Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rock n Roll Hall of Fame announce Inductees for 2011

The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is synonymous with recognising artists that have demonstrated unquestionable musical excellence. 2011 seems to be the year of the “black sheep” with some of the genre's more oddball acts and performers getting the nod. They include the highly theatrical Alice Cooper Band, New Orleans legend Dr John, singer songwriter Neil Diamond and the enormously influential Tom Waits. Also being inducted this year as individual recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award are Jac Holzman and Art Rupe. The Award for Musical Excellence (previously the Sidemen category) will be presented to Leon Russell. The 26th annual ceremony will take place on Monday, March 14, 2011, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

We are pleased to welcome these artists and executives into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation President and CEO Joel Peresman. “They truly represent the variety of people that have defined and continue to influence music and the business of Rock and Roll.”

For more information, check out their website at rockhall.com

RIP Beefheart...

17 December 2010 saw the passing of one of modern musics true innovators. Don Van Vliet, better known by his stage name Captain Beefheart led his humorously surreal “Magic Band” through a series of 12 albums that, although achieving little commercial success, managed to influence everyone from Frank Black to Simpsons creator Matt Goering. According to legendary DJ John Peel, “If there has ever been such a thing as a genius in the history of popular music, it's Beefheart.“

Van Vliet had been living in near isolation since retiring his Beefheart persona in 1982, preferring to focus on his expressionist paintings and sculpture.

It was announced by the Michael Werner Gallery on Friday, 17 December 2010, that Van Vliet had died at a Northern California hospital, aged 69. The gallery stated him to be "a complex and influential figure in the visual and performing arts," and "one of the most original recording artists of his time". The cause was named as complications from multiple sclerosis.

Urban Voodoo Machine : The day I met Paul-Ronney

My grandma always used to say, “You can tell a lot about a man from his shoes” and it can only be said that the pair of shoes pointing in my direction is truly in a class of their own.

There is a touch of something strangely occult about Paul-Ronney Angel. Although he maintains a calm air about about himself, i couldn't help but notice the smoldering fire beneath his skin as he walked downstairs into the Camden bar where we had agreed to meet.

“They have a cocktail here named after us” he informs me “Jack Daniels and Absinthe topped up with Champagne”. It sounded lethal, tasted like sin and as the sun began to set I realised that there was good reason for Paul-Ronney to warn me about it's potency. But I digress...

The Urban Voodoo Machine was spawned in 2003 while the world was in turmoil – the invasion of Iraq was in full swing, central Africa was experiencing some of the worst cases of recorded genocide and S Club 7 announced their breakup. With that kind of chaos erupting, it's not that surprising that the time was ripe for the old can o' worms to be ripped open and the vaudeville freak show to stand up and be counted and ever since then this motley crew of musicians, fire eaters and carnival freaks have been spreading their degeneracy from seedy clubs in London's underbelly to prestigious festivals such as Glastonbury Festival, Download and Ireland's Electric Picnic Festival. Touring the world with folk legends The Pogues also didn't do much to tarnish their reputation.

Their highly acclaimed debut album “Bourbon Soaked Gypsy Blues Bop n' Stroll” combines the best elements of blues, gypsy jazz, rock n'roll, ska, outlaw country, rockabilly, swing, spaghetti westerns and juke joint stomps. The critical response to the album has been positive, with Classic Rock Magazine declaring it “one of the best-realised debut albums in recent years” and putting it in the Top 50 Albums of 2009. Q Magazine stated “The U.V.M. rise above the mere cabaret by simply being very, very good.” The Vive le Punk website voted the album in their top 10 of 2009.

With this in mind the second album provisionally titled “In Black ‘n’ Red” and is due for release in the winter of 2011. Also be sure to check out the band's videos directed by John Bland from One Eyed Monster (http://www.youtube.com/user/urbanvoodoomachine)

This is a group will charm you out of your senses. You will be hypnotized, even captivated and won't get the time to escape. They will take you along and you will see the world like never before, from sound-scapes as cold as ice to the pits of molten seduction where the only medicine is whiskey and your only salvation is the roll of the dice.