Thursday, August 31, 2006

More Video on Rush Hour Soul TV & "Modern Times" Reviewed

Hey Soul Mates,
we've pushed back the date for our premiere of A Talent For Loving. We hope you'll understand. In the meantime, we have added a new live clip from the Cavern Club appearance to YouTube! Now you can groove to our slamming hit U Had The $ (aka You Had The Money). This number became a favorite of our our new British fans during the "From L.A. With Love Tour."

And! There's a "Bootlegged" fancam clip of the debut performance of our latest I Can't Cry For You. This comes from our International Pop Overthrow Festival slot at Safari Sam's, Los Angeles. Special thanks to Rosanna for capturing the video. It's slightly out of sync, but you'll get the gist of it. We have a lot of fun playing this one. Bryan and I have duelling riffs and Doug's got some fun, thunderous beats going.

Be sure to leave comments, grab videos for your myspace page or blog. Have fun with them. Enjoy them. Rock the hizzy. Whatevah!

Shazam!!
RUSH HOUR SOUL TV is on the air!

Tuesday was an exciting music day for me. The new Bob Dylan record arrived in stores. [And, yes, I went to buy it that morning. I don't recall the last time I bought an album on the day it was released. I used to do that religiously.] Called Modern Times, it's sounds anything but on first listen. The sounds on this album are the sounds of America from the 20th Century (blues, rags, folk songs, murder ballads, real country, real western). But someone's gotta remind us that those forms are still very powerful for storytelling and singing. Leave it to Dylan to create a new (as-yet-unnamed) genre over the course of his last three records.

My favorite of his most recent discs is "Love And Theft," released on (yes) Sept. 11, 2001. That one ranks as a Top 10 of the New Century for me. Plus he won an Oscar for Things Have Changed. Which is what makes Dylan so amazing. Of all the 20th Century icons still recording, Dylan could have been among the least successful; irrelevant and outdated. A voice from the past. The Sixties. Untranslatable. Gone. But it's exactly the opposite. By keeping these styles alive in the 21st Century, he's a living field guide to American roots music.

Dylan is full of grit and humor on Modern Times, namechecking Alicia Keys and rewriting Muddy Waters or Slim Harpo. There's nothing ancient in what he's singing about, whether it's unemployment, the mess in Nawlins, or love [Though I must admit his voice seems to be calling from beyond on some cuts]. But by hitching these modern topics to Smithsonian Folkways vehicles, he's crafted some timeless music.

Bob Dylan, as important a recording artist as ever. Modern Times, highly recommended.

Maybe tomorrow I'll write about geeking out tonight. Maybe. In the meantime, go watch your Rush Hour Soul and pretend your at the show!

Love, Power, Peace

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Rush Hour Soul TV debuts on YouTube

Hey Soul Mates,
yes, it's been two months, but now: Proof! We were in Liverpool! Tonight we uploaded our first live performance to You Tube. It's our blazing set opener Fall Out. The Cavern Club was such a tremendous venue: great sound, great vibe. There is more live video to come. And of course, later this week, we'll be posting our music video for A Talent For Loving. Nice thing about YouTube is that you can leave comments for the rest of the world to see. You can even add the clip to your own blog or myspace page, etc. So show your love for Rush Hour Soul.

There are obvious visual limitations in the format, but the audio quality is outstanding considering. We have lots of live footage that we want to share with you, so stay tuned.

It's must see tv:
Rush Hour Soul TV! The new Fall lineup starts now. Fall Out, that is.
Love, Power, Peace

Friday, August 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Elvis (Costello)!

Hey Soul Mates,
today is
Elvis Costello's birthday. As a kid, I was always mystified as to why anyone else would be called "Elvis?" There was only one real Elvis, the king. But here was Declan MacManus from Liverpool calling himself "Elvis."

Now, I didn't know today was his birthday, but for some reason Costello was on my mind. He was all I listened to on my iPod this afternoon. I went through his Greatest Hits and the first few tracks from his collaboration with Burt Bacharach. While I was jamming (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea and walking around North Hollywood, I was thinking, I should write a blog about the nicest people I've met in the music industry and I'll start with Elvis Costello. But wait, was Blondie Chaplin nicer or was Prince? Well, Blondie probably gets most attentive; Prince most patient. Not to name drop, the purpose was to let you know who I thought was brilliant in person. If it wasn't Elvis, he's up there.

I actually met Elvis and Burt backstage at the Universal Amphitheatre back in '99 when they played a show there together. I managed to get behind the building and saw the two of them rehearsing with their small orchestra outdoors. When the session was done both of them were still chatting and I decided to approach them. Burt was simply California cool and all that implies. Elvis on the other hand was all smiles and happy to meet me. He vigorously shook my hand when I told him how much I enjoyed Painted From Memory. I was still DJing at a local record store and mentioned that I'd been giving it plenty of spins. His reply, "Good on you!" One could be cynical and say that was the reason why Elvis was personable. But I don't think so. He asked if I was into playing music and didn't mind taking time with a fan. When I told him I'd be up front for the show, he enthused, "I hope you like it." Quite humble for someone I would call a megatalent. Granted he is literally a foot shorter than yours truly, so I had a lot going for me.

[That makes me think of my favorite moments from Stardust Memories, as all kinds of nutty types ask Woody Allen's character for autographs. At least I didn't press Elvis for one.]

I've been told many times that my vocals are reminiscent of Elvis'. I can see that. Or rather hear that. I take it as a compliment. I certainly like enough of his music, although I didn't get into him until he did his collaborations with Paul McCartney. For those unfamiliar with Costello, he's worth checking out. Some numbers of his that I really like are: Veronica, Everyday I Write The Book, Chelsea, Pump It Up, Thirteen Steps Lead Down, Accidents Will Happen and Man Out Of Time.

Gotta give Costello props, too for working with Allen Toussaint on the Katrina benefit recordings.

So, when I saw this evening that it was his 52nd, I figured I had to give him a shout out.
Happy Birthday, Elvis Costello!

What's so funny about Love, Power, Peace?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Rush Hour Soul Wraps Up North American Dates [Show Recap]

Hey Soul Mates,
we had a fun weekend up North. Rush Hour Soul played its third
International Pop Overthrow Festival of 2006 (5th show in the series this year) in San Francisco.

The venue on Friday was Thee Parkside. That second "e" is silent. The turnout for the local bay area bands was good. There was a rockabilly/new wave group, the Craze, from Palmdale that brought out some fans. Of course, we have to give mad props to the Soul Mates who made the trek from LA to see their Rush Hour Soul. It was truly cool to play to you all. Literally. On the drive into San Fran, we watched the car's thermometer drop from 88 to 56 by the time we parked the car on 17th Street.

It was a short set (festival setting, after all), but it was sweet. We always take a new audience as a challenge to see if our music and performance can hold their attention. After another nice introduction by MC David Bash, we started the night with Everyone's Ingenue. Bryan set the tone from the get-go as he stepped off the stage and into the audience to play the song's opening riff. The room quickly got into what we were doing. Our fellow musicians were particularly appreciative of our performance and sartorial flare. Why, thank you.

I Can't Cry For You went over very well again. That pleases us to no end to see our fans singing along after only one other performance of the song. We ended the set with A Talent For Loving and all the girls sang the refrain for us. Slamming.

Set List:
Everyone's Ingenue
Fall Out
I Can't Cry For You
Everything My Heart Desires
A Talent For Loving


Oh, and props to Tawei, the short order cook at Thee Parkside. He added some curry-kick to the burgers and spicy peanut sauce on the fries. Righteous. Normally, I don't eat within 3 hours of performing, but I made an exception for that.

We spent the yesterday further North, near Sacramento. Last night we drove into the capital to check out the
State Fair. It was seriously hot when we got to the fairgrounds and after an extra half-hour sitting in the car's A/C we went in. Doug went to check out the rodeo, while Bry and I enjoyed the junk food. I hadn't been to a State Fair in years. The midway was packed with people and crazy, death-cheating rides. The expo buildings had all types of exhibits; I even saw the 1966 Batmobile and actor Sam Jones (aka Flash Gordon). My favorite part of the evening was the petting zoo. Have you ever chilled out with a pot-bellied pig?

After the Fair, it was back to Free Heart Farm and reclining beneath a seriously starry sky. You can actually see the Milky Way when you're that far out of town. I nearly fell asleep beneath the heavens.

I spent the downtime of the weekend reading
Bob Dylan's Chronicles Vol. 1. He doesn't so much tell a story as describe points in his career in overflowing detail. That's one surreal dude. But it's cool to hear him deconstruct his legend and his mindset during career highs and depths. The book skips from his arrival on the New York folk scene to his rejection of being the "voice of his generation," then shifts to the late 1980's when he basically dismantled his music and m.o. to find a new audience.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, I've been listening to his Theme Time Radio Hour shows. We checked out a couple tooling around NorCal. So many lost musical gems he's unearthed; and I've been working on my Dylan imitation. It's getting there. (ed. note.: check out my live review of
Dylan in Concert)

Well, now that our shows in the U.S. are done for a while, we've turned our attention back to Britain. All of the elements for our video are nearing completion. We approved a final audio mix today. We're getting very close to debuting our music video! You must stay tuned.

The 3 of us are confident that our team and our material is going open up big doors for us to storm through. I know that we have a lot of fans halfway around the world who are waiting for our next move, for our return. It's happening. We'll be seeing you all very soon.

Pictures from our show, Friday, will be posted on our website shortly.
Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Big 300

Hey Soul Mates,
here it is. Blog #300.
I've been absent from the blog for awhile. I don't want what I write here to be too "Everyday." So I let the blog breathe for a while. I like to keep it interesting, after all. There's been lots going on and I've been thinking about a lot of things. Maybe I should do a "Larry King" and just rattle off non-sequiters:

"If you see one movie about a dysfunctional American family obsessed with their child's participation in a warped beauty pageant, see Little Miss Sunshine... I think Bob Dylan's new LP Modern Times will compete with Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds for album of the year... A great place to unwind: The Huntington...If you have to name a tall President, pick Lincoln... The Dodgers will not fade in September... Gorgonzola makes a delicious addition to scrambled eggs... If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to see Rush Hour Soul on Friday August 18...Flavor Flav will find true love this season... Cleveland's Browns will finish 5-11, but I'm still excited that football season is here... Frankie says Relax..."

There were going to be profound musings in this 300th blog. I'm compiling my list of favorite albums of the decade already. That will be posted shortly. Mainly, I've been dealing with a sciatic nerve that's kept me on the DL. So I've been doing a lot of reading. Got three books going right now, all non-fiction. Might add a fourth. But tomorrow night, I'll be ready to rock by the San Francisco Bay.

I have to give a special shout-out to our homegirl, Rosanna who managed to capture the debut of our new song at our last show. Thanks, Rosanna!

I'll be checking in after our show at Thee Parkside tomorrow night. In the meantime, in the words of the immortal Reggie Hammond, "Y'all be cool!"

Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Welcome To The Jungle [Show Recap]

Hey Soul Mates,
well, here we are. Blog entry #299. I feel like I'm assured of my spot in Cooperstown, now. More than Fergie Jenkins, but fewer than Gaylord Perry.

Tonight's show at Safari Sam's was hot. Literally. The lighting on the stage was so bright we were drenched halfway through the first song. But the energy was excellent and so was the monitor mix. It was our first time playing the venue. It's got a lot going for it. It's all ages, has free parking and good sound. A trifecta that most Hollywood venues sorely lack.

Our performance was part of
IPO Los Angeles. David Bash is earning his place in Rush Hour Soul lore. Thanks to him, we've gotten some great opportunities lately and we'll be playing IPO San Fran in two weeks. Watch out, City by the Bay. It was a great night for us. Even with the shorter festival set. We came out of the gates with A Talent For Loving, something we haven't done in almost a year. After Ingenue, we debuted our new song, I Can't Cry For You which went over very well with the Soul Mates in attendance. It's got some dead heavy riffing going on and Doug's drumming is tremendous on it. Battering ram to the heart. Lots of you, at the show, wanted to know what the heck I was singing; especially on the stuttering bridge. I'll print the lyrics below the set list.

The rest of the show was high-flying. No ballads tonight. The response was so overwhelming that we got an encore. Since it's IPO, we figured we'd do the poppiest thing we know: Supermodels With Gatling Guns. It was fun to watch the runway stroll of the veteran Soul Mates during the bridge.

Set List:
A Talent For Loving
Everyone's Ingenue
I Can't Cry For You (debut)
U Had The $
Down By Love
Fall Out

Encore: Supermodels With Gatling Guns

I hope all of you picked up your copy of the IPO souvenir program. They are free at the shows. The one for LA also covers SF. Toward the back you'll find our mugs in the "yearbook" section. In other cool news, a bunch of our fans were interviewed after our set by someone who said they were from Spin magazine. Thanks to the Soul Mates for representing RHS. We certainly wouldn't complain about a mention in Spin.

Los Angeles cultural recommendation: If you have some time, the Getty's got a couple of great new exhibits. We spent the afternoon there today. The
Italian Futurist exhibit, "A Tumultuous Assembly," which opened on the 1st, really captivated me. I could've looked at the reconstructed poems for hours. Might have to go back. It's superstylized art/poetry/math from the 1910's. Check the link. If you go, be sure to listen to the performance of Dunes by two Italian actors. Fascinating to hear the poem come to life with all of it's onomatopoeia and word play along with the stunning visual. If you are into poetry, typefaces and fonts or have ever worked a printing press (yes, very 20th Century, I know), you'll enjoy it. It's as indescribable as I make it out to be.

Time to turn in. It was a successful evening down in Hollywood. More of the same up North in a few weeks. In the meantime, I have to decide if I'm going into the Hall Of Fame as an Indian or a Dodger. I've got something good for #300.
Love, Power, Peace

Lyrics for "I Can't Cry For You"

Told you I didn't want you parking here no more
So why is it that you are darkening my door?
The one that you forsook me for is Mr Wrong
Call your sister, ring a bell and bang a gong because

I can't cry for you
There's nothing left to shed
I can't cry for you
You left our love for dead
I can't cry for you
You get no sympathy
I can't cry for you
Did you cry for me?

I need you like I need a call to 911
Hearing about your broken heart just isn't fun
You're calling me some pet names that I never had
Trust me, I'd be laughing if it wasn't so sad, because

I can't cry for you
There's nothing left to shed
I can't cry for you
You left our love for dead
I can't cry for you
You get no sympathy
I can't cry for you
Did you cry for me?

C-C-C-Could you cry
D-D-D-Did you cry
W-W-W-Would you cry
G-G-G-Go ahead and cry because

I can't cry for you
There's nothing left to shed
I can't cry for you
You left our love for dead
I can't cry for you
You get no sympathy
I can't cry for you
Did you cry for me?

(Copyright 2006 Farrar/Kelsey, published by Mighty Ohio Music (BMI). Lyrics printed by permission and my own dang typing!)