Uncle G’s FUN Music Reviews: Dick – Dangerous Dreams

ClassicRockRadio.co.uk Music Review

Spotlight: Dick – Dangerous Dreams (2017)

By: Gary “Uncle G” Brown

Twitter @GBrown0816

Dick - Dangerous Dreams (1400 x 1400 RBG)

You know, the one thing Jon Kirkman requested from me on the day I became a correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (UK), was not to post prog-rock stories all the time. A friendly reminder that the station has a huge rock n’ roll playlist, consisting of every form of rock music imaginable from the 1960’s and on. Thousands of musicians and bands under the classic rock umbrella, in which to do stories on. And that I did.

Over the past five years via Classic Rock Radio’s main website, and or its social media pages, I mentioned a ton of different people and products associated with them. Nowadays focusing on either interviews or straight up music/movie reviews. And then anything under the  ‘pop culture’ roof, should I get a bug up my bum and feel compelled to express my opinion about whatever it is.

Pertaining to music, Classic Rock Radio (UK) has given me the opportunity to do pieces on acts I’ve known for decades, or be it something new to these now maturing ears. And remember, it has been said that in general, people over age fifty do indeed if able, become more adventurous. That for me is where ‘Dick’ comes in.

A multi-instrumentalist, songwriter gentleman by the name of Jaakko Soimakallio recording under the name, Dick, somewhere in Finland, contacted me through my archival website asking if I’d be interested in hearing his new album. I get these requests several times, every day. No exaggeration. Not all from Finland, of course. The website is still fairly new. One can add also as contacts, Twitter or my own personal Facebook page. No guarantee. Only so much time in a day. Yet I appreciate the requests because the fact of the matter is, I need topics to write about. One doesn’t need to be established, to create something worth the time for others like myself to check out. Saying that … no country or opera music, okay?

Comparing myself to other entertainment journalists out there, I know there are some that listen twice to something, and then type a thousand words on it, declaring to the whole WORLD, their yay or nay vote. Works for them … I just don’t do shit that way. MAIN reason. Knowing and understanding myself, my own first impression can be and is WRONG on many occasions. My mind needs to absorb and sometimes even understand all the sounds that made up the beats and tones, that make up the full project. I write (type really), expressing my viewpoint, when I feel it’s the proper time to do so, and not a minute sooner. Include editing, and you’re typically looking at a few weeks or longer.

I told Jaakko yes, by the way. Snail mail from Finland. The dude sent me two CDs, autographing one.

Note: The CD artwork by Niina Helimaa is extremely well done. Niina did a wonderful job on the wrap and booklet, capturing the overall feel of the music found within.

“Uncle G” discusses … Dick – Dangerous Dreams (2017)

A death of a friend, one of the first ones I made here in Fort Collins occurred right after I gave this CD, the first couple spins. The human condition. We all at one time or another experience situations that we’d rather not. Then a health issue for myself popped up. Nothing modern medicine can’t (hopefully) take care of. Taking some time off my writing, I did go back to Dick – Dangerous Dreams. Seven tracks total with one being an instrumental. Is certainly put together like a prog-rock album. The influences should one hear them, can range from random 1970’s/1980’s FM radio sounds to a classic rock group like Steely Dan. And I say that due to the album (Dick – Dangerous Dreams) having a tad of rock-jazziness to it. Blend in some Gabriel era Genesis. I can see old school art rock fans getting into this, as much as I do the Millennials.

Oh … lovely instrumental; Winter Ghost. Well done! Repeat plays for sure!

“Uncle G” rates … Dick – Dangerous Dreams (2017)

Using a five-star rating system, whereas one star basically means it SUCKS THROUGH A LONG  STRAW to five stars in which would mean I seriously think it’s worth your time and money checking out, Uncle G rates Dick – Dangerous Dreams (insert a Jaakko Soimakallio drum roll) … 5 STARS! In a nutshell, Dick – Dangerous Dreams has become a soundtrack to my Summer of 2017. Strong writing! Original and modern Progressive Rock that sounds GREAT on a decent set of headphones.

FYI: Since I mentioned headphones, for decades now (since the 1970’s) yours truly has been using; Sennheiser. Top notch products! I always get my money’s worth, plus!

I’ll close by again saying what some might find shocking: “I really LIKE Dick!” And again, THANKS to Jaakko for playing on a hunch. Sorry, I took so long in regards to producing at least a few words on your CD. Keep making music my new friend, and I’ll keep listening. and please pass on congrats to ALL involved in putting out such a solid album. Am looking forward to seeing where things go musically from here. DICK & Finland (country of origin) ROCKS!

Uncle G’s HELPFUL WEB LINKS:

Dick – Dangerous Dreams (Bandcamp Dot Com)

https://dickmusic.bandcamp.com/album/dangerous-dreams-full-album

Dick (Official Website)

www.dickmusicblog.worldpress.com

Gary “Uncle G” Brown Archival Website

www.garyunclegbrownarchives.com/home

Classic Rock Radio (UK): Classic Rock Vaults

As Seen On: ClassicRockRadio.co.uk

Written by: Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

Classic Rock Radio - Vaults

 

 

Hard for me to believe, the time has gone by so quickly. I remember as if it was yesterday.

The year was 2012. There I was in my townhouse, located in southwest Houston Texas, USA. It’s early in the morning. I have awoken and was now in my daily routine of drinking coffee and spending time on the Internet. Wearing briefs and not boxers. On Facebook, I was still a newbie. A large reason why I signed on the mega popular website was due to a half brother. From another mother, and a whole decade older than yours truly. A cool cat or so I thought. And a tale I’ll elaborate more on, at another time. Meanwhile, I’ll tell the story about how I met UK’s radio personality, Jon Kirkman aka ‘Mister Classic Rock Radio’. The title has a nice ring to it, I think. Not that anyone calls him that to my knowledge.  

Back in the last part of the 20th century, in my spare time, I was helping a few professional musicians with their world wide web social media; Yahoo Groups. Jon Kirkman signed on to both the one I was coordinating for Michael Bruce (original member of the Alice Cooper Band) and one I was doing for Peter Banks (original member of Yes). Through private emails, and instant messages Jon and I got to know each other. The results were that we became very good friends. Having the love of prog-rock in common, we ended up doing a few snail mail trades. Cassette or on recordable CDs. I bet in my storage unit located a thousand miles away, that I still have everything Jon sent my way. In their original mailing envelopes. And I kept my promise to this day of not doing trades with certain items; interviews that Jon conducted.

With all the communicating Jon and I did back and forth, it came out that not only was I an Internet music trader (motivated by Michael Bruce) but that I was into acquiring radio ‘interviews’ as well. In the real world, I routinely worked my ass off. A full (40 hours) and a part-time job (20 hours) when needed. I’ve kept employed being available seven days a week. Team player (insert the sound of laughter). Plus my eyes were always open to making money on the side. The collecting I always considered a hobby. Healthier for me than doing pints, sitting in a pub all night.  And much cheaper.

Now, remember, when Jon subscribed to Yahoo Groups that I was the administrator of, he didn’t say anything about being a radio DJ (disc jockey). Or that he did projects outside of that, such as authoring music reviews or CD liner notes. Having mutual friends as well, I remember when finding out all that, thinking it was pretty cool. Interesting way to make a living. I knew a few others in radio. Later on came Jon’s MC gig doing cruises that focused on classic rock acts such as Yes, or The Moody Blues. Not ever able to go myself, Jon in the past, has brought me back some items that he knew I’d like. Always appreciated! To this day we have a very solid friendship. No need to communicate with each other every day. We’ll an email or phone call away. Both of us admitted musicaholics. No getting away from it, and why would we if we could?  

Classic Rock Vaults

Besides listening to music on the radio in the 1960’s and 70’s as a youngin growing up on the New Jersey Shore (USA), I also listened to the news, radio theater, and interviews with people I liked or interested me. Or believe it or not, sometimes to people I absolutely hated, just to get into their mindset some. Nowadays, someone like the retired entertainer David Letterman comes to mind. Out there talking downright shit to anyone who will listen. Others similar to him; Roger Waters. Usually political and somehow interested/involved in America’s political system.  Strongly disagreeing with the words I may hear, I still intently listen to their message and respect others point of view. I do this also to question my own instincts. Check to see if mentally I am on the right path.

Back then I was very inquisitive. What I heard out of those crappy speakers that I reluctantly called my own, helped satisfy that natural desire as a youth to learn. And what do you know, I just so carried that over to adulthood. To this day I’m still curious if the carpet matches the drapes, and love with a passion, the old and 21st century radio presentation. Music-wise and or intellectually. Just as good, yet another behind the scenes story about how the members of my favorite band Yes, all hate one another. Check it out. There are TWO Yes’ now. Divorce wiped me out. I can’t afford to see one. That can change. My choices; Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, and Rick Wakeman on their next tour? Or Yes featuring Steve Howe and Alan White is touring this summer with Carl Palmer (playing the hits of ELP dedicated to Greg and Keith), and some Todd dude who hates Republicans and requests that none go to the concert. Cracks me up! Hopefully, he’ll  rescind that, forget the politics, and play the music he’s known for. Entertain the masses. Better for business.  

Back to the subject at hand, now with the Internet, there are no limitations to what you can find. Including, if you poke around right on this very website,  a Keith Emerson interview from 2002, archived and presented by the man who conducted it. For a Classic Rock Radio (UK) listener, a new choice that perfectly compliments the experience one gets when tuning in, and spending time digging around our shit (said in a complementary way … of course).

If not for being a contributor to Classic Rock Radio (UK), and getting a free membership to our new Classic Rock Vaults, I would bend over backward to join. Well, being older now that might not be physically possible for me to do anymore. The cost is mere pennies a day. New stuff being added all the time, hand picked by Jon and the crew. It’s my kind of thing. Interesting interviews with musicians who make the music I like listening to the best. And Mr. Kirkman … this guy could easily win any classic rock trivia contest. The man does his homework. One can easily tell by just kicking back (careful not to fall out of the chair), turning up the volume, and enjoying all that is located in the Classic Rock Vaults of Classic Rock Radio (UK).

Uncle G’s Picks

In the fifth, I’ll take ‘Undignified’ … only joking!

PLAYING NOW (Classic Rock Vaults)

Jay Schellen: Jon interviewed him very recently; Cruise To The Edge 2017. What a cool guy! To replace Alan White (drummer for John Lennon_Yes) you gotta be good. And that Jay is. Seasoned professional. I have been following Jay’s career for some time now. In my opinion, Jay Schellen is; the real deal!

Billy Sherwood: Again, filmed on the last ‘Cruise to The Edge’ … tickets for the 2018Cruise To The Edge ON SALE NOW … just sayin’. Billy chats to Jon about a tour he did with original Yes keys player Tony Kaye a few years back, his career in general which includes being a member in Yes and Asia, and an up and coming tribute album to his dearly departed friend, bass player and also an original member of Yes, Chris Squire. Filled with information fans would dig knowing.

Ian Anderson: Chats with Jon just last year about a re-issued Jethro Tull album from way back called; Jethro Tull – Stand Up (1969). The band’s second release, and their first with guitarist Martin Barre, who stayed with the group up until a few years ago. I saw Jethro Tull twice in concert; 1977 and 1993. Superior musicians. Fun music! The ‘Stand Up’ reissue is a ‘Steven Wilson’ project. What a musical genius he is! If unaware, check out a band he was in called; Porcupine Tree. Again, Jon Kirkman conducts a perfect conversation, making for a very informative and entertaining presentation. What one expects if aware of Jon’s work.

Wrapping this up, I feel ‘Classic Rock Vaults’ is a wonderful premium addition for our loyal listeners, that is certainly worth every penny charged. A couple pounds a month … a few bucks a month. Helps support the station (example; maintenance fees), and opens the door to conversations you just haven’t heard yet.  So what are you waiting for?

Oh, if we could get a favor out of you? Please pass on, and tell your friends! Classic Rock Vaults … a new feature here at Classic Rock Radio (UK). Updated frequently. So keep tuning in … and on behalf of myself and the wonderful people here at Classic Rock Radio (UK) and Classic Rock Vaults … THANKS! Hope y’all enjoy … feel free to give feedback or suggestions to anyone on the staff.

https://classicrockvaults.com/

Doing Liner Notes…with Uncle G

First Published: 14 May 2016
Liner Notes – Generation:landslide!
By: Gary “Uncle G” Brown
American Correspondent for ClassicRockRadio.co.uk
Twitter @GBrown0816

Towards the end of last year I was approached by musician Tom Underwood, asking if I’d be interested in doing the liner notes for a new CD (expanded single) that his band has scheduled for release around Spring of next year. Without hesitation, my answer was; “Yes”. I have been exposed to the band, and knew their music for some time. When going into more detail about this writing assignment, Tom added that I would be limited to about five hundred words, give or take. This made it more a personal challenge. For a lot of what I author on a semi-daily basis, easily exceeds that word allotment. The reason for the limitation Tom explained was due to what was planned as far as the printing of the actual CD booklet that would come with the physical CD. The band wanted a single page fold, so when you opened the CD single, one could pull out the cover insert and open it up to reveal a page in which the liner notes would be. After saying OK, I said I’d start to work on it soon, after bouncing some ideas around as to what I was going to say. Tom thanked me, smiled, and it was a done deal. I thanked him as well for considering me for the job. A couple weeks later on a beautiful Houston Saturday afternoon, we got together at his home. While eating a delicious meal along with Tom’s wife / bandmate Kathie Muncy-Underwood, we further discussed the plans for the up and coming five song EP.

 photo DSC01688_zps2z2c7znl.jpg

Photo: Generation:landslide! in concert at the Last Concert Cafe in Houston Texas. Pictures left to right: Tom Underwood_Kathie Muncy-Underwood_Charles Zittle on drums_Sellers Thomas.

Weeks later, I submitted my over six hundred words to Kathie. All was fine. We went from Fall of 2015, to the start of Spring in 2016. Then one chilly day in the great State of Pennsylvania, I receive a padded envelope containing the newest Generation:landslide! release, entitled: Carousel. A just under thirty minute CD EP, containing 5 new songs, with the last track being an instrumental, called; One Dead Rose. A group composition, while the other four tracks, all written by Tom and Kathie. Generation:landslide!, a five piece band out of Houston Texas. Mister Underwood is a guitarist and does lead vocals, while his wife Kathie plays bass and does lead vocals as well. A two guitarist band, Tom is joined by Sellers Thomas, who makes his debut here on lead vocals, with the song; Watch The World Die.On drums, Mr. Charles Zittle. One of a kind. As I say in the liner notes, his style of drumming I find akin to Alice Cooper’s; Neal Smith. That’s “Uncle G” high praise there. The Generation:landslide! catalog is filled with amazing drums beats. I witnessed Charles play on several occasions. The man’s a natural behind the drum kit. As with Neal Smith, if the name is new to you, or perhaps you have only seen it mis-spelled in a syndicated PR story, the man is a rock n’ roll legend. For the record, from here on out, the correct spelling of his name: NEAL Smith. I, Gary “Uncle G” Brown can be quoted as saying it’s cool to buy any song / album with Neal Smith’s name on it. Plays different styles, while never forgetting he’s a professional rock n’ roll drummer. Always plenty of bang for your buck! And directed to the newbies, check out the Alice Cooper song, Billion Dollar Babies. Focus on the drumming. Your only thoughts should be after hearing that song, played very loud, but not distorted, is that was fu*king incredible, and that Neal Smith pounding the skins, RULES! After that, feel free to dig into the rest of his work (drummer_guitarist_singer_songwriter), and you’ll find out quickly, I’m NOT wrong.

And then there is keyboardist, Mr. Alan Cunningham. For those unaware, Generation:landslide! didn’t always have a keys player. My first time seeing Alan perform with the group was when they played the House Of Blues (Houston) on my birthday, back in 2014. No secret I’m a fan of piano / keyboard playing. For myself, I think the additional added layer(s) of sound, opens more doors that a rock band like Generation:landslide! can go through. In my opinion they found the right person in Alan, to do just that with.

By The Way: Joining Generation:landslide! on two tracks (Days Of You / One Dead Rose) of this EP (Generation:landslide! – Carousel) is saxophonist; Ralph Armin Kaethner (Mydolls / Dead Roses ). Just one of many reasons why I feel it’s so imperative to buy this 2016 Generation:landslide! offering. Besides the fact I did the liner notes (insert smiley face).
Speaking of which, playing writer, I always found it a huge pleasure to see whatever it was that I creatively had a part in, appearing in print, or as a part of a commercial venture. I thank all those who acknowledged, and have used my work either in part or in whole, for the exposure. That would of course include; Generation:landslide!, who kept / printed every word I submitted to them for this liner note assignment. I also am very grateful to Jon Kirkman – ClassicRockRadio.co.uk – Yes’ Cruise To The Edge MC for sharing with me the writing rules he follows when doing liner notes himself. Good advice as always!

Sneak Peek: Here’s the first paragraph of what I came up with, used as liner notes on Generation:landslide! NEWEST studio release, the EP; Carousel. For the rest of what I said, please support the band, and buy the actual CD, so you can read the liner notes for yourself. As for those who rather not and is more interested in downloading, the MP3 version, is cool as well. Either or helps pay the bills, in which I’m sure the band is very appreciative.GenerationLlandslide! – Carousel (2016)

“Generation:landslide! A band that co-founder Tom Underwood explained to me one fine Saturday afternoon as being akin to something that should be locked up at a top secret military facility like Area 51. A remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, within the Nevada Test and Training Range, and studied thoroughly. Then the both of us shared another bowl, laughed and decided that being dissected was a bad idea because not only might it hurt some, but then only a selected small group of people in white coats, would then know about the Houston Texas (USA) based band, inside and out. How fair is that we pondered. What about the rest of the world?”

Uncle G’s Closing Remarks

It’s almost the last paragraph (that you have to purchase the physical disc to find out) where I describe Generation:landslide! as; “…a Houston based psychedelic, garage power-pop group…” In the above paragraph I just quoted from the liner notes, three words in particular, jump right out at me; “…shared another bowl…”. If I was the reader, and not the author, I would assume that was referring to, a bowl of marijuana. Saying someone is 420 friendly in 2016, isn’t as bad as outing others and yourself, as being pot smokers, forty years prior. Word got around to the wrong person back then, and here comes Sargent Stadanko and the boys. May I safely assure everyone, that it isn’t like that. And so there is no misunderstandings, let me explain exactly what I was referring to when I typed, those three words. It was, a big bowl of … peanuts. Charles like peanuts as well. Ends up we shared many a bowls on many occasions. I can’t say Kathie and Sellers do. Last I heard, Alan was said to be allergic, and could not be anywhere near peanuts. Oh well. Sorry Alan. More for those who can indulge! And if you haven’t already, pick up Generation:Landslide! – Carousel. I thank you, as does the band. And keep an eye out, for whenever there is Generation:landslide! news to report, ClassicRockRadio.co.uk / yours truly will be right there with the details. Nevermind the fact if I had too much … peanuts … or not!

Important Generation:landslide! Web*Links

Social Media

Generation:landslide! Official Facebook Page

Sales

Generation:landslide! Amazon Dot Com (Carousel EP)

Generation:landslide! CD Baby (Carousel EP)

Generation:landslide! Carousel EP produced by Steve Bundrick & Generation:landslide! – Recorded at Bundrick and Sons Studio in Houston, Texas, USA.