TV Eyes was a short lived supergroup featuring Jason Falkner & Roger Manning Jr, who spent time in the power pop band Jellyfish, and drummer Brian Reitzell, who was in the equally melodic Redd Kross. The trio teamed up in the early 2000’s for a debut record that combined elements of early New Wave & Punk, with touches of their previous bands. The result was an album that should’ve turned heads. But, the band was never able to secure an American record label, so the record only came out in Japan. Now, long out of print and fetching top dollar on Ebay, Omnivore Recordings finally sets things right with the release of TV Eyes – not only including the original, nine song record, but also featuring four bonus tracks from an even more rare Japanese EP, Softcore, featuring remixes. We talk to Jason Falkner about the inspiration behind the project, plus what it was like to record with one of his big influences, Paul McCartney.
Paul McCartney & Wings – Wings Over America (1976) – CD review –
Paul McCartney has always been a perfectionist; it’s certainly one of the factors that contributed to the breakup of the Beatles. And, while his 70’s hits with Wings are great, many of them sound stuffy, as if they’ve been cooked too long. That’s what makes Wings Over America such a revelation.
McCartney is out of the studio and into a live band setting where things can really heat up, and he doesn’t have a chance to add overdub after overdub. The Wings’ hits sound more lively; “Jet,” “Silly Love Songs,” and “Let “Em In” all benefit from the concert setting. Paul had a tendency to play most of the instruments on his records. Here, he has to put his faith in the band, and they deliver. Guitarist Jimmy McCulloch is a real highlight, injecting some slinky solos into Paul’s songs.
The opening medley of “Venus & Mars / Rockshow / Jet” is as breathtaking a performance as Paul has ever done. He’d not yet made peace with his Beatles past, so the Fab Four songs are minimal; mostly leaning toward ballads like “Yesterday,” and “the Long & Winding Road.” Paul used this as a proving ground for his current band to be taken seriously, and he pulls it off. Even the album cuts, like “Time to Hide” and “Beware My Love” are enjoyable. A triple-LP set when it was first issued, Wings Over America stands as a pinnacle of McCartney’s solo work. –Tony Peters