We were told not to tape and so, with so much new stuff, it became a blur-especially last few tunes. I tried to keep my senses about me, writing down bits and tried to meld it with info I got from others . My report is that generally this is an album that could sell well to the rock oriented crowd. One tune sounded like ZZ Top La Grange and another like a ZZ Shuffle (I think that was the gun tune)..According to a set list someone got from the sdbd guy, all are one word titles again (don’t know why). There are what I call WWF type tunes (2 of em).: how do you like me now? (Very metal) and strike when the iron’s hot (very ac/dc metal). The latter has the line “are you ready to rumble, might take a tumble...” certain to stir the minds of those glued to their TV sets. It is because of these two, I think the album will have a better chance of bigger success for todd. First tune is almost as basic but has a nice Boston type dual MTAF lead.-“now im mad” I think it is. The best tunes from impression one had to be afraid to know the answer (sounds like a chiding to the non inquisitive political types, but I didnt catch it all) and also the one TR told us not request because it was easy on the pallette..that was “my convictions”, major seventh chords abound ala LCM or something like second nature-youll love it completely-I wish the whole was a bit easier but im an old fuck.
Generally, It kinda reminded me of neil young in a simplistic writing style (not always of course) pushing forth an album like Time Fades Away. I also thought like I did when confronted with Husker Du's classic 2x album Warehouse-a lot of the timber is angry and like a chunk of a few old metallic cars or bricks...thick and hard as nails... Obviously, I wish I could hear em again to tell you more, but according to someone in the know, TR is still tweaking it and considering using additional players on it. That means a lot of shows before the album is out. The tunes pissing , this is the day (“tomorrow we all wake up even”) and climbing the mountain (call / response higher higher)-(kinda like spirit in the sky at times)were all less than metal but delivered with enough todd r harmonic touches that they escaped the head-banging tenor and simplicity of the earlier couple. Listen to word made flesh and youll get some idea of the general sound set up on some of these tunes. Another metal-like riffdom erupts into a gorgeous soul organ melody on the tune todd sung to michelle on the balcony of his home, you are my weakness. similiar to the 6/8 only human. we also watched some wedding movies Friday PM that were a bit private for such a public sharing, love was apparent and abounding.
As Todd thanked the crowd for having an “open mind” , you will need to do so yourself with this new album - unless it changes radically from the version we got Sunday nite in Kauai. Parts are very basic and very harmonically simple for fans of Todd music-some lyrics appear to be an attempt to get a larger pop crowd to tune him in. He deserves it, what the hell. I know I will love this album when it comes-- there are at least 3 great tunes on the new album discernible from first listen, (weakness, afraid and my conviction) and only the 2 heavy tunes I didnt initially like, but the rest are mighty fine also. At the end of the night, I just couldnt take any more notes..too much info, sorry. Should be interesting to see what other tunes the band does. Both Matt and Rachel sang and sang often, so the vocal concerns with KS out of this project are no concern at all. Just different.
So, will Todd press on and play the whole of the album on tour before the release a la Neil Young or Zappa or just pluck some? This band did rehearse 6 days before the show..Not sure how much of a hard rock touch Rachel Hayden has but she preformed admirably but very carefully. The band was not in normal concert line but rather in a rehearsal (dress rehearsal said TR) diamond (as tr put) - 1st bas PP 2nd-JG 3rd-MB, Home- (catching-RR), TR as the pitcher of course. Matt was audible but seemed to double parts in places on gtr, he tried to blend in admirably, his keyboard work (mostly organ sounds-one of latter tunes a had a sequencer-this is day or mountain???). Funny, rachel looks art-rock on stage, he looks grateful dead-like. Nice to augment the older blokes on the stage. This is start of a new band, adventure, kiddies..and just maybe this time TR will get the push he so deserves from this obvious attempt to be radio friendly and connect to a general populous who before couldn’t fully grasp the complexities of his music and words. Now if we can get these guys to come east.. Im sure at some point there will be tapes of the upcoming shows so we can better assess this new batch before this thing comes out-but I would rather just hear it again soon! It’ll be ready when Todd says it is and I await “holding my breath”.Great week and great fun and great thing to come for Todd. Thanks to the R family for a dream week!!Lets make it happen big-time for him this out!