Saturday, July 29, 2006

Thanks To Our Golden Circle

Hey Soul Mates,
lots going on in RushHourSoulLand. We've been listening to the latest mix of our rerecording of A Talent For Loving. In a word: SLAMMING! It's big. We're going to make a real run with this track in the UK. Doug predicts 14 weeks at the top of the charts. Hello!

I have to, on behalf of the band, thank a very select group of people without whom our video project would not be happening. They have all made a sacrifice for Rush Hour Soul (and our fans) by contributing heavily from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Rush Hour Soul is extraordinarily grateful to have such supporters and the future of the group has been secured by their generosity. They are:

Nathan Kelsey (please visit sponsor link:
KS1 Security)
Pat Vail
Herb Kelsey, Sr.
The Tokahutas
George Christo, Jr.
The Kutacs
The Rolstons (please visit sponsor link:
Free Heart Farm)

Many more of you helped us on our way to the UK back in May. All of you will be remembered by this band. You are truly the steam in our engine.

The video for A Talent For Loving (directed by
William Archer; line production by Home Films, Ltd.) will be completed in the next few days, pending our approval of the audio mix. We cannot wait to share it with all of you and the whole wide world. It's been a long process for us, but worth every ounce of energy and resources for us to fulfill part of our dream. That's right, part. Because this is simply the beginning.

Now get our there and have a great weekend.
Love, Power, Peace

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Feel The Heat. Songs of the Summer 2006.

Hey Soul Mates,
it's a day in the a/c here in SoCal. Couldn't believe it hit 111 here in North Hollywood on Saturday. As noted in an earlier blog, we've moved closer to the sun. There melts the neighborhood.

As a result, there's been lots of indoors time to catch up on popular culture past and present. I don't normally watch a lot of comedies anymore, but I finally saw Anchorman and Pootie Tang. Both, I would highly recommend. Also got around to On The Waterfront. Damn, that Brando (and Steiger) could do his thang. There are so many "classic" films I've never seen. Thank goodness, I got in Pootie Tang. Cole me down on the panny sty.

And lots of time spent in the pool. I haven't done this much swimming since I was eleven. I had forgotten how much chlorine straightened my hair.

Summertime is always a good time for new pop music. And there's some interesting summer tunage this year:

The new Justin Timberlake is the hottest track. SexyBack has got an early 80's hip hop beat and wildly processed male vocals not heard on a mainstream single since Prince's U Got The Look. A very bold move for an opening single to promote a new album. Justified remains one of my favorite LPs of this decade, so my expectations are high for Timberlake's new disc. If SexyBack is any indicator, we're in for another massive album.

Nelly Furtado gets high marks for Promiscuous/Maneater, if only because she held down the top spot simultaneously in the US and UK pop singles charts with each song, respectively. Her stabs at these tunes on SNL were regrettable, but these are fine productions, not performance pieces. It can't be easy for a folky singer songwriter to reinvent herself as a disco queen.

Christina Aguilera's
first solo single in years is pure heat, too. And she proves she is the real deal. There's virtually no music going on per se, other than a drum beat and a horn sample yet, she's got a real melody going on on this track. Ain't No Other Man does what Outkast's Might "O" can't in its attempt at 30's jazzy, retro-ness. Pharrell and Kanye's Number One is growing on me. Probably because everything Pharrell does sounds (musically, not vocally) like an outtake from Off The Wall.

The second biggest surprise of the summer has to be Oakenfold's Faster Kill Pussycat which features vocals by actress Brittany Murphy. I had no idea she could sing and wail like that. Pretty cool. And drum roll, the most eye-popping, jaw dropping surprise for this summer is how solid Stars Are Blind by Paris Hilton is. Granted, it's got a user-friendly reggae beat, a listenable hook, was tailor-written for her (no expense spared, I'm sure), but Stars Are Blind is a genuinely sweet performance and I've said as much to close friends and associates. Years from now I may recant, but for now, I'll stand by this opinion.

Other Summer '06 songs on my sonar:
An Easier Affair - George Michael
Fill My Little World -
The Feeling
Touch It (remix) -
Busta Rhymes & Mary J. Blige
Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs (easily the best modern rock track of the summer)

Too early to tell:
Deja Vu - Beyonce & Jay-Z (at least it's got Hova on it)
Call On Me - Janet Jackson & Nelly

As you may have noticed, there are very few rock & roll acts here. Well, they have kind of let me down this summer. Ain't naming names. So there's my weigh-in on the hottest newest for your Summer listening. Discovering new music and telling people about it has always been one of my passions. Did you find this article helpful? If so, press
1. If not, press 2.

Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, July 20, 2006

They Ain't Heavy, They're My Brothers

Hey Soul Mates,
but if you put them together they'd be one big dude! Not to mention old as dirt!
Wouldn't be here without you. I am the youngest after all. By many, many years in fact. Hope that wherever you are, whatever you are doing that it's fun/relaxing/cool ('cuz it's still dang hot!).
I love you.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Mama Get The Hammer

Hey Soul Mates,
Click the title above to hear this blazing side. It really reminds me of a wild, rocking Tom Waits number.
I'm only going to have this up here for about 24 hours. It's clipped and ripped for your favorite mp3 player. Save it if you want.

Peace to the Bobby Peterson Quintet wherever you are.

The Sun Is Closer Than It Appears

Hey Soul Mates,
it was a brutally hot weekend in California. The beginning of the week has been filled with little relief. I've been suffering with some heat exhaustion. I can only hope it's a little cooler wherever you are.

The band had a great set of workouts this weekend. We rehearsed in 98 degree heat. For real. Working hard for you. Thank the Lord for swimming pools. The drive was long but good. Special thanks to Los Rayos and Sons who helped us fix a flat in the middle of nowhere Sunday night. Good Samaritans are out there. Good karma gone come back to you.

Along with going through the set for our next show, we also worked on some brand new material. One of the songs, a dead heavy piece of RHS funk pop (I Can't Cry For You) will be debuted at IPO LA on August 2. It's always fun to road test a new tune. Several other songs are taking shape, but they won't be completed in time for the IPO shows. I Can't Cry For You came from Bryan jamming at the studio in Wales. He and I worked out the dueling guitar/bass riff at the Bedford in London. I wrung the melody and words out of the chords the other day hanging around in Beverly Hills. It's a well-traveled song already.

I'll post the lyrics for the new song right before the show in case you want to know what I'm singing. But please don't ask me what the song's about. I've decided that it's best for the audience to bring their own message to a song. There's apparently some quandary about A Talent For Loving's meaning. Who cares? I would just dance to it. Because it really doesn't matter what the song means, it's your ears and mind processing it. I just hope you want to hear it repeatedly.

Another cool by-product of the journey was listening to lots of music (15 hours in a car will do that). I got a chance to check out the new Justin Timberlake single a couple times. I like it. SexyBack should be big. Bold move for JT to make his voice unrecognizable, although I'd rather hear more of him than producer Timbaland on the chorus. Timbaland is all over the charts right now. His recent work with Nelly Furtado is growing on me. Their performance on SNL was lackluster, but the production on the records is killer.

We also checked out
Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour. He's spinning some real rare gems on that show. It's actually Dylan's record collection and his crazy ass introducing the songs. One track in particular has got me on the ropes. It's a little piano rock number on the V-Tone label from 1961 by the Bobby Peterson Quintet called Mama Get The Hammer. We may have to cover this song. It's crazy. 1'56" of howling, violence, comedy and blues drama. It features stops and ends on an unresolved chord. How obscure is it? The All Music Guide has NO listing for the recording or the artist! Nor is it possible to purchase it anywhere I can tell. Now that's reason alone to bring it back. The fact that it's a fun number is icing. If the link works, check out this review of the TTRH from NY Times.

It's time to prep the evite for our August 2 show. So, if you are on the mailing list you should be getting the announcement sometime later today. Stay cool and thank the Lord for creating A/C.
Love, Power, Peace

Monday, July 10, 2006

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window: Rush Hour Soul at Abbey Road

Hey Soul Mates,
well the last of the photos from our first tour of Great Britain are available for viewing. We spent the final day together seeing sights. We began the morning at EMI's Abbey Road studio where the Beatles made 90% of their records. Thanks to Bryan, we got to visit the actual recording studios where the Fab Four worked. We started with #1, where lots of musical scores have been recorded including Star Wars and Raiders Of The Lost Ark and All You Need Is Love. Then we went into Studio 2 and I nearly cried (again). For some it's walking into St. Paul's or the Louvre or the Capitol Hill Rotunda or seeing the Grand Canyon next to the Great Wall. For me, it was all those wrapped into one. A sanctified space in which to pay homage. Name a Beatles song, any song and it was probably put on wax in that room. She Loves You, Hello Goodbye, Help!, even The Word, which we covered during our tour. Bryan and I had been singing Good Morning, Good Morning from Sgt. Pepper on the walk from the tube to the studio. That was recorded in Studio 2, as well. The energy and history of the room was quite overwhelming, so I soaked it up. Below is a photo of the very young Beatles with producer George Martin in Studio 2.

Of course, most of you have already seen our recreation of the Beatles' Abbey Road record cover. There is a high quality copy now (suitable for framing) on our site.

Following the tour of the studio, Doug took the tube to Wimbledon to see Centre Court. Bryan and I did the heart of the city (Piccadilly, Tower of London, London Eye), but it was a brutally hot day. We were wilting by the time we got back to the hotel. That night, the group reconvened for a celebratory dinner at Bill Wyman's Sticky Fingers. A restaurant I love because it's decked out in all of Bill's old Rolling Stones' memorabilia. Plus the food is good. Special thanks to our tour sponsors KS1 Security for providing the feast.

We can't wait to Get Back to where we once belonged. The UK was very good to us. Our production continues to take shape. We hope to have the premiere of our new video shortly. Stay tuned. In the meantime, feel free to visit our website and check out the pictures of RHS on tour.
Love, Power, Peace

Friday, July 07, 2006

Boys On Film, The Video Shoot Begins!

Hey Soul Mates,
now you can get a
sneak peak of what our video (actually, film) for "A Talent For Loving" looks like! Check out the newest pictures on our home page. They cover the first half of the shoot at London's Bedford. The crew includes Director William Archer; Director of Photography Dennis Madden and actress Sarah Monrose. We filmed almost all of the promo at the venue, with some outdoor scenes at Tooting Bec Common. No pictures of the outdoor location, but you'll get a good sense of the main set, the Bedford's Globe theatre.

We absolutely loved the international crew: Brits, Italians, French, Americans. The DP, Dennis was a great character with a really good feel for the flow of the song. Our hand-picked director, Will, was superb at handling the shoot and properly motivating his cast. Sarah, who is stunning, was a major surprise. Best of all, everyone really seemed to enjoy the song.

The video should be making its premiere on in a few more weeks. Of course, we will make certain you know about it. Gotta run, but you go check out how handsome we look on the set of our first major promo film! The second half of the pictures will post tomorrow.
Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Superman Rocks And Stonehenge... Rocks

Hey Soul Mates,
last night, I actually paid to see a movie in a theatre for the first time in 6 months. Went to see Superman Returns and it was quite tremendous. I urge anyone interested in seeing it to do so before anyone gives away the plot twists. Yes, there are actually plot twists. The story picks up where Superman 2 left off, but takes place in the present day. Lex Luthor is out of jail, Lois Lane is about to win a Pulitzer and Superman split the planet for 5 years.

What I will tell you is that Brandon Routh (the new Superman) does a great job filling Christopher Reeve's boots. Parker Posey is funny as Lex Luthor's not-so-bright girlfriend (a combination of Miss Tescmacher & Otis), in the worst wigs and wardrobe you've ever seen. They must have pulled her costumes off the extras from the original '78 Superman. But the topper here is scene-stealer Kevin Spacey as Lex. He brings comic timing along with his John Doe (from Se7en) menace. Everytime Spacey was on-camera I laughed. The rest of the audience was kind of stoic. Maybe it's just me. Anyway, again, I will give away none of the plot, I ain't that kid.

The smartest choice the production made was to keep the John Williams' theme song and the title graphics true to the Reeve Superman opening. It really took me back to childhood and watching those Superman movies on tv (never saw a one in the theatre). That meant it was the director's game to lose and he kept up the pace for nearly 2 1/2 hours. There were enough bits of dialogue and visual clues from the originals to make if feel familiar. Superman has always been a little cheesy compared to other superheroes, but it was nice to walk out of a superhero movie feeling like you've had some fun.

[Six Degrees of Separation: You've heard me mention before that we were interviewed by Brandon Routh's sister, Sara last fall. Well, Parker Posey's brother Chris was a dormmate of mine in school. That can mean only one thing: Rush Hour Soul appears in the next Superman movie. Dang skippy!]

On to the important stuff. The real reason why you read this blog. Picture time! That's right, Rush Hour Soul is almost done with the photo-tour. Today's are from a travel day. We spent the morning of June 6 mixing at the Studio. Then around noon we hopped in the car and headed south. I wanted to show Doug Tintern Abbey. I also got a chance to play fetch with Rarebit who was hanging around the tavern again. From there we headed toward Salisbury Plain and Stonehenge.

The whole traveling party got a kick out of Stonehenge. We got the audio wands to do the walking tour around the monoliths. I managed to hear one of the spiels about 4 times on accident, by the last time I was rolling at the way the narrator was saying "mmyeaasss, the Station Stone," in reference to one of the pieces of the site. Once everyone else had heard it, we all said it to each other for the next hour. Bryan particularly perfected the delivery. Mmyeaassss.

From Stonehenge we drove on to London; dropped off the gear and the car and settled into squalor in Bayswater. Note to all travelers: avoid the "hotels" in Bayswater. Tiny. Stuffy. Cheap, yes. But in general, no fun. We were spoiled by the great outdoors in Wales. Suddenly we were thrust amongst the tourists, noise and whatever else.

All right. It's a busy day here. We are anticipating a new mix of our single. Then I have several hundred pictures from the video shoot and our performance in London to prepare for the website.
Stay cool everyone.
Love, Power, Peace

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Celebrate Like You're Lil' Kims

Hey Soul Mates,
it's the 4th of July. Time for grilling and chilling by the pool. Hope you have a safe and happy one. If you are one of RHS' friends on myspace, look out for this. I claim full responsibility. She should go down in history like Samuel Adams, Susan B. Anthony and Ben Franklin as a great American. Now get out there and rejoice: Lil Kims is FREE!!

Love, Power, Peace and Independence

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Radio Rush Hour Soul Debuts

Hey Soul Mates,
We are proud to introduce
Radio Rush Hour Soul. The debut track on it is our live performance of Fall Out. It's still in beta mode for us, so bear with us. Our goal for it is to play a whole jukebox of live, studio and rare Rush Hour Soul cuts. We'll also be adding snippets from interviews and spoken messages from the band from time to time.

tour pictures are from day 2 in the recording studio. This was the day for vocals. I did a lot of work on the tracking. Master takes, backing vocals, harmonies. A lot of experimenting and hot performances. Then the boys joined in to record the choruses. Lots of fun and a little goofiness. I am partial to our "BoyzIIMen" shot.

There are a couple of pix of the surroundings including Bry down by the riverside. No sword and shield, but he's got his beer and iPod.

Hope you all are enjoying the 4th of July weekend. Now that the Radio is up and running and pix are posted, it's time to take a dip in the pool, which is really off the wall. I got a color TV so I can see the Knicks playing basketball. Name that tune!
Love, Power, Peace