Tuneage Tutelage - New Music Monday....

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Monday, May 18, 2009

Have not done a New Music Monday in a few weeks. I thought Monday's would be good, you know - give me all weekend to listen to and think about the posts.

Yeah, sure. My weekends are so jam packed...like this one. I am finally home, at 6:00pm on Sunday night.

Don't get me wrong. It was tremendous, just taking it easy today with Nancy. We cooked all weekend it seemed, yet I did not pull out the camera once, so I am not ready with a post over at MANGIA Y'ALL, but have something in mind...so, keep a watch out for that.

Phil Putnam is our featured artist this week.

The album is called Casualties. In his bio, we find this 'mission-statement'..."Grow. That’s the goal. That’s the momentum behind the life and music of Singer/Songwriter Phil Putnam. Grow. Learn. Listen more. Make more music, meet more people. Grow."

Seems like a pretty attainable and worthwhile goal if you ask me.

Also form Mr. Putnam's bio:
As the fat, girly kid in an athlete’s world, he rode the bench and read his books while his brain got bigger and his pride shrunk smaller. With the onset of Tourette’s Syndrome at age 9 and no solid music experience until high school, he was the clear long shot for a career in music.

His ambition, however, having all the subtlety of a teenager on prom night, never let up. He studied singing through high school and discovered a shockingly strong talent in piano when he taught himself to play in college. It wasn’t long before he combined his fresh musical skills with a lifelong love of writing and was introduced to his future.

Featuring sixteen songs crafted over 3 years from the best and worst moments of life, Casualties is about growing up and getting on. Handing over the reins for the first time in his career to Producer/Arranger Steve Wallace, the two struck a perfect partnership and blew open new ground in the sound, look, and feel of what defines Phil’s music.

Under Wallace’s impeccable creative vision “Casualties” introduces new influences and instruments to Putnam’s trademark piano-rock sound, diving deep into programming and electronic music against unflinchingly evocative string quartets, woodwinds and horns.

From the opening notes from"More Than This", I immediately felt drawn in to the world Mr. Putnam has created. The opening track has an early Billy Joel effect, yet you can also hear the influence of those Jersey bands, Southside Johnny and Little Steven.

Recently, I was discussing how CDs are rarely scripted anymore. With the invent of iTunes and other digital download services, the idea of actually thinking about which song follows which is a lost art.

You can feel the passion Mr. Putnam put behind his sequencing of the songs on this CD. As the end of More Than This, immediately flows into "Severity" with the strokes of some drum sticks on a snare. "Careful, my edges are sharp / I'll etch myself into the dark / The contrast is what I do best / Like a caricature Hitchcock tickling the lines in my flesh"...now that is a lyric!

"Sophisticated Life" is lush with strings that turn a simple piano-rock ballad into a more full composition.

"Paris" is a waltz set to lyrics. Putnam's lilting voice carrying the tale along as he paints his portrait of the city.

There are two distinct sides to Mr. Putnam. He will craft songs that make you move from side to side and then he will throw a dark tinged ballad at you with the force of a hurricane.

"Ache" is one of the later. Dripping violins, a slow repetitive piano line, you can picture the lonely subject..."Like leather tanned and worn before its time / Life is hard and days get long / and though I am strong I ache"

Mr Putnam likes the piano line so much he follows Ache with "Interlude" which is the same piano line with a more electronic background.

Sixteen songs is an ambitiousness effort for anyone.

The accompanying booklet is jam packed with lyrics and platitudes from the musicians who appear on the CD with Mr. Putnam, They are all very accomplished and add much to this effort.

Phil's performance schedule:
June 15 Good Day Sacramento - TV Appearance - 8-9am hour

June 21 - Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret - 7:30pm
16th Street Mall at Arapahoe, DENVER CO 80206
$12 advance, $15 at the door. 21 and over

July 10 - 92Y Tribeca - 8:30pm
200 Hudson Street NEW YORK NY 10014
All ages, Cost TBA

July 28 - The Bitter End - 8:00pm
147 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and LaGuardia) New York NY 10012
$10 at door, 21 and over
**Phil will make a very rare appearace with a FULL BAND!! Don't miss it!

September 1 - Homolatte @ Big Chicks/Tweet -7:30pm
5024 N Sheridan, CHICAGO IL 60640
Free admission/pass the hat for the artists

September 19 - Psalm Salon -Time TBA
5841 Overbrook Ave, PHILADELPHIA PA 19131

September 25 -The Duplex - w/ Avi Wisnia -9:30pm
61 Christopher Street (at 7th Ave) New York NY 10014
$10 advance, $12 at the door, 21 and over

His website can be found HERE, and his myspace page is HERE" and you can get his music there also.

"More Than This" and "Ache" - I have the CD for one of you...let me know in comments...and PLEASE cast a ballot!

Tomorrow, our review on the Chris Botti CD In Boston...This is some good stuff...

17 Of Your Sparks

  1. TopChamp Says:
  2. i am having computer probs so can't see the music tabs or voting box but will be back.....

  3. Sounds like you had a good weekend. Enjoy your Monday...

  4. DrillerAA09 Says:
  5. I do like Phil Putnam's arrangements. I'm not entirely sold on his vocals.

  6. Bond Says:
  7. TOPCHAMP: Sorry, hope it works for you later

    BUD: Thanks Sir...you also

    DRILLERAA: Thanks for your input

  8. Dianne Says:
  9. I like 'Ache' a lot, not so sure about him overall but I'll give another listen later

    Happy Monday Hot Stuff

  10. Jay Says:
  11. He is alright. Not really my kind of music. Don't hate it or anything though.

  12. Bond Says:
  13. DIANNE: Thanks for your input. Ache is a cool tune

    JAY: Thanks for the feedback. Not everyone can like everything I post.

  14. Turnbaby Says:
  15. I cooked but took no photos--Brad made cookies!

  16. Starrlight Says:
  17. I LIKE him! I hear the Joel influence. And I am assuming we mean pre-Uptown Girl crash and burn Joel.

    His voice reminds me a little of Ben Gibbard.

  18. Fred Says:
  19. I liked one out of two. Not bad for me.

    Hope you had a good business trip. I'm winding down the teaching thing and am gearing up for a restful, boring summer.

  20. Tug Says:
  21. Not bad...I really like the lyrics (which I like of Billy Joel), but otherwise I'm on the 'need to hear more' bandwagon.

  22. Travis Says:
  23. That's ok. Sometimes a weekend can just be about cooking for the enjoyment of it.

  24. Ralph Says:
  25. Mr. Putnam is a poet first - he writes lyrics from the heart, tells a story that reflects things important to him. The music enhances the poetry. A nice artist with well produced moods...

  26. Dana Says:
  27. Love Mr. Putnam! Yes, the vocals aren't "perfect", but the thought, the meaning, the personalization behind the music far outweighs any concerns about the vocals.

    Great find Vinny!

  28. Bond Says:
  29. STARR: yup yup

    FRED: OH boring...give me a break...wanna trade?

    TUG: Thanks check him out

    TRAVIS: Yes it can Sir

    RALPH: Very nicely put

    DANA: OOO so glad you likey

  30. I like him, too! His entrance into music touched a chord with me (sorry for the pun); I know what it's like to come a cross a talent a bit later in life and then struggle to "fit in."

    You and Starr may disagree with me, but that first song had me thinking Elvis Costello at first. Just a reminiscence of...

  31. Starrlight Says:
  32. No I can hear it Desert. It's the phrasing.


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