Entries tagged with: Toto

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words and photos by P Squared Photography

Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band @ Beacon Theatre - 6/17/14
Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr

If it's a hot sticky summer night, there is a good chance the peace and loving Beatle, Ringo Starr is bringing his always reliable All Starr Band to a theater somewhere in America. Last night (6/17), they landed in the shed called the Beacon Theater for the first of a two-night stand on their current tour. For those that have never seen any of the past incarnations of the All Starr Band, what you don't get are deep cuts from say Ringo's 1970 very good but underrated country album Beaucoups of Blues. Instead you get an evening of, as Ringo said last night, sitting back, relaxing, smiling and singing along to some tunes you probably know very well. To the predominantly older audience last night, this was just what they wanted. The current incarnation of the band featured as usual a number of well heeled musicians who made their biggest marks in the the '70s and '80s. and have been mainstays of past All Starr Bands. Steve Lukather, one of the most prolific session guitarists ever and most well known as being in the band Toto. Richard Page of the band Mr. Mister. Greg Rolie whose unmistakable keyboard playing you have heard from his time with Santana. Drummer Greg Bissonette, another prolific session drummer who most notably used to play with David Lee Roth. Finally, rounding out the band is the Wizard, Genius, True Star and Runt, Todd Rundgren.

It's easy to be cynical about Ringo's constant waving of the peace and love flag (almost every tune was followed by him throwing up peace signs). I along with the rest of the crowd, though, put that away for the evening and sang along to songs such as "Photograph" and "It Don't Come Easy" -- from his best solo album 1973's eponymous Ringo. Songs made famous by some of the other members which meant of course the Toto hit "Hold The Line," Mr. Mister's '80s hits "Kyrie" and "Broken Wings," Santana's "Black Magic Woman" and "Oye Como Va." Getting the most applause of the "other member" songs were Rundgren's "I Saw the Light" from 1972's still amazing Something/Anything record and "Bang the Drum All Day" which saw Todd front and center banging, what else but, a drum. Finally, of course, some tunes by that "other band" Mr Starr used to be in. There were the covers from back in the day, The Shirelles "Boys", Carl Perkins "Honey Don't", and from Help, "Act Naturally" which was first recorded by the Hee Haw man Buck Owens and his Buckaroos. Finally, some of Ringo's Beatle's classics such as "Don't Pass Me By" and the last song of the evening, wait for it...."With a Little Help from My Friends"

Nothing complicated or challenging or even mind blowing. Just a fun, enjoyable night of very skilled musicians playing songs we all know and love. Ringo does it again at Beacon tonight (6/18), which there are still a few tickets left for.

Since we are on the topic of a Beatle, we should mention the big news that came out this week. At least big for vinyl enthusiasts (myself included in that group..ack run for cover) or nerds, whichever side you are on. September 9 will see The Beatles in Mono vinyl reissue box finally released. Thankfully the prayers of faithful were answered and the records are being cut to lacquer using the original analogue master tapes. The entire process being AAA. WOW! This was unfortunately not done with the previous Stereo box which used digital masters and while sounding very good, this new box should sound absolutely fantastic and exactly what vinyl fans rave about. At 400 or so dollars the set is not a cheap one but hey, go try to find original UK mono versions and see what that runs ya. For more in-depth information about the box, check out vinyl expert Michael Fremer's Analog Planet site.

Now someone find me a clean Original UK stereo Abbey Road for a less than obscene price please!

More pictures and the setlist from Beacon Theatre below...

Continue reading "Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band played Beacon Theatre (pics, setlist), will again tonight; Beatles releasing mono box set"

guilty pleasure

Chal Ravens at FACT writes:

In 2004, Radio London DJ Sean Rowley launched a clubnight-turned-phenomenon based on a simple idea: everything you thought was wrong is right.

Steely Dan? Toto? Lionel Richie? You love it really, said Guilty Pleasures, just admit it and dance. The concept was an instant hit. These days it even has its own week on X-Factor, where the upstart karaoke addicts get to maul school disco fodder like Carly Rae Jepsen and the Grease soundtrack (though neither of these chime with the taste of Rowley, whose Guilty Pleasures compilations star the terminally naff likes of Manfred Mann and Hall & Oates).

Point being, 'guilty' is no longer a word we much associate with pop. You'd be hard pushed to find a music critic who feels guilty about their love for Lorde's world-beating 'Royals', say, or some vintage Electric Light Orchestra. Everything is up for grabs, and music previously written off as cheesy or trivial (often the kind that attracted a typical fan outside of the young, straight, white male orthodoxy, like teenybopper hits or glitzy disco) now stands a chance of a fair (and irony-free) hearing. If the idea of a 'guilty' pleasure ever did make sense, it doesn't anymore.

All to be applauded. But what if we were looking in the wrong places to identify music's shameful spots? What if some records really can - or should - make us feel deeply uncomfortable? I've been ruminating on this lately in response to a handful of seemingly unrelated musical events, the first being the ill-advised return of Eminem, a rapper who seems hell-bent on pissing all over his legacy with ever weirder and and more unloveable comeback albums.

The story continues at FACT.

And speaking of Toto, if you've never seen the video of author Steve Almond deconstructing "Africa" by Toto as part of Tin House Magazine's 10th Anniversary celebration in 2010, you can watch it below...

Continue reading ""It's time to redefine the 'guilty pleasure'""

Pandora
Pandora

This letter, signed by a ton of artists and pictured above, is set to appear in an ad in Billboard:

We are big fans of Pandora. That's why we helped give the company a discount on rates for the past decade.

Pandora is now enjoying phenomenal success as a Wall Street company. Skyrocketing growth in revenues and users. We celebrate that. At the same time, the music community is just now beginning to gain its footing in the new digital world.

Pandora's principal asset is the music.

Why is the company asking Congress once again to step in and gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon? That's not fair, and that's not how partners work together.
Congress has many pressing issues to consider, but this is not one of them. Let's work this out as partners and continue to bring fans the great musical experience they rightly expect.

Pink Floyd, Down, Primus, Dead Kennedys (with our without Jello?), Nas, Alabama, Sheryl Crow and many more big major label names signed this (or someone signed it on their behalf). Check out the full list below, and head to fairpayforartists.com for more information on their point of view..

The issue is that Pandora is supporting the Internet Radio Fairness Act which they say will "help end the long-standing discrimination against internet radio". Artists are mad because that possibly means less money for them, but Pandora and other Internet radio providers argue they can't stay in business the way things are now.

Continue reading "A bunch of artists wrote an open letter to Pandora who support the Internet Radio Fairness Act"