Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Thomas Dolby takes break from academia for U.S. tour and BMG career compilation

Wow, great to see Thomas Dolby is returning to the concert stage! And with a new 'Masters Collection' to boot! 



THOMAS DOLBY TAKES BREAK FROM ACADEMIA
FOR SHORT SUMMER U.S. TOUR
Career compilation Hyperactive coming from BMG’sMasters Collection series on Friday, July 27, 2018. 



BALTIMORE, Md. — Thomas Dolby — musician, video director, author, and now a university professor — is set for a short U.S. tour in July and August 2018 with a show titled An Evening of Music and Storytelling With Thomas Dolby. 
The tour coincides with the July release of his 2-CD greatest hits collection Hyperactive, coming July 27, 2018 as part of BMG’s Masters Collection series. 
In this intimate solo performance, Thomas will allow members of the audience to randomly pick songs from his 30-year catalog. He will tell the story behind the genesis of each, while simultaneously deconstructing its musical parts, synth sounds, and lyrics. The resulting music will be output from his laptop and keyboards, and projected on a screen behind him, along with personal photos and memorabilia. Each performance will therefore be a slightly different audiovisual experience, with surprises each night.
Aside from his successful solo hits such as “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Hyperactive,” Dolby is known as a synthesist and producer for the likes of David Bowie, Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder, Foreigner, Def Lepperd, George Clinton, and Joni Mitchell. His acclaimed memoir The Speed of Sound (Flatiron/Macmillan) was an Amazon Bestseller in its category, and a 2016 NPR Book of the Year.
“These shows will give me an opportunity to expand on some of the stories in my book — without pulling any punches!” said Dolby. “I’ll be unstitching the songs, as I’ve found audiences love to get a peek ‘under the hood’ and into an artist’s creative methods."
Since completing 12 years as Music Director of the TED Conferences in 2012, Prof. Dolby has been teaching music at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. This Fall he will launch a new undergraduate degree course at the Peabody Institute, focusing on music composition and 3D sound design for virtual and augmented reality — the first of its kind at a major U.S. university.
The tour is sponsored in part by Roland Corp., manufacturer of the world’s most iconic synthesizers, guitar pedals and drum machines.
Tour dates:
Wed. July 25 LOS ANGELES, CA  Largo at the Coronet
Fri., July 27  LOS ANGELES, CA  Microsoft Theater (supporting Blondie)
Mon. July 30 ALEXANDRIA, VA (DC)The Birchmere
Tues. July 31 ANNAPOLIS, MDRam’s Head
Wed. Aug 1 SELLERSVILLE, PA (PHILADELPHIA)Sellersville Theater
Fri. Aug 3  NEW YORK, NYThe Cutting Room
Sat. Aug 4 NATICK, MANatick TCAN Center for the Arts
Sun. Aug 5  NEW HAVEN, CTState House
Mon. Aug 6 ATLANTIC CITY, NJ  Dante Theater
Wed. Aug 8 BALTIMORE, MDCenter Stage
For full list of venues and ticket links, go to http://www.thomasdolby.com/
    
Track listing  
    
CD1
    1. Hyperactive!
    2. Europa And The Pirate Twins
    3. Radio Silence
    4. Screen Kiss
    5. Valley Of The Mind's Eye
    6. I Scare Myself
    7.  The Devil Is An Englishman
    8. Windpower
    9. Dissidents
    10. Eastern Bloc
    11. Airhead
    12. Cruel
    13. The Ability To Swing
    14. Neon Sisters
    
CD2
    1. She Blinded Me With Science
    2. One Of Our Submarines
    3.  The Flat Earth
    4. Beauty Of A Dream
    5. Budapest By Blimp
    6. I Love You Goodbye
    7. Urges
    8. Pulp Culture
    9. Close But No Cigar
    10. Leipzig
    11. Silk Pyjamas
    12. May The Cube Be With You
    13. Airwaves
    14. My Brain Is Like A Sieve

Buddy Guy to receive Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist

After witnessing Buddy Guy's wonderful 90-minute set at the Doheny Blues Festival this past weekend, I am happy to help share this wonderful news...



Buddy Guy to Receive Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist
Visionary blues legend to be honored during the 17th Americana Honors & Awards Ceremony, September 12 in Nashville, Tennessee

Buddy Guy at the Doheny Blues Festival on Sunday, May 20, 2018.
Photo: Bob Steshetz



Buddy Guy using a drumstick to expand
electric guitar sound at Doheny Blues
Festival on May 20, 2018.
Photo: Bob Steshetz
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 23, 2018) – The Americana Music Association® names Buddy Guy as its 2018 Americana Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for Instrumentalist. The honor will be presented to Buddy at the 17th annual Americana Honors & Awards which will be held Wednesday, September 12 at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

A seven-time GRAMMY® Award-winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Buddy has forged an unparalleled career path of his own, beginning at the crossroads of golden-era Chicago blues and searing rock ‘n' roll flair. From his early days of playing the blues guitar on countless Chess Records sessions with Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters to his own award-winning recordings like “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues” and “Born to Play Guitar,” the 81-year-old icon has cemented his place in history with his signature flavor of blues and definitive artistry.

"Buddy Guy’s incomparable musical craftsmanship has been lovingly shared with us over the years,” said Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association®. “As a community who reveres and honors groundbreaking artists and their work, we are humbled to present Buddy with this Lifetime Achievement honor in recognition and thanks for his musical and artistic contribution.”

For over six decades, Buddy has been responsible for preserving the blues genre while also fostering its future, impacting distinguished guitarists who have followed, ranging from Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to John Mayer.

His upcoming release, the aptly titled “The Blues is Alive and Well," (June 15) will feature Mick Jagger, James Bay and more, while further reinforcing why Rolling Stone has named him among their list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."

Buddy will be presented with this year's Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist during the Americana Music Association's® 17th annual Americana Honors & Awards, which includes six member-voted annual awards as well as several top Lifetime Achievement honors. This announcement follows the unveiling of the critically acclaimed event’s nominees including Artist of the Year contenders Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, Margo Price and John Prine — click here for a full list of this year’s nominations. The prestigious ceremony celebrates pioneering mainstays and trailblazing newcomers as the hallmark of AMERICANAFEST® week, taking place September 11-16 in Nashville, TN.

Since its inception in 1999, the mission of the Americana Music Association® has been to advocate for the authentic voice of American roots music around the world. In recent years, the association's unwavering dedication to artist advocacy has been evidenced by several milestones, including the addition of the Best Americana Album GRAMMY® category by the Recording Academy and Billboard’s Americana/Folk Albums Chart, as well as the inclusion of the musical term, Amer·i·ca·na, to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

For more information on the association or to purchase tickets for this year's Americana Honors & Awards and passes to AMERICANAFEST®, please visit www.americanamusic.org.
About the Americana Music Association®:
The Americana Music Association® is a professional not-for-profit trade organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American roots music around the world. The Association produces events throughout the year; including AMERICANAFEST®: The Americana Music Festival & Conference and the critically acclaimed Americana Honors & Awards program. The Americana Music Association® receives enormous support from the Tennessee Department of Tourism, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, Lagunitas Brewing Company, RAM, Mountain Valley Water, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC.
About AMERICANAFEST®:
The 19th annual AMERICANAFEST®: The Americana Music Festival & Conference will take place September 11-16, 2018. The event brings together fans and music industry professionals alike, offering six days of celebration through seminars, panels and networking opportunities by day and raw, battery recharging showcases each night. The Americana Honors & Awards Show is the featured performance of the festivities, taking place at the historic Ryman Auditorium. For information on how to purchase a conference registration, please visit www.americanamusic.org.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Wide range of artists thrill at Doheny Blues Festival

Blues Traveler performing on the PCH Stage at the Doheny Blues
Festival in Dana Point, CA, on Saturday, May 19, 2018.
Photo: Bob Steshetz
After two decades, the Doheny Blues Festival moved from Doheny State Beach to its new home at nearby Sea Terrace Park in Dana Point this year. The annual blues bash  held Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20  was staged under mostly overcast skies. But neither the move nor an early case of June gloom dampened the spirit of those attending the fest or the artists who performed mostly memorable sets across three stages (four, if you count the "breakfast sets" that played out for folks waiting to get inside the venue).

Nearly two dozen artists performed and I had the good fortune to catch the majority of all, or part, of the sets across the two days. What follows is my recap of my favorite performances.

Day One - Saturday, May 19
Artur Menezes bringing musical magic to The Backporch stage
(and nearby tables!) at the 2018 Doheny Blues Festival.
Photo: Bob Steshetz
I had never heard of singer-songwriter-guitarist Artur Menezes before I caught his early morning appearance on the Backporch Stage. In my notebook, I jotted down "Gary Clark Jr. meets Alvin Lee," meaning Menezes' smooth and passionate vocals draw comparisons with Clark's contemporary style while his ability to thrill with speedy fretwork reminded me of the late Ten Years After guitarist. But make no mistake, the Brazilian artist who now calls Los Angeles home is a talent who must be seen. Backed by a four-member group, Menezes' set combined Chicago-styled blues, heavier blues-rock and even a Robert Cray-styled soulful cut. A key point to recognize about Menezes is that there was purpose in his lead guitar solos extending beyond merely being flashy. Make sure to get a copy of Menezes' new Josh Smith-produced LP Keep Pushing, set for release on May 28.


Eric Gales thrilling the Doheny
Blues Fest faithful.

Photo: Bob Steshetz
Performing on the Dana Point Stage was Eric Gales, whose hour-long set showcased the artist's powerful blues-rock style via stellar guitar work and great first-rate vocals. 

Showcasing both his own work and several covers (including Freddie King's "Boogie Man," a track featured on his 2017 Middle Of The Road album), the Memphis, Tennessee native's approach was all about explosive power but never over-the-top bombast. His Hendrix-inspired guitar work was thrilling in the expansive outdoor setting, but there was an emotional epicenter that insured the material connected with the crowd on a deeper level. One of the clear standouts of his set was a cover of Buddy Guy's "Baby, Please Don't Leave Me," complete with poignant vocals and nuanced guitar work that grew mightier and the use of a DigiTech pedal to bolster his lead with some screaming effects. Nice!





Larkin Poe's Rebecca, on left, and Megan Lovell.
Photo: Bob Steshetz

Larkin Poe delivered an incredible set that drew a packed crowd at the Backporch Stage. The Georgia-based duo (sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell) were backed by a simple rhythm section, but there was nothing simple about their astonishing 75-minute outing before a packed and awe-struck audience. Featuring tracks off their most recent album (2017's terrific Peach), the siblings performed with the kind of power and authority that Doheny audiences recall with The Record Company's set in 2016 and Vintage Trouble's killer turn in 2014. Larkin Poe's reworkings are undeniably a great way to bring in new fans (a version of Lead belly's "Black Betty" was simply epic), but the originals showcased were also special. The intoxicating "Look Away" and "Freedom" were early favorites, with Rebecca's work on electric guitar and Megan's deft handling on a lap-steel guitar bewitching. 


Larkin Poe performing at The Backporch.
Photo: Bob Steshetz

In addition to their power as singers, musicians and masters at fusing blues, Southern rock and roots music together, the Lovell sisters just seemed to be having a great time. Indeed, earlier in the day I spotted them on the side of the stage enjoying Gales' set. "What a fantastic festival," Rebecca Lovell said about mid-way through their fast-moving set. " Larkin Poe is scheduled to perform at a number of high-profile festivals this summer. Check out their tour page for upcoming performance dates.
George Thorogood in Dana Point.
Photo: Bob Steshetz

Blues Traveler delivered a decidedly different vibe with their freewheeling jam style on the PCH Stage. The group's "Run-Around" remains one of rock's most catchy singles from the '90s, and the performance here got a large crowd moving and dancing to the blues-rock groove.

Closing out day 1 was legendary classic rockers George Thorogood and the Destroyers, whose set of rowdy, party-minded Chuck Berry-inspired rockers included "Who Do You Love" and "Night Time," the latter a terrific cover of The Strangeloves' early 1960s classic.











Day Two - Sunday, May 20

Singer-blues harp player Curtis Salgado and guitarist Alan Hager joined forces for an inspired set on the Backporch Stage for an early morning set of traditional blues. My favorite selection was a moving version of Little Walter's 1954 hit "Last Night." In addition to Salgado's tasty harmonica playing, Hager was featured on a long solo celebrating Chicago blues. Salgado  who recently received the award for Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year at the 39th Annual Blues Music Awards  recently teamed up with Hager on the Alligator Records-issued release Rough Cut.
Kim Wilson in action.
Photo: Bob Steshetz


Kim Wilson has been such a fixture at the Doheny Blues Festival over the years, it's easy to take the talented singer-harmonica virtuoso for granted. Having performed at the festival many times in the past (as both a solo artist and with his Fabulous Thunderbirds), his performance here with the Blues + Boogie Revue was a wonder. Highlights of his hour-long outing included a fiery version of Chuck Berry's "Back in the U.S.A." and a high-octane run with the Chicago blues Elmore James classic "Shake Your Moneymaker."

John Nemeth and the Love Light Orchestra showcased a different side of the Northern California-based artist. A past visitor who had previously wowed crowds with his top-tier soul vocals and stellar blues harp work, this time Nemeth's vocals still thrilled courtesy of a five-man horn section and full band sans his harmonica. Highlights included the classic-styled original "Poverty" and soulful take on Bobby Blue Bland's 1961 classic "I've Been Wrong So Long."

Also based in the Bay Area, The California Honeydrops came to Dana Point on the heels of the release of a terrific new album (Call It Home: Vol. 1 & 2). Like Larkin Poe's set a day earlier, the California Honeydrops secured a full 75-minute slot and that allowed the group to really explore a myriad of sounds that make the group so exciting. Blending R&B, New Orleans jazz, funk, blues and soul, the ensemble performed with an infectious spirit; the performance was bolstered by fantastic musicianship, the mix of three lead vocalists and stunning harmonies.


Nikki Hill at Doheny Blues Fest.
Photo: Bob Steshetz
The 3:45-5 p.m. slot featured simultaneous performances from Eric Burdon & The Animals on the Dana Point Stage and Nikki Hill at the Backporch. I found Hill the stronger of the two artists, particularly her rock 'n' blues foray "Struttin'."


Making a highly-anticipated return to the festival was singer-songwriter-keyboardist Beth Hart, whose blues ballads and rockers connected powerfully with a huge crowd gathered in front of the PCH Stage. With long-time guitarist Jon Nichols adding firepower everywhere, this must-see set featured favorites the piano-anchored "Love Gangster" and gospel-tinged blues rocker "Bottle of Jesus" and a cover of the blues ballad "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know."


Closing out the strong two-day affair was legendary Buddy Guy, 82, who thrilled with a 90-minute set of hard-edged Chicago blues, compelling stories and great sense of humor. While the entire 90-minute set was great, I was floored by a short but rousing cover of "Hoochie Coochie Man" (complete with Guy playfully rubbing his electric guitar  on various parts of his body for comedic effect) and a true masterpiece from the artist, "Feels Like Rain" (the latter a song penned by John Hiatt).
Buddy Guy at Doheny Blues
Festival.
Photo: Bob Steshetz

He later brought on teen guitar virtuoso Quinn Sullivan, who thrilled the crowd with hard-rocking jams centered around Hendrix and Cream tracks. Guy reached another thrilling high mark with a performance of "Skin Deep," a timeless blues ballad he has made his own. 

The good news for those who missed the Doheny Blues Fest this past weekend, Buddy Guy is scheduled to headline at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. 


Review by Robert Kinsler

Photography courtesy of Bob Steshetz

Monday, May 21, 2018

MUSIC WORTH BUYING episode: U2's eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour

On the most recent episode of MUSIC WORTH BUYING, TJR and Robert Kinsler discuss U2's eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour, including what concertgoers can expect to see and how this tour compare's with the Joshua Tree 2017 Tour:

New Releases Celebrate a Myriad of Musical Styles

Fans of great American pop, rock and roots music will want to purchase four collections available now.

Artist: Roger Joseph Manning Jr.
Title: Glamping (PledgeMusic)
You might like if you enjoy: XTC, Jellyfish, ELO
Tell me more: A founding member of Jellyfish and key member of several other celebrated troupes (Imperial Drag, TV Eyes and The Moog Cookbook), and having subsequently worked alongside Beck since the late 1990s, it's no wonder Roger Joseph Manning Jr. has returned with a recording of incredible depth, melodic songcraft and lyrical complexity. Glamping is a four-song EP and marks Manning's first new batch of songs since his terrific 2009 disc Catnip Dynamite. With the lush and intoxicating "Operator" (a timely plea to somehow make real connections in an inter-connected world) opening the collection, the outstanding set also includes the driving and aptly-named "Funhouse," psychedelic-tinged introspective standout "Is It All A Dream" and probing "I'm Not Your Cowboy." In addition to Glamping (available on CD, purple vinyl and via digital download), Manning has just released deluxe editions of his 2006 solo debut Land of Pure Imagination and his 2009 sophomore release Catnip Dynamite. Information: https://www.facebook.com/RogerJosephManningJr/.



Artist: The California Honeydrops
Title: Call It Home: Vol. 1 & 2 (Tubtone Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Vintage Trouble, Leon Bridges
Tell me more: The California Honeydrops' newly-released Call It Home: Vol. 1 & 2 is not only a wonderful celebration of New Orleans jazz, funk, classic R&B and soul and all kinds of blues, but the songs across the wide-ranging collection will make the listener feel great. The positive life-affirming spirit of the Northern California-based group is infectious and cast of talented singers and instrumentalists deliver the mix of songs recorded over a span of 18 months with perfection. The uplifting title track "Call It Home," soulful "Coming Around," aptly-dubbed "Standin' Still Blues," lovely "Only Home I've Ever Known" and shining "Things We Used To Do" are among this writer's favorites on a terrific release. Information: www.cahoneydrops.com.



Artist: Buck Owens and the Buckaroos
Title: The Complete Capitol Singles: 1967-1970 (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Dwight Yoakam, Buck Owens
Tell me more: The second of three volumes collecting the late Buck Owens' Capitol singles discography, more than 30 classic tracks have been collected on the newly-issued The Complete Capitol Singles: 1967-1970. Whether you are a new or long-time fan of the father of the so-called "Bakersfield Sound," you will find plenty to love across the two-disc set featuring a slew of great remastered tracks. The uptempo "Sam's Place," spirited "Happy Times Are Here Again," and sweet ballads "Don't Ever Tell Me Goodbye" and "I'd Love To Be Your Man" are among the timeless tracks on this wonderful collection. There are also several beloved duets Owens did with soprano Susan Raye, including the lively "We're Gonna Get Together" and the reflective "The Great White Horse." In addition to all the great music are the new liner notes from Scott B. Bomar shedding details and context to the singles. Information: OmnivoreRecordings.com.



Artist: Larkin Poe
Title: Peach (Tricki-Woo Records)
You might like if you enjoy: The Record Company, First Aid Kit
Tell me more: Although Larkin Poe's album Peach was released back in September 2017, I only recently discovered the superb disc after catching the duo's incredible performance at the Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point, CA. Sisters Rebecca Lovell (lead vocals, electric guitar) and Megan Lovell (lap steel, slide guitar, keyboards, backing vocals) are from Georgia and have carved out a bona fide sound that blends the blues-infused Southern rock and style of the Allman Brothers with the harmonies and magic of Sweden's First Aid Kit (the latter a roots-minded duo also featuring two talented sisters). On Peach, Larkin Poe offers up a mix of outstanding original material and reworked classics they make their own. Standouts on the 10-track collection include their own rollicking "Freedom" and the introspective blues ballad "Pink & Red," as well as a rousing cover of the traditional African-American work song "Black Betty" and a tender take on Robert Johnson's iconic "Come On In My Kitchen." Information: www.LarkinPoe.com.



Robert Kinsler


Friday, May 18, 2018

Roger Joseph Manning Jr. thrills in remarkable return at GRAMMY Museum

Roger Joseph Manning Jr. at the GRAMMY Museum
on Thursday, May 17, 2018. Photo: Robert Kinsler 
On Thursday night (May 17, 2018), acclaimed singer-songwriter-keyboardist Roger Joseph Manning Jr. headlined his first solo public performance in "a decade" at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. 

Scott Goldman, the executive director of the GRAMMY Museum, interviewed Manning as part of  "The Drop," an ongoing series of live events held in the museum's Clive Davis Theater. The conversation delved into everything from Manning's childhood and influences (jazz piano, XTCElton John, Talking HeadsThomas Dolby, Leon Russell and many more) to his early career as the co-founder of Jellyfish and his ongoing musical relationship with Beck (as a member of that multi-Grammy winner's touring band and contributing musician on a number of albums dating back to 1998's Mutations) as well as a myriad of projects that have utilized his talents as keyboardist, vocalist and arranger.


"I've been fortunate to accompany people of all kinds and styles," Manning said. 

Indeed, Manning's far-flung contributions include performing on Glen Campbell's 2008 masterwork Meet Glen Campbell, Cheap Trick's 2009 The Latest, Neil Diamond's 12 Songs, Interpol's El Pintor and even contributing orchestral arrangements to Morrissey's latest album Low in High School.



But it was clear from Manning's discussion of his return with new music (as well as the reissue of his first two solo albums The Land of Pure Imagination and Catnip Dynamite) that he was excited to be on stage again performing his own material.

"Realizing my own ideas from start to end; there is nothing more fulfilling to me," said Manning, noting he writes on piano and guitar because the two different instruments lead his songwriting in very different directions and that diversity is important to him. 



Many of the musical ideas on Manning's albums stretch back many years before they are finally completed in the studio. 

"Beck calls it 'Simmering'," Manning noted.


After the interview concluded Manning and his stellar four-man band performed a four-song set of original material touching off his newly-issued EP Glamping (available now via PledgeMusic) his 2006 solo debut Land of Pure Imagination and even a Jellyfish classic.

The players opened with the enticing new track "Operator," the first track off Manning's new Glamping EP. With its melodic structure and textured musical arc, "Operator" captures the sheer pop craft of which Manning is a master. Rooted in the power pop and melodic rock of the 1960s and '70s, Manning's songs featured at the GRAMMY Museum displayed just how successfully he has been able to both capture and expand the musical traditions of that early rock era. 


The next track was the second selection off Glamping, the more driving "Funhouse," a song that reminds me of classic Squeeze enhanced by the dazzling and wonderfully dizzying vocal harmonies of Queen

Third up was the title track off The Land of Pure Imagination, an ambitious gem that features Manning's poignant vocals, psychedelic sensibilities, a high-flying chorus and a just-right dose of progressive rock. 

Manning definitely pumped up the adorning crowd with his shining version of the classic Jellyfish track "That Is Why" off his former band's groundbreaking 1990 debut Bellybutton

It was sheer joy to be able to see Manning's career and talents celebrated at the GRAMMY Museum last night. Let's hope another decade doesn't pass before he is on stage again playing his own music. And in the meantime, be sure to pick up a copy of Glamping and catch him playing along with Jason Falkner in Beck's terrific band.

Robert Kinsler

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sights and Sounds: A Flock of Seagulls, Like Totally ‘80s Festival

The '80s provided the world plenty of great artists to be sure. Here is a round-up of news definitely geared toward music fans of that fabled decade...

A Flock of Seagulls returns with much-anticipated 'Ascension'

Legendary quartet's new album to be released June 29, 2018



In the words of VH1's Aamer Haleem A Flock of Seagulls is a band reunited!

For the first time since 1984, all four original members of the band appear on record together for their new album Ascension. The recording puts a new and unique spin on their greatest hits by performing orchestral versions with the Prague Philharmonic providing the backing.

A Flock of Seagulls may well be known for their bizarrely teased haircuts as much as their hit single "I Ran." A Flock of Seagulls were one of prime movers in the 80ís new wave era. Growing out of the synth-heavy and ruthlessly stylish new romantic movement. Hairdresser Mike Score (lead vocals, keyboards) formed A Flock of Seagulls with his brother Ali Score (drums) and fellow hairdresser Frank Maudsley (bass) in 1980, adding guitarist Paul Reynolds several months later. The group released its debut EP on Bill Nelsons Cocteau Records early in 1981, and while the record failed to chart, its lead track, "Telecommunication," became an underground hit in Euro-disco and new wave clubs.

The band signed a major-label contract with Jive by the end of the year, and their eponymous debut album appeared in the spring of 1982. "I Ran (So Far Away)" was released as the first single from the album, and MTV quickly picked up on its icily attractive video, which featured long shots of Mike Score and his distinctive, cascading hair. The single climbed into the American Top Ten, taking the album along with it. In the U.K., I Ran didn't make the Top 40, but "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)" reached number ten later that year; in America, that single became a Top 40 hit in 1983, after "Space Age Love Song" peaked at number 30. "Wishing" was taken from the group's second album, Listen in 1983. The band released 1984's "The Story of a Young Heart" which fielded the minor hit "The More You Live, The More You Love." Shortly after Paul Reynolds left the band.
Mike and Ali moved to the US shortly after basing themselves out of Pennsylvania. The band now as a trio released the album Dream Come True in 1986. Ali and Frank left in the years afterwards. Mike released the Light At The End of the World album in 1996.

A Flock of Seagulls never really broke up. Mike carried on touring with session musicians and quietly, surely and steadily the folk lore surrounding the band began to grow. The references in culture from TV (Ross’s Haircut in Friends), Computer Games ("I Ran" was the standout track on Grand Theft Auto Radio), Film (The band and haircut are reference in Pulp Fiction, X-Men and The Wedding Singer) cemented the bands reputation and brought the band to a whole new legion of fans.

In 2003, the original line-up of Mike, Ali, Frank and Paul reunited for a one-off performance on the VH1 series Bands Reunited. In September 2004, they reformed again and did a brief tour in the United States. From 2004 to 2017 Mike was as busy as ever touring the band around the world. In 2017 the band appeared on record together for the first time since 1984. The Ascension album was recorded in multiple studios around the world and featured the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra providing backing to their hits.


Like Totally '80s Festival Recap and Photos

Mike Peters of The Alarm /
Photo by Bob Steshetz
I wasn't able to hit the Like Totally '80s Festival in Huntington Beach on Saturday, May 11 because I was in Las Vegas catching U2

However, my pals George A. Paul (reviewer) and Bob Steshetz (photographer) were at the day-long event. 

Check out George's Music Minded blog for an excellent review and amazing photos taken at the event. Several of my favorite '80s bands performed, including The AlarmDramarama, and Martha Davis and the Motels!

Sights and Sounds: U2 Live At The Apollo For SiriusXM

Wow, wouldn't it be nice to be in New York and get an invite to attend this show!


U2 Live At The Apollo For SiriusXM

"'From Northside Dublin, U2. For one night only at The Apollo Theater, June 11th"

SiriusXM to Present U2's Most Intimate New York City Show in Nearly 20 Years

Exclusive concert to take place June 11, 2018 at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater

Bono performing on the opening night of the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour
Photo by Danny North

NEW YORK, May 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- SiriusXM announced today that U2 will take a one night detour from the "technologically advanced… sensational" (The New York Times) production of the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour 2018 to perform for the first time ever at Harlem's world famous Apollo Theater. This special invitation-only concert exclusively for SiriusXM subscribers will take place Monday, June 11, as announced by Howard Stern today during his live SiriusXM show The Howard Stern Show.
The SiriusXM concert is a rare theater performance for U2, whose recent outings include the #1 grossing tour of last year, The Joshua Tree Tour 2017. The band will be playing material from current release Songs of Experience (Interscope) – ranked #6 in the Global Top albums of 2017– alongside classics from the storied U2 catalogue that has seen Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen win 22 GRAMMY awards to date, more than any other rock band. The special concert will be the first time the band, who paid homage to Harlem's Billie Holiday on their 1988 song "Angel of Harlem," has played the legendary venue. It is also the first time since their acclaimed 2000 Irving Plaza show that U2 will play such an intimate New York show—harkening back to the band's roots touring the club circuit, a period revisited nightly during the first half of the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE shows. The special concert will air following the performance via satellite on channel 30 and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com.
"New York City and the U2 band have a unique history," said Bono. "From the songs of Lou Reed, Billie Holiday and the Ramones that taught us how to listen, to the New Yorkers at our earliest U.S. shows who taught us how to play, the souls of New York and U2 have always been intertwined. The Apollo Theater is the heart of New York's musical soul, and to finally be playing our songs on the same stage where James Brown begged Please Please Please is not only a bucket list moment, it's an incredible honor."
"Experiencing U2 in the intimate setting of the legendary Apollo is a rare opportunity and will make for a historic evening," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer of SiriusXM. "It's the first time U2 has played a New York City venue of this size in almost two decades, and we couldn't be more excited to offer our subscribers the opportunity to be part of this singular musical event."
The legendary Apollo Theater is known for launching the careers of countless iconic performers, and has been a catalyst for artistic excellence and innovation since it opened its doors in 1934. The Apollo's new artistic vision builds on its legacy and the current programming epitomizes the range and vibrancy at the core of the Theater's mission, strengthening its integral role as a leading music and arts institution. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org.
SiriusXM has presented special, private concerts at the Apollo Theater with Paul McCartney in 2010, Bruce Springsteen in 2012, Metallica in 2013, James Taylor in 2015 and Guns N' Roses in 2017. 
SiriusXM subscribers will have the opportunity to win tickets to this private performance through an invitation sent by e-mail. In addition, subscribers since April 25, 2018 will be able to enter for the chance to win a trip for two to New York, NY including airfare, hotel stay and a pair of tickets to SiriusXM Presents U2 at the World Famous Apollo Theater. See Official Rules for complete details at siriusxm.com/U2.  
For further information on U2, the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour 2018 or Songs of Experience, visit www.U2.com.