Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday 80s Flashback for June 27, 2014

[An Idol Post] -- I heard a Billy Idol song on the radio this week. Now, finding Billy Idol on the FM dial is not exactly a rare occurrence. As a solo artist, and not counting compilations, the man released seven studio albums, a live album, one EP, and 34 singles. And he's not exactly a slouch: Over his career, he has been nominated three times for a Grammy and ten times for the MTV Video Music Awards (he even won one of those). So, there's a pretty good chance that at any hour of the day, some pop/rock station, particularly if it's an 80s station, will be spinning one of his tracks (if we can still call what DJs do "spinning). However, it got me to thinking: What about the band he left just before he became a solo star?

Billy Idol first garnered some notoriety as a member of the punk band, Generation X. Generation X got started late in 1976 and, after a few lineup tweaks that saw Billy Idol move from guitar to vocals, they released their debut album in 1978. Ignoring most of the "rules" established by other UK punk bands, Generation X took much of their inspiration from British pop of the 1960s. Consequently, they were one of the first punk bands to appear on the BBC show, Top of the Pops. Musical tensions regarding the band's direction surfaced between their second LP, Valley of the Dolls (January 1979), and what would have been their third studio LP, Sweet Revenge (recorded in 1979 but unreleased until 1998). 1980 saw more personnel changes and the band made another go at a record. They abbreviated their name to Gen X and released Kiss Me Deadly (1981). The album failed to chart, and the band fell apart.

After Kiss Me Deadly, Idol took one of the tracks ("Dancing with Myself") to launch his solo career, while bassist Tony James formed Sigue Sigue Sputnik in 1982. Sigue Sigue spun their creative wheels (and a few synthesizer dials) for a few years before releasing their debut record in 1986. Overall, they released two albums and nine singles between 1986 and 1989. They were also active in the mid to late 90s and the early 00s.

Now, with that windup, you're likely wondering what songs are on tap for this week. Well, you can hear and read more after the break.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Audition Notice: Snyder v. Phelps ... THE MUSICAL!

Sharing for my theater peeps: Audition for Snyder v. Phelps … THE MUSICAL!

My friend, the amazing Shelli Pentimall Bookler, has a new play coming out and you could get a part in it. Information is below (all text and images after this line are borrowed from strictly for helping to promote the show).

Snyder v. Phelps, the musical will premiere at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival 


September 12-14 at The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Special performance at Bucks County Community College September 11, 2014

Books and lyrics by Shelli Pentimall Bookler
 Music by Josh Martin
Music Director Mark Urmson

Snyder v. Phelps follows the controversial Supreme Court case of a grieving father of a fallen marine battling  the infamous Westboro Baptist Church

Funded in part by Bucks County Community College Cultural Planning Committee and the Bucks County Community College Foundation

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday 80s Flashback for June 20, 2014

[Do You Remember?] -- Bob Mould recently released his 14th studio solo album, Beauty & Ruin (2014). In the 80s, however, he was the frontman for the seminal rockers out of St. Paul, MN, Hüsker Dü. Named after a popular 70s memory boardgame (the title of which meant, "Do You Remember?"), Hüsker Dü was largely known for being a hardcore band that crossed over to alternative. Or, rather, they were the band that pretty much created the so-called alternative genre. So, we'll celebrate Mould's new music by glancing back at his older material. Jump the break to read and hear what old tracks I picked for you this week.