Where Are They Now – TPOH (The Pursuit Of Happiness)

In 1985 Moe Berg(vocals, guitar) and Dave Gilby(drums) moved from Edmonton to Toronto. They met Johnny Sinclair(bass) and sisters Tam & Tasha Amabile(background vocals). They released a 12″ single and a low budget video of their first song I’m An Adult Now.

The song was re-recorded and an album was put together called Love Junk(produced by Todd Rundgren). This album was their biggest selling album, selling Platinum in Canada, and making the charts in many other countries around the world. They were nominated for Breakthrough Artist and Best Video at the 1987 Juno’s. It was a sad time for Canadian music, as they lost to Frozen Ghost and The Parachute Club. Blech!!

The next album One Sided Story (also produced by Todd Rundgren) had some hits, including this one.

The band released their 3rd album, The Downward Road. Sales had declined, and after this point they were dropped by their major label. Not before they released this gem though.

Their fourth album Where’s The Bone featured a truly Canadian anthem about hockey.

They released one final album. However, they have never officially broken up. They have done some one off songs over the years. One of my favourites was Edmonton Block Heater. This song has a much harder edge. It’s a raw song that was the opposite of their previous efforts. It was featured on the cd A Tribute To Hard Core Logo. This cd has a bunch of one-offs by a number of well known bands. I suggest to pick this one up ( and also watch the movie Hard Core Logo).

There have been numerous line up changes throughout the years. Here is the list:

The most recent lineup:

Moe Berg (lead vocals, lead guitar)
Dave Gilby (drums)
Kris Abbott (vocals, guitars)[joined 1988]
Brad Barker (bass, vocals) [joined 1990]
Renee Suchy (vocals)[joined 1996]

The alumnae (one alumnus):

Johnny Sinclair (bass, vocals) [left 1990]
Tam Amabile (vocals) [left in 1988]
Tasha Amabile (vocals) [left in 1988]
Leslie Stanwyck (vocals) [joined 1989; left 1990]
Susan Murumets (vocals) [touring in 1990 only]
Rachel Oldfield (vocals) [joined in 1992; left 1995]
Jennifer Foster (vocals) [joined in 1995; left 1996]

Moe Berg lives in Toronto with his wife and 2 young children. His wife runs a successful home run business. Moe continues to make music. He works as a DJ, record producer, music writer and author.

Moe has his own blog site at moeberg.ca. One thing I thought was a great read was his post entitled The Contract. Read it here

Dave Gilby has continued to be a member of TPOH, as well working again with Tam and Tasha Amabile in the group Daughters Of Eve.

Kris Abbott lives in Kingston, Ontario and performs under the band name Kris & Dee.

Brad Barker went back to college and studied broadcasting. He is now an on air personality on Jazz FM91 in Toronto.

Renee Suchy moved back to Edmonton to raise a family, but is still involved in music. She is in a band with her 2 sisters named The Ambers.

Johnny Sinclair and Leslie Stanwyck formed their own band called Universal Honey. To date they have released 7 albums.

Susan Murumets got a degree in psychotherapy and opened her own practice. She continues to perform however under the band name The Cocktail Shakers.

Rachel Oldfield was also in the Canadian band Parachute Club, and is on the Board Of Directors for the Radio Starmakers Fund.

Jennifer Foster has continued to make music and has also delved into acting.

An interesting read from a fellow blogger at Jaded and Elated featured TPOH. Read it here

The band did a reunion show in 2014 that I found out about too late, but I will keep my eyes open for another one. If they ever do reform, I will be the first in the ticket line.

This was a group post. For others check out:

Gin Blossoms- 1001albumsin10years

Tonic – mikeladano.com

The Refreshments – keepsmealive

Paul Laine – StickItInYourEar

Crash Test Dummies – KMA

 

 

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We miss you Randy

March 19, 1982. 34 years have passed since the death of Randy Rhoads. One of, and some might argue the best guitarist the world has ever seen. He only lived 25 years, but he gave us so many wonderful riffs, so I thought I would share a few with you.

Not as well known were his days in Quiet Riot, and good quality footage is not out there to my knowledge

He seems like he was a humble, nice guy. I have never read anything negative about him.

Some of his playing when he was 15

Ozzy listens to lost Randy Rhoads solo

An interview with Randy’s mom Delores (RIP) done by a 15 year old in 1984

News reports from that day in 1982

St. Patrick’s Day Musical Tribute

A simple musical tribute for my Irish friends.

Not my favourite band, but they certainly were a force to be reckoned with, and have helped put Ireland on the musical map. A haunting song off their best album.

Nothing could be more Irish than Thin Lizzy live in Belfast

Possibly the best Irish guitar master

Not as well known, but equally awesome

A duet with Mark Knopfler off his newest album

Boomtown Rats

Zombies are all the rage now so

Possibly her most memorable performance

Happy St Paddy’s day all. Have a green beer, or green tea for me.

Album Review: Eagles of Death Metal – Zipper Down (2015)

We all know the band now, but probably for the wrong reasons. If you didn’t know the band before that fateful day in Paris at the Bataclan Theatre, you now do. I probably did not focus on the band in years past because of the name. I wrongly assumed it was a death metal band, and the growling vocals of that genre are not my favourite. I can only assume that the band name has caused some others to ignore the band as well.

With a name like Eagles of Death Metal, one would assume they were a very hard, and loud band, with wailing guitars and screaming, growling vocals. One would be wrong. This band is very different from the name. It might be more like a combination of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Chuck Berry, City and Colour, and Spinal Tap. A weird combination for sure, but with a huge dose of tongue in cheek, these guys can pull it off. They never take themselves too seriously. Josh Homme was quoted as saying “Four out of three doctors say Zipper Down is an eargasm trapped inside a Crazerbeam.” Jesse Hughes in turn said “I came up with a great analogy for what the music is. It’s bending George Clinton over a couch and butt-fucking him using Little Richard as the dick, and the Rolling Stones and Chuck Berry as the balls.” Ummm. Yeah. Moving on.

I bought the cassette version mainly because I have tons of vinyl, tons of cd’s, but have only a handful of new release cassettes. Cassettes haven’t died, but most of the bigger acts do not issue them, so I had to buy this when I saw it. I wrongly assumed that when Metallica did a cassette release, and it was such a great seller, that everyone would jump on board. Besides it is a cool red cassette. Possibly the first one in my collection.

Complexity – With the drums booming, the vocals making a magical beat, and all kinds of weird and wonderful noise, this song is a great start to the album.

Silverlake (K.S.O.F.M) – Cool song that has a bit of a updated Cars (Gary Numan) beat with a not so cool theme. The theme is about a hipster, wannabe who would trade the services of his girlfriend to the bouncer in order to be let into the happening hotspot.

Got A Woman – Starts off with Rocker (AC/DC) riff and morphs into a Ramones-like fast paced rocker, and back again.

I Love You All The Time – Has a bit of a country rock twang and cool guitar slides. A neat song about unrequited love. The French language section adds a neat touch.

Oh Girl – A 70’s sounding number that has elements of funk and early electronic music.

Time to get up and flip the cassette over.

Got The Power – Vocal harmonies begin this song with high highs and low lows that remind me of the Oak Ridge Boys. This is no country song though, with a pounding drum beat, addictive guitar riffage, and vocals that make you want to sing along.

Skin Tight Boogie – Fuzzy guitars, talk box, and Jack White themed guitar riffs. What a wicked combo. This song makes me wonder if EODM got a call from Steve Miller about music plagiarism. The similarity between this song and Space Cowboy is very evident, but the world is big enough for both as far as I am concerned. They are both freaking awesome.

Got A Woman (Slight Return) – Very promising sound. Too bad it is so short lived.

The Deuce – Has a bit of a 70’s Rolling Stones flavour. Fuzzy guitars are always welcomed in any song I listen to, especially if they take centre stage. This is a real toe tapper. I never knew this, but apparently The Deuce can boogie.

Save a Prayer – I never, ever thought I would hear this song again. Duran Duran and I never really saw eye to eye. I heard it enough back in the day to do me for life. This version is pretty cool though. I really like when bands take a pop song, and rock it up.

The Reverend – I wonder if this has a bit to do with front man, Jesse Hughes becoming an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church. This has nothing to do with religion though, and all to do with getting on the dance floor and shaking your groove thing. The guitar work here is especially intoxicating.

I am glad to see the tragedy in Paris did not end the band. They are starting a world tour 2 days from now, hopefully coming to a city near you.

As for the album 8.75/10

 

 

 

 

Album Review:The Baker Skateboards EP(2016)

2016-03-15 15.29.12

Skater songs have certainly changed from back in the Stone Ages when I used to say shit like “Rad Board Dude”, and “Gnarly”. I went through a phase in my teens when I hung out with dudes that wore Vans, spending time riding boards and BMX bikes. We would jump ramps, grind railings and usually wipe out. The odd time we did a cool trick but we were just posers. We liked our tunes though. I would bring the metal, someone else brought punk, some others brought rock and we would crank the blaster and do some innocent hell raising(minus the Trooper).

Welcome to 2016. Baker Skateboards are a relatively new comer to the game. I had not even heard of them before this compilation(which isn’t saying much since I have been out of the scene for around 3 decades). They have gathered 5 musical acts together to promote the sport and their brand. If they convinced an out of shape, way past his prime old fart like me to buy the EP, that says something about the talent involved.

End To End by Earthless – This was the entire reason I bought the album. I went to the Earthless concert last night, and bought this from the merch booth(I even got the band to sign it). This is the first Earthless song released since 2013, so it is something fans have been waiting a long time for. It is also very rare since it includes vocals, and is much shorter than most Earthless songs. Earthless are described as an instrumental psychedelic rock band. I can tell you from seeing them live, they truly do bring it. It is kind of like going back in time to 1970 and seeing an epic, 2 hour non stop version of a live Led Zeppelin show minus Robert Plant. Smashing drums, wailing guitar and enough booming bass to knock down buildings. This song however is a little different. I would say more Sabbathy at the start. Screeching feedback mixed with guitar and drums begin the song off. The vocals begin and sound like a mix of Neil Fallon (Clutch) and possibly early Ted Nugent. The sludge fades into a psychedelic Hendrix and the guitar work takes over. This song alone is well worth the price I paid for this album, I just wish there were more. I hope this means we will be seeing more Earthless songs featuring vocals, as this was a nice touch.

Friday by Pell – This has a nice trumpet to begin this song off. It sounds like a nice jazz number. Then the electronic drum beat and the rhyming begins. It is a nice number. I’m certainly not into dance/rap any longer, but this one is not annoying. It has a good beat, the vocals are well placed, the bass is booming, and the rapping is well done. I prefer my music to not be made by machines, but I do respect that this type of music is an artform loved by millions.

Giving Up The Ghost by Zig Zags – Fast paced, hard rocking song. It has kind of a 70’s Deep Purple/Judas Priest feel to it. I have never heard of this band before, but I definitely will check them out more.

Wave Function by Denmark Vessey – This song begins with computer sounds and it has sort of an electronica song feel to it. Then the slamming bass and dance/rap vocals begin. Another song that has deceived me into thinking it is one thing, then turning into another. The vocals repeating on a loop and real bad electronic drums are definitely not my thing. I am sure the boarders in 2016 will appreciate this more than me.

Goatshow by The Goat & The Occasional Others – Another band I have never hear of. The song has a punk feel to it. All about wanting to go to a Goatshow. I think I’ll pass that show, but I do like the song. Not as fast as most punk songs, but has the feel of dissidence bubbling just below the surface. Another band I will look into.

So overall, 2 awesome songs, 1 really good song, 1 good song, and 1 I could do without. Not bad considering the target audience is 2 or 3 decades my junior. There are official places online to search for a free download of at least some of the songs from this album, or better yet, go see Earthless live and pick up a physical copy. Win/Win.

If I were to score the 3 songs I really dig, it would be much closer to perfect, however overall I would give this a 8.5/10

 

“Bad” Spots In Music

A post today about bad spots in musical recordings. I had Quiet Riot-Metal Health on cassette. It had a bad spot in the tape. Whenever I heard the song Metal Health (Bang Your Head) I would anticipate that bad spot. When I heard the proper version, it sounded weird to me. Another song I thought had a bad spot was I Love Myself Today by Bif Naked. Listen to the video below at 1:36. There is a glitch on the studio version that I can only assume was left there on purpose. I have no idea why.

Merry Clayton gave her all on Gimme Shelter. She was woken up at midnight to come to the studio to sing. Her voice cracks but it was left in the recording, which made the listener actually feel how hard she was screaming to get those notes out. That was Mick Jagger yelling ‘woo’ as I’m sure he was as impressed as we are. Merry was pregnant at the time, and unfortunately the strain from singing her part contributed in having a miscarriage right afterwards.

The bass line was off at the start of Cannonball by The Breeders and then corrected. It really adds to the song in my opinion though.

Jeff Lynne may be one of the best musical geniuses of modern times. I wonder if it was intentional when his band ELO recorded Sweet Talking Woman. It sounds as if one of the channels dropped off of the song at 1:54.

Chicago had some of the biggest hits of the 70’s and 80’s. Their song Wishing You Were Here has a warbled sound at 2:03

 

Whoever was in charge of cutting and splicing tape during the recording of For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield left a few sections on the cutting room floor. The B is left of Beware and the P is left off of People In The Street.

One of the most covered songs ever, Louie Louie has a curse word, a false start, missing notes, but it was in Animal House, so all is good.

Lastly, one of my favourite guitar songs of all time Funk # 49 has Joe Walsh make a very minor error that was never corrected at 2:49

Feel free to share any songs I missed, or let me know about songs/tapes/cd’s/records that had a bad spot you got used to.