Saturday, September 25, 2010

Modern History with Usher and Linda The Pocket Dynamo

Usher with his hit and great album Raymond vs Raymond starts us off this week,followed by OMD and their return from the wilderness with the new album History of Modern. We finish with a flashback to little bo peep Linda Ronstadt in her prime and sounding fantastic.

Raymond Vs Raymond Album

    Usher, who is 31  is one of the best-selling pop stars of his generation, and works here with a fleet of prominent producers Jermaine Dupri, Tricky Stewart, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and guest vocalists Ludacris, T.I., Already released songs, like the sumptuous ballad “There Goes My Baby” and “Mars Vs. Venus,” whose rich, multi-layered sound is as cosmic as its title, work undeniably well on their own. “OMG,” the track that sings on and  produces is  as catchy and rhythmically compelling as the biggest hits of’s group, the Black Eyed Peas.

 Now we have  this song from the Album
Usher ft Pitbull D J Got us Falling in Love Again

History of Modern OMD

  There are many fine moments on this record, and several inspired ones. Through his work with Atomic Kitten while OMD has been off the scene, McCluskey has not lost his touch in producing a good tune, and that talent shines threw here.
     If You Want It we're in to familiar OMD territory,  convincing us that "if you find it, it will come, through the rain and burning sun". It's like they've never been away and brings back memories of their hits Sailing the Seven Seas and Pandoras Box.The OMD magic is still there with New Babies New Toys and the title song History of Modern both top recordings.

If You Want It New Single

McClusky and OMD version of his song Whole Again he produced with Atomic Kitten
Looking back on when we first met
Can't escape and I cannot forget baby you're the one
You still turn me on
You can make me whole again

Linda Ronstadt Your No Good

     Linda a true Rock'n'Roll legend from the late sixties with the Stone Ponies. To having the Eagles as her backup band in the early seventies and working with the likes of Andrew Gold,Warren Zevon,Peter Asher and a host of other great musicians.She had hit songs with many legendary artists like Aaron Neville, Dolly Parton,Karla Bonhoff,James Ingram,Smokey Robinson,Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and a host of other stars.  Amazing voice and amazing talent a pocket powerhouse Miss Ronstadt.
   Your No Good recorded for a show behind prison walls similar to Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison recordings. The live version of Tracks of my Tears recorded in 1976 at Offenbach Germany both capture the strength of Miss Ronstadt's voice. Hope you enjoy these.

Tracks of My Tears Live Offenbach Germany 1976

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Venus is Magic in Sugarland

    The Grammy award winning country artists Sugarland with Stuck Like Glue from their style changing album The Incredible Machine and some Magic from BOB are our two diamonds in the rough this week. Both top pop songs and well worth a listen.Our flashback heads back to the late sixties early seventies with Shocking Blue and the beautiful Mariska Veres  and Shocking Blue with their hit Venus the summit of beauty and love. I must admit i love the guitar work behind Miss Veres. We will take a look at Cajun music too finish this weeks post.
Stuck Like Glue 

    Sugarland began as a trio.Jennifer Nettles a powerhouse singer with some serious twang, was working steadily on the local club circuit. Kristen Hall, a singer-songwriter specializing in heartache songs, had released two well-received solo albums. Kristian Bush, a local folk-rock hero, is one half of Billy Pilgrim, a duo with a major record label deal. Kristen Hall left the group in 2006 due to a dispute over songwriting.
     Right from the start, Sugarland was responsible for writing many of their own songs, starting with their debut single, "Baby Girl"
Jennifer Nettles was influenced by Southern Gospel music, but also Linda Ronstadt and Juice Newton. Kristian Bush was influenced by the Police and the Replacements.

   They are Grammy winners for Best Country Song and Best Country Performance and finally, their first Christmas recording, Gold and Green, which featured new holiday themed originals as well as more traditional fare. The duo’s fourth studio album, The Incredible Machine, influenced by the so-called “steampunk movement” was released in 2010.

Magic B.O.B

I wanted to include B.o..B this week because his enormous success over the last few months. The original release of this song has been removed from you tube so I had to put this version up. Love the song but the lyrics my God they are very confusing.
       B.o.B's second single, "Grip Your Body,featured"British soul siren Amy Winehouse, and this year saw
B.o.B's official breakthrough topping the charts with "Nothin' on You" and reaching  number two with “Airplanes,” the latter song featuring special guest Hayley Williams of Paramore. Both songs appear on The Adventures of Bobby Ray. This is another super hit  Magic.

Shocking Blue Venus

    Mariska Veres of Shocking Blue had a sensuous and charismatic stage presence that could transfix an audience with an absolute minimum of effort. A striking brunette beauty with long jet black hair, sparkling eyes, a sweet baby face, and a voluptuous figure, Veres was further blessed with an exceptionally captivating strong and sultry voice. She was born on October 1, 1947 in the Hague, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands. Her father was gypsy Hungarian violinist Lajos Veres and her mother was born in Germany.She never drank, smoked or experimented with drugs and she liked cats. On December 2, 2006  Mariska Veres died from cancer at the age of 59.

Cajun music and Creole music 

   Which evolved into Zydeco are the products of a combination of influences found only in Southwest Louisiana. "The Cajun and Creole traditions of Southwest Louisiana are unique in the blending of European, African, and Amerindian qualities."
   The music of the Acadians in Louisiana in the 19th century was transformed by new influences: African rhythms, blues, and improvisational singing techniques as well as by other rhythms and singing styles from Native American.

Cajun Music in the 1981 film Southern Comfort

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bruno Mars with some Pepper and Piano

 The guy who has been around for years and is just starting to make a mark on the music scene is Bruno Mars and it's his song writing that has propelled him into the spotlight with Billionaire and Nothin 'On You Babe 
and the international hit Right Round by Flo Rida.This week we will look at his own single Just The Way You Are. Then a U.K. talent show brings a huge hit for a couple of girls who have also been around for a while Pepper and Piano.This girl has a great voice.Just shows how much talent goes untapped and our flashback artist is the beautiful Cyndi Lauper. I have always loved her stuff but the acoustic version of Change of Heart is fantastic.

Bruno Mars

  Peter Hernandez born October 8 1985 in Waikiki Hawaii better known by his stage name Bruno .
   He has been a music fan since he was just a kid. From a young age, he was impersonating and performing songs by influential artists such as Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. He was even named Little Elvis in MidWeek magazine and tapped to play the younger version of the late singer in 1992 movie "Honeymoon in Vegas.

Bruno's Tour Dates 
6 Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl
8 Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
10 Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre
12 Tacoma, WA - Tacoma Dome
14 Fresno, CA - Save Mart Center
15 Sacramento, CA - ARCO Arena
16 San Diego, CA - Viejas Arena
18 Birmingham, England - Academy 2
21 Oxford, England - Academy 2
22 Manchester, England - Academy 3
23 Glasgow, Scotland - G2
25 London, England - KCLSU
26 Cologne, Germany - Gebaude 9
27 Berlin, Germany - Magnet
                            28 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
                           29 Copenhagen, Denmark - Rust
                            30 Stockholm, Sweden - Göta Källar 

You Took My Heart
Pepper and Piano

      Pepper, 23 and Emma, 30 had never performed publicly together before the Must Be The Music auditions and their decision to form as a group was a last minute one. Close friends from college, Pepper is the singer of the pair and Emma is the pianist and composer. They have both drawn inspiration from their own life experiences to write their own music.

Cyndi Lauper  Our Flashback Artist

 Cyndi's Career Lift off

   In the mid-seventies she performed as a vocalist with various cover bands in the New York metropolitan area. She sang songs of Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, and some top 40 covers... The names of the cover bands were Doc West and Flyer. In 1977 Cyndi  damaged her vocal cords, leaving her virtually voiceless.


    After a full year of therapy with voice coach Katie Agestra, Cyndi's voice was back and soon Cyndi and multi-instrumentalist John Turi formed a new band, 'Blue Angel', which released its self-titled debut album in 1980. This album included Maybe He'll Know and Lauper's soaring rendition of Gene Pitney's I'm Gonna Be Strong.


     Cyndi Lauper signed with Portrait Records as a solo artist and her first solo album, She's So Unusual, was released at the end of the year and went on to sell more than 4.5 million copies in the United States alone. Moreover the album was the first of a female artist to score four Top Five singles from a debut album: Girls Just Want To Have Fun, Time After Time, She Bop and All Through The Night.

Hey Now Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Change of Heart