First things first. Miranda Lee Richards is my favorite musician and songwriter.  I can still remember the first time that I saw her perform: Monday – June 2, 2003 at The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, CA.  This was long before they expanded that place into the spacious venue that it is today.  I know for a fact that it was on that exact date because this is the performance that made me start my live music log book.  It’s the first entry.  My life was permanently changed on that night.  Miranda is the most complete musical artist that I have ever encountered and no one will ever surpass her.  The amazing thing is that it only took me 5 minutes to figure that out.    

OK, enough with the crazy fan talk.  Let’s get to the business at hand.  I’m starting to sound unprofessional.  It’s all true though.

On Wednesday, August 13, 2008, I went see Miranda perform with her electric band at the Three of Clubs Bar on Vine St. (@ Santa Monica Blvd.) in Hollywood.  The Three of Clubs is an extremely dark bar with a separate cabaret-esque performance area that has a low stage and some small tables with chairs.  A very intimate setting.  It got really packed in there and, as usual, a bunch of patrons sat on the lower steps in front of the stage, so they wouldn’t obstruct anyone’s view during her set.  This performance gave Miranda a chance to give her band a good workout in front some very important people, namely her record label.

Miranda’s second record is called “Light Of X” and it will be released by Nettwerk Records in early-2009.  “Light Of X” is a wonderful progression from her stellar debut, “The Herethereafter” (2001 – Virgin) and I’ve been listening to it incessently for quite some time now.  I can’t say enough positive things about Miranda’s forthcoming record, so let me just say this: If you loved “The Herethereafter,” you will love “Light Of X” even more.  If you don’t have her first record, “Light Of X” will be an excellent and rewarding place to start.  Comprende?  You will all know what I mean when it’s released.  The CD artwork was recently completed and it possesses the same artistic individuality and beauty as her debut (See below.) 

Miranda Lee Richards - "Light Of X" Cover (Nettwerk) (Click to enlarge)

Miranda Lee Richards - "Light Of X" Cover (Nettwerk) (Click to enlarge)

Miranda was fabulous at the Three Of Clubs, by the way.  That’s always to be expected, though.  She switched from her trusty black Gibson “Elvis Model” Dove acoustic guitar to her electric keyboard for particular songs and displayed that her voice is her greatest asset.  I can literally listen to that singing voice all day and often do.  I am very anxious and excited for her to get started on the promotion and publicity for  “Light Of X” and hit the road with a giant bang upon its release.  It’s been a long time coming for her and I know that she’s looking forward to touring and performing.  I have a feeling that she’s gonna do very well with this new record.  Actually, I know she will. 

This is Miranda and me after her performance at the Three Of Clubs.  She and I have become close friends over the years and that dynamic only adds to the quality and appeal of her music.  She’s the best!!!  You will definitely hear more about Miranda on this blog.  That’s a promise. 

Chris Cormier With Miranda Lee Richards (Self-taken with the Blackberry.)

Chris Cormier With Miranda Lee Richards (Self-taken with the Blackberry.)

Oh…before I forget.  I made some t-shirts for Miranda and I know that she’s gonna have them for sale on her website and at shows in the near future.  My friend Victor is sporting one of them in the photo below.  He calls it his “favorite t-shirt” and Victor doesn’t lie.  That logo is timeless, in my opinion.

The MLR T-Shirt.  If Victor gives it a "thumbs up," you know it's awesome.

The MLR T-Shirt. If Victor gives it a "thumbs up," you know it's high quality.

Yours truly,

Chris Cormier

Boston’s Muck And The Mires made a very special trip to Southern California recently in order to perform at Bar Pink Elephant in San Diego on 8/8/08 and then at the “Mondo Hollywood Garage Band ” Festival at Knitting Factory in Hollywood on 8/9/08.  For those of you who are not familiar with Muck and enjoy early Beatles-styled songs with some “oompf,” it is imperative that you know about this band RIGHT NOW!!!  If you have a chance to see them play live, DO NOT MISS IT!!!  I’ve been a fan and supporter of Muck And The Mires since the beginning and it was my pleasure to have attended both shows and spend some quality time with the guys…and girl.  Oh yeah…their drummer is a woman…and she is one of the best drummers I have ever witnessed.  She’s THAT good.  I’ve dubbed her the “Joan Jett of the drums.”

Muck And The Mires documented their trip out West and made a little video diary for your viewing pleasure.  Check out the YouTube footage below.  You will see legendary music man Kim Fowley, Bruce Wayne’s office and West Hollywood landmark, Barney’s Beanery.  It’s great when musicians are cinematic geniuses too.   

In the very early days, Muck And The Mires would pretend to be from Canada, say “Ay” between songs and play Beatles “Cavern Club” styled music, but with way more hooks.  Over the next couple of years, they refined their sound and gained noteriety around the Northeast.  After winning Little Steven’s Best Garage Band contest in 2004, they were catapulted into the upper stratosphere of Garageband Land and that’s the where they’ve been ever since…and deservedly so.

BUT…I want to make it abundantly clear that Muck And The Mires are so much more than just a “Garage Band.”  Songwriter Evan Shore (AKA “Joey Muccarino” or “Muck”) is one of the foremost authorities on Sixties music and, in particular, the classic songwriting style that was introduced by The Beatles.  The Music Theorist in me forces me to describe Evan as a “great practitioner of functional harmony in the ‘Pop’ music sense,” which is a huge compliment in my book.  Evan’s craftmanship has made him one of my favorite songwriters.

Bar Pink Elephant Show: Friday – August 8, 2008 (San Diego)

This was a great night for Muck And The Mires.  It was their first live date in San Diego and their performance was nothing less than a professional stage show that knocked everyone’s socks off.  I filmed the entire set with Evan Shore’s digital video camera, so let’s hope that they post the footage in its entirety very soon (they used a couple of snippets in the YouTube footage above.)  There is no immune system that can withstand the infectious sound of this band in the live setting…it’s undeniable.   

“Mondo Hollywood Garage Band” Festival: Saturday – August 9, 2008 (Hollywood)

This 2-day “festival” turned out to be a debacle for the promoters (I’m positive about that,) but I am very happy to report that Muck And The Mires were the best band on the Saturday bill, turning in another energetic and polished set that made almost everyone shake a little, including this blogger.  Sure…Mary Weiss, the legendary lead vocalist from The Shangri-Las, was on the bill, playing LA for the first time, and so was Magic Christian, a garage band supergroup of sorts, consisting of Cyril Jordan (Flamin’ Groovies,) Clem Burke (Blondie,) and Eddie Munoz (The Plimsouls,) but neither couldn’t compete with Muck’s stage show on this night.  Kim Fowley was the Emcee and his zany musical descriptions are always fun to hear.

Speaking of Kim Fowley, he co-produced Muck And The Mires’ latest full-length effort, called “Hypnotic,” along with Maria Baglien  The record has not been released yet, but I managed to get my hands on a copy a while back.  I like it a lot…really, A LOT.     

Now…Go get yourself all mucked up.

Yours truly,

Chris Cormier