Marc's Music Reviews

Sep. 1, 2016

By Marc Platt

Detroit has brought us many pop and rock nuggets over the decades. The MC5, Bob Seger, Iggy Pop, Glenn Fry and even Madonna come to mind. How about a local power pop nationally unknown 50-something family man who has toiled in Detroit for decades?

Nick Piunti delivers his third solo record and first for Jem Records out of New York and it is a gem (pardon the pun).

You know that feeling of being instantly memorable when you hear something that sounds familiar, but fresh and new? “Trust Your Instincts” fits that category with instant hooky classics like “One Hit Wonder” and “Blame in Vain,” as well as blistering guitar tracks like “Ready For Whatever,” “As Far as I Throw” and “Trust Your Insticts.”

“One Hit Wonder” has everything you would ever want in a pop masterpiece, melody, hooks and message. The song is a metaphor about a relationship using the device of what else, pop music. “We were a one hit wonder/Couldn’t follow it up.” This record has it all.

Every song has a purpose and that purpose is to take you on a historical musical journey reminding you why you love meaningful songs you can sing in your car. This record never lets up and makes you remember why you love The Beatles, Cheap Trick and 90’s stalwart Matthew Sweet’s records.

If you want a record to play endlessly on a loop in your car, pick up “Trust You Instincts.”

Mar. 23, 2015

- Review -
How The Beatles Did It
Marc Platt
ebook

The last couple of weeks I've been spending some time with Marc Platt's ebook "How The Beatles Did It." 
 
Here are my thoughts. First of all, it would seem that there would be no new ways to present the monumental work of The Beatles, but that would be incorrect. Mr. Platt has figured out a very engaging way to communicate the details of not only their recordings, but their influences and the recording techniques used at that time. The site is easily accessible and user-friendly. The videos are concise but don't skimp on information. They are just the right length to keep our attention in these distracted times (the longest one is the Abbey Road Medley, but that's okay). The only thing you end up wanting is more of them. There aren't enough and you find yourself wanting to hear about many other songs. Especially those which the newer or average listener might not be as exposed to or know the significance of. Again, I'd love to hear more. 


Here is what the website looks like:




There are six videos and 14 audio notebooks, not including the 78 page book. The book has a large amount of information and even acknowledges Chris Thomas as a Producer (which is something that other books don't come right out and say). For that reason alone, I would agree with the author when he says 'this is a content-heavy book with a lot of analysis. It is designed for Beatle fans newer and older." There is a lot of information here for those who think they know everything already (and there are plenty of us), while still having enough information for young people who may still be starting out and keep them interested. Overall, I highly recommend this ebook for all the reasons mentioned above. Lastly, you will learn a few new things about the group that you didn't know before and for that reason, it is a very valuable resource for long time fans and newbies.


You can pick up your copy by following this link:

www.howthebeatlesdidit.com

Sep. 28, 2014

by Marc Platt
September 27, 2014
Los Angeles, CA

Big Star was a band from Memphis, Tennessee in the early 1970s that has reached such great posthumous plaudits so many years since they barely made a dent in the music world.

It is their afterlife that so many musicians and hard core 60s/70s pop revere.

There was quite a cast of 1980s indie and major label heroes on hand at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre to not only pay tribute, but add their own talents to two of the band's album recordings.

'Big Star #1 Record' was first on the agenda. You knew from the first notes of "Feel," the first song on '#1 Record" that you were in for a special evening as Posies/Big Star alum Ken Stringfellow faithfully executed that lead track with all of the power of the original. 

Semisonic's Dan Wilson sang "Ballad of El Goodo" with as much Alex Chilton sensitivity as could be expected with Sue Hoffs and the Peterson sisters singing the harmonies. The Bangles gals would be back many times throughout the evening in several roles.

"#1 Record sailed along with Mike Mills (R.E.M.) "In The Street," North Carolina singer-songwriter-and-future-star Skylar Gudasz singing Chilton's "Thirteen" with beauty and grace.

Jason Falkner and the Posies Jon Auer rocked the house with "Don't Lie To Me." I need to mention Mitch Easter's BRILLIANT guitar work starting right here. He was emaculate throughout the evening, but I really started to notice it on this song that he was carrying all the old Alex Chilton parts perfectly. Mitch Easter is a monster guitar player and this evening really brought that home.

One of the highlights of this first set was Big Star's original drummer Jody Stephens stepping up to the microphone and singing Andy Hummel's (the deceased bass player) "The India Song." This man can sing very well. Who knew Jody Stephens was this good. He sang several more songs throughout the night.

After the intermission Django Haskins sang the opening track of 'Sister Lovers' Edxen Ahbez's "Nature Boy," a song oriiginally made famous by Nat King Cole. It was fabulous.

One of the highlights of the night was Mike Mills campy version of the campy tongue-in-cheeky "Jesus Christ." It was perfect, along with the sleighbells.

The true highlight of 'Sister Lovers' was Brett Harris singing the experimental "Kanga Roo." I was wondering how they were going to pull this track off. Home run. It was amazing. Van Dyke Parks must be commended on his brilliant string arrangements and conducting.

The encores were great, including a Mitch Easter version of the Kinks "Til The End of the Day."

The night ended with The Bangles reprising their version of Big Star's "September Gurls" from the Radio City Album and an impromptu no-mic version of "I'm In Love With A Girl."

The evening benefitted the Autism Think Tank and was sponsored by the new Trunkworthy.com company. The Wild Honey Orchestra does a few of these benefits annually and is headed up by Paul Rock, whose son is autistic.

Jun. 29, 2014

Chauncey Bowers
"Rumors of Reason" Review
By Marc Platt

Have you ever met anyone so talented, yet painstakenly stubborn, you feel like they might never realize their great gift to the world?

Chauncey Bowers would have been that figure had he not released his debut effort "Rumors of Reason."

Mr. Bowers toils by day as a scientist and at night as a demented crooner and I say that in the most admirable way. Late in the 15-song CD "The Wicked" demonstrates Bowers' total dedication to Biblical References-turned-absurd: "Cain was able to kill someone/The very first brothers, the first son/At tthe time you just said/"Where did that wicked come from?"

There is not one wasted word on the entire CD. This man has been brilliant for many years and with the production help of Ed Tree and the fine harmonies by his longtime collaborator Lisa Turner, he has made an intimate, yet startling recording.

This is simply the finest CD I have heard in 2014. The melodies are Americana in the finest sense that he is American, but also of the world. Let's not throw Dylan, Springsteen and the usual suspects out there to compare. He is his own artist with his own sensibilities.

He knows what he likes and he certainly knows how to play around with words, meaning and devotion to his craft.

Go back to "The Wicked" and imagine Louis Prima and Keely Smith singing this song in their lounge act in Las Vegas. Then in the next instant imagine Al Kooper, Dylan and that crowd in a blues rant like "The Last Thing I Remember," all the while waiting for Richie Havens to show up with his band to help out on a track like "Running Helpless." Of course none of these things happened in real life, but Bowers and his crew captured the essence of those artists in a very intimate way without straying from his own artistry.

This is a MUST OWN CD. Every song on the disc is a repeat play. You will find yourself playing this CD non-stop.

There are love songs that bite, there is plenty of sensitivity to go along with his evil side.

It may have taken a long time, but it is certainly worth the wait.

"Rumors of Reason" is simply one of the best CDs of the past few years. It took him many years to write and record this work and it should not go unnoticed and end up in a used CD rack down the line. It should be sitting alongside all your other BEST and FAVORITE CDs.

I believe in supporting great artists and music, but this is no hype. Check out "Rumors of Reason."

Apr. 8, 2014

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