Saturday, April 2, 2011

Video: Black Maria - Road to Utopia with Prairie Prince and Bobby Strickland


breaking news: Todd to appear on AMERICAN IDOL

in 2 weeks Todd will appear on American Idol in a producer role.
Finally he is being recognized for his incredible work.

Review: Todd Rundgren hits mark revisiting classics

Review: Todd Rundgren hits mark revisiting classics
Saturday, April 2, 2011 12:54 AM
By Curtis Schieber

For The Columbus Dispatch
Todd Rundgren revealed more than a little of the trials of making rock 'n' roll for more than 40 years to an adoring crowd in the Southern Theatre last night by revisiting two old records, 1974's Todd and 1981's Healing in their entirety.

The first found the multi-instrumentalist, studio wiz, songwriter and singer beginning to ponder the traps and illusions of nearly a decade of hit-making, examining what Joni Mitchell called the "star-maker machinery behind the popular song."

Healing displayed not only the length of Rundgren's musical reach but his probing spirituality. The oddball Golden Goose provided brief comic relief to the message of self-determination, introspection and spiritual enlightenment that permeated the second half of the night.

Both albums found renewed resonance last night. The first, because the album originally about the composer's commercial and artistic ascent offers perspective on a career more recently on a plateau; the second, because there is more than enough international suffering today to provoke deep personal introspection.

Although Rundgren seemed to glean more meaning from Healing, Todd was an unbridled pleasure. An Elpee's Worth of Toons lampooned his role in the pop-music factory, although a younger audience might have missed the "LP" reference. A Dream Goes on Forever not only celebrated innocence lost but highlighted the paucity of such indelible melodies in today's charts. Surprisingly, the singer seemed to recall the hilarious, rapid-fire lyrics of Gilbert and Sullivan's Lord Chancellor's Nightmare Song, accurately 37 years-on.

A couple more songs showed Rundgren and his band's ability to jam hard on the composer's twist of '60s blues-rock vital as ever. Rundgren matched guitarist Jesse Gress on screaming solos injected throughout the show.

Healing displayed not only the length of Rundgren's musical reach but his probing spirituality.

The persistence of the message occasionally wore its welcome thin: Accompaniment from the fresh-faced Hocking College chorus elicited a near-Up With People moment during the Healing suite; Rundgren's free-range pacing while singing with head-set and no instrument suggested a motivational speaker.

Thankfully, the complexity of his music, the passion in its delivery and the sincerity of his performance eclipsed such criticism. In fact the Healing suite and its choral accompaniment provided the evening's most-powerful passages and best evidence for the program's wisdom

Useless Begging, Sidewalk Cafe, and Izzat Love & A Dream Goes on Forever from the Boston show at Berklee Performance Center, March 27, 2011

upped on youtube by DanstykMusic
Useless Begging, Sidewalk Cafe, and Izzat Love from the Boston show at Berklee Performance Center, March 27, 2011.

Friday, April 1, 2011

ebay "Toddlehead" bobblehead

All proceeds go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society North Florida Chapter - Pensacola, FL - MS Walk April 9, 2011

Approx 7" tall, resin figurine

Original packaging, It has not removed it completely from the styrofoam, only the top to take this picture. The person who organized the effort to make these did inspect them, I understand.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Todd Rundgren delivers psychedelic gem

Only Todd Rundgren could pull this off:

Band members decked out in what looked like pajamas made in an orange mescaline factory.

Four synthesizers playing at once, a full choir, a drummer who was wheeled on and off the stage behind his kit when needed. And when Prairie Prince wasn’t playing drums, he offered up a strangely effective tap dance that managed to be comical and still make musical sense.

There was unabashed theater at the Stranahan Wednesday night for Rundgren’s rock show, featuring a massive light display and music that veered from bombastic metal to spiritual meditations on the healing power of compassion.

All delivered by what appeared to be the coolest preacher on the planet.

In short, it was an aural and visual feast thanks to Rundgren and his exceptional five-piece band that kept the vast majority of the small but enthusiastic 614-person audience beaming.

The concert also was a reminder of his unique ability to balance between obscure eclecticism and commercial accessibility. Along with Frank Zappa and Sparks, Rundgren is one of the original prog rock jesters. And he’s also one of the great pop balladeers of his generation.

But he never repeats himself and he pays his core audience the ultimate tribute by not pandering to them.

So, no, he didn’t play “Hello It’s Me” or “Bang The Drum All Day” and while there were a few murmurs from folks who wanted to hear those pop hits, the expectation was that if you came to the show you would get the “Todd” album from 1974 and “Healing” from 1981 and that’s all. Promoted by Rundgren fans, this mini-tour is about paying back the devotees with some nostalgic weirdness that sounds surprisingly contemporary.

You can’t help but listen to much of this music in the context of what would come about seven years later via new wave and conclude that Rundgren was far more interesting as a composer than the folks he influenced. New Order versus Todd Rundgren? No contest.

Wearing a strange Sgt. Pepper-type outfit for the first set that featured the “Todd” album and an ensemble that featured a long white jacket and cream colored pants for the “Healing” portion of the show, Rundgren also brandished a technicolor Gibson SG that he used to remind everyone of just how overlooked he is as a guitarist.

The “Todd” album is a strange collection of songs that zig and zag from spare piano ballads to balls-to-the-wall rockers. There’s the short, lovely pop of “A Dream Goes on Forever” and the psychedelic soul of “The Last Ride,” which featured a blistering guitar solo. Rundgren worked the stage on all of them, using a cordless microphone and acting out many of the songs with hand gestures and strange dances when he wasn’t playing an instrument.

He botched the piano part on “Drunken Blue Rooster” and at times his voice was a bit ragged, but in a show filled with moving parts, the lack of mistakes and Spinal Tap-type errors was minimal.

The “Healing” songs were a revelation to anyone unfamiliar with that fairly obscure album. Its themes of compassion and forgiveness are delivered in a warm wash of synths and many of the songs feature a choir, resulting an uplifting and joyous vibe.

Rundgren hopped around the stage like the Easter Bunny gone mad on “Golden Goose.” And on the ruminative “Pulse” you could hear his bare feet going across the stage as he sang “step by step.” “Compassion” was a beautiful ballad and it was followed by the chaotic “Shine” with Rundgren’s guitar and the choir locked in an intense coda that built to a long climax.

His band featured long-time collaborators Prairie Prince, Greg Hawkes, Kasim Sulton, Jesse Gress, and Bobby Strickland and they played as a tight ensemble, occasionally clowning around and adding to the theatricality without ever showing up the music.

The opening act was the Psychodots out of Cincinnati. The band of Sylvania area transplants — Bob Nyswonger, Rob Fetters, and Chris Arduser — played a tight, 30-minute set that left you wanting another hour’s worth of their music.

The ‘dots have been working together for decades and they play in a tight power trio format that always sounds like a vintage sports car veering around hairpin curves without ever losing control. Arduser plays drums with a rare mix of power and finesse and Nyswonger on bass and Fetters on guitar seem to have a telepathic connection melodically.

With three strong songwriters, they managed to showcase each during the six song set. Highlights were Arduser’s “Keep Your Counsel,” Nyswonger’s “Veneer,” and Fetters’ “Heaven.” In a perfect universe, the Psychodots would be millionaires and you’d know all their songs and Justin Bieber would just be some cute kid trying to date your daughter.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Promo Sampler of todds Gigatone release "Reproductions"

pictures i took at the red bank show

Article: The Republic : catching up with Todd Rundgren
the Republic
Catching up with Todd Rundgren
By ROD LOCKWOOD - Toledo Blade March 29, 2011 - 11:53 am

Long ago, Todd Rundgren understood how the music industry works -- if your music sells, you're gold. If it doesn't, step aside for the next pretty face. He's never whined or embarrassed himself with pathetic attempts to maintain commercial relevance in the face of a market that's not so welcoming to his brand of creative expression.

Instead, Rundgren stayed busy.

This is an artist who has recorded some of the most enduringly popular blue-eyed soul ballads of his time -- "Hello, It's Me," "Can We Still Be Friends," "I Saw the Light," "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" -- while at the same time creating a series of epic synthesizer-heavy prog workouts that spanned entire album sides and were inaccessible to all but the most devoted Todd acolytes.

He produced seminal records by anti-establishment icons like Patti Smith, the New York Dolls and Janis Joplin. He also produced albums for pop stars Shaun Cassidy, Meat Loaf (including the massive hit "Bat Out Of Hell") and the Cars. Rundgren predicted the demise of the music industry a good 20 years before file-sharing came along. He was one of the first people to incorporate computers and video into the music, and basically was an early adapter to virtually every technological breakthrough that has occurred in the business over the past 40 years.

Rundgren has recorded hard rock, big pop hits (most notably "Bang on the Drum All Day," but also "Just One Victory" and "Real Man"), concept albums, bossa nova covers of his own work, soul music, jazz, and classical. His soon-to-be-released "Reproductions" features dance versions of some the songs he produced for other artists.

He's done it all while staying fundamentally cool. His hair is still dyed weird colors, he lives in what appears to be paradise in Hawaii and on one of his most recent tours to promote the "Liars" album he was resplendent in a crimson suit, cutting James Brown moves on the concert stage and ripping away on the guitar.

On the phone to talk about his latest tour, Rundgren was expansive and friendly. As expected, he's thoughtful and given to careful consideration of questions.

For example, here is his take on why musicians are such Todd fans. (Find any musician who came of age and played popular music in the '60s, '70s or '80s at any level. Odds are, he or she will gush over Rundgren.)

"I have not at some point been untrue to my own musical goals. I knew that I had a musical identity regardless of what kind of style of music was happening and I would go in and out of the shadows and make brief appearances in the light of day and then have to go back to toiling in the shadow of (the) Lady Gagas," he said.

"I think the temptation sometimes to pander is so great for musicians because failure represents not just simply that this record didn't do well, but an artist realizes that if you don't at some point gain the attention of the audience, then you will have to find something else to do. You can make music, but it will be in your bedroom, alone."

Youth defines the recording industry, which is why physical products such as records and compact discs have faded while MP3 and digital files are the more prevalent format. Think about it: Generally, how do young people choose to listen to music? Are they plugging a relatively cheap iPod into their ears and creating an individualized listening experience, or are they putting an album on and sitting down in front of speakers and sharing the music with others?

"Pretty much after the CD, that's when (record companies) started to lose control because that's when it all went ephemeral after that," Rundgren said.

"It's more about the way people listen to music. The youngsters, the core of the music audience -- the people who have a disposable income to spend on going to see their bands and buying their bands' music and other merchandise -- the industry has always understood that that's the domain of people 30 and under. Because after that, the greater majority of the audience is getting married and having to settle down and all that disposable income they had becomes their kids' allowance. Then their kids buy the music they want and the older you get, the less music you buy."

Rundgren doesn't have a problem with any of this. He embraces it and noted that being able to sell physical copies of music is a relatively new phenomenon compared to the history of music in general. Humans have been banging on drums all day and performing for each other for millennia. They've only been recording and selling it for about a hundred years.

"There are certainly reasons to complain because we're being made more responsible in a way. In other words, the gravy-train aspect of the music business -- like getting paid a couple hundred thousand dollars to make a crappy record that doesn't sell -- is gone," Rundgren said.

"Now we have to work harder for essentially the same amount of money and how is that different than anybody else these days? So I don't particularly give a lot of credence to the complaining. My answer is that you're still lucky to be doing this rather than something way more boring for a living."

For Rundgren, performance is the essence of being a musician, and he said he will tour and play live until he "has one foot in the grave."

The shows were selected and promoted by the folks who run the "Internet Rundgren Radio Show." The themed concerts started two years ago with the presentation of the album "A Wizard, A True Star" and they polled fans on what complete albums they wanted Rundgren to perform. The most recent result was "Todd." The more obscure "Healing" was added by Rundgren as a gift to his hard-core fans.

Rundgren said fans can expect faithful renditions of the songs.

"I'm not beyond making minor changes to things, but I don't think that's the object. People aren't interested in listening to brand-new versions. They're interested in listening to the originals because for some of them there's an element of reminiscence in there," he said.

"They get transported back to their youth and the kind of music they listened to and the events they would go to when they were younger."

Just don't expect Rundgren to go on a never-ending "Todd" and "Healing" tour.

"For me, life's too short to just keep repeating yourself all the time. A lot of people think, 'OK, I'm out of school now, I don't have to learn anything.' I always thought that when you stop learning things, that's the first sign of death.

"That's when you start dying -- when you stop learning. I've always felt that certainly with the music and every other aspect of my life. I need to absorb other ideas, I need to ruminate on them, I need to create new ideas or I feel like I've given up and the next step is (to) die."

(Contact Rod Lockwood at rlockwood(at)