Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Adam Levy & The Honeydogs - PPS Mixtape

Here's a mixtape - a kind of introduction to Adam Levy & The Honeydogs.
I hope you enjoy it.

PS: Thanks to Bleu McAuley for inviting me to Adam Levy's music. It needed a whole year to accept his advice, but finally it worked out very well.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Honeydogs

If you'd ask me who is responsible for the biggest surprise or musical impact on me in the recent months it would surely be The Honeydogs.
A lot of people highly recommended them over the last few years - but until a few weeks ago I didn't really look into their musical works. It was such a revelation when I finally did!


The Honeydogs is a band from Minnesota led by singer-songwriter Adam Levy (vocals, guitars, piano, keyboards) along with Trent Norton (bass, vocals), Brian Halverson (guitars, vocals), Peter J. Sands (piano, keyboards, organ), Peter Anderson (drums, vocals, percussion) and producer John Fields.

If you don't know where to start just listen to both of the records below (10.000 Years and Amygdala), or just to the following songs: Damascus Way,  Too Close to the Sun, Test Tube Kid, Ms. Ketchup and the Arsonist, 23rd Chromosome, Blues For Castro, Devil's Advocate, Last War Lullaby

To describe the music or genre of The Honeydogs is just an impossible task: From Indie-Pop to Jazz, from Swing to The Beatles influence, from Elivs Costello to Ben Folds. There is absolutely no way to class The Honeydogs in any musical genre!
Maybe a review from Paste Magazine (for 10.000 Years) may help here:
"A brave, important, utterly unprecedented album...as seductive musically as it is conceptually radical."
You'll find musicians at the top of their game with musically and lyrically the best songwriting far and wide.

Discography:
1995 The Honeydogs
1996 Everything, I Bet You
1997 Seen a Ghost
2000 Here's Luck
2001 Island of Misfits
2003 10.000 Years
2006 Amygdala
2008 Can't Feel the Beating
2009 Sunshine Committee
2010 Chasing the Sun: The Best of The Honeydogs 
2012 What Comes After



Buy all the music directly from the band (digital, CD) at bandcamp HERE.

Gregg Alexander // New Radicals // Cessyl Orchestra (Begin Again OST)

Do you know this intro?


Sure You do. The song ("You Get What You Give") is by a band called New Radicals. They had one hit album - Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too. So why bother about a one hit wonder?

Mainly because of the man behind all: Gregg Alexander - an American singer-songwriter.
His first album (Michigan Rain) was recorded in 1989 when he was 18, followed by a second record (Intoxifornication) in 1992. Both records were quite unsuccessful. Most artists would stop their career after that - for Gregg Alexander something different happened...


... Six years later he created the New Radicals. The band had no permanent member other than himself and Danielle Brisebois.
The album (Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too) and the single (You Get What You Give) where both international smash hits.

 
But soon he became tired of the musical fame: "Traveling and getting three hours sleep in a different hotel every night to do boring 'hanging and schmoozing' with radio and retail people is definitely not for me", he said - and stopped the project in a moment by emergency braking.

In the following years he had international success by writing plenty of worldwide hit songs for Santana ("Game Of Love"), Boyzone, Ronan Keating ("Life Is a Rollercoaster"), Sophie-Ellis Bextor ("Murder on the Dancefloor"), Rod Stewart ("I Can't Deny It"), Texas ("Inner Smile"), INXS, Hanson, Enrique Iglesias, Geri Halliwell, Melanie C, and ex-New Radical Danielle Brisebois.
The Game Of Love even won a Grammy.

A handful of demos appeared in the recent years in the World Wide Web. Some of them are either outtakes from Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too or from the never happened second New Radicals album. Others may be demos for other artists. All of them are sung by Gregg Alexander.

Here's a list of the songs:

- A Love Like That (Outtake from Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too)
- Come Be My Baby
- My Heart Can't Change
- Blown Away
- Speaking My Language
- My One Thing Is Real
- You're Beautiful
- Inner Child (released by Texas)
- The Game Of Love (released by Santana



You can listen to all of them on Youtube (or just post a comment with your Email down below). It's still not clear how they did surface.

Gregg Alexander fell of the face of the earth again and then reappeared in 2014.
John Carney (writer, director and musician who is known for the Oscar winning movie Once) called him because he wanted him for the soundtrack of his new movie - Begin Again.
Everything just came together and as a result the OST was mainly written by him. Artists like Keira Knightley, Adam Levine and CeeLo Green performed his songs. On the soundtrack you'll also find a group called Cessyl Orchestra - which is no other than Gregg himself (on vocals). I highly recommend the movie and soundtrack (listen to Lost Stars!).

In October 2014 he gave his first interview in 15 years (!) to Scott Feinberg - read it at hollywoodreporter.com.

After that Gregg Alexander disappeared again - but I'm sure it was not the last time we will hear from him.