Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts was due to be opening act for Mötley Crüe stadium tour starting this month before it was postponed to 2021, however, despite this, Tuk is thrilled to announce the release of the new EP Covers From The Quarantine on 12th June 2020, via Better Noise Music. The release will be available on streaming platforms and can be accessed here.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic the music industry is now in flux, live performances are on hold, and the music community, as we know it, has been forced to adapt to these new challenges. Covers From The Quarantine is Tuk’s resilient contribution to the music community, throughout the quarantine period he kept creating new material and performing originals & covers for rock lovers with his bi-weekly live-streams.
Tuk comments: “I decided to record some acoustic cover songs in my attic home studio to keep sane during the covid-19 lockdown. These songs and EP are not a representation of who I am as an artist, I just felt like I should try and contribute with something creative and positive in such uncertain times. Also, with all my tours being cancelled or postponed and my album pushed back I feel like it’s important to stay connected with fans. When picking the track list I chose them based off my moods during the quarantine. I recorded this EP without electric guitars and just used acoustic, keys, and some drum samples to make up my one-man band. It definitely gives the body of songs a vibe of its own.”
LA Weekly, in their endorsement of his streamed performances, says: “The guy has a glorious sound that straddles the line between glitter stomp and punk poet“. This is spirit behind Covers From The Quarantine, a collection of Tuk’s favourite tracks recorded in his attic studio, served stripped down to their very powerful core: David Bowie’s ‘Life On Mars’, INXS’s ‘Don’t Change’, Lana Del Rey’s ‘Summertime Sadness’ and more.
Each song on the EP represents a moment, a mood of Tuk’s quarantine. He continues: “David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’ was the biggest challenge for me to translate. The chord structure and arrangement are pretty unconventional once you open the hood up. It’s always good to push yourself so I enjoyed it. Bowie has continued to be a staple of inspiration for years so thought I’d take a swing at it. Hope he digs it.”
When speaking about INXS’s Don’t Change Tuk says: “I’ve been wanting to cover ‘Don’t Change’ for a few years now live with a band and just never got around to it.”
Another key track on the EP is Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness: “In ‘Summertime Sadness’ I had to change a few words out to be sang from my perspective … listen close and you’ll hear me mention a Rod Stewart hairdo and my Cuban heel boots. This song was way out of my comfort zone and wheelhouse … I still struggle whether or not I should have done it … oh well! Once again, I wanted to challenge myself and see what would happen. At the end of the day a good tune is a good tune. The lyric and feeling of it seem appropriate for the times.”
Tuk Smith bleeds for rock & roll, the kind that stays true to its roots, the kind the classics were built on. After building a career as the frontman for BITERS, Tuk will be launching his solo career with his band The Restless Hearts on his Better Noise debut Looking For Love, Ready For War. Produced by the legendary Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Phil Collins, Kid Rock), the album unifies multiple musical styles and showcases the versatility of Tuk’s songwriting. Tuk Smith & Restless Hearts were set to join Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard and Joan Jett on their epic US stadium tour this summer; however, due to Covid-19 pandemic all touring activity is currently on hold.
Covers From The QuarantineTrack Listing:
1. Don’t Change
2. Life On Mars
3. Hard Luck Woman
4. Summertime Sadness
5. Behind Blue Eyes
Follow/Like TUK SMITH & THE RESTLESS HEARTS
Rich Ragany & The Digressions release new video for the title track of the critically acclaimed debut album ‘…Like We’ll Never Make It…’. RPM has been a big supporter of Rags and the band and we first interviewed the vocalist and songwriter when the site began (Here) The album also featured in the writers top ten releases of 2019 (Here) Check out the awesome video and the dates for the Status Quo tour Below.
Rich Ragany & The Digressions have been announced as support for Status Quo’s Nov/Dec Winter ‘Backbone’ tour of the UK.
27 Nov – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
28 Nov – Leicester De Montfort Hall
30 Nov – Cardiff St. David’s Hall
1 Dec – Birmingham Symphony Hall
3 Dec – Brighton Centre
5 Dec – London Eventim Apollo
6 Dec – Bournemouth BIC
The band is currently gearing up to go into the studio with celebrated UK producer Andy Brook and Grammy Award-winner Mario J McNulty (David Bowie, Glen Matlock, Raveonettes) mixing. RPM asked Rags for a quote about the awesome news of the Quo tour and he had this to say, “Woohoo, Yeah Allllright, settle down” Get your tickets quick before they all sell out.
Just recently I had an email drop into my inbox highlighting a new single from the Young Gods and sending me into memory free fall all the way back to 1993 and a Young Gods performance on the Phoenix Festival main stage supporting a Mike Patten led Faith no More at the time they definitely piqued my interest but as is the want with festivals you see so many bands in such a short space of time things blur and the band slipped out of my consciousness,
The next time I came across the band was within an Interview of David Bowie in 1995, when he was asked whether NIN had influenced the creation of the Outside LP “His reply was that he was actually listening to a Swiss band at the time called The Young Gods, things came together and I re-tracked the band and was blown away by the first three LP’s The Young Gods, L’eau Rouge and T.V. Sky (which remains a fave up to today)
Franz, what can you tell us about the early days of The Young Gods? How did the band start out? What influenced the music?
We were born in the 60s and grew up during the 70s. Our first musical loves come from that period. Early psychedelism and later on punk, influenced us a lot.
We started the band in 1985 and at that time our main influences were Einstürzende Neubauten, Kraftwerk and postpunk. (Killing Joke, Wire, Gang of Four…) I think The Young Gods is a bit of all that: psychedelism with a punk energy. But the real thing that influenced us the most was the new technology of the time: the sampler. When affordable sampling devices came on the market, that totally changed my approach on writing music. No more chords, harmonies, E or A strings, just pure sound. A collage of sounds, that’s how you can call our music in the early days.
For someone hearing the Young Gods for the first time, how would you describe the music, and the way it’s developed from the early days to now?
To make it simple, I like to describe the band as “electronic rock music”. I think we used and abused the sampling technology until the mid-nineties and then felt the need to extend our sound with the help of other devices like synthesizers or computers plug-ins. I now play the guitar as well on stage, which is new. The music might be a bit less radical in its form but has kept the intensity of the early days.
Delving into your background Franz I’ve found you were a classically trained guitarist, but dropped the instrument in favour of a more experimental approach to music, utilizing technology, loops and beats, repetition et al did you find having such a structured? introduction to music help or hinder what you were trying to do with the Young Gods? How did it influence you?
Learning classical guitar made me consider music as ONE thing that evolves with time and technology. Every generation needs to find its own way and sound, but I was frustrated that my fellow punk friends were not interested in classical music and that the other musicians in my classical guitar class could not play a simple blues. Everything is so compartmented. If you follow classical music by the rule or punk music by the rule, you trap yourself into conservatism. Music is not about conservatism, it is about freedom and openmindedness. Music is here to unite us.
Tell us about the Young Gods Play Kurt Weill LP, what inspired your choices for the LP? “September Song” in particular really stood out for me, do you have a personal fave? What were you as a band getting across to a generation that potentially hadn’t heard Kurt Weill?
Again it is a will to make people aware of good music that had been written in the 30s /40s. For me the association of Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht is fantastic.
Take the “Three Penny Opera” for example. It is total counterculture: it is called an opera but there is no “bel canto”, people sing slightly out of tune, the music is dissonant, the story happens in a dark Soho where the heroes are gangsters, prostitutes, priests… It is political, subversive. No wonder these two where considered public enemies N°1 by the nazis. Weill and Brecht are the pioneers of “pop music”.
“September Song” comes from Weill’s period of exile. He flew to NYC to escape the Nazis. He then wrote for the Broadway theatres. Very intense songs, classics. September Song made me realize that one can be intense without having to scream…
Moving forward as a listener the sound you were creating seemed to become more sparse, allowing more space within the music, taking the listener on an internal journey, what was changing within the Young Gods?
I guess it is still a try to dive into sound and take the listener on a trip. With time we became less frontal. Age gives us a different energy. But it might be temporary as well !!! there is a lot to be angry about nowadays.
‘Everybody Knows‘ was our first try to write music together (4 people at the time) improvising. We wanted to challenge ourselves, wanted to go out of the computer grid. With distance, it was a transitional album. It is very free and full of explorations.
Coming up to date you have a new LP out called Data Mirage Tangram, what can a new listener to the Young Gods expect? How would you describe it?
We are back as a trio but with a serious change of people. Al Comet and Vincent Hänni left the band in 2011 and Cesare Pizzi (who started the band with me) is back after being away for more than 20 years. It is more “downtempo” than usual, deeply psychedelic ( in its greek definition: revealing the psyche). You can listen to it like as a soundtrack to your dreams. It takes you to Amazonia, it has tribal elements, it sounds at times very urban, psychoacoustic, it warns you about the blind trust we put into algorithms and it is danceable!
Live we’ve got some dates coming up in the UK, what can the fans expect?
We mainly play the new album but include in the set a few “classics”.
Last thing Franz, what influences you at this moment in time? Are there any new and upcoming bands you could point us towards or any classics we need to re-explore?
Coming from your land: I like Farai and Perera Elsewhere. From France: the Psychotic Monks. And TM404, the Island people, The Oh Sees, the Viagra Boys, Clap Clap, Insalar. To be rediscovered: acoustic John Lee Hooker, Sun Ra (Nuclear War, Space is the place)
Thanks for taking the time out to chat with us
Thank you for your interest Nev
Franz it’s been an absolute pleasure to talk to someone I’ve followed for so long
Author: Nev Brooks
You can forget about your boot boy Glam of Guida or any other pretenders who think they have their finger on the pulse of ’70s glam rock vibe because there can be only one at the top of the pile and quite frankly that’s Gyasi. From the opening intro and lyric come the wise words “if you can’t hide it hang bells on it, Baby!” Hell yeah! we’re off.
With a trashy tempo ‘Colourful’ is up and running. The title track is up next with its big strumming acoustic guitar holding the rhythm along with handclaps and some sweet organ toots its glam alright like when the 60s turned into the 70s and it was all about the music. Excellent stuff.
As the record goes from a fruity early Joe Perry like riff or the Zep inspired ‘Young Love’ to the out and out glam of ‘Tongue Tied’ the band kick back and mix up some classic Lower East Side rock and roll al a Lou Reed stylings on ‘Blackstrap’ its got some lush horns and matching riff which makes for an interesting and enjoyable cocktail for sure.
To be fair this album has ten really good tunes it might not necessarily make album of the year it is full of solid rock and roll songs that are well written and well played and borrow bits and pieces from the good and the great from a bygone era – given a dust down and remodeled with extra feathers is always going to go down well around here. I do like what they bring on ‘Bring Your Love’ mixing up the acoustic and electric guitars and summoning the spirit of prime time Robert Plant draws on some classic trippy rock as well. ‘Nightcrawl’ has a cool organ rasping away on the intro like John Lord in platforms and feathers with a nice line in nail polish and listening to classic Iggy Pop when he went to Berlin for inspiration.
Saving the best until the end ‘Kiss Kiss’ is a piano tonkin’ sax blowing romp that the Dolls would have been proud of and ‘Little Tramp’ is sitting crossed legged with only ‘Hunky Dory’ for companionship atop of a mountain. great record go pick it up glam slammers.
Author: Dom Daley
Buy Androgyne Here
On this very date David Bowie unveiled his landmark album, ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars’. His breakthrough LP, it sells over 7 million copies and is hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time. As genius as it was it has to be said that without his Spiders Ziggy would have been nothing (or at least not a fraction of the success) Ronnos guitar playing was exceptional throughout as were the bass lines. Of course, the image was mind blowing even for the early ’70s.
The concept album serves as the introduction to Bowie’s most iconic of reincarnations: Ziggy Stardust, a flame-haired Martian messiah who visits Earth in an attempt to bring a message of hope to humanity in their final five years of existence. Flamboyantly dressed and dazzlingly androgynous, Stardust helps revolutionize ideas about gender and sexuality like never before.
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars is recorded over a two-week period in November 1971 at London’s Trident Studios – the same place where The Beatles made “Hey Jude” in 1968. The legendary album cover depicts a resplendent Bowie posing outside of a Mayfair furriers named K. West.
The album peaks at #5 in the UK, and remains on that chart for two years, bolstered by a groundbreaking performance of “Starman” on Top of the Pops in July 1972.
Although “Ziggy played guitar” for the final time in July 1973, his blazing legacy lives on. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is about Bowie’s alter ego Ziggy Stardust, an androgynous bisexual rock star who acts as a messenger for extraterrestrial beings (drugs who mentioned drugs). Bowie took Ziggy on tour through the United Kingdom, Japan, and North America. The album and the character of Ziggy Stardust explored themes of sexual exploration and social taboos and it wasn’t until that fateful night in The Hammersmith Odean that Ziggy made his last appearance as Bowie ruthlessly ended the characters existence. this after shipping over seven million copies worldwide – still to this day an incredible decision from a man at the peak of his powers. Amazingly the album only made it to number five in the UK charts whilst barely denting the US top 75!
Its no question one of the most influential albums for many reasons would there have been the huge new Romantic explosion of the post-punk 80s had it not been for Ziggy? Also, it was a big influence on the UK punk scene with many of its detractors since citing this particular tour as being very influential fashionably and musically.
Track from the album has been covered many times over by many different artists including Bauhaus who did ‘Ziggy Stardust’ as did Def Leppard and RPM favourite Jeff Dahl. ‘Moonage Daydream has also been covered by varied artists such as LA Guns, Mike Scott and Tim Wheeler of Ash. whereas ‘Suffragette City’ has been covered by such polar acts as Boy George, Steve Jones, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Turbonegro and god forbid Poison! As well as recently on volume 1 of The UK Subs covers album.
David Bowie took ‘Diamond Dogs’ out on tour around shit Island on this day back in 1974. The cover art features Bowie as a striking half-man, half-dog grotesque painted by Belgian artist Guy Peellaert. It was controversial as the full painting clearly showed the hybrid’s genitalia. A few copies of this original cover made their way into circulation at the time of release but hey anything goes in 2019 so if you want to see the originally intended artwork then here it is!
That was the ’70s and any excuse to show a bit of Bowie is good enough for us. Moving into the Naughties and on this day Velvet Revolver released a fine debut album ‘Contraband’ which spawned the hits ‘Fall To Pieces’ and ‘Slither’. the band made up of Slash, Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan, along with Scott Weiland and Dave Kushner.
Formed in 2002 when Slash and Duff played a benefit concert for Randy Castillo, who died of cancer. Stone Temple Pilots had split up, so the Guns N Roses pair pulled in Scott Weiland as lead singer although it was rumoured that Marc from Peckham Cowboys was also auditioned the line up was completed by Sorum (also in GnR) and second guitarist Dave Kushner.
During the recording of the album, Weiland was ordered by the court to attend rehab and as part of the deal, he was able to record at several hours at a time in order to complete the album.
Whilst on the subject of high maintenance band members on this day in ’69 the Stones officially parted company with Brian Jones who said he was leaving the band to play his “kind of music” his departure was barely a month old before he was found dead in his pool.
Finally Happy Birthdays to Greg Ginn – Born today in 1954 in Arizona. Ginn also owns the independent record label, SST, originally begun as an electronics company called Solid State Tuners when he was only 12 years old. Don’t know if its a well-known fact but Ginn is the older brother of artist Raymond Ginn, who is better known using by the name Raymond Pettibon (He of the OFF! album covers and the iconic Black Flag four-bar logo)
Another iconic musician who pioneered the new romantic scene Happy Birthday Nick Rhodes (born today in 1962) who came to prominence out of the post-punk scene that morphed into new romantics playing keyboards or synths in Duran Duran.
Born Nicholas James Bates who helped start the band in the late ’70s in Birmingham whilst DJing at the Rum Runner club in the city center. It was there he met the other members of the band who were also employed at the club. Rhodes went on to international superstardom with Duran. He also had a successful career with Arcadia which he formed with LeBon and Roger Taylor whilst the other two went off to Rock out with Power Station and the duranies went on hietus.
Rhodes always the artier one went on to become an accomplished photographer as well as several successful side projects but he always came back to Duran Duran. Happy Birthdays Greg and Nick.
Let us guide you through some of our choice picks from the pile of this years RSD releases and the ones we fancy as well as the ones that might just be a Record shop bun fight. As fans go toe to toe for that collectible 7″ that you hope and pray won’t be on eBay for even larger inflated prices than you pay on the day. Anyway, we’ve picked through the list alphabetically and where possible we’ll give you online guide prices (some of which will make your eyes water). This is part one – part two will follow tomorrow.
First up is a no brainer for us as The Alarm celebrate reissuing ‘Strength’ on vinyl and give it the old dark arts of a remaster there is also a RSD double live album of one of their best bootlegs live from Boston Orpheum in 85 on the Strength Tour. Four of the tracks (Where Were You Hiding?, Deeside, Sixty Eight Guns & Knocking On Heaven’ s Door), were used as B-sides and extra tracks with the band’ s ‘ Spirit Of ‘ 76’ UK single release of early 1986 which put the band into the UK Top 30, with ‘ Howling Wind’ being issued in the USA only as part of the ‘ Live For Life’ IRS Records cancer benefit compilation album. The audio was recorded by WBCN Radio Station in Boston, MA on November 9th 1985 and was a pretty hot show to record. Certainly, one to pick up.
Second up is possibly one of this year’s most popular releases that of ‘Bingo Hand Job – Live At The Borderline 91‘ Who you might ask? Well, if you have asked its probably not for you then. It’s none other than REM and some friends such as Billy Bragg pre-MTV unplugged superstardom taken from a set they played in London under the name BHJ. Again this is a two-disc LP and has reached mythical status amongst REM fans over the years as to its validity. Heads down 1-2-3-4 Go! Expect to pay stupid money for a copy of this if you find yourself without a copy on the day.
Next we see Bob Dylans classic ‘Blood On The Tracks‘ being advertised as the original New York Test Pressing and its also to be found on rough Trades website for £26.99 the story goes like thus – Months before Bob Dylan released ‘Blood On The Tracks’ in early 1975, a small number of test pressings were circulated, consisting entirely of material from sessions at A&R Recording Studios in New York City. (Dylan re-recorded five of these tracks in Minneapolis for inclusion on the final album.) Those original records were soon bootlegged, and the alternate history of one of Dylan’s most acclaimed works was born. This LP is an exact duplicate of the test pressing, containing unique mixes from the New York session available for the first time. It doesn’t say if this is limited so I’d imagine this might well be pressed in big numbers thus making it available after the furor of RSD has gone.
Next is Brett Smiley and ‘Sunset Towers‘ an eight-track release. Brett recorded a session at what was to become Cherokee Studios, in the Valley in Los Angeles. Owned by The Robbs, three brothers who had previously been the house band on ‘60s TV music show Where The Action Is (and who backed Brett on the session) and produced by Del Shannon, the session has lain in the vaults till now. This album of previously unreleased recordings is a what could have been for American glam music. expect to pay £21.99 for this album
RSD stalwarts Cheap Trick have something to offer this year that is one of the limited pieces and will be globally sought after ‘The Epic Archive Vol. 3 (1984-1992) (Limited 2-LP “Flame Red” Vinyl Edition)’ After Releasing Two Packages of Cheap Trick Rarities on LP for Record Store Day and BlackFriday to Great Acclaim (and Great Sales), Real Gone Music Is Back with Its Third and FinalCompilation of Hard-to-Find Epic Label Nuggets. coloured vinyl and limited to 2000 pieces this will fly which is why they’ve put an eye-watering price of £44.99 on it for a double album! Ouch!
The first seven-inch single we are really interested in is from Chuck Mosley. Never before released its limited to 750 copies worldwide. Chuck former singer with Faith No More, Bad Brains, Indoria and Primitive Race decided to pursue a solo project with a raw, psychedelic, acoustic direction. Armed with his guitar, a vocal effects processor, and a few friends (Cris Morgan, Randy Pirosko, and Douglas Esper), he embarked on a two-year tour and completed a few recording sessions. During a six-hour block in August of 2017 with producer Joe Haze, Chuck recorded two covers, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” originally written by Prince (and originally made famous by Sinead O’ Connor), and “Take this Bottle” by Faith No More (a FNM cut recorded during Mike Patton’ s reign). The two recordings have never been released until now. This ended up as Chuck’ s last time recording in a studio before his death on November 9th 2017. His guitar solo on Nothing Compares 2 U never got completed as the band had to leave for a show that night in Salt Lake City. Tracks : A Side Nothing Compares To You B Side Take This Bottle.
Bowie always a RSD favourite for the scalpers as they look to take advantage of the limited quantities available this year sees ‘Pin Up’s‘ getting the picture disc treatment and already its advertised on eBay for upwards of $80 a snip I guess if you can’t be bothered to go find a copy and go against everything RSD stands for even if it does look a very nice record. Good luck baggin’ one of these folks. It doesn’t say how many have been pressed but I’d imagine it’s not enough to satisfy the demand.
The Crow – OST Original motion picture soundtrack to the movie of the same title, to be released on vinyl for the first time since its original 1994 release. The album features covers, including Nine Inch Nails who covered Joy Division’ s “Dead Souls”, Pantera who covered Poison Idea’ s “The Badge”, and Rollins Band who covered Suicide’ s “Ghost Rider”, and Rage Against the Machine re-recorded their 1991 B-side “Darkness of Greed” and renamed it “Darkness” for this soundtrack. It’s a three-sided record with side four being an etching. It seems like this is the popular thing at the moment to leave side four blank and put an etching on it but hey maybe I’m old fashion I’d rather some more music. Expect to pay an eye watering £34.99 for this but it is limited to 1000 pieces
‘Dexys Midnight Runners Live At The BBC‘ is also on some RPM lists as this 1982 recording of the band at the peak of their powers and for the first time on vinyl, this legendary Newcastle BBC In Concert was regarded as a turning point in the band’ s career. the concert features a host of the finest Dexys’ tracks as well as introducing the audience to Dexys new “Celtic” sound including ‘Geno’, ‘Let’ s Make This Precious’, ‘Jackie Wilson Said’, ‘The Celtic Soul Brothers’… The concert introduces the Emerald Express string section and the audience are treated to the not heard before ‘Come On Eileen’-listen to the reaction after… The LP set finishes with 4 tracks from a David Jensen session from the same year. This double album pressed on Green Vinyl will look to set you back £27.99 if you’re lucky enough to bag one of the 1400 copies. Good luck!
Already picking up admirers such as BBC Radio 6 and BBC introducing I Am Lono sound like the real deal with a cold as steel exterior yet it just covers a boiling hot center borrowing from masters of the dark post-punk synth rockers like The Cure and The Mission there is also a healthy amount of pop via the likes of Japan and Bauhaus.
You have the heaving thump of the bass guitar on the sparse ‘Lovers’ with its mechanical drum thud and bass throb it has the echoey vocals and synth layering the song until after the chorus when it soars as the guitar takes over. Huge sounding record and to be fair a really impressive track too.
Let’s not jump the gun here and rewind to the opener ‘America’. There is a real familiarity to this one – sounds like a dark Visage (if I might be so bold). I love the bands I’ve mentioned in my introduction and there are shades of all of them in this for sure and ‘America’ reminds me of the post 90’s period Bowie. Call it art rock or post-punk synth pop I couldn’t care less its captured superbly and the moody ‘Abigail’ sounds huge and should rightfully turn heads as people will sit up and take notice. The production and songwriting is excellent with the songs being really well arranged and none of them outstay their welcome with just the right amount of Guitars and Synth and great vocals throughout. In fact, Mr. Hussey could do a lot worse than check these out and maybe take them on tour with him, his audience would love this.
Available on 10″ vinyl maybe its time to embrace your dark side and get a headful of I Am Lono you might be very pleasantly surprised.