Tag Archives: Dr. Feelgood

Comedy Awards; R.I.P. Mick Green

It's OK to drink and vote, it's comedy!

Looks like comedy will get the last laugh after all.

MTV Networks and Comedy Central, along with Don Mischer Productions, will present The Comedy Awards, the “first multi-network event dedicated to the serious art of being funny” The affair will honor the writers, directors, actors and stand-up comics who made us laugh in 2010.

The event will take place on March 26, 2011 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, while the program will be simulcast on Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land, VH1 and Nick at Nite on Sunday, April 10, 2011.

This is actually pretty exciting. I’m seeing a comedy boom unlike any since the 80s, and as sad as it has been to lose so many of my comedy heroes over the past few years, there is a new generation making its mark thanks in large part to their ability to produce and distribute work online. It’s time to leverage the activity, and New York is the right place to do it. I really, really  hope they get this right.

Nominees will be chosen by The Comedy Awards, Board of Directors, a prestigious group of comedy legends including Will Ferrell, Billy Crystal, James Burrows, Whoopi Goldberg, Seth MacFarlane, Brad Grey, Phil Rosenthal, Adam McKay, Jimmy Miller and Jay Roach, among others.”  That’s actually a decent start with decent representation of performers and show runners, with people who are dialed in to the current scene as well as the classics.

Winners will be selected by the Comedy Awards Voting Body, comprised of professionals from the comedy community-including producers, writers, performers, directors and stand-ups. In addition, comedy fans from around the world will nominate and cast their votes in online-only categories…”. It will be interesting to see what the categories are, and whether they follow the path of having people vote only within their appropriate categories. But I like the fact that, at least for the major awards, this is not an online circus dominated by people who have limited awareness of the history of the art.

Obviously there will be a slew of hot performers to spice up the event and broadcast (and DVD sale, and t-shirts, and …). The press release says it’s an “historic one-night-only celebration” but you know this is going to turn into a cash cow and be an annual event. And after the embarrassing list of nominees for “Best Comedy Album” that the Grammys belched out, who could blame them?

Let’s hope for a serious Hall of Fame and a tribute to recent losses like Robert Schimmel, Greg Giraldo and Richard Jeni. Better yet, how about a perpetual exhibit featuring the history of comedy? Take the initially great idea of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and avoid their mistakes.

I will say that the mention of MTV made me throw up in my mouth a little until I realized that they and Comedy Central are owned by the same parent corporation, Viacom.

Read all about it at the official website.

And R.I.P. one of rock’s founding fathers, guitarist Mick Green. His innovative work in bands like Johnny Kidd and The Pirates was a huge influence on countless bands, from The Who and Chris Spedding to Dr. Feelgood to revivalist garage and Mod bands that feature that simultaneous lead/rhythm style of playing.

I’m not sure where we go when we die, but the band just got way better.

Mick Green website

The Pirates

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New Album! Love Messengers

As much as I love new albums, I’m thrilled when seasoned musicians decide to have a little fun and take a whack at some stone cold classics. When a member of the Finnish band Electric Crayon Set had this urge, he quickly rounded up a bunch of like-minded guys and knocked out an album under the guise of Love Messengers.

We Said! We Said! is more hits than misses, and certainly the selection of bands they cover (The Kinks, David Bowie, The Remains, The Pirates) is your litmus test for how much you’d like the album. As is often the case, most covers can’t measure up to the originals or the better known versions; for example, their take on Mike D’Abo‘s “Handbags and Gladrags” pales in comparison to Rod Stewart‘s classic interpretation. But most here are stellar attempts that are not far off the mark. Certainly if you walked into a club and this music was pounding off the stage, you’d be all over it.

Video: “Save My Soul

While it’s not as good as Jo Jo Zep and The Falconscover version, their take of Otis Redding‘s “Security” is drenched in organ fills and sexy background vocals (and frankly, just choosing the song is worth bonus points!). And their take on the Ducks Deluxe classic “Coast To Coast” kicks ass thanks to great organ riffs and ripping guitar solos. Following that with a Dr. Feelgood cover is not only a great 1-2 punch to end the album but perhaps sums up the point of the whole project… “you need 3 chords, fun lyrics, some attitude and that’s it – the essence of rock’n’roll!”

Listen to clips at Amazon.

Buy from Soundhawk Records

The Garage Punk Hideout

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T.G.I.F. – Ten Powerful Pub Rockers

Seems like everybody was sick of the radio as the mid-70s approached. Some went underground. Others got back to their roots, whether it was nihilistic and chaotic (punk) or traditional (roots rock). Some literally hit the UK corner bars for an evening of well-played r&b/country blues and rock’n’roll; hence pub rock.

Strip away the nomenclature and you’re back to upbeat, rhythmic, toe-tapping, air-guitar slinging music that will put a smile on your face whenever you slap it on. If there is such a thing as Friday music, this is it.

Perhaps a slight bit of liberty on my part if a few of these tracks are from outside the immortal era; if so, at least the musicians performing the material have validated roots.

So here are ten powerful pub rockers to start your weekend off!

01. Graham Parker and the Rumor:   “Empty Lives

02. Dr. Feelgood:   “Roxette

03. Mickey Jupp:   “Georgia George

04. Eddie and the Hot Rods:   “Quit This Town

05. The Inmates:   “I Thought  I Heard a Heartbeat

06. Ducks Deluxe:   “Coast To Coast

07. The Motors:   “Dancing The Night Away

08. Brinsley Schwarz:   “Surrender to the Rhythm

09. Bram Tchaikovsky:   “Girl of My Dreams

10. Rockpile:   “If Sugar Was as Sweet

Yeah, I know that last band is only one-quarter Brit (two Welsh and a Scot), and for all their related efforts only have one proper album. But pub rock is about the music, not birthplace, and Rockpile was a pub rock supergroup.

Besides, if it was about being in pubs, these would all be Faces tunes, yes?

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PPC-TV is On The Air!

Point your antenna to Heaven

Point your antenna to Heaven

Sure, that came rolling out of my mouth a little easier because I was a loyal and dedicated SCTV fan. And just like that fictional program operated on the fringes of society, so too does PPC-TV.

I’ve turned you on to the amazing Angelo before when I posted links to his amazing Beatles tribute discs – the ones he reassembled album by album, track by track, to match the Fab Four canon. So it’s a given he’s a pop lover.

He’s now decided to share a wealth of amazing video clips from a plethora of sources like tapes of old Musikladen programs, French variety shows, and random promotional videos. With PPC-TV he’s launched what I hope is the start of an incredible potpourri of musical manna from Internet heaven – something for everyone.

Lesser known powerpop like Silver Sun and Dom Mariani? Check.

Old pub rock like Dr. Feelgood and Kursaal Flyers? Yep.

Vibrant video from Dramarama, The Gigolo Aunts and Flamin’ Groovies? You got it!

Need an injection of Buzzcocks and Ramones to kickstart your heart? No problem!

It’s the weekend! Turn on, Tune in, and Drop Out

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Under The Radar: The Sonic Thrills

Hit me!

Hit me!

The Sonic Thrills: Get Up!

I don’t know how I missed this one last year, especially now that I realize the lead guitarist and drummer are also in The Love Me Nots (whose two releases made my best-of lists the past two years). So I guess they flew under my radar as well as yours…this would have made my best-of list had I heard it on time.

As the name suggests, The Sonic Thrills are a high-energy, fuel-injected rock’n’roll band. While I’d tag them much closer to garage rock than punk, they play with a fury that is far closer to the 77 sound. Michael Johnny Walker chainsaws some rhythm guitar alongside David Kains, but when it’s time to rip off a kinetic solo it’s flashy but compact. Drummer Jay Lien and bassist Chris Waldron absolutely pound the beat home on every cut; I would highly recommend having a defibrillator nearby if you try to perform any physical activity while this is playing.

Lead vocalist James Monarch is well-suited to the mile-a-minute pace. While not a howler, he’s forceful enough to sell songs about bad luck, bitchy women and…uhhh…closing the deal. On most songs he reminds me of Dave Gilbert, the late lead singer of The Rockets, who along with Dr. Feelgood were the first bands I thought of  when I first heard this album. Both bands have solid r&b roots, a fierce sound propelled by a relentless drummer and a guitar player who is as good a rhythm player as a soloist. “I Don’t Wanna Die” might be the only song where Monarch sings like a punker, but it certainly suits the song. Hell, I don’t wanna die either! Even “Sinatra’s Ghost”, where the singer meets the spirit of Ol’ Blue Eyes in a dark smoky club, sounds like an unreleased track from The Dictators.

“Feel it shake and rumble up from the ground”, Monarch growls in “Soul”, and that’s as apt a description of the Sonic Thrills sound as anything else. This mofo starts in fifth gear and doesn’t let up until a cymbal crash thirteen songs later. Bring this stuff to the East Coast, willya?

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