Paul Collins (The Nerves, Paul Collins' Beat), Modern Kicks, Latitude
DJ Cherry Crush
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Rock icon and cult favorite Paul Collins got his start with Peter Case and Jack Lee in 1974. Their band The Nerves toured with The Ramones and recorded a song called “Hanging On The Telephone.” The song would later become a hit when covered by Deborah Harry and Blondie on the Parallel Lines album.
Paul Collins formed The Beat in 1977, recruiting members of various rock bands including Steven Huff, Larry Whitman, Dennis Conway and Michael Ruiz. The result was The Beat, a high energy rock group in the style of The Ramones, Blondie and The Dictators. As the story goes, Collins was awarded a record deal with CBS thanks to his friend Eddie Money and Bill Graham Management. The Beat played with many bands, including The Jam, Pere Ubu, The Police, Eddie Money, The Plimsouls and Huey Lewis. The Beat became Paul Collins’ Beat when a ska band from UK began using The Beat as their moniker.
Paul Collins’ Beat continued to tour and record albums throughout the ’80s, with The Kids Are The Same, Beat Or Not To Beat, Long Time Gone, Live At Universal and their final album One Night, released in 1989. Paul Collins set out on a solo career, recording the self-titled Paul Collins album in 1992. This country/rock all-star album included special guests such as Greg Kihn, Cyril Jordan (Flamin Groovies), Jeff Trott (Sheryl Crow), Chuck Prophet, Dave Immergluck (Counting Crows) and key members of Chris Isaak’s band. 1993 brought the sophomore release by The Paul Collins Band, entitled From Town To Town. This album was released by Caroline Records and featured a country rock sound similar to The Byrds.
A new version of the band Paul Collins’ Beat surfaced more recently and resulted in an album of new material entitled Flying High. Considered to be their best to date, Flying High is a solid record, done half acoustic and half electric. The album gets back to the classic sound of The Beat, while combining the raw energy of Collins’ solo works. Flying High is available from the official Paul Collins’ Beat website and Lucinda Records International. Paul Collins’ Beat play clubs, music halls and arenas, touring Japan, USA, Spain, UK, Italy and France among others. Expect Paul Collins’ Beat to play in your city very soon!
If The Adjusters are my favourite international young gun punk n’ blues band, then Modern Kicks have to be my North American equivalent. Modern Kicks spur my (ahem…non-sexual) infatuation with baby-faced boys in Rod Stewart haircuts, and they’re the exact type of band I hope to find when I cruise for tunes by thin chaps in leather vests and Hanoi Rocks shirts. Listening to their debut, Rock ‘N Roll’s Anti Hero, is like being hit with a glitter-filled pillow at a champagne slumber party, and the mega-melodic hooks that power these glam pop songs are completely devoid of snarky intentions. Instead, the mischievous come-ons these Bay Area boy scouts employ are of the heartthrob nature, and it won’t be long before every inch of their collective collar is covered in strawberry lipstick.
They’re playful biters, conjurers of cheap tricks dispatching poison arrows into exploding hearts, and the pin-up potential bursting from songs like “Don’t Turn Out the Lights,” “Crew’n Up,” “The Price to Pay,” “Another Girl,” and “Riff’n On the Freeway” completely weakens the knees. But the way the whole album blushes with SoCal sunshine, New York drawl, red carpet romance, and shout-along choruses means Modern Kicks shouldn’t have any trouble at all keeping up with The Joneses. If they ever decide to add some keys into the mix, I’m done. Bless these kids and their million dollar sound. -SP/Records
San Francisco’s Latitude (comprised of Amy Fowler & members from The Aerosols, Extra Classic, The Bart Davenport Band, etc) recently released the album L’atitude via Royal Oakie Records delivering the following listen accompanied by exclusive insights from leader Amy Fowler. Fresh from their four date west coast tour celebrating the release of their debut full-length—we present a following listen to some of the most cool & clever pop from the Bay that celebrates gifts of the past & future concurrently.
L’atitude is truly one of those remarkable happening song cycles that could only have been made in the Bay Area. The opening “I Call Lately” is something ripped right off the Sunset Strip in a modernist celebration of everything that is west coast & wonderful. The styles are updated toward new wave pastiches that showcase both Amy & the band’s break-neck versatility on “Say What You Mean”, to the punky no wave western dedication to destitution “We’re Degrading”, that arranges the ambivalent attitudes like something that Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, Crosby, Clark & company would glady tip a hat to. Latitude excells in the realms of reinvigorating retro anachronisms where throwback influences are heard on slow dance numbers like “Empty Pockets”, the bravado of “Bad Dream”, fallen star fancies on “What a Shame”, beckoning the audiences with vintage rock & roll via “You Are Invited”, power pop odes like “Kitty Likes R&R”, keeping the nu-classics spinning with “Broken Record”, before the final bow of “Sea Anemone” that goes out on an electro floral high note that will dazzle long after the tape has ended. This is an example of contemporary & classic San Francisco pop at it’s sharpest highlighting everything the old school hippies & current era visionaries were tuning into stylistically.