Volume 2-2012



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THIS WEEK'S RAR TUNES:  Listen by clicking on the links or covers below.

Yours truly is offering up a little Jazz-Pop confection, with all admiration for the ancient Greeks, who knew a thing or two about winging it philosophically. Use this link or click on poor Democritus below to hear "A Simple Explanation".

Oh perversity at the county fair! I'm sure involvement with the Future Farmers of America has ruined more than a few young boys, what with all the glamour and all, and the exposure to breeding stock... Use this link or click on the good people below to hear another in a nauseating string of RAR originals - "(You Do) That Thing That Sets Me Free".

Yours truly has been all about myself of late, which is why I am behind on record reviews and most everything else, but I do have a new batch of recordings, starting with "Betty from Memphis", a tribute to stable types such as my actual Aunt Betty (Olita) in Memphis (not shown here), as well as to all those weary road warriors out there playing the soundtracks to everybody else's movies.

Call it "creative destruction", like Mitt Romney does. "Until Sam Walty's Dead" is a cowboy yarn about a villain - personified by the late and wonderful Warren Oates (below) - who has left an unfortunate legacy for himself (see chorus...). Walty is my metaphor for early 21st Century predatory capitalism, a force that must be dealt with so that honest souls can carry on.

Glory be unto Angie Omaha, whoever she is, pictured below on the cover to my next- generation version of "The Glow of Your Dark Eyes",  introduced several years back as a tune about "the dark side of loving a dark soul". Our girl Angie may not let me exploit her in this way for long, but as long as she does isn't she perfect? I mean, for this song?

"Just Eleven Minutes"  comes from a few years back, and from the same box as "The Glow of Your Dark Eyes", but the versions provided below come much closer to my ambitions for this story of a booze-fueled cuckold speeding toward a crime of passion and revenge. The song is almost entirely played around the single chord of E, with occasional transitions through A-B, for those keeping score. The "psycho" version was the original inspiration, but the Nashville chicken-pickin' version has some nice qualities. Unfortunately it also shows that as a guitar player I am no Randy Barker, though I hope to be when I grow up. (Randy Barker played with Michael Woody and the Too High Band, which in the end gave him way too little exposure, but those who heard him play remember it even 30 years later as something special.)




(Click here)

New Releases on RARadio: "Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; "Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" from Actress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; "Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio; Apteka "Striking Violet"; Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along"; Dana deChaby's progressive rock




"The Musical Meccas of the World"








Original Musical Compositions and Select Covers

Fiction and Non-Fiction

Special Projects






























Glad Tidings in

Glastonbury - Festival




The Editors

Dotting the Quarter Notes, Crossing the Beats



The Editors - Tom Smith (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano), Chris Urbanowicz (lead guitar, synthesizer), Russell Leetch (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Ed Lay (drums, percussion) - are a group of music pros who have previously been known by other band names such as Pilot, The Pride and Snowfield. They are a testosterone-laced techno-rock band that bears similarity in approach to such as Echo & the Bunnymen. Editors have so far released two platinum studio albums, and three in total, whilst selling over several million copies between them worldwide. Their debut album The Back Room was released in 2005. It contained hits "Munich" and "Blood" and the following year received a Mercury Prize nomination. Their follow-up album An End Has a Start went to number 1 in the UK Album Chart in June 2007 and earned the band a Brit Awards nomination for best British Band. It also spawned another Top 10 hit single with the release of "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors". The band's third album, In This Light and on This Evening, was released in October 2009, which went straight to number 1 in the UK Album Chart and received critical acclaim particularly throughout Europe. In addition, their song "The Weight Of The World" was featured in an episode of Chuck entitled "Chuck Versus the Sandworm" (Episode 1.6). Chuck plays it on his radio for Sarah as they discuss their relationship. Alongside their critical acclaim and strong success in the charts, Editors have consistently enjoyed sold out tours and numerous headlining festival slots.



Art Brut - Fall Down Funny Drunk

Why are the British so much funnier than the rest of us?- RAR



Camera Obscura

"When you're lucid you're the sweetest thing..."


Camera Obscura was formed in 1996 by Tracyanne Campbell, John Henderson, and Gavin Dunbar. Several other members performed with the band before David Skirving joined as a permanent guitarist. The band's first releases were the singles "Park and Ride" and "Your Sound" in 1998. The band's line-up changed in 2000 and 2001 when Lee Thompson joined as its permanent drummer, Lindsay Boyd joined as a keyboard player, and Skirving left and was replaced by Kenny McKeeve. On April 18, 2009 Camera Obscura released a special edition Record Store Day 7” called, French Navy for independent record stores.



Blood Red Shoes

Bloody bleeding ears! In a nice way...


Brighton bandmates Steven Ansell and Laura-Mary Carter, who comprise the foundation of Blood Red Shoes, formed the band in late 2004 after stints in earlier bands. The band drew inspiration for its name from a Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire musical, in which Ginger Rogers had turned a pair of white dancing shoes red with blood due to the amount of dancing she had done practicing for the role. The band cite a large swathe of US-based underground punk and rock music as their primary influence, drawing inspiration from Babes in Toyland, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Q and not U, Pixies, Fugazi and Sonic Youth, although they also regularly highlight English artists Blur and PJ Harvey as music heroes.The band frequently distance themselves from current English guitar music and consider themselves to be a punk band, in ethos and attitude, if not in their immediate musical style. Blood Red Shoes deal with themes of frustration, anger, alienation, boredom, doubt, psychosis, confusion, escape and ultimately the hope of freedom or change, in their lyrics. The band openly support anti-fascist campaigns such as Love Music Hate Racism, contributing on the second CD of the 2007 LMHR compilation album with the track "Can't Find the Door",[4] and have also played the feminist festival Ladyfest in the past.






















U.K. TO RELEASE ‘THE LATEST FASHION’ IN JUNE - Band Plans To Tour U.S. For First Time In Support Of Album

Welsh rock quartet Attack! Attack! U.K. will be releasing their new album, “The Latest Fashion,” in the U.S. via Rock Ridge Music on June 21, 2011. “It’s not about how tight your jeans are, how slick your hair is or how many tattoos you have,” says lead singer/guitarist Neil Starr. “It’s about the music, plain and simple.” The band, who has only performed in the U.S. once before (at SXSW in 2009), plans to unleash its live music experience on American audiences in support of the new album as well. Tour dates will be announced soon.

With eleven songs that go in your ears and bounce around your cranium all day (and then provide the soundtrack to your dreams that night), “The Latest Fashion” seamlessly blends soaring melodies, surging riffs and shout-’em-out-loud choruses: tunes that will rock out on the radio perfectly next to the Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World and Rise Against. The chiming, anthemic “Blood on my Hands” was inspired by Starr’s recent fatherhood. “It’s about responsibility and living up to your obligations,” says the singer. “Consider it a reminder that people count on you.” Another standout track is the relentless rocker and first single, “Nemesis.” “Everyone has one,” explains Starr. “I am my own worst enemy. If anyone’s going to bring me down, it’s me.” “The Latest Fashion” was recorded in Cardiff, Wales, in the summer of 2010 with acclaimed producer Romesh Dodangoda (Motörhead, Funeral For A Friend, Bullet For My Valentine) at the helm. The sessions were relatively relaxed compared to the intense 10-day marathon that gave rise to the band’s 2008 self-titled debut, which was produced by their old friend and Lostprophets bassist Stuart Richardson.

“Attack! Attack! U.K.” earned raves on both sides of the pond. The band was nominated as best newcomer in the Welsh Music Awards. Alternative Press called their album “a terrific melodic rock knockout.” NME trumpeted: “The entire history of British post-hardcore has been building towards Attack! Attack! [UK].” Kerrang! declared that their music “pack[s] enough pop-rock punch to leave you reeling for days.” The venerable metal mag also nominated the four-piece in the Best British Newcomer category at the 2009 Kerrang! Awards. Q Magazine named them one of the 10 best new acts in the world following their SXSW performance in 2009. deemed them “a very good attack indeed,” while Wonkavision called their record “a short, sharp, up-tempo album awash in catchy melodies and hook-lined choruses that will have you singing along in seconds.” In the UK, DJs Zane Lowe and Jo Whiley championed the band, while in the States, they got lots of airplay love from the Faction channel on SiriusXM, and the band’s songs received coveted placement on 90210 and in Guitar Hero 5.

Attack! Attack! U.K. hit the road in support of their debut with headlining tours and in high-profile support slots for Funeral For A Friend, Lostprophets and Aiden, as well as performances at both the Reading and Leeds Music Festivals. Every night, the four-piece worked its hardest to prove that it deserved the break it had been given. “Our shows are full of energy and passion,” says Starr. “We want people to sweat and have fun, because that’s what we do on stage.”

Attack! Attack! U.K. is: Neil Starr (lead vocals, guitar), Will Davies (bass), Ryan Day (guitar, vocals), and Mike Griffiths (drums).

For more information, please contact: Krista Mettler/Skye Media & Rock Ridge Music -

The Pigeon Detectives

The Pigeon Detectives deserve greater fame just on the strength of their name, not to mention the iconic rock nature of their presentation. The Rothwell, West Yorkshire boys have been banging it out since 2004, and have performed at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in 2006, where they were tagged "the band most likely to leap to the main stage in 2007 in an NME review. However, the band returned to the festivals in 2007 and again performed on the NME stage" - this from their Wikipedia site. Oh well, things got bigger and better. "They went on to perform their biggest show ever at Oxegen (sic) 2008 which was beamed around Europe on MTV." They seem in odd lot to be singing about American things. Check out the video.-RAR



The Pipettes


Okay, so admittedly the first many times I heard this song I thought she was accusing her ex of being "an empty juicer", which in a lot of ways is more interesting than what he actually turned out to be. You can watch the video to figure it all out. The Pipettes are a U.K.-version of the sort of pop factory approach that has been in play since Motown and before and continues to produce mega-acts such as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. The Svengali for this outfit is singer-songwriter-guitarist "Monster Bobby" Barry, who had the support of a record label and has since gone through a bevy of female frontpersons en route to where The Pipettes stand today, as Gwenno Saunders "and her sister Ani". Not sure why Ani gets the short shrift there, but that seems to be the accepted way for now. If the band's future plays out as has its past, that'll change. The female members are backed by all-male band, The Cassettes, which at present includes Monster Bobby, the Falcone brothers; Jon and Seb, and Alex White. - RAR






Winter in Eden

Staying Warm with Vicky Johnson

Fueled by the pitch-perfect and soulful Vicky Johnson, Winter in Eden is a Gothic symphonic rock collective that lays some very heavy metallic lines under some rather polysynthetic classical gas. It wouldn't mean much if the songs weren't so strong.

Says band leader Sam Cull, "Musically, Vicky is fantastic. Her vocal melody lines are always fitting to the music, but not always the obvious, and so she keeps everything interesting. She’s never short of ideas and is very passionate about how she feels a song should develop (always good for keeping myself in order as I have a tendency to go off on a tangent at times). As mentioned earlier Vicky is also a classically trained pianist, and is always full of ideas to add to the keyboards or a guitar melody.

"Lastly, but most definitely not least, is her voice. Vicky has a very interesting and unique voice with a lot of body and an instantly recognisable tone. If you hear the vocal, you can tell it’s a Winter In Eden track! Of all the things Vicky brings to the table, her voice is most definitely her greatest asset and live she never puts a note wrong which is just incredible!

"Without Vicky there would not be a Winter In Eden, it’s a simple as that."


The Laynes

The Laynes came to our attention a few years back when they were involved in a dispute with the BBC over a trademark issue. They may have lost - that would have been a gross miscarriage of justice - but all that changed was their name. The Laynes are one of the best bar bands anywhere, a balls-out quartet of earnest Scots who demonstrate a deep devotion to the music of their heroes: The Kinks, The Beatles, the Merseys in general. Now they are back with an EP and a second album as The Laynes is expected in early 2012. -RAR








U.K. News









©Rick Alan Rice (RAR), March, 2012