Pezband
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Pezband

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
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Jun
24
Pezband @ Reggie's Music Joint

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jun
23
Pezband @ Naper Settlement- 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, IL 60540

Naperville, Illinois, USA

Naperville, Illinois, USA

Jun
10
Pezband @ Chicago Street Theater

Valparaiso, Indiana, USA

Valparaiso, Indiana, USA

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Written: Jan 29 '12

Pros:Guitar work is second to none.
Cons:None.
The Bottom Line: Betinis’ self-proclaimed power-pop is for music lovers who are seeking out an album that musically can resonate with the listener on so many levels

Mimi Betinis is perhaps best known for being the creative force behind the band Pezband. Betinis brings an impressive uniqueness to his music and calls the genre “power pop.” There is certainly a good focus paid to the power side of things as the guitar work that Betinis brings to his albums is absolutely amazing. The vocals and lyrics do indeed bring a pop sort of feeling to the music but what really stands out is the dynamic punch that Betinis infuses into his music thanks to his skillful guitar work.

Betinis has branched out and released a solo album called All that Glitters and the album is textbook musical quality that is both enjoyable to listen to and about as skilled as one can hope for on an album. When you listen to the album you almost feel as though you are a student of music being taught a lesson about what music is supposed to be. It becomes evident that what glitters on this album is just about each and every track.

Come on Down to My House is one of the highlights on the album as there is the perfect matching of vocals to guitar play and at times Betinis leaves the vocals off to the side while he busts out some fiercely played guitar notes. There is a danceable nature present on this track and even though I was listening to this track for the first time while driving, I was almost moved to pull over and bust a move on the side of the highway.

The single released from this album is Love Is Just a Thin Veneer and the selection was probably a really good one. Smacked right on the first track of the album, this track is sort of the quintessential Betinis track complete with a pop-filled sound that at times sort of comes across like a modern track from The Beatles. The music changes pace throughout the track but remains focused on ensuring that all of the sounds come together in a symbiotic sort of way. Even though there is some good variation of sounds on the track, the track is cohesively wrapped together nicely.

Snoop Dogg asked “What’s my name” and Snoop he is not but Betinis’ track What’s Your Name is an excellent track consistent with the rest of the album and the rifts on this track are some of the best. There is an impressive infusion of some female background singers into this track and you can almost envision singing at the front of the stage with the background ladies behind him singing into oversized microphones from a musical period in the past. This track has a sort of blues bar feel to it and Betinis proves that his music is not one-dimensional yet he is still able to have a great fusion of vocals and musical instrumentation on each track.

Track Listing:
Love Is Just a Thin Veneer
Come on Down to My House
Blue Sky
Romance Me
Walk With Me
Summer Rain
Say the Word
What’s Your Name
Every Little Thing
Across the Universe

Mimi Betinis is not a musician that is going to be heard on Ryan Seacrest’s weekly radio show anytime soon, and that is a good thing. His music is too good for those charts. Betinis’ self-proclaimed power-pop is for music lovers who are seeking out an album that musically can resonate with the listener on so many levels. The pure brilliance of the musical instrumentation is enough to make you want to keep coming back for more.

All That Glitters is produced by Stan Skora and is a self-released album.

For more information on Mimi Betinis, check out his website at http://www.mimibetinis.com/.

Recommended: Yes - Epinions


Sunday, June 12, 2011
Song of the day: Mimi Betinis - "Love Is Just A Thin Veneer"

I was contacted by an American chap by the name of Mimi Betinis who used to be in a power pop band called Pezband and has recently released a solo album after not releasing anything for the last, er, couple of decades.

(Terrible admission: Such is my love of puns that throughout this post I've constantly been resisting the urge to call this gentleman "Mini Bikinis". Sorry, Mimi, for even thinking that.)

The album is called All That Glitters. Mimi may be self-deprecating here, implying that his songs aren't gold. If they're not, then I'd say his songs are at least silver, or bronze.

Actually, I'll let you decide. Here are a couple of songs from the album:

Mimi Betinis - "Love Is Just A Thin Veneer" (2011)

Link


Mimi Betinis - "Blue Sky" (2011)

Link

If "Blue Sky" was a little too polite for you, here's something dirtier:

Mimi Betinis - "Come On Down To My House" (2011)

Link

Oops. I know three songs isn't "a couple", but I enjoyed them and wanted you to hear that there's a bit of variety to Mimi's songs.

Incidentally, instead of using the album cover at the top of this post, I was originally going to go with a photo of Mimi. I decided against it, not because of his appearance but because of how he's positioned in the photo:


To me, Mimi looks as if he's trapped in between two buildings, or trying to stand in the smallest alleyway imaginable. Either way, Mimi doesn't look terribly comfortable.

But you didn't come here to look at photos. It's all about the music, baby. And I think Mimi's music is more than alright. (You can't argue with catchy songs.)

And I'm very glad that I didn't call Mimi "Mini Bikinis" once in this post. - Peter's Power Pop


Mimi Betinis and The Test Dream
Written on March 14, 2011 by powerpopaholic in Highly Recommended by Powerpopaholic

Mimi Betinis “All That Glitters”
As the driving force behind Chicago’s pioneering power-pop group, Pezband in the 70's – Mimi Betinis offers up his first solo album. “All That Glitters” features classic guitar heavy gems like the opener “Love Is Just A Thin Veneer.” Betinis sounds great and his rhythms and structures are more eclectic and fine tuned than ever.

“Come On Down To My House” is a funky rock treat that almost flirts with hip hop.The production is very dense and layered with multiple guitar lines and beats. Stylistically it goes everywhere as “Blue Sky” has a catchy melody complemented by Chuck Soumar and Dave Stalhberg’s horn bursts. Another winner is the Beatlesque “Romance Me” with Rickenbacker licks and poetic lyrics. It gets a bit difficult to keep the pace past the album’s second half, although the Lennon-like “What’s Your Name” is welcoming diversion. Fans of classic rock and Pezband will want this one for sure. - Powerpopaholic


Monday, March 7, 2011
CD Review: Mimi Betinis - All That Glitters

Singer-guitarist Mimi Betinis burst onto the power pop scene in 1977 via the Chicago-based Pezband’s impressive self-titled debut. He had replaced Cliff Johnson, but the two vocalists would later join forces in Black And Blonde, which then morphed into a latter-day version of Off Broadway in 1997. Like Johnson, Betinis has a classic rock and roll voice and a knack for composing irresistible melodies.


All That Glitters, released in late 2010, is a solo outing that finds Betinis primarily working in a power pop vein that recalls Pezband gems like “Please Be Somewhere Tonight” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” He makes an immediate impression with the cautionary “Love Is Just A Thin Veneer,” a guitar-driven song that questions the validity of romantic relationships, and also scores with the melodic rock of “Romance Me” and “Every Little Thing.” “Come On Down To My House” is a funky bit of pole dance rock song with sensual imagery, while “Blue Sky” offers a tropical fantasy that features Ides Of March Horns players Chuck Soumar and Dave Stalhberg.


There are more ambitious tracks on All That Glitters as well. With help from back-up vocalist Carla Hassett, cellist Arie Levy, violinist Stephanie Lee, and arranger Stan Skora, Betinis creates well-crafted tunes like “Say The Word” and “What’s Your Name” that adroitly blend elements of pop and classical music. “Summer Rain” is an instrumental waltz, and Betinis also includes an inventive take on John Lennon’s “Across The Universe.” - Broken Hearted Toy


Cover Story


By Bill Paige

The explosive collage adorning the cover of Mimi Betinis' new January 18 release, All That Glitters, may or may not reflect the songwriter's current state of mind. If so, one might say he is feeling golden, and a little fantastical as well. Designed by Betinis, who for the last two decades has taught art in the Chicago Public Schools, the cover fuses dozens of disparate images and forms with no obvious connection in a rich visual panorama that ultimately mirrors the music's controlled chaos.

Listen While You Read Featured Song: "Love Is Just a Thin Veneer"

Besides this album version, "Love Is a Thin Veneer" appears as a bonus "Wood Mix" at the end of All That Glitters.



"We recorded the album all over the place," laughs Betinis, "the way so much music is done today. It's crazy. People find you on facebook, and if they like what you're doing, they get in touch and say, 'Let me know if I can do anything for you.' That's how Carla Hassett, an amazing Brazilian vocalist who has worked with Sergio Mendes and REO Speedwagon, and Doug Brush, a world-renowned percussionist from New Zealand, wound up on 'Blue Sky'." The track—about a memorable evening Betinis and wife Nydia spent on the balcony of a room at the Marriott in San Juan, Puerto Rico—also features a cello and violin arrangement, Betinis on the five-string vihuela, and Chuck Soumar and Dave Stahlberg of the Ides of March on trumpet and trombone, respectively. In a nod to Betinis' local pedigree, Richard Milne gave the tune a spin on WXRT-FM's "Local Anesthetic" program. And while "Blue Sky" flaunts an obvious international flavor some power pop purists would likely place outside of tradition, Betinis respectfully rejects the tightening bonds of musical hegemony.
All That Glitters

"When I did this collage two years it was called Bright Shiny Objects. Soon after that Mick and I wrote a song called "All That Glitters" (which might be on the next album) so I decided to
change the whole thing and name the art and album together."

—Mimi Betinis


"I've got an enormous instrument collection and always look for opportunities to bring out something different," he says. "Look at the Beatles—they would do anything to get across a sound, to make it more colorful. George's introduction of the sitar . . . a glockenspiel . . . Mal Evans played an anvil on 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer.' "

Few songs on All That Glitters, in fact, could easily be slotted into the power pop category, thanks in large part to the creative contributions of producer Stan Skora. Betinis is a mature artist, and with a backlog of more than 40 songs written since his short-lived reunion with Pezband in 2005, Skora was able to define the album's song selection and direction. Many of the songs,

in fact, closely identify with another musical hyphenate—orchestral pop—used to describe the theatrical and multi-textural sounds of artists including Sufjan Stevens and Architecture in Helsinki. One song that gets both treatments —a ringing anthem and a bonus "wood mix"—is "Love is Just a Thin Veneer." As a writer, Betinis is undeniably influenced by past relationships with women ("Come On Down To My House," "Romance Me"), but "Veneer" has its roots in a decidedly unconventional conversation with his father.

"My father and I were talking about evolution and he said, 'Nature doesn't care how you reproduce, just as long as it's done.' And that's it. God created love for us, simply to reproduce the species. But just because it's a means to an end, and "kisses all just disappear," doesn't mean it isn't romantic for us. Humans are gifted with an intellect that allows us to enjoy it on so many other levels."

Even Betinis' romantic songs suffer bitter streaks, however.
Mimi Live

Mimi Betinis performs a few songs at Val's Halla record store in Oak Park with All That Glitters musicians (from left) Carlo Iaccino and Chris Massa, plus Betinis and guitar ringer Ned Babb. (Photo by Dav Ero/www.onemodelplace.com (other member) # 76550)

" 'Come On Down To My House' in an old song," he says. "I wrote that 20 years ago about a girl that I wanted to visit my apartment in Oak Park. The original version was very bluesy, with a really strong pop chorus. The line "like a snake without a head" is just pure testosterone; if you don't see a head, everything is tail. At the same time, what happened in 'Romance Me' was exactly the opposite of what I was wishing would happen. A good little pop number born of frustration."

When it comes to influencing her husband's music Nydia doesn't really mind those long-distant escapades, or their memories. (Betinis recently has written several new songs, including "Blue Eyes and Bangs," about past relationships.) The couple has been together for a very long time and are successfully raising four-year-old twins (a boy and a girl), as well as a seven-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter. Inspiration for songs - Rocking America


Posted 19 Mar 2011 in 10s, Albums of 2011, Albums of the 10s, Indie Pop, Power Pop, Rock + Roll

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#319 in the Series) is Mimi Betinis, All That Glitters.

Mimi Betinis, All That Glitters was released on Feb 11th, 2011. (If I ever use the term “dropped, “please shoot me!) I know we’re only in the 1st quarter of the year but as of today, this is my favorite album of the year. There’s a real good chance that it’s not going to be topped either.

Mimi (short for Demetrios) is the former leader of the Chicago area band “Pezband.” Pezband was called a power pop act. Here’s what you probably did not know. They were the first band to be referred to as being a power pop act. It was a term that their label’s PR department created. The term is now a radio and industry standard.

Mimi Betinis

This album continues on the promise that Pezband delivered, and then some. Yes, you can hear a heavy dose of Beatles influence. It’s not like we haven’t said that in the past for many, many artists. Here, Mimi pays homage to his Beatles influence without trying to duplicate the Beatles sound. I can also hear more than a touch of Nick Lowe coming thru as well. Again, another artist that resides on my favorites list!

What amazes me here are one, the song writing, two the performance and three, the production. Let’s talk about that third item first. I’d love to know how long Mimi and producer Stan Skora spent on this project! There are so many sounds and layers being thrown at you. A harmony out of one direction and another “sound “from another. It all adds up to such a wonderful listening experience.

The first track is also the first single, “Love is Just a Thin Veneer.” I’ve included the video below. This is a fine representation of what you’ll find on this album. But not all that you’ll find.

The Second track “Come On Down to My House” is one that leans heavily on those layers that I’ve mentioned earlier. I’d call this the most quirky track on the album. I love the fact that they put it second on the disc. There were other songs that are a little more accessible if they chose the safe way about doing things. This challenges the listener a little more. It also tells you that you really aren’t sure what’s coming next, now do you?

That would be ‘Blue Sky.” This might be my favorite track on the album. The Ides of March horn section of Chuck Soumar and Dave Stalhberg bring this one up a level. As does Carla Hassett’s harmony vocal. Again, the production here is so deep. It’s something that you often don’t get with power pop.

Artwork by Mimi Betinis

“Romance Me” is the song where I can hear some Nick Lowe influence. That is if Nick were still producing tracks like this. Think 70s and 80s Nick Lowe.

“Summer Rain” is a lush instrumental that adds variety to this work. It features many sounds including violin, cello, flute, clarinet, French horn and glockenspiel.

Another song I want to highlight is “Say The Word.” This track is so unique and so strong. It’s tracks like this that separate this album from other great albums. The first half of the song is mostly Mimi singing over tracks of his own voice. The second half builds with some instrumentation along with Carla’s vocals once again.

We also are treated to a nice rendition of John Lennon’s “Across the Universe.” It’s not a copy, but it’s not a complete redoux either. It’s a nice balance between the two.

The album finished with a more acoustic version of “Love is Just a Thin Veneer.”

I don’t know how often you purchase albums just off a review. If you do that just one time in 2011. Make it this one. Get it and play it loudly!! Then come back and tell us if we’re right.

I’ve included a link below to CD Baby. You can purchase the disc there, you can download it there or you can go can just visit to hear samples of the all the songs. You can also hear the album, in it’s entirety, on the ‘Cool Album’ MySpace page!

–Larry Carta
Track Listing

Love Is Just A Thin Veneer 3:41
Come On Down To My House 4:11
Blue Sky 4:27
Romance Me 2:53
Walk With Me 3:19
Summer Rain 3:18
Say the Word 3:28
What’s Your Name? 3:37
Every Little Thing 2:42
Across the Universe 3:52
Love Is Just A Thin Veneer-acoustic version

Personnel

Mimi Betinis – Vocals, Guitars
Carla Hassett – Vocals
Chris Massa – Bass
Carlo Iaccino – Drums, Tamborine
Stephanie Lee – Violin
Ari Levi –Cello
Doug Brush – Percussion
Chuch Soumar + Dave Stahlberg (Ides of March Horns) – Horns
Keli Allsion – Vocals
Dave Bender – Steel Guitar
Rory Bender- Glockedspiel
Samantha Rose – Flute, Clarinet, French Horn
Ned Babb – Guitar

Links

PURCHASE or DOWNLOAD Mimi Betinis, All That Glitters from CD Baby!!!!! Do it!!!!
Official Mimi Betinis Website
Listen to the complete album on the ‘Cool Album” MySpace Page!
See - Cool Album of the Day


MIMI BETINIS - ALL THAT GLITTERS (2010)



















LONG-LOST PEZBAND ALBUM? Click here to order
Review of ALL THAT GLITTERS from Pezband lead singer Mimi Betinis
by Randy Nargi

It's tempting to think of ALL THAT GLITTERS as a long-lost 4th Pezband album... Pezband's RUBBER SOUL or REVOLVER -- thirty years in the making. After all, ALL THAT GLITTERS boasts rich, multi-layered production, inventive songwriting, and the iconic vocals of Pezband's lead singer Mimi Betinis. But while the poppy "Love Is Just a Thin Veneer," (the first track of ALL THAT GLITTERS) may harken back to the skinny tie era -- with its twangy guitars and soaring background vocals, by the time you hit the chorus (arranged with cello and violin), you quickly realize that it's not 1979 anymore and this is not a Pezband record. Which is just fine. In fact, better than fine. What emerges over the course of the next 10 tracks is an artfully-crafted collage of song textures and styles that fit together masterfully -- not unlike the album's cover art (also created by Betinis).

Standout tracks include "Come on Down to My House" (co-written with Pezband drummer Mick Rain) with its wicked swampy guitar licks and an energetic rhythm section featuring Chris Massa (Bass) and Carlo Iaccino (Drums), "Blue Sky" with its refreshingly bare vocals and impossibly hooky melody -- complimented by ska horns by Chuck Soumar and Dave Stalhberg (The Ides of March), and the haunting "Say the Word" featuring acapella vocals with Carla Hassett.

Back in the Pezband era, Betinis was painted as sort of a windy-city Paul McCartney. And it's true that his voice shares the same tone as Macca -- as well as the ability to switch from crooning ballads to raucous rock (as evidenced by Pezband's seminal live performance of "Hippy Hippy Shake" from their Live At Dingwalls EP). But on ALL THAT GLITTERS we're treated to another side of Betinis' voice -- somewhere between John Lennon and Ron Nasty. For proof, check out the hidden gem of the album: a lovingly-crafted symphonic cover of "Across the Universe" -- one of the few Beatles covers that actually surpasses the original.

ALL THAT GLITTERS is great news for Pezband fans, classic rock fans, or anybody who enjoys hand-made music overflowing with melody and texture. But the best news is that Betinis may be making up for lost time. Rumor has it that there is a second album in the works for release next year. Keep 'em coming!

To celebrate the release of the first Mimi Betinis solo album, PPC is sharing both 12" live EP's released in 1978 and 1979. They were ripped from the original 12"but you can order the remastered songs that were included on the japanese editions of "Laughing In The Dark" and "Cover To Cover".

PEZBAND - LIVE 12" EP's (1978-1979)











Two Old Two Soon (Live At Dingwalls 1978) (9-12)
Stop Wait A Minute / Lovesmith / Not Fade Away / Hippy Hippy Shake

The "Two Old Two Soon" 12" EP was produced by Jesse Jackson and bears the mentions on the back of the sleeve "Slam It On Ten" and "Sold For Promotional Use".

30 Seconds Over Schaumburg (Live In Cleveland 1978) (13-17)
Blue Wind & Stroll On / I'm Not Talking / I'm Leaving / Crash & Burn / Close Your Eyes

The "Thirty Seconds Over Schaumburg" 12' EP had one side playing at 45RPM, while the other side was playing at 33 RPM - Power Pop Crominals


MIMI BETINIS - ALL THAT GLITTERS (2010)



















LONG-LOST PEZBAND ALBUM? Click here to order
Review of ALL THAT GLITTERS from Pezband lead singer Mimi Betinis
by Randy Nargi

It's tempting to think of ALL THAT GLITTERS as a long-lost 4th Pezband album... Pezband's RUBBER SOUL or REVOLVER -- thirty years in the making. After all, ALL THAT GLITTERS boasts rich, multi-layered production, inventive songwriting, and the iconic vocals of Pezband's lead singer Mimi Betinis. But while the poppy "Love Is Just a Thin Veneer," (the first track of ALL THAT GLITTERS) may harken back to the skinny tie era -- with its twangy guitars and soaring background vocals, by the time you hit the chorus (arranged with cello and violin), you quickly realize that it's not 1979 anymore and this is not a Pezband record. Which is just fine. In fact, better than fine. What emerges over the course of the next 10 tracks is an artfully-crafted collage of song textures and styles that fit together masterfully -- not unlike the album's cover art (also created by Betinis).

Standout tracks include "Come on Down to My House" (co-written with Pezband drummer Mick Rain) with its wicked swampy guitar licks and an energetic rhythm section featuring Chris Massa (Bass) and Carlo Iaccino (Drums), "Blue Sky" with its refreshingly bare vocals and impossibly hooky melody -- complimented by ska horns by Chuck Soumar and Dave Stalhberg (The Ides of March), and the haunting "Say the Word" featuring acapella vocals with Carla Hassett.

Back in the Pezband era, Betinis was painted as sort of a windy-city Paul McCartney. And it's true that his voice shares the same tone as Macca -- as well as the ability to switch from crooning ballads to raucous rock (as evidenced by Pezband's seminal live performance of "Hippy Hippy Shake" from their Live At Dingwalls EP). But on ALL THAT GLITTERS we're treated to another side of Betinis' voice -- somewhere between John Lennon and Ron Nasty. For proof, check out the hidden gem of the album: a lovingly-crafted symphonic cover of "Across the Universe" -- one of the few Beatles covers that actually surpasses the original.

ALL THAT GLITTERS is great news for Pezband fans, classic rock fans, or anybody who enjoys hand-made music overflowing with melody and texture. But the best news is that Betinis may be making up for lost time. Rumor has it that there is a second album in the works for release next year. Keep 'em coming!

To celebrate the release of the first Mimi Betinis solo album, PPC is sharing both 12" live EP's released in 1978 and 1979. They were ripped from the original 12"but you can order the remastered songs that were included on the japanese editions of "Laughing In The Dark" and "Cover To Cover".

PEZBAND - LIVE 12" EP's (1978-1979)











Two Old Two Soon (Live At Dingwalls 1978) (9-12)
Stop Wait A Minute / Lovesmith / Not Fade Away / Hippy Hippy Shake

The "Two Old Two Soon" 12" EP was produced by Jesse Jackson and bears the mentions on the back of the sleeve "Slam It On Ten" and "Sold For Promotional Use".

30 Seconds Over Schaumburg (Live In Cleveland 1978) (13-17)
Blue Wind & Stroll On / I'm Not Talking / I'm Leaving / Crash & Burn / Close Your Eyes

The "Thirty Seconds Over Schaumburg" 12' EP had one side playing at 45RPM, while the other side was playing at 33 RPM - Power Pop Crominals


Chicago, IL (PRWEB) September 15, 2010

A new 10-song album by pop-rock singer-songwriter, Mimi Betinis, is set for release this September, 2010. The album, “All That Glitters,” is the first comprehensive collection of music in three decades by the former founder and frontman of the legendary power-pop group from the late 1970s, Pezband. A possible tour to support the album is in the works.

“All That Glitters” will be offered for purchase in downloadable format and will also be available as a CD (with cover and liner notes) on CDBaby.com and Amazon.com. The first single from the album, “Love is a Thin Veneer” has already been released in downloadable format on CDBaby.com and Amazon.com--to strong industry and fan buzz.

“All my life I've created art and music,” says Betinis, from his home in Maywood, Illinois, “I believe it is my calling--and I continue to answer the call.”

Fans and music critics alike are ecstatic about the upcoming album release, the first from the singer-songwriter in three decades. “I’ve been a huge fan of Mimi Betinis’ music since the first Pezband album back in 1977,” says Larry Lange, music critic and author of the bestselling book, “The Beatles Way: Fab Wisdom For Everyday Life” (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster). “While he didn’t have mainstream success back in the day,” says Lange, “Mimi Betinis is a pop-rock genius of the first order, and anything he does should be considered an important musical event. This new album is testament to that.”

One longtime Betinis fan, Paul Broucek, President of Music at Warner Brothers Pictures--who has overseen the Austin Powers and Lord of the Rings soundtracks (and many others)--is delighted that Betinis is returning to music. “Mimi’s first single, “Love is Just a Thin Veneer” is a great song--I’m listening to it over and over again.” Broucek adds, “It makes me extremely happy to hear Mimi is making new and vital music once again.”

Indeed, early hearings of the “All That Glitters” album reveal that Betinis is in true return-to-form as an elite master craftsman of the three-minute pop-rock song--certainly on songs like “Veneer” and “Romance Me.” But the album also showcases Betinis’ uniquely eclectic musicality which takes him beyond the constricting “power-pop” label he is perhaps best known for--especially on songs like the symphonic “Summer Rain,” the Latin-tinged “Blue Sky,” and the electronica dance number, “Come On Down To My House.”

Produced by world-music and power-pop aficionado and record producer, Stan Skora--the album features some of the industry’s top session players, such as Carla Rigolin Hassett (REO Speedwagon, Billy Idol) on lush background vocals and vocal arrangements, Doug Brush (the renowned world music percussionist) - and Chuck Soumar and Dave Stalhberg (the brass section from The Ides of March and “Vehicle” fame). Chris Massa on bass guitar and Carlo Iaccino on drums bring a palpable rhythm section to the record--while Betinis played all the guitars and keyboards, the harmonium, the harmonica, and the five-string vihuela guitar.

Betinis’ vocal prowess is firmly established once again with this album. Moving beyond the Pezband-era--where he’d sung in a near-perfect cross between a raucous John Lennon and a sweet Paul McCartney as the group’s lead singer--Betinis has since found his own powerfully true and natural vocal style as a solo artist for today.

Growing up in a house filled with Spanish, Greek and classical music--at 12 years old, Betinis fell in love with the groups of the mid-‘60s British Invasion era. “Oh yeah--1966 was ‘the year’ for me. My mother took me to see the Beatles at Comiskey Park—and that same year, I saw the Yardbirds at the Civic Opera House and Jimi Hendrix too.” Betinis also cites Jeff Beck, Peter Green (early Fleetwood Mac) and Mick Ronson (of David Bowie fame), as influential in germinating his own unique lead guitar style.

Critics believe that “All That Glitters” will compel a new generation of music fans to seek out Betinis’ brilliant earlier work. That’s significant, because Betinis’ first group, Pezband--from 1977 to 1979--released three critically-acclaimed albums and two live EPs (on Passport/ABC Dunhill/Arista)--which “Rolling Stone” and “Trouser Press” cited as some of the best pop-rock records of the entire “power-pop/new wave” era.

While Betinis is proud of his legacy as a power-pop pioneer, he’s always felt the tag was constricting--and set out recently to do a solo album that would showcase his wide array of musical influences, which he says range from “Mariachi to Vivaldi.” Accordingly, one new song, “Blue Sky,” is a Mexican-flavored number--while “Come On Down To My House” is an aggressive dance song, which Betinis chuckles about, “I don’t know how I’ll ever pull it off live!” Music critic Lange says that “’House’ can go head-to-head with any Lady Gaga hit on the charts today.”

The melancholy classical instrumental, “Summer Rain,” which Betinis says i - PRWeb


Discography

Love Is Just A Thin Veneer--solo single
All That Glitters--solo album
Thirty Seconds Over Schaumburg--Pezband ep
Cover To Cover--Pezband album
Live At Dingwalls--Pezband ep
Laughing In The Dark--Pezband album
Pezband--Pezband album

Photos

Bio

About Mimi Betinis

Singer-songwriter Mimi Betinis has been obsessed with music since early childhood.

Growing up in suburban Oak Park, Illinois, the Betinis house was usually filled with the sounds of his mother’s imported Latin, Greek and classical records. “Everything from Mariachi to Vivaldi,” says Mimi, when asked about his early musical influences. “I even loved Eydie Gorme and Trio Los Panchos.”

The British Invasion of the mid ‘60s impacted Mimi forever though--especially at age 12, when his Mom took him and his sister (in the family’s Pontiac Bonneville) to see the Beatles play live at Comiskey Park. “The year 1966 was ‘the year’ for me,” he says today of the experience. Within a few short months, he’d seen the Yardbirds (with both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on guitar) at Chicago’s Civic Opera House--and the Jimi Hendrix Experience play there as well.

Soon after, Mimi taught himself to play guitar and keyboards, and began writing his own three-minute pop-rock songs. By the fall of 1971, Mimi was jamming with friends on his originals—and on covers of Kinks and Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac tunes.

In what initially became the group he’s best known for--Pezband--Mimi’s initial lineup consisted of himself (on guitar, piano and vocals), Mick Rain (on drums and vocals), John Pazdan (guitar, piano and vocals) and Mike Gorman (bass and vocals).

With Tommy Gawenda replacing Pazdan--from 1977 to 1979--with Mimi as the engine and frontman of the group--Pezband blazed a trail of hard-edged, hook-laden and harmony-drenched pop-rock on three critically-acclaimed albums and two ferocious live EPs (on Passport Records/ABC Dunhill/Arista)--which “Rolling Stone” and “Trouser Press” cited as some of the best pop-rock records of the entire “power-pop/new wave” era.

As John Dougan, an editor at the All Music Guide (AMG), noted recently, “With such great, great songs, Pezband should’ve been huge.” In fact, Pezband could arguably be the first group to be crowned with the moniker “power-pop”--as their record label promoted the group at the time with print ads that read “Sparkling Power-Pop from Pezband.” For the full history on Pezband, see the essay, “The Best Band You Never Heard Of” at: http://www.well.com/~llange/BLOG/pezband.htm

Despite missing out on the success he so richly deserved, most rock critics agree--that it would not be accurate to compare Mimi’s Pezband legacy with the skinny-tied power-pop/new wave poseurs that followed in the band’s footsteps in the early '80s. In fact, groups like the Knack, the Romantics, and even Cheap Trick--owe a huge debt to Pezband's pioneering hard-pop style--dreamed-in all those years ago by a suburban kid from Illinois named Mimi Betinis.

After parting ways with Passport Records in 1980, Pezband was picked up by producer and Mimi fan, Paul Broucek--now President of Music at Warner Brothers Pictures, and who’s since overseen the “Austin Powers” and “Lord of the Rings” soundtracks (to name but two)--to record an EP at the Record Plant in L.A. The resulting tracks, entitled "Women and Politics"--were sadly, never released, and Pezband decided to call it a day.

Mimi did launch a few other pop-rock projects in the ‘80s--including a stint in Tom Petersson’s band (Petersson was on a break from Cheap Trick at the time)--and he worked as a session player in Los Angeles as well.

Back home in Chicago--the 1990s saw Mimi team-up with Off Broadway’s Cliff Johnson to form the group, Black & Blonde--but by then, Mimi had decided that raising a family and committing to his art had become more urgent priorities for him. He attended the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago, received his BFA, and later his teaching certificate. Today, Mimi is happily married with four children, and teaches art for the Chicago public school system.

In 2005, Pezband’s 50-song catalog was released on CD (by AirMail Records, and distributed by Not Lame)—and Mimi even played a few sold-out shows with some of Pezband’s original members.

Autumn 2010 will see Mimi’s long overdue return to music--with a new single, (“Love is Just a Thin Veneer”), a new 10-song album, (“All That Glitters”)--and a possible tour in the works as well.

For the first time in three decades, Mimi is creating music that is true to his broad range of musical interests and talents. Shedding the “power-pop” label nearly completely, save for a few songs--Mimi’s new material will feature his Latin stylings, his symphonic and jazz influences--and there’s even a modern-day electronica dance-pop number.

Since he is also a fine artist himself, specializing in illustration and handmade collage work--Mimi has created the compelling covers for both his new single and album.

The return of Mimi Betinis to his eclectic musical roots will give a new generation of fans a chance to hear what the rock critics and his old fans have already known for several decades: That Mimi Betinis is one of the premier pop