Critic Joe Viglione reviews movies, books, DVDs, CDs, and has all sorts of opinions on a variety of things. The monthly Top 40 is a sort-of directory...
commentaries and essays expand the thought process on RockJournalistJoeVig.blogspot.com ...so the reviews on the Top 40 aren't final, they are just the starting point to more discussion. You can always contact Joe directly at visual_radio [@] yahoo.com
Welcome to the Top 40 for January 2016
Editor Joe Viglione
This will be a "double-issue" with special mentions of great discs from the past two years along with the new material being sent to Ultrabox 2392, Woburn, MA 01888
Honey and Tears is a terrific solo disc from Richie Parsons, lead singer/guitarist in Unnatural Axe. With songs like "Love Letter," "Evelyn," "Nowhereville" and opening track "When Fall Begins," we get the softer, pop side of Richie, and so well it works with cascading instruments and vocal sensitivity as on "Hey Little One." "When You're Dancing" is not "No Surfing in Dorchester Bay," it is mature and elegant as this is an album of love songs infused with lots of ACP - adult contemporary punk.
"Summer" might be the sequel to "Can't Wait for the Summertime" with its guitar that the Tornados ("Telstar") almost veered towards, and the Ventures would over-indulge in. Nicely placed -as are the acoustics on final track "Right On Time." "Blue
Sands" works well with "Summer" and is an adult beach party song for Antette
Funicello and Frankie Avalon 20 years after the American International
Pictures teen craze of the 60s. A lament with lots of layered guitars
after the surfboards have been put away and the aforementioned Dorchester Bay is safe from
the rowdy twenty-somethings. All that's needed is Roxy Music's Andy
Mackay to bring his Wild Weekend on board
Tape" is a strong splash of melody and rock and roll drive that takes
jangling guitars and puts them underwater, think the Flamin' Groovies
tempting the grunge fates but not falling over the cliff. Parsons
should push this song on hundreds if not thousands of radio stations
...it has all the elements A cover of Lou Reed's "Love Makes You Feel" works, always nice to cover the master.
Here's Lou's Version on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qhr1rSaBT7s
Here's Richie Parsons' rendition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta560Bz4KD4
Play both videos at once and see what happens, even if you have one 3 seconds behind the other.
Extra credit goes to: "Mix Tape," "Evelyn" and "Love Letter" - they are most outstanding.
Remember - Outrospection is a way to get to know oneself by developing relationships and empathetic thinking with others.
The Post-American Century
TITLE: The POST-AMERICAN CENTURY
Artist: Terry Kitchen
Review by Joe Viglione
Former Loose Ties band member Terry Kitchen
returns after 2014’s book/cd combo Next Big Thing presenting his The
POST-AMERICAN CENTURY album. Ten songs with a bonus track of the one minute
twenty-four second “One More Sunset,” this collection is reminiscent of Gordon
Lightfoot’s worldy point of view, with lots of hope tucked inside the melancholy
mood of some of the material.
a Francisco Gonzalez cover on the
gatefold, straight out of `1968’s Charlton Heston, the original Planet of the
Apes, the Boston area/New England folk veteran mixes upright bass, mandolin and
harmony vocals to “So Much More To Home.” This is perfect music for WUMB, the
mega-station at UMass Boston which should embrace and highlight this
material. “Sequel” evoking feelings from
the past, this new American century in need of or searching for a label, is the
closest thing to a title track with the album’s name repeated in the
refrain. Kitchen keeps his cover of
Neil Diamond’s “I’m A Believer” under four minutes. The approach is Ric Ocasek of the Cars back
in his MIlkwood phase on Paramount Records, a tight rhythmic strum turning the
Monkees pop classic into John Sebastian playing post-concert in a coffee
shop. Very nice approach.
The material goes from three to five
minutes, story songs like “Rock of Ages” perhaps the other side of the
aforementioned Diamond’s “"Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" - the singer
telling a story from the audience’s perspective. “One By One” is not the Randy California
songs from the 1990s, one of the final great moments for the band Spirit, but
you can hear California singing this, an elegant bit of outrospection, if you
will. The longest track, “Tall Against
the Wave,” at 5:15 is a civil war lament, a story-song a la Gordon Lightfoot’s “The
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and a perfect medley song begging for “The Night
They Drove Old Dixie Down” to follow.
Perhaps live in concert. “Eternity,”a
video from the album, gives a nice look into the serious fun Terry’s crew bring
to this sophisticated and splendidly performed music.
Terry Kitchen’s author
information on each song
About the SONGS on Terry
The Post-American Century
1. "So Much More to Home"
My friend Andy Dunn and I were talking at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
a few years back. His wife was extremely pregnant, and my wife and I had just bought
a house, so even though we were surrounded by great music we were both being pulled
by thoughts of home. We took a break from the crowd and wrote this song. With
Bob Harris on mandolin and Mara Levine on harmony.
If the 1900s are regarded as "The American Century," what does
make the 2000s? Lots of great songs were written in the '60s about freedom and
finding ourselves. I got to wondering about how all those lives turned out, and
got this song. With Mara Levine on harmony.
3. "Perelli's Barbershop"
As places where men gather to wait their turn, barbershops are filled
with "guy" magazines - Car
& Driver, Sports Illustrated,
and maybe even a Playboy. In those
innocent pre-internet days when I was growing up, a Playboy was a big deal indeed, especially to a ten year old boy.
Williams on Dobro.
4. "Tall Against the Wave" April 2015 marked the 150th
anniversary of Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox, effectively ending the
Civil War, and I was surprised how little attention it got. It might be worth
remembering in this time of un-civil politics how bad it can be. Lee had
assigned Joe Johnson the task heading off Sherman on his march back from
Georgia, and they clashed at Bentonville, North Carolina, when the war was all
but over. With Amy Malkoff on harmony and Chris Devine on fiddle.
5. "Stay Forever"
We do our best to be caring and brave when confronted with the loss of a
loved one, but behind the façade we're angry, hurt, confused and scared. Or at
least I am. With Phyllis Capanna on
harmony and Brice Buchanan (from my '80s band Loose Ties) on
6. "Rock of Ages"
When I visit Nashville I stay on my friend Steve's couch, and down the
block is a very small and humble-looking church. Even though I'm an atheist I
appreciate the fellowship and community people can find there when they really
need it. With Roger Williams on Dobro, and Brice Buchanan and Deede Bergeron on
When we're young we race to grow up, then when we get there we futilely
try to slam on the brakes. Good luck. A country duet in the tradition of Porter
and Dolly, with Mara Levine on duet vocal.
8. "One by One" In a country with an African American
president, it's tragic that far too many still pay the ultimate price for
merely having the wrong color skin. The list keeps growing ‒ Trayvon Martin,
Michael Brown, Jordan
Davis, Clementa Pinckney and on and on. Pete Seeger taught us we shall overcome, but it has to start
in the hearts of each of us. With Mara Levine on harmony.
9. "Mommy Come Quick"
My mother (Peachy to her family and friends) passed away last fall on
her 86-and-a-half birthday. As her Alzheimer's progressed, she lost more and
more of her abilities, and our roles reversed. Seeing her so childlike made me
remember my own young childhood, when I was helpless without her. With Don
Barry on upright bass.
10. "I'm a Believer"
In my novel Next Big Thing,
the fictional band Shadowland's first big hit is a Monkees cover, pissing off
songwriter/main character Mark Zodiac. Will life imitate art?
11. "One More Sunset" (hidden cut) A
reasons to stay forever.
New video "ETERNITY"
Terry's touching duet ballad with vocalist extraordinaire Mara Levine
from Terry's new CD The Post-American Century. With Norman Zocher on
pedal steel and John Coffey on bass. Video shot by Wayne Martin and
edited by Chris Constantine.
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Remember the Wind and the Rain
Joe South "Rose Garden"
Music Review: Songtrack to the Book ‘Next Big Thing’ A Novel by Terry Kitchen
on May 16, 2014
It’s fantastic that author/songwriter Terry Kitchen has released the free CD that comes in the back of his novel, Next Big Thing
, as a solo disc – Songs from Next Big Thing
The ten-song disc absolutely stands on its own as a work of art,
Take track 4, “Second Glance,” four minutes and forty-eight seconds of
inviting and pleasant guitar work from Brice Buchanan (also on harmony
vocal) and Kitchen, who also plays bass, percussion and lead vocal.
Opening with a pretty guitar and shaker accompaniment (and what sounds
like a keyboard) Terry’s insightful lyric dances alongside the guitars.
Two of the tracks were recorded in the 1980’s by Terry’s notable
Boston band, Loose Ties, Song 7 was produced by Kearney Kirby of the
November Group at Baker Street in Watertown, 1984. The “funk mix” is
four minutes and twenty six seconds of “sex so strong, just kills all
else” – perfect for the 1987 James Bond flick, The Livin Daylights,
which A-ha got to do (instead of Charlie Farren, whose own “the Livin’
Daylights” song is much, much better. Loose Ties band mates Bill
Kuhlman (bass, vocal), the aforementioned Buchanan, Chris Peeler on
synth drums and Terry Kitchen on guitar all provide a steady and
intriguing blend. Find the credits to this CD on Terry’s webpage
Track 9, “Get Out of My Novel” is, of course, complementary to the
book. This is the Loose Ties as well, recorded by Jeff Shirley at the
Somerville Media Action Project, Somerville, MA, 1988. It’s a perfect
snapshot of 1988 Boston rock, reminiscent of Dutch Courage, another
group from the region who rocked out in the 1970s.
There’s a special place in my heart for “Ghosts Of Kenmore Square” –
especially having lived it since 1974. Deirdre Bergeron and Brice
Buchanan add harmony vocals to Terry’s guitar and voice, Brice adding
some guitar as well. It’s a slow-tempo march that tells one perspective
of life down at the Rathskellar on 528 Commonwealth Ave. Superb.
Opening tune, “Killing Time,” has an eerie mood, Kitchen utilizing
this feel to good effect across the CD with his guitar musings. Would
actually be a nice soundtrack song to scriptwriter Danny Garcia’s 2014
movie Six Bullets to Hell, filmed on the same set in Spain as 1966’s The
Good, the Bad and the Ugly and other Clint Eastwood “spaghetti
“Animal to Animal” by Shadowland (Kitchen with Chris Peeler from
Loose Ties on drums) could be the long lost sequel to Lou Reed’s “Animal
Language” from Sally Can’t Dance. It’s a percussive-heavy, guitar
angling episode that shows Kitchen’s musical diversity and imaginative
“Dogtown Rain” could be Norma Tanega (“Walking My Cat Named Dog”)
meets ? & The Mysterians. Quaint, solemn Lovin’ Spoonful-ish
Americana with a nice harmonica from Kitchen.
Salsa-flavored “Second Glance” is half-sung spoken word set to a
pensive melodic scheme until the hook kicks in while “Same Heart Twice”
has Rebecca Lynch’s vocal grooving in a country style over Kitchen’s
simple strums, harmony vocal and bass work.
This “songtrack” has a multitude of styles, which is a natural, of
course, for the songs accompanying the ideas in the novel…and sets the
stage for filmmakers to build a movie around the chapters and each song.
EDITORIAL SYNOPSIS FROM PUBLICIST
Boston rock novel by scene veteran Terry Kitchen After years in the
sub-basement of Boston's teeming underground music scene,
Lennon-spectacled wordsmith Mark Zodiac is used to enduring abuse,
neglect and indifference for his music. And that's just from his own
band. But when he's thrust into the spotlight on the night of
Shadowland's record release concert, the crowd tunes in as never before -
much to the chagrin of Mark's best friend/Shadowland's star-in-waiting
Will. With the record moving up the charts, their ego-librium gives way
as Mark strives to keep control of his music without selling his soul in
the process. Complicating Mark's world is the shadow of the loss that
both drives and haunts him, even as he attempts to find love amidst the
graffitied alleyways of Kenmore Square. On the eve of stardom, Mark must
decide if being the Next Big Thing is really the most important thing.
At once disarmingly absurd and heartbreakingly real, Next Big Thing
combines the gritty backstage vibe of Roddy Doyle's The Commitments with
the emotional thawing heart of Jay McInerey's Bright Lights Big City,
and every page crackles with the kinetic current of true rock'n'roll.
"Kitchen gets all the details right - I felt myself back in the Rat, the
Channel and the other clubs of that era - but most of all, he gets the
underlying sense of adventure. Next Big Thing reminds me just how much
it all meant and how exciting it was."-Brett Milano, author of The Sound
of Our Town: A History of Boston Rock & Roll Best known as a
contemporary folk singer/songwriter, Terry Kitchen is a 30-year veteran
of the music business, as a recording artist, award-winning songwriter,
journalist, and former production assistant for Rounder Records. Next
Big Thing, based on his years with the '80s Boston band Loose Ties, is
his first novel.|
'80s Boston rock novel by
scene veteran Terry Kitchen! After years in the sub-basement of Boston's
teeming underground music scene, Lennon-spectacled wordsmith Mark
Zodiac is used to enduring abuse, neglect and indifference for his
music. And that's just from his own band. But when he's thrust into the
spotlight on the night of Shadowland's record release concert, the crowd
tunes in as never before - much to the chagrin of Mark's best
friend/Shadowland's star-in-waiting Will. With the record moving up the
charts, their ego-librium gives way as Mark strives to keep control of
his music without selling his soul in the process. Complicating Mark's
world is the shadow of the loss that both drives and haunts him, even as
he attempts to find love amidst the graffitied alleyways of Kenmore
Square. On the eve of stardom, Mark must decide if being the Next Big
Thing is really the most important thing. At once disarmingly absurd and
heartbreakingly real, Next Big Thing combines the gritty backstage vibe
of Roddy Doyle's The Commitments with the emotional thawing heart of
Jay McInerey's Bright Lights Big City, and every page crackles with the
kinetic current of true rock'n'roll. "Kitchen gets all the details right
- I felt myself back in the Rat, the Channel and the other clubs of
that era - but most of all, he gets the underlying sense of adventure.
Next Big Thing reminds me just how much it all meant and how exciting it
was."-Brett Milano, author of The Sound of Our Town: A History of
Boston Rock & Roll Best known as a contemporary folk
singer/songwriter, Terry Kitchen is a 30-year veteran of the music
business, as a recording artist, award-winning songwriter, journalist,
and former production assistant for Rounder Records. Next Big Thing,
based on his years with the '80s Boston band Loose Ties, is his first
|Number Of Pages||256 pages|
|Publisher||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform|
Publication Date 2013-08-18
Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Weight 15.9 Oz
Height 0.6 In.
Width 6 In.
Length 9 In.