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'Get The Links Effect...'
Gutter Trash; New Single!
News, dates, Record Fairs
Reflective Sting...
The Craze Of Mr Mark King
The Myth Of Paul Simon
The Perfect Solo Beast...
The Plight Of The Future
Music Links
Lycos Music
The Rhythm Rock And Blues Machine
Friday, 13 October 2006
Won't You Please Please Help The Bands...??!
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Help by The Beatles...
Topic: The Plight Of The Future

The difficulty with running a blog such at this one is the question of TIME, or at least, in my case, a distinct lack of it. As the constant writing of reviews based on my thoughts and passions to this subject gives me great joy and pride, during the last year, it has made me financially nothing. I now start to wonder if it is worth continuing.

The main problem in this situation is the not knowing if you are actually being read or not. One would love the idea of the fact that a blog is getting around a hundred hit’s a day, but is that reality? I doubt it. When if is easier to click onto the next blog and fail to leave a quick comment on the last, we don’t have to prove our existence on a web page, we would like to think that the author of that page dose not need reminding that someone has once passed through…

That’s fine for most writers out there who want to write down their thoughts and feelings or just what their dog has eaten today for just the sheer joy of seeing it on a web page, let alone if someone reads it or not. For me, the desire to find readers somewhat needs to hit home rather more successfully than for my fellow bloggers…

What was just a cloud like idea when my nephew approached me a year ago and asked if I would come and see him play in his band at a working man’s club, I have decided that it would be a real thrill to promote his band at little bit better than they had done themselves already. As I enjoyed playing around with websites and templates, I realised that I could hit a wider audience for my nephew if I just put out a small piece on his band out on a website or a blog.

Because we are all aware that there are some great free website builders and blogs out there, I decided that, because I was on small budget, I could somehow build as many websites and blogs as I could and spread the word around even further.

Well, after a while, I had an even better idea. What if I could promote ALL local (South Of England) bands and artists who play instruments and writer their own songs?! I felt the need to open my plan out to not just a select few but to everybody.

I get this really under way, I had to show that I could write good pieces in the first place, so I chose to write about famous bands and their best albums, this caused a growing audience and I learnt how to review correctly and as professionally as I could. All I needed to do was start up as many sites as I could.

So far I have three websites and three blogs, which is pretty hard going to maintain at the moment, but ever hu8ngry for more, I will not stop there. I hope to have at least twenty websites and an equal number of blogs around the Web as much as I can. I will probably need a heck of a lot of help when I get to that stage, but that is a little far off yet and I have a long way to go but I shall get there.

What I would like from you is your support. If you just like to read my blogs then that’s great, and I thank you very much for that. If you would like to donate then any spare change would be gratefully received. If I can’t back the idea then I will have to throw in the towel and the whole thing will shut down. If you really would like something in return and I don’t blame you, I know I would! Then please visit two of my shops that I have just opened at Café Press. I have launched a couple of simple designs that got together with the idea of the promotion. I would love to see the day when someone wearing one of my tee shirts is walking down the street!

So, the platform is getting bigger. If you have a band, musician or know of one who needs a little help. If they write their own songs and would like to be heard, then I can offer the very stage for them to be read about. If you would like to submit something to me so I can place if on one of my sites or blogs then I would be more than happy to help!

We need to hear great music again or it will die with the best names in the business. We all like to have a good old giggle at the X Factor or Pop Idol, but it is these very programmes that are killing off the hopes and dreams of the people who really o have a talent, and not just a good voice….

Lend a hand, if you can, in any way. If you just want to read, then please say a ‘hello’ on my comment board,

Just so I know someone is there…..

 

Many thanks….

 

 Websites;

Never Mind The Bloggers This Is Generationsounds.

http://paperback-writer29.tripod.com

 

Never Mind The Bloggers

http://nevermindthebloggers.bravehost.com

Generationsounds Main Website

www.generationsounds.co.uk

 

 

Weblogs;

 

The Ramblings Of An Old Rocker

http://bohemianwaffle.blogspot.com

The Moped’s Musings

http://paperback-sam.livejournal.com

The Generation Sound Suite

http://www.angelfire.com/planet/soundsuite/rockcoccn

The Rhythm Rock And Blues Machine

index.blog?topic_id=1079309

 


Posted by paperback-writer29 at 12:50 PM BST
Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006 12:54 PM BST
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Tuesday, 3 October 2006
Lest We Forget How Fragile We Are...
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Everybody Hurts....
Topic: Reflective Sting...

From front man of one of the greatest new wave acts to come out of middle class Britain in the Eighties, to world -concerned, Global pioneer, singer songwriter in the Nineties. Sting has managed to launch a thousand careers from one voice in a fairly short space of time. Regarded as one of the most intelligent of pop music’s deep thinkers, this man grew from the moody, adolescent, self obsessed, trio we came to love as The Police.

With absolutely nothing in common with the actual boys in blue driving around in panda cars, this band gave us, not just a few songs to get sullen for, but the shy, blond mop top of Gordon Sumner. Sting himself.

Stretching out his utter most creative wings in 1982 with the dire ‘Spread A Little Happiness,’ it would have appeared to the discerning listener that his solo career was doomed to be short lived, but how wrong could we have been? Sting has made it a life long ambition to disperse his thought provoking melodies across our pop charts for now, over twenty four years. Daring not to rest for only one brief moment, only to perhaps ponder over the plight of the Amazon rain forests, he has never let his audience drift over to another artist for long.

It is perhaps, not totally surprising when on embarking on a more in-depth look at this album, ‘All This Time,’ to find that it was actually recorded on the 11th of September 2001. None of us, naturally, need any reminding as to what this day stood for in the history of the human race. It also goes without saying that in the greatness of respect to those who lost their lives, this album was solely dedicated to them.

Is it then that we see this album in a sobering light? With this dedication on the first page of the inside sleeve, that we change our mood somewhat vigorously, especially when it is only the lyrics to the opening track, ‘Fragile,’ are the only ones included in the sleeve booklet. The rest of the pages are dedicated to the various moody poses of Sting, the God of lyrics.

Age brings an introverted and retrospective influence to the fore when one is an artist of a certain calibre. With Sting, the World in it’s current state became simply a source of defining music around heart felt lyrics. The very essence of the man and his music plays no more of an important part in engaging his audience in this album as it has done in any of the other collections of Sting melodies. What is defiantly significant is fundamentally, the date on which it was recorded, at Il Palagio in Italy.

As a live recording, it flows, especially in the second track, ‘Perfect Love…Gone Wrong.’ as the mood is more Dave Brubeck than up to date Sting. Each musician takes a two minute centre stage in true Gladys Knight style to cool applause. In ‘All This Time,’ the opening flutter with the drum stick across the side puts the listener immediately in thought of Belinda Carlisle’s ‘Circle In The Sand.’ Yet it is with this lighter moods that we discover the idealism of Sting. He had learnt, at some stage in his existence how to master each genre he put his creative abilities into. He is as much at home with a group of stunningly pronounced Ethnic backing singers as he is with the edginess and rawness of ‘Every Breath You Take,’ which you will be pleased to know makes an appearance as the last track of the album. It gives us a familiar wink as it has hardly changed at all to fit in with the rest of the gentle touch of the album.

What we do have here is a mixture of Sting and Police collaborations and some new twists on these old songs will not be appealing to some hardened new wave ears, mine included. If we put aside our own musical up bringing, then life being breathed into these old songs again, isn’t so bad. What is interesting is how the Police tracks sound so strange, slowed down to Sting mode, yet his own tracks sound beautifully drenched in emotion, romance and dream like qualities, that they seem to be quite angelic. Some of us cringed at the new workings of ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me,’ and ‘Roxanne,’ which, has been unduly slaughtered here. The latter has never once been designed to be a drippy slow folk song. Not ever….

However, some of these reworkings do actually work, dare I day it. Even the ‘Set Them Free,’ sounds predominately better when a few trumpets and some stronger drum beats are added. Even ‘Brand New Day,’ gets The Commitments treatment .There is one track that he could never tamper with and that’s the pasteurised ‘Fields Of Gold.’ Could it be said that actually, anything that Sting turns his hand to, turns into fields of gold. A nice jazz touch is added to ‘If I ever Lose My Faith In You,’ but it is with tracks as strong as this, that their structural impact could never be destroyed, no matter what genre you decided to dip them into.

Despite the sobering dedication at the beginning of the sleeve, the majority of the album can be described better as a visual description rather than musically. Picture a smoky bar with dimmed blue lights. Imagine a cool looking black guy rocking ever so easily while his teases the keys on a shiny piano with his freshly manicured fingers. Think of the singer, half perched on a tall stool, black leather clad shoulders, hanging on to the equally tall microphone stand for all his worth. The music may not actually stir up any emotions other than the usual respectful head swaying at the genius of Sting, but what it will do is appreciate him as an English institution. His music may not be full of boxer like punch anymore, but he has found, that it doesn’t need to be. He has made, certainly more of a statement about himself since embarking on his journey through his mind and the World around him, than he ever did as a young, impressionable singer.

 

 

He continues to please with his charming melodies as well as educate us to appreciate the World. We may still long for the days of the monochromed Police but that was only to train Sting for the great outdoors- the World beyond new wave. He has shown us over the years that he has grown, although we all may not have grown with him.

 

 

 

 

I for one, still dust off the vinyl once in a while for a fix of the old days, but, Sting, in recent years, has taught us to listen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracks include;

Fragile,

A Thousand Years,

Perfect Love,

All This Time,

The Hounds Of Winter,

Mad About You,

Don’t Stand So Close To me,

When We Dance,

Dienda,

Roxanne,

Set Them Free,

Brand New Day,

Fields Of Gold,

Moon Over Bourbon Street,

Shape Of My Heart,

If I Ever Lose My Faith Ion You,

Every Breath You Take.

All songs written and composed by Sting,

(additions by Kipper, Kenny Kirkland and Dominic Miller.

Produced by Kipper and Sting

A+M Records Inc. 2001.

HMV £9.99 (2004)

©michelle duffy (sam1942) 2006.

 


Posted by paperback-writer29 at 11:49 AM BST
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Thursday, 28 September 2006
An Explosive Day Of Insanity
Mood:  surprised
Now Playing: My Psyko Song
Topic: Gutter Trash; New Single!

Wailing, wild and dipped in compelling mania, this latest single from DreamFirstBorn is to be released to kick start the launch of his second album; Gutter Trash: The Last Days of Vanity. Released through the independent empire of New Funk Order, this track, about a kidnapper of a young female artist, is perfectly titled, ‘My Psyko Song.’ Like an electrified zombie, the energy of this artist’s performance is disturbingly creative to the point of bowing down gracefully to the Gods Of Punk.

By resurrecting the wildness of the obliterating Punk scene, this style maybe nearly thirty years old, yet it still holds some great significance to the way artists’ compose today. This track is aggressively appealing complete with all the ‘oo’s’ and ‘arh’s’ of a Mowtown backing group. It’s hyper hysterical performer is ready to pull out his hair with angst at any given moment.

It’s a stunning piece of new age Punk that still produces the same rawness and edge of the Malcolm MacLaren, The Damned and The Buzzcocks era, but without the pink and blue hair and safety pins. Punk Funk it could be classed, even so, it’s energised, basic and stripped of all that it neurotically mass produced and commercial.

                                                  ==========

 

If you’re passionate, like the rest of us about keeping the bareness of pure artist composition alive, then I strongly suggest checking out
www.newfunkorder.com for that very reason. It is littered with artists on the cutting edge of a new generation of retrospective punk, rock and funk. The downloads are free as well as numerous pages on the mission of the site and it’s members. The idea is to ‘ensure the continual freedom of music and the arts.’ Thus performing the following actions;

‘Providing original music and other art works freely to the public.’

‘The artists duly reap in personal recognition..’

‘Ensure the artists continually have complete control over their music and their rights….’

It is an organisation that needs your support. If you’re an artist with dreams and need a stage to perform and get noticed then they need you to!

Musicians with hearts, compositions and with instruments in their hands are very welcome!

www.newfunkorder.com

Check out ‘My Psyko Song’ and it’s video at;

http://newfunkorder.com/Video/MPS.html


Posted by paperback-writer29 at 12:02 PM BST
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Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Mood:  happy
Now Playing: ...'I'm Fixing A Hole...'
Topic: 'Get The Links Effect...'

Do you like this blog?  Why not check out the rest of the family!!!

'The Moped's Musings   at http://paperback-sam.livejournal.com

The Ramblings Of An Old Rocker     at  http://bohemianwaffle.blogspot.com

and the websites...   

http://www.generationsounds.co.uk

http://paperback-writer29.tripod.com

..and let me know what you think!


Posted by paperback-writer29 at 8:13 PM BST
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Who's Gonna Love You When Your Looks Are Gone...?
Mood:  hug me
Now Playing: Father And Daughter
Topic: The Myth Of Paul Simon

The intricate workings of a great legendary mind like Paul Simon still remains a mystery when we embark on the journey through his most recent album ‘Surprise.’ This extraordinary album must be first categorized and a myth must be dispelled. Since the incredible impact of the definitive ‘Graceland,’ way back it 1986, we have been left in limbo state, not far from the feeling of floating on a World Music trip so much to the extreme that his next three albums (Concert In The Park Live; November 1991, Songs From The Capeman; November 1997 and You‘re The One, October 2000) have quiet simply passed us by. So why was it that this album, quite ‘surprised’ us in 2006? What on Earth was it that made us sit up so rigidly?

It could be the fact that this small proportioned, geeky guy resembling an English teacher is turning sixty five in October this year? It could well be. Simon has yet again, enchanted us with his commitment to modern music. He could, let’s face it, have quite easily tripped out on stage every so many years and enlightened us with renditions of ‘50 Ways To Leave Your Lover’ and possibly ‘Mother And Child,’ both unique records in their own right, but it can be a smoother path to tread at a certain age in an artists’ life than embark on the cold, unfriendly route of dipping old toes into the sea of youthful culture.

Therefore, we should embrace this man who has allowed us to participate in his life long campaign to awaken us both politically and culturally, as well as bathe us in his spiritual knack of producing such music to let us dream and expand our sometimes, narrow minds.

This title, perhaps, says it all. What does it mean to us, to hear someone say ‘Surprise!’ We are alarmed, astonished and completely taken aback. Well, in that case, I have summed up this whole album in just those few words. ‘Graceland’ it is not. A ‘bolt from the blue,’ it most definitely is.

The perfection and simplicity of a baby’s face stands out at us, staring hard into us, from this pure album cover. Just this picture, automatically conjures up questions in the listener’s head; is the child surprised? Is it the surprise of a birth of a child? To me, the idea of re-birth springs to mind and it is this thoughts that stays with me throughout the album.

It would suggest that the impression we get on hearing this album is just that. The feeling of re-birth. Simon is certainly finding new feet on his journey through these songs. Or perhaps, it is just the easy feeling of slipping into comfortable, new shoes. Staying faithfully with Warner Bros yet again and producing the album himself, he gives us a small collection of songs; eleven in total, and therefore, it is down to us to make up our own minds as to whether these shoes look good enough on him.

In topical moods of the current state of the planet through the eyes of a wise, mature artist, the pictures within the cover booklet are simple, touched with strong, sobering undertones. We see a picture of a giant wave from the sea about to drown a sleepy coastline resort. An American City engulfed with smoke. A young boy’s ear, just in shot of the camera. A man getting drenched up another throwing a bucket of water over him. An Ape-like couple, with arms around each other. A missile plummeting into the sea. The face of an Oriental baby. Foxgloves growing on the side of a hill covered in ferns. A photograph of a family, dropped onto the dirt of a footpath. The reflection of the Empire State Building in a puddle at night. A very young photograph of the man himself, and lastly, the delightful face of a happy little girl, playing. These images are thought provoking and dare I say it, reminding us of events, that in today’s daily life, we have seemed to have forgotten.


Posted by paperback-writer29 at 7:54 PM BST
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Tuesday, 26 September 2006
The Delights Of A Solo Don Henley
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Building The Perfect Beast, A Teaser...
Topic: The Perfect Solo Beast...

Don Henley is, of course, better known to many of us as the front man and the voice behind The Eagles. After a ‘Long Run’ of Country rock hits throughout the seventies, the need to spread their individual wings by 1980 had become to great for most of the band. Henley was the most successful of the bunch although a fleeting brush with the law came his way before he could actually get any solo efforts of the ground. A young girl was found drugged in his home in California. He was fined, rather heavily and took some rehab to please the judge. Noticeably, it was a stumbling block in the shape of a thirteen foot brick wall and any solo releases were put on hold until the following year.

Henley was one of five of the members of The Eagles who went on to make solo records. His collaboration with Stevie Nicks with her single, ‘Leather And Lace,’ proved to be somewhat of a trampoline for him. Already well known, he had enough experience behind him to create one of the most successful solo careers from such a big, world wide rock band.

‘Building The Perfect Beast,’ was only his second album release. Reaching an average number 13 in the album charts in February 1985, it appeared that because it had included the biggest hit, ever for him, ‘The Boys Of Summer,’ that it was likely that Henley could have followed this album with something even better. The truth was, that this was about as good as it was going to get for the solo artist and that a reunion with the rest of The Eagles, eventually, was bound.

As it was ‘The Boys Of Summer’ with it’s credited drum machine intro and atmospheric synthesizer on top of traditional modern pop rock managed the same scoring in the singles charts (number 12 in December 1984) as another ex Eagle, Glenn Frey’s ‘The Heat Is On,’ only a month after in January 1985. Frey had produced, in his single, all the optimism and forward thinking that Henley’s hit had very much lacked. There was something rather sombre within ‘The Boys Of Summer.’ It’s desperate theme of man chasing after woman who has had her eyes looking afar all Summer long, is wearing and very much haunting to the listener. The video that accompanied the track was also a little disturbing. It showed a video film clip of a young couple dancing around on a sandy beach while someone watches on a big screen. With it’s effect rather like swooping vultures and knee shaking heights from the tops of mountains, it stays in the mind with an unhealthily image. Obsessive and morose, this track is excellent in its true form and has become one of those classic themed anthems for every year between now and September. The verses tell of the singer watching ‘you,’ and noticing the things you are doing and the clothes you are wearing. In any other situation, it is something that one could be arrested for, yet in a Don Henley track, it is about full on, hurting love and all very one sided. You want to shout at the record player and yell, ‘Don’t bother! She’s not worth it!’

Perfectly edited that this mean song would be the first track of the album. The cover can be seen as a little unsettling as well. A sepia effect photograph shows our man, with arms folded staring straight at the listen with firm, deep seated eyes. Looking older, and not so countrified since his days as a long haired cowboy in The Eagles. He had brought to his solo career and grittiness in his voice and a dirtiness in his songs. This album is harder and more defiant than anything I ever heard by The Eagles. It will entrance you and probably turn you away from The Eagles Greatest Hits. Anything before will just not sound the same. Usually, when a front man leaves a band, he takes the fundamental elements of that band with him. With Don Henley, we hear nothing of The Eagles within his own music. Like The band had just been a dream, we have a man standing before us, presenting us with something that you wonder may have been suppressed for that decade of Country dirge.


Posted by paperback-writer29 at 11:21 AM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006 11:25 AM BST
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The Craze Of Mr Mark King
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: The Elements Of Level 42
Topic: The Craze Of Mr Mark King

Okay, so the cool, funky rhythms of a band like Level 42 perhaps doesn’t deserve to have a place in my dooyoo Hall of Fame, but, on the other hand, they did have a history worth recording, despite them probably worming their way onto many a ‘yuk’ list.

Around the time of 1980, Isle of Wight songwriter, Mark King decided to embark on a professional, musical outfit along with the help of the Gould brothers, drummer, Phil and guitarist, Boon. They enlisted Mike Lindup to play on keyboards and also backing vocals.

Taking the basis of their passion of jazz/funk, they never strayed far away from this genre from beginning to end of the eighties. Whilst other bands were changing their image every year, Level42 remained sturdy and rather boring, like a suburban Library. Deciding that they glittering career was not going to take off so easily on the Isle of Wight, they all trooped over with their belongings to London on the mainland. Predominately an instrumental set up, their music was reminiscing of middle class cocktail parties. Mark King had only decided after a few flops that it would probably be best if one of them started singing. Compositions had come easily to King and song writing, equally, followed.

Know for they jumpy funk for those chaps in yellow sweaters and white towelling socks, their music was catchy and full of the joys of pop. Caged to the U.K scene, the States didn’t want to know about King’s thumb smacking bass and those feminine backing vocals until the release of their 1985 album, World Machine. Up until then, Level42 had been seen as screamingly wet behind the ears. Fashionable like a jelly bag, the band had held their position well in the pop charts and the disco dance floors. Forever seen as the party band for drunken gatherings, Level42 never failed to put a smile on our faces and springs in our steps. They legacy that they did leave us, unfortunately, was then an endless stream of God awful funky set ups who gave us such incredibly bad records which some how used to find themselves at number 1over night. Because of bands like Level42, we got Steps.

Things were not completely black for us, the listeners. Occasionally, they released something that was so unique, that we couldn’t but help ourselves rush out for a copy of Smash Hits just for the song lyrics. So now, I have either wet your appetites, or you have turned off this page totally. Either way, we had better look at this album, so we can get it over and done with….

We have already decided in our minds that Level42 had been an acquired taste. A band you either loved or hated. During the eighties, everything swung. It was a decade for the free for all, particularly when it came to music. If you weren’t donning black, black and more black and going to all the Bauhaus concerts, then you were probably sitting at home, in your room, twirling your beads in your pop socks and chewed your bubble gum away to Haircut 100. Level42 appealed to the latter. There was something about owning an Escort, stone washed jeans and sporting a bleached flick on your bonce that screamed out for some musical anthem in the form of Level42.


Posted by paperback-writer29 at 11:18 AM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006 11:21 AM BST
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Blue Too News
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: And To Follow?

To Come.....

 We'll share some thoughts on Paul Simon's most recent album 'Surprise.' Review to come shortly so stay tuned...


Posted by paperback-writer29 at 11:16 AM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006 11:17 AM BST
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