benatar
  4. Lenny Kravitz
  5. Aerosmith
  6. Van Halen
  7. Fleetwood Mac
  8. Stevie Nicks
  9. Def Leppard
  10. Bon Jovi

Let’s make Houston one hard-rockin’ place again!

 


Happy 30th birthday. I wish I could say that you’ve come along way baby. Who knows, maybe you have but is that a good thing?

Please play some videos!

When you started out, you were a burst of sheer amazingness. I wasn’t even born in 1981 and watching all the classic MTV stuff on YouTube & VH1 Classic is still amazing. Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood, JJ Jackson, Martha Quinn, & Mark Goodman introduced everyone to the greatest pop/rock & R&B to ever grace a television set: Pat Benatar, Duran Duran, the late Michael Jackson, Stray Cats, Dire Straits, all those amazing other new wave & rock bands. Better yet, there were also the legends like the Who, Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart, Heart, Van Halen, and Yes that had innovative videos that made them cooler and bigger than they were already.

Unfortunately Mtv you disgust me. You don’t air videos. Sure, you air that crap you call the Jersey Shore or those whiny rich kids that dominate The Hills. All I can say is that you no longer deserve that “M” in your title, but rather an “S” – SuckTV because you are terrible. You don’t air videos anymore and when you do – they suck. Lady GaGa is horrible and a ripoff artist – remember Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons? Does her style not remind you of Lady Gaga? You have traded your originality for unoriginal, mindless, uninspiring entertainment. The last decent video you had in this century was a Taylor Swift video in which Kanye West interrupted her VMA speech for said video. Gone are the days of “You Better Run,” “Big Love,” “Money For Nothing,” “Take On Me,” and “Thriller.” Do the math.

So MTV I have some advice for you and I want you to listen very well: PLAY SOME VIDEOS! Do not play the Jersey Shore. I know thousands of people that would love you to do this.


The Pretty Woman Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is perhaps the quintessential 90’s romance comedy soundtrack with it’s pizzaz and sultriness.

Natalie Cole puts things in place with the freespirit anthem Wild Women Do. One of the best things about this track is, if you have seen the film, you can easily picture the sequence where Edward (Richard Gere) and Vivian (Julia Roberts) are shopping on Rodeo Dr. for clothing in Beverly Hills.

One of the best things is that this particular soundtrack seems to play in a subconscious manner, the thoughts of the characters in relation to the scene. One of the best examples of this is the opening scene where Edward and his girlfriend (who is unseen) breakup while they are in Los Angeles and Manhattan, respectively. Edward, with very little remorse, takes his lawyer (played by Seinfeld‘s Jason Alexander) Stuckey’s Lotus Espirit and drives down Hollywood Blvd where he meets Vivian, a hooker, for the first time.  This is well-played along with King of Wishful Thinking by Go West.

The soundtrack gains its sultriness with No Explanation by Peter Cetera. With his signature adult-contemporary sound, he adds a bit of a softer side to the album for the men. This softer side for the women is repeated with Lauren Wood’s Fallen.

Unfortunately there are a few weak spots: Robert Palmer’s Life In Detail and Tangled by Jane Wiedlin. They somehow do not seem to fit with the rest of the album. They both sound extremely over-produced.

IF you have not listened to the soundtrack Pretty Woman or even seen the film itself – both are great. It is the beautiful Cinderella – like story about a corporate raider who falls in love with a hooker and molds her into a beautiful woman. It is only made better by its soundtrack.


Lady GaGa live

Okay so its no secret anymore that Lady GaGa is a ripoff or almost carbon copy of Missing Persons lead vocalist Dale Bozzio. It seems like everything from not only Bozzio’s fashion, but her music, is getting copied.

Many blogs both in the fashion and music realms. Now my question is this: why isn’t places like Mtv & VH1 picking up on this?

When Lady GaGa does this, she shows that she’s unoriginal in her approach to style. The same is also true for her music. Perhaps GaGa has never heard of the old saying “don’t do as I do – do it better.” As far as talent and taste go, she has some, but it is mostly like watching a copycat.

Bozzio, on the other hand, is an original. When most punk rockers had weirdly shaved hair, she went with a rainbow-colored hairdo. She also could sing rather well and had a good backup band, Missing Persons.

However, I must wonder, why must artists such as Lady GaGa be unoriginal? Apparently she hasn’t realized that legendary artist areoriginal. Great minds don’t think alike – they think for themselves. Stevie Nicks did not become a fashion icon by copying others – she made her own. Same goes for the bohemian style of early Madonna and the feathery-laden Janis Joplin.

 


The Wild Heart not to long ago came across the National Recording Registry, which is a branch of the Library of Congress. I must say, it’s a pretty cool ordeal because it seeks to preserve both historical recordings and essentially recordings that defined what life was like at the time of their release. According to their website, these are the qualifications that the recording must meet:

“Recordings selected for the National Recording Registry are those that are culturally, historically or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States.

For the purposes of recording selection, “sound recordings” are defined as works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, but not including the sound component of a moving image work, unless it is available as an autonomous sound recording or is the only extant component of the work.

Recordings may be a single item or group of related items; published or unpublished; and may contain music, non-music, spoken word, or broadcast sound. Recordings will not be considered for inclusion into the National Recording Registry if no copy of the recording exists.

No recording should be denied inclusion into the National Recording Registry because that recording has already been preserved.

No recording is eligible for inclusion into the National Recording Registry until ten years after the recording’s creation.”

While some of the recordings (rightfully so) belong into the Registry, however the Wild Heart thinks they forgot a few while in the process.

  1. The Concert for New York City – This recording became eligible a few weeks ago. However this was one of the things that brought the city of New York together like never before, but nevertheless after the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
  2. Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and Music – This recording has been eligible for at least 40 or more years. This festival defined what the 1960’s were all about.
  3. Woodstock 99 – If Woodstock 69 (mentioned above) was the embodiment of peace and music, Woodstock 99 was it’s evil twin. Take in mind the time of 1999: 2 of the major news events that happened were the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton over his affair with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky and the school shooting at Columbine Highschool, which killed 15 people including the shooters themselves. There were also many copycat crimes as well. It was a rather violent time. Woodstock 99 was almost like a violent reaction to that time, however in the same violent vain.
  4. Dreamboat Annie by Heart – This was released at the peak of the second wave of the Women’s Liberation Movement. If anything, the fact that not one but two women head up this band. History was made with this album.
  5. 52nd Street by Billy Joel – If I ever want to know what life is like in the Big Apple, I just pop in one of his albums. This was, to me, what I picture Manhattan to be like at that time. Especially with such songs as Big Shot, Half A Mile Away, Zanzibar and the album’s title track.

The Summit later became known as the Compaq Center in the 90's. It's now home to Joel Osteen Ministries, better known as Lakewood Church.

Today I stumbled across an old Stevie Nicks video called Whole Lotta Trouble. I remembered reading about how the concert video was filmed – more specifically its location. It was filmed in Houston, which is the home of the Wild Heart. More specifically, the Summit – the fomer home of the Houston Rockets. As a result, I thought of the 2 concerts that were held there in which I and my parents attended: Handel’s Young Messiah in 1992 and Handel’s Young Messiah Farewell Tour in 1995. Both were major tours within Contemporary Christian music at the time and boasted a “who’s who” of artists at the top of the CCM charts: Steven Curtis Chapman, Twila Paris, Sandi Patti, First Call, Point of Grace, Christian metal band White Heart, the list goes on and on.

The Summit was to performance/sports venues in Houston what Madison Square Garden is to New York City. Though yes, we do have the Toyota Center (which is the current home of the Rockets), but as a music lover who resides in this great town I keep wondering why do we keep getting rid of our historic musical venues? Let me ask you this: what would New York City be without Madison Square Garden? What would Los Angeles be without the Staples Center?

The Sam Houston Coliseum hosted numerous musical legends such as the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen just to name a few.

Unlike San Francisco, Houston has a nasty habit of getting rid of historical buildings: the Sam Houston Coliseum, the Music Hall. Okay maybe they didn’t have landmark status, but considering some of the acts that walked onto their stages: the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney just to name a few – these venues deserved that status. However, they are all demolished now or turned into a megachurch. Could we not make the needed changes to these places to cater to Houstonian music lovers? Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

The interior of the Music Hall. Isn't It beautiful?

All we have now is the Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park, Reliant Arena, H-Town Arena Theater, Verizon Wireless Theater, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion, and the House of Blues. Though these are great venues, they somehow don’t measure up to their predecessors. Essentially what we need in Houston is our own version of places like the Fillmore.

The Music Hall in its heydey