googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners


WOMANIZER is the title of the debut album from L.A. Hard Rock band WOMANIZER. It's a title and a band name that may not seem much in style right now with the term often being used to describe the sort of man that women in the millions are currently protesting but that doesn't bother the band. Womanizer isn't a new band and at one time their name was viewed as ironically humorous. But times have changed. And how.

The lead off single from the newly remixed and remastered ten song CD, Pictures Of You, is about a man whose childhood next door neighbor was the apple of her father's eye. A great deal of his childhood memories are of the photos her doting dad took of the two of them. It seemed only natural that the young beauty would grow up to become a model, appearing in fashion magazines before destiny, bad luck and a slumping economy directed her into the Porn Industry. It is a tale of an earlier age with references to "a theater, all night arcade" when you had to venture out to sleazy book stores that had video booths in the back if you wanted to view pornography rather than in the comfort of your own home and the Internet.

The next tune on the CD is titled Sexist and at first listen may seem a bit unsavory as well but it is actually a rather sweet idea about a man who views his life as a series of relationships with women that he cherishes. Some men recall the various chapters of their lives by remembering what kind of car they owned at the time, or where they lived, or what job they held while some men view the different periods of their lives as a series of their love affairs. The character in this song is done playing the field and has settled down with one woman but still keeps all the others alive in his heart. Is that being sexist?

Fire Up A Boogie is an instrumental that refers both to smoking a joint and to the basic musical style. Several of the songs on WOMANIZER have a Boogie-Woogie, Swing Music vibe to them along the lines of early Aerosmith or ZZ Top. This is definitely an American band. The marijuana reference is appropriate as the band has built a cult following by performing in underground 420 clubs referred to as "Smoke-Easies" and have been featured in Freedom Leaf Magazine, The 420 Times and Vegas Cannabis Magazine.

WOMANIZER review video for the reading impaired.

Mass Murder Man, along with the song Sexist were described by BAM Magazine as "entertaining, energized Pop Metal". Mass Murder Man is another example of WOMANIZER's bad timing as the recent mass shooting has attached a connotation to it that was not intended. Originally a comment on the Punk Rock scene that in the affluence of Hollywood seemed to be populated by rebels without a cause, it now is viewed as a commentary on gun violence.

Going from the frying pan into the fire we have Sidestreets, a saga that is clearly about gang violence that exists purely for the thrill of the kill. This track sounds like a movie that you watch when you close your eyes.

As a palate cleanser we next have Tough Love, a not too romantic ballad about a love gone bad. This is one of the CD's poppier numbers and one to which you could actually dance.

Never Have & Never Will is a theme song for all the musicians out there, like the guys in WOMANIZER, who have chased the Rock & Roll Dream only to ultimately discover the real success was in experiencing the journey itself.

True Love is the other "love song" on a CD that otherwise is a bit cynical. It also shows some of the band's more psychedelic influences.

The emotional peak of the album is the David Nigel Lloyd penned tune, Machine Gun Danny. It's the comic book style tale of a robot (android) that is a political assassin and uses being a Rock & Roll star as his cover. Imagine if Ziggy Stardust was a robot. And killed people. Times have changed.

As a grand finale which feels like an encore, the eight minute epic Ghost Song closes out the CD in a very satisfying way. The song was written by the late poet Don Coorough and like the man himself, depicts the road the music has been on since the start of the album as ending in a dramatic and tragic manner. The extended guitar solo in the middle of the song which was always a staple of the band's live shows, is now less a guitar solo and more of a guitar sound collage. A mantra of interweaving electric guitars that defies concentrating on any one riff but becomes an hypnotic tapestry of sound which takes the listener right up to the edge before returning to the cinematically dramatic, yet melancholy ending. 

WOMANIZER is available on iTunes, Amazon and virtually everywhere the Internet may take you. Pictures Of You can also be heard on Little Steven's Underground Garage on Sirius XM Radio starting in February, 2018. Enjoy the trip.

This Is Not Dying

Ever stay up all night tripping on shrooms, having deep, insightful conversations until the sun rises and said "I wish we had made a movie of all this"? Don't bother, Wendy Morrison has done it for you.

This Is Not Dying is a ninety minute movie described by Wendy, a well known Los Angeles musician and songwriter, as being without a genre or category. But having spent as much time as I have around filmmakers, there is definitely a category for her film and it's the Art/Experimental/Student category. Okay, I guess it's not that easy to pin down but my impressions of it that I got while watching the recent screening held at the California Institute Of Abnormal Arts is that its stream of consciousness, psychedelic minimalist plot is in the same basic mode of Easy Rider, Two Lane Blacktop, The Trip and long form music video. One of the things that makes this film seem the work of slumming professionals rather than students or tripping old hippies is that the production quality is relatively high. It was shot in HD by a real cinematographer and the main actors all seem confident and experienced in front of the camera. 

This Is Not Dying review video for the reading impaired.

Outside of maybe some of her band's music videos, I don't know how much time Wendy herself has spent in front of the camera but her screen presence and confident acting chops can't be denied. Whatever aspirations she has as a filmmaker, she should really consider a professional acting career. I'll be even more impressed if I could be allowed to read the script from which she was working. It's in the nature of the story that much of the dialogue may have been ad libbed and if that is the case then I am much impressed with her acting ability. If, however, the actors were speaking the lines from the script verbatim, then This Is Not Dying could be viewed as a great actor's demo reel. Everyone involved should be proud, I know how difficult it is to produce a 90 minute film that actually looks like a real movie.

Shaniah Page and the Mysterious Boy

I was recently sent the new video from "Country/Indie Pop" singer Shaniah Paige who was named after Country singer Shania Twain who was named after "Country" writer Mark Twain who was named after newspaper editor Samuel Clements so you can tell right away I know what I'm talking about. Shaniah is currently a college student which is to say she's not a professional singer, yet, but has worked with multi-platinum music producer Andrew Lane (High School Musical, Hannah Montana), who produced her first few singles so she has some musical miles on her already. Perhaps Lane saw another Hannah Montana, aka Miley Cyrus in her but thinking that leads down a dark road.

Before I venture down that road I'd like to mention that young Shaniah is from Monmouth, Il, and has recorded her Country inspired Pop, not Country or Pop Country, with multi-Grammy winner Larry Beaird, was named Fresh New Face of Country Music by Renegade Radio Nashville and signed a record deal with Heart Songs Records. She's performed at CMA Fest and opened for Stella Parton at BB King's, Nashville, Granger Smith, Love and Theft, Walker McGuire and Morgan Wallen.

In her new video, "Mysterious Boy", Shaniah comes off as the All American Girl Next Door, pretty, vivacious and reminiscent of a bygone time. Portrayed as a waitress in a roadside diner hearkens back to the "Happy Days" of juke boxes, 45 RPM singles and sock hops. It also recalls the melody line of the chorus of TLC's hit, No Scrubs and goes nowhere we don't expect it to go. For someone with one foot in Country Music she sings without the requisite Country accent and the only real nod to country is the pedal steel and the Telecaster lead fills on the track. The song sounds like a Pop singer forced into cowboy boots. Perhaps her road to stardom is the Taylor Swift Trail.

Shaniah Page the way she looked when we first saw here. Sigh!

Now to get dark, not because I'm geared to look in the shadows but to see what may be coming in order to best prepare for it. We've seen this all before; the pretty young girl who wants to be a "STAR" and has people, certainly well intentioned, behind her. She's recorded professional, well produced material and obviously has a professional PR firm behind her. Her target audience at this point is the girl she used to be, young pretty and interested in music. She looks to Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus or Britney Spears not only for entertainment but for fashion, make up and dating tips. Therefore, following the formula already well established, she has one of three routes; go more Country. Taylor Swift and other young, pretty Country stars stay relatively fresh faced but although there's been more of a merger of Country and Pop and Rock since Garth Brooks, Country is still a pretty exclusive club and pretenders are not easily welcomed. Shaniah, at this point is very much more Pop than Country and this may force her onto one of the other two paths eventually. The next path is the Brittany Path; exploit your youthful good looks and natural sex appeal. It's a rather distasteful path but one that can lead to major success for someone who may need that little extra push off the cliff when the singing/acting/dancing/writing chops are only just okay. Barbara Streisand could stay "Funny Girl" for most of her career but she has an exceptional singing voice. She also had a pretty unique personality. The last path is to get yourself noticed by taking the Freak Show Path. Miley and Stephanie were talented but nondescript entertainers until they started letting their freak flag fly. Miley shed her Disney Hannah Montana persona and then her Billy Ray Cyrus' daughter label by geting bizarre looking as did Stephanie when she became Lady Gaga. Before you think this is being sexist and saying men don't have to exploit their sexuality or become side shows to become successful take a moment and think about David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Marylin Manson, Kiss, virtually all hairspray metal bands, Ozzie Osborn, Iggy Stooge, Arthur Brown, all the Emo, Goth, Metal, Psychedelic and Glam bands......

Relevant Noise of the Night Herons

Boy, it's hard to keep a band together these days. This band from Oakland, California, The Night Herons consist of Dana Berry on vocals, guitar and drums, Mike Assenzio on guitar and Larry Huene on guitar and drums but Larry's already left the band to move to Chicago. And then there were two...

A heron is a bird, like a kind of stork, and I guess a bird's gotta fly. That's a shame because The Night Herons' new 15 track CD, Relevant Noise, sounds like they'd be a fun live band. The simple guitar, bass and drum sound is clean enough to let the lyrics cut through while hard enough to let you know these guys started in a garage somewhere in Oakland and have no intention of flying too far from that Bay Area (Moby Grape, Blue Cheer) vibe. With two drummer/guitar players swapping instruments throughout both their CD and live shows, they have twice the variation in sound with half the personnel. A straight ahead guitar rock band.

The Night Herons' press kit refers to the "social content" of their lyrics but to be honest I usually space out to the music and can't understand most song lyrics anyway so I'll have to take their word for it. Besides, at my age I really am not looking for young rock musicians to set my political priorities for me. I just wanna dance. Okay, I can't dance either but I do appreciate a guitar solo now and then as well as some nice harmonies and Relevant Noise has both. And despite the CD title and their self description as raw sounding garage rock they really are a very tight, relatively clean sounding three piece with some vocal work that borders on pretty. Good hooks, melodic melody lines, pleasant vocals and simple production puts this into the 90s rock bag along with The Foo Fighters, Weezer and their ilk. 

Night Herons perform Bad Idea at their record release party at the Ivy Room on August 19, 2017. From the album Relevant Noise. Band members: Dana Berry gtr/vox, Mike Assenzio lead gtr, Larry Huene drums, Brad Assenzio bass & Dave Leonard tamborine.

You can thank (or blame) Dana Berry for the production. His press kit takes pain to point out his problems with alcoholism. The song Let Me In addresses this problem but I personally don't really appreciate something like that being something of note in a band's bio. Most bands can put addiction to something in their bio but I would like to think they have something else that makes them unique. I know plenty of people who drink too much but that doesn't make them interesting or their music something special and as someone who has had to work with folks who expect special treatment due to their problem I suppose I'm a little irritated by the subject.

Night Herons should probably play up their playing and songs more than their nasty personal habits since it's their music that's what's really entertaining about them. In a past age these guys would probably be heard on Modern Rock radio but these days young musicians can't come to you via the airwaves, you gotta go seek them out. But how can you do that if you don't know they're out there to be discovered? Oh yeah, that's right. That's what blogs like Rock & Roll Rehab are for. Silly me.

Paul Maged is Light Years Away

Here's an interesting one: Light Years Away is a seven song EP from New York City comedian Paul Maged and is produced by Sean Gill. Is it funny? you ask. Are there joke songs? No, the songs are real songs and one, a tribute to the late, great Chris Cornell of Soundgarden is quite touching. Like his songs, Paul's voice and musicianship is no joke either and the production treats the tunes with the respect they deserve. Acoustic guitars, piano, strings as well as electric Pop Rock gives this EP a dynamic range of both sound and emotion that is difficult to fit on what is basically half an album. I'd like to hear the other half.

I'm not sure how to explain some of Paul's unique background so I'll quote from his press kit here: "Paul Maged wrote and performed stand up and sketch comedy for over a decade straight out of high school.  He appeared in background roles on Saturday Night Live as well as lead and supporting roles in independent films. An important part of Maged's life, Paul wished to somehow tie his comedy past into this album. Light Years Away is accompanied by a video to the title track in which Maged parodies his comedy days; playing animated versions of himself as comedy characters he played during his decade plus in comedy. His "comedy band" includes Stoner Moonshine on bass guitar, Italian Chef/Mafioso Vinny Tortellini on lead guitar and legendary Porn Star Randy Phella on drums. The video showcases the lighter side to Paul as his comedy band plays live in space.  Other videos for this album include PC Police and Like a Stone".

 As you can probably tell if you've watched Paul's two videos above, he has a fun, New Wave Pop side to him along with his more serious side. And he's not alone either as he is joined in this endeavor by Ari Friedman on lead guitar and bass, Marc Hoffman on drums and Cabbage Pomeranz on harmonica. On the song Like A Stone Paul played acoustic guitar, bass and piano. On everything else he's the keyboard player.

  You can buy Paul Maged's CDs including his previous CD Diamonds & Demons at CD Baby and download his MP3s on iTunes and basically everywhere since CD Baby does such a thorough job of distributing your music everywhere in the virtual universe. In fact, here he is somewhere I'm not even sure where:

Unfortunately I can't find any information on where he may be playing live. With records not selling since the current belief is that music should be free, live shows are one of the few ways musicians can support themselves financially. Maybe, since he has a comedy background, he preforms his music in comedy clubs. Maybe he sandwiches in a serious tune between sketches. I can imagine his parents hearing their young son's future plans; "Mom, Pop, I've decided I'm going to follow my dream of being a rock star. But don't worry, I can always fall back on my day job, as a stand up comic." Oye.

Patrick Grant's A Sequence of Waves

Back in the Eighties I knew a guy who was a student at the Art Center School of Design in Pasadena. He was working on an animated film of abstract shapes and colors dancing to music. It was extremely intricate and precise and I was duly impressed. About fifteen years later I bumped into this guy again at a party and asked how his film turned out and if it led to a career in the Animation or Film Industry. He said it took him ten years to finish it and the first time he used it as part of his demo reel to try and find work in a film studio the exec he had just screened it for turned around the iMac sitting on his desk to show him its screensaver which was pretty much the same thing as his animated film. In the time it took him to finish his masterpiece technology had rendered it passe.

I get a similar feeling listening to Patrick Grant's new CD, A Sequence of Waves as I do thinking about that animated film. If this CD had been released in the Seventies it might have made Richard Branson a millionaire but now I wonder if the word "Sequence" in the title refers to computer sequencing of sound files (Wav files?) to create this music rather than human hands playing real instruments. In the long run I suppose it really doesn't matter. All that really matters is the pleasure you get from the melodies, rhythms, textures and dynamics and where in your own head this music sends you. In A Sequence of Waves the listener is definitely send on a journey. It can be ominous, beautiful, exhilarating or adventurous depending on the movie the sounds create inside your own head. Even some sound effects added to the instrumental album help score this film which ultimately has to be a different and personal experience for everyone listening.

For those without much of an imagination and needing comparisons I would say John Weyton era King Crimson (minus Weyton's voice), or The Mahavishnu Orchestra, or The Trans Siberian Railroad in their off-season, or Brian Eno, or Tubular Bells. And I suppose I should mention that A Sequence Of Waves claims to be the work of actual, flesh and blood musicians such as Patrick Grant, a member of Robert Fripp's Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists for five years and a professor at the NYU Film School where he undoubtedly wrote some film scores, on guitar, viola, piano, keyboards and percussion, John Ferrari on drums, Dan Cooper on bass, Lynn Bechtold on violin, Dan Barrett on cello and playing the guitar solo on the track Primary Blues, Nick Didkovsky.

I tend to think that as Americans our sense of Classical Music is limited to John Phillip Sousa marches, Aaron Copland and motion pictures scores. A Sequence Of Waves has been described as Indie Classical and I like that description but only in the sense that it does have enough standard song structure to seem like a movie soundtrack to an Indie Movie. I wouldn't be surprised if that's what it ultimately becomes, if it isn't already. I will say listening to it makes me want to see the movie and as a filmmaker and writer myself, I guess I already have. In my head. 

Ironically, despite all the talk about how "cinematic" and "visual" this instumental music is the only graphics I could find to help illustrate this post is the Youtube video for his song Lonely Ride Coney Island which was used on a soundtrack of a documentary on Coney Island.

The Kris Heaton Band's World Gone Mad

Here, for your consideration is the new CD, World Gone Mad by The Kris Heaton Band. This record follows Kris's six previous releases and he has also been the winner of the Miller High Life Rock To Riches Award and Akademia Music Awards including Best Rock Song for 2017 for the opening tune of World Gone Mad, Who Let The Bullets Fly.

The Kris Heaton Band's music is pretty much standard 1980's straight ahead rock along the lines of Bryan Adams or a thousand other radio ready AOR rockers. Heavy guitars, big drum sounds and with some synth touches tunes like Who Let The Bullets Fly sounds like it's coming through your radio speakers in between commercials for the upcoming NASCR race and Coors Light. This sort of music, such as another song, When We Danced, brings to mind the kind of vibe once brought forth by song's like Bruce Springsteen's Dancing In The Dark.

Band's leader and namesake, Kris Heaton, is from Connecticut which is maybe why his music conjures up so many other rock stars of the past rather than suggests a NEXT BIG SOUND as Connecticut has yet to develop its own original music scene and sound. At least none that has become known nationally, yet. He is a seasoned road dog with eight years on the road with the band Control Group but finally settled down long enough to raise some kids. Now he is involved in the local music scene in Connecticut where he does live shows.

His time on the road was well spent as he has opened shows for artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Greg Allman, Molly Hatchet, The Romantics and Leon Russel. Since all of the solo artists just named are now dead, it seems it's been a while since he's been rockin'. Pulling a John Lennon, staying home baking bread, is great but now it's apparently time to dust off the old duster and hit the boards again and with this new CD he's back strong with a vengeance.

The Kris Heaton Band has recorded three CDs and has worked with Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens, a personal favorite of mine, and Kris has worked with the Brandenburg Germany State Symphony Orchestra on a variety of non-rock projects most notably covering shortened versions of his songs. Yeah, I don't really understand what that's about. This guy has recorded symphonic versions of his rock band's songs? Why shortened versions? I'm curious about what's going on there.

In his press kit The Kris Heaton Band personnel are listed as: Kris Heaton and Ace Foster. World Gone Mad is a pretty full sounding CD for just two guys but that seems to be what's happening these days. How does a duo replicate the sound of this record live? By the way, don't let the video throw you. The album is actually pretty good, Good performances, songs that aren't anything new but the kind of stuff we usually like, and top production quality but the video is an example of sometimes it's better to be heard and not seen.

Dangerous Women & A Desperate Ten Ton Man

I'm listening to the new EP from the New York City singer-songwriter Ten Ton Man. His new three song EP is called Dangerous Women & A Desperate Man. There are three other albums listed on his Soundcloud page so this isn't his first project but that's evident due to his street smart and somewhat world weary world view. Although he's been compared to Nick Cave I hear more Lou Reed and little Leonard Cohen. He has a nice, rich baritone voice and a cosmopolitan mind. The title track to Dangerous Women & A Desperate Man has been described as an alleged encounter with a dominatrix but I feel that's actually sugar coating it a bit. After all, dominatrixes (dominatri?) are professionals and the "lady" in this particular song seems more like the amatuer psycho bitch type.

Ten Ton Man is very American and urban (meaning a city dweller, not a black man). His competent band is straight-out Rock & Roll and can play. Again, I'm reminded of Waiting For My Man by Lou Reed when listening to his track, Mary. I don't usually do this but because I have very little information on Ten Ton Man I Googled him and discovered that, first of all, Ten Ton Man is a BAND, not a single performer, and the band has a nice collection of online videos.

Basically, if you're interested in spending some time in the same world Tom Waits inhabits but want to be able to understand what he's singing about since Tom's voice has turned to "sandpaper and glue", Ten Ton Man might be just your cup of tea, with a splash of bouron, and a cigarette butt floating in it. Naturally, this band is from New York City and Americana Neo-Noir is as good a sub genre as any to describe its music. Otherwise, it could be described as founding member Paul Livornese on guitar and vocals, Paul Dugan on upright bass and Paul Triff on drums. That's a pretty accurate description as well.
Ten Ton Man plays music with the authenticity of someone who's out much too late looking to get lucky and finally accepts the fact that the luck he, or she, found was discovering this colorful, as in idiosyncratic, little trio playing the sound of the bar's sights and smells while tucked away in the tiny corner stage under the flickering light of a dying neon bulb. If you walked into this bar while they were playing you'd feel you just entered a movie set where "getting lucky" would undoubtedly lead to a murder, a frame up, and a dame with gams that just don't stop.
One more round for the road and one last song to remember this evening by.