Saturday, March 26, 2011

top five cities

High Five
What counts in music today

By Sarah Rodman
Globe Staff / March 25, 2011
Over 40 years into a wildly diverse career, no one can accuse singer-songwriter-producer-technological visionary Todd Rundgren of slacking off. In addition to a five-show jaunt that brings him to the Berklee Performance Center on Sunday to play his albums “Todd’’ and “Healing’’ in full, Rundgren has a quirky pair of albums in the pipeline: one of Robert Johnson covers, the other a dance music album. In June he’ll convene Todd Rundgren’s Musical Survival Camp in the Catskills. (For more info check out When asked by phone from his home in Hawaii earlier this week what he’d like to opine about for his “High Five,’’ the genial genius offered up a handful of favorite cities graded highly for walkability, food, and folks.

TOKYO: From faithful fans to beautiful parks, Rundgren is a fan. “It’s a terrific place to walk around, that’s one of the things that makes a great city to me. That’s why LA will never be on my list.’’

NEW ORLEANS: “It’s still the global music stop, if you want to go to a city that’s just boiling with music in a way. You can’t go out the door without hearing something. When you talk about food, there is probably no other city, at least in the US, that takes its food so seriously.’’

VENICE: Rundgren cites the architecture and romantic ambience, but waxes most rhapsodic about the food. “I remember the first plate of pasta I had in Venice and it was like I had never had pasta before.’’

CHICAGO: “Of the cities I haven’t lived in, it’s far and away my favorite. The people in Chicago have a real sense of Chicago. They get really passionate about it.’’

KATHMANDU: A trip in the late ’70s had a profound effect. “It was this sort of peaceful enclave in a place where poverty and religious strife was all around, and yet you found this sense of peace there that was hard to locate in a lot of other places.’’

© Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company.

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