Thursday, October 27, 2016

Describing "The Perfect Girl" (a new LP from Liz Painter)

What makes you take a chance on new music? On the choice of a new musician? The artist takes out something deeply personal and finds a way to willingly share that with total strangers. If a relationship doesn’t come about at first blush, an avid music listener might never re-connect. In the space of a few minutes, at best- less, among the more omnivorous listeners-you have to relate a story, a state of mind, a feeling.

Fortunately for Liz Painter, she knows how to write a song, and make those few minutes count.

Asking for a whole album is another matter. In this day of singles, the album format is either a commercial relic, or, more generously, an embodiment of the artist as she presents herself in the space of a show. Heck, kids listen to pieces of songs, these days. But let’s say, ‘album’ is your chosen conveyance of yourself as an artist. How many styles do you need to pursue as an artist? How many will hang together for a listener?

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Bridgit Mendler, Atlantis, and Owlcat!

When Integr8d Soul opened for Benjamin K last year, we got a great taste of danceable tunes. We'd love to try some things in that direction, ourselves! Yours truly- Cecil- put together songs like Bejamin K's "Welcome To Atlanta" to create a presentation for the thirty attendees of the Rome Art Coterie, Making Comics. That spring and summer found Ben K as our popular "go-to" music (along with Flux Oersted and many popular Anime themes).

Before we completed the full documentary "Making Comics," we got sucked back into the comics industry in a new, elevated fashion, as we developed Hero Duty for IDW Publishing alongside HD's creator, the diversely-talented Joe Phillips! So, when we finish Making Comics, we will have made comics again on a whole new level.

But the point of this post is Ben K's afterlife as Owl Cat. He's been jamming out at festivals across Northwest Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
This song's one of his latest this year. Dance and hip hop meet in a lush Owl Cat setting- and why put it into words, when you can click for yourself?

Best of luck!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Phil Collins: Not Dead Yet! Genesis reunites

What do you know?
Phil Collins is coming back.
Detailed here at length on this blog in 2010, the Genesis drummer, vocalist, and 80's super star solo artist
retired in great pain, unable to sing or to drum anymore.

(Update, 11/10: Genesis is now back together to tour, too. Gubriel's working on his own thing at the moment, but hasn't ruled out working with Banks, Rutherford, and Collins again.

There was a time in the Deep South when Phil was one of the few rock artists with music "soft" enough, pop enough,
for me to openly listen to him in my home, where Mom and Dad took the church's staunch anti-rock music stance. I slipped him in along with some saxophone jazz like Dave Sanborn (and ha, Kenny G, my hair twin) and probably let my folks hear him cover "You CAn't Hurry Love," as Motown was maybe a bit less "evil."

I stuck with his tunes through my teens; his Ubiquitous Tour was my first ever rock concert. When I was 15, 16, Phil was high on my listening list. I particularly liked the first solo album. Reflections of my own luck in love, I think.

"One More Night" was my sophomore saxophone solo act in the talent show. Next year, we came back with "I Wish It Would Rain Down," this time with Matti Muench and Willis Woods as my rhythm section. I already had performing in my blood. Model Revue was a personal slice of the Divine for a formerly-painfully shy nerd. (Think I'm getting the years right.)

And now, he's let YOU know...he can really shake'em down.
Honestly, as much as it looks like it may've kicked his bum, Phil sold "In The Air Tonight" like a case of Girl Scout Cookies. He commits. He simply blows it away. Questlove grins his cheeks off, playing the most famous drum roll in rock.

Phil's got an autobiography coming out, too. Here: It's called Not Dead Yet.

“Do you like Phil Collins? I’ve been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn’t understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where Phil Collins’ presence became more apparent. I think Invisible Touch is the group’s undisputed masterpiece. It’s an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums. Christy, take off your robe.” - Patrick Bateman, "American Psycho"

So, hey: Phil's schtick was, he never was all that cool (though R&B artists like Phil Bailey just might disagree, and possibly some of the people who snapped up a whopping 100Million-Plus record sales), an artist for your folks who don't dance well, a comedian in his videos. It was very popular to hate on Phil Collins by the time he retired, but his career gave me nothing but happiness. Well, maybe not the Adult Contemporary-oriented phase...and I was too old and too young to get hooked on his Tarzan soundtrack stuff, but...why wouldn't I wish him the best?

I particularly like "Follow You, Follow Me," "ABACAB" "Turn It ON Again" and various other Genesis performances, often with him drumming behind Peter Gabriel- their approach took me a while to warm up to, but the time came! "Driving The Last Spike" and "Dreaming While You Sleep" were my last favorites from them. There was once a time when Invisible Touch was as good as it got for me. What can I say?

I am all about "Easy Lover" (with Phillip Bailey of EArth, Wind and Fire), "In The Air Tonight," and that whole first solo record, but I learned to play and sing quite a few of Phil's tunes- ironically, about the time he announced his retirement, I picked up his stuff on guitar. As I said to my new pal Peter Colp of "Air": Yep, the original pop music crime thriller! (And definitely all the better for originating as a true piece of rock music art that just happened to become an immortal single.)

And it's sorta funny, from the outside, if he had a fourteen-year feud with Sir Paul McCartney. Not really a "feud" I'd say- that's more like Roger Waters Vs. the rest of Pink Floyd sort of territory- just a meeting that went funky.
Too bad, but sometimes things happen and it's easier to not quite let it go and keep making zingers at the other person's expense. I know someone doing that right now.

My life's been plenty cool enough for me not to fear being found out as a Phil Collins fan.

So, as they'll see live in Europe next June...He's Not Dead Yet. :-D

Go PHil.