Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tickets still available for NYC shows
a hand full of great seats are available for the 16th show and about 6 stool tickets left for the 17th show

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rundgren visits DePauw campus

Rundgren visits DePauw campus
Thursday, April 9, 2009

He's been described as "rock's renaissance man," and on Wednesday night, Todd Rundgren was on the DePauw campus discussing music and technology. [Order this photo]

He's a renowned singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, record producer, video director and recording engineer.
In addition to having a successful career as a solo artist, he has worked with such acts as Meatloaf, Hall & Oates, The Tubes, New York Dolls, Cheap Trick and Grand Funk Railroad.

But on Tuesday, Todd Rundgren seemed to relish the opportunity to just be a musician kibbitzing with students about the ins and outs of the business when he visited DePauw University.

Rundgren did an interview with DePauw radio station WGRE. He then went to the DePauw Nature Park and enjoyed a catered dinner and conversation with students before speaking on "Music, Technology and Risk Taking" as part of DePauw's Ubben Lecture Series.

Rundgren called the title of his presentation a "page marker." He said he preferred to do things off the cuff and let them go in whatever direction they went.

"Ideally, you want to leave people with something practical," he said. "You want to talk about things they're interested in. It's the worst thing in the world to be boring. I know that, because I've been bored."

Rundgren has been involved in the music industry in some form or another pretty much since the day he graduated from high school. He formed his first band at the age of 18.

Rundgren said being a producer is "more than knowing what all the knobs do."

"There are a lot of unheralded aspects of being a producer," he said. "You also have to be a politician and a psychiatrist. You have to do some hand-holding and get between members of the band to work through things that probably should have been worked through before they got into the studio."

Originally, Rundgren only wanted to be a guitar player.

"I didn't have the fire in my belly for writing music at first," he said.

The band he formed just out of high school lasted about 18 months.

"The internal dynamic caused the whole thing to explode," he said.

Rundgren said when he realized the band needed new music, he stepped forward to write it. As he slowly began becoming more dominant in the band, the other members became resentful and the band disintegrated.

This led to Rundgren moving into producing ("I didn't want to be in a band and I wasn't ready to be a solo act"), and to his being labeled a "wunderkind" in the music business.

"I was really just young," he said. "Add a couple of years and it wouldn't have seemed so remarkable. The trick is, you just never believe your own hype. All I wanted was to make music, and as a fortunate consequence of that, I made a living."

Two of Rundgren's most popular ballads are "Hello, It's Me" (1973) and "Can We Still Be Friends" (1978).

"I don't really relate to any of my early stuff anymore," he said. "That's because a lot of it was fueled by this failed relationship. As your stuff gets older, you realize you're singing about things that mean less and less when you should be singing about things that mean more and more."

One of Rundgren's best-known works is the end-of-the-work-week radio staple "Bang the Drum All Day." The song, released in 1983, is played on radio stations nationwide on Friday afternoons, and has also become a celebration theme for sports teams such as the Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Rams.

"The success of that song is completely organic," he said. "It's purposely cynical. The record label wasn't taking it seriously and didn't hear it as a single. It was just something that popped into my head while I slept."

Rundgren said he believes the song became popular "solely because of the line about banging on the boss's head."

"It's a party anthem, and at least once a year I get a request to use it in a commercial or a movie," he said. "I hate playing it live, though. I feel ape-like. My hands get tired, my ears get tired. But the audience loves it."

At the dinner before he presented his lecture, Rundgren sat down to talk with a small group of DePauw students, most of whom were music majors.

"Music was never a commodity, it was always a service," he said. "Record companies want guaranteed income. The problem is, there are no Michael Jacksons anymore."

Rundgren said he considered services like iTunes "an impediment to people finding new artists."

"Who wants to pay to listen to something they might not like?" he said.

Something that will never change, Rundgren said, is that bands and solo artists alike must keep performing live.

"If you can't turn record sales into ticket sales, you're not going to be around long," he said. "There are plenty of acts who've had a good record and gone nowhere. It takes more than having a good record."

Rundgren admitted that he doesn't listen to a lot of new music (and doesn't own an iPod).

"It all kind of blends together," he said. "Linkin Park spawned a lot of little Linkin Parks, and they all sound the same."

Rundgren was accompanied at DePauw by his wife of 10 years, Michele, and his second oldest son, Randy (the Rundgrens also have a 22-year-old son, Keoni, and a 17-year-old son, Rebop).

"We've been together for 24 years. I was his backup singer," Michele said. "We got married on his 50th birthday. He said he wanted to do something scary."

Michele was impressed with both DePauw and Greencastle.

"This campus is just beautiful," she said. "As we were coming into town, it was like, 'Oh my God, we're in the middle of nowhere.' Then we got into Greencastle and it was just so quaint."

The Rundgrens split their time between homes in Kauai, Hawaii, and San Francisco.

Rundgren is currently on tour. He will be in Kentucky today, then will travel throughout the Northeast before ending the tour in Chicago. After that, he plans on traveling to Tulsa to see his oldest son Rex, a shortstop for the minor league Tulsa Drillers, play.

After that, he plans on acting as a counselor at a rock music camp in Los Angeles, then returning to his home in Hawaii for a bit of relaxation before hitting the road again in June.

Todd to tour with NY Dolls

from Billboard:

New York Dolls Revisit Roots On 'Sez So'

New York Dolls

April 13, 2009 08:37 AM ET

Laura Leebove, N.Y.
When the New York Dolls formed in 1971, they were greeted with a bevy of strong opinions. "People said, 'They're the best band,' or 'They're the worst band,' " frontman David Johansen recalls. "It was every kind of extreme reaction to what we were doing with music."

There's no denying that the Dolls' raw, provocative sound, combined with their gender-bending glam image and nonchalant attitude, created a legacy that would live long past their breakup in 1977.

Years later, acts including the Ramones and Kiss would claim the New York Dolls as an influence and today, their made-up faces appear on T-shirts worn by the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus and college-aged hipsters. But even though the band essentially defined punk music, it never really found commercial success.

In 2004, the three remaining Dolls (drummer Billy Murcia died during the band's first run; guitarist Johnny Thunders and drummer Jerry Nolan passed away in the interim) reunited to perform at London's Meltdown festival, at Morrissey's request. Bassist Arthur "Killer" Kane died from leukemia months after the gig, but Johansen, guitarist Sylvain Sylvain and the three newest members went on to release "One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This" in 2006 on Roadrunner Records.

Manager Ron Stone says that even though he felt "One Day" was a solid album, it took the band time to "get its sea legs." "It didn't do what I think they hoped it would do, which was to kind of energize this particular generation about who they are," he says.

At this point, the new lineup has been together almost as long as the first — a feat, considering its rocky past — and with the May 5 release of " 'Cause I Sez So" on Rhino Entertainment's Atco Records, the Dolls might get their commercial due.

Rhino senior director of marketing Michael Kachko describes the Dolls as "more of a hip band than a hit band," noting that most people know the group's name but probably couldn't name two of its songs. "I think a New York Dolls album coming out excites a certain group of people, but not necessarily everybody," he says. "But I believe if another group listens to the record, they're going to get hooked."

" 'Cause I Sez So" finds the Dolls revisiting its roots in a few ways. As previously reported, the set reunites them with Todd Rundgren, who produced the 1973 debut, and also features a tamer, reggae-infused rerecording of the song "Trash" from the band's first album. On the night of the album release the band will perform at designer John Varvatos' store in Manhattan, located in the former location of CBGB, where the Dolls played in the '70s.

The group played two gigs at South by Southwest in March and will tour in mid-May, with Rundgren joining on several dates. Stone says the live shows are key because while the gigs will draw longtime listeners, they'll also give the younger crowd a chance to see the band for the first time. "I think for younger fans, it's this fascination they've heard about this band that existed in conversation for 20-some odd years, and that other bands constantly are crediting them," he says.

In addition to the tour, Kachko says he's aiming for a late-night TV performance slot and the label is in discussions with a major online partner to stream the album near its release. The album's title track will be marketed to radio as the first single, but it won't be the campaign's focus. "They are not a radio band," Kachko says. "We're not going to try to make them a radio band at this stage in the career."

But regardless of the album's success, it's clear that the Dolls still don't care what anyone thinks. "We don't really pay that much attention to what anyone else does," Johansen says. "We just have this idea of what rock'n'roll should be and how it should swing, and that's how we play."


upped on youtube by imharpo

VIDEO: Utopia...communion with the sun

upped on youtube by im harpo