Saturday, September 12, 2009

videos: AWATS Stamford show UTOPIA REUNION +

upped on youtube by fflbrgst AKA MIKE B
The long-awaited Utopia reunion at the Palace Theater, Stamford, CT 9-9-09




Todd book now available for akron stamford and maryland shows

click on title above to bring you to web page
click on image to see larger version of this pic.

Friday, September 11, 2009


thanks Michele K for finding this

In Todd we trust
By Ross Raihala
Updated: 09/10/2009 12:16:10 PM CDT

Todd Rundgren In 1972, Todd Rundgren released "Something/Anything," an audacious double album of Beatles-esque power pop that produced two big hits, "I Saw the Light" and "Hello It's Me," and the promise that Rundgren could become one of the biggest artists of the '70s.

Few could have expected his next move, "A Wizard, a True Star." With its detours into doo-wop and classic soul, psychedelic song fragments and even a cover song from Broadway's "Peter Pan," the album confounded fans and critics. A Rolling Stone review at the time declared it "his most experimental, and annoying, effort to date ... most of it is dreck."

Not only did it derail Rundgren's commercial viability but it also marked the beginning of a decades-long career filled with equally odd, often bewildering artistic choices. And that, Rundgren said, was the whole idea.

"At the time, I was building a career as a record producer and engineer, not so much as an artist," Rundgren explained during a recent phone interview. "A lot of people mistook 'Something/Anything' as some sort of ideal, because it was commercially successful. But for me, there was no challenge to it. I was getting into a formula, and the thought of continuing to write about some relationship I had in high school was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life."

But a funny thing happened as Rundgren and chart success grew farther and farther apart. "A Wizard, a True Star" found a small but devoted following of fans who appreciated both its jarring twists and its intricate production. Tuesday at the State Theatre, Rundgren will do what once seemed unthinkable — perform the album in its entirety live onstage.
"The reaction to the record at the time was almost universally hostile," Rundgren said with a laugh. "The people at the record label couldn't figure out how to sell it. There were no singles or any considerations for how the music could be broken down. The label said it was tantamount to career suicide, and critics had pretty much the same reaction.

"For me, it was about expressing a kind of musical freedom, to expose myself more honestly to the people who were actually listening to the records. There weren't any easy handles to grab. It required effort to try to figure out what was going on. For me, it reflected what my internal musical world was like. Anyone who thought I was the male Carole King would have to revise that sentiment. I was not going to be comparable to other artists from that point on."

Still, the idea to launch a tour based on the album came not from Rundgren but from a British promoter who noticed a renewed interest in "A Wizard, a True Star" among young electronic and hip-hop musicians, some of whom have gone as far as to sample it in their own music. From there, Rundgren booked a one-off show in Akron, Ohio, with fan reaction turning that single performance into a seven-city U.S. tour.

More dates are likely, Rundgren said, due to the vast amount of work he's putting into the production. In other words, Rundgren and his band won't just stand there and play the album.

"Our recent tours have been very stripped down and incredibly old-fashioned, almost like a traveling medicine show in the Old West," he said. "This is more what I think everyone imagines an A-List artist would do. I'm getting out all the bells and whistles for this, and it's going to be one hell of a production. It's a gamble, because it means renting a larger hall and hiring a larger crew. But hopefully, people will feel like all the rigamarole and the higher ticket price is worth it."

Besides, Rundgren said, the record's fans practically demanded the '70s-style stage show, complete with costume changes and an eye-popping light show.

"Most of my audience has a mental movie they associate with it, and to simply play the music is almost disrespectful of how much they have invested into it," he said. "Everyone working on it with me is suffering from some combination of excitement and heart-stopping anxiety. My biggest challenge, ironically enough, is not remembering the words or hitting the notes. It's trying to get through those eight or nine costume changes."

Even more ironic is how serious Rundgren seems about pleasing his fans when the original record was about pleasing only himself.

"People will crap themselves," Rundgren said with a laugh. "If they do not crap themselves, we will have failed our mission."

What: Todd Rundgren performing his 1973 album, "A Wizard, a True Star." in its entirety, followed by a second set of other songs from his catalog

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.
Tickets: $42-$32
Call: 800-982-2787


click to view full size or for those of you like me that cant see with out reading glasses.. its a bitch getting old.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kasim's Blog... Check it out.. & tour info

Hello everyone,

Currently in Stamford CT for the third show on the AWATS tour.
Things are going well BUT ... there are somethings I wanted to bring to everyone's attention.
Mainly, my upcoming solo shows.
Here's what I have starting the second week in October.

Micho's Restaurant
35 Main Street
Reisterstown, MD 21136
Doors 8pm
$18 in advance
$20 at the door

Canal Street Tavern
308 E. First St. at the corner of Patterson Blvd.
Dayton, OH 45402

9 PM Showtime / doors 8 PM
Tickets: $10 day of show

*Their website has this show incorrectly listed as The Kasim Sulton Trio. I'll have my full band performing with me.
I'm going to need help on this one as it's a new venue for me and I need a decent turn out so I can return in the future.
So, if you live in the area, or have friends there, please let them know about this gig.

The Abbey Pub
3420 W. Grace Street
Chicago, IL 60618
Doors at 6:30 and show at 7pm.
Tickets $20 in advance and $25 at the door

812 Huron Avenue E.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
7PM doors, 9PM showtime
Tickets $20.00 day of show. (dinner reservations suggested for good seating)

So ... there you have it.
Please try and make one or more of these shows if possible.
It's my first time in a very long while with a full band and I'd love you to be there.





Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Books: hard cover souvenir books available



Article: post show review Beacon Journal

Rundgren turns back to '70s
By Malcolm X Abram
Beacon Journal music writer

POSTED: 06:54 p.m. EDT, Sep 07, 2009

Throughout his 40-year career, Todd Rundgren has seldom followed the latest musical/music business trends.

So when the singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer announced he would perform his 1972 album, A Wizard, A True Star in its entirety for the first time at the Akron Civic Theatre, it appeared that he was joining several other veteran acts such as Steely Dan and Aerosmith in the trend of playing classic albums.

But per usual, Rundgren didn't just do ''the usual,'' instead turning the live A.W.A.T.S. into an homage to the elaborately staged rock shows of the 1970s, complete with multiple costume changes, fancy lighting and an expanded ''all-star'' sextet band in white tuxes and tails.

Though the ''theatricalization'' of A.W.A.T.S. was known by fans, Rundgren did surprise many in the sold-out theater when the evening's opener turned out to be a reunion of Rundgren's eclectic prog/pop/rock band Utopia, which hasn't performed together in over a decade. They included original members keyboardist/singer Roger Powell and bassist/singer Kasim Sulton, and longtime Tubes/Rundgren drummer Prairie Prince, in place of John Wilcox.

''Hey, you're so kind. We're only the opening act,'' Rundgren said as the band, all wearing black jeans, sneakers and white tank tops performed a 40-minute-plus set that touched on both their arena rock ready tunes such as Hammer in My Heart and Abandon City, as well as its prog rock beginnings with a truncated version of the knotty half-hour piece Ikon, which allowed Rundgren, Powell and Sulton a few choruses each to show off their considerable instrumental chops.

As for the main event, Rundgren, 61, and his band successfully turned the odd, ambitious and endearing 55-m inute album into an odd, ambitious and endearing hour-plus visual and aural rock 'n' roll theater of the absurd. The opener, International Feel, found Rundgren entering the stage in a space suit, the first of eight costume changes that included a black tuxedo for the cover of Never Never Land, a foppish burgundy velvet jacket, pants and puffy shirt for You Don't Have to Camp Around, a shirt-less hippie/bird getup for Zen Archer and a fat costume that resembled the Tweedle Twins from Alice in Wonderland.

As one might expect with the world premiere of a show that involves costume and stop-start-on-a-dime quick musical changes, the show did not go off without a hitch. Rundgren had a few problems with his mic headset, a couple of times fans could hear him talking backstage while changing, one of the costume changes was premature, and the band missed a few cues. But for many Rundgren fans, those kinds of hiccups are a part of his appeal.

Musically, the band and Rundgren, who worked himself into a full body sweat, were solid, though as is frequently the case with rock shows at the Civic, fans not seated center stage got an uneven sound mix. Nevertheless, songs such as the guitar-driven Is It My Name rocked sufficiently and multi-instrumentalist and crowd favorite Bobby Strickland engaged in a saxophone/guitar duel with Rundgren on Zen Archer.

Rundgren stuck mostly to the album's 19 song (on CD) original running order, moving the fist-pumping When The S--- Hits the Fan/Le Feel Internationale from its spot at the end of Side A to the end and turning the album's closer, the concert staple Just One Victory, into a sing-along encore.

Presumably, as the nine-date minitour rolls into Chicago and eventually ends early next year in London, the miscues will have been ironed out, and the show will surely be tighter. But long-time Todd fans (the median age of the crowd was way north of 40) who have been watching and listening to Rundgren work out his wacky ideas on records and on stage for ye ars (TR-I, anyone?) know that witnessing the warts as well as the magic is all part of the fun.

Monday, September 7, 2009

video: akron awats show

if you search youtube you will find poor quality videos of the Akron AWATS performance. these are not mine.