Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tim Curry

Today in Music History:

In 1969 The Beatles make their last performance as a group on the roof of the Apple building during the filming of 'Let It Be'.
Tim CurryAs talented an individual as Tim Curry is, he will forever be best known as Dr. Frank N Furter of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. His list of roles in both TV and movies, live-action and voice-acting for animated features, is lengthy and amazing. It is notable that he almost always plays a villain of one kind or another. My personal favorite is his voicing of Nigel Thornberry from the animated series The Wild Thornberries. Masterful work. For many years, Curry was reluctant to talk about Rocky Horror, feeling that it was a trend that had gone too far and had distracted attention away from his later work. A VH1 Pop-Up Video Halloween special even quoted Curry as saying he grew so unnerved by all the fan attention after this role that he became "chubby and plain" in order to escape it. Since then I think he has come to terms with his part in the cult hit and embraces his role he played in it.

I can understand his wanting to be recognized for his other work. After all he has been nominated for three Tony awards for his work on stage. Mostly overlooked perhaps is his work as a solo artist in the late seventies and early eighties. Between 78 and 81 Curry released three solo albums on A&M records. The most successful of these being the second one, Fearless. Two songs from this album charted in the US. The biggest charter being I Do the Rock, which garnered heavy rotation in the fledgling days of MTV and also putting him in the one hit wonder category. Maybe unfair considering the body of work that Curry has done over the years. Maybe not musically but in all forms of the entertainment business. Undoubtedly he will be forever linked in our minds as that guy from Rocky Horror. After all, who can forget the first time you went to see Rocky Horror at your local midnight movie showing. For myself I recognize that there is more to Tim Curry than Frank N Furter to see him perform, be it in a movie, stage or a voice in an animated adventure.

Unfortunately Tim Curry's solo stuff is now out of print. In 1989 a best of CD set was released by A&M and is a hard one to come by. In case you missed it homercat will give you a gander at a couple tracks from this album. The classic I Do the Rock which everyone should have on their play list and a previously unreleased live version of Dylan's Simple Twist of Fate which is incredible. Grab it if you can find it.

I Do the Rock
by Tim Curry
Simple Twist of Fate by Tim Curry
Buy It

Funny Toon

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Q Year's Eve Bash

Today in Music History:

In 1956, Rock 'n' Roll fans in Cleveland aged under 18 were banned from dancing in public (unless accompanied by an adult), after Ohio Police introduced a law dating back to 1931.
I've been meaning to write about the New Years Eve Bash I attended and here it is the 18th already. Time to get the lead out and do it. Some of you may remember we won tickets and VIP passes for the concert that featured Helix, The Headpins, Harlequin and Prism. Although all of these bands had their hey day back in the 70's and 80's, I was pretty pumped for this show as pre Canada I had only ever heard of one of these bands. That one being Helix, and as I wasn't a fan in the 80's, about the only thing I remembered about them was the horrible outfits they used to wear. As for the other bands I have since became huge fans of their music, having only discovered them a few short years ago. On with the show.

VIP LoungeThe event was taking place about 15 miles from here and being New Years homercat sure as hell didn't want to drive. The city ran free buses after 6 pm so that was cool and concert organizers provided free shuttles after the concert. So it didn't cost a dime to get there or a dime to get in. When we got there, holy crap the line up was about three blocks long. They only had one entrance open. After 40 minutes we were finally in and headed up to the VIP seating area. What a spread, a table full of food that was kept full all night. We had our own beertender, which was a good thing because the rest of the arena only had 2 beer stalls and the wait was about an hour for that grown up sodie pop. The downside was that the darn barley pops were 6 bucks a piece. You can imagine that over a 6 hour spread the homercats forked out some serious cash to quench our party thirsts. We had our choice of sitting at bars or couches or recliners. Unfortunately almost every picture I took that night sucked ass. I couldn't believe it.

Brian Vollmer of HelixPromptly at 8 Helix took the stage. I have to say that I was a little bit disappointed with their set. Like I said I wasn't a big fan of their 80's stuff, but the stuff they've released in the last 4 years is really good. Typically they played all their "hits" and they played new stuff too. Out of the new stuff they picked my least favorite songs to play and totally didn't play the kick ass stuff. Lead singer Brian Vollmer was energetic and actually crowd surfed during "Rock You". The sound was muddy sounding and the guitarists looked less than enthusiastic. Maybe they were ticked that they were the opening band. I would give them a 3 out of 10 for that performance.

The HeadpinsAround 9:30 The Headpins took the stage with a vengeance. For the next seventy minutes Darby Mills and company proceeded to kick everyones ass with a mind blowing performance and literally tore the roof off the arena. My God, that woman's voice was astounding. By the second song they were in full throttle mode and had the crowd in a frenzy. I've seen a lot of bands but the Headpins were one of the best sounding live bands I've ever heard. This band was tight as hell and like I said Darby was absolutely amazing. Honestly I was in awe. Judging from what I saw the Headpins should have been international superstars. I know they are playing in Vancouver sometime in the next two weeks. If anyone should ever get the chance, you must go see them.

Harlequin took the stage around 10:45 just as I had joined the beer line. By this time the line up in our little area was quite prestigious. I thought to myself, how in the hell is anyone gonna be able to follow the Headpins? I actually missed the first 5 songs they performed because of booze fetching and lizard draining, but they sounded good. These guys actually performed a lot of new material, which having never heard it before it sounded delish. Again great sound and they rocked a hell of a lot harder than they do on their studio stuff. When they sang Innocence I thought the crowd was going to lose it's mind. I enjoyed them way more than I thought I would.

PrismSo about 2 minutes before midnight Al Harlow from Prism took the stage and counted us down to the New Year. He played Auld Lang Syne and we drank up our free champagne. This was the band I was eager to see. Prism in the flesh. Although I also wondered how they were going to pull it all off without Ron Tabak. That's a distinctive vocal that sang all those great tunes. Plus they were just a four man unit with guitarist Al Harlow taking over lead vocal duties. Then the stage went dark and the opening strains of Spaceship Superstar could be heard and when they were full into it I got chillbumps. They sounded great and that tune had the crowd going apeshit. Harlow did an admirable job with the vocals and the band as a whole were in top form. They sang all the classics plus a couple from a new forthcoming album. Mrs. Homercat couldn't handle Al though. She thought he was creepy looking and didn't like his vocal. The new stuff, I'm sorry to say, wasn't too impressive. The show ended with an outstanding rendition of Armageddon and we were out the doors at 2 am. On the whole they came close to the Headpins set, but it was obvious that Darby and the guys should have been the headliners.

Seemed like every time one of the bands or one of the members came up to our area I was taking a piss break or getting beer. I missed Darby twice. I did see the guys from Helix hanging out up there. For the most part I was too absorbed with the show to do any hob nobbing. So the point is if you ever get a chance to see The Headpins, Harlequin or Prism do not pass it up. These guys all put on a heckuva show and it's nice to see them back rockin' the stage again. Thus this post gives me a chance to revisit a few more titles by these fine Canadian bands.

Panic by Helix
Buy It

I Did it for Love by Harlequin

Keep Walkin Away by the Headpins
Just one More Time by the Headpins
Buy It

Young and Restless by Prism
Virginia by Prism
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, January 19, 2007


I've been having some slight issues with this new version of blogger. Mostly with publishing and saving drafts. So homercat ain't up to full steam yet. I hope y'all can hold out till next week with this live version of On The Rocks by Angel from their Live without a Net album. The beginning features Greg Giuffria on his keyboards doing a solo and he's shredding the bejesus out of his boards. Great shit here folks.

On the Rocks (live) by Angel

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Afternoon Quickie (Delight)

Sorry Folks, I got a post lined up but I'll never finish writing it today, so I'm going to throw up a couple of quickie tunes here for today so y'all don't think I've abandoned ship. Then I'll get the longer one up tomorrow. So I'm going to up 3 or 4 favorites that you might not see too often.
Black Blade by Blue Oyster Cult (my all time favorite Cult song)

The Globe by Big Audio Dynamite II

The Fortune by Angel

Sweetheart Like You by Bob Dylan (my all time favorite Dylan song)

Funny Toon

Friday, January 12, 2007

Here We Go Again

Today in Music History:

In 1981, It was reported that the White House had expanded its record library by including albums by Bob Dylan, Kiss and The Sex Pistols. Hmmmm, I wonder if Dubya ever spins those records on the old Victrola.
Osmonds Live album coverThe Osmonds released their debut album early in 1971. In two years they released 10 albums. A few of those were purported solo albums by Donny Osmond, but the brothers all played and performed on those albums as well. It is quite well known that Merrill was not a fan of doing side projects for Donny. After all He was supposed to be the lead singer and it kinda stuck in his craw. But the Osmonds motto was do it for the family, which was strongly reinforced by Papa Osmond. This is quite the output compared to what artists do nowdays, an album every three years or so. The Osmonds Live album was released at the height of Osmondmania in 1972, the fourth album of that year.

Listening to this and you really get the idea of the mass hysteriathat these guys were causing at the time. Everytime Donny sings, the crowd goes flippin insane. At times almost drowning out the music. This can be annoying sometimes but the album is worthwhile because the brothers put on a heck of a show and they certainly pleased the audience. As far as pure pop goodness goes, the brothers delivered in a big way.

Heck I was and still am a huge fan. Sadly this is another one of those out of print gems and it doesn't look like any of the Osmonds catalog will ever see thew light of reprint again. Someone has to spread the word and keep this music alive for younger generations and homercat strives to do this. Execs in the industry would do well to take a look at rereleasing these albums. I would buy every one of them. Until then I will help you guys out and as a prersent for the New Year, I'll dust off this one and post it up. Please note that I won't leave this up long.

Track Listing
1 Intro
2 Osmond Motown Special:
- I'm gonna Make You Love Me
- I Can't Get Next To You, Babe 4:32
3 Double Lovin' 1:59
4 Your Song 2:34
5 Sweet and Innocent 2:36
6 You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' 3:33
7 Proud Mary/Free 5:56
8 Go Away Little Girl 2:10
9 Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
- Where Could I go But To The Lord
- Everytime I Feel The Spirit 3:48
10 We Gotta Live Together 4:30
11 Trouble / I Got A Woman 2:18
12 Hey Girl 2:50
13 Down By The Lazy River 2:50
14 Yo-Yo 2:20
15 One Bad Apple 2:30

Here's the link for the album:

Here you can have a look at a performance courtesy of youtube.

Meanwhile I'm getting ready to switch over to the new blogger and I don't know if anything here will get screwed up in the process. Has anyone switched over and if so are you having any problems? Have a great weekend all.
Funny Toon

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Going Retro Again

Today in Music History:

In 1963, drummer Charlie Watts joined The Rolling Stones after leaving Blues Incorporated.
Vacation time is over. A new year and since it ends with a 7, homercat's first post in 2007 will go back to the 70's and conjure of some ghosts of some former pop teen idols. Apologies for being gone so long.
th Hudson brothersIn the mid ’70s, The Hudson Brothers were billed as pop music's answer to the Marx Brothers. With moderate record sales and their own Saturday morning variety series, Portland, Oregon's, The Hudson Brothers became cover boys for both "16" and "Tiger Beat."

In 1973 their manager introduced them to Bernie Taupin, Elton John's lyricist. Bernie and Elton both were wowed by the brothers and the Hudsons were signed to Elton's label Rocket Records. Just before leaving for Europe to record their second album Totally Out of Control, which Taupin would produce, the Hudsons met television producer Chris Bearde at a party. They did some routines from their act for him and he loved it. The brothers arrived home from Europe eight months later to discover that Bearde and his partner Allan Blye wanted them for something new and different for television. After auditioning, they got a deal for a summer replacement show for "Sonny and Cher." The "Hudson Brothers Show" aired on CBS from July 31 through August 28, 1974. The following fall, their show moved to Saturday mornings where they performed their pop tunes and comedy skits aimed at pre-teens. (Remember Rod Hull and his scary Emu?)

Although their music was solid, well-crafted power pop music, the Hudsons connection to the teen world basically squashed their career as serious musicians. They did have some chart succes with the singles "Rendezvous" and "So You Are A Star" (written by Mark for Bill Hudson's then wife, Goldie Hawn), they were virtualy boycotted by FM radio.

Although they were older and noticeably hairier than most of their contemporary idols, The Hudson Brothers were very popular with readers of the teen publications, and remained popular well past the Bicentennial.

Brett, Bill and Mark Hudson have all appeared as backing vocalists on many LPs both credited and uncredited.

Bill Hudson is divorced from Cindy Williams (of "Laverne & Shirley"), but together, they owned a production company and were responsible for producing both of the "Father of the Bride" movies. They also appeared together in an infomercial for healthy dog chow in the late '90s. Oh yeah, almost forgot, Bill is Kate Hudson's daddy.

Mark Hudson is a noted sonwriter producer and musician. He wrote "Living on the Edge" for Aerosmith, and songs for Hanson on their "Middle of the Road" CD. He also has toured with Ringo Star and his All Star Band in 2005.

Heartthrob of the group, Brett Hudson has a little less hair than he did in the '70s, but is still reported to be charming as ever. He is currently working in television production, and has several projects in development.

Being teen idols doesn't negate the fact that they wrote some pretty darn good pop tunes through the 70's and homercat owned two pieces of Hudson vinyl. For those who don't have a clue who these guys were or maybe for those of you who have had their memory jogged at the mention of Hudson, have a gander at these tunes.

Rendezvous by The Hudson Brothers
With Somebody Else by The Hudson Brothers
Buy It

I am disppointed that these guys did not get more respect as recording artists. They are very enjoyable to listen to as they have a great catchy pop sound. Most songs on
this compilation disc are really good, yet is out of print and expect ot pay upwards of 50 bucks if you can find it. Personally I would like to have each individual album on CD.

Funny Toon