Hotline to the Underground

By Joe Viglione

Adventure Set, Idb Green, Greg Paquette and Rockower

We’ve got a wild array of music this week at the Hotline… Rino Benenati’s radio edit remix of Adventure Set’s “Cleaner.”

Released November 19, 2020 it’s a wonderfully smooth and highly danceable rock track. Ken Scales voice is simply amazing and eerie here. A perfect song for the new Invisible Man film that was recently out…maybe it can go on the DVD a la The Lemonheads’ “Mrs. Robinson” landed on the classic The Graduate film home release. Mark Pothier’s writing, programming, production and keyboards reliably top notch.
Recorded in Plymouth, Mass. Remixed at Spectrum Sound Lab, San Francisco Rino Benenati: Mix engineer, co-editor
Bill Williams: Editing (Bill Williams Media Production,
Hayward Ca.) …stands up to repeated listenings…find Adventure Set on Bandcamp…

My dear friend Raquel Reynolds at Zionrock finds the best tunes out of Jamaica. “Level Level” from IPD green is a mesmerizing three minutes and three seconds on Vevo.

https://youtu.be/_4z84qIvGL8 The colors and quasi science fiction edits make for an amazingly compelling vignette. A haunting keyboard brings you back to play it again…and again…and again.

Greg Paquette is back with a new album Retro Active. The first track, “Swing,” has a slinky guitar improving upon the Dire Straits formula. It too groves with Paquette’s vocal writing an essay on the young lady’s subversive moments on the dance floor. Spin it a few times and you’ll catch the spirit. Greg’s previous album, Single Stone, has an essential track, “Into the Sunset” that shows another side of the songwriter/vocalist.

Into the Sunset Greg Paquette

GOING TRACK BY TRACK WITH MARK ROCKOWER

Band: Rockower
Album: It’s Alright but Never Enough
Songs written and arranged by Mark Rockower
Produced by Derek Hughes and Mark Rockower|
ark Rockower Music LLC

Q When did the concept for the It’s Alright But Never Enough album begin?

A: The concept for the song began roughly 2 years ago when I wanted to write something autobiographic and to have acoustic with slide in it as I enjoy playing the slide guitar stuff.

Part of the lyrics refer to a “type of person” who reaches a goal in life big or small and then decide it’s not enough and adjust their goals higher. It’s also about coming to terms with the past.

I chose the songs on the album from a bunch of songs I had written over a couple of years, I chose those I felt would fit together well and make for a good album, both musically and theme wise

Q: What was the inspiration for American Dope?

A: American Dope musically inspired by some of the punk rock music of the past I have listened too. I would say soft-core punk as opposed to the hard-core stuff.

The lyrics are about the so-called war against drugs and also the plight of the middle class worker and the dwindling size of the Middle Class.

Musically I was thinking of the band the Precious Few and writing something that would fit in with the style we played, as initially I wanted to do it for a Precious Few project.

Q With Big Money, what came first, the lyric or the music, and did you record a “demo” prior to going in to the studio? If so, how did you approach the recording in the studio setting?

A: With Big Money the music came first. I was thinking with the dual guitars in it playing the lead riff Of Thin Lizzy or even Iron Maiden. I generally write the music first or at least start from that point. Recorded a demo for each song prior to the final recording and some of those tracks made the album. I want to make sure I know everything I am going to do first before I go in. This way we can stay focused on the music and think about nothing else. We are also well-rehearsed so my first take has been my best on several occasions It helps doing it with Derek as he sets a good natured approach for the session

And we feel at ease with the entire process.

Q: How did “Sometimes It Rhymes” come about?

A: Sometimes It Rhymes came about from listening to an 80’s band The Motels and how they used keyboards and synth. It also was geared towards my ex-girlfriend and at the time things were going well and I thought two people can rhyme when in love, however naïve that might be to believe

Q: What was the approach to recording “The Other Side?”

A; The Other Side was approached relatively the same as the other songs and I played two guitars on it and Derek Hughes played the bass.

He recorded and mixed the song

I wanted to write something about the other side of Love and that’s what I came up with.

Q: With songs like Sunflower on YouTube – the opening sounding like a tribute to Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” – how

important is it for you to have videos for each song on the album? https://youtu.be/PzvC5FRkgwk

A Thank you, any comparison to Elton John, especially his early work like “Madman across the Water” is a big complement. I think lyric videos are great and would have one for every song, I hope I do. Currently there are a couple on YouTube.

People are using more senses when they listen to music that is accompanied with a lyric video.

The video was by Derek Hughes , who played some bass on the album and recorded and engineered….as well as co-produced it with me.

Q:Who produced and directed the video?

A: Derek handled all aspects of the video’s

Q How did you decide to sequence “Simple Minds,” “Lunar Star,” “Vacation Girl,” “Driving Force” and the title track as the second half of the CD, and can you give us short thoughts on each composition?

A: I categorized each song and then made sure not to pick two songs that were similar in style back to back.

Simple Minds is supposed to be a country rock song like the Rolling Stones would do on several of their 70’s albums.

Lunar Star is more of a pop song and Vacation Girl a little more danceable with some rock moments, Driving Force is a

A straightforward rock song and I “It’s Alright but It’s Never Enough” is a little more country rock sounding to me. It is autobiographical in content

Q: How did you go about creating the cover art, and how did the entire project fall into place?

I wanted a shot of the Milky Way a shot of space with color in it. Derek designed it and went with a simple approach and the project took about 9 months in total however we are always putting out music and have a new single coming out in mp3 that will be available for purchase along with the album.

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