Admin
Mike Dow

Mike Dow

edge staff writer

Website URL:

Not many bands survive to see a 50th anniversary tour, and the few who do have seen their share of weirdness. The Beach Boys are no exception. Under the smiles, striped shirts and Mike Love's ballcap lie decades of lawsuits, dysfunction and strange vibrations.

Over five decades, The Beach Boys have kept alive several communities of therapists and litigators. As recently as 2007, Brian Wilson prevailed in cousin Mike Love's ridiculous lawsuit over Brian's CD of re-recorded Beach Boys hits distributed free to the readership of a UK newspaper. What made Wilson's victory especially satisfying was Love's cockiness in the courtroom. According to Brian's wife Melinda, Mike Love turned to his cousin and said, 'You better start writing a real big hit because you're going to have to write me a real big check.' The judge decided otherwise.

The Wilson brothers had an absolute tool bag for a father. By all accounts, Murray Wilson worked overtime to make the lives of his boys a whirlwind of despair. Archival interviews with Brian, Carl and Dennis are filled with painful childhood tales of emotional and physical abuse many too graphic for The Maine Edge. Here's one we can share with you: Murray took perverse pleasure in scaring his sons by removing his glass eye and forcing them to look in the socket.

Wednesday, 06 June 2012 11:42

'Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust'

Ken Scott on recording The Beatles, Bowie, Elton and more

On the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first recording at EMI Studios and the 40th anniversary of Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust,' engineer and producer Ken Scott shares all in new book.

More than 48 years on from the job interview that forever altered his course, legendary recording producer and engineer Ken Scott recalls his nervousness as he climbed the steps outside EMI Studios to meet with the assistant studio manager. 'I had never had a job before, so I was panic-stricken going for this interview,' he remembers.

Only five days previous, after a particularly grueling Friday at school, Scott sat down and penned approximately 10 letters addressed to various London-based record labels, television and radio studios in hopes of landing a position as a recording engineer. Exactly one week later, he received some news that stopped him in his tracks. 'I was offered a job and left school that day,' Scott told me. 'I started at EMI the next Monday. There were nine days between school and starting work at the greatest recording studio in the world.' Ken Scott was 16 years old.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:28

Days with Doris

Blue Hill resident remembers 20 years with America's original sweetheart

BLUE HILL - One day in early 1988, music producer Terry Melcher (The Byrds, The Beach Boys) walked through the door of his mother Doris Day's home in Carmel, California accompanied by John Phillips, formerly of The Mamas & the Papas. Phillips had a song running through his mind and was desperate to put the tune on tape before he forgot it.

Melcher called for his mother's assistant, an Englishman named Sydney Wood. 'Woody, do you have a cassette recorder in your room?' he asked. 'Yes, come on up,' Wood replied. Melcher and Phillips headed up the stairs with an acoustic guitar and sat on Wood's bed while they worked out the song's basic structure. There were no lyrics yet, but the melody and chords were there.

Melcher later played the tape for The Beach Boys, who wanted to record the song immediately. 'Kokomo' was released in July and hit #1 in November giving The Beach Boys the distinction of being the act with the longest span between #1 records (22 years). For Sydney Wood, seeing a Grammy-nominated song come to life in his bedroom was just another day at Doris's place. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012 14:41

The Pillbugs Hi-def psychedelic pop

'We were never trying to make it big The Pillbugs' music was made to create a great listening experience for ourselves and to share it with others. If it made money, that would be great too, but it never really has. That's OK; we need people out there like that too.' Mark Mikel of The Pillbugs

I propose the radical notion that the finest of all psychedelic pop-rock bands did not originate in England or San Francisco, nor did they record in the 60s. Many legendary bands have tinkered with psychedelic music, but very few made the commitment for their entire body of work. For my money, the band leading the psych-pop pack in terms of quality and consistency was a quintet from Toledo called The Pillbugs, who released five albums of superbly-crafted songs bursting with uncommon beauty (two of them double CDs) between 1998 and 2008.

Think of Ray Davies's songwriting for The Kinks from 1967-1969 or The Zombies' songs on 'Odessey and Oracle' combined with Phish and Gov't Mule-caliber musicianship, and you have an approximation of The Pillbugs experience.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 10:18

Hello from Karmin!

Nick and Amy talk life, love and music

'When Nick was in the 5th grade at Herbert Sargent School, I remember saying to his parents, Mike and Judy, 'Your son is very gifted and if he chooses this path of music, we'll be buying his CD some day.' Shianne Priest, music director, Leonard Middle School, Old Town

The last 13 months have been an intensely wild ride for pop-duo Karmin who just released their first major-label release, 'Hello' (Epic) last week. In that time, they've gone from playing their songs on the street to playing 'Saturday Night Live,' 'Ellen' and 'The Tonight Show,' and they are currently packing arenas. Say hello to Nick and Amy of Karmin.

Old Town native Nick Noonan and Amy Heidemann, originally of Seward, Nebraska, met near the end of their freshman year at Berklee College of Music in Boston where the duo graduated in 2010. 'We knew of each other,' Nick remembered. 'She always hung out with the gospel crowd, and I just kind of hung out with the horn players. She was the hot singer and I was like the weird jazz-head.' Noonan recalls having a conversation with Heidemann just before breaking for the summer. 'We came back for the first week of sophomore year, we talked at a party and really hit it off. That was it.'

It's late March in Nashville, and Chris Ross is due to walk into a studio in four days to record the follow-up to his acclaimed debut album, 2011's 'The Steady Stumble.' There's only one problem he's two songs short.

Ross is confident that the eight new songs he brought with him are very good, and he isn't willing to short-change his fans. He sets his internal tuner on 'receive,' adjusts his antenna and hopes the songs somehow come through.

He nervously paces while thinking out loud - 'I can write two songs in four days, I can do this,' he says. In a flash of pressure-derived inspiration, the songs arrive just in time. One of the songs, 'I Lied,' is about a man admitting mistakes in past relationships, while the other turns out to be the song selected to open the record.

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 17:00

Jacob McCurdy Traveling Rock Star

The name was familiar to me, but I wasn't aware that he had recorded an album. While scanning Facebook on a recent Sunday, I saw an Amazon.com link for a new album by Jacob McCurdy and decided to preview the songs. 'Wow. This is really good,' I thought while checking out the 30-second song snippets. Full of breezy, melodic, mostly acoustic pop, it's an impressive debut record. 'This kid Jacob McCurdy has got it going on,' I thought as I clicked 'Buy MP3 Album.'

McCurdy's new record is called 'Sleepless,' and it's a collection of original songs compiled from the last several years of life experiences that have taken him from Maine to New York, Colorado, Hawaii, England and other locales that weave their way in and out of the music.

A self-taught musician, Jacob picked up the guitar five years ago as a camp counselor for kids at Tanglewood Summer Camp in Lincolnville. 'I learned how to play 'Hey There Delilah' (Plain White Ts), which was a popular song at the time, and I would play kids to sleep,' McCurdy told me last week. 'When I started, I really wasn't very good, and I'm sure my co-counselor didn't like the fact that I played all the time (laughing).'

Thursday, 26 April 2012 08:44

Secrets of an illegal downloader

'Excuse me, but where were you all when piracy started to decimate the music industry? Why didn't you take a stand against that? Those free records felt good, huh?' - Duff McKagan, former Guns N' Roses bassist in a January 2012 blog post for Seattle Weekly on proposed PIPA/SOPA anti-piracy legislation. Plans to draft the bill were postponed following widespread opposition claiming threats to free speech and innovation. 

At the time SOPA and PIPA were being discussed and protested, the U.S. Justice Department shut down file-hosting/sharing site MegaUpload, just over a year after nailing peer-to-peer file sharing program Limewire. Despite government intervention, internet piracy is alive and thriving as hundreds, if not thousands of similar sites remain active. According to 2011 research from NPD Group, about 9 percent of internet users admit to regularly utilizing the services of peer-to-peer sites (networks of connected computers capable of sharing designated files including the illegal download of copyrighted material), down from 14 percent in 2007.

For this Maine Edge 'secrets' column, I interviewed an active illegal downloader who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity. Ryan (not his real name) is 27 and works for a delivery company in the Bangor area.

'This is one smoking band,' I thought to myself while taking in one of the final performances of 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' at Penobscot Theatre in downtown Bangor in early May 2010. I didn't realize then that I was watching the genesis of a new band; one that would soon become one of the most active groups in the area.

Guitarist and vocalist Sasha Alcott and drummer Chris Viner are When Particles Collide, a dynamic rock duo based in Bangor and actively garnering new fans and friends around the country. Since January 2011, they have maintained a very active gig schedule at home and on the road including shows in NYC, North Carolina, Boston, Pittsburgh and Kentucky.

When Particles Collide creates high-energy, melodic, unpretentious and well crafted punk-pop with influences that are felt but not obvious. For Sasha: The Pixies, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, MiniBoone, Foo Fighters, The Clash, The Jam and David Bowie are among her faves. For Chris: Green Day is his all-time favorite but he also loves the Dave Matthews Band, especially drummer Carter Beauford. In Viner's formative years, Dream Theatre, Rage Against the Machine and Presidents of the United States loomed large.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 14:29

Willie Wisely Trio get back a true reunion

From the opening chords of 'Kiss Her and Make it Right' on 'True,' their first album in 18 years, you're drawn into the wonderful world of managed chaos that is the Willie Wisely Trio a fierce foursome that are as comfortable cooking grooves wrapped in pure melody as they are tapping into an area they call 'no time' music or 'rocks and logs' music without a beat. Pure Pop for Wow People.

Formed in the late '80s with Wisely on guitar and vocals, James Voss on upright and electric bass, Peter Anderson on drums and Greg Wold on trombone, each member of the Minneapolis-based band arrived with a different influence.

Classic rock, jazz, pop, gospel and punk to comedy and theatrics The Trio stirred it up while traveling the country in a rust-colored van playing roughly 400 shows in five years. Word of mouth helped build an adoring fan base who relished the fact that no two Trio experiences were alike. Shows by The Willie Wisely Trio were equal parts raucous, hilarious, tender and dangerous, and at this moment, there is probably someone, somewhere, telling a story about one of those shows with the capper, 'Man, ya shoulda been there.'

<< Start < Prev 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 Next > End >>
Page 57 of 60

Advertisements

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine