Monday, May 3, 2010

Todd On Monday : Trying To Make A Living Off An Elpee's Worth Of Blues

I think I've said enough regarding Todd Rundgren's Johnson, his current blues-based project and mini tour. I don't need to say anymore, especially since I have little in the way of positive commentary. Take a listen to this and let me know how you really feel. This is a great audio rip from the internet PPV from 4/11/10, in Ridgefield, Connecticut. It includes an absolutely blistering "Black Maria," some interesting, but mostly only interesting, rarely-if-ever-played gems like "Kiddie Boy," "I Went To The Mirror," and "Boogies," and what I think is Todd's strongest song since 1989's "Hawking" from "Nearly Human," "Weakness," from 2008's "Arena."


01. Dust My Broom
02. Stop Breaking Down
03. Kiddie Boy
04. Soul Brother
05. Walking Blues
06. Kindhearted Woman
07. Bleeding
08. Black Maria
09. Last Fair Deal
10. Love In Vain
11. Open My Eyes
12. Mystified> Broke Down & Busted
13. Red Hot
14. Sweet Home Chicago
15. Unloved Children
16. I Went To The Mirror
17. Come In My Kitchen
18. Hellhound
19. No. 1 Lowest Common Denominator
20. Born To Synthesize
21. Weakness
22. Riverside
23. Crossroads
24. I Saw The Light
25. Tiny Demons
26. Boogies (Hamburger Hell)



misospecial said...

at the show i saw, number one lowest common denominator shredded as well.

Noam Sane said...

I think the Johnson thing is just an excuse for Todd to play some guitar solos.

Looks like an interesting setlist. "Kiddie Boy" fits since it's pretty much another 12-bar blues, I guess.

I'm still pissed that I missed the Liars tour. Apparently he's done with that record, judging from the choices here.

Looking forward to listening...I'm still digging the Rascals for now. Hard to keep up with you, Sal.

Anonymous said...

It's a tough listen this monday but i'm a loyal reader Sal, i hope you realize that. I'll follow you to the ends of the earth but Todd what were you thinking?

Joseph Barby

anythingshouldhappen said...

My main thought through all this Johnson stuff is that it's been done so many times before and Todd adds nothing to it, even if he feels he does.

Time spent better maybe writing new material.

Sal Nunziato said...


This is exactly my problem. It's nothing. There's nothing new to offer, and even if it's as Noam says, an "excuse for Todd to play some guitar," isn't that what the last album "Arena" was for?

The curiosity of hearing songs that have never played before is there, of course, but I think they should be songs people want to hear in the first place.

Gene Oberto said...

I think what I am most disappointed with is the attitude. He says it in the opening monologue, he shows up and the fans will listen to anything, so tonight it's the blues.

The blues is all based on feeling, and there is no pulse here. He should have played "9 Below Zero" because that's the temperature of this gig.

Is he really this disdainful of his work and his audience as he seems to be telling us? When does hip sarcasm turn into jaded contempt?

Sal Nunziato said...

You nailed it, Geno.

Rob said...

Thanks Sal. Love Todd but pretty much the same as everyone else feel a bit not bothered by the RJ stuff. However, it's a treat to hear Bleeding, Kiddie Boy and Boogies though. great stuff. Any chance of that Lewis T Beefheart that I requested over at ASH? Rob

Sal Nunziato said...

There's a post on ASH that says "Burning Wood," a nice little plug by Don. Look in the comments section. I put the LT link in there. Cheers!


For those who didn't know. Rundgren did this Johnson thing as part of a deal with the music distributor to get his ARENA music released.
Yes, it's sad the Wizard sold out for perhaps the first time in his not so commercially successful career. But as Todd has said on this one he has to keep food on the table.

cmealha said...

I promised not to beat up on Todd anymore so I've got nothing to say.


Stay home and listen to your BonJovie Cd's!


Hello, Did you people think Todd should consult you for his set list! I don't think so and maybe you should stay home and let the true fans enjoy anything he is willing to play for us! We are lucky he still tours and if you are a true fan you wouldn't be bitching! I have seen him over a hundred times and have never wished i didn't go as a matter of fact I have traveled all over this country to see him! This isn't a Bonjovie concert!

Sal Nunziato said...

Excuse, Mr. Utopiaishere, but do you read my blog at all? Do I come across as someone who doesn't love and adore Todd Rundgren?

What kind of fan or music lover are you if you can't distinguish good from bad, happy from sad, old from new, etc.? If you've seen Todd over a hundred times as you said, and like I have, you will have witnessed even the artist himself, not always happy with himself.

And what's with the Bon Jovi --NO E--comments? I don't understand. I'm not sure you do either.

Thanks for the entertainment.

misospecial said...

@utopiasphere: one of the things i most value about TR is his advocacy of honesty (see *liars*), no matter how hard it goes down. equal to that is his devotion to love (citation unnecessary).

so these have to coexist, right? and we're not all going to agree all the time or love the same things. and this doesn't compromise our support or love, whereas swallowing everything without subjecting it to some (definitely personal) standards could be seen as disrespectful. because i think if you love somebody you respect them enough to tell them what you really think. no party line...

after all, if you have spinach in your teeth, only your friends will tell you, right?


Sal that wasn't directed toward your comments but Mr Anonymous and anythingshouldhappen statements Todd what were you thinking? Todd never has attempted to be famous he just plays what he feels and I feel that people should respect him for that! Even on the TR Connection people bitch about what he played at a show instead of appreciating the talent of OH.I won't miss a Todd tour unless I'm in the hospital or Dead!And I apologize to the people I may have offended that enjoy Bon Jovie but mainstream is for kids! Todd is Godd! And has a message as well as musical talent at just about every instrument I can think of! Thanks for listening!

Sal Nunziato said...

Thanks for clarifying, Utopiaishere. And it's ok if the comments were indeed directed at me. But I think the issue here is whether Todd is actually playing what he feels.

As New Blue Rooster pointed out, this TRJ project is more of an obligation, and it shows. I think everyone on this board is a genuine fan. And even the most genuine of fans sgould be able to see through something as soulless and transparent as some mediocre blues covers.

No comments here disrespected "The Wizard."

As for Bon Jovi, if he put out a tribute to Robert Johnson, he'd be more of a punchline than he already is, and truly, the band is sincere, whether you like them or not.

TRJ does not sound sincere, and there lies the problem.


@UTOPIASPHERE----quit your bitchin, Todd did the Johnson thing to pay a debt to the company guys who released his ARENA music. Even Todd admits he wouldn't have gone this way if not for having to "pay the bills". He has to pay off his hefty mortgage in "paradise" and will do just about anything now for more money. So just keep on throwing at him!