Thursday, October 15, 2009
Here we are my band; The Renegades - Dennis, RB, 70, and Andrew at Orange Studio recording our new album. I am thrilled to be playing with such great musicians. Please keep an eye on us. We are making a new album together which I think will be terrific.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
"Hey Sal, They won't let us dance," cried out an audience member. "Its their world, we're just guests," replied Sal. Sal being Sal Principato, Lead Singer, and Boogie Down Butt Shaker of the Legendary, Underground, Minimalist, Afro Punk, White Funk, Dada Soul Band, Liquid Liquid. Lincoln Center hosted Rhys Chatham's 200 Guitars and Liquid Liquid this past Saturday night. Lincoln Center security would not let any of the young folks or the Aged New Wave&Art Crowd of yesteryear out of their seats to dance. LL appears and reappears like the Locust. I saw them in the early 1980's at Hurrah, Danceteria and other places. Though I missed the famous Paradise Garage show. Someone else on Saturday yelled out that they were there, while Sal called out "Roxy, Hurrahs, Paradise Garage." They left the scene in the mid 80's reemerging in 2003, disappearing again and are with us once again. Hearing LL outdoors and above ground on the Upper West Side was a little strange and exciting. As Sal put it, their world got to hear what we fans and admirers believe to be the underground art/dance/music nexus of our time. The crowd did recognize one of the all time great funk bass lines as Richard McGuire began their "hit" Cavern. I was sitting in the VIP seats with my friend Tom Burka, a very funny man and terrific writer his son Nicholas, and 70, my Bass Player&Producer. Dennis Young pictured above is the percussionist of LL. Dennis creates the hooks on his marimba and underscores Sal's vocal patterns with his cymbals and tom toms. Dennis and I first met at Hurrahs in 1980 something as he was tuning his rototoms on stage before the show. I started a brief chat from the edge of the stage about how cool rototoms were and that we had bought them for our band. Thanking him, saying LL was our favorite band. Many many years later I found Dennis on myspace playing at a coffee house in New Jersey. The place was virtually empty. I thought, wow xLL playing an acoustic show out in the wilds of NJ. Doing his thing and no one knows. His solo acoustic work resulted in an excellent album called Shadow. He was mixing Shadow then and I asked if I could come down to the studio and listen in. Later, Dennis asked me to play in the Shadow band. We had some terrific shows including the cool Cake Shop. Meeting Dennis, listening in at his mix sessions and playing in his band catapulted me back into music. I asked Dennis to play on a track for my album, Nature Of Love and do some shows with a band I was forming. Now we; RB, Dennis, 70 and Andrew Platt of skeletonbreath fame are going into the studio to a do full album together. Meeting Dennis at the coffee house gig was bizarre and real, because anything, and absolutely everything happens when you make art and music the focus of your life.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
He packed a tight suitcase was Ed McMahon 's answer to the everlasting question, did he and Johnny hang out. This was in Ed's obituary. Johnny was a loner and didn't have a lot friends. I looked up this phrase in my slang dictionaries. Couldn't find it. Show biz folk really don't hang out after work in some great Shangri- La place. We mortals long for an Olympus.
Monday, June 22, 2009
This is the cover of my new album. Written by me (RB) and Produced by (HB) Hans Bally. Hans Bally is not an aka. Though I love aliases and wish that I've used them more often in life, Hans is a real person. I say this because many friends have mentioned they think this is something I've made up. Hans lives in Sweden. We met online. And collaborated on this album. I wrote and sang the songs, he did everything else. And when I say everything, I mean it. Guitars, background vocals, drums, keyboards, bass and many beautiful strange sounds. I'm often called Mr. Ray. Suicide has a great song on their second album called Mr. Ray. I've thought of changing my name to Raymond Ray. Mr. Ray. Or least introducing myself as such. I'm proud of this record. Hans and I made a deep connection and I think you feel it when you hear the record.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Doesn't everyone want an entrance as incredible as Karloff's in the Old Dark House? Can you imagine having that kind of impact "in life." I was going to take pictures off the screen with my Nikon EM to get this shot. Except I'm pretty sure scanning the photographs is out of my technological range. I always wanted a Nikon. I had Chinon in high school. Which was great, took tons of pictures, but Nikon meant something. I bought two on craigs list. The EM isn't considered a professional camera. But I fell in love with it. It is compact and simple. Between the two, I have one great 30 year old camera that works. I like shooting film in the backyard. Then walk over to the CVS, drop it off. Stop at the Gulf Station to talk with Jimmy aka Jamal, of the Masoud family of Toronto; 1,200 strong around the world. 1 hour later, go back to CVS to pick up the photographs. Karloff made his first film in 1916 and his last in 1970.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Here I am. Entering the blogosphere. Is it too late? I usually embrace technology when it is almost done with. I'll be here talking about my music, the interesting people and artists I meet and I guess whatever else comes bubbling up to the surface. It feels weird, being someone who has kept a diary since age 16. This is different. I'll find my way and I hope you'll find me.