Tag Archives: Wicked Cool Records

New Music from The Breakers

A couple of years ago I stumbled across an album from a band called The Breakers. Why a band from Denmark was on a small label (Funzalo Records) from Arizona was beyond me, but what came out of the speakers was not. Not looking a gift horse in the mouth, I played the snot out of Here For A Laugh and counted my blessings. Motown meets Memphis meets Mersey; why can’t more bands get it? It wound up as my #3 record in 2007.

Prescriptioneers know that I love The Faces – just below The Kinks on my list of best bands ever. Certainly any band that carries that proud flag gets my attention, be it a household word like The Black Crowes or an unknown (on these shores, anyway) group like The Diamond Dogs. Like the latter band, The Breakers combine that bluesy Stones/Faces swagger with a rock and soul edge and a classic Britpop dance band’s fun mentality. And like Rod, Chris and Sulo, The Breakers have a great raspy voiced singer in Toke Nisted.

Video: Here For A Laugh

Just when I was beginning to fear they were one and done, I heard that Little Steven signed them to his Wicked Cool label with a new release planned for 2011. Last Fall a label sampler slipped the track “Riot Act” past most of our collective radar, and then today’s mailbox contained a link to another single, “The Jerry Lee Symptoms“. (Actually, it’s a Bo Diddley beat more than a Killer refrain, but it’s smokin‘ either way.) And that wasn’t all – I found that Here For A Laugh wasn’t their debut album, there’s an older one called What I Want. You can stream both albums here  (along with the new singles).

When the new album comes out I’ll have a full review, but I couldn’t keep this good news to myself. Now you have two month’s notice as well!

Video:Riot Act

The Breakers on MySpace.

Online vendor for What I Want here.

Unplugged? Sure, why not?

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Fuzztopia!

fuzztopia

I just got an email from Scott Hueston of Wicked Cool Records and Little Steven’s Underground Garage announcing their new project Fuzztopia. Looks like they are trying to create a shared portal where rock fans and musicians can create a directory of cool clubs, record stores, bars and bands – a reference tool created with input from people who actually live in these places. A list like this would be a great help for me just to find great pubs and record stores when travelling; I imagine the club info would be invaluable for bands looking to fill dates.

Of course there are dozens of smaller sites that do this now, and there have been networking mailing lists set up for this purpose for years. But perhaps with Steven’s involvement, a site like this could get a higher profile and truly massive participation. Assuming he keeps it free for registrants, this could be a great service.

I don’t pimp products or sell advertising on this page, but I do believe Steven’s heart is in the right place, having spoken extensively with him about the history of rock’n’roll and the difficulty in keeping the beast alive. He’s a tremendously successful person who could bask in the glory of his recording and acting legacy and just hob-nob with the elite, but he continues to take steps to bring real rock’n’roll to the masses in an era when the industrial machine is doing everything in its power to unplug the patient from the lifeline. Besides having the coolest radio show on the planet, he works tirelessly behind the scenes to help out up and coming bands with his passion, his expertise and his connections.

There are some great prizes that will be drawn at random for those logging in and completing a profile. As for content, I’m probably most excited about Fuzz TV. When I interviewed him in 2007, Steven told me that the footage from the first Underground Garage Festival on Randall’s Island was eventually going to be released on Internet television.  Here’s an excerpt from that feature in Pop Culture Press:

Unfortunately, the likelihood of a DVD release is slim. Chris Columbus (Harry Potter, Home Alone) was set to direct the multi-camera event, but a freak accident involving his daughter caused him to head back to Chicago. “She ended up okay, but he wasn’t there to physically direct the movie, and the funding went away. We never really recovered.” A few screenings were set to try and raise a couple of million dollars to continue the original plan to craft something really unique instead of a formula concert film. “First of all, it would have been the first 3-D concert ever done. I’m telling you, when Iggy Pop jumps up on one of the 3-D cameras, it’s the most amazing thing you’ve seen in your life. It’s like Iggy is jumping into your mind!” Not getting the film out was a disappointment (“it’s probably one of the top twenty tragedies of my life”) but just another in a series of setbacks that he will overcome. “We probably will start using pieces of it our Internet TV show in a couple of months”.

Well, it’s been a couple of years, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. All I know is that if we’re talking about The Dictators, Iggy, Boss Martians, The Pretty Things, Chesterfield Kings and all those other garage greats, there’s some incredible footage in the hopper!

So here’s the gist of the email from Scott – check it out for yourself.

 LSUG logo

Friends of The Underground Garage,

Stevie Van Zandt is excited to announce the Beta release of Fuzztopia – “all things Rock and Roll.” We need your help adding content, and we’ll be rewarding a few of the best profiles.

As a “one-stop” for FANS and bands, Fuzztopia will ultimately include:

–a place for you to purchase songs and albums from bands, including content exclusively available on Fuzztopia.
–advice and tools, from “city secrets” and “cool stuff” to “techville,” “video games,” and “da biz,” among other things. We’ll be gathering content from our favorite sites, but we’ll also have recommendations and feedback from musicians, bands, and people like Little Steven that just haven’t been available anywhere else. Think of “city secrets” as all the places in your hometown (restaurants, bars, clubs, etc.) that you would recommend to visiting friends. Likewise, if you have “city secrets” from other parts of the world you’ve visited, Fuzztopia is a fantastic place for that insight.
–tons of streaming video content. At “The Drive-In,” fans of B-movies will soon be able to watch and chat in real time. Meanwhile “Fuzz TV” will have live concert footage, original programming, and music videos.

Here’s where we need your SUPPORT & EXPERTISE:

–sign up as a fan, and create a profile
–add TWO of your favorite videos
–provide 5-10 “City Secrets,” plus ANY PHOTOS.
–ADD comments about “secrets” AREADY posted by others. Remember, people will be looking for your input! We know you have the inside scoop, and we want you to share it.
–create a playlist from the bands that have already uploaded their music.
–the beta version of Fuzztopia isn’t just about building – we want your feedback. Are there things you don’t like? Areas that need improving? A feature missing? Is anything confusing? Should we add something else? What do you like best? This is the time to tell us.

We will REWARD the best profiles with a couple of great prizes:

GRAND PRIZE (one winner)
* A pair of tickets to ANY one of the remaining Summer/Fall tour dates with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band! PLUS you and your guest will receive exclusive laminates to meet Stevie Van Zandt backstage before the show!
1st PRIZE (one winner)
* Fender Stratocaster Squire Classic 50’s guitar signed by Stevie Van Zandt!
2nd PRIZE
*FIFTEEN 2nd prize WINNERS will be selected RANDOMLY among the COMPLETED PROFILES, so everyone creating a thorough profile has a chance to win:
*A script for an Underground Garage radio show PERSONALLY signed by Stevie Van Zandt. PLUS a double CD copy of the applicable show. The scripts are always written by hand, and include a bunch of commentary. This is a highly collectible, immensely cool look at the creative process for the show

CLICK HERE for the sign-up page:

Thanks for your help making Fuzztopia the best place for “all things rock and roll.”  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at my personal email address: scott@wickedcoolrecords.com If you do not receive your confirmation E-Mail within 5 minutes of registering please check your Spam/Junk box – if you still have not received it please contact us.

***

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NEW ALBUM! The Coolest Songs In The World, Volume 8

Next one is "Number 9, Number 9..."

Next one is "Number 9, Number 9..."

Little Steven’s Underground Garage is in full swing, and along with the well-selected bands he has chosen to sign to his label, I always look forward to the “coolest songs” collections that are frequently issued. How great is it to get a quarterly mixtape from one of the most knowledgeable music fans on the planet? Those of you who listen to the Underground Garage radio show know about Steven’s long-time tradition of dubbing a current favorite track “the coolest song in the world this week“, so you can imagine the breadth and scope of the material eight volumes in and counting.

The latest release features old and new, with veterans like Pete Best and David Bowie sharing disc time with young pups like The Skybombers. There are also old vets in new surroundings, like Man Raze (who knew Steve Cook from The Sex Pistols and Def Leppard‘s Phil Collen have a band??).  Speedo – late of Rocket From The Crypt – rips through “Jump In The Fire” like a sore-throated Graham Parker. And if you think you recognize that organ playing on The Krayolas‘ cut, you’re right – that is Augie Meyers! Other standouts include tracks from The Broadway Calls and one of the most undearrated bands around, The Bleeding Hearts.

But this collection really belongs to the ladies. Anyone who’s a regular visitor to this site knows I’m all over Nicole Laurenne and The Love Me Nots, and Vibeke Saugestad‘s “Tonight” is irresistable girl-group Brill Building pop. And the 1-2 punch that opens the album is killer. Palmyra Delran‘s “Baby Should Have Known Better” will immediately send you to the racks looking for her EP (I bought one online as the disc was still spinning) and The Cute Lepers sound like The Clash via Joan Jett (not that it’s much of a stretch – the band is signed to Blackheart Records). Jen D’Angora (now there is a rock’n’roll name) and The Downbeat 5 light Tommy Boyce‘s “Dum Dum Ditty” on fire as the icing on the cake.

Little Steven’s mission is simple and straightforward – find great music, get it out there into the public ear, and hopefully get these bands some well-deserved attention (that hopefully translates into sales, gigs and the ability to sustain a career). Like always…game, set and match. Little Steven wins again.

All 8 volumes are available as physical CDs or digital downloads.

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