Friday, July 18, 2008

Todd at the Boulder Theater

Todd Rundgren conquered technical problems to deliver a rousing set at the Boulder Theater on Monday. Photos by Mark T. Osler.

And here we thought he was Mr. Technology…

Before a Monday night set at the Boulder Theater, Todd Rundgren and his band were held up for nearly an hour due to power problems related to the concert’s filming for local high-definition television. Rundgren, a cross-genre pioneer, has played an instrumental role in the early music videos, early interactive music web sites — even a seminal computer-paint program. Who would have thought something so quaint as television would stymie this technological Renaissance Man?

And while we’re asking questions… given Rundgren’s producer reputation: Who would have thought Monday’s show would be free of synths, samples, and other technical doodads — that in essence it would be straight-ahead, boozy, floor-shaking rock ‘n’ roll?

His fans would have thought this, of course. He’s got a cult, many members of whom are half Rundgren’s 60-year-old age and were out that evening to see the New Wave Buddha. But while Rundgren is a household musical name, it’s primarily for his work as producer (on albums including Meatloaf’s “Bat out of Hell”), not for his own songs.

On stage Monday, Rundgren (in black tank top and leather pants; one of the only bits of color on stage was his green guitar) and company were all cool, smirks, and noise. Opening with “Love in Action” from his “Very Best of Todd Rundgren” greatest hits compilation, he immediately set a sludgy, Spinal Tap-esque tone. His take on his own cool was a bit wink-wink: “Ahh… there goes my foundation,” he told the crowd as he took off his sunglasses to wipe the sweat from his brow.

Rundgren was an amiable onstage presence, completely comfortable in his own skin as he blasted through semi-hits like “Lunatic Fringe” and “Just One Victory” during the first half of the set. After a handful of these Rundgren, fulfilling his earlier promise to “start with the familiar and finish with the profane,” dove deeply into testosterock with a series of progressive-tinged songs from his upcoming album, appropriately titled “Arena.” The volume in the room, already loud, seemed to get even louder — this show’s volume level was pretty up there. The songs, to my (admittedly, not entirely converted — and this was a show for the converted) ears, didn’t much reflect the ingenuity that has made Rundgren such a pioneer.

Maybe I’m just feeling old and fat this week, but I cannot recall the last time I saw a 60-year-old move around with as much fervor as Rundgren did Monday night. He is up to the task of rock ‘n’ roll, and he probably will be when he’s 80. At evening’s end, after more than the usual number of refugees had exited before the last encore (the set did end late), he stood strong. In so many ways, Rundgren was the first one to the party, and Monday night he was surely the last to sleep.

Nashville’s Will Hoge opened up, getting loose and getting his beard stuck in the harmonica during his self-described “big, dumb, rock ‘n’ roll songs.” Hoge’s straight-ahead Americana thing was a fine lubricant.

Jeremy Simon is a Lafayette-based Reverb contributor.

Mark T. Osler is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and regular Reverb contributor.

VIDEO...todd with the new cars westbury music fair ny

Todd with The New Cars.. Westbury Music Fair LI NY videoed by my daughter ariel

Thursday, July 17, 2008

2 songs added to TR's myspace page

there are 2 songs added to the playlist on todds official myspace page. One from his soon to released cd ARENA titled MAD, and one is a track from the band the Residents called Aging Musician, it was available a few years ago.

this is the video released a few years ago by The Residents :AGING MUSICIAN

photographer david shinn belly up aspen co.

photos by David Shinn
Belly Up Aspen CO.
Arena Tour

house of blues july 20 Darrly Smyers blog

Hello, It's (Still) Me
Even after so many years and so many bands, Todd Rundgren keeps doing things his way
By Darryl Smyers
Published on July 17, 2008
Having just turned 60, legendary singer/songwriter/producer/video director/computer programmer Todd Rundgren might want to slow things down, perhaps even think about retirement. Yet the mercurial artist doesn't want to hear anything of the sort, preferring instead to confound expectations as he has done consistently over his four decades as a performer.

Todd Rundgren performs Sunday, July 20, at House of Blues.
Subject(s):Todd Rundgren"You can add architect to the list of things I've done," Rundgren says over the phone from Los Angeles, the first stop on his tour to support the recently issued Arena. "I just finished building a new house, which I designed myself."
Rundgren's chameleon-like career has taken him from the garage rock group Nazz (formed in 1967) and through a highly successful singer-songwriter phase (his 1972 album Something/Anything? is considered a power pop high-water mark) that ran concurrently with his membership in the progressive rock outfit Utopia. And since the last Utopia effort (1986's Trivia), Rundgren has continued his solo career while producing albums by XTC, The Psychedelic Furs, Cheap Trick, Badfinger, Bad Religion and many others. Indeed, Rundgren views his production work as just another part of his artistry.
"Producing has allowed me to expand my own horizons as a musician," says Rundgren. "I haven't loved every band I've produced, but I have learned from all of them."
The sessions with XTC for the Skylarking album were especially contentious (Rundgren describes those recordings as "a lot of pushing and shoving"), but Rundgren seems to relish the artistic gold that animosity can unearth. In late 2005, Rundgren raised eyebrows (and the ire of original vocalist Ric Ocasek) when he decided to join Elliot Easton and Greg Hawkes in a re-formed version of The Cars. Stepping in for Ocasek, Rundgren fronted The New Cars with his typical professionalism, and the performances and resulting live album were well-received.
"The fans of The Cars have a lot of loyalty to that band," says Rundgren. "They were very open to me, and I think they got more than they expected in that the old Cars were notoriously stoic, and we certainly moved around and smiled more."
Rundgren's participation in The New Cars seems to have revitalized him too. His most recent solo recordings bristle with a focus and spirit not seen since the halcyon days of Hermit of Mink Hollow (and hits such as "Hello, It's Me" and "Can We Still Be Friends?").
Arena, much like his 2004 effort, Liars, is punchy, well-constructed power pop, full of hooks, riffs and sing-along choruses. Plus, it boasts lyrics that touch on the political, as well as the personal.
"The most challenging part is always the writing," Rundgren admits. "[But] as long as I write good material, the mixing and producing is second nature."
You'd imagine it has to be at this point.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

live shots from ARENA tour

Todd Rundgren's song property lego version..


Upcoming Shows ( view all )

Jul 17 2008 8:00P
House of Blues San Diego, California
Jul 19 2008 8:00P
Antones Austin, Texas
Jul 20 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Dallas, Texas
Jul 21 2008 8:00P
Warehouse Live Houston, Texas
Jul 23 2008 8:00P
MO Pageant St Louis, Missouri
Jul 24 2008 8:00P
VOODOO @ Harrah’s Kansas City, Missouri
Jul 26 2008 8:00P
Nolas Rochester, New York
Jul 28 2008 8:00P
Bearsville Theater Bearsville, New York
Aug 1 2008 8:00P
The Tralf Buffalo, New York
Aug 2 2008 8:00P
Borgata Atlantic City, New Jersey
Nov 6 2008 8:00P
Academy 2 Manchester UK
Nov 7 2008 8:00P
Picture House Edinburgh UK
Nov 15 2008 8:00P
TROMP International Music Festival and Competition Opening Night Eindhoven
Nov 16 2008 8:00P
Harmonie Bonn
Nov 18 2008 8:00P
Rolling Stone Milan
Nov 20 2008 8:00P
Trabendo Paris
Nov 22 2008 8:00P
Waterfront Norwich
Nov 23 2008 7:30P
The Forum London
Dec 26 2008 8:00P
The Blender Theater @ Gramercy New York, New York