We've produced a new video that chronicles our recent tour of China: "The Strangest Places: The Angry Neighbors In China". Please check it out on You Tube at the following link: https://youtu.be/vIcm1vXGmYc
We recently taped an episode of John Michael's RockBox. Here is the direct link to the You Tube video of the episode. Please enjoy and let us know what you think!
When I was a kid I bought a Frigid Pink album from the bargain section of the local record store. It was called “All Pink Inside”. I wasn’t familiar with the band, but since I had recently turned twelve and was beginning to pay attention to guy talk, I was aware of the sexual innuendo of the album’s title. That was enough for me to put up the required buck twenty-five and take it home for a spin on the turntable. Overall, it was an okay album with a few decent tunes, one of which really caught my ear titled “(There Ain’t No) Rock And Roll In China”.
The opening lyrics intrigued me: “I heard there ain’t no rock and roll in China, I heard there ain’t no music in the air.” Why was this I wondered? What was going on over there? Had it always been this way? In hindsight I can only assume that since the song was released (and presumably written) in the early 1970s that it was some sort of three-chord reaction to news reports about the ongoing Cultural Revolution. Purely speculation on my part; to the best of my knowledge Frigid Pink was never a political band, but inspiration comes from all corners to songwriters, including the evening news.
Whatever the origin of the song, it struck me as sad indeed that they had no rock-n-roll in China. While my friends were feeling guilty that they didn’t finish their dinner after being reminded by their parents about all the “starving children in China who would love to finish that plate”, I was distraught because those malnourished twelve year-olds were being deprived of 1970s Album Oriented Rock. No KISS, Black Sabbath or Aerosmith. For the love of all that is holy, they hadn’t even gotten the “Led out”. I wanted to do something to help. I started to learn the guitar in the hope that one day I could make my way to the Orient and bring the all-mighty gift of rock-n-roll to the masses. Unfortunately things like school, no money and being twelve blocked my rockin’ path to the streets of Beijing and Shanghai.
Well time has passed and as we all know much has changed in the Far East. Western music, including rock and roll, is not only prevalent in China it’s very popular. Guitars and drums are common and millions are groovin’ to jammin’ beats. Betcha a substantial portion of the population has even gotten the “Led out”.
So when the Angry Neighbors and I were chosen to represent American Rock at the 2016 International Folk Arts Festival in Xining and Baoji China I was ecstatic. First, it was a great honor that the band and I take very seriously. If there is one thing we know about our home country, it’s this: the U.S. has created the greatest genre of music ever: rock and roll! It’s as American as baseball, mom and apple pie. We all grew up loving it and are passionate about playing it. Don’t worry America, your most treasured export is in good hands with us. We will represent. We will rock China’s socks off! Second, I have admit that I feel a sense of destiny in heading off to China with an electric guitar in my hand. If only my twelve year-old self could see me now! I may not be introducing rock and roll to the Chinese people, but I will be playing it loud and proud, as it is meant to be.
We’ll be playing at the Qinghai Grand Theatre and several other venues and stages in Xining from August 8th to August 12th and several venues and stages in Baoji from August 15th to August 17th. If you happen to be in either city, do come out to a show and definitely say hello.
Rock like you know you should, Randy
“To Risa + Paul, Kenny White, 11-15-13”.
That’s what it said on the front cover of the used CD that I had just ordered via mail. I hadn’t listened to one song and already I was depressed in that special twisted depression that only songwriters feel. Lucky us…
A month earlier I had been in New York City and took in a Peter Wolf concert at the Bowery Ballroom. Great show, with Wolf and his band turning in a fine performance; enough that I even bought a concert tee (something that I rarely do). Adding to the great night was the opening act, a guy I never heard of, Kenny White. He was a New York singer-songwriter who was also filling in on keyboards in Wolf’s band. Apparently the headliner thought enough of White to let him open the show with a 30-minute set.
I was glad I was there, because I was blown away. Kenny White was a fabulous pianist, solid showman and above all a great songwriter. He played about 5 tunes, each one colorful, poignant and absorbing. A couple of them made me wish I had wrote them. I was impressed with his insightful lyrics and catchy melodies. So much that I grabbed my I-phone, found his CDs for sale on line (new and used) and ordered a couple. When I returned home to California they were waiting for me in the mailbox.
The first package I opened contained White’s “Comfort In The Static” album, which disclosed the personal note and autograph I mentioned at the beginning of this lament. I was confused, then depressed and then a mixture of confused depression.
First I wondered, who were Risa and Paul? Okay, they, or at least one of them, thought enough of White’s music to purchase one of his CDs and petition him for an autograph. I can only assume that this happened at a merch table following a show, where the artist sits and glad-hands with various fans and weirdos pretending to be happy to meet them, while actually hoping to meet groupies or talent scouts that just so happen to have caught the show. Were Risa and Paul a longtime couple? First date? Music lovers? Bored, stranded yuppies who just wandered in when they couldn’t find a taxi?
Then I thought, what the hell happened that caused Risa, Paul or both to want to sell a CD that they obviously spent at least a mild amount of effort in obtaining? Did they take it home, put it on and then were disappointed? Did one of them pass away, and that one being the one that actually wanted the CD in the first place, and the other deciding to get rid of all old memories? Did they break up and the one that ended up with the CD decide to move on emotionally by dumping all their “couple shit”? Did they both drop dead and leave their CD collection to their ungrateful kids who sold everything on the internet? I guess I’ll never know.
But I do know this, the music on the CD is great. It has some really fine songs that are touching and well preformed. It’s really a minor treasure of a collection that I will hang on to for the rest of my days. I also know that who ever sold it didn’t make a profit, I bought it used for $2.99 (sorry Kenny—I know ouch!).
So the saddened songwriter in me has to ask: If a CD containing songs of such quality can meet such a bargain-basement fate, what hope is there for the rest of us?
Randy, July 2016
Check out this sweet review of Randy's newest album "Overdose" at Music Street Journal: http://www.musicstreetjournal.com/index_cdreviews_display.cfm?id=105299
Exciting news! Randy has been featured in this month's Music Emssions. You can check out both the feature and a review of the new album "Overdose" at the links below.
Set your DVRs! That's right Randy Hansen and the Angry Neighbors are making their television debut. They'll be playing at the West Coast Songwriters Association (WCSA) Songwriters Showcase in Palo Alto, CA this Friday, November 13th at 7:30PM. The show will be broadcast live on local television in the San Francisco, CA Bay Area on Comcast Channel 75 and on AT&T Universe Channel 99. For those of you outside of the Bay Area you can also watch the event via live while its steaming at midpenmedia.org/stream (choose 75).
Check the band out and let them know how what you thought of the performance.
At long last the highly-anticpated Angry Neighbors album "The Strangest Places" is set to be released. Join the band as we celebrate this achievement in style on Sunday, Sept 28th at Number One Broadway in Los Gatos, CA. The show starts at 6PM. Guitars will be smashed, drums will be exploded, virgins will be sacrificed and bootys will shake! All this and free appetizers too! Number One Broadway is located at 102 S. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos.
Wow, I am psyched to announce that I have reached 1000 fans on Radio Airplay. This site is an internet radio service like Pandora where people from all over the world listen to their favorite bands, and are exposed to new music (like yours truly) from similar artists. I am truly overwhelmed to know that 1000 people from around the world have been moved to hit that “like” button and became a fan when they heard one of my songs.