Saturday, April 11, 2009

VIDEO:Todd Rundgren at The Revolution Live - Pissin

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RundgrenRadio upcoming shows

Upcoming Episodes Rundgren Radio with Jim Colgrove and John Holbrook
Rundgren Radio
Date / Time: 4/14/2009 8:30 PM

Category: Music

Call-in Number: (646) 716-9262

Jim Colgrove played on Todd's recording of "Piss Aaron" from the Something/Anything? album and is a member of the band "Great Speckled Bird". John Holbrook engineered for Utopia and is the sped up voice on 'Singring And The Glass Guitar" from their RA album. He also engineered Roger Powell's album "Air Pocket".

Original Air Date: 4/10/2009 3:00 PM

A brief interview with Ken Owen, the facilitator of Todd Rundgren's lecture at DePauw University on 4/8/09, followed by a replay of the entire lecture/interview!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Advertisement: Nashville City Paper

Rundgren plucks nostalgia with guitar-dominated music
By: Ron Wynn,

Posted: Friday, April 10, 2009 12:00 am

Todd Rundgren, the legendary producer, songwriter and performer, will appear at The Belcourt at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Before last year's album Arena, famed producer/songwriter/instrumentalist and vocalist Todd Rundgren hadn't done a guitar-based release as a solo performer in many years.

"Well there's a nostalgic element involved with it, which is probably one of the reasons I hadn't done that kind of record in a while," Rundgren said.

But there was a more practical element involved as well.

"I had been working with The New Cars, and we were planning this lengthy tour. Then there was an accident on the road, a key group member got hurt, and I had all this time and wanted to do something with it. So we put together a real guitar-oriented record, and spent eight months on the road doing the songs, and got a really good reaction. Now we're back on the road again, and we're still getting excellent reaction to the music, so I guess it was a good decision."

Rundgren, who'll appear Sunday night at The Belcourt, has produced and played numerous types of pop and rock since his formative days as a member of the Philadelphia blues-rock group Woody's Truck Stop.

And, he's been part of several influential bands: Nazz from 1967-1969, Runt from 1970-1972, and Utopia, which he led in various editions from 1976-1986.

Perhaps the best known of all, Utopia made both synthesizer-heavy progressive rock and fusion and also stripped-down, lighter pop material at different junctures, with such releases as A Wizard, A True Star, Todd Rundgren's Utopia, Oops! Wrong Planet and Oblivion.

Others may recognize him better as a composer, with such songs as "Bang the Drum All Day," "Hello, It's me," "International Feel," and "I Saw the Light" all well known hits.

Then there are those who consider him principally a producer who's supervised an extensive list of recordings and sessions with such bands as The Tom Robinson Band, Hall & Oates, Ian and Sylvia, Patti Smith, The Tubes, Cheap Trick, XTC, The New York Dolls, The Psychedelic Furs, The Band, Steve Hillage, Bad Religion and Badfinger.

"I don't really look at these things as separate or unconnected," Rundgren said when asked which of his many roles he enjoys the most. "I'm an artist who produces and writes. In one sense, it definitely helps as a producer to be a musician. But I don't produce sessions anymore unless I'm asked to come in on the recording. That way, when you make suggestions, they are respected rather than resented.

"It helps when you have a track record, because the musicians want your input, but it's still a question of making suggestions rather than trying to insist on someone doing something in the studio."

Arena features songs written, performed, produced, engineered and mixed by Rundgren at his new home in Hawaii. Besides being environmentally friendly in terms of design and use of energy, it also has a studio he designed and built.

With his current band that includes bassist Rachel Haden, guitarist/keyboardist Matt Bolton and guitarist Jesse Gress, Rundgren is continuing his hectic schedule of touring and producing (A New York Dolls CD he produced is slated for May release).

"We're going to be on the road pretty much most of the year," Rundgren said. "After that, there are a lot of other projects out there. But for now, the focus will be on playing this music from Arena. We really haven't gotten tired of it yet, and are still finding new things to do with it live."

What: An evening with Todd Rundgren
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: The Belcourt Theatre, 2102 Belcourt Ave.
Cost: $40
Info: 846-3150,

Advertisment: NY times

The 16th show still has some good seats the 17th show is almost sold out

TODD RUNDGREN (Thursday) Over the years Mr. Rundgren has dabbled in a variety of endeavors, from fronting the New Cars (which exists without the bassist Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000, and, perhaps more pressingly, without the Cars' original vocalist, Ric Ocasek) to recording odd electronic bits under the pseudonym TR-i (for Todd Rundgren interactive). His newest album, "Arena" (Hi-Fi Recordings), is fairly straightforward pop-rock, although you might not guess that from the cover, which features a shirtless Mr. Rundgren devilishly wielding a cymbal and an electric guitar. At 8 p.m. (6 p.m. seating), City Winery, 155 Varick Street, near Spring Street, South Village, (212) 608-0555,; $35 for bar stools; $45 for reserved tables; $60 for reserved best tables; $60 for V.I.P. seating.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Article: Columbus Dispatch COVER STORY
Musician still rockin' -- but now in low-tech style
Thursday, April 9, 2009 3:11 AM
By Kevin Joy
Todd Rundgren: "I explored online communities early on."

Todd Rundgren: "I explored online communities early on."

Todd Rundgren is getting back to basics.

The rocker -- who pioneered digital-music technologies (and unfettered access to them) decades before Napster, iTunes and MySpace -- is logging off (in spirit, at least) and focusing on music, not megabytes.

His 19th studio album, Arena, is being heralded as a throwback, to a time long before familiar hits such as Hello It's Me and Bang the Drum All Day took a back seat to an experimental catalog of progressive rock, jazz fusion and even rap.

Yet the man whose Time Heals music video in 1981 was only the second clip shown on MTV has seemingly eschewed the technological habits of today -- no cell phone, no Facebook and certainly no Twitter.

He avoids Internet message boards and finds the idea of iPods a concern for album-oriented musicians such as himself who don't make a living from Top 40 radio singles. Even blogs, he said, have become too nasty.

Meanwhile, Rundgren's PatroNet project -- an online music-subscription service launched in 1998 -- was recently put on hiatus because of technical difficulties posed by the release of Windows Vista.

"I explored online communities early on," he said. "As time went on, I'm circumspect about some technologies."

It wasn't always that way.

In 1978, Rundgren performed what was considered the first interactive concert -- a midnight set at the state fairgrounds via the Warner/Qube system that allowed home viewers to dictate the show's set list in real time.

"As I recall, the Qube box would give . . . (home viewers) three or four options (of songs they wanted to hear)," said Rundgren, 60. "It was a fun experiment at the time, but it could become predictable."

Likewise, his albums were experimental in their day: No World Order from 1993 allowed listeners to remix tunes on their computers, while his 1995 release, The Individualist, was the first "enhanced" compact disc, with a video-game component.

The music morphed, too, to fit his ever-changing style.

His shows throughout the years have been equally varied -- including acoustic solo gigs, bossa-nova-infused lounge-style acts and high-volume spectacles complete with Day-Glo suits and video screens.

Although his early radio tunes remain best-known, as do his prog-rock collaborations with former backing band Utopia, crowds needn't expect a greatest-hits set list.

"Most of my audiences know that you don't go to a show with specific expectations," Rundgren said. "Since Utopia broke up, I would do solo shows, R&B revues.

"I would barely touch the guitar without playing in a supergroup" such as the New Cars (he joined the 2005 reunion and brief tour to fill the role of former Cars lead singer Ric Ocasek).

Yet the concert Friday ought to seem plenty familiar.

"We're doing pretty much straight-up, '70s-style arena rock -- sans the smoke bombs and pillars of flames," Rundgren said. "For a lot of my longtime fans, it's something they have missed."

Also a producer for dozens of popular musicians -- including Cheap Trick, Meat Loaf and the New York Dolls, with whom he reunited this year to handle the veteran rockers' fourth album -- he mixed his Arena album on an Apple laptop (and played all of the instruments), proving that the digital spark hasn't faded entirely.

"It's a very guitar-oriented record," Rundgren said. "I don't have guest rappers."

But if he did?

"I'd probably have Lil Wayne. My kids seem to like him."

Radio interview: Nashville 105.9 the rock

Be Guided By Your Instincts, Not the Marketplace, Rock Legend Todd Rundgren Says in Ubben Lecture

please visit the site link below to also download videos from presentation.

Be Guided By Your Instincts, Not the Marketplace, Rock Legend Todd Rundgren Says in Ubben Lecture
April 8, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — "Music as a career is always a longshot," legendary singer, songwriter and producer Todd Rundgren told an audience at DePauw University tonight. In his Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture, "Music, Technology and Risk-Taking," Rundgren offered, "the worst thing that can happen is you trade your love of music along the way for the success of trying to capitalize off of the music."

Rundgren is the producer of dozens of albums for other artists, including Hall & Oates, Meat Loaf and Patti Smith, and has remained an active recording artist himself since 1968. In his presentation in Kresge Auditorium of DePauw's Green Center for the Performing Arts, Rundgren discussed his work in the music business -- including his media-driven feud with John Lennon in the 1970s and his thoughts on the industry today -- as well as his work as a software developer and music video pioneer.

The lecture was Rundgren's first in the Midwest. He regularly speaks at music industry and technology conferences on the coasts.

In a discussion with Ken Owen '82, executive director of media relations and coordinator of the Ubben Lecture Series, Rundgren discussed how he left the seminal prog-pop band the Nazz, became an engineer, and eventually released the solo albums Runt and Ballad of Todd Rundgren. He called his early recordings "a phase I needed to go through, but it wasn't the destination." By the time Something/Anything?, his all-time best-selling album, was released in 1972, "I was becoming formulaic," Rundgren told the audience, noting that his hit, 'I Saw The Light' was penned in just 15 minutes. "The song form that I had developed on the previous album became habitual."

There were some experimental flourishes on Something/Anything?, Rundgren reminded his audience, and he explored those alternative styles and sounds with abandon on A Wizard, A True Star and the albums that followed. Rundgren says he stopped viewing albums as a collection of 5-to-6 songs gathered on a side of vinyl to a blank canvas that could be numerous fragments or one prolonged piece, perhaps containing a pastiche of music and ambient sound snippets. "I started trying to map the relative chaos in my head -- all the different musical fragments and all the directions they might go into -- onto this blank canvas."

Initiation and its Egyptology and Faithful, which featured a side of note-for-note remakes of classic songs originally recorded by others, confounded critics and fans alike. Even Rundgren's latest record, Arena, is guitar-heavy anthemic rock that would sound at home on late '70s radio. What has caused Rundgren to defy expecations, time and again? ] "It isn't rebellion, per se. It's like what have you got to lose by taking the chance at the time," he said with a laugh.

Rundgren was a red hot producer of other artists, which became his main source of income and afforded him artistic liberties other musicians did not enjoy. "It's been fortunate for me that I've had the production to underwrite my lifestyle because that frees me when I make a record not to have to consider whether I will be required to survive off that record. I never am."

Rundgren discussed how his work led to the creation of an early computer graphics paint-box program, and how his No World Order, the world's first interactive music album, allowed users to dip into a database of snippets to create customized musical experiences to fit their mood.

In the early 1990s. Rundgren was called upon by the Warner Full Service cable network, which expressed interest in putting music on a database, which cable customers could draw from for a monthly fee.

"The end result was that they refused to put their stuff on a server, refused to consider putting their stuff on a server, and within like 3 years Napster was eating their lunch. And they are so slow on picking up on this thing that to this day they haven't caught up; to this day somebody else, besides the record labels, has had to take the initiative," Rundgren told the DePauw audience.

Rundgren says music has historically been a service, and it was not until Thomas Edison invented the phonograph record that music came to be regarded as a product. In the days before record players, musicians buttered their bread performing for audiences, not waiting for royalty checks on platters they were selling.

"Before there was ever a record industry and long after there is whatever this stage the record industry is going through, musicians will make their living playing music -- they'll play it for people and people will come to hear it," Rundgren declared. "The best music that will be made will done in a live context. People will do their best to reproduce that good music in a recording context, but that's part of the challenge," and will be an increasingly insignificant part of an artists' business model, he says.

As a producer, Rundgren has helmed projects for the Psychedelic Furs, XTC, Fanny, Alice Cooper and Cheap Trick, as well as Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell, the #9 all-time best-selling record worldwide (on which he also plays lead guitar). His latest project, the new album by the New York Dolls, hits stores next month.

"Here's what I tell every act that I produce: The label wants you to come up with a single. Nobody knows what the hell a single is; a hit single was something that happened. You can't say something's a hit single before it happens. They may speculate it is and make all their best efforts to make it be a hit single, but the problem is, if you do a song just for the sake of it being a single and you don't fully believe in it and it doesn't become a hit, then you've got [it] staring you in the face for the rest of your career. You know, you did something that you didn't really feel that good about because you thought someone was gonna turn it into gold," Rundgren chuckled. "You don't focus on the singles, you make the best songs you can."

Rundgren grew up at a time when the Beatles were invading America, which stoked his interest in music and learning guitar, and seeing the film Forbidden Planet as a child made him long for a robot for friendship and protection, creating an early fascination with technology. In his lifetime, he has seen amazing change. "It's like the discovery of electricity again," he noted. "All of these things we take for granted now -- the ubiquitous communication that we have -- that did not exist 50 years ago."

The man who's been called "rock's Renaissance man" and is viewed as a technology-embracing maverick likely surprised some in the crowd when he exclaimed, ] "I don't own a cell phone, I don't Tweet, I don't blog, I think the automobile is one of the biggest mistakes humankind has ever made and I would love to see some way to ameliorate that," Rundgren said. "I'm getting to a point now where I want certain technologies to disappear, as opposed to new ones appear. Maybe that's just me becoming old and crotchety," the 60-year-old performer said. "When I imagine the future, I don't imagine immediate boons from these things. The reason why I don't own a cell phone and the reason why I don't Tweet and the reason why I don't blog have nothing to do with the technologies; it has to do with the kind of behaviors that it elicits in other human beings that I just don't want to have anything to do with. Some anonymous clown who will say things he would never say to your face just because he's got a keyboard and a remote connection."

With all the ways we have to communicate, Rundgren wonders, "Is everything we have to say that important? It's essentially gotten to the point where people put no value on listening; they put all the value on talking and no value on listening."

The composer of such hits as "Hello It's Me," "Can We Still Be Friends" and "Bang the Drum All Day" encouraged DePauw students to put their convictions and hard work into whatever they choose to do with their lives. "I want my material to at least mean something to me and effort increases the value of things. Things that you don't put any effort into don't have any value, so just the effort of coming up with new directions for me revaluates what I'm trying to do," Rundgren said.

"The only thing I want out of this is to be able to look back on what I've done and, as I say, feel like I made an attempt at the time, that I wasn't shuckin', that I wasn't trying to do something because I thought I had a better idea of what somebody else wanted," Rundgren told the crowd. "I have always been willing to just let the audience be the arbiter, and if they don't respond to what I do I'll go back to that other thing or I'll find some other thing to do. But my response to that rejection is not going to be 'Oh what do you want,' you know?"

Todd Rundgren's day at DePauw began with a visit to student radio station WGRE, where he was interviewed and met with the staff. He then attended a barbecue with approximately 25 DePauw students at the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics. As a photo above illustrates, the undergraduates had an opportunity to talk with Rundgren individually and in small groups for more than an hour. After his Ubben Lecture, Rundgren visited the new recording studio in the Green Center and listened to a recording by sophomore Seth Tsui (seen at right).

[Download Video: "A Reflective Rundgren" - 880kb] "It's not going to make you friends, just being a musician. It may make you a lot of enemies," joked Rundgren, who came to DePauw on a night off from his current concert tour to support Arena. "At the same time, I have no regrets about it. I knew early on I was a musician and I feel fortunate that I'm making a living at it at this particular age, and I don't plan to quit," he said to applause.

Established in 1986 through the generous support of 1958 DePauw graduates Timothy H. and Sharon Williams Ubben, the Ubben Lecture Series welcomed David Plouffe, Barack Obama's presidential campaign manager, to the Greencastle campus last month. Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, was a Fall 2008 guest. Award-winning journalist Jane Pauley will speak April 17.

To view a complete roster of Ubben Lecturers -- which includes links to video clips and news stories of speakers such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Tony Blair, Harry Belafonte, Margaret Thatcher, Mike Krzyzewski, General Colin Powell, Elie Wiesel and Benazir Bhutto -- click here.

A video retrospective of the Ubben Lecture Series -- produced by DePauw students -- was premiered in June 2008 over Alumni Reunion Weekend. Read about the project, and view the piece, via this article.

Monday, April 6, 2009

RundgrenRadio: Dave Mason 4/7/09

David co-wrote Utopia Theme and most Todd fans don't know a lot about him and his time with Utopia but that's about to change. He has also toured with Joe Walsh and Jackson Browne.
Tuesday, 8:30pm ET.