Monday, February 24, 2020

SPAZ reviews THE PINUPS!

THE PINUPS
THE PINUPS
(Renaissance Records)

The Pinups were a Pop concept that German producers Peter and Ingeborg Hauke created and unleashed upon the world in 1980. An early New Wave version of the ‘girl power’ movement, The Pinups featured four beautiful women singing Pop songs – mostly penned by gifted songwriter/musician Tony Carey – that were aimed straight for…  Well, that’s where things get a little confusing. Were they aimed at the charts? The clubs? The Rock crowd? The New Wave kids? The Europop lovers? Forty years on, it is hard to figure out just who The Pinups audience was supposed to be but it is safe to say that they could have found an audience had they been marketed correctly.

Friday, February 21, 2020

THE BABYS/Silver Dreams - Complete Albums 1975-1980 (6CDs) review!


THE BABYS
SILVER DREAMS: 
COMPLETE ALBUMS 1975-1980 
(HNE RECORDINGS LTD/CHERRY RED)

AVAILABLE NOW!

The road to ‘Fame and Fortune’ is riddled with tour buses and vans that had to pull over for some reason and never made it to their final destination. For many of these bands, talent was never an issue – loads of enormously talented bands never quite reached the big time. British rockers The Babys certainly made it to the ‘fame’ side of town but it went wrong somewhere along the way and they had to skip town before they really had a chance to warm up the jacuzzi. They arrived on the scene as a melodic Blues Rock band, evolved into Stadium-friendly AOR rockers and gave it their all, but they never achieved the world-dominating success that they were so worthy of.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

A Trip Through THE THIRD MIND with DAVE ALVIN: An EXCLUSIVE Q&A

A Trip Through 
THE THIRD MIND 
with 
DAVE ALVIN
 An EXCLUSIVE Q&A


STEPHEN SPAZ SCHNEE: THE THIRD MIND is about to be released. How are you feeling about the way the album turned out and the reaction to it so far?
DAVE ALVIN: I am extremely happy about how THE THIRD MIND album sounds and the performances on it. It's about the most musically experimental album I've ever been involved with so I've been keeping track of responses both from my longtime fans as well as from new listeners who are just discovering the group and album. So far, most people seem to really like it. There's been a few folks who nicely say that they prefer my other, more roots-rock material but only one or two have told me that I suck.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Have A Nice SUNDAZED: Spaz picks some classic releases from Sundazed Music!


HAVE A NICE SUNDAZED:

Stephen SPAZ Schnee picks some classic releases from Sundazed Music!


Bob Irwin should be in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Or at least have his own star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Or maybe have a star named after him. And the reason why is really quite simple. Over 30 years ago, he started a label called Sundazed and literally changed the world of CD reissues. From the label’s debut, THE FABULOUS KNICKERBOCKERS in 1989 to the label’s most recent releases, they’ve been handled with love and care. Great mastering, packaging, liner notes, and the addition of bonus tracks when available, every Sundazed release is a work of art and labor of love. The label has released catalog titles by The Velvet Underground, Buck Owens, Link Wray, Byrds, Meters, Bob Dylan, Love, MC5, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, and many others. 

While steering the Sundazed ship, Bob also had a 25-year relationship as a producer for Sony Music. Bob curated and restored titles by Santana, Janis Joplin, The Byrds, Sly & The Family Stone, Simon & Garfunkel, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jefferson Airplane, Donovan, and Carole King. Oh, and loads of others as well. There’s a pretty good chance that if you are a collector, you own at least 29 titles that Bob has worked his magic on!

I’ve collected Sundazed CDs throughout the years. And going through their catalog, I’ve decided to share my thoughts on some of my favorite titles on the label. Some are obscure while others are cult classics. All of them are very much worth your time. And some of them are even available on vinyl! However, I’m a CD man so that is what I’m focusing on below.

OK, let’s get this party started. Grab your favorite beverage and start taking notes!


Friday, January 31, 2020

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: DESTROYER/HAVE WE MET

DESTROYER
HAVE WE MET
(Merge Records)


1.31.20

Throughout the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, American Rock critics found it necessary to treat the Canadian music scene like a bad joke. When, where, why, and how Canada become a punchline for music journalists remains a mystery, but our northern neighbors have had the last laugh. In the last two decades alone, bands like The New Pornographers, Arcade Fire, Bran Van 3000, Death From Above (1979), and Broken Social Scene have achieved great success in the U.S., both critically and commercially. The older music journalists that once roamed the halls of Rolling Stone, Creem, Circus, and other magazines have slipped away into the shadows, replaced by a new legion of critics who no longer have an aversion to Canadian music makers. The times they are a-changin’!

Friday, January 24, 2020

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: PET SHOP BOYS/HOTSPOT

PET SHOP BOYS
HOTSPOT

1.24.20

In the Pop Music industry, longevity is a rare thing indeed. Most big-selling acts are in the spotlight for two to five years before sliding off the radar and fading into the shadows. Some acts split up and are never heard from again. Others lose a few members and spend the rest of their careers playing county fairs. And then you have an act like Pet Shop Boys, a British duo that formed 39 years ago and have been crafting hit records since 1985. And thankfully, they show no signs of abandoning the music world anytime soon. And for that, we should all be grateful…

Friday, January 17, 2020

AMPED™ FEATURED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BRIAN SIMPSON & STEVE OLIVER/UNIFIED


BRIAN SIMPSON & STEVE OLIVER
UNIFIED

1.17.20

On paper, musical collaborations always seem to work. In the studio or on the stage, not so much. The intentions might be good, but ultimately, the music is uninspired and forgettable. From Rock to Jazz, Hip Hop to Country, collaborations are normally inspired by mutual respect between artists. However, bad chemistry, ego, or record label interference can sink the ship faster than a torpedo from a nuclear submarine. On the other hand, there are some collabs that exceed expectations. When magic happens, we really need to pay attention. Thankfully, UNIFIED, the 2020 release from Brian Simpson and Steve Oliver is a grand success! While this isn’t their first walk in the park together, it is a reminder that two talents can come together as one and create something new and exciting.