Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CD Review: Mina Tindle - Self-Titled

Note: This review originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer.

Mina Tindle drifts through this self-titled EP as a free spirit, mixing eccentric arrangements with almost childlike vocals. The Parisian singer-songwriter frequently opens with acoustic guitar or piano and then adds instrumental quirks and layers of voices until she’s created a bizarre tapestry. Other times, she just keeps things simple and pretty.

“Henry,” with its fractured rhythms and discordant singing feels like a children’s recital that has splintered in numerous fun ways, while the more delicate “Plein Nord (Demo)” evokes images of angels singing a duet in French. Other songs, like “Echo” and “Some Things Last A Long Time” exude an intimate coffeehouse ambience. On the festive first single, “To Carry Many Small Things,” Tingle proclaims, “It’s a game you have to play without the rules.” She makes that philosophy pay off on this engaging U.S debut.

Monday, January 30, 2012

CD Review: The Cribs - The New Fellas

Note: This review originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer in 2005.

The New Fellas is an appropriately droll title for the American debut from The Cribs, three English brothers whose offbeat pop paints them as perpetual outsiders. The garage rock tune, “Hey Scenesters!” takes a jab at some social elites determined to keep a dirty secret about one of their parties. The energetic “Mirror Kisses” likewise skewers the upper class, with lines like, “You like to tell yourself that I’m nobody/I think you must have known I’d make you sorry.”

“I’m Alright Me,” one of several tracks that feature the harmony vocals of guitarist Ryan and bassist Gary Jarman (drummer Ross is the third bro’), exudes defiance through quick rhymes and a guitar-driven arrangement. The catchy title track is a prime example of how often these ‘fellas’ feign indifference in the face of a crumbling relationship. Not a helpful attitude, but at least when delivered by The Cribs, a lot of fun.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Slumgullion #98

Award-winning mayhem from Matt Smith (center) and Karen Gillan (third from left). Art from the Doctor Who Facebook page.

Unplugged Duo. Phil Angotti and Ted Ansani will perform two acoustic sets of cover versions and original tunes tonight at the Temple Bar. The musicians previously performed together when Angotti joined Material Issue members Ansani and drummer Mike Zelenko on a series of Material re-Issue gigs last year. The Temple Bar is located at 3001 N. Ashland in Chicago. Showtime tonight is 9:00 PM.

Paperback Writers. Three regulars from my writers group have recently published Young Adult novels. Cherie Colyer will host the physical launch (the virtual launch was about a month ago) for her paranormal tale Embrace, tomorrow from 10:00 AM to noon. I did an interview with Colyer for the Sunday Morning Coffee With Jeff Internet show last Halloween. The location for the Embrace launch is the Starbucks at 181 Barrington Road in Schaumburg. Embrace is also available online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Omnific Publishing.

My interview with Susan Kaye Quinn about her paranormal Young Adult novel Open Minds should appear on SMCWJ either this Sunday or the next. Open Minds recently made it into Amazon’s Top 100 List of Science Fiction books.

And I’m planning to interview Marian Manseau Cheatham in the near future about her historical novel Merely Dee. The book is based on Chicago’s tragic Eastland Disaster in 1915 and follows the emotional struggles of a young survivor who lost co-workers and her best friend to the incident. Merely Dee is available at the iUniverse website.

We're hoping for more published writers to emerge from this talented group.

I Want You To Want To Tune In. WXRT is airing a vintage Cheap Trick concert from 1977 this Sunday night at 8:00 PM. Fans who are not in the Chicago area can stream the show via the station’s website.

Cool Minds Think Alike. On the most recent edition of his syndicated radio show, Underground Garage, Little Steven Van Zandt chose “I Woke Up” by the Milwaukee-based power pop band Trolley as his Coolest Song Of The Week. Earlier this month, I picked Trolley’s Things That Shine And Glow as one of my Top 10 Releases of 2011.

Super Opportunity. Crawpuppies have moved into first place among the Indiana-based artists competing for a chance to join Jane’s Addiction and The Roots at Rolling Stone’s Rock And Roll Fan Tailgate event on February 5th in Indianapolis. Fans can vote for their choice at the Rolling Stone Volkswagen Super Band website. Crawpuppies released the impressive CD, World’s Much Bigger last year.

Quid Prose. The vibrantly painted Cirque du Soleil promotional bus pulled up outside the Whole Foods store in Palatine yesterday afternoon to help spread the word about its upcoming Quidam performances at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates from Febraury 8th - 12th. Workers set up big screen TV’s in the store’s cafe to show a behind-the-scenes video and handed out free packs of popcorn.

Visitors were able to fill out tickets for a chance to win free admission, but there was no sign of the green screen for taking Quidam-related photos, as mentioned in a press release. One of the workers explained that the winter bus events have to be scaled down due to weather conditions. The bus will be at the Whole Foods in Schaumburg (750 Martingale Rd.) this coming Sunday from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Post Puerto Man. Christa Meyer, formerly half of the critically acclaimed Chicago duo Puerto Muerto, has just released a solo effort under the moniker Man Is Man. Writer Jessica Hopper recently reported in the Chicago Tribune that Smoking Popes guitarist Eli Caterer is one of the backing musicians on Meyer’s Those Birds Will Eat Us CD.

Two Doctors In The News. Congratulations to current Doctor Who star Matt Smith on his best Male Drama Performance honor at Britain’s 2012 National Television Awards. Smith’s co-star Karen Gillan was chosen as best Female Drama Performance for her role as Amy Pond. Meanwhile, David Tennant, who portrayed the galaxy-trotting time lord just prior to Smith is starring in the new romantic comedy, The Decoy Bride.

Sick Humor. Seth Rogen’s recent comedy 50/50 was based on the concept of a cancer patient using his illness to meet women. Veteran stand-up comedian Len Austrevich is also taking a comedic angle on cancer, but for the purpose of cheering up kids like his son Miles who have the disease. Austrevich and his son have set up a website so they can amass a collection of 5,000 jokes from contributors around the world. Why? So Miles can get his mind off his painful therapy by having a good laugh.

As reported by Brett Schweinberg on the My Suburban Life website, they've received over 100 entries since the January 1st kickoff. Even some celebrities, like Jay Leno, Amy Poehler, and Will Arnett have joined in. The effect can clearly be seen on the face of Miles Austrevich in a video where he talks about how much he appreciates the efforts of friends, stars, and total strangers to help him feel better.

Len Austrevich recently posted an ad on CraigsList under TV & Radio seeking production help, particularly from writers, editors and webmasters. Those interested in joining the cause can find more information at the Jokes For Miles website.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Metro Calendar Memories

Artist Kirt Weed’s rendition of The Hounds graced the February, 1978 issue of Metro Calendar.

Haymakers, a Chicago area rock club that flourished a few decades ago is throwing a reunion party at Durty Nellie’s in Palatine on February 26th. I never made it to Haymakers, but I’ll be attending the reunion since I am familiar with the bands that are participating, and Durty Nellie’s is just down the street from me. I went through my yellowed copies of Metro Entertainment Calendar, the paper I used to write for back in those days, and found album reviews for three of the bands who will be at the February 26th reunion.

In the December, 1978 issue, I described the self-titled debut from Tantrum, a band fronted by vocalists Pam Bradley, Barb Erber, and Sandy Caulfield as “an impressive collection hard rock commercial melodies.” I cited the three singers' well-crafted harmonies and predicted tracks like “Kidnapped” and “Livin’ My Life Without You,” could be hit singles.

Volume One, Issue Two of Metro Calendar came out in September, 1977. Here’s what I wrote about Pezband’s self-titled first effort: “Two songs in particular, ‘Please Be Somewhere Tonight’ and ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside,’ show a Beatles like energy and have strong chart potential.” I noted that chief songwriter/lead vocalist Mimi Betinis had successfully reproduced the British Invasion sound, and compared his angst-ridden “When I’m Down” to vintage Pete Townshend.

In April, 1978, I followed up an earlier cover story on The Hounds with a review of their debut album, Unleashed. The record included the band’s FM radio classic “Drugland Weekend,” as well as solid rock songs like “Bite The Dog” and “Alleys Of Love” The swaggering “Bad Blood Between Us” was a perfect outlet for lead vocalist John Hunter’s aggressive vocal style.

Tickets for the Haymakers Reunion, which also includes Bitch, Dreamer, One-Armed Bandit, and Madfox, are available online.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

45 RPM Memories: Gary Jones - “Friction”/”Underground”

Back in 1980, “Friction” was the second single released by the Chicago band Gary Jones. Both songs were credited to the writing team of lead singer Tom Masters and guitarist Ty Penn. There was no Gary Jones in the band; it was just one of those fictional names like Jethro Tull. The band had earlier put out the original tune “Science Fiction” backed by a cover of David Bowie’s “What In The World,” and as far as I know, that was the extent of the band’s recording output. Which is unfortunate.

“Friction” is a classic new wave blend of energetic guitars and keyboards with a male-female vocal dynamic going on between Masters and vocalist Karen Pocius. They trade off and on singing lead and combine on lines like, “A brand new neighborhood.” The lyrics seem to be about finding the right apartment. “The only thing I really need is territory guaranteed,” Masters sings.

The dramatic give and take between Masters and Pocius was one of the highlights of the band’s live shows. Back when I lived on Chicago’s southwest side, I treasured the few new wave and punk bands like Gary Jones, Bohemia, and B.B. Spin that would descend from the hipper regions up north and perform at the Haywires rock club. The theatrical edge Gary Jones brought to catchy songs like “Cameo” made the band even more intriguing.

The B-side of "Friction, “Underground” features Masters alone on vocals, and he sort of drifts in after an ominous drums and keyboards intro. Although he mentions a heatwave, the song evokes more of a nocturnal ambience as it slowly grooves to a marching beat provided by drummer John Davies. I always fantasize that if I ever publish my rock and roll novel and it’s turned into a movie, this is the song that will play over the opening credits.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

CD Review: The Luck Of Eden Hall - Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 2

The Luck Of Eden Hall didn’t keep its followers waiting long for the second half of its ambitious Butterfly Revolutions project. ‘Followers’ is the operative word here as the veteran Chicago band travels through imaginative landscapes and dabbles in transcendental philosophy. It’s an album where lead vocalist-guitarist Gregory Curvey asks, “How does it feel to be a drop in the ocean?” and answers his own question with, “You already know.”

The 12 tracks are set to a variety of psychedelic and prog rock arrangements. The acoustic “North Hampton Woods,” with its exquisite melody and evocative vocals, just might be the most enchanting moment on Vol. 2, although The Luck Of Eden Hall also succeeds with the hard-hitting “Realization Loop” and “Complicated Mind.” Titles like “Whither Fare Thou Be” and “Henrietta Lacks A Smile” promise a trip back to the baroque pop of the early Bee Gees, and the songs certainly deliver. The epic “A Drop In The Ocean” serves as an appropriate coda to the Butterfly Revolutions saga.

Monday, January 23, 2012

CD Review: The Creeping Ivies - Rock N Roll Party

I’m not sure if The Creeping Ivies take their name from Cramps guitarist Poison Ivy but they do cite The Cramps as a major influence. Along with The Ramones, Link Wray, and Bo Diddley. The coed Scottish duo has been performing since 2010, melding a sound that feels vintage and cutting edge at the same time. Garage rock fans in the U.S. might be familiar with their wailing song, “Shake It Up,” which appeared on the 2011 various artists compilation You Got Your Punk In My Garage.

Singer-guitarist Becca Bomb’s vocals are more of a howl amidst the sparse arrangements on The Creeping Ivies’ debut EP, Rock N Roll Party. The first song, “Buggin’ Around,” opens with her fuzzed out strumming before Duncan Destruction jumps in with some hard-hitting drums. The live-performance-in-a-bar vibe continues on the seductive “Head To Tail,” with Bomb’s bravado vocals once again taking center stage. The rambunctious title track is a bit short at just under two minutes, but it’s still an irresistible invitation to join these two charismatic musicians for a good time. The Creeping Ivies would likely have to add some nuances to their bare-bones approach in order to keep an entire CD interesting, but they’re off to an intriguing start.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Slumgullion #97

Sure looks like a young Teri Hatcher. Photo cropped from official Hoodoo Gurus website.

Lucky Butterflies. The Luck Of Eden Hall has a CD release party for the massively psychedelic Butterfly Revolutions Volume 2 (which I'll be reviewing here soon) tonight at the Abbey Pub on Chicago’s northwest side.

Our Best Friend In The Whole World. Congratulations to Lin Brehmer on 20 years of being WXRT’s morning man. During that time, he has rarely indulged in the cheap shots and low humor too often found on FM rock stations in that time slot. His comments between songs, repartee with news anchor Mary Dixon, and twice weekly Lin’s Bin segments rely instead on wit and a vast knowledge of pop culture. This approach has won over listeners, and though he jokes he only has two of them, there are plenty more and they’re fiercely loyal. WXRT will honor Brehmer with an special celebration that can be streamed from the station’s website tomorrow, Saturday, January 21st, from noon until 2:00 PM.

Gabba Gabba Happy Birthday. Hired Goons will bring their Ramones style energy and off-the-wall humor to Mt. Prospect tomorrow night for a gig at Ye Olde Town Inn. It’s a birthday bash for some of the band’s friends. The show starts at 7:00 PM.

Walk Like A Guy Who’s Played With The Egyptians. Bangles vocalist-guitarist Susanna Hoffs, who recently celebrated her 19th birthday, will be part of a double bill with Robyn Hitchcock at McCabe’s in Santa Monica, CA tomorrow night.

Magic Bus. There’s a circus coming to town, and it’s not one that harms animals. The critically-acclaimed Cirque Du Soleil is sending a bus to Whole Foods stores in the Chicago area to promote its Quidam show. Customers will be able to view behind the scenes videos; have Quidam related photos taken using green screen technology, and receive Quidam related items.

There will also be chances to win tickets to see Quidam. The Cirque Du Soleil bus will visit Whole Foods stores in Wheaton (151 Rice Lake Square) on Monday January 23rd from 3-5pm; Naperville (2607 West 75th St.) on Wednesday January 25th from 11am-1pm; Palatine (1331 North Rand Rd.) on Thursday January 26th from 3-5pm; and Schaumburg (750 Martingale Rd.) Sunday January 29th from 11am-2pm.

Growing Up Fab. Stockwood, the Beatles tribute band that started as tykes playing at The Fest For Beatles Fans - Chicago a few years back, are now young lads. They’ll be doing a free show at Durty Nellie’s in Palatine on Saturday, February 11th. Doors open at 6:00 PM.

Watch Out! Australia’s perennially fun power pop band, The Hoodoo Gurus are celebrating their 30th Anniversary with a remodeled website, a CD called Gold Watch: 20 Golden Greats, and some major concert events. Signed copies of the greatest hits collection are available for pre-order at JB Hi-Fi and will include an enhanced version of “Use-By-Date,” a song that was previously only available as a download. So far, Dig It Up! - The Hoodoo Gurus Invitational tour, which will find them performing with some of their favorite bands, is limited to Australia. It would be great to see them back to the States.

Sounds Sexy. Recent Los Angeles transplants The Violet Lights are set to release their debut EP Sex & Sound in April, and are making the title track available as a free download on their website. That song, along with the other four tracks, has an atmospheric quality featuring adventurous vocals from singer-guitarist Joel Nass and keyboards-singer Amber Garvey. The Violet Lights’ extensive North American tour brings them to Reggie’s in Chicago on February 13th.

Thanksgiving Leftovers. Sopro has just posted a photo gallery from its 2011 Thanksgiving Blues Revue. Funny, Sopro founder Bud Monaco doesn’t look any older from the days when I used to see him at the Harlows/Pips/Haywire club back in the 1980s. Sopro has an Easter Blues Revue coming up on April 7th at Phil McCracken’s Night Club in Worth, Illinois.

You'll Like This. The melodic rock trio This Is This has a 7:30 PM gig next Saturday night at the Newport Coffee House in Bannockburn.

Some Time In New York City. Fest For Beatles Fans has announced its guest list for the New York convention, which runs March 22nd -25th at the NJ Crowne Plaza Meadowlands Hote; Secaucus in New Jersey. The celebrities on hand will be Peter Asher, Micky Dolenz, original Wings members Henry McCullough and Denny Seiwell, Mark Hudson, and the Beatles cover band, Liverpool.

On A Sad Note. Sherman Shoemaker, an actor who was extensively involved in the Chicago theatre scene, has passed away. There will be a memorial celebration of his life and many accomplishments next Saturday, January 28th, at the Dolce Casa Cafe on north Damen Avenue in Chicago.

Love Those New Shoes. When Mary E. Donnelly says she’s excited about an upcoming CD from Shoes, I’m inclined to believe her. She’s a regular contributor to the Power Pop blog, and is finishing up Boys Don't Lie: A History Of Shoes, a book about the Zion, IL power pop band. She has interviewed its members, and in her January 16th post, Donnelly described hearing demo mixes for the entire new CD. She predicts Shoes fans are going to be extremely happy.

Sound & Vision. The Postelles have announced upcoming gigs in March for Allston, MA, Washington, DC, and Atlanta GA. They’ve made a video for the song, “Sound The Alarms” that features footage from their tour.

Nerds Rule. Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Big Bang Theory on airing its 100th episode yesterday. Who would have thought they could keep finding humor in the lives of four science nerds for this long.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

CD Review: Go Time! - Boneshaker

No one is ever gonna come away from a Go Time! album wondering what a guitar sounds like. As on its previous two efforts, the Chicago-based quartet features the instrument up front on a series of melodic songs. It’s still a challenge trying to slap a label on Go Time! due to the variety of approaches taken on Boneshaker, but that doesn’t make the CD any less enjoyable.

The more jazz-oriented “Terminally Askew” is the only track where Scott Niekelski and Paul Schmidt’s guitars are understated, and “Better Days” is mostly acoustic. Otherwise, their axes reign, from the hard rock of the expansive “Don’t Hold Back” to the R.E.M. influenced jangle of “April Fool.” “Residue,” a song about fading memories, and “Reluctant Hero,” a satiric look at the role men play in society, also stand out on this eclectic collection.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CD Review: The Oblivious - America

Note: This review originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer in 1993.

A Chicago native and veteran of the L.A. and London music scenes, Holly Vincent hasn’t forgotten the irresistible melodies that made Holly & The Italians stand out amidst the original class of new wave bands. Now leading The Oblivious, she has recorded a debut that’s sure to draw new fans, and maybe send them scrambling to find her older material. Vincent’s energetic vocals are well-suited to the theme of social consciousness that runs throughout America.

The epic “Homeless” brims with an anger and frustration that can also be found on the ballads “It’s The Sound” and “America (I’m Wasted).” There are a number of guitar-driven treasures, including “Crush,” “DSF,” and “Does Anyone.” The flowery “Witness” is the only weak spot among the 14 tracks, which makes America an impressive comeback for Vincent.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dot Dash: Punk’s Flame Still Burns

Photo from Dot Dash Facebook page.

As odd as it may seem, there’s something reassuring about the way Dot Dash approaches punk rock. At a time when the genre has been watered down, commercialized, and co-opted by boy bands, this Washington, DC-based quartet plays the real thing. Not necessarily super fast punk, but the 14 energetic tracks on Dot Dash’s full-length debut, Spark Flame Ember Ash evoke UK bands like The Clash, The Jam, and The Smiths.

Singer-guitarist Terry Banks is a major reason for the similarity. His instantly appealing vocals sound British as he delivers well-crafted lyrics about the ups and downs of relationships. He and fellow guitarist Bill Crandall bring an intensity to melodic songs like “Tragedy/Destiny,” and a touch of 1960s jangle to the otherwise cutting edge “I’m Going Home.” The more whimsical “Alright, Alright” exudes the same charm as The Kooks, as well as their obvious role models, The Kinks.

While Dot Dash has only been together for a little over a year, its individual members have a lot of experience. Banks and bassist Hunter Bennett performed with the band Julie Ocean; Crandall logged time with Modest Proposal; and drummer Danny Ingram came from Swervedriver. Together they create a vintage punk sound on Spark Flame Ember Ash that’s hard to resist.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Looking Back At Looking Back

Earlier this month, I hastily threw together a list of favorite CDs from 2011.

I meant to go back at some point and elaborate on my choices. Plus, I encountered Only In Dreams by Dum Dum Girls after the fact, and felt that it really should be in the Top Ten. Rather than kick a previous honoree out, I now have 11 Top Ten Choices for 2011, which is kind of fitting.

So, once again in no particular order, and with a bit more background information, here is the list:

Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams - California-based band updates the 1960s girl group sound with twanging guitars, irresistible melodies, and heartfelt vocals.

The Disciplines - Virgins Of Menace - Second effort from Posies singer-guitarist Ken Stringfellow and the Norwegian band Briskeby is hard-hitting, topical, and melodic.

Bad Examples - Smash Record - The Chicago band’s first effort in several years was a pop masterpiece with clever lyrics and Squeeze-like arrangements.

Starry Saints - Serenade - Atmospheric rock with expansive synthesizers and ethereal but powerful vocals. A nocturnal adventure.

Mimi Betinis - All That Glitters - The singer-guitarist from Pezband delivers an impressive collection of guitar-driven tunes.

Beady Eye - Different Gear - Still Speeding - Former Oasis mates create a striking debut by tapping into British Invasion music. Beatles and Stones indeed.

Phil Angotti - People And Places A thought-provoking and tuneful collection from a Chicago singer-guitarist who had quite a busy year.

Smithereens - 2011 - A great comeback that matches anything the veteran power pop band has done throughout its impressive career.

The Handcuffs - Waiting For The Robot - Third album from the Chicago coed band fronted by Brad Elvis and Chloe F. Orwell. Bits of glam rock and funk add to an already winning formula.

Bangles - Sweetheart Of The Sun Bassist-vocalist Michael Steele is no longer on board, but Susanna Hoffs and the Peterson sisters remain a close-knit trio. Their first CD since the overlooked Doll Revolution is filled with 1960s-flavored arrangements and airtight harmonies.

Trolley - Things That Shine And Glow The latest from this underrated Wisconsin band blends classic 1960s influences and cutting edge rock.

And here are some other CDs that hit the mark in 2011. All of these were reviewed on Broken Hearted Toy at some point during the past year and can be found in the archives.

Lannie Flowers - Circles

Smoking Popes - This Is Only A Test

Fountains Of Wayne - Sky Full Of Holes

The Laureates - Spells

Tina Sparkle - Welcome To The No Fun Home

Rachel Goodrich - Self-Titled

The Demilos - Self-Titled

Ultraviolet Eye - Wake Up And Dream

Go Time! - Hit It!

The Webstirs - Smirk Reissue

Cast - All Change Deluxe

The Coathangers - Larceny & Old Lace

Gary Ritchie - Hum, Sing ... Repeat!

Three Hour Tour - Looking For Tomorrow

The Wrong Words - Self-Titled

The Head - Hang On

The Crawpuppies World’s Much Bigger

Various Artists - Rave On Buddy Holly

Mordecai Smyth Sticky Tape & Rust

The Wandas - Self -Titled

Matthew Sweet - Modern Art

The Kooks - Junk Of The Heart

Ivy - All Hours

Givers - Light

Peggy Sue - Acrobats

The Mobbs - It’s The Mobbs

The Perms - Sofia Nights

Tammar - Visits

Gringo Star - Count Your Lucky Stars

Luck Of Eden Hall - Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 1

Team Band - Vodka Thieves

Save The Clocktower - Drip

Friday, January 13, 2012

Slumgullion #96

Photo from Dolly Varden Facebook page.

Dolly Varden will be celebrating the re-release of its Mouthful Of Lies CD with a show at Schubas Tavern on January 28th. The critically-acclaimed alt rock/country & western band will be performing all the songs from the 1995 disc, as well as a set of their favorites. Jason Narducy is also on the bill. The show starts at 9:00 PM.

The Rebuilder Concert Series continues on February 4th with performances by power pop bands The Bradburys and Too Much Saturn, along with the more punk-oriented Zero The Hero at the Rhode Centre in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Tickets for this all ages show, which also includes an art exhibit, are $10. People 21 or older with an ID can purchase alcohol. All three bands will be selling CDs and t shirts.

Brad Elvis, drummer for The Handcuffs, recently reported that he and his wife, lead vocalist-guitarist Chloe F. Orwell, are already working on the follow-up CD to the band’s 2011 gem, Waiting For The Robot.

The Bangles are offering a Super Fan Pack of their 2011 release Sweetheart Of The Sun for $59.98. It includes an autographed CD, poster, shirt, handwritten lyrics, a vinyl LP, and an album download. There’s also a Deluxe Pack for $29.98 that’s minus the handwritten lyrics and LP. Elsewhere on The Bangles front, here's a birthday wish for guitarist-vocalist Vicki Peterson, who just turned 21 the other day.

Today’s edition of the superb online newsletter The Second Disc brings writer Joe Marchese’s profile on The Move Live At The Fillmore 1969. The two-disc set, which is comprised of restored tapes that belonged to the late Carl Wayne (the band’s lead vocalist), is due out in England on February 13th, and in the U.S. on February 21st. The tracks include a cover of “Open My Eyes” by The Nazz, as well as an extended version of “I Can Hear The Grass Grow.”

I had the honor of meeting Carl Wayne in 2002 when he was touring with The Hollies in place of retired lead vocalist Allan Clarke. Wayne was a classy guy who loved meeting fans, but I wish I had been as familiar with his amazing career when we met as I am now. Hopefully, The Move Live At The Fillmore 1969 will help a lot more people appreciate Wayne and The Move.

Maple Mars singer-guitarist Rick Hromadka is one of four guest vocalists featured on the new The Collaboration Series - Movement One EP by Two Sheds Jackson. The German band takes its name from the funny Monty Python skit about composer Arthur “Two Shed” Jackson. Hromadka can be heard singing on “Beautiful Sunchild,” a melodic tune that would have fit in pretty well on the last Maple Mars CD, Galaxyland.

Laura and Linda Good have started recording as The Twigs again. The singing-songwriting fraternal twins fronted the new wave band back when they both lived in Chicago, and are in the process of mixing the first single from a forthcoming CD.

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