Saturday, 25 April 2015

Uncle G Ponders...Ageism

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK)
25 April 2015      

So I'm checking out current news headlines on the Internet, and come across a story on Daily Mail Dot Com centering around 90's musician Tori Amos, defending pop icon, Madonna. It appears Madonna's been taking it on the chin for some time now. Her latest studio album, Rebel Heart, is tanking in sales. Interest is declining while criticism increases. She's not the Madonna of decades ago. Do you think it's her politics or her personal beliefs that she pushes in her music nowadays that has some long time fans, running for the hills? It did I. 

SAY WHAT? Yes, I'll admit it. For some time, I dug Madonna. That was back in the twentieth century. I suppose the last record she came out with that I liked, was her seventh one, called Ray Of Light (1998). After that I just stopped caring. The personality become more than I cared to handle.  

Quick Test: What's Madonna's last name?

The lady is so famous you know her nowadays by just her first name. Not the only female, but it is an achievement to be able to say that. Posing nude and an insatiable desire to be self sufficient, helped her achieve her goals. I admire the success story. Is it better than someone who started working in a factory sweeping floors, and through hard work and dedication, ended up high within the ranks of the companies personal? To some Madonna did questionable things in her quest to capture the gold ring. Remember, she started off with nothing. Used her feminine charms, as well as her skills in music to get the ball rolling. The rest shall they say is history. 

Test Answer: Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan, on August 16, 1958, to parents Silvio "Tony" Ciccone and Madonna Fortin. 

FYI: Madonna and I share the same birthday. She's three years older.

Tori Amos I first saw in concert with my wife, when Tori's third studio album came out, Boys For Pele (1996). A super talented lady. Like Madonna over the years, I kind of lost interest. Only temporary, for one day I'll decide to play catch up on whatever latest Tori added to her music catalog that I'm unaware of. And like many other bands / musicians, I LOVE her early albums. 



Here's a Uncle G Fun Fact. My last time arrested and taken to jail, was at a Tori Amos concert. Back in the late 1990's. Charges dropped by the way (and for the record). Another story for another day. 

In the story published yesterday, Tori makes some very good points on the subject of ageism. Identified and labeled as a brand of discrimination back in the early 1970's. It's always existed. Ironic, Madonna has a song title by the reason I give; Human Nature. I believe as we age, many of us just stop personally identifying with certain other age groups. I don't presently hate eight year olds. Just don't have much in common with them.  

As a whole humans appear to be more fixated on entertainment that highlights good looking people. Plenty out there. New talented young adults always on the horizon. Not as much baggage as the older ones, and having more energy. 

Discrimination meaning to ignore, to not see, to not validate. Happens on each end of the stick; youth - elderly. Should as a whole be further looked into, and handled better. Some kind of public awareness campaign. A picture of an older person not caring what a teenager thought, and how that behavior repeats itself, the youth now a senior citizen decades later doing the same thing. Break the cycle.  

Oh, and I personally feel straight up that Tori is wrong when it comes to why people are up in arms more about Madonna in general. It's NOT just her age. The ladies own actions are responsible. Not that the woman is a total write off now. She can recover. Madonna is one of the few today who if she just put out a good song, and without the usual promo that always accompanies of strange quotes and odd pictures, that she'd sell MORE records than ever before. Make it a fun song with a cool groove and a funky beat. Upbeat lyrics. Nothing pretentious. She'd have a number one song again. Sales would be back up. She employs an army of people nowadays. Let the money continue to flow. Live and let live. And if Madonna toured, just her and a rock band playing real music, with nothing to brainwash the masses with, the Queen of Pop would more than likely sell out everywhere she played. Regain new fans as well as bring back the older ones. Hard work paid off. She has an outrageous catalog of songs behind her. And here's the thing. So many said it before me. If Madonna only would snap out of it, and just sing. Ageism for her, in this story anyway, is truly NOT a factor. 

In closing, ageism is a true thing, and in part responsible for what we see and hear via the media, and take for granted on a daily basis. That can change. Uncle G believes every age counts in what they think and believe, because every human being counts. Up until our last dying breaths. As a species, we need to believe this. Don't let Madison Avenue or anyone else tell you otherwise.

Source of Inspiration (Thanks Daily Mail Dot Com)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3053377/Tori-Amos-51-sticks-Madonna-56-discusses-ageism-music-industry.html

Gary Brown
American Correspondent for ClassicRockRadio.co.uk
Twitter @GBrown0816

Friday, 24 April 2015

Guitar Virtuoso Scott Henderson To Release Instrumental Album For Guitar Trio “Vibe Station” on May 1, 2015!



“Henderson's guitar soars high, sometimes tender. Sophisticated, technical and soulful, his playing bristles with intelligence, never crossing the line into excess.”


Los Angeles, CA – Guitar virtuoso Scott Henderson has finished his new album “Vibe Station”, the most ambitious project of his career! The highly anticipated instrumental album for guitar trio will be released on May 1, 2015.


Says Scott, “I'm really excited about this record because our trio has been touring a lot and that energy came through on all the performances. The music is still blues-based, but also has a lot of harmonic content. The big change is no vocals, which challenged me as a guitarist to write material which can be played in a vocal way on the guitar, while incorporating my own chord-melody style. I think fans will enjoy the scope of this record because it has elements of blues, rock, jazz and funk. There's something for everyone here.”


Scott also said that the majority of the songs are layered with multi guitar tracks, utilizing many different guitars, pedals, amps and speaker combinations, making it the most textural and versatile sounding album he's ever done. Travis Carlton on bass and Alan Hertz on drums make this project and live show very much groove-based.


Says Scott, “I need to see people moving in their seats. I'm not interested on putting on an intellectual show for musicians only. I don't believe I need to dumb down the music to appeal to people who aren't musicians, because when Travis and Alan play together, the groove is going to attack you whether you're a musician or not”.


Scott Henderson's impressive work over the years as co-leader of the group TRIBAL TECH, leader of his own ground breaking trio, and sideman to some of the best jazz artists of their generation, including the great Joe Zawinul, has elevated him to the front ranks of both Jazz and Blues. Besides being a world class player and premier composer, Scott's trademark is his beautiful tone and striking ability to blend Blues, Rock, Funk, and Jazz, creating a soulful and unique voice on the guitar.


Expect to hear Scott on the top of his game on his April 2015 Europe tour.


Scott Henderson's “Vibe Station will be available for purchase on CDBaby and iTunes May 1, 2015:

Artist page: cdbaby.com/scotthenderson
Album page: cdbaby.com/cd/scotthenderson


For more information: http://www.scotthenderson.net

The Pinder Brothers’ New ‘Melancholy Sea’ Makes Waves With Sing-a-long Melodies & Crafty Alt-Rock Arrangements



Sons of Moody Blues founding member Mike Pinder carry on the tradition, as their own SoCal followers continue to burgeon


Los Angeles—The Pinder Brothers may not be the first pair of siblings to proffer an intrinsic fusion of vocal harmonies, but add to the mix crafty sing-a-long melodies and enough of a rock edge to engage the masses. That is the musical mantra of these brothers in arms’ third full-length release “Melancholy Sea.”


Of course, the many current fans of Matthew and Michael Lee are already aware of one other essential factor. Let’s call it pedigree. Their dad Mike Pinder was a founding member of the legendary Moody Blues, who not only fulfilled the enduring band's mellotron duties, but also contributed harmony vocals.


The Pinder Brothers mesh the harmonies of Crosby, Stills and Nash alongside the songwriting style of Simon & Garfunkel, and ultimately add their own modern spin. Listeners will hear all of this and more in “Melancholy Sea,” which the pair wrote, plays and arranged.


The project’s masterfully penned lyrics create a sonic tapestry that dazzles the ear… much like the colors of a seashell inspire the eye. The brothers' voices harmonize beautifully, accompanied by arrangements that deftly ease from a bed of crunchy electric guitars into warm overdriven tones that layer as naturally as sheets and a blanket.


“There are many themes that are explored in the lyrics of our new project,” Michael says. “With today's manic lifestyle, we sometimes miss out on absorbing the beauty that is all around us. Our mission is to maintain that sense of wonder. It could be right in front of us in a scene that we pass day after day. That is the overall theme of our new album.”


Among highlights, “Here We Go” illustrates how such a rapid pace can interfere with the simple enjoyment of the moment. The lyric relates: “Life seems impossible sometimes, It's hard to just go with the flow.” Other tracks delve into bends in life’s journey, exploring other universal themes fortified with endless sonic surprises throughout the eloquently crafted album. And as a wickedly wonderful bonus: founding Moody Blues members Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas make a guest appearance on the album’s finale track “Summer Moon.”


It could be said that The Pinder Brothers have 60's Brit-rock heritage in their DNA, with a healthy dose of California style thrown in. Hailing from Northern California, Matt and Michael Pinder grew up playing music and performing together whenever possible.


How could they not, with the sounds of the lost chord echoing softly in their ears. Thankfully, Mike Pinder’s innate talent has been passed on to his sons—who are now creating their own legacy.


Audio samples and purchase of The Pinder Brothers’ “Melancholy Sea” at: cdbaby.com/cd/thepinderbrothers22


For more information: 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Uncle G's After Hours FUN Movie Reviews_Get Hard

Classic Rock Radio (Dot CO Dot UK)
23 April 2015


                              Spotlight: Get Hard (2015 Warner Bros.)

So besides my love of B films, I also like R Rated movies, especially comedies. I grew up in the 1970's, and spent a bit of time at the local movie theater. One day, my Father, believing it was a kids movie, took myself and a nephew of similar age who was staying with us, to Perth Amboy (New Jersey_South Amboy at the time didn't have a movie theater) so we could all see Robert Altman's M*A*S*H. I LOVED the shower scene. In March of 1970 that would make me eight years old. And to this day, in my book, showers rule! Take one every day, and sometimes two.

Most films I see advertised nowadays on TV are rated; PG. I'm a 53 year old mature male. Unless it's a story that is capable of being told within the PG / G rated parameters that I have an interest in, I have absolutely no desire to spend valuable breathing time, viewing whatever it is. I just don't. So when viewing television lately and seeing an R Rated comedy being advertised, I became immediately interested. That is until I saw who was starring in it; Will Ferrell. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. The man is very talented. That's a given. His choice of material at times, is infantile. That in itself functions like a repellent. Actor Bill Murray's been successful picking vehicles that can stimulate one's intelligence, so where he's not playing the same dumb stereotypical characters he played early on in his film career. Steve Martin did the same. On the flip side, Jim Carrey's career was sucking so hard, he had to play dumb again, just so to remain relevant. Serves him right for picking on the ghost of Charlton Heston. Damn dirty 'In Living Color' actor.

The premise of the new comedy entitled, Get Hard, is Will Ferrell's character wanting to avoid being made a sexual plaything in a male only maximum security prison. A strong desire to avoid giving fellatio in particular. Sounds like a major laugh riot to me. I can see comedy in that situation. Make it R Rated. Now we're on to something. Add a solid cast of actors including one of 2015's coolest comedians; Kevin Hart. The man is an actor as well. Did a GREAT job in this film.

The script, in a few places could have been better. The story itself, fairly predictable.

Warning guys … more male nudity than female. I don't know what's up with that? I like to vomit the cold beer I was enjoying when I saw it; another guy's penis. Right there in full view on the big screen. I overheard a lady sounding rather well informed on the subject sitting nearby me, remarking how it was fake. Will take her word for it. And so to feel like a man again and recoup should that be needed, a young actress name Alison Brie supplies eye candy throughout the feature.

Rating: For film I usually follow the rating system set up by the IMDb website. They use a ten star system. Uncle G gives the movie Get Hard, seven stars. I was entertained. More so than when watching previous Will Ferrell films. If interested, catch it when you can. OH … and if having Netflix, try to catch Kevin Hart doing stand up. Now that's entertainment!




Gary Brown
American Correspondent for ClassicRockRadio.co.uk
Twitter @GBrown0816

Superstar Vocalists From Both Sides Of The Pond Come Together For A Special Tribute To The Beatles!

Featuring performances by Heart’s Ann Wilson, Todd Rundgren, Asia’s John Wetton, Judy Collins, Jack Bruce, David Clayton Thomas and more!

Los Angeles, CA - An all-star gathering of musical luminaries bring their warmest performances to a brand new tribute album featuring 16 acoustic renditions of the best song’s by The Beatles! Keep Calm And Salute The Beatles offers heartfelt and inviting contributions by artists such as famed Heart vocalist Ann Wilson, who leads an elegant and meditative take on “Across The Universe,” while fellow Brit John Wetton belts out a passionate and playful version of “Penny Lane.” Another of the album’s highlights is a devastating interpretation of the mournful ballad “Eleanor Rigby” recorded by legendary Cream vocalist Jack Bruce just prior to his passing in late 2014. It was Bruce’s last recorded performance and a testament to the man’s prodigious talent and sincere passion for music. Other incredible performers include legendary Todd Rundgren, singer/songwriter Andrew Gold, Martha Davis of The Motels, ‘80s icon Howard Jones, Stephen Bishop and so many more. The entire project was overseen by producer extraordinaire Billy Sherwood (Yes), and will be made available to the public on April 28. Any Beatles fan worth their salt won’t want to miss it!


1. Across The Universe - Ann Wilson
2. Penny Lane - John Wetton
3. Eleanor Rigby - Jack Bruce
4. Blackbird - Liz Madden
5. Norwegian Wood - Andrew Gold
6. Hide Your Love Away - Todd Rundgren
7. All You Need Is Love - Helen Reddy
8. I’ll Follow The Sun - Judy Collins
9. And I Love Her - Howard Jones
10. Ticket To Ride - Felix Cavaliere
11. Let It Be - KC
12. Yesterday - David Clayton Thomas
13. Nowhere Man - Martha Davis
14. All I’ve Got To Do - Stephen Bishop
15. Something - Billy Sherwood
16. Hey Jude - Leo Sayer


Purchase the CD version: 

Purchase the special bonus track version on iTunes: http://geni.us/KeepCalmBeatlesdigi

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

JOHN LODGE OF THE MOODY BLUES TO RELEASE NEW SOLO ALBUM ENTITLED “10,000 LIGHT YEARS AGO” ON MAY 5
JOHN LODGE REUNITES WITH MOODY BLUES ALUMNI RAY THOMAS AND MIKE PINDER ON THE RECORDING OF “SIMPLY MAGIC”
THE SINGLE “10,000 LIGHT YEARS AGO” RELEASED DIGITALLY APRIL 14TH
“Everything in the future is in reach, but the past was once our future” – John Lodge
 Esoteric Antenna, a label of the Cherry Red Records Group, is proud to announce the release of “10,000 Light Years Ago”, the new studio album by legendary MOODY BLUES member JOHN LODGE on May 4th.
 As vocalist and bass player of THE MOODY BLUES10,000 Light Years Ago is Lodge’s second solo album. His first solo album,Natural Avenue”, was released in 1977, and was recently reissued on CD and Vinyl LP by Esoteric Recordings.  A member of THE MOODY BLUES since 1966, Lodge has written such hit songs for the band such as Peak Hour”, “Ride My See Saw”, “The Eyes of a Child”, “Isn’t Life Strange”, “I’m Just a Singer (in a Rock & Roll Band)”, “Steppin’ in a Slide Zone”, “Gemini Dream(with Justin Hayward) and many more.
“10,000 Light Years Ago” also reunites Lodge with special guest contributions from former MOODY BLUES members - flutist RAY THOMAS and keyboardist MIKE PINDER on the song “Simply Magic.”  Legendary guitarist CHRIS SPEDDING also appears on the album, among others.  The new collection was recorded at various locations and completed at The Mix Factory studios in Florida. 
From the opening song In My Mind”, to the biographical Those Days in Birmingham”, the more reflective Simply Magic andLose Your Love”; to the rock influenced Crazy”, the jazz–tinged Love Passed Me By and the powerful Get Me Out of Here”,Lodge paints a variety of moods on a fine musical canvas.
Lodge comments; “Back in the 60s, when the dreams of a ‘new generation’ were being born, The Moody Blues wrote a stage show which became the album ‘Days of Future Passed.’   The theme encompassed the past, present and future experiences of our lives. When Days of Future Passed’ was successful I knew that our decision to stick to our principles by writing and recording music we felt driven to create was the right one. Upon reflection, I suppose in my work with The Moody Blues and in my solo work I have continued to stick to that principle.” 
Lodge adds, “I think that this theme has continued in the music of The Moody Blues and in my music, and it’s a musical record of our generation travelling through life. With ’10,000 Light Years Ago’ I have continued this theme of constant evolution, as everything in the future remains in reach, and although the past is behind us, it once was our future.”
For more than 40 years, THE MOODY BLUES has been one of the most enduring and consistent groups in the world. Their remarkable music has enthralled generations of fans since the 1960’s, and their recorded legacy contains some of the most important and groundbreaking work in the history of popular music, having generated over 70 million sales throughout the world. During the course of their illustrious career the band has earned 18 platinum discs and won numerous awards, including the NARM Number One World Group Award of 1972, the Playboy Vocal Group of the Year Award, the Golden Ticket Award for the sale of 100,000 tickets at Madison Square Gardens, as well as ASCAP and Performance Awards, the Ivor Novello Statue (in 1984 for an Outstanding Contribution to British Music), and an enviable place in rock history.



John reflects; “With a guitar, a blank piece of paper and a pen, the musical horizon has always been there. I go wherever the songs take me.”
JOHN LODGE will be on tour as a member of THE MOODY BLUES in April & May 2015 in the USA and in June in the UK.
JOHN LODGE: “10,000 Light Years Ago” track listing is as follows:


1.     In My Mind
2.     Those Days in Birmingham
3.     Simply Magic
4.     Get Me Out of Here
5.     Love Passed Me By
6.     (You Drive Me) Crazy
7.     Lose Your Love
8.     10,000 Light Years Ago

Moody Blues UK Tour Dates Are:

June

6th        Plymouth         Pavillions
 7th        Cardiff             St. Davids Hall
 8th        Brighton           Brighton Centre
 9th        Bristol               Colston Hall
11th       Bournemouth   BIC
12th      London             Eventim Apollo
13th      Ipswich            Ipswich Regent
14th      Oxford             New Theatre
16th      Manchester     O2 Apollo
17th      Nottingham     Royal Centre
18th      Sheffield           City Hall
20th      Birmingham    LG Arena
21st      Liverpool          Philharmonic Hall
22nd     Newcastle        City Hall

For More Information Check Out:



STEVEN WILSON ANNOUNCES MATT BERRY AND THE MAYPOLES AS SUPPORT FOR HIS SOLD OUT ROYAL ALBERT HALL SHOW ON 29 SEPTEMBER

·      STEVEN WILSON’S TWO NIGHT ROYAL ALBERT HALL TAKEOVER CONFIRMED AS SOLD OUT

ACCLAIM FOR STEVEN WILSON’S ‘HAND.CANNOT.ERASE’

“This is a smart, soulful and immersive work of art” ***** The Guardian

"This album is simply muscular, ambitious rock music” Mail On Sunday

“Exquisite” **** Q Magazine



Steven Wilson has announced that Matt Berry and The Maypoles will perform as support on the second of his two sold out shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 29th September.  
Matt Berry is an award winning writer and actor, most famous for his roles in ‘Toast of London’ (the second series of which, recently won the award for Best New Comedy at the British Comedy Awards) and ‘The IT Crowd’. Outside of his usual remit of comedian, Matt Berry also makes incredible music, and has made a series of highly rated albums. His most recent album “Music for Insomniacs”, is described as his "synth-prog opus”, and features Matt playing every instrument across two 23 minute tracks. Berry’s brand of synth-prog will be a fantastic addition and is sure to captivate the audience at the show.
Steven Wilson’s fourth solo album ‘Hand.Cannot.Erase’ became his biggest hit to date, when it shot to #13 in the UK Official Album Charts. 
Steven Will be performing at The Royal Albert Hall on the following dates: 
Monday 28 September
Tuesday 29 September

 Official Website