Thursday, July 17, 2008

Speculating what songs would have been on the Beatles next album By: Shane Christensen

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It is actually pretty easy to figure out what songs could have been on the Beatles next album, simply by looking at the solo work and songs that came out immediately after their acrimonious breakup in 1970.

The biggest surprise of this album would be the fact that John Lennon and Paul McCartney would have probably played a lesser role in the songwriting department, as George Harrison had been stockpiling a number of heavyweight tunes that had previously been denied a place on a Beatles record.

But that all changed during the recording (and subsequent release) of their final studio album, Abbey Road. The first single was Here Comes The Sun, followed by one of the greatest love songs ever written (so says Frank Sinatra - and who's going to argue with him?) Something.

It was during these sessions that the band also experimented with a prophetic, beautiful tune called All Things Must Pass. Anyone who's heard the Beatles’ version would probably agree that this song would have been a standout tune, especially with the lovely vocal harmonizing between George and Paul during the chorus. Unfortunately, their relationship was strained to the point that the last thing George wanted to hear was Paul singing alongside him.

Another surprise on this album would be the inclusion of other non-Beatles musicians participating in its making, which they had done previously on Let It Be (Billy Preston) and the White Album (Eric Clapton). With all the interpersonal tensions in the band, the members actually enjoyed having "neutral" players break the ice so that everyone could actually have fun and enjoy themselves again. It was akin to a marriage that had soured, and having friends over for drinks and a BBQ was all that is needed.

So, in saying that, I would speculate that Bob Dylan would guest on this album and offer a tune he gave to George for his first solo album. If Not For You is a mellow love song that would chart as a "new country" tune today. I think it would have been amazing to listen to Dylan playing on the next album of a band who simply idolized him years before, and who he influenced greatly (remember Rubber Soul)?

Paul had a few songs that had been bumped from earlier albums which I feel would finally surface on this latest album. The tunes Junk and Teddy Boy had both been written in India, but were cut from Abbey Road and Let It Be respectively. Now, with a little reworking, these songs would make it on this new album, along with the classic Maybe I'm Amazed. This tune was the stand-out track on McCartney's first solo release, and the Beatles version would have been far superior with the participation of the other top-quality musicians as well as with the production of George Martin to do it justice.

Ringo Starr's contribution would be the song from his first solo release; one which many speculated was actually written by George or John due to its intricate level of songwriting, It Don't Come Easy. Ringo’s song was a number one hit for him, and there's no doubt the Beatles’ version would have done equally well, if not better. John Lennon was the most dominant member of the Beatles up until Sgt. Peppers, and then a number of factors precipitated his decline as the acknowledged leader. Meeting Yoko, experimenting with heroin, and losing Brian Epstein all affected John's attitude towards being a Beatle, and it was he (not Paul) who first suggested the dissolution of the band in 1969.

After the break-up, many people were shocked at the lack of quality in Lennon’s material, and it would take him over a year to produce anything comparable to Beatles’ caliber. This finally came with the release of the song Imagine. Perhaps Instant Karma and Working Class Hero; his solo songs released in 69/70, could have been offered up for a new Beatles’ project (which would have guaranteed quality production and effort).

Of course the one song that would definitely be on this album, and which would also be its title, is the anti-war anthem Give Peace A Chance. This song sums up the passion and ideology of the man, and the Beatles as a whole, and it would be reflective of an entire generation who grew up loving the Beatles, their music, and their message of love and peace.

Give Peace A Chance, would have been the next album by the greatest musical group in the entire world, The Beatles.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

CFox’s Vancouver 2008 Seeds Tickets on Sale July 11th

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On Friday, at 11:00, tickets will go on sale for CFOX's, August 9th, Vancouver's 2008 Seeds event, at the Commodore Ballroom.

Tickets are only $9.93 (so you are definitely getting your money’s worth and then some).

The evening’s lineup includes:


Innocent Bystander

Cold Driven

Versus the Nothing

Jordan Carrier

With Special Headliner: Thornley

One of these top five acts will receive the Platinum Award which provides:

• A management consultation deal with Coalition Entertainment (currently managing Our Lady Peace, Finger Eleven and Simple Plan)

• An agency consultation deal with the Agency Group (Ralph James)

• Recording of an EP at Mushroom Studios Vancouver from Mushroom /Hipposonic

• A 1-day song writing session with Brian Howes (Hinder, Rev Theory, Puddle of Mudd, Sheryl Crow)

• Mixing of 1 radio single by Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Ill Scarlett)

• A demo recording deal with Maple Music Including national distribution

•A gig opening Foxfest with Stone Temple Pilots at GM Place on August 30th.

I feel that the Fox’s contribution to the independent British Columbian music scene via The Seeds contest is commendable.

There is one contest entry requirement that I have always felt must hamper some eager band’s eligibility. The Seeds entry form lists several conditions that entrants must adhere to. The most standard condition is: This competition is open to residents of BC, except the employees, directors, and immediate family members of CFOX Radio, Corus Entertainment Inc., Long & McQuade Musical Instruments, Labatt Brewery and Music BC, their employees, and immediate family members of anyone in these groups.

These aforementioned companies employ A LOT of British Columbians and I am sure there were a few potential entrants who were affected by their (or their family members’) employment. I have often wondered why this is a common requirement with contests? (The first explanation that comes to mind is eliminating any accusations of unfairness or favoritism.) Be sure to get your Seeds' tickets and support our local musicans.

To listen to the final ten CFOX 2008 Seeds' entrants, Click Here.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

New Band Alert – Tickle Me Pink By: Christine Albrecht

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I received a band alert from Windup Records, and I do believe we have a potential ‘winner’ with Tickle Me Pink.

Colorado’s latest musical export reminds me a bit of Story of the Year, especially with their release Typical (due out on radios next week). I prefer the melancholic tune, Madeleine, and predict it will become as popular as Typical.

One note of sadness, the band's bassist, Johnny Schou died on July 1, 2008. This must be heartbreaking; to have one of the most important days of your life (album release date in the USA) be countered with one of the most saddest.

Check out the tunes yourself atWindup Records


(The full-length Madeline album is due out in Canada in August).

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tawdry Travelogues By: Baba Brinkman

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Attention Seekers,

Name-dropping is so tawdry, but so are most things that instantly capture our complete attention. Twenty minutes ago I bid goodnight to my dinner companions, a group of five including the legendary English actor and playwright Steven Berkoff, theatre dynamo and James Bond villain extraordinaire. Steven regaled us with tales of theatre productions in the 60's when he shared the stage with a 24 year old Ian McKellan, and I reciprocated with a command performance of The Wife of Bath's Tale. It turns out he's also directing a play at the Pleasance Dome in Edinburgh this year, so we'll soon be sharing a venue. When I told him that we'd be performing 27 consecutive shows in Edinburgh, he retorted: “I have a tour of Australia coming up in September with 36 consecutive performances, two hours per night!" Nothing like a little healthy competition among playwrights...

If you don't know who Steven Berkoff is, then you've never seen Beverly Hills Cop. Check him out:

I'm writing from the Lowdham Book Festival in Nottinghamshire, where I have three days of performances and workshops in schools to keep me busy. Today I performed The Rap Canterbury Tales in five consecutive one-hour sessions starting at 9 a.m., for groups of students ranging in age from 11 to 18.

Ouch, I can hear some of you wincing. Cool, I can hear others enthusing. Yeah, a bit of both, I concede. On the one hand, it leaves me completely wiped out, rapping for hours on end, repeating the same stories. On the other hand, every new audience brings new appreciation, and I get $1000 a day when I'm gigging. The only thing more tawdry than name-dropping is talking about how much money you're making, ugh. Whatever. Independently mounting a full production at the Edinburgh Fringe is an expensive endeavor, and this is how I'm financing it. Speaking of which, Dizraeli and I finished writing the script for the Rebel Cell the other day and have done a few test runs, smoothing out the kinks. We're also pressing ahead with the album version of the show, and we'll have advance copies ready in time for the Fringe, barring any unforeseen disasters. We recently completed the first track, The Fallout, during which we break up like the Fugees in true dramatic fashion. The preview is now on myspace if you want to give it a listen.

Last week I was in Stoke-on-Trent, (which the locals call Choke-on-Stench), an industrial town not far from here that couldn't be more different (Lowdham's demographic is more than 70% millionaires, according the cab driver).

I spent three days performing at Staffordshire schools and teaching workshops to kids who definitely don't see outsiders much, lovely as they were. Some of them came up with very clever raps. Most bemusing was the fact that they mistook me for a celeb and had me signing dozens of autographs, which they seemed to think might be worth money someday. But I can't imagine even Eminem's autograph is worth anything on a scrap of paper (autographed large glossy photos go for about $5 on Ebay). If it were otherwise, he could just stay home scribbling his name all day instead of making records. Of course, no one is a celebrity until/unless people mistake him/her for one!

Hold me back. In two days I depart for the notorious Glastonbury Festival, headlined by Jay-Z, Amy Winehouse, and Leonard Cohen. I'm performing on three different stages over the course of the weekend; a mixed bag including both hip-hop gigs with Mud Sun Image from :

and solo spoken-word gigs. I've heard the Glastonbury legends for years and I'm finally going to see for myself, and under the exact circumstances, which I had most hoped for.

After just over three weeks in England the cuts and scrapes on my limbs from a month of tree planting have finally healed and I've completed my seasonal metamorphosis from a beast of burden into a purveyor of linguistic animal magic.

If you're curious about what our new Edinburgh show is going to be like, take a moment to read some press on The Rebel Cellat Rebel Cell Press:

During the current run and lead up to the Fringe, (...under a month left to go...) is that time when the publicity drive kicks into gear, so any press contacts or suggestions for getting the word out are always appreciated.

Wish me luck at the mother of all music festivals!


Any Middle and high Schools interested in booking Baba Brinkman for a performance/ assembly, please contact Baba through his website.

Back to the 80s: The Karate Kid & 'Sweep the Leg' video By: Kickin’ It Old School

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As you all know by now, I love almost everything about the ‘80s, but especially the music and movies. One of my very favorite guilty pleasures is the movie The Karate Kid (the original from 1984).

I am not sure exactly why, but I have always loved this movie.

Maybe it is because it is about the underdog who overcomes tremendous obstacles to achieve his goals in the end. Maybe it is because it is a story about the power of friendship, trust and honor. Maybe it is the thrill of victory and that all of the hard work and training really does pay off. Maybe it is battle of good versus evil with the good guy losing some battles, but ultimately winning the war? Maybe it is because of Elisabeth Shue? Maybe it is a combination of all of those reasons, but I love this story about Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi and whenever it is on I cannot help but sit and watch it.

Here is a link to an article written by Bill Simmons for ESPN which discusses his love for The Karate Kid movies, which made me feel a little better about my sentimentality toward this movie. Also, here is a link to a YouTube video that I thought gave a great summary of the movie in less than five minutes, set to the song Blurry by Puddle of Mudd. The video only glosses over some of the enjoyable training scenes, but I feel it does a good job of hitting the highlights. Despite supplying you with this link, the clip is not the real purpose of this entry.

There is a video that I find amusing called Sweep the Leg by the band No More Kings. The video was released in 2007 and was written and directed by William Zabka who played Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid.

The premise of the video is to see what old Johnny is up to nowadays. He is haunted by the band (No More Kings) and ends up chasing front man Pete Mitchell and a battle ensues. He then wakes up to realize he was only dreaming, only to get hit by a car driven by none other than Ralph Macchio himself. Strange, but funny stuff especially for an ‘80s junkie like me.

The video not only features Zabka and Macchio, but also other members of the movie cast including all of the other Cobra Kai cronies. Macchio looks good considering he is now 46 years old, but the same can't be said for some of those Cobra Kais. The beginning of the video stars Dennis Haskins (better known as "Mr. Belding" from the Saved By The Bell (television series). Sweep the Leg also references some other ‘80s movies like Back To School (which also starred Zabka as a bad guy bully) and Raising Arizona as well as the music video for The Cars song, You Might Think.

Enough talking about it, you should just watch it for yourself. It is about 7 minutes long, but it is entertaining.

Sweep the Leg video by No More Kings

So, what did you think…? If you are not a big fan of The Karate Kid, you might not find it as amusing as I do. It is good to see that Zabka does not take himself as seriously as many of his 80s characters did. Hope you enjoyed this little piece of pop culture gold.

Peace and much love.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to read some more 80s-related articles, If you click here. As well, check out the Archives in the upper left hand column to see all past issues of Kickin' it Old School organized by month. If you enjoy anything here, please consider subscribing or at least bookmarking it.

Check this out: I have mentioned a couple times how much I dislike Amy Winehouse as a person and that I also do not really appreciate her music much either. Here is a link to a story about how she recently punched an audience member at one of her performances. What a loser. I also came across this picture of her, which features her out-of-control beehive hair do. I can't believe someone would leave the house with her hair looking so ridiculous...

Quote of the day: The fruits of life fall into the hands of those who climb the tree and pick them. -Earl Tupper (American entrepreneur and Tupperware inventor)

Download this: What's Been Going On? by Amos Lee - I have recommended a couple Amos Lee songs in the past and he just released a new album titled Last Days At the Lodge with this song being one of my favorites.