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Klark Kent (aka Stewart Copeland)

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A compilation of solo tracks by Police drummer Stewart Copeland was released today. The Stewart Copeland Anthology contains 21 tracks from Copeland's solo works, most of which are instrumental. However, the first track is not an instrumental. "Too Kool To Kalypso" was a song recorded by Copeland in 1978 under the pseudonym of Klark Kent. Up until 1980, Copeland recorded over a dozen tracks under that name before his true identity was revealed. Eight of those songs were released on a 10-inch green vinyl EP called Klark Kent: Music Madness From The Kinetic Kid, which remains a cool collectible item for both its appearance and its sound. A few other songs were released as singles and B-sides (sometimes pressed in green vinyl as well). In 1995, a collection of the complete Klark Kent recordings was released on I.R.S. Records, which was founded by Copeland's brother Miles. Kollected Works is now out of print, as are the original Klark Kent releases, and it has become the …

Bands of the living dead

I was rather amused to read this MSN article, which talks about bands "long thought to have disbanded" who "soldier on...long after even loyal fans believed them to no longer be in existence."

There certainly are countless bands like this still out there; my brother recently went to see shows by some kind of Thin Lizzy lineup and by some kind of Kansas lineup. The MSN article doesn't go that far in depth on the subject; among the bands they use as examples are Cheap Trick, Def Leppard, and the Who(!). But, anyway, I did think the article was worth reading, and the first two paragraphs sum up the trend well:

http://entertainment.msn.com/music/features/bandsofthelivingdead

Imagine if you found out that new episodes of "Laverne & Shirley" were still being made. Perhaps not with the entire original cast and certainly with the remaining cast members looking kind of old and out of breath. But still, the show was technically on the air somehow, somewhere, b…

Tower Records lives -- online

In case you haven't heard this, here is a portion of the e-mail I received from the Tower.com CEO in June:


Dear Tower.com Customer,

We are very pleased to report to you that the legacy of Tower Records will live on through Tower.com. We are currently in the final stages of the sale of Tower.com to Tower.com Inc., which is committed to upholding and maintaining the integrity of Tower Records, and positioning Tower.com as your preferred online shopping experience.

Thank you again for your business and your loyalty to Tower Records and Tower.com.


Joseph L. D'Amico
CEO
Tower.com

Didier Pilon
CEO
Tower.com Inc.

Starbucks music label debuts with new Paul McCartney CD

If anyone doubted that the Starbucks coffee company was serious about getting further into the CD distribution business, you've got another think coming. The company's new Hear Music label releases its first CD this week, and its first signed artist is none other than Paul McCartney. McCartney's new CD Memory Almost Full is the label's first release, and the CD will be constantly played in the thousands of Starbucks stores worldwide on Tuesday, June 5th. Here is the story:

http://music.msn.com/music/article.aspx?news=264337&GT1=7702

The ex-Beatle has only signed a deal for one album with the label, but he may sign for more if things go well. And the label plans to sign two more artists this year and eight next year. According to the article, Memory Almost Full "will be sold at most Starbucks stores worldwide, in all major music retailers, and on Apple Inc.'s iTunes online music store, making it the first of McCartney's 21 solo albums to be released digit…

Eight years!

The passage of time never ceases to amaze me. It has now been eight years since the day I made my website Rarebird's Rock and Roll Rarity Reviews viewable to the public, on May 31, 1999. It doesn't seem like such a long time ago, even though the world is certainly a different place now than it was in 1999. When I first created this site, the world was worried about a Y2K crisis that didn't happen. 9-11 was just a phone number that people called in case of emergencies. And me? I was deliriously in love with a girl who is now married to someone else; she and her husband now have a four-year-old son. So, any way I look at things, the world has definitely changed since I first created my site.

But the site still stands. The day I first unveiled it, it contained six album reviews by four different artists. Now, it contains reviews of over 275 recordings by more than 40 artists. I've basically accomplished what I wanted to accomplish with the site. In fact, the day I began wo…

RTZ - "Return To Zero" (1991)

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After I heard the news in early March about Brad Delp's suicide, I was reminded of a side project that the Boston lead singer took part in at the beginning of the '90's. RTZ (short for Return To Zero) was a five-man band featuring Delp and original Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau. Their 1991 album Return To Zero is currently out of print. I've written a review on my site:

http://rarebird9.net/rtz.html

This was not the only time that Delp and Goudreau collaborated outside of Boston. Delp also took part in Goudreau's self-titled 1980 solo album, and the two of them also formed a band called Orion The Hunter, who issued a self-titled album in 1984. Both of those albums have been reissued on CD by the Razor And Tie label. Perhaps Razor And Tie (or another label) might consider a Return To Zero reissue as well.

Gilby Clarke leaves Rock Star Supernova

According to Tunelab, Gilby Clarke has left the band Rock Star Supernova. Lukas Rossi, who became the band's singer after winning the CBS reality show Rock Star: Supernova, says that the band will change its name and are writing for a new album.

Update: Three years after I originally posted this story, no such album has come about. Many people predicted that this band would not last for more than one album. Looks like they were right.

Speaking of which, the self-titled album Rock Star Supernova has sold less than 56,000 copies in the U.S.

Traveling Wilburys Collection is coming in June

In case you haven't heard, the two long-deleted albums from the Traveling Wilburys are going to be reissued by Rhino on June 12th in a set called The Traveling Wilburys Collection. Here is the official press release from Rhino:

WHERE THERE'S A WILBURY, THERE'S A WAY
Traveling Wilburys Music Available for the First Time in a Decade

Remastered and Expanded Collectible Packages Feature Unreleased Bonus Tracks and DVD

Release Date June 12, 2007


March 26 2007

LOS ANGELES --

Nearly twenty years after the creation of the band, and over a decade since the music was last available to fans, the music of The Traveling Wilburys will be reissued on June 12, 2007, in the U.S. and June 11, 2007, worldwide. Rhino Entertainment announced the project today and will distribute the package from the Wilbury Records label.

The previously released albums Traveling Wilburys Volume 1 and Traveling Wilburys Volume 3 feature inarguably some of music's greatest singer-songwriters -- George Harrison, …

Burrito Deluxe

I've added reviews of the first two Burrito Deluxe albums (which are both out of print) to the Flying Burrito Brothers page. Burrito Deluxe is the band which was formed by the recently deceased "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, after the Flying Burrito Brothers name was finally retired in the year 2000.

The first of the two albums, Georgia Peach, was released in 2002. It was presented as a tribute to both Kleinow and Gram Parsons, and it didn't sound much different than many other albums that were issued under the Flying Burrito Brothers name. However, the second album was much better. The Whole Enchilada (2004) had a more well-defined lineup and a more fully realized sound, and the music seemed to be forward-looking instead of simply rehashing old songs and sounds.

Before Kleinow's death this past January, another lineup of Burrito Deluxe recorded a third album titled Disciples of the Truth, which was released on March 20th. This version of the band intends to continue witho…

Kyle Vincent's self-titled 1997 CD

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Did you ever hear a song that you loved on an in-store satellite broadcasting network, and then go crazy trying to find out who the artist was? This happened to me nearly a decade ago, when I worked in a department store. I kept repeatedly hearing a great pop song with the lyrics "I miss Arianne". It was a jangly and bittersweet gem, with evocative lyrics and innocent-sounding vocals. I got so annoyed when customers asked me for assistance while that song played. I wanted to purchase the CD so that I could listen to it in the peaceful privacy of my own home. Only problem was, I had no idea who sang the song. It's usually easy to find out the artist for a particular song through an internet search. I mean, the lyrics to every song can be found on the world wide web, right? I learned that this bit of conventional wisdom is not true. No matter what lyrics from that song were typed into search engines, I got no relevant results. I gave up hope of ever finding the song, and i…

Blender's 50 craziest pop stars ever

Remember the L.A. Times article I spoke about recently, which said that Eddie Van Halen was "somewhere between Axl Rose and Michael Jackson on the music industry scale of eccentric recluses"? Well, the folks at Blender magazine apparently disagree. The magazine's March 2007 issue features their list of the 50 Craziest Pop Stars Ever, but Eddie didn't make the list. Not surprisingly, Jackson came in at #1, and Axl is #3. The only person "between" them on this list is Brian Wilson! Britney Spears' antics got her placed at #6 -- just ahead of Syd Barrett!

Candy "Whatever Happened To Fun..." (1985)

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I've just completed Rarebird's Spotlight Album Review #13. The subject: the 1985 album Whatever Happened To Fun... by Candy, an '80's power pop band from L.A. whose members included guitarist Gilby Clarke (later of Guns N' Roses and Rock Star Supernova) and singer/pianist Kyle Vincent (who is now a solo artist). Fun was the band's only proper album, but an odds-and-sods collection called Teenage Neon Jungle was released in 2003, so I've reviewed that as well. Check it out:

http://rarebird9.net/candy.html

Ric Ocasek solo albums

Two of the solo albums by former Cars leader Ric Ocasek recently went out of print. Beatitude (1982) and Troublizing (1997) are now both reviewed on the Cars solo albums page.

Beatitude is arguably his best solo album to date. It employs a soothing and mellow electronic sound, without most of the Cars' rock and roll bounce. It basically set the pattern for Ocasek's subsequent solo efforts.

However, Troublizing was an exception. On that album, Ocasek fully embraced '90's alternative rock, and collaborated with such prominent alt-rockers as Billy Corgan and Melissa Auf der Maur. The results consist of more guitar noise than you would expect from an Ocasek album. Not his best work, perhaps, but no one can say it is indistinguishable from Ocasek's other work. After Troublizing, Ocasek took a casual eight-year hiatus before recording his next album, 2005's Nexterday.

Dilana sings on new Gilby Clarke song

Rock Star: Supernova fan alert: Gilby Clarke has released a new self-titled album, which is basically a compilation of the five solo albums he recorded between 1995 and 2002. But it does contain a new version of his song called "Black", which features Dilana on the lead vocal.

"Sneaky" Pete Kleinow dies at age 72

I've just learned that steel guitarist "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, an original member of the Flying Burrito Brothers who was also involved in many of that band's later lineups, has died. He passed away last Saturday, January 6th, from complications caused by Alzheimer's disease. He was 72.

Besides being a frequent member of the Burritos, Kleinow also had a long and distinguished career as a session musician, and also worked in film animation and special effects.

His obituary in the Los Angeles Times is here.

Rarebird's Flying Burrito Brothers Reviews