Saturday, November 21, 2009

VIDEO: nUtopia Chicago, IL 9/13/2009 carravan and the ikon

upped on youtube by gregster138
Former members of Utopia, Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton, and Roger Powell reunite, along with drummer Prairie Prince for A Wizard, A True Star Live at Park West in Chicago.

OLD REVIEW: Patti Smith on AWATS in CREAM mag

Before she began her singing career, and at the same time she was writing books of poetry, Patti Smith also wrote music articles for Creem magazine. This one comes from April 1973. She reviews Todd's then-recent album. As with her songs and poems, Patti was also a very interesting and singular critic, with unique insights into music…

Todd's Electric Exploitation

Ya know where Greaser's Palace ends? That solar burst. The zoot suit Jesus returns to light. Physical atomic end. Well that's where Todd's record begins. Side one is pure brain rocket. Rock and roll for the skull. Todd Rundgren's season in hell.
Put the record on. Internal voyage is not burnt out. Thank the stars for that. Now you got your system of brain travel, Todd got the plane. You're gonna zoom but beware. What he does is very tricky. Mildly sinister. But I give you the satisfaction that all pain on his ticket is well spent. It beings glowing enough. Like a sacred drug. "International Feel." Very Beaudelaire. Very godhead. And when he moves to "I Know I Know" you know. For one ecstatic moment you've gone beyond the point of pain into the realm of pure intellect.
I know, here is where I got caught. Not prepared for a transition like "Neverland." Brutally nostalgic. I got that era under my belt. All about toyland. Once you leave no turning back. Well, why did Todd pull us back? The terror of beauty makes one momentarily bitter. First star to the right and straight on till morning. "Neverland" permanently poisons and sweetens. Gives a subconscious aftertaste. Tinges the whole record with Walt Disney. Also torments and slides you into journey a little weak above the belt. As side one progresses you age. There's hair on your fingers.
Tic tic. Like the crocodile alarm that pleasantly ticked away Captain Hook's lifeline, goodie good is wearing off. The move is maniac. Screeching monotone which eliminates mouth, limb and crotch but exalts in brain power. MIT science fiction. The next religion.
Even more ear-itating is "Rock'n'Roll Pussy." Autobiographic as a brainiac. "I'm in the Clique" comes back as "Shove it up your ass, I'm the clique myself." Sexual power is moving up the spine into the skull. It's manic it's magnificent.
Am I getting abstract? It doesn't matter. Music is pure mathematics. And what is more abstract than trigonometry? Todd is further mystery than Greek. You can't plot out his journey so easy. Marco Polo was a natural. Electric exploitation is never predictable.
But beauty is just that. The flamingos that wave you into "Zen Archer" leave you breathless. Happy death. And "Zen Archer" is full of wonder. Beautiful. I'm almost embarrassed to get so worked up over its brilliance. An elegy. Very German. Who did kill Cock Robin? An expression of his guilt? It makes one dizzy. Uncomfortable. He exhibits certain powers, certain confusions. Naked emotion is very frightening. It's extended by Dave Sanborn's saxophone. Elegant and moving as a high and spiraling tombstone.
His language is getting more sophisticated as is his humor and anger. Moving in a very valiant poetry.
The blessings of the turtles/ the eggs lay on the lawn.
Obscure images in "Da Da Dali." Very painterly. Also very Rodgers and Hart. Oh Jesus where are we on this journey; All adolescence out the window. Fags, fag hags, weaklings, minor visionaries and paranoids caught in the cyclone. For the chosen ones there is one last splash in drug soup and up the yellow brick road to Utopia.
That's how it hit me. Sound you can't describe, only experience. Side one is double dose. It takes the bull by the brain. Another point to be examined. He's always been eclectic. Why didn't he care? The evidence is here. Something very magical is happening. The man is magi chef. His influences are homogenizings. Like a coat of many colors. May be someone else's paintbox but the coat is all his. A Gershwin tone some Mr. Kite solid Motown early Rundgren. Several other colors. Telescoping sounds. All manipulated by a higher force. Production itself a form to be reckoned with. The conductor is often more blessed than the orchestra.
There are two sides to every record. Excluding Second Winter. So turn over. This is de soul side. White boys got it you know. Especially ones from Philadelphia. "Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel" is eighty per cent spade. It touches. I hope Motown grabs it and pumps it Top 40. "I Don't Want to Tie You Down" touches too. "The balance of our minds together/ The perfect give and take." Girl and boy move to man and woman.
Todd does a soul medley. The way he does "Ooo Baby Baby." I know he's no Smokey but I'm addicted to his throat. Cracks and all. I find Todd's voice very sexy; it makes me feel teen-age. Less than perfect but a bit boozier than last shots. The way he does "Cool Jerk" is genius. Real cartoon. Goofy and Daffy Duck are there. Roller skates, Coney Island laughter, the mad bomber. Jesus, sometimes I think he's crazy. Certainly not an earthling. The way he transforms mundane to miracle.
The motherfucker is "Is It My Name?" All the animal energy is in this one. A song that self-destructs. Dirty joke…flaming guitar…the cunt…the man to kick in your brains. It's all there. I love it. Never has he seemed more like a son of a bitch. In fact that's another move on this album. Not only is the quality of his intellect heightened but his emotions. This is the least predictable. The one closest to sainthood and hatchet murder.

My voice goes so high
You would think I was gay
But I play my guitar in such
a mancock way
You only love me for my machine…
"Is It My Name"

Moving into "Just One Victory." A Rundgren classic. Very much a single. Though I would die to hear "International Feel" on the radio. To cruise at suicidal speed down the great highway with "I.F." at full blast:

International feel
And there's more
Interstellar appeal
Still there's more
Universal ideal…

Each album he vomits like a diary. Each page closer to the stars. Process is the point. A kaleidoscoping view. Blasphemy even the gods smile on. Rock and roll for the skull. A very noble concept. Past present and tomorrow in one glance. Understanding through musical sensation. Todd Rundgren is preparing us for a generation of frenzied children who will dream in animation.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Official AWATS California poster!!! is proud to introduce the official AWATS California poster -- now available at!!!!!!!

Poster design: Bill Bricker. Photo: Jean Lannen.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

PR Article Yahoo Finance section HIT THE BUZZ IT UP BUTTON !!

Todd Rundgren Plans More Full-Album Shows in California
Press Release
On 10:08 am EST, Wednesday November 18, 2009
Buzz up! 0 Print
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Todd Rundgren is announcing four more full-album performances next month in California. The concerts will include an opening set featuring some songs he's never performed before live ---- Keeping his fans guessing, Todd has chosen not to comment on whether these songs are new material for an upcoming release or songs from previous albums.

Beginning December 1, at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco, Todd and his six-piece star-studded band will play the 1973 classic album "A Wizard, A True Star" in its entirety for the first time ever on the West Coast. Band members include: Utopia and Meatloaf bassist, Kasim Sulton; Tubes and Jefferson Starship drummer, Prairie Prince; keyboardist and founding member of The Cars, Greg Hawkes; Todd Rundgren's Utopia keyboardist, Ralph Schuckett; percussionist and horn player, Bobby Strickland; and lead guitarist and former music editor of Guitar Player magazine, Jesse Gress.

Rundgren has only performed the AWATS album live in its entirety seven times. The first ever performance on September 6th of this year was presented in Akron, OH, by two fans-turned-promoters from The results were a sold out show, critical raves and unbridled fan demand for more performances.

The AWATS Live performance features not only the music but an elaborate stage extravaganza with multiple costume changes. According to Rundgren, the album was from an era when most artists were offering production-oriented live performances. "People were wearing costumes and they had special effects and lasers and that sort of stuff to enhance the shows. We'll truck a bunch of that out as well ... it's not just the music of the era; it's a presentation in the style of that era."

The California mini-tour :

December 1st in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre

December 2nd in Sacramento at the Crest Theatre

December 4th in Los Angeles at the Orpheum Theatre

December 5th in Ventura at the Majestic Theatre.

Ticket ordering information is available on Todd and the band will take the show overseas in February 2010.

"A Wizard, A True Star" was included in the 2006 musical reference book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 2003, British music critic Barney Hoskyns wrote in MOJO magazine that Rundgren's "A Wizard, A True Star" is simply the greatest album ever made.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Article :guitar player mag

Todd Rundgren is proud to announce the only West Coast live performances of his 1973 classic masterpiece, A Wizard, A True Star. AWATS has been long heralded by the rock press as a defining paradigm-shifting album, but until this year had incredibly never been performed in public in its entirety.

Couched within an elaborate stage extravaganza harkening back to the halcyon grandeur of 70’s arena glam rock productions, but in an intimate theater setting, AWATS Live is a rare opportunity to capture rock history in a bottle.

Backing Rundgren will be a six-piece star-studded band of legendary rock and roll veterans who will recreate each and every layer of vocals, guitars, synthesizers and studio chicanery of the elaborate psychedelic opus that is AWATS: Utopia and Meatloaf bassist and multi- instrumentalist Kasim Sulton; Tubes and Jefferson Starship drummer Prairie Prince; keyboardist and founding member of the Cars, Greg Hawkes; Todd Rundgren’s Utopia keyboardist, Ralph Schuckett; percussionist and horn player Bobby Strickland; and lead guitarist and former music editor of Guitar Player magazine, Jesse Gress.

Todd Rundgren’s 2009 AWATS Live dates are:

December 1 at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco

December 2 in Sacramento at the Crest Theatre

December 4 in Los Angeles at the Orpheum Theatre

December 5 in Ventura at the Majestic Theatre.