Fw: SFGate: Mushroom to revive Townsend's 'Lifehouse'

J McElwee jmcelwee at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 5 16:40:38 UTC 2009


Interesting spelling of Pete's last name


--- On Thu, 3/5/09, jmcelwee <jmcelwee at yahoo.com> wrote:

> From: jmcelwee <jmcelwee at yahoo.com>
> Subject: SFGate: Mushroom to revive Townsend's 'Lifehouse'
> To: "jmcelwee" <jmcelwee at yahoo.com>
> Date: Thursday, March 5, 2009, 8:36 AM
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> This article was sent to you by someone who found it on
> SFGate.
> The original article can be found on SFGate.com here:
> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2009/03/05/NS2L164VLT.DTL
> 
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Thursday, March 5, 2009 (SF Chronicle)
> Mushroom to revive Townsend's 'Lifehouse'
> Andrew Gilbert
> 
> 
>    Pete Townsend conceived of "Lifehouse" as a
> grandiose sci-fi rock opera
> set in a totalitarian dystopia resembling the Matrix.
> Instead of a red
> pill, rock 'n' roll liberates the masses, inducing
> a state of
> transcendence triggered by a "universal chord"
> derived from the audience's
> biographical data fed into a mainframe computer. For some
> reason,
> Townsend's bandmates in the Who declined to pursue the
> project, and much
> of the music ended up on the classic 1971 album
> "Who's Next."
>    In a rare and perhaps unprecedented act of recovery, the
> multifarious
> collective known as Mushroom is rebooting
> "Lifehouse," seeking to present
> Townsend's lost masterpiece in its entirety.
> There's no guarantee that the
> band's Friday performance at Berkeley's Starry
> Plough will lead to rock
> 'n' roll rapture, but for fans of the Who
> there's a promise of bliss.
> "There's been a lot of tribute shows and bands,
> but no one's done a
> tribute to an album that didn't come out," says
> Mushroom drummer Pat
> Thomas, a catalytic force on the Bay Area music scene for
> more than two
> decades as founder of labels Heyday and Innerstate, and as
> A&R director
> for German label Normal, where he gave international
> exposure to Bay Area
> acts.
>    Townsend's music might seem like a strange point of
> departure for
> Mushroom, an ensemble that has honed a volatile,
> effects-laden approach to
> psychedelic rock laced with avant-garde jazz. The
> group's 2007
> collaboration with San Jose trumpeter Eddie Gale, a
> brilliant free jazz
> pioneer who recorded with Sun Ra and Cecil Taylor, resulted
> in the spacey
> funk soundscapes of "Joint Happening" (Hyena
> Records), a world away from
> the Who's pummeling power trio instrumentation.
>    "We're basically hard rock guys playing
> jazz," Thomas says. "As high
> school and college kids we were working our way through Who
> and Stones
> albums, then made our way to Soft Machine and 'Bitches
> Brew.' Our DNA is
> really '70s rock, which makes Mushroom unique when we
> do our jazzy, prog
> thing. But after playing free-form music for the better
> part of a decade,
> I want to get better connected with songs. For a long time,
> I used to say
> it's not about the song, it's about the sound and
> the texture. But nothing
> beats the power of a really well-written rock 'n'
> roll tune."
>    For the "Lifehouse" performance,
> Mushroom's lineup features Thomas,
> bassist Ned Doherty, keyboardist Matt Cunitz, and
> guitarists Erik Pearson
> and Josh Pollock. The band has also recruited Naked
> Barbies' vocalist
> Patty Spiglanin to fill Roger Daltrey's fringed vest.
>    "My voice is right there with Roger's, in terms
> of our range," Spiglanin
> says. "A lot of where he sings is pretty high and very
> powerful. One
> reason the Who's music hasn't been covered more is
> that it's really
> complicated. I think a lot of people are daunted. I'm
> not sure how far I'm
> going to go with the Daltrey thing. I'm not going to
> twirl the mike out of
> fear of knocking someone out. I could get a long blond wig,
> and I do have
> this great jacket from the 1970s."
> 
>    9 p.m. Fri. $10. 21+. Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck Ave.,
> Berkeley. (510)
> 841-2082. www.starryploughpub.com.
> 
> - Andrew Gilbert, 96hours at sfchronicle.com
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Copyright 2009 SF Chronicle


      



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