Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Todd Rundgren

Got a chance to see Todd Monday night in Anaheim. Great show. Also got to meet him backstage after the show. After being a fan for over 35 years, it was a very special night for the Trustar.


by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Others had recorded one-man albums before Todd Rundgren, most notably Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, but with Something/Anything? he captured the homemade ambience of McCartney with the visionary feel of Music of My Mind, adding an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music from Gilbert & Sullivan through Jimi Hendrix, plus the crazed zeal of a pioneer. Listening to Something/Anything? is a mind-altering trip in itself, no matter how many shamelessly accessible pop songs are scattered throughout the album, since each side of the double-record is a concept unto itself. The first is "a bouquet of ear-catching melodies"; side two is "the cerebral side"; on side three "the kid gets heavy"; side four is his mock pop operetta, recorded with a full band including the Sales Brothers. It gallops through everything — Carole King tributes ("I Saw the Light"), classic ballads ("Hello It's Me," "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference"), Motown ("Wolfman Jack"), blinding power pop ("Couldn't I Just Tell You"), psychedelic hard rock ("Black Maria"), pure weirdness ("I Went to the Mirror"), blue-eyed soul ("Dust in the Wind"), and scores of brilliant songs that don't fall into any particular style ("Cold Morning Light," "It Takes Two to Tango"). It's an amazing journey that's remarkably unpretentious. Rundgren peppers his writing with self-aware, self-deprecating asides, indulging his bizarre sense of humor with gross-outs ("Piss Aaron") and sheer quirkiness, such as an aural tour of the studio at the beginning of side two. There are a ton of loose ends throughout Something/Anything?, plenty of studio tricks, slight songs (but no filler), snippets of dialogue, and purposely botched beginnings, but all these throwaways simply add context — they're what makes the album into a kaleidoscopic odyssey through the mind of an insanely gifted pop music obsessive.

1 I Saw the Light
2 It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference
3 Wolfman Jack
4 Cold Morning Light
5 It Takes Two to Tango (This Is for the Girls)
6 Sweeter Memories
7 Intro
8 Breathless [instrumental]
9 The Night the Carousel Burned Down
10 Saving Grace
11 Marlene
12 Song of the Viking
13 I Went to the Mirror
14 Black Maria
15 One More Day (No Word)
16 Couldn't I Just Tell You
17 Torch Song
18 Little Red Lights
19 Overture-My Roots: Money (That's What I Want) /Messin' With the Kid
20 Dust in the Wind
21 Piss Aaron
22 Hello It's Me
23 Some Folks Is Even Whiter Than Me
24 You Left Me Sore
25 Slut

2 parts to this one. Get them both




wardo said...

A great album -- thanks for sharing!

Not Whitey Bulger said...

I'm getting all nostalgic - thanks.

Anonymous said...

Good work, thanks.