Boston music news - June 16, 2006

Notes on Bebe Buell and Bleu
By SARAH TOMLINSON  |  June 14, 2006

GO WEST, YOUNG MAN: Bleu going Hollywood
Iconic rock groupie BEBE BUELL, who’s been romantically linked to everyone from Elvis Costello to Todd Rundgren but is known best in these parts as the mother of Steven Tyler’s most famous daughter, Liv, has tapped the RUDDS to be her backing band for her birthday-party show in New York City next month. While they’re at it, Buell and the Rudds will also play her first Boston show in more than 25 years, at the Middle East downstairs on July 22. Dubbed Bebe Buell and her Beantown Babies, the line-up has Buell’s current husband (and Das Damen’s former frontman), Jim Wallerstein, on guitar. They’ve started rehearsing a set that features cover songs Buell recorded with producer Rick Ocasek in the mid ’80s for her Cover Girl EP; highlights include Johnny Thunders’ “(She’s So) Untouchable” and Iggy Pop’s “Funtime.” The Rudds will also play an opening set earlier in the evening. “We’re pretty excited, ’cuz she’s one of the world’s most famous groupies with great taste in rock, and [Rudds’ frontman] John [Powhida] is extra excited ’cuz this is as close to Todd Rundgren as he might ever get,” says Rudds guitarist Tony Goddess. The Rudds are also a part of BLEU’s farewell shindig June 16 at the Paradise — the singer-songwriter is relocating to Los Angeles in August. That line-up includes Bleu’s Get Up Choir, the Everyday Visuals, and Bang Camaro. While he packs, Bleu is talking to labels about a fall release for Alpacas Orgling, the tribute to Electric Light Orchestra’s Jeff Lynne that’s been four years in the making. Bleu co-wrote and co-produced the album’s Lynne-influenced power-pop nuggets and recorded them with a star-studded ensemble he’s dubbed L.E.O.; contributors include Paula Kelley, Hanson, Jason Scheff (Chicago), Steve Gorman (Black Crowes), Andy Sturmer (Jellyfish), and Tony Goddess. “A bunch of people who are fans of his music came together to do this record,” says Bleu. “And I think, when you hear it, if you are an ELO or a Jeff Lynnefan, you would immediately recognize all of the references. But if you’re not, I think you could very much enjoy the record on its own merits.”

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