Saturday, January 24, 2009

Arena cd review: audiophile audition

Todd Rundgren – Arena – Hi-Fi
Todd Rundgren has created an album of sure handed artistry proving that experience is still a potent factor in rock.

Published on January 24, 2009

Todd Rundgren – Arena – Hi-Fi HF1002, 56:42 *****:

Amongst the bands that surfaced during rock’s Cambrian explosion in 1967 was the talented garage band Nazz featuring Todd Rundgren. As a singer/songwriter/producer with a strong aptitude for the technical aspects of recording Rundgren has fashioned a lengthy career with multiple artistic peaks and several classic recordings. Songs such as the 1973 top ten hit “Hello It’s Me” featured Rundgren’s talent for producing multi-layered recordings. His work was always tastefully textured into an aural chainmail metal that was neatly woven into an elegant custom fit. After a long and successful career Rundgren might have retired confident in the musical legacy he had left behind. But like all artists with a restless spirit silence is simply not an option.

Arena is Rundgren’s first studio album in four years and in every respect it is a paradigm of what has distinguished his best work over the years. Superficially it may be described as guitar-driven rock with one foot in the glorious past and the other foot firmly planted in today’s music scene. The discerning ear can hear echoes of rock’s last four decades as distilled through Rundgren’s unerring artistic gifts. Touches of Boston and of David Crosby or Neil Young backed by gorgeous CSN&Y style harmonies weave their way through several of Rundgren’s Technicolor palette of 13 new songs. Hard-core metal alternately overpowers and seduces because Rundgren possesses a supremely well-crafted melodic sensibility that he is never hesitant to deploy.

From the beautiful acoustic introduction of the first track “Mad” which quickly metals-up into a Pete Townshend rage we are led into another gorgeous series of acoustic arpeggios and the splendid second track “Afraid”. By the time we reach the third track, “Mercenary,” with its insistent cries of “How do you like me now?” and glorious guitar licks that Rundgren wields like a fist made of sound we are hooked for good. Rundgren adopts a Rage Against the Machine persona on several songs: his anger is palpable and it’s obvious he never allows himself to become too comfortable anywhere on this restless, questing album.

There are songs like the tastefully melodic “Courage” and the memorable “Weakness” - which is a bluesy love song of aching beauty and insistent power - that haunt the listener like old-school Rundgren singles. Whether his voice is heartbreaking or shrill it is always expressive. These songs are reminders of what this artist has achieved and strong indications that much still remains. Todd Rundgren has created an album of sure-handed artistry proving that experience is still a potent factor in rock, despite the music industry’s constant craving for the ephemera of the new.

The recorded sound on this CD is warm and spatially well-focused. Its production values are superb as expected given this record’s provenance. The guitars have a gritty punch in the louder passages and a pristine bell-like resonance in the softer acoustic ones. There is not a hint of distortion even when the music is played extremely loud.

-- Mike Birman

70's show singing.... hello its me

Friday, January 23, 2009

special announcement tonight

Rundgren Radio will be airing a SPECIAL EDITION show tonight to give
all the details of the KASIM SULTON DVD RELEASE PARTY to be held in
Tampa FL on 2/28/09! at 6:30pm ET

If you want the short and skinny before then ...


this is from todds myspace page

I have been receiving a lot of questions regarding an AWATS tour. I absolutely think its a GREAT idea and who knows maybe one day it might happen. I can only push for it. However , there is no plan of it at this moment. People have made speculation based on a rumor. If it becomes any more then I rumor YOU will be the first to know...just after us that is.

Hope you have a fab weekend all.


ps I think Eric Gardner my kick ass boss man is going to do the Rundgren Radio show. You will love him... he has great stories.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

RundgrenRadio updates

Show starts at 8:30pm ET

Michele returns tonight and will be on the webcam again!

Also on tonight's show we may be making an announcement that Kasim
fans might want to hear!

Ed Vigdor on 1/27 and yes we will be asking him WTH is taking so long
on the Toddstock video .

Prairie Prince on 2/3.

John Ferenzik, Greg Hawkes, and Roger Powell will all be on a show on
2/10. Keyboards Special!

Jesse Gress on 2/17 (tentatively scheduled)

Mary Lou Arnold on 2/24 (tentatively scheduled)

Eric Gardner on 3/3 (tentatively scheduled)

John Siegler on 3/10

And ... we found David Mason -- the Utopian keyboardist not the
guitar player! Working on getting him on a show which would complete
our goal to have every single Utopian on a show.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Happy Belated New Year Ya'll sure has been a while!! I hope you all had a great holiday season. I have been pretty much straight out since before Christmas. I do believe it is the new pace of my life! lets catch up... NYE in Philadelphia was sooo much fun! I didnt know I was actually going till the afternoon of day before. The band kicked some serious ass. Other then the sub zero temp it was perfect. But thats probably my fault...really who goes to Philadelphia in the middle of winter wearing a couple of sweaters? ( silly LA girls!!!) After the tour Todd headed back to Hawaii where he has been sequestered with the NY Dolls. They should be done laying down tracks before too long. Got an email from Todd this morning saying it may be the best NY Dolls record to date. No tour dates planned yet for the new year. I will let you know as things progress. xxlynn

VIDEO: Weakness multi camera Boulder CO