Star Tonight 14th September 2005
My apologies that this second newsletter has taken so long to be sent out - the past two weeks or so have been a bit of a blur for me: my mother was admitted to Intensive Care where she remained until her death on Sunday 9th of October. My grateful thanks to everyone who offered their prayers and messages of support and love.
All of the playlists have now been posted on the site, and webmaster Brian Currin has done sterling work in adding a "Groups" section to the site. Simply click on the group you'd like to read up on and you'll be taken to the playlist that featured that particular group. If the particular group or artists' name appears more than once, it means that more than one track from that band or artist has been featured.
Thanks to everyone who's sent in their "Top albums of all time lists". Each person has been given their own "domain" on the Feedback page. Simply click on your name and voila ... your name and your choices, in lights, for all to see! You're encouraged to make use of this facility - it's really interesting to see the different music selections, some of them quite surprising! You're welcome to provide a bit of info about yourself - if you're offering a music-related service, all the better! If you're a musician, it would be great to know what albums inspired you!
Gig information and snippets of interest can be found on the Home page (scroll down to the bottom) and under the "Gigs" section. If you have details of any forthcoming gigs or happenings, please let us know and we'll do our bit by punting them for you.
Comment (aka "venting!")
On the subject of happenings, those of you that are familiar with the SA band Clint & Co (the popular band who have toured the country performing the sold-out Creedence Clearwater Revival and U2 tribute shows) will be pleased to know that the new album "Hammer, Mother and Rock", has just been released. The album is available via the band's website (www.clintandco.co.za), and it's also available at gigs, at R100.00 a shot. Sales at gigs have been excellent, which proves that the public actually do enjoy the band's music. Guitarist Peter "The Hammer" Hanmer's track, "Freedom", (which is essentially a re-worked version of the stunning "Remember September" number with its 9/11 theme), has been very well received at gigs and is ideal for radio play. Thankfully, some radio stations have been featuring the track on air, whereas some of the others have not. This has been a recurring problem with these stations for a number of years now, and it's both baffling and frustrating that some South African bands don't seem to have any problems getting their material aired, whilst others are constantly ignored or discarded, often arrogantly and dismissively being told that the music "doesn't fit the station's format!".
I personally approached 94.7 a few years ago and requested that they consider playlisting one of a number of tracks that Off The Edge (the same members appear in Clint & Co) had released. Not only did they not have the courtesy to reply to me, but when I made further enquiries, I was told that they were too "80's sounding", which was a bit rich coming from a station that constantly churns out Richard Marx and Bon Jovi numbers, and who would appear to have a boring, limited playlist that's repeated regularly! I can understand that Motorhead may have a bit of difficulty getting "Ace of Spades" playlisted on either 94.7 or 5fm, but "Freedom", with it's stunning vocals, emotive lyrics and instrumentation, is a beautifully written, thought provoking ballad-type number that has been known to bring tears to audience's eyes. Then you hear some of the soulless, mindless dreck that some computer geek put together that's found its way onto these stations' playlists and you realize that, a few level headed and innovative people aside, the radio and music industry in this country really is on the way down, along with so many other things.
It must be terribly frustrating for these, and other musicians, who are not only talented, but who play to packed out venues whenever and wherever they play, that they can't even get a look in on any of the major radio stations. What do they need to do to get aired? Who do they have to pay, or blow? Is it a racial thing? Is it because they use real drums instead of computers, which maybe confuses the narrow minded, tunnel visionned "boffs" that compile the playlists? Or guitars? Is it because the lyrics don't have some dildo with pants that are ten sizes too big, and a backward facing cap, crapping out some other schmuck for letting the dogs out? Is it because the station maybe feels its listeners aren't sophisticated, intelligent, or old enough, to appreciate or understand good, original music that doesn't have a rap, pop or dance beat or lyrics that don't have a single "yo!" in them? Or is it that the people who compile the playlists spend their lives in raves and dance clubs and don't really know anything about quality music?
The following cry for help from the band was recently received. It's pretty self explanatory, and I think it's disgusting, shameful and terribly sad that a band of this class and quality actually has to be forced to stoop to this level in order to be heard.
We need your help!
The only thing that has not worked for us this year is getting our original songs on radio - only Algoa, SAFM and Radio 2000 have aired us - can you believe that 5FM & 94.7 have bombed (amongst others) Pete's song "Freedom."?
We need public pressure - please phone/email them and request "Freedom" by Clint & Co - lets help them to see the light!!
The really ironic thing about the two stations mentioned above is that they both profess to promote South African music!
South African bands that play good, original music are a rarity - they should be nurtured, encouraged and cherished, not shunned. Certain radio stations also need to know that not all their listeners are in the 4 to 24 age group, and that quite a few of them possess more than one brain cell, and are quite capable of appreciating good, homegrown music that isn't necessarily rap, dance, kwaito, pop or whatever!
No wonder so many of our musicians have left for other shores (which REALLY worries the powers that be, no doubt!)
Apart from that, I'm having a good day......!
Anyway, where were we? Oh yes...
Most of the local record companies haven't exactly been particularly helpful or interested in providing information on new releases. Fortunately for the Internet and overseas mail order companies such as CD Connection, and a few individuals at some local music companies, namely Kenny Tlale at Sheer, Duncan Shelwell at Gallo, Rui de Sousa of High Fidelity in the Killarney Mall (who is bringing in the Frontiers Record label, amongst others) and Lee and Grant at Alter Ego (SPV/InsideOut and others), I've managed to source some amazing music, most of which will be featured on the show in the months to come.
My grateful thanks to Charl Barry who has managed to find some great music for me on his frequent trips overseas.
Remember that music stores such as Look and Listen (check the phone book for a store near you), Compact Discovery in Edenvale, Gauteng (011) 609-0624 - Wayne, or High Fidelity (011) 486-4639 - Rui or Adrian, are the places to go for great music and dvd's, music or otherwise.
Some great new CD releases you can look out for:
Clint & Co - Hammer, Mother and Rock
Excellent new album from Clint Cunningham (vocals), Peter Hanmer (guitars), Mike Dorea (bass) and Glenn Welman (drums), who are also members of Off The Edge. This hard working and well traveled South African band are very popular and well known, having performed the Creedence Clearwater Revival and U2 tribute shows countrywide and in Swaziland, Zimbabwe, etc. (Own Label). Available through gigs and via the website (www.clintandco.co.za)
Jake E Lee - Retraced
The former Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands guitarist is back with a great album of covers by bands such as Trapeze, Robin Trower, Free and others. (Mascot Records)
New Model Army - Carnival
Their new album, co-produced by Chris Tsangarides of Thin Lizzy etc, fame. (XIII BIS Records)
Hawkwind - Take Me To Your Leader
The Space Rock kings, Dave Brock, Alan Davey and Richard Chadwick, are back with a great new album,
their 14,273rd (only kidding!). Featuring guest appearances by Lene Lovich, violinist Simon House, Jez Huggett, Matthew Wright, Jason Stuart and (Crazy World of) Arthur Brown. (Hawkwind Records)
Blood, Sweat & Tears - Mirror Image, No Sweat and New City (Individual CD's)
The final two CD's featuring vocalist Jerry Fischer ("No Sweat" and "Mirror Image"), and "New City", heralding the return of David Clayton-Thomas to this great brass/rock outfit, have finally been released on CD! (Wounded Bird Records).
Iron Maiden - Death On The Road
Eddie and the Irons return with an awesome double live album, recorded in Dortmund, Germany on 24 November 2003.
A truly powerful, beefy recording from one of the greatest metal bands of all time. (EMI Records).
Abstract Truth - Silver Trees & Totum
Two "lost" South African gems that've finally been committed to CD by Benjy Mudie on his Fresh Music label. Originally released in 1970, these two albums, barring a few tracks due to time constraints and poor quality, appear on a single CD. Liner notes by Brian Currin. (Fresh Music)
(Remember to tune in to Benjy's "Rock Of Ages" show on Radio 2000, every Thursday evening between 8.00pm and midnight).
HIM - Dark Light
Melodic, pleasant album, verging on prog, from this powerful hard rock outfit. (Sire Records)
Pendragon - Believe
One of England's best prog bands, originally formed in the early 80's. If you enjoy Marillion, IQ, Pallas et al, you'll love Pendragon. Featuring great vocals and guitar work from founding member Nick Barrett. (Thanks to Dave Kershaw for getting me a copy of this great album). (Toff Records)
Allman Brothers Band - American University - 12/13/70
Recorded at the American University (hence the name, just in case you were confused), in Washington D.C. on 13 December 1970. The Allmans were one of the bands that started the whole Southern Rock thing. Featuring great versions of well known tracks such as "Whipping Post" and "Statesboro Blues". (Sanctuary Records)
Black Label Society - Mafia
The new offering from guitarist Zakk Wylde's band. Powerful, yet melodic stuff from Ozzy's guitarist, with James LoMenzo on bass and Craig Nunenmacher on drums. (Artemis Records).
Many more new CD releases to follow in the next newsletter.
New DVD releases
Yes - 25th Anniversary Concert - Live in Tsonga
Filmed in May 2004, this double dvd features the classic line-up of Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire, Jon Anderson, Alan White and Steve Howe. Great quality! (Warners)
Anna Vissi - Live
Don't wear tight pants when you watch this! Greece's Rock queen is surely one of the world's most beautiful women. She's a sensational singer and has a great band (her drummer's a very strange lad - he looks like an extra from "The Evil Dead", but he knows his stuff!) (Sony Music)
Thunder - Flawed To Perfection - The Video Collection 1990-1995
Words are superfluous. Just get this dvd, from one of England's best EVER bands! (EMI)
More new dvd releases next time 'round.
Bits and Pieces
If you're in the Cape Town area and you're a vinyl junkie, visit "Vibes Vinyl". This is a vinyl-only shop, run and owned by Alan Hilton, a respected and very knowledgeable vinyl and music collector.
(Contact 021-683-5676 or email@example.com)
And still in the city known for it's hot women, remember to tune in to Fine Music Radio 101.30fm every Wednesday evening between 10 and midnight to hear Shiloh Noone's "Blues and Variation" show. Shiloh is one of the country's most knowledgeable music fundis. His book on the subject, "The Seeker's Guide To The Rhythm of Yesterday", is essential reading.
And lastly, of course, please remember to tune in to The RockIt Scientist Show on 1485 Radio Today, every Wednesday evening between 9.30 and 11.30pm, and again on Fridays between 10.30pm and 12.30am. If you have DStv, it's also available on the Audio channel 70.
Tell the ones that you love, that you love them, every day.
Until the next time.
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