Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Hard Day's Night (Show Recap)

Hey Soul Mates,
the sun is shining brightly here in Liverpool today. I'm at the Liverpool Central Library with about 10 minutes to churn this blog out.

We arrived safely on Thursday. I took the wheel of our magic Peugeot and drove us North to Sheffield. The people have been very welcoming and the reception our music got was tremendous. Our debut show at the D 'n' R was short but slamming.

Set list:
Fall Out
Everyone's Ingenue
U Had The £
Everything My Heart Desires
Bad Penny Blues (Gold Digger)
A Talent For Loving


We had quite a few fans from MySpace at the show. So a few people knew our hits. Very cool. The organizer, Hayley and her family were gracious hosts. Thanks for having us on the bill.

From Sheffield we drove through the Peak District. Simply breathtaking views. It's all green here. Billions of shades. We stopped for lunch at the Spring Tavern in tiny Woolley Brigde (pop. 30). Doug got fish & chips, Bryan ordered a cold roast beef sandwich & I had a tasty sausage and cheese baguette. Trad English cuisine.

We've been in Liverpool the last few days. The days are long here. Sun sets around 9:15 PM. And everyone is dressed for clubbing all day long. The Cavern Quarter is solid music. Live venues every 20 feet. The people of Liverpool have a great appreciation for music and musicians. Everyone we've met is surprised we're here. Seems our accents are as thick as theirs.
But Americans in the North! Why Liverpool? One gentleman suggested we were touring "the decrepit cities of England." While it was humorous, I'd disagree. These are lively places. Filled with character and characters.

The Cavern Club itself is amazing. A very loud, smoky, awesome room. We are going to be on the big stage that McCartney performed on a few years back. How cool is that?! Later today, I'm going to see the Beatles' museum right next to our hotel on Albert Dock.

Time's about to run out on the public computer. Oh, this library has got a gorgeous round reading room dating from the late 19th century.

We've added a show in York at a place called the Roman Baths. Apparently a venue/bar situated in an old, you guessed it, Roman Bath. Should have great acoustics. Ha Ha.

I'll try to check in before we leave for York.
From Liverpool With Love

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

T-Minus 22 Hours And Counting

Hey Soul Mates,
we had our final stateside rehearsal last night. It was a stone groove. We got a lot of work crammed into a short amount of time. We even did a 10 minute workout of Miss You, which started as Groove Is In The Heart which morphed into Good Times, Billie Jean then Super Bad. By the time we got to Miss You, it was blazing and Bryan ripped off a 2 minute solo, channeling SRV amongst others. But the man has his own style, too. Big props, Brother Bry.

Doug, Bry and I finally had a chance to do a little bit of video after all of yesterday's rain. The sky cleared and we went up to Lake Hollywood to say farewell to the Hollywood sign.

We will hit radio silence in a few hours. We've reached the wire and got to get the show on the road. If we don't get a chance to communicate today, if we didn't get to respond to your message on myspace, etc. we apologize. Please know that we are working hard to make you proud.

We'll talk to you from the other side of the pond. I will be posting new blogs as frequently as possible from Britain. So check in regularly. There will also be updates on our myspace page, too.
From L.A. With Love!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rain Shine, Don't Mind

Hey Soul Mates,
just a thank you to shout out to Johnnie Wilder, Jr whose passing was announced today. Johnnie was the lead singer for Heatwave. Readers will remember that I wrote a blog about them just this past month. We had fun trying to play The Groove Line at our rent party. A talented cat. Peace, Johnnie!

The day was productive. Got one last hair cut before our departure. Thanks, Monica. So fresh and so clean, clean. I also got the first of my altered shirts. Hallelujah. My shirt fits! It's not easy finding sharp shirts when you got a figure like Mr. Pretzel.

I picked up some reading for the flight. Got Toure's new compilation of essays "Never Drank The Kool Aid." I heard him talking about it on the John Salley Block Party the other morning. He had some interesting things to say about Lauryn Hill. Where'd you go, Lauryn and what happened!? Figured I'd show some support. I'll give you a review when I'm done.

Tomorrow is Friday. My last day at work in Hollywood for a while. Enjoy the weekend. I'm busying packing.
From L.A. With Love

Monday, May 15, 2006

ABC/English Beat

Hey Soul Mates,
it was a good weekend. Mother's day was celebrated in a very chill style. Most vacationlike. Today was a little off, got an accidental headbutting, so this is going to be short.

ABC's show at the Key Club Saturday night was fantastic. I had to be about 3 feet from the stage and singing louder than everyone else. Martin Fry was decked out in a silver silk suit with an iridescent periwinkle shirt. Smooth, as usual. The rest of the band was dressed in their uniforms of a year ago. In fact, most of the set was identical to the show we saw a year ago at the HOB. There were a few cool additions to the set. They replaced their cover of John Lennon's Love with the ballad Blame. ABC also slipped the riff of the O'Jay's For The Love Of Money into their '85 single How To Be A Millionaire. Unfortunately, it was an audience that seemed to want only the hits. The girls in front of me were text messaging for much of the show. I won't judge, but that's ill. Me, I relished the brand new material ABC busted out including Ride and the encore opener Sixteen Seconds To Choose. Both should be appearing on the new ABC LP, which I can't wait to buy. Martin Fry, David Palmer and Co. still put on one heck of a show.

English Beat opened the night with plenty of their own hits (I Confess, Save It For Later, Mirror In The Bathroom), as well as spin-off smashes I'll Take You There and Tenderness from the General Public canon. For some reason, lead singer Dave Wakeling seemed to direct all of his stage banter at me. Which was amusing. I sometimes wonder when I go to shows if I'm among the very few people who are paying attention to the music.

It will be fun making our debut in ABC's hometown of Sheffield! Makes it that more special to be playing there.

Special alert for our fans in Liverpool! The Cavern Staff have also put together a programme for the International Pop Overthrow festival, which will be inserted into the next issue of Live Magazine. So be sure to pick up a copy and save us one! We'll be playing there two weeks from Tonight! Bank holidays will never be the same.
Love, Power, Peace

Friday, May 12, 2006

Back To "A" (-B-C)

Hey Soul Mates,
what a nice evening here in North Hollywood. Got lots of business taken care of today and eased a lot of pressure. Now it's time to chillax. It's the weekend. What are you doing the next few days? Don't forget Sunday is Mother's Day. Tonight for dinner? Breakfast. Man, bacon and eggs are solid any time of day if you ask me. I think we've got some grits around, too. I'll put it out there again (as I've already told many of our Sheffield fans), if you come to see us in LA, I'll take you to
Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles and we'll get our biscuits and grits on!! I dare you. Go to their website and click the menu, see if your mouth doesn't water.

Tomorrow night, we've got tickets to see
ABC (with English Beat supporting) at the Key Club. Readers of my blog may recall that I had a chance to see Martin Fry and Co. last summer and it was one of my favorite concerts ever. As we're on the eve of our tour it will be great motivation to see a veteran like Mr. Fry tear up the stage. Just a class act with some fantastic songs, that's all. I've never seen English Beat perform (I did see them as General Public back in the day). Should be a fun retro night. Although, I must say it's ABC's new as-yet-released material that I'm most excited about.

All right, breakfast is calling my name.
Have a great weekend all.
Love, Power, Peace

Monday, May 08, 2006

We Have The Tools. We Have The T.A.L.E.N.T.

Hey Soul Mates,
it's on. That's been our mantra for the day. "IT'S ON!" There have been some major developments here at RHS Central. We hope to have an announcement posted shortly. Suffice it to say, we are looking forward to a visit to Wales while we are in the UK... and not just to see Tintern Abbey. Although, that would be nice, too. Actually, I want to see Portmeirion where the Prisoner TV show filmed.

Here's a visual hint:

Photo by Michael Spencer Jones

Love, Power, Peace

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Spock's Casa and Mine

Hey Soul Mates,
what a groovy weekend. Thanks to everyone who contributed to our fundraising event last night. That was some kind of hootenanny. Possibly the most slammin rent party in history. It was great hearing everyone belt out our songs. You all drowned me out, like a choir of drunken angels. Your evite requests were fun, of course. We hadn't done Excommunication in a while and we were abetted by Jen T on the cowbell. The second surprise Beatles' cover went over well. We will be debuting that one electrically at Lennon's on Memorial Day/Bank Holiday at IPO. Congratulations to our prize winners, enjoy them in good health. We still have a little over two weeks before our departure, but that was a nice send-off. Thanks to everyone who brought food or beverages and you know who you are.

If you weren't in attendance and you'd like to contribute, by all means please do. Just e-mail me at
norm@rushhoursoul.com for details. The premiums for a $10 donation are a limited edition tour pin, tour postcard and tour sticker. From L.A. With Love! If you would like to receive a postcard from the band while we are on the road, that can be arranged along with any donation you'd like to make. We aren't too proud to ask for a little help from our friends. We're gonna do you all proud.

Ok, I know this has nothing to do with Rush Hour Soul, but this Star Track thing just gets funnier and funnier. "Baby, no salsa on the leather!" Here's the director's cut of Star Trek Cribs with even mo' powah!!



Another cool thing to report, Dr. Rahuna pointed me to a new, commercial free FM station broadcasting out of Arizona.
KCDX, check it out, they stream for free. All music, the time. Through them I've discovered an obscure, but very interesting Ohio group, called Crack The Sky. Apparently, CTS' debut was Rolling Stone's LP of the year in 1975. Huh!? How can I have never heard of this band? And they're from Cleveland. Sorry, fellas. WMMS probably played them lots.

There's no DJ per se, but the station played a '76 cut called We Want Mine. It's one of the best Beatles' pastiches this side of Badfinger I've ever heard. It's very much McCartney v. Fagen. All Music Guide calls them a prog group, but prog like Queen or Steely Dan. Of course, it's been a hassle trying to track Crack The Sky down on-line. I think I found a download service that has it. Most of the group's 70's material is out-of-print. Regardless, it's always fun to discover new, old artists. It never ends, your... "Earth" music.

Have a great week everyone.
Love, Power, Peace

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lost

Hey Soul Mates,
dag blag!!! Lost is the best show on TV since Twin Peaks and even T.P. didn't get this far this coherently. I won't actually talk about the plot of tonight's episode, but it was on FI-YA!! I can't believe a tv show is willing to go to the places this one does. There was no talk of what would happen during sweeps this year, unlike last May. But tonight there was some furious anger vented, mainly by ABC/Disney. Like Ron Artest in the sixth row, they dropped some people like a bad habit. It made for some kick a$$ television. That last scene had me jumping around the living room. I did a lot of that tonight. My Cavs edged the Wiz in OT just as Lost was coming on. Go Bron-Bron!

Well, we are 3 weeks away from our departure and debut at D 'n R live in Sheffield. It's almost upon us. The tour is going to be an adventure. For our fans coming to see us in London, I'm pleased to announce that the show at the
Bedford will be free for you. As for the other dates you can visit our website and its "new look" tour calendar for up-to-the-minute show details.

All of our fun swag has arrived. But there's still plenty to do. Gotta get a shirt altered. In the last few days, I managed to get our newest demos onto the iPod. We are going to have a half-dozen new songs by the time we get home. I'm feeling two of them in particular.

From L.A. With Love!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Fall Out! New Free MP3

Hey Soul Mates,
the new MP3 is up and ready for you at
RushHourSoul.com. This time it's a live version of Fall Out. An official bootleg, if you will. This song is our slamming set opener. So for those of you in the UK who want a taste of what's coming, check it out!



Thanks to everyone who downloaded Everything My Heart Desires. And an extra thanks to everyone who sang it long and loud at our shows. Keep it up, we love that!
Go get your groove on and "Pass the peas, like they used to say!"
Love, Power, Peace