Sunday’s first look: Weather, what to do, and more

September 01, 2013 5:00 am

Winds will pick up Sunday ahead of a possible Labor Day thunderstorm; the Psychedelic Furs play the Uptown Theatre; and a downtown mall’s tenants await its transformation — here’s a peek at Sept. 1, 2013.

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  • WEATHER: The temperature is expected to peak at 82 degrees before dropping to 59 overnight at Napa County Airport, according to the National Weather Service. Mostly sunny daytime skies will take a cloudy turn after dark, on the eve of a Labor Day with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.

    Afternoon west winds of 5-14 mph and gusts to 18 mph will gain strength tonight, measuring 8-17 mph from the west-southwest and gusting as high as 22 mph.

    See more at the Napa Valley Register weather page.

  • WHAT TO DO: The Psychedelic Furs perform 8 p.m. Sunday at the Uptown Theatre, 1350 Third St. in Napa. The doors open at 7 p.m.
    If you sit and talk to many of the alternative rock artists dominating today’s music, you’ll find that many of them pay homage to the The Psychedelic Furs. Led by front man and songwriter Richard Butler, the Furs won over fans and critics alike by combining poetic lyrics, innovative rhythms and melodies driven by an aggressive, punk desperation. Through it all, the band scored major hits with  “Love My Way,” “Pretty In Pink,” “Heaven,” ”The Ghost In You” and “Heartbreak Beat,” in all releasing seven studio albums and spawning several compilations, a boxed set and a live concert DVD.
    The Psychedelic Furs came together in England’s emerging punk scene in 1977 initially consisting of Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass guitar), Paul Wilson (drums), Duncan Kilburn (saxophone) and Roger Morris (guitars). By 1979, this line up had expanded to a sextet with Vince Ely replacing Wilson on drums and John Ashton being added on guitar.
    The Furs debut, an eponymous album from 1980, was produced by Steve Lillywhite. The LP quickly established the band at radio in Europe and was a top 20 hit in the United Kingdom. The album also found success in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, New Zealand and Australia. The United States version of the album was resequenced, yet failed to have as strong a commercial impact.
    The Furs did find success in the U.S. with their next release, 1981’s Talk Talk Talk, which saw the band making its debut on the American album charts. In New Zealand, meanwhile, the band became immensely popular, as Talk Talk Talk became the first in a string of Furs albums to chart in the New Zealand Top 10.
    In the U.K., the album spun off two charting singles, “Dumb Waiters” and the original version of  “Pretty in Pink.” The latter song served as inspiration for the 1986 John Hughes film of the same name, and was re-recorded for the film’s platinum-selling soundtrack.
    In 1982, the Furs, now a four-piece with the departures of Morris and Kilburn, recorded “Forever Now” with producer Todd Rundgren in Woodstock, N.Y. This album included  “Love My Way,” which became yet another British and American chart hit.
    Ely left the band after “Forever Now,” although he would return for the 1988 single “All That Money Wants” and the 1989 album Book of Days.
    The Furs’ 1984 release “Mirror Moves” was produced by Keith Forsey, and featured the songs  “The Ghost in You” and “Heaven.” Both charted throughout the world, and “Heaven” became the band’s highest-charting British hit at the time. Strangely, however, “Heaven” was never released as a single in the U.S. Instead, Columbia Records opted for “Here Come Cowboys” despite both international success and heavy MTV airplay for “Heaven.” “Here Come Cowboys” failed to chart, but “The Ghost In You” was a hit single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
    By the mid-1980s, the band had become a staple on both U.S. college and modern rock radio stations. Simultaneously, they were experiencing consistent mainstream success, placing several singles in the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
    In 1986, the band recorded a saxophone-infused version of “Pretty in Pink” for the soundtrack of the film of the same name. Butler later claimed that the success of “Pretty in Pink” caused the band to be pressured into entering the recording studio to record a follow-up release before they were ready. The result was “Midnight to Midnight,” their biggest Top 40 success to date, but also a more overtly commercial effort than the Furs had ever recorded before. The album also featured the single “Heartbreak Beat,” which became the Psychedelic Furs’ biggest hit yet on the U.S. Top 40. The album also featured drummer Paul Garisto and sax player Mars Williams, both of whom continue to tour with the band.
    In the wake of “Midnight To Midnight,” the Furs found themselves dissatisfied with their new commercial direction, and subsequently returned to a rawer sound with “All That Money Wants,” a 1988 track especially recorded for a best-of compilation album “All Of This And Nothing.” 1989’s “Book of Days” and 1991’s “World Outside” also saw a return to the earlier Furs’ style.
    The Furs’ steady chart success continued with three No. 1 hits on the newly established U.S. Modern Rock chart between 1988 and 1991. “All That Money Wants” was a No. 1 hit in 1988, while “House” topped the chart in 1990 and “Until She Comes” in 1991.
    The band went on an extended hiatus in the early 1990s, with the Butler brothers going on to create the band Love Spit Love along with guitarist Richard Fortus and drummer Frank Ferrer. Love Spit Love released two albums and enjoyed some chart success as well.
    After spending most of the decade apart, the Butlers and Ashton reignited The Psychedelic Furs in 2000, and released a live album “Beautiful Chaos: Greatest Hits Live,” which also featured a new studio recording,  “Alive (For Once In My Lifetime)”. A DVD version of the performance included live versions of  “Alive” and three other previously unreleased songs:  “Anodyne (Better Days),” “Cigarette” and “Wrong Train.” Since then, lead singer Richard Butler has released an eponymous solo album produced by Jon Carin, and has hinted at the possibility of a new Psychedelic Furs album.
    These days, the band continues to tour around the world. The current Psychedelic Furs touring lineup remains Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass), Rich Good (guitar), Mars Williams (saxophone), Amanda Kramer (keyboards) and Paul Garisto (drums).


    Click here for the Napa Valley Register online calendar.
  • The man who bought the former Napa Town Center last year has high ambitions for reviving the downtown outdoor mall, punctuated by his recent announcement of plans to build the city’s tallest hotel nearby.

    While owner Todd Zapolski — and the shopping center’s few remaining tenants — await the revival, the plaza, now branded the Shops at Napa Center, appears to be in a suspended state, as expiring leases have left just eight tenants in a venue designed for more than two dozen.

    The Shops’ winding path back to prosperity took its latest turn last month, when Zapolski announced a partnership with hotel developer LodgeWorks Partners LP to build the seven-floor, 185-room Archer Napa hotel. Groundbreaking is slated for spring 2014, with a goal of opening the Archer Napa in the first half of 2016.

    Zapolski called a new high-end hotel his best chance to woo upscale retailers to the Shops, which he bought in May 2012 from George Altamura and other partners with an eye toward a major overhaul. At the mall itself, an overhaul of the storefronts and grounds is on track to begin by year’s end, he said.

    Read the report by the Register’s Howard Yune.

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