Music Review http://culturecatch.com/music en Song of the Week: "Parachute" http://culturecatch.com/node/3945 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Parachute&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/webmaster" lang="" about="/users/webmaster" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Webmaster</a></span> <span>May 21, 2020 - 12:23</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/139" hreflang="en">singer-songwriter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p> </p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UXPOfnpMrbs?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>From upstate New York comes this wonderfully heartfelt, sing-songy ballad "Parachute" by the indie folk vocal duo The Sea The Sea -- Chuck and Mira Costa -- from their forthcoming album from AntiFragile Music due in August. Music this catchy will find a much larger audience. Enjoy it and share it via the links on this page. Stay safe!</p> <p> </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3945&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="A_czudYSYwqFXKBnXsZC-mhnET4GocMwZ9oTQsG34_U"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 21 May 2020 16:23:57 +0000 Webmaster 3945 at http://culturecatch.com The Queen Is Dead. Long Live The King! http://culturecatch.com/node/3943 <span>The Queen Is Dead. Long Live The King!</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/460" lang="" about="/user/460" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robert Cochrane</a></span> <span>May 9, 2020 - 11:58</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/553" hreflang="en">celebrity obit</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8SlOj_-_rTI?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>For sheer tear down the house, hollerin' bravado and pure passion. </p> <p>Conflicted and contrary. </p> <p>Scandalous and screaming and black. </p> <p>There was only ever Little Richard.</p> <p>The true originator of Rock &amp; Roll.</p> <p> </p> <p>All the brass, sass and androgyny from the Stones to Bowie. </p> <p>From Michael Jackson to Prince.</p> <p>From Madonna to Lady Gaga.</p> <p>All roads lead back to Richard Penniman.</p> <p> </p> <p>He wasn't just the most extreme presence of his era.</p> <p>He left every era standing in the shade of his sheer bravado.</p> <p>He knocked hell out of those piano keys.</p> <p>As the hairline receded the wigs just got bigger.</p> <p> </p> <p>Conflicted and at times provocative.</p> <p>His recent unfortunate views on homosexuality came from inner conflict.</p> <p>From that came the songs.</p> <p>His contradictions drove and made him who he was.</p> <p> </p> <p>We don't want our icons perfect.</p> <p>We need them chipped and flawed.</p> <p>There were the convictions for voyeurism and lewd conduct.</p> <p>The revolving doors on his sexual closet.</p> <p>The extreme swings of religiosity.</p> <p> </p> <p>You simply can't ignore the jerking electricity that still fizzes in his songs.</p> <p>The joy combined with madness.</p> <p>Good Golly Miss Molly, Tutti Fruitti, Lucille, Rip It Up!</p> <p>The sheer poetry of Awopbopallbopalopbamboom.</p> <p> </p> <p>As Jobriath once sang  "A Little Richard Goes A Long Long Way"</p> <p>It did then and it always will.</p> <p>This is the end of the very beginning.</p> <p>Something pivotal has died with him.</p> <p>The baton has fallen.</p> <p>There is, in this instance, no successor waiting in the wings.</p> <p>The Queen Is Dead! Long Live The King!</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3943&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="k8DEdrt-TH5OqDpb6O6j848ok3c47RnaI3FTySke1s4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 09 May 2020 15:58:48 +0000 Robert Cochrane 3943 at http://culturecatch.com Song of the Week: "Second" http://culturecatch.com/node/3944 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Second&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>May 8, 2020 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/50" hreflang="en">punk rock</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IT09DGuXwYQ?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>I hail the UK-based electronic duo <a href="https://www.sleafordmods.com" target="_blank">Sleaford Mods</a> -- vocalist Jason Williamson and beat meister Andrew Fearn. They've been making beautifully executed punk-hop with spoken-shouted diatribes for the more than eight years; like the '70s punk duo Suicide meets Henry Rollins ranting over hip hop beats. And, if it matters to you, public kudos from The Godfather of Punk, Mr. Iggy Pop! Brilliant lyrics married to insanely simple, but hooked-filled beats. "Second" is from their new carefully-curated retrospective <em>All That Glue</em>.  The epically affected/effective "staged" video was directed by Simon Parfrement and features the UK actresses Kate Dickie and Emma taking over the roles of Jason and Andrew while they watch from the audience.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3944&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="dmXoYYKmt-O7dnFemfPmQuSKSZ0QqZApwqcicNNiVpk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 08 May 2020 14:00:00 +0000 Dusty Wright 3944 at http://culturecatch.com Video of the Week: "Le Grand Hotel" http://culturecatch.com/node/3940 <span>Video of the Week: &quot;Le Grand Hotel&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/webmaster" lang="" about="/users/webmaster" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Webmaster</a></span> <span>April 25, 2020 - 15:11</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/872" hreflang="en">gothic</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/faGKiq5gZfE?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>American-born, Paris-based actress/singer/director <a href="http://www.arielle-dombasle.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Arielle Dombasle </a>is an international pop culture icon. Her much-publicized marriage to philosopher/writer Bernard-Henri Lévy, illustrious film career (<em>Les Ames Fortes, Miroslava</em>), and magical music career only reinforce her envied status. Her latest work is the magnificent "Le Grand Hôtel," a gothic alt-rock ballad from her next album <em>Empire</em> (UMG) to be released June 19th, 2020. The song was written by her video co-star and musical foil Nicolas Ker. This is her second album with Ker. </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3940&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="CWvcVG7-9DwGJAtks3Zn__zysYYA6ICvEjymOsbEaV4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 25 Apr 2020 19:11:18 +0000 Webmaster 3940 at http://culturecatch.com A Still Life In Life Stilled Days http://culturecatch.com/node/3937 <span>A Still Life In Life Stilled Days</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/460" lang="" about="/user/460" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robert Cochrane</a></span> <span>April 17, 2020 - 08:13</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/139" hreflang="en">singer-songwriter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-04/john_5_july_2018.jpg?itok=GeYn8tfb" width="1200" height="900" alt="Thumbnail" title="john_5_july_2018.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p><strong> John Howard - "In The Stillbeat Of A Silent Day"</strong></p> <p>For half a century, the 45, the single, the seven inch, was the sole means of the cultural sharing of a song. It was a bright idea etched in spiral grooves that caught the heart and made you want to own it. An object of passion and a thing of joy. Something that you sought and wished for. It facilitated Little Richard and Elvis Presley. The Beatles and The Stones, Blondie and The Sex Pistols, Talking Heads and Nirvana. Even singles that failed became legendary artefacts. The Velvet Underground, Love, and the MC5 never troubled the charts, but if you had a 45 of theirs you had a thing of significance. A brave stab in the dark. </p> <p>The digital age made things uncertain for the 45. The charts were less of a barometer of taste. The market became more disparate and the discs got smaller and more shiny, and then the download rendered them largely irrelevant. It seemed like its days of dominance were spent. Yet a new democracy was emerging that made music instantly available. A record from decades earlier could once more challenge a new release because for some reason, an advert or a cultural event, it had again been rendered current, and this time it didn't require a physical "Rush-Release" via the record label in a physical form. It was there already.</p> <p>So the single had a rebirth. Vinyl remained the encapsulation of the finished statement, the definitive object existence of a bright idea in a picture sleeve and on wax of many different colours. The download meant no journey to a record store had to be made, though many thankfully still are. You could hear a song and send it to a friend. You didn't need to copy it onto a cassette, or a CDR. Downloads became audio postcards, literal singing telegrams. a means towards instant sharing and immediate gratification. The revolution might not have simply been televised. it had gone one swifter, it had been digitized.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oAHbvEIp928?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>The single is now a means of instant alert, a reaction that takes longer to record than it does to share. The waiting game is largely over, though we still anticipate and wait to prepare. to do things properly. In the blink of a mere month's existence, the world has become an alien place. A landscape of desertion. Culture has in many ways lost its physical hold. We cannot go to the cinema, congregate at a gig, visit a theatre. We can neither marry or bury those we love. The certainty of faith on Sundays has been paused. We have become entombed in our apartments and houses like monks on an unintended retreat. Nothing is as it was. We are all living in a time of plague. People are dying in a strangely democratic fashion across the world. We are experiencing zen and loss on an industrial scale. We cannot even comfort our dying. Hospitals have become a place of utility, exclusion and bald function.</p> <p>And so the muses are heard. They congregate like anxious birds, Those that can, write and draw and sing. Those that can't may be have forced to try to for the first time. In postcard pretty exile in Spain, that quintessentially English singer songwriter John Howard began to write some words. Pressure sometimes begets beauty as its own reward. A title came. A line he could add painterly impressions to, "In the Stillbeat Of A Silent Day." A poem set to music, it is the perfect thing to share in the song it has become. Reflective without being overly sad. Mournful yet not morose, it is a beautiful take on all that has been stilled and taken down.</p> <blockquote type="cite"> <p>In the stillbeat of a silent day</p> <p>Saved for trilled birdsong in the tree</p> <p>In my soulsearch for the lad who stayed</p> <p>Lost in the wonder for the heart it thieved</p> <p> </p> <p>In the stillbeat of a silent day</p> <p>Streets are not peopled by the noise of speed</p> <p>In the glimmer of reflected skies</p> <p>Empty of love songs we forgot to heed</p> <p> </p> <p>In the loudbreath of deserted streets</p> <p>Heaving beneath leaden clouds of ache</p> <p>In the heartlight of tomorrow's prayer</p> <p>Ears at the windows when the songbirds ache</p> <p> </p> <p>In the stillbeat of a silent day</p> <p>Doors blind the sunlight tapping soft</p> <p>As I breakstride with the dogs unstrayed</p> <p>Out to their dreams of the field-bathed croft</p> <p> </p> <p>In the stillbeat of a silent day</p> <p>Smiles beneath masks where no part plays</p> <p>Joining gloved hands for the angels care</p> <p>Cheers from the balconies' grateful gaze</p> </blockquote> <p>It is a song that musically operates along the lines of the late David Ackles. A hymn or a psalm suggestive of choirs. Lyrically it has echoes of William Blakes's "Jerusalem" and the more pastoral musings of Robert Frost, but then John Howard has always been a closet poet in the arcs and turns of his lyric writing. It ends as almost celebratory dirge reaching effortlessly towards the multi-coloured light coming through stained glass as it draws to a close. Soothing and reflective the song encapsulates a global tragedy in a personal fashion and as such brings comfort. What more could a single song hope to achieve? </p> <p>The single remains alive and relevant in these troubled times, and this one brings solace in its wake. It deserves not only to be heard, but to cherished and shared. A once in a lifetime response to a crisis we for which we were, and remain still, woefully unprepared.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3937&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="1xOUIDjOjh3DpO4oPWCbBj3qt6xHzVxSyZduYSMYDJw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 17 Apr 2020 12:13:19 +0000 Robert Cochrane 3937 at http://culturecatch.com Song of the Week: "Angel From Montgomery" http://culturecatch.com/node/3936 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Angel From Montgomery&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/webmaster" lang="" about="/users/webmaster" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Webmaster</a></span> <span>April 15, 2020 - 18:49</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/262" hreflang="en">Americana</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WepdtTWR1g4?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>John Prine's classic tune is given a haunting reading by the LA-based alt rock singer-songwriter Jesse Jo Stark.  American Songwriter said it best: "Stark's unfiltered raw talent and calm confidence is the perfect way to honor such a song.  She exhibits the perfect amount of vocal control while expelling the right amount of soul. She is a natural. The music is country meets contemporary with an alt-rock spin." </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3936&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="qG1MW_HXjXFoaIkSVJVSIRNJ6ZHQKJS8_xIifaaXNxM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 15 Apr 2020 22:49:47 +0000 Webmaster 3936 at http://culturecatch.com All For The Love of Rock 'N' Roll http://culturecatch.com/node/3934 <span>All For The Love of Rock &#039;N&#039; Roll</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/460" lang="" about="/user/460" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robert Cochrane</a></span> <span>April 5, 2020 - 15:33</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/553" hreflang="en">celebrity obit</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div style="text-align:start; -webkit-text-stroke-width:0px"> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8AT_Pbtyid0?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Alan Merrill 1951-2020</strong></p> <p>Alan Merrill tasted success in many different territories of the globe. He was a star, but his stars didn't align in the way for him to become a household name. Big in Japan before such a reality was thought possible for a Western act. A success in the UK and Europe with a band that never saw their music released in his American homeland, apart from one single on Private Stock Records. A consistently active and productive musician and one who saw a song, written as a riposte to a Rolling Stones anthem in the making, become one of the best known songs of the '80s and today, despite being written in the mid-seventies and originally marooned on the flip-side of a flop single.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D6Zo6vk7w5U?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Born Allan Preston Sax in the Bronx February 19th 1951, his mother was the jazz singer Helen Merrill who was variously signed to Atco, Milestone, and Mercury Records, whilst his father Aaron Sachs was a clarinet and saxophone player who recorded with the likes of Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, and Stan Getz. In the mid sixties he played in a series of semi-pro bands in the Cafe Wha in Greenwich Village, and in 1968 he joined the dying embers of The Left Banke, but didn't record with them. By 1969 he was in Japan as the front man for The Lead a group of foreigners based in Tokyo who scored a No. 1 hit with "Blue Rose" and then promptly fell apart when two of their members were deported over irregularities with their visas. Merrill remained, secured a deal with Atlantic Records and released the album <em>Alone In Tokyo</em> and the single "Teardrops." To make his name more manageable for the Japanese market, and less risque than Sax, he adopted his mother's maiden name. In 1971 after starring in a jeans commercial, and a teen orientated soap opera he released <em>Merrill 1</em> -- an album of self-composed songs that is rightly valued as a precursor of the power-pop genre. He next formed Vodka Collins, the first Japanese glam rock outfit who recorded the album <em>Tokyo-New York</em> and had a double A sided hit with "Sands Of Time/Automatic Pilot." One of Merrill's songs "Movies" from <em>Merril 1</em> cropped up on the flip-side of a Tiny Tim single in 1972. Mr. Tim would once more return to Merrill's back catalogue in 1996 to record "I Love Rock 'N' Roll."</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J7SNLZVMZH0?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>By 1974, Merrill had taken up residence in London. He formed a pop-glam outfit named Arrows who secured a deal with Mickie Most's RAK Records. Although the other members were English, Merrill's frontman status Arrows made a virtual trinity of American glam poseurs in London exile, the other two being Sparks and Milk 'n' Cookies. Caught between the label owner Mickie Most dominance, and the label's consistent success and endless thirst for hits, the band's own writing abilities were excluded from the forefront. Their first chart hit  "A Touch Too Much" had fallen from the pens of Chinn &amp; Chapman. Despite having their own national television series that ran for two series, fourteen shows in each, whose guests included chart acts of the day, including the likes of The Bay City Rollers, Marc Bolan, Slade, and Peter Noone. Amazingly whilst both series were being shown, the band had no new releases available to promote. The show aired in Europe and territories like Hong Kong, but with nothing to sell, they didn't benefit from their fame oy their ubiquity. When their single "Broken Down Heart" was released in 1975, a song on the b side was what captured the attention of the disc jockeys. Eventually "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" was made the official A side. It was the only piece of product that they performed in the series, but the single tanked.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/d9jhDwxt22Y?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>The band's performance of it was watched by a young Joan Jett, then on tour in the UK with her band The Runaways. The song stuck in her head and in 1981 she turned it into the bona fide smash it had always deserved to be. Merrill had written it as a casual riposte to the Rolling Stones "It's Only Rock And Roll But I Like It." Since he owed some money to his band mate Jake Hooker he added him as co-author of it. It would prove an expensive act of kindness. Their debut and sole album <em>First Hit</em> is a fairly unsatisfactory affair because many of the band's own compositions were squeezed out in favour of less inspiring, but seemingly more commercial offerings by the hit writing team of Phil Martin and Phil Coulter  Arrows limped into 1977 when punk effectively hastened their decline, and despite having several tracks produced by Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, these never were released at the time. It seems that RAK Records had little idea how to handle the band to achieve greater success. It is a major oversight that a producer like Mickie Most missed the potential in Alan Merrill's "I Love Rock 'N' Roll." It is a song that speaks for itself.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B01AoFjlvFQ?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Merrill then joined forces with his friend the former Rare Bird singer and guitarist Steve Gould. They formed Runner a band who signed to Arista Records short lived Autograph label. Their excellent debut album saw the dent them US charts, and a second album was under way with Alex Sadkin at the production duties but tensions within the band meant they never completed the record. Their single "Run For Your Life" would eventually be covered by Sammy Hagar. The 1980s were kinder to Alan Merrill. He teamed up with Rick Derringer, a collaboration that saw three albums released and the movie <em>The Rick Derringer Rock Spectacular</em>. Merrill released a self-titled solo album on Polydor Reocords in 1983, and by the end of the decade he was part of Meatloaf's touring band, appearing on the <em>Live At Wembley</em> album from 1987. He returned to acting in the hit series <em>Encyclopedia Brown </em>on HBO to success and acclaim in the role of casey Sparkz. 1982 had seen "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" become a global smash and a US No. 1 for Joan Jett and her band the Blackhearts. It remains her signature song. In 1990 Alan Merrill successfully reformed Vodka Collins and they toured Japan when their debut LP was released on CD. It was a reunion that would spawn a further four successful albums.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ITuOddPeYoc?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>In the new century Merrill continued to write and record. Britney Spears had a No. 1 in the UK and all across Europe with her version of "I Love Rock 'N' Roll." A song that seems impossible to contain, a little like Norman Greenbaum's perennial "Spirit In The Sky." Albums kept on appearing, his most recent being 2017's <em>A Blue Avenue</em>. Eminem sampled "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" on the song "Remind Me" from his album <em>Revival</em> which topped the American charts in the same year. Merrill's song that simply won't go away because of its brilliant encapsulation of attitude and ambition with a heart. Alan Merrill had the looks, the talent, and the charisma that is required for success. His is an astonishing back catalogue of continued effort and enterprise and it is a tragedy that like so many victims of Covid 19 that he died alone on 28th March 2020 in hospital in his native New York. He was the last surviving founding member of Arrows. </p> <p>Paul Varley died in 2008 in London after living for years in LA. He fathered a daughter Iona. with Marc Bolan's former wife June.  Jake Hooker married Judy Garland's daughter Lorna Luft, becoming her manager. He died in Malibu in 2014.  Arrows' manager Peter Meaden, who had once handled The Who's affairs died in 1978 at the age of 38 after years of drug abuse.</p> <p>Like the band itself, all theirs were stories ended before their allotted time.</p> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3934&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="xFU0Dns14eNNaWKSqbPJdPLfCGOgAtE0gFXdCGteKpk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 05 Apr 2020 19:33:37 +0000 Robert Cochrane 3934 at http://culturecatch.com Is That All There Is? http://culturecatch.com/node/3932 <span>Is That All There Is?</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/460" lang="" about="/user/460" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robert Cochrane</a></span> <span>April 2, 2020 - 16:52</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/830" hreflang="en">disco</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mZBrqewNPQI?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Arriving ahead of the game and being an innovator can be a lonely journey. It also usually means that someone else runs with your ideas and has greater success with them, albeit in a more diluted fashion. Such was the case with Cristina, a doyenne of New York's clubland, who delivered a couple of albums and a sassy fistful of 12-inch singles before effectively retiring. The daughter of a psychoanalyst and a writer she was born in New York on 2nd January 1959 as Cristina Monet-Palac. Having dropped out of Harvard and into the burgeoning underground that was the city's clubland in the late 1970s and immediately began to garner attention.</p> <p>You can savour her street hip influence in others. It flavours Madonna, gilds Lady Gaga and nods and winks in the direction of Lana Del Ray, yet Cristina was never going to embrace the mainstream, or be embraced by it Her debut single "Disco Clone" was produced by the Velvet Underground's John Cale, a later version features the actor Kevin Kline as the deep voiced macho lover, and was one of those songs you'd only ever hear whilst out at night, and never on the radio. A piece of fun, high camp, and street sass combined, it skewered the factory line mentality of, and the regimented look within, the club scene An anthem of unbridled passions in the pre-AIDS era, it became a cult classic. What also helped was that Cristina was on Ze Records, briefly the hippest but not the most successful record label in the world. Encouraged in her pop activities by the label's co-founder Michel Zilkha. the man she would eventually marry, whom she met whilst working as a reviewer for the Village Voice, her debut LP <em>Cristina</em> arrived in 1980 to bemused reviews and sporadic sales.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wHO9KecXn2Y?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>If "Disco Clone" was seen as somewhat transgressive with its sexual breathing a la Donna Summer, she crossed further boundaries by so incensing the legendary songwriting duo, Leiber &amp; Stoller, with her snarly, petulant, mostly talked and not sung version of their classic "Is that All There Is," that they forced her to withdraw it from sale. Think a pissed up and pissed off Peggy Lee dragging her best furs through the gutter on a miserable New York night with a champagne bottle in her bejewelled hand and you have Cristina's irreverent rendering.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AybvLztacFM?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Next on her hit list, or non-hit list, as Cristina wasn't one for troubling the charts, was her laconic, campy and pouty version of the Beatles "Baby You Can Drive My Car." Her second album, 1984's <em>Sleep It Off</em> was jointly produced by August Darnell (Kid Creole) and Don Was (Was Not Was) and contained her signature tune "What's a Girl To Do" whose lyrics betray her wry and arch take on being an object of desire. </p> <blockquote> <p>"My life is in turmoil / My thighs are black and blue, </p> <p>My sheets are stained / And so is my brain,</p> <p>What's a girl to do?"</p> </blockquote> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/95dky1NnX2w?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>I doubt if the late Dorothy Parker could have minted anything better on her trusty typewriter.</p> <p>By the mid '80s, she and Zilkha had left New York and effectively retired to Texas. Her work was reassessed when her brace of albums were reissued on CXD in 2004, and she gave a few interviews, but was exhibiting the symptoms of a MS like condition. Divorced since 1990 she had returned to New York, wrote the occasional article, but was already becoming a creature around whom myths are made, such is the allure of a sparklingly brief past and an air of unavailability. As her admirer the singer-songwriter Zola Jesus astutely observed: "She was too weird for the pop world and too pop for the weird world." </p> <p>Like all the best stars Cristina didn't overstay her welcome, nor instigate a comeback. In a smattering of years, she had been there and gone. I doubt that she would have wished it any other way.</p> <p>She died in New York on 1st April 2020 having contracted the coronavirus. She was 61 years old.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3932&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="HfBXHGB1e1lVxAeMFlgRCzB-3ont9SZzBss0Qr0EaJs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 02 Apr 2020 20:52:01 +0000 Robert Cochrane 3932 at http://culturecatch.com Song of the Week: "That Thing You Do!" http://culturecatch.com/node/3931 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;That Thing You Do!&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/webmaster" lang="" about="/users/webmaster" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Webmaster</a></span> <span>April 1, 2020 - 19:57</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/769" hreflang="en">pop rock</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dsi-eF6-uOY?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Adam Schlesinger passed away today from this insidious virus. He was one helluva songwriter. Incredibly talented musician, singer, producer, too. From the pop-rock juggernaut band Fountains of Wayne, his quirkier band Ivy (with Andy Chase and French singer Dominique Durand), his outstanding soundtrack work. And of course this timeless classic from an evergreen, classic movie about a hugely likable band with one-hit record. Gone too soon. His legacy will live through his songs for his daughters and the rest of us. Blessings.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3931&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="1utI2Tl8-swyc7pRfW0hFvTio4e68LOEAf0NXTp43R0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 01 Apr 2020 23:57:53 +0000 Webmaster 3931 at http://culturecatch.com Video of the Week: "Daze" http://culturecatch.com/node/3928 <span>Video of the Week: &quot;Daze&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>March 10, 2020 - 15:14</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/869" hreflang="en">techno</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_uUhsZHmwtE?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>The Orb -- electronica mastermind Alex Paterson and current collaborator Michael Rendall -- are back! And with a very clever video featuring a very cute, trippy dog (Jack Russell)! The infectious song "Daze" (Missing &amp; Messed Up Mix) is from their forthcoming album <em>Abolition of the Royal Familia</em> out on the 27th March 2020. Get on your dancing paws and pre-order it here: <a dir="auto" href="https://www.youtube.com/redirect?v=_uUhsZHmwtE&amp;redir_token=U7am5vLztHqf-M-B4xSnaLCq7At8MTU4Mzk0MjIzN0AxNTgzODU1ODM3&amp;event=video_description&amp;q=https%3A%2F%2FOrb.lnk.to%2FAOTRF" rel="nofollow" spellcheck="false" target="_blank">https://Orb.lnk.to/AOTRF</a>. </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3928&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="OXqGhbnxmmwkYlVE_yQ4nPhdZBregmcKaBg7BinpPhk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 10 Mar 2020 19:14:04 +0000 Dusty Wright 3928 at http://culturecatch.com