Endless Summer – BESTMAN Invigorates Nostalgic Synth-Pop Senses on New ‘August’ Single

BESTMAN’s Greg Gaffud, Jay Spiwak, Adam Bonich and Brian Clouthier. Photo – Jay Spiwak

BESTMAN instantly creates the perfect summer adrenaline rush.

The Chicago synth-pop quartet immediately invigorates the nostalgic senses on their shimmering ‘80s-fueled new single, “August,” which dropped May 29 via all streaming platforms.

“I’ve always wanted to write a song for Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. That’s my equivalent to Pacific Coast Highway or Route 66 – my Don Henley ode. I really wanted that song to feel the energy and excitement about possibilities. I always picture it as windows down on the way to see your lover. A lot to look forward to, and a hint of sexiness,” said Brian Clouthier, BESTMAN’s vocalist, guitarist and synthesist.

Clouthier and his BESTMAN bandmates Jay Spiwak (synths), Greg Gaffud (synths) and Adam Bonich (drums) beautifully capture the sonic essence of a humid Midwest ‘August’ night as pounding electronic drums, glistening, echoey synths and swirling electric guitar solos transport listeners to summer 1985.

Imagine speeding along in a convertible with your first love toward Lake Michigan as Clouthier sings, “You were dancing in my head/Since the night down on the west side/And I picture you in bed/How the light would touch your body/And you wanna see the beach when there’s time before the sunset.” It’s the ideal track to put on a mixtape between Henley’s “The Boys of Summer” and Phil Collins’ “Sussudio.”

“The song itself had been in the repertoire for a few years actually. It took me a while to get the recorded sounds where I wanted them. I do all my recording in my home studio, and ‘August’ was the type of song that initially came together quickly, but took a while to find the finishing touches,” Clouthier said.

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Genesis Revisited – Steve Hackett Brings ‘Selling England by the Pound,’ Solo Gems to 20 Monroe Live Thursday

Steve Hackett will perform Genesis and solo classics at 20 Monroe Live Thursday in Grand Rapids.

Steve Hackett will breathe new life into a beloved Genesis album Thursday in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The legendary former Genesis guitarist will perform the band’s 1973 prog rock classic, “Selling England by the Pound,” in its entirety at 20 Monroe Live, a 2,600-seat music venue located in the heart of Furniture City.

“It happens to be my favorite Genesis album. That setting was 1973, and just as we were leaving New York desperately trying to find a gig anywhere else in the States, we heard that John Lennon gave an interview and said Genesis was one of the bands he was listening to, so I assumed he liked that album at the time, and we were all very proud of it,” said Hackett, who performed with Genesis from 1971-1977.

“I get to do it again in its entirety, which wasn’t possible with the technology we had back in the day, plus an extra track included like a deleted scene. Something that Peter Gabriel introduced to the band as an unfinished song. I finished it years later with his blessing, and we shared credits on it.”

That “deleted scene” of a song is “Déjà Vu,” a quiet, emotional track filled with deep synths, exquisite classical guitar strums and a haunting extended electric guitar solo. This time, Hackett will perform it live with singer-songwriter and musician Nad Sylvan, keyboardist Roger King, bassist Jonas Reingold, saxophonist/flautist Rob Townsend and drummer Craig Blundell.

Together, the prog rock sextet is embarking on a 27-date North American “Genesis Revisited” tour through Oct. 20 and playing eight other influential tracks from “Pound” as well as highlights from Hackett’s popular 1979 album, “Spectral Mornings,” and his latest release, “At the Edge of Light.”

The band previously performed a series of “Genesis Revisited” tour dates in 18 countries in seven weeks and will head back to Europe and the U.S. as well as Australia and New Zealand next year. Their next Michigan date will take place March 4 at The Fillmore Detroit.

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Alive and Well — Phil Collins Proves He’s ‘Not Dead Yet’ at London’s Royal Albert Hall

Phil Collins performs his third sold-out show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on June 7.
Phil Collins calmly hobbled on stage amidst a chorus of welcoming cheers from 5,200 ecstatic fans at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The former Genesis frontman and Grammy-winning pop balladeer performed his third sold-out “Not Dead Yet Live” show at the iconic 146-year-old concert hall on June 7.

Collins kicked off the 2.5-hour show with the No. 1 power ballad “Against All Odds” from 1984. Fans erupted with thunderous applause and a collective call of joy in response to the Collins classic.

“I know I said that I wouldn’t do this again, but the truth is that I missed you,” he said. “You won’t be seeing too much dancing from me tonight. Thank God! I had a back operation, leg’s f**ked, but we’re here, right?”

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‘Your Own Special Way’ – Genesis Ballad Brings Sense of Personal Triumph, Renewal

Welcome back, Phil.

I quickly glanced down at my phone to scour the daily music headlines on Facebook Wednesday morning. I came across a Rolling Stone article, “Phil Collins Plotting Comeback: ‘I Am No Longer Retired.’”

Instantly, my jaw dropped when I read the headline. I did a double take. Was it true? Or, am I just reading this in my exhausted work haze?

No, it was true. I quickly scanned the article, and saw his quote in Rolling Stone, “The horse is out of the stable, and I’m raring to go.”

Phil, I’m there to hold the door open when you’re ready to prance back into the music scene. I’ll be in line with thousands of fans worldwide who are eager for your comeback.

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