Probably thanks largely to the Presidents Day holiday, concert announcements have been a little slow this week. And, to make matters more frustrating, Radiohead is busily announcing a tour that will bring them to Detroit (July 22), Columbus (July 23), Cincinnati (July 25) and Pittsburgh (July 26), but NOT to Cleveland. (Um, hey, guys? Yeah, seems like you’ve got a free night there on July 24. Hmmm, what to do with it? Cough.)
One announcement that has come over may be of interest to a few folks, if not myself. A reunited Utopia will play the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park May 19.
This, according to a news release from concert promoter Live Nation, will be the first tour of Utopia — featuring classic rock-radio mainstay Todd Rundgren, along with Kasim Sulton, Willie Wilcox and Ralph Schuckett — in more than three decades. (“For 32 years, fans have been clamoring for a reunion,” the release states. “The wait is over.”)
The tour is being done in conjunction with the release, on April 20, of the seven-disc box set “The Road to Utopia: The Complete Recordings (1974-82),” which can be preordered now.
The band, also commonly called Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, formed in 1974 out of Rundgren’s desire to explore new musical material after four years as a solo artist, the release states. In the early years and with some lineup changes Utopia evolved from a progress-rock outfit to a power-pop group.
The band’s albums include “Oops! Wrong Planet,” “Adventures in Utopia” and “Oblivion,” with hits including “Rock Love,” “Set Me Free,” “Mated” and “Love Is the Answer.”
In 1986, after a decade of constant recording and arena touring cycles, the band declared they were “going on sabbatical,” the release states.
Tickets for the show — $37 to $85 — go on sale 10 a.m. Feb. 23. Get more information here.
Stream of the week: Since stumbling upon the group while browsing newer jazz releases, I have been absolutely smitten with the music of GoGo Penguin of Manchester, England, and especially with their recent release, “A Humdrum Star.” There’s nothing humdrum about this album or the trio — Chris Illingworth (piano), Nick Blacka (bass) and Rob Turner (drums) — which I wouldn’t classify exactly as jazz. The band’s site says “their music has been described as acoustic-electronica but they draw equally on rock, jazz and minimalism, game soundtracks and glitchy-electronica to create their unique music.” That’s right on. They are a fascinating listen. If you’re going to check out just one song, I’d start with the album’s third track, “Bardo.” Also, this cool album teaser gives you a good if small sense of what they do:
Mark Meszoros IS going to one of those Radiohead shows. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMeszoros.