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MP3 Junkyard Todd - Diary of a Mad Cow

Former Surfdog/Hollywood Records swingster guitarist goes solo - Indie rock pop punk with goth Elvis-ish vocals. Raw fun.

10 MP3 Songs
POP: Beatles-pop, ROCK: Progressive Rock

Former lead guitarist of Hollywood Records/Surfdog Records recording act Alien Fashion Show, a swing group that often toured with Brian Setzer Orchestra, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Royal Crowne Review at the height of the swing craze during 1997-2000. While he enjoyed his time as a touring professional, his love of indie rock was not being nurtured. He left AFS in December 1999 to pursue his solo works and relocated to Cleveland with his wife and daughter.

In his home recording studio, he began work on ''Diary of a Mad Cow'', a mix of works that had been rattling around in his brain for quite some time. The result was a pop/punk indie rock hybrid, which shows his eclectic sense of humor.

***important note***

This is the record which I refer to as ''an unlistenable mess'' in the description of ''Wizard of Northland''. Do not buy this CD unless you like weird, noisy, distorted music.

His wife, Judyth, a music industry veteran for 20+ years became his manager. They decided that the best way to reach his audience was to start on the internet.

Todd was born Todd Blakemore Thurman in Seattle Washington. After playing bass in many local bands, he relocated in 1987 to Los Angeles at the height of the Glam Metal Scene (holy crap!!) to pursue shallow rock stardom, and skateboard in empty pools. He met Judyth, the woman who would become his wife at a Buddhist meeting in 1988; they married in June of 1989.
Red Heaven, his band at the time was ''discovered (and then discarded) by Gene Simmons. They dressed in strange women''s clothing, scared the hell out of kids in Salt Lake City, and played author Anne Rice''s Halloween party in New Orleans every October for 5 years.

Red Heaven was a gothic rock band with an allure of haunting ballads and mystic fire. Tired of playing (and losing) the Big Rock Game in Los Angeles, the band dissolved in 1996. Todd switched to guitar, and formed Alien Fashion Show with Jeff and Eldon from Red Heaven, as well as Kenji Saito on keys, and Jeff Allen on stand-up bass.

AFS was a crazy, drunken lounge swing act, and in post-''Swingers'' L.A., the band quickly attracted a large following of hip, with-it alcoholics, and started selling out shows in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Francisco.

Through a brilliant combination of luck and nepotism, the band landed gig''s opening for the Brian Setzer Orchestra at The Greek in L.A., and the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. Soon, they were signed to Surfdog records (run by Setzer''s manager), and recorded their amazing debut album with Jim Wirt (Incubus, Fiona Apple) at the desk.
(seriously, it''s a great record... out of print, but you may be able to find it on EBAY)
The next two years were a blur of touring, broken up by frequent, strange and amazing gigs, such as being the house band on the Rupaul Show, playing at California Governor Gray Davis'' inaugural ball, playing Gene Simmons'' 50th birthday bash in a Beverly Hills strip club, and the Brittania awards show for John Travolta.

While Todd enjoyed his tenure with the band, the recording, gigs and touring constantly took him away from his newborn baby girl Genna, and wife Judyth. Like many musicians who know touring - the fun went out of it. (read between the lines: he was ready to strangle every f**king one of them) Reality hit home when Judyth''s Dad (Jack) was diagnosed with cancer in July of 1999, and they relocated to Cleveland to take care of him. Todd sequestered himself in his own studio to work on his solo album, Diary of a Mad Cow.

Jack ended his battle with cancer October 26th, 2000. Todd dedicated "She says Hello," a gentle tribute to his father in law, who lost his wife Helen in 1993 and never got over it. It is about grief, loss, and ultimately, reunion. Many of the songs show Todd''s humor, opinions and love of life. From the Rocky Horror-esque gothic romp "Let''s Go To The Cemetery," to the comic book punk of "The Legend of Junkyard Todd," and the tear jerking "Light of Mercy"- Diary of a Mad Cow shines in power punk/pop with indie rock influence.

Swing fans may be surprised at the difference in style from Todd''s AFS days. "I''d love it if the swing fans would dance to ''Diary of a Mad Cow''," laughs Todd, "but they may have to alter their steps a bit!"

Todd resides in a western suburb of Cleveland Ohio with wife/manager Judyth, their 3 1/2 year old daughter Genna, and Baby Auroura-set for her "debut" November 5th 2001. He adores harassing jocks on college radio, mountain biking, Sonic Youth, Guided by Voices, Bob Mould, and winning arguments.

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