Rock Talk About The Bevis Frond

Tedrocker and board member Seth Goodman sits down for a nice listening session of The Bevis Frond and offers these great insights into the band, and front man Nick Saloman.  Oh how I wish Ted was here to chime in, as he’d have a lot to say about The Bevis Frond.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I overheard this same conversation between Seth and Ted many moons ago while “Wild Jack Hammer” was spinning on the turn table…

There really isn’t anyone else like Nick Saloman.  This musician’s musician balances between two distinct and often contradictory musical movements and time periods with artistic freedom, grace and flair in his musical outing known as The Bevis Frond. Saloman turned 15 in the summer of 68’ and was at a perfect age to celebrate the musical and cultural revolution of the day. Similarly, he also felt the weight of its loss as the idealism of the movement slipped away as the 60’s became the 70’s. Still young enough to embrace punk rock by the time 1977 hit, his music often laments the loss of the 60’s and sometimes with the bite of the late 70’s, making for this gloriously unlikely musical bridge between generations. It’s as if Saloman simultaneously carved out and inhabited a musical niche that now seems like it was always there, and delivered it with an independent DIY spirit characteristic of the 80’s. A bit like the Wipers writing songs in the style of the Byrds about the death of peace and love (and unsurprisingly, both bands are touchstones for Saloman). Rave-ups, folk songs, psychedelic freak outs, 60’s inspired pop gems all coexist side by side and offer some of the depth and contrast of the greatest records of the 60’s and of all time. Saloman makes exactly the sort of dynamic cross generational records that he would want to hear himself and on his terms only. Lo and behold, lots of other people also want to hear them too.

For our upcoming Tedrock Fund concert, Saloman will be joined by his longtime bass player, Ade Shaw, a pioneering space rock bass player and a rock legend in his own right as well: Shaw played with Hawkwind in the 70’s and was invited to join T. Rex just before he passed.  And by New England drummer extraordinaire, Joe Propatier (Scarce, Reindeer). This show will be opened up by a Bevis Frond fan extraordinaire, Mary Lou Lord, who will do an acoustic set.  We at Tedrock are extremely pleased to present one of Ted’s all-time favorite artists, and ours too.

 

Exciting News! Tedrock Fund Produces The Bevis Frond!

The Tedrock Fund is thrilled to be bringing over The Bevis Frond from the UK for a one-night engagement to benefit underserved children’s music education.

This prolific band has been releasing poetic and driving tracks since the 1980’s, and has been a long-time indie fan favorite. Front man Nick Saloman and Ade Shaw will perform a solo acoustic set joined by special guest Mary Lou Lord, followed by an electric band set that will take the audience on ethereal journey.

Known for their tripped out distorted guitar heavy sound, and thought provoking lyrics, this band was a favorite of Ted Collins.  He bought every record, and spent hours of time rocking out on the couch to their tracks.  If there is one memory his close friends all share, it was the huge smile that would cross Ted’s face as he started air guitaring to a particularly shredding solo.  The Bevis Frond provided many opportunities for this, more than most.  Not limited to driving psychedelic rock songs, the Bevis Frond also write mellow and melodic songs that are really beautiful. A great example of this is the track “Lights are Changing” that was covered by Mary Lou Lord. We are excited to have Mary Lou Lord joining Nick Saloman for the opening set of this show!

I had the opportunity to see The Bevis Frond live at the Terrastock Festival in San Francisco in 1998 and will never forget it.  This should be one spectacular show.  We look forward to sharing this night of music with the Bevis Frond fans!

 

Frank Zappa and Beyond

It’s been a while since I have done a vinyl project entry.  I was on a roll for a short while, going through Ted’s record collection from Z-A and then got to Zappa.  Yes, I didn’t make it too far before finding myself stymied.  Why you ask?  Well, Zappa is so prolific, and there were many records to listen too.  Hardly a chore, as I’m a fan. But how do you sum up these records when they are so diverse?  Also, the analysis for why Ted might have liked these records is pretty simple:  He was a guy.  I don’t have one male friend who isn’t a Zappa fan.  I can’t say as much for the opposite sex, and it’s no surprise since this band and it’s following is a straight up testicle festival.  But I dig these records, so let’s just jump right to my favorite of all:

Hot Rats – released 1969

Condition: record cover – fair, vinyl – good

Price: unknown (but let’s be real, PRICELESS)

Wow, what a record!  Starting at track one, “Peaches en Regalia”, you are barraged with a sonic collage that is just delightful to listen to.  This record is a decidedly jazzy bunch of songs that are so well composed and intricate.  I heard through the grapevine that Zappa was never formally trained in music composition, and that he learned everything he knew from books he took out from the public library.  That’s impressive.  I also learned that early in his recording career, he got busted for producing some soundtracks that were used for a porno movie, and he was very resentful about this.  It could explain why his lyrics have rather suggestive overtones on almost every track that involves vocals.  Take that prudish world!  For some this might be a turnoff.  I find his lyrics humorous, but then again, it’s a fine line.  When I say this, I’m not talking about the songs being raunchy, but verging on the vibes of Weird Al Yankovic.  Really, one could easily find the sardonic humor in these songs to be plain old adolescent, and would not be wrong.  But I find myself listening to Zappa songs and consistently chuckling over a lyric as the song delves into a wailing freaked-out Frank guitar solo.  It’s been said that Frank is a very underrated guitar player, and I’d agree.  He really shreds.  I think he only seem lack luster because the rest of the band is ridiculously tight and talented.  This virtuosity really shines on Hot Rats, a unique record in that it’s very instrumental heavy and not overly busy in the lyrics department.  Captain Beefheart is featured on this record and his vocals really work well, especially on the track “Willie the Pimp”.  He is so nasty sounding and compliments the fat cacophony of sound churned out by the band.  This multitracked wonderland apparently was recorded on a homemade 16 track recorder that Frank jerry-rigged together back in 1969.  He used all kinds of multitracking and varispeed tricks, especially with drum tracks, to create the sound.  This guy was a rock MacGyver!

So beyond Zappa, I was faced with a bunch of Neil Young records, followed up by Yes.  I’ll be honest, I just couldn’t take it.  Believe me when I tell you, if you are ever feeling low, the prospect of a lengthy stretch of listening to Neil Young and then Yes is a daunting proposition.  I’ve committed to listen to everything in this vinyl collection, so I’ll get there, but let’s just save those gems for later…

Then it dawned on me that I should just listen to whoever I want and write about that.  Since we’ve been producing some great shows this year, I could have focused on the artists we brought in, as I had indeed spent days on end with Robyn Hitchcock and then a long stretch with Graham Parker, getting psyched up to see them perform.  Why not delve into the material of the artists that will be performing at our upcoming shows?  From here forth, I’ll be focusing on the amazing musicians whom we are booking for Tedrock Fund concerts.  On deck: The Bevis Frond!

100 Sparks Flying

In June 2018, the Tedrock Fund awarded 10,000 dollars to two amazing organizations that provide music education for inner city kids.  We made our first award to the ZUMIX Music School, whom we founded the Tedrock Fund to benefit.  Ted Collins had gotten to know about this school by playing at a fundraiser for them with the Figgs.  During this event, he got to see first hand how ZUMIX was making a meaningful impact on the kids whom they served.  Several bands of students played alongside the Figgs and they exuded confidence and mastery of their instruments.  While still young, and having many years of practicing ahead of them, these students had caught the spark.  They collectively were experiencing joy in the performance of their sets, and this was contagious to members of the audience who couldn’t help but feel their excitement as they nodded along to the beats of the songs.

Tedrock Fund Award to ZUMIX

Ted met the management of ZUMIX and took a tour of the school’s facilities that was led by the students.  Once again, he saw what pride the students took in their school, in their opportunities to learn and make music there, and in their community of fellow music lovers.  After playing at this event, Ted proclaimed that this was one of the most meaningful shows he ever played at.  He was so inspired.

Our second award was to the Community Music Center of Boston (CMCB).  This organization began at the turn of the 20th century as two music education centers for immigrant children.  Over the past 100+ years, they have grown into an organization that provides music education and performance arts opportunities to children all over the City of Boston.  We met with the management of the school and learned more about their mission earlier this spring.  We learned that CMCB has been providing direct services through their South End music school and at several outreach

Tedrock Fund Award to the Community Music Center of Boston

centers throughout Boston. In addition, for over 40 years, CMCB has been placing music educators into Boston public schools that do not have the resources to offer music education programming.  Some schools have had a music teacher for the entire duration of this outreach program.  Other schools rely upon CMCB to provide gap funding to place educators at their schools during periods where they have budget shortfalls that preclude their ability to fund their arts programming.  While most of us over the age of forty remember having music classes for free, and it was a given that you could pursue this interest if you had the desire, today music education is hard to access, especially in inner city schools.  CMCB is filling this need and has an expansive and devoted staff of music educators who are committed to lighting the spark in the next generation of musicians.

When we think about what 10,000 dollars can accomplish when the need for music education philanthropy is so great, we consider this potential tangible outcome.

We are assuming that the average music lesson is 25 dollars, and that it takes at least four lessons to spark genuine interest.  There’s that feeling you get when you successfully make an open chord on a guitar and then piece together three different chords in a row to start playing a melody.  It is that “Aha!” moment that makes you want to keep at it, to keep learning new chords and hearing them ring out as your fingers start to develop muscle memory… the spark.  If our assumptions are correct, then we’ve put 100 sparks out there that can catch and start a flame that can grow into a fire that will burn for years to come.  100 sparks are flying, from the fire that burned within Ted Collins and warmed the hearts of his friends and fellow musicians. 100 sparks is a good start.

Graham Parker rocks out for the Tedrock Fund on July 19th

The Tedrock Fund is thrilled to present recording artist Graham Parker at the Firehouse Theater in Newburyport on July 19th!

Graham Parker emerged early in his career as one of the most critically acclaimed singer/songwriters who defined England’s early pub rock scene in the ’70s. Drawing heavily from Van Morrison and the Rolling Stones, Parker fused driving rock & roll with confessional folk-rock. In 1976, Parker’s high-energy debut album Howlin’ Wind preceded the arrival of punk rock and new wave music. His indignant passion, biting sarcasm, and bristling anger, as well as his working-class persona are cited as a major influence on many subsequent, chart-topping British musicians, such as Elvis Costello, Paul Weller and Joe Jackson.

The 1980s were Parker’s most commercially successful years, starting with his 1979 LP, Squeezing Out Sparks making the Top 40. With hits like “Local Girls” and “Passion Is No Ordinary Word”, Parker’s chart breaking singles had heavy FM-radio and video play and were followed by another hit single in 1985 “Wake Up Next to You”. Subsequent albums in the late 80’s and 90’s have all received favorable artistic mention, particularly his 1996 LP Acid Bubblegum which found Parker in his more rocking, angry guise. Following its release, he played a slew of fiery live shows, backed by the spirited young punk-pop band the Figgs.

More recently, Parker reunited his original backing band the Rumour in 2011, in part due to the intervention of longtime fan and filmmaker Judd Apatow, who made the group a plot point in his film This Is Forty. In April 2018, Parker released a brand new single titled “Dreamin'” and announced that a brand new full-length album would be released later this year.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see Graham Parker during his short 2018 US Tour.  Opening act Mike Gent from the Figgs will perform his solo material to get the vibes started.  Tickets are available from the Firehouse Theater Box Office.

 

Tedrock Fund Announces Our Spring/Summer 2018 Concert Series

The Tedrock Fund is proud to announce our upcoming lineup of concerts for the 2018 Spring/Summer season! We’ve got some fantastic talent lined up and are excited to share these acts with you!

May 19th – Rock Bottom with Opening Act The Surf Riders – Midway Cafe, Jamaica Plain Boston – 9 PM

Always a crowd pleaser, covering classic rock hits from the 70s and 80s, Rock Bottom will perform with opening act “The Surf Riders”.  Rock Bottom takes a self described tongue-in-cheek approach to performance (think: wigs, flares, beads, vintage stage banter) but plays their classic material as accurately as possible. The repertoire ranges from Led Zeppelin, Free, and Sweet to Judas Priest, as well as shameless covers of songs by corporate rock mainstays like Foreigner and Journey. The band likes to refer to the more questionable material as “forehead slappers”, due to the reaction of the audience frequently observed from the stage. The band members are seasoned area rockers including drummer Jim Janota (Upper Crust, Bags, Lyres) vocalist Chris Cote (Upper Crust, Seks Bomba, Giant Kings) bassist David Fredette (Upper Crust, Titanics) and guitarists Chris Blue (Georgia Overdrive, Rudds, Rag Iron, United States) and Charles Hansen (Andrea Gillis, Gymnasium, Ross Phasor).

June 17th – What’s Going On? Marvin’s Music Lives On! – Rockwell Theater, Davis Square Somerville – 7 PM

At a time when we could all use some inspiration, the songs of Marvin Gaye continue to deliver messages of hope and resilience.  Join us for this special night of music delivered by a 15 piece rock ensemble who will perform songs from Marvin’s playbook followed by a performance of the full album “What’s Going On”.

In keeping with the Tedrock Fund’s mission to provide music education to under-served children, proceeds from the show will support the Community Music Center of Boston. This organization has been reaching out to city classrooms 33 years, helping to make music an influential part of every child’s education.

July 19th – Graham Parker with Opening Act Mike Gent – Firehouse Theater, Newburyport MA – 7 PM

One of the first 1970’s British Pub Rock artists, Graham Parker has a long and acclaimed career of writing and performing memorable hits, such as “Local Girls” and “Passion is No Ordinary Word” that broke the top 50 charts in the UK and USA. With 2 recordings listed on the Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, and a discography of 21 EPs, Graham’s repertoire of rocking tunes always take his audience on an uplifting journey. Making his Hollywood debut as the revival recording artist in “This is 40”, followed by a reunion tour with his band The Rumor and several solo tours, Graham Parker is going strong. It is a real treat to bring Graham to the Firehouse Theater stage during his short US summer tour.  Opening act Mike Gent of The Figgs will get the good vibes flowing with his original story telling tunes. This special night of music is not to be missed.

Tedrock Fund Boston Bands Night 3

An upbeat night of sunshine and surf rock is lined up for November 18th at the Midway Café in Jamaica Plain.  Featuring bands that will making you shake your hips, this final Boston Bands Night includes some of Ted’s favorite bands that he played with and enjoyed.

Matt Rhodes 

Matt Rhodes and Anna Price wrote the songs performed by the Silver Lining.  They are pure sunshine rock, with breezy melodies and ripping guitar tracks.  Ted loved playing keyboards and recording records with this band.  He was so proud of their sound and vibe.  A runner up in the Rock-n-Roll Rumble, and a Boston Music Awards nominee, the Silver Lining were a Boston Rock favorite.  It will be a real treat to hear Matt perform these songs that will make you grin.

Surf Riders

Stan Day, Larry Rice, Seth Goodman, Mike Peters

Performing classic surf rock tunes with gusto, this three-piece covers songs by the Ventures, Link Wray, the Chocolate Watchband and other retro surf acts.  Stan Day brings ripping virtuosity to every song, wailing with reverb throughout each instrumental track.  These are the songs that make you think you could slip into a wetsuit and go on your own surfin’ safari at Revere Beach.

Tony & Samantha Goddess

This singing duo brings so much exuberance to each performance where they sing eclectic pop rock classics.  Strumming guitar and tambourine antics that leave a mark are showcased in every song. They will be joined by special guests Greg Radawich on bass and Nathan Logus on drums to round out their uplifting sound, with Matt Rhodes joining them for a special Silver Lining song.

The Weisstronauts

Pete Weiss, Kevin Quinn, Ken Lafler, Nathan Logus, Jeff Norcross

Self described as twang, surf, spy, psychedelia, lounge, rock, semi-funk, and not necessarily in that order, this band is so energetic and has such a unique vibe.  Layers of multiple guitars make for a fat sound that is driving and fun. Ted loved seeing this band perform their original instrumental tracks and would be psyched to know they are rounding out the last of the Boston Band Nights.  You won’t want to miss this performance!