Sammy Boyd Presents: Bobby Rydell – The Wild One Is Back! McLoone’s Supper Club – Nov. 29
Bobby Rydell was one of the early “teen idol” purveyors of the rock and roll sound. From his beginnings in the 1950s appearing on shows such as Paul Whiteman’s TV Teen Club, to being called one of the “most sought-after nightclub and concert acts in America” by Kim Summers, Philadelphia-born Bobby Rydell has continued to wow fans all over the world during his amazing 63-year career span. Rydell will be making a rare, Jersey Shore appearance at McLoone’s Supper Club on Nov. 29 to share the music and the stories of his career and personal life with his biggest fans and newest inquisitors.
For all of you Gen X kids, Rydell was responsible for such blockbuster songs as “Volare,” “Forget Him,” “Swingin’ School” and “Wild One.” His bio states that he’s sold over 25 million records combined during his illustrious six-decade career. Bobby’s recording career earned him a mountainous 34 Top 40 hits, placing him as one of the top artists of his era.
From humble beginnings in our Tri-State Area, to his mega gold recordings and television appearances, to his 2012 double organ transplant and triumphant return to the stage just six months later, Rydell has persevered and remains an American icon that has the resolution and drive to continue entertaining folks for years to come.
Rydell has a wealth of captivating music and memories to share, and his trademarked openness and sense of humor will just add to the magic of this memorable evening. As a recent reviewer of one of Bobby’s performances simply put it, “Bobby Rydell is a true American music treasure.”
Holiday Team Up – The Successful Failures And Taggart Join Forces For Holiday Vinyl Release – Dec. 10
Thanksgiving is literally around the corner. Tomorrow, Nov. 28, we will converge on targets across the country and in some cases, across the globe. Like a united alien attack, we will rise from undisclosed areas in our crusade for the almighty bird. Family, friends, neighbors, chatter, drink and football will fill our schedules until the early morning clearance of Dec. 2, a day that many of us must trudge back to the unimaginable doldrums of corporate reality.
But in the meantime, as we lay back on couches and La-Z-Boys across the nation, we take some time to reflect before traveling into the next feeding frenzy of holiday action.
Whatever you may call it—Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus, Christmas—it’s all pretty much the same seasonal space filled with the surface trappings of each interpretation. But in my eyes, one thing they all have in common is the inescapable barrage of marketing tyrants, all intent on turning you upside down to empty your pockets of every last cent they can get their hands on. I know, I’m not very traditional with my holiday spirit, and I’ve been thinking about the old saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” So in that vein of resignation, I’ve decided to embrace the theory of positivism and examine some holiday options that make me just a little bit more adorable than I currently am.
Near the top of my “pleasantly surprised” list for this year is the holiday release from Jersey label FDR. Snow Day (Take It Easy) is actually being co-released on Dec. 10 by FDR and Philadelphia-based BITBY Records as a limited edition 12” vinyl split holiday EP featuring four songs each from Taggart and The Successful Failures.
With a name cleverly obtained from a Jack London story, The Successful Failures are a western New Jersey rock band that I’ve praised for their compositional ingenuity in these pages over the last year or so, and my mood always lightens upon the return of a group that I already know plans on challenging the musical palette and leaving an indelible mark on these pages.
The first track on my playlist is “Christmas Day (Yellow Canary),” a no bullshit look into rock and roll brilliance. The Successful Failures waste no time pulling out in front, downshifting quickly and burning out melodic, tube-fueled rock in the addictive style of alt indie bands such as The Rembrandts, The Replacements and The Lemonheads. Guitars are toned for miles, and singer Mick Chorba’s vocal gets better with each release.
Utilizing his Danny Wilde/Robin Wilson vibe, Chorba keeps this band on an even and commercially viable keel. Tight, backbeat drum work, gritty, catchy guitar riffage and chest-punching bass are vital, clockwork components that pull together as a whole for this super radio-friendly tune.
As mentioned above, The Successful Failures share this split EP with Philly-based labelmate Taggart. Taggart bring over a decade and a half of rock and roll moxie to the platter, and is a band that salutes traditional A-List groups such as The Replacements, Archers Of Loaf and Hüsker Dü. The first and latter are a strange coincidence seeing as they have played with Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, and even acted as Grant Hart’s (original drummer from Hüsker Dü) backing band on at least a few Hüsker Dü songs that he co-wrote. They self-released their latest CD, For What It’s Worse, in 2011, and now add their own four Christmas songs to the 12” vinyl split EP Snow Day (Take It Easy), due to be released next month.
Their standout cut is the Gerry And The Pacemakers ‘50s melodic catch-all meets the Gin Blossoms snarl of “Wishmas.” Like The Successful Failures, Taggart is a band that cuts right to the chase. There aren’t any fancy eight-part harmonies on “Wishmas.” Guitars shimmer and clang like blitzkrieg bells, trailing single analog notes plucked under room reverb goodness. The middle eight lead work is reminiscent of Rivers Cuomo/Brian Bell, as all four band members add their own unique vocal assists throughout.
Other great tracks on Snow Day (Take It Easy) include The Successful Failures’ take on The Ramones classic, “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight).” Bar chord half-step vamps groan and burn under the John Rzeznik/Joey R-influenced punk growls of Chorba. Drums and bass nail this beast to the board as guitars chug out the verses Elliot Easton style. The middle eight explodes in the glorious pentatonic blues-rock style of Warner E. Hodges and Chorba keeps things steady with a tribute performance that should be remembered long after you’ve thrown your glitter-covered Christmas tree out on the curb full of trash.
All in all, the disc features four songs from each band, ranging from covers by The Kinks, The Ramones and the Descendents, to original and perfectly-timed releases of holiday angst. Snow Day (Take It Easy) is available as a vinyl release, and each purchase will also be accompanied with a code for download preferences.
BITBY (Bands In The Backyard) will host the Snow Day (Take It Easy) record release show at Ortlieb’s in Philadelphia on Friday, Dec. 20. The show will feature live performances of songs from the album by both Taggart and The Successful Failures.
For details on this great new holiday release, please visit the label over at fdrlabel.com and, of course, information on individual bands can be found on their respective Facebook pages.
That’s it until next week. Enjoy your turkey time and do what you have to do to survive the day. As Jack Handey says in Deep Thoughts, “If you’re at a Thanksgiving dinner, but you don’t like the stuffing or the cranberry sauce or anything else, just pretend like you’re eating it, but instead, put it all in your lap and form it into a big mushy ball. Then, later, when you’re out back having cigars with the boys, let out a big fake cough and throw the ball to the ground. Then say, ‘Boy, these are good cigars.’”