Tag Archives: Rock and Roll

Dwight Twilley (Live in Oakland 2016)

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It’s a rainy Sunday All Hallows Eve-Eve as I write this. It’s kind of a perfect backdrop to edit together a few clips from Dwight Twilleys’ set at The Starline in Oakland this past Tuesday (Oct 25, 2016). Perfect as his set consisted of acoustic renditions of mostly unknown recent songs of his, and it was actually a bit dreary. He had a strong opener and his voice is undeniable but he avoided most of the hits and this was a bit of a misstep for those that wanted to hear some pop with power! There were some special moments but I left with mixed feelings.

He’s been recording and releasing music steadily since the early 70’s and after a long and mostly unsuccessful stint in LA he returned to his hometown of Tulsa where he built a studio and became a fully independent recording artist who has continued to record and release albums to this day, on his own terms, DIY all the way.

I got turned on to Twilley by Gary Sperrazza in the early 90’s (he was an early champion of DTB) and wrote about him in the early-mid 70’s. When I first heard that voice, that delicate balance of melody harmony, big-hook riffs and the power and dynamics behind it, I was instantly hooked!

So, it was a rare and wonderful treat to hear that voice in person after being a fan for 20 years, never thinking I’d see him live, but the choice of material was a bit lackluster considering the amount of material he has to choose from. I don’t think he really considered his studio stuff suited to the acoustic format, so it seems as if he really held back as to not under-serve those songs which were crafted in the studio, and built up of layer upon layer of guitars and vocal textures. I beg to differ, I think certain songs like ‘You Were So Warm’ ‘I’m Losing You’ ‘Just Like the Sun’ or ‘Sincerely’ all off the first record…’That I Remember’ ‘Sleeping’ off of the second lp ‘Twilley Don’t Mind’ or even something like ‘Out of My Hands’ from ‘Twilley’ (3rd LP) with the brilliant lyric “When the Walls Around You Melt You Can’t Pretend”… would have made for killer moments in an acoustic format.

The only song he played from that period during the acoustic set was ‘Three Persons’ one of the poppier songs from ‘Sincerely’ which  is actually better suited for a band in my opinion.

The other thing that sort of killed the energy level was that he talked quite a bit in between songs. He had us in the palm of his hand with his opener (the first song in the ‘acoustic’ vid below. I don’t know that song or what it was called but it captured both the strength and delicateness of his voice and had that beautiful darkness that pervades a lot of his music. He could have gone right into anything after that but decided to regale us with tales of  Ye Olden Days of the industry…running around with Phil Seymour, chasing Hollywood excess and all the stuff that I’d love to read in his bio but in all honesty, just cliche Rock and Roll LA excess done better by others and not why we love Dwight. It was actually cool at first to hear about this but it just got a bit (a lot) long (he went on for 7-8 minutes) and then he went into another lesser known mid-slow tempo song about his adventures with Phil called ‘Good Things Come Hard’ (also in the Acoustic vid below). He then talked for another 5 minutes and as soon as he was finally ready to lay another song on us his mic went out! This minor technical difficulty chewed up another precious couple of minutes after which he played yet another lesser known song from 1999’s lp ‘Tulsa’ called ‘A Little Less Love’ then another short story 3-4 minutes this time and another slow tempo song. At this point he’s played 4 songs and we were almost 40 minutes in! It was a small crowd of old fans and a very forgiving one for sure.

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After another 7 minutes of story telling he breaks out the first ‘hit’ from one of the early albums, the aforementioned ‘Three Persons’ from the first album ‘Sincerely’ which was at least something people knew but far from the best choice from that gem of an album.

10 more minutes of talking this time and then another slow tempo piece…

His 7th and final song of the main set was an uptempo number with a driving beat and would have been a good one to throw in earlier on to break up the slow tempo that dominated the set. This last song is the third song in the acoustic vid below. I apologize in advance for some of the washed out video.

He finished and left the stage after a long and rambling trip down memory lane accompanied by a handful of songs. After a healthy applause his wife, engineer and Tour Manager Jan Twilley who essentially helped him get his career back in his own control after wallowing in obscurity in LA for years, led a chant for ‘I’m on Fire’ as an encore. Dwight got back up on stage with the opening band to back him up on a pretty solid rendition of that very song from his first LP ‘Sincerely’.

 

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He brought out some old promo posters of ‘Sincerely’ that sat in a box for 40 years and was really cool about hanging out and signing everything.

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40 year old promo posters!

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I picked up his release from last year ‘Always’ on his label ‘Big Oak’ and I’m really enjoying it. I had him sign that for me. I also really liked his 2010 release on Burger/Big Oak ‘Twilley’. That was the first I’d heard he was back and recording, though he had been for awhile and that’s a testament to the way he was treated by the industry. His recent recordings are as rich and warm and as hook-y as anything he’s ever done and I even wonder if a few of these songs have been around in some form for as long or if he’s just mastered his tried and true formula.

Honestly, I was a bit underwhelmed by the evening as a whole but really glad I went. It was a special evening for the old die hard fan but I would have been bummed had I brought someone to this show to turn them on to this legend of a musician and songwriter. That being said, he seems to have enough left in him to return and have another go at it, he still has that magic and with a proper band and a more focused delivery. he would easily slay…

Until then, let’s enjoy this video with Dwight and Phil Seymour joined by Tom Petty on bass (though he actually played some guitar on the album)


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Andalusia Rose ‘First Stone’ video and EP

photo (13)Recently, my band mates and I proudly released our first proper recorded output in the form of an EP titled ‘First Stone’ it has been a year in the making and with the help of a decently successful Indiegogo campaign, we were able to self produce and release this EP in cd and vinyl format!

The cover art is by the multi-talented singer/guitarist and artist Wendy Lee Gadzuk

Here is the debut video to accompany this release, it is for the title track ‘First Stone’ and was shot and directed by Phillip Vielma.

…and a teaser for ‘Destroyer’

There are 3 different vinyl editions available via our Bandcamp site, standard black and a very limited amount of both blue and blue with oxblood splatter:

AR Blue

AR splatter

We’re also on this cool ass site called coloredvinylrecords.com

When you hover over the records on the site, they spin!

AR colored vinyl site page

Enjoy!


Music Music! A busy season ahead!

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It’s gonna be a busy couple of months for Andalusia Rose as we are putting the finishing touches on our EP ‘First Stone’ and preparing for a short jaunt up to The Pacific Northwest.

Recording has been a blast and this is the first proper release by this Line-up consisting of:

Wendy Lee Gadzuk (Vox/Guitar).

Wendy Lee Gadzuk
Wendy Lee Gadzuk

Paul Jarvis Hopkins (Drums/backing vox)

Paul Jarvis Hopkins
Paul Jarvis Hopkins

Jeff Vengeance (yours truly) Bass/Baritone Guitar/Guitars/vox

Jeff Vengeance
Jeff Vengeance

Tracking has been done for awhile now, final mixes and artwork are currently being finalized and I’m more than excited to fulfil a lifelong dream of releasing a record of my own music! Yes, this will actually be a record…as in vinyl. There will be cds and digital dl’s of course, but I have been a vinyl collector since I could walk, so it’s a pretty personal achievement.

Record Collectors are Pretentious Assholes
‘Record Collectors are Pretentious Assholes’ (me circa 1994?)
My record room (well, one of 'em!) 2014
My record room (well, one of ’em!) 2014

I’ve been involved with an album in the past that was only released on CD. Considering digital and a vinyl release, the process has been really interesting and daunting at the same time. For digital you get a pretty close representation of how it will sound via pre mixes/mastering, so that’s not too stressful, but with vinyl there is the extra step of sending off the master (not the same master for digital) and in turn waiting for a test pressing to be reviewed before finally giving the go-ahead. Anticipation on top of anticipation! It’s a lot like X-mas when you know what you’re gonna get but not how well it will stand up to your expectations.

In addition to this exciting step in our growth as a band, we will be embarking on a 3 city 4 day tour up in the Pacific NW region.

Sept 18th-Dante’s (Portland)

Sept 19th-The Two-Bit (Seattle)

Sept 20th-McCoys Tavern (Olympia)

Sept 21st- The Mix (Seattle) early accoustic show

Prior to that we play this Friday (Sept 12th) with Fast Piece of Furniture At Roosters in Alameda Ca. and upon our return we will be playing Brick and Mortar in SF (Sept 28th)

We also have a new t-shirt design available here! All funds will be used to help out with our tour and record release! This was designed and printed by me!

Andalusia Rose 'Basilika' t-shirt
Andalusia Rose ‘Basilika’ t-shirt

 Alphastare News!

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This is a more personal project for me and sort of exists and moves in it’s own way and time.

Here’s a new track I released recently via soundcloud:

I’m also currently curating a show for October 18th at The Stork Club in Oakland Ca. This will consist of Alphastare and Infinite Plastic Internal as well as a massive collaboration between the two! Our last outing can be heard here.

I plan on performing with Drummer Jon Weiss again as well as a possible addition of a bassist. This will be an experiment in sound and I’ll plan nothing, but I am creating some raw material to be kept at the ready. Last time I recorded some sound from the act prior to us, and used it in my set, so spontaneity is always at the forefront.

Infinite Plastic Internal is Mark Pino, who tells me he plans to build up a wall of sound with drums and he plans on taking his time doing it, should be fun to observe the process!

Also in the works is a limited cd release called ‘Current Birds’. A digital version of it is available here. The cd release will have some extra stuff, so if you wait to get a physical copy you’ll get that as well.

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Available Now!!!

Cheers from SF!