Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ric News You REALLY should Read

What's Ric Listening To these days ?

When The Next solo CD coming out ?

It can all be found in Sunday November 12th's New York Times.

Reggae, the Ramones and Keane: Just What He Needed

by Winter Miller

For the legions who have mispronounced Ric Ocasek’s name for three decades, it’s oh-KASS-eck. As a producer, this former Cars frontman, now 57, has worked with Brazilian Girls, No Doubt and Weezer, among others. He spent a year as an artists-and-repertory executive for Elektra. He’s writing his second book of poetry and prose and working on another solo album, due this spring. In his spare time he draws. In October “The Cars Unlocked” was released: a retrospective DVD and CD of live concert performances and interviews that Mr. Ocasek culled and produced. The Boston-based Cars, which broke up in 1987, recorded six albums, which have sold more than 25 million records. Mr. Ocasek has broad musical tastes: he’s been known to choose a CD by its cover. From his home in Manhattan, he spoke with Winter Miller about what he’s listening to and watching.

White Mice

“Muzik” (Basic Replay) is a reggae record. I don’t know much about White Mice; I went to Other Music and bought a bunch of records. It was the cover; the guy on the cover looks about 10. The reggae is beautiful, really well done. There’s hardly any info on the record, no liner notes, nothing about him. When I got it, I thought, Oh God, this is really great. Reggae is one of my favorite kinds of music; I never get tired of that beat on three. I think he’s breaking ground. On the cover he looks like he is. He doesn’t have any dreads, he’s got a bow tie on.


I love “Under the Iron Sea” (Interscope). Tom Chaplin’s voice is really beautiful. They don’t sound like any other band out there, and they’re consistent. I saw them perform live once, and they were just completely real about it; there was no fake show. The guy could really pull off the vocals. He sings some stuff in falsetto. I really like the song “Atlantic”: it’s a catchy pop song — could be a hit — but it still has integrity. It’s not schlock pop.

Dead Moon

“Echoes of the Past” (Sub Pop) is a compilation record; it’s got 50 songs on it. It’s a band hardly anybody knows about. Every song sounds the same, kind of like the ’60s band the Seeds. It’s a band that will never be commercial, never see the light of day in that sense, but it does have a devout following. It’s almost like Robert Plant singing, but it’s kind of straight-out old rock ’n’ roll riffs. It’s kind of raw, but I really like it.

Albert Hammond Jr.

He’s the guitar player from the Strokes. He writes phenomenal songs. I was really shocked another member of the band could write as well as that. I heard snippets of “Yours to Keep” (Rough Trade) before it was out, but once it came out, I was really pleased with what he did. It looks like Albert has a future making records. It was arranged really well.

Bad Brains

This is from 1982. It’s real raw. That band is probably the No. 1 punk band in the world. They probably influenced every punk band there is. There’s not a lot of footage of them at all; they were hard to pin down. As the years went on H. R., the lead singer, got hard to deal with. He wouldn’t do the hardcore stuff anymore, he started to get crazy, he wanted to stick with the reggae. But when he did do the hardcore stuff, there was no one who could even come close. There wasn’t much you could see; even if you went on YouTube, you wouldn’t see much. But “Bad Brains Live at CBGB 1982” (Music Video Distributors) is the real deal; its really what the Bad Brains were like. This is a phenomenal thing to have out.

The Ramones

The Ramones DVD “Raw” (Image Entertainment) is really comprehensive, far more comprehensive than “The Cars Unlocked.” It’s more of a traditional documentary. If you really wonder what the Ramones were all about over the years, if you’re a Ramones fan or even if you’re not, it’s phenomenal video. I liked every bit of it. It’s fun to see all the Phil Spector stuff. You heard stories, like Phil Spector had a gun in the studio, and you didn’t know if he did, but you watch it, and you find out he did. It’s a great retrospective of them.

Peter, Bjorn and John

The songs are great — the arrangements and the general vocals. It sounds a bit British. The chord structures are slightly different: they don’t play a C chord like everyone else. A lot of British bands use a different chord structure. They may learn to play things on the guitar different. It’s a hard thing to pinpoint. The album’s called “Writer’s Block” (Wichita), which I never understood because I never had it. I never put that pressure on myself. I always have stuff to write.

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