Youngstown takes hit on Brown Acid series trip
Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:
• Brown Acid, a series of albums released by RidingEasy Records that is devoted to obscure early metal and stoner rock music, regularly unearths gems from the Mahoning Valley.
The local music scene will be represented once again on “Brown Acid: The Twelfth Trip” with “Every Lady Does It,” recorded in the mid-’70s by the Youngstown band Artist. The track actually is the B-side to the single recorded at Youngstown’s Peppermint Productions and released on its Peppermint Presents label. The A-side is “For the First Time.”
According to the press release announcing the album, “Artist weren’t too creative with their band name, instead saving that energy to create meaty Midwestern rock ‘n’ roll like ‘Every Lady Does It.’ Harmonized guitar leads and driving cowbell power their hook-filled lone 1977 single.”
“Brown Acid: The Twelfth Trip” will be available on vinyl, CD and digital download April 20. For those who don’t want to wait to hear “Every Lady Does It,” someone uploaded the song to YouTube. If “For the First Time” is on YouTube, the generic name of the band and the song make it impossible to find.
And for old rock fans who may have a copy of the single in their collection, it has sold for $45 on the music site Discogs, and the exposure on the Brown Acid series probably will increase its value to collectors.
• Rock fans of a certain age will enjoy the book “They Just Seem a Little Weird: How KISS, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith and Starz Remade Rock and Roll.”
As a Circus-magazine-reading, AOR-radio-listening teen of the ’70s, the soundtrack of my youth wouldn’t be complete without at least three of these bands (and I still own a copy of Starz’s “Violation” on vinyl).
“KISS Alive” came out when I was 13 and was an early music obsession. I outgrew them before the four solo albums came out, but I never got rid of my original copy of that live album. I don’t own any Aerosmith, but I had everything up to “Draw the Line” on 8-track at one point in high school.
Cheap Trick remains one of my favorite bands, a love affair of more than 40 years that started in 1979 after seeing the band at an all-day music festival at Legend Valley outside of Columbus when I was in high school.
Stylistically, the four acts don’t necessarily have a lot in common, but author Doug Brod, who was an editor for Spin and Entertainment Weekly, connects the dots through a series of mutual friends, managers, producers, crew members and others, and also shows how the theatrical performance styles of all four acts influenced generations of musicians that followed.
Brod clearly is a fan, but he writes about the bands’ music and career choices with a critical eye. The book is filled with entertaining anecdotes and fun facts about each band (I’ve been imagining what the movie “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” would have been like if Cheap Trick instead of The Ramones was the object of Riff Randle’s obsession).
• Last month I wrote about Stank!, the humor magazine created by Tim Phares and Dominic Duca, both of Howland, and Paul Franken of Austintown.
Phares said he paid for the startup costs with money he earned as part of 13Brains, a group of media professionals with different backgrounds that was born out of an emerging producers workshop at a National Association of Television Program Executives conference.
They sold a project to Netflix, and Phares used his portion of the proceeds to print the first issue of Stank! (and to pay for his wedding).
That Netflix show, a reality series “Buried by the Bernards” about a funeral home in Memphis, premiered last weekend and was showing up as one of the 10 most-watched shows on the streaming service — which could mean a second season for the show and a second check for Phares.
Andy Gray is the entertainment editor of Ticket. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.