Tag Archives: Emitt Rhodes

Meet The Beatles, Sorta

Time once again to pay homage to Angelo over at Power Pop Criminals, whose mixtapes (will someone please come up for a less cumbersome word for mix disc?) are always first-rate works of art. And that includes the art, by the way – original work always created with affection, humor and great skill.

Over the past couple of years I’ve tipped you to many of his powerpop anthologies, Beatle album tributes and collections of tribute songs. This weekend I’m recommending you check out two of his more eclectic tributes, starting with Meet The Beatlesque. We’ve all heard bands and songs that make you think of The Fab Four; pretty much any pop band around has some Beatle DNA in their bloodstream.

So where many bands cover Beatle songs outright, here we are talking about bands who are channeling their influence or building off their foundation. Angelo describes the selections as those “who have had a Beatlesque moment, whether consciously or not. Beatlesque means bearing a definite resemblance, often to a specific Beatle song. To be truly Beatlesque,a record must wear that influence openly.”

So who does that? Hmm…how about The Raspberries, Utopia, The Rutles, Marshall Crenshaw, The Smithereens, ELO, 20-20 and The Flamin’ Groovies? That’s only a small sampling…from Disc One! Disc Two features Badfinger, Klaatu, Matthew Sweet, Cheap Trick, Emitt Rhodes, The Gurus, The Jamfifty tracks of fab between the two discs!

So click here to visit PPC and download this great collection. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, Reviews

Emitt Rhodes Documentary – it’s here!

Finally!

After having a premiere at the Rome International Film Festival in Italy last October, the Emitt Rhodes documentary,  The One Man Beatles, is going to make its US debut Thursday July 8 at the Don’t Knock The Rock film festival in Hollywood. The film features interviews with The Bangles, Keith Olsen, Ray Paul, Michael Penn, Allison Anders, and of course, Emitt Rhodes.

Trailer

From the Italian film festival publicity blurb: “A young director crosses the ocean to find Emitt Rhodes, the mysterious forgotten American pop star from the 1960s/70s, once dubbed as the secret alter ego of Paul McCartney. But these theories are refuted by Emitt himself, flushed out and placed in front of a video camera after many years spent holed up in his house full of old guitars and vintage amplifiers. His words reveal a past filled with regrets. His voice and his music proving his pure talent.”

In conjunction with the release of the film, Permanent Press is releasing a single by Ray Paul that was intended to be on the Emitt Rhodes tribute album Rhodes Of Perfection (currently put on hold by Brewery Records). Ray’s cover version of the Emitt Rhodes composition ‘Til The Day After” has just been sent to radio and will appear on the August 2010 radio industry trade CD Sampler A Taste Of Triple-A.

Rhodes and Paul have a long history; they performed together in concert in February 1997 in Santa Monica, California and some footage of that show is included in the film. A collaborative single, “Some Sing, Some Dance“, released in May 2000, received airplay on 55 Hot A/C  and A/C stations.

Listen to “Til The Day After

Listen to clips from Emitt’s discography

Emitt Rhodes website

Ray Paul website

2 Comments

Filed under Film/TV, Music, Reviews

R.I.P. Tommy Hoehn

This is turning into a depressing weekend.

I was so startled by the loss of Pete Quaife yesterday that I didn’t even realize it was Friday and therefore time for my weekly TGIF feature. By the time it dawned on me, I didn’t really care to go back and rectify the oversight; I spent a few hours last night reading tributes and thoughts from other Kinks fans who were also saddened by his passing.

Now just a day later, more bad news. Memphis takes another kick in the nuts with the loss of Tommy Hoehn who died late Thursday night. You might not recognize his name right off the bat, but he was an integral part of the powerpop scene in Memphis and a contemporary of Big Star and other Ardent Studios artists who were plowing a different field than corporate radio in the 1970s.

Memphis is still reeling from the loss of Alex Chilton in March; now this. Besides the obvious thoughts and prayers to friends and family, my heart goes out to John Fry, Jody Stephens, Van Duren and other musicians and associates who knew and worked with Tommy for so many years.

Back in the day, it was Creem Magazine that first tipped me to Big Star and I wanted to gobble up as much of that type of music as I could find. During that expedition I discovered Losing You To Sleep, Tommy’s second album. It was on London Records and sure, with his beard and opened white shirt, he looked more like J. D. Souther or Andrew Gold than your typical powerpopper. But “Hey Polarity” and the title song knocked me out, and another track (“She Might Look My Way”) was a Chilton co-write. 

Hoehn had his hand in the jelly jar for Sister Lovers and also did some work with The Scruffs, but he slid to the melodic Paul McCartney and Emitt Rhodes side of the fence more than he did the crunchy sound of The Raspberries or Badfinger. Reportedly his musical hero was Todd Rundgren, but listening to his beautiful melodies and delicate style, you realize that his doppelgänger might have been his friend from Big Star,  Chris Bell.

Coincidentally, another album I picked up at that time was Are You Serious by Van Duren; Van would later record with Tommy as the Hoehn-Duren Band during the powerpop rebirth of the 90s,  releasing Hailstone Holiday and Blue OrangeNothing disappears on the Internet, so I can give you this link from an eleven year old blog post that sums up how they got back together after years apart. (Van has a new album out, but more about that very soon.)

The anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death is sucking all the oxygen out of the atmosphere this weekend and no doubt both Quaife and Hoehn are getting lost in the shuffle. Maybe that’s par for the course, since both were underrated and undervalued in the commercial scheme of things. But for those of us who get it, these are sad and painful goodbyes to people who have contributed far more to the music of our lives than Jacko ever could.

R.I.P., Tommy. Ironically, we’re losing you to sleep.

Scott Homewood’s 2007 essay on Tommy from Lost In The Grooves

Amy Nyman’s 2007 blog post about that Memphis scene.

Ardent Studios

***

4 Comments

Filed under Editorials, Features and Interviews, Music

Emitt Rhodes, At Last

This will need a revision

I guess this will need a revision soon...

Funny how things circle around and back again. I bought and liked Emitt Rhodes‘ debut album when it first came out, but somehow I didn’t catch the insatiable bug for his music that so many other power pop lovers seem to have caught. Besides, I’m in New York City and I’m being bombarded with all kinds of sounds as the music of the 60s come crashing to a halt and FM radio finally cuts the umbilical cord to AM radio. Rock stars were dying, The Beatles were defunct, psych and garage and prog and glam and metal and a hundred other things were coming at me at warp speed. Can’t blame me for not following every single tangent. And by the time this one hit the wall, I didn’t even notice.

Several years later, I’m working in a Syracuse record store (which used to be a prestigious job. Hell, I had to audition!) and Ray Paul‘s 45 comes across the desk. Looks interesting, so I play it. Sounds great, so I buy it. Ray is from Rochester, just an hour or so up the road, but that’s a million miles at the time. And those other singles are telling me things like “God Save The Queen” and “So It Goes” , so a momentary pleasure is enjoyed and the single gets added to the collection.

Maybe two decades later, I finally meet Ray Paul in California at Poptopia. It’s ironic; he now lives in Los Angeles while I’m in his former hometown of Rochester.  I tell him the story about the single; he tells me about his friendship with Emitt Rhodes. (I don’t remember if we met Emitt that night – Ray and I  tipped more than a few pints that evening along with a couple of magazine editors). Within another year or two, he and Emitt release a new single on Ray’s Permanent Press label. I catch the bug.

And today, a decade after that meeting, Ray – now a friend as well as a musician I enjoy – emailed me with great news. The Emitt Rhodes film documentary, “The One Man Beatles“, will premiere  at the Rome International Film Festival on October 21st & 22nd. Ray was interviewed extensively for the film, along with Keith Olsen, Michael Penn, The Bangles, Joel Larson, Allison Anders, Janice Fortier, Dan Mayer and Jim Rolfe“The film, which is in the running for best documentary in  the festival, includes several songs which will be on the forthcoming  CD performed live in the studio by the new Emitt Rhodes Band. English narration is currently being put together for the release in the USA.”

The film announcement is exciting enough, but a new Emitt Rhodes album?? Wow!! Now that Ray lives in Rochester again, I guess it’s time to celebrate with a few pints on this coast.

A link to the film festival website.

Don’t know Emitt Rhodes? Here’s a link that will fill you in while you await the new film and album (and – hopefully – some live performances?)

Emitt wiki page

Ray Paul‘s MySpace page.

Permanent Press Records

Ray Paul Charles Beat

2 Comments

Filed under Features and Interviews, Film/TV, Music