80s (and Sometimes 10s) Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ WARD

(All photographs copyright (c) Elk Road)

Once again, it has been my good fortune to be contacted by a musician who is promoting his band’s music. I say “good fortune,” because when I pulled up Christopher Ward’s music to preview, the band had me at the opening bars of “Liars.” These hungry ears were fed a heaping helping of lyrical, melodic nourishment that makes them want to go back for seconds, thirds…heck, how about just plain binge-listening.

Christopher Ward

Everything that I’ve heard so far from the Los Angeles-based band WARD embodies the absolute best of pre-grunge, pre-shoegaze, post-punk power pop 80s. What a combination! It’s a more-than-welcome trip down memory lane, and a testament to the fact that great music genres never die—they just get re-purposed. Some artists are gifted to do that more successfully than others, and WARD is one of the best.

Christopher Ward was gracious enough to be interviewed for this article. Take a few minutes to get to know him and his supremely talented band, and put your support behind them to give them a much-deserved push into the spotlight.

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MissParker:  How long have you been making music in the L.A. area?

Christopher Ward: It’s been a whirlwind. I think it’s been six months, max…yeah, we’ve been a band only since Dec 1 (2016). A short time; we’ve played 14 shows for almost 1000 people.

MissParker:  Who exactly is the band and what brought you together?

Christopher Ward: Up until about a year ago (Summer 2016) I was a corporate vice-president for a global technology company working in the Empire State Building in New York City. I had played in many bands in the long-ago past, but had hung up on my dreams perhaps 10 years ago. For many reasons, I did what many people do, what they think they should, what will be safe, what will be secure. My life was increasingly successful, but also increasingly unsatisfying. One day I plopped down at my desk and flipped on my music player. The Joshua Tree came on Pandora and I just started crying. Bawling. Nostalgia is a greek word meaning, ‘the pain of a homesickness.’ In that moment, I knew surely that I wasn’t home, where I needed to be. I had forgotten for many years, until that moment, how much I wanted to play rock music, was meant to play music, and how much my heart yearned to be back home: writing music, singing, and performing on stage.

I left New York last summer and got a place in Culver City, CA. I wrote most of our songs in a couple of weeks over the summer…they all poured out quite fast. In late fall, I started putting ads out on Craigslist and a few other places. It was tough sifting through the respondents, but I ended up with a great band that has come to be WARD: Darren Edwards on drums, Karim Elghobashi on bass, and Mauricio Munguia playing guitar, along with me signing and playing guitar. WARD played our first show Nov. 30, 2016 and haven’t stopped since.

WARD @ Lexington Bar (Feb 2017)

MissParker:  You mention in your promo that Echo & The Bunnymen, The Smiths, and The Stone Roses are all influences. I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. I actually hear a bit of early U2 and the British band Ride, among others. Who else do you feel has influenced your music?

Christopher Ward: It’s so funny, everyone seems to have a different take on who we sound like; everyone from The Ramones to Ryan Adams. The early 80s (80-85) has been a target for me, simply because that’s where I’m starting and it’s where I have been harkening back to for a more raw, earnest and live rock sound that I feel is missing from L.A. stages. Tom Petty was the first artist I adored, and always will: His defiance of the establishment and the music industry itself. His songwriting, melodies, and chords are very apparent to me in my music, even if the ‘sound’ is quite different. I love the swagger of The Doors and Echo and the Bunnymen. But more than any other band, I will always adore the ambitious hopefulness U2 continues to dare to bring to music. No band is cooler at being uncool; and yes, their sound is certainly a thread through everything I do.

MissParker: I’m really curious as to what makes a contemporary band go “retro.” Not that it’s a bad thing—on the contrary, I love the trip back to what I feel is the world’s best era/genres of music. But you have veteran musicians like the late, great David Bowie who made it a point to keep pushing forward, pointedly avoiding the past. And another favorite of mine, Gary Numan, has been very vocal about his dislike of being funneled into “nostalgia acts,” preferring to evolve instead of looking back. Yet, as a contemporary band, you do it very well. Why?

Christopher Ward: I adore David Bowie. And in fact, he described himself as a “tasteful thief,” and admitted he would steal happily from other genres, artists and histories. Bowie would be the first to tell us we should readily take ideas from other places, as long we create something unique with that material. The live and raw ‘sound’ from early 80s music, the idealism and arena ambition is incredibly inspiring to me right now, amidst a quite polished and subdued indie rock climate, especially in L.A. I aim to create something new from the known. While WARD is starting with these sounds, I know we will end up someplace else. Our best music is yet to come, and I have no idea what that will sound like. I admit that I started this band on a note of nostalgia, and am happy giving overt nods to the bands that started me down this road. That said, I’ll definitely keep borrowing to make it my own.

WARD @ TRIP (DEC 2016)

MissParker: Who writes the lyrics? Do they deal with a central theme, or are they born of a current state of mind?

Christopher Ward: I write all the lyrics. Love, drugs, and sex cover the themes of many of my favorite songs. Right now, I’m more inspired by introspection about our life choices. Many of the songs have a ‘carpe diem’ sentiment: why we so readily choose safety over the love of our souls, why we are lulled into thinking we have time to waste. I suppose in that way my lyrics obtain more to the introspection of 90s grunge: apathy, confinement, and freedom.

MissParker: I always have to ask this, as trite as it sounds; but as a writer, I’m naturally curious: which typically comes first, the lyrics or the music?

Christopher Ward: Music comes first. Always. I work better as a sketcher than a planner. I think the tone of the songs write the lyrics. I have a book of words I am always looking to insert into great melodies. I’m always trying new things, so that may change some day.

WARD @ Silverlake Lounge (Jan 2017)

MissParker: I know traveling is a huge expense, especially when you have to drag equipment along with you. I am of the (possibly mistaken) impression that cross-country bus trips are turning into a thing of the past.  Do you play anywhere outside of the L.A. area, or do you solely rely on the Internet to get your music out worldwide?

Christopher Ward: We have over 30k fans online, who watch videos, purchase music and give us great feedback. But while the Internet is a powerful thing, nothing will replace live show experience. Live videos can work well to reach more people, but still, the reality is that videos are a sad replacement for the real live show. I think that’s because there’s a very real aspect of theater that goes along with live music: what is special is the moment and space shared between artist and audience. This can’t really be replaced with video. We are still quite new, but very hungry for festivals and live tours outside the L.A. area. And I’m very thankful for your interview with me today. Hopefully, press and interviews like this will help us to connect with the right professionals and start playing outside of L.A. very soon.

MissParker: Your site mentions that you’ve recorded an EP and that the full album is coming soon. When do you expect that to happen?

Christopher Ward: Oh, well good news! Since we first chatted, the EP is now live and available! You can download for free or pay any price you want for it here: http://ward.band/ep. Enjoy!

MissParker: I have come to know a lot of musicians who spend every waking moment trying to get their music played and heard by others. It takes a certain amount of bravery to throw all that you have behind your craft, to the exclusion of everything else. What motivates you to do that?

Christopher Ward: After too many years of my life spent trying to do anything else, giving it my all doesn’t really seem like a gamble anymore.

MissParker: I’m sure we haven’t covered nearly enough territory in this brief interview to give a full picture of the creative force behind WARD, and its ongoing journey. What else would you like to add?

Christopher Ward: Simply to say, that the world needs more people to live the life meant for them and to be who they are, instead of the lives others want them to be. I can certainly thank Bowie for that sentiment, and finally, I feel I am doing my best to live that life. Right now, I think all of us in this band are that, more than anything. It was truly a pleasure to connect with you. Thank you.

~Resources~

Website

Get the EP

Facebook

Instagram

Velvet Walls: Official Featured Video

Live Concert Video Footage

Link to more Videos 

Marsbar Playlist ~ 5-28-2017

May 28, 2017

bigmars1David Marsden streaming live via the Internet. Join the fun and get some interesting (and always entertaining) information at the forum on Marsden Global.

Be sure to catch David and an eclectic collection of guest DJs streaming 24/7 on NYTheSpirit.com. Experience music unique to David Marsden and his tenure at CFNY-FM–music that defines not only an era, but a lifetime.

Typically, David presents a live show from 8PM until midnight on Saturday and Sunday nights; but, you just never know when he’ll pop in during the week.

Here is the complete list, thanks to the ever-efficient late night assistance of JerusalemSlim:

69 Eyes – Gothic Girl
Alarm – Rain In The Summertime (Through The Haze Mix)
Allman Brothers Band – Leavin’
Allman Brothers Band – Midnight Rider
Barclay James Harvest – She Said (live)
Be Bop Deluxe – Modern Music
Be Bop Deluxe – Dancing In The Moonlight (All Alone)
Be Bop Deluxe – Honeymoon On Mars
Be Bop Deluxe – Lost In The Neon World
Be Bop Deluxe – Dance Of The Uncle Sam Humanoids
Be Bop Deluxe – Modern Music (Reprise)
Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa – I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
Bobby Bland & B.B. King – The Thrill Is Gone
Boomtown Rats – Dave
Concrete Blonde – Everybody Knows
Cut Copy – Lights & Music
Dee Long – Good Night Universe
Fleece – Under The Light
Frank Zappa – Joe’s Garage
Gowan – A Criminal Mind
Horslips – The Man Who Built America
Howard Devoto – Rainy Season
Jags – Last Picture Show
Japan – Gentlemen Take Polaroids
Kristian Kostov – Beautiful Mess
Lee Michaels – Do You Know What I Mean
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
Lloyd Cole And The Commotions – Speedboat
Man Called Adam – Easter Song
Milky Whites And The Bluesmen – When I Dance With You Baby
Morrissey – Every Day Is Like Sunday
My Morning Jacket – Look At You
Peter Murphy – Marlene Dietrich’s Favourite Poem
Pink Floyd – Louder Than Words
Powder Blues Band – Boppin’ With The Blues
Pukka Orchestra – Listen To The Radio
Rob Stuart – A Beautiful Thing
Scissor Sisters – Lovers In The Backseat
Smash Mouth – Walkin’ On The Sun
Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Sound Of Contact – Pale Blue Dot
Sparks – Kiss Me Quick (Extended Version/New Mix)
Staple Singers – Let’s Do It Again
Steve Forbert – Romeo’s Tune
Steve Hackett – Watcher Of The Skies
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel – Sebastian
Thomas Dolby – Windpower
Tubes – Don’t Touch Me There
Willie Nelson – Always On My Mind

Marsbar Playlist ~ 5-27-2017

May 27, 2017

bigmars1David Marsden streaming live via the Internet. Join the fun and get some interesting (and always entertaining) information at the forum on Marsden Global.

Be sure to catch David and an eclectic collection of guest DJs streaming 24/7 on NYTheSpirit.com. Experience music unique to David Marsden and his tenure at CFNY-FM–music that defines not only an era, but a lifetime.

Typically, David presents a live show from 8PM until midnight on Saturday and Sunday nights; but, you just never know when he’ll pop in during the week.

Here is the complete list, thanks to late shift assistance from TheBarron:

69 Eyes – Feel Berlin
Adrian Belew – Big Electric Cat
After The Fire – Der Kommissar
Alice In Videoland – Going Down
Arkitex – First World Calling
Blancmange – Blind Vision
Boys’ Entrance – The Devil’s Blues
Bryan Ferry – Slave To Love
Clash – Charlie Don’t Surf
David Bowie – Blue Jean (extended remix)
David Bowie – Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
Dee Long – Good Night Universe
Echo & the Bunnymen – Bring On The Dancing Horses
Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream (Sam La More 12″ remix)
Eric Clapton/Dire Straights – Wonderful Tonight (Live Nelson Mandela Tribute 1988)
Frank Zappa – Dancin’ Fool
Gorillaz Feat. D.R.A.M. – Andromeda (Purple Disco Machine Remix)
Intaferon – Get Out Of London
Japan – Life In Tokyo
Jim Carroll Band – People Who Died
Krueger Band – Bad Girl
Lou Reed – Perfect Day
Mick Jagger – Sweet Thing
Midnight Oil – Beds Are Burning (Tamarama Mix)
Placebo – Pure Morning
Prince – When Doves Cry
Project Pitchfork – Orange Moon
Rammstein – Stripped
Rita Marley – One Draw
Rob Stuart – A Beautiful Thing
Roger Waters – Sunset Strip
Room 32 – Just A Little
Scissor Sisters – Invisible Light
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Atari Baby
Slave to the SQUAREwave – Get Out Of My House
Slave to the SQUAREwave – London Baby
Stranglers – Too Precious
Timelords – Doctorin’ The Tardis (12 inch mix)
Tin Star Orphans – Jaw Wired Shut
Ultravox – Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
Violent Kin – The Honesty
Wallflowers – Reboot The Mission
War On Drugs – Thinking of A Place
Zee – Confusion

Marsbar Playlist ~ 5-21-2017

May 21, 2017

bigmars1David Marsden streaming live via the Internet. Join the fun and get some interesting (and always entertaining) information at the forum on Marsden Global.

Be sure to catch David and an eclectic collection of guest DJs streaming 24/7 on NYTheSpirit.com. Experience music unique to David Marsden and his tenure at CFNY-FM–music that defines not only an era, but a lifetime.

Typically, David presents a live show from 8PM until midnight on Saturday and Sunday nights; but, you just never know when he’ll pop in during the week.

Here is the complete list, thanks to extra post-10PM duty (the show ran an hour longer for the holiday) by JerusalemSlim:

Alan Parsons Project – Time
Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks Theme
Band and Mavis Staples – The Weight (live at The Last Waltz)
Beautiful South – Dream A Little Dream Of Me
Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa – I’ll Take Care Of You
Blackmore’s Night – Where Are We Going From Here
Brian Eno – Here He Comes
Christian Hudson – Four Leaf Clover
David Bowie – Sound And Vision (David Richards 1991 remix)
Dee Long – Good Night Universe
Duncan Browne – The Wild Places
Dwight Twilley Band – Sleeping
Eric Clapton – Same Old Blues (live)
Front 242 – Civilization
Janis Joplin – Kozmic Blues
Klaatu – Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft
Kygo feat. Angus and Julia Stone – For What It’s Worth
Martha And The Muffins – Echo Beach
Matt Bianco – Yeh Yeh
Midnight Oil – The Dead Heart
Moist – Breathe (Tia mix)
Moody Blues – Tuesday Afternoon
Neurotic Wreck – The Rain
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – God Is In The House
Nine Horses – Serotonin
OneRepublic – Kids (SeeB Remix)
Patsy Cline – Crazy
Peter Murphy – Our Secret Garden
Phil Manzanera – Listen Now
Pink Floyd – Echoes
Pink Floyd – Welcome To The Machine
Propellerheads – Velvet Pants
Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Ain’t No Sunshine
Rare Bird – Sympathy
Rob Stuart – A Beautiful Thing
Rod Stewart – Country Comfort
Simple Minds – Broken Glass Park
Sparks – Kiss Me Quick (Extended Version/New Mix)
Strawbs – Ghosts
Strawbs – Part Of The Union
Taj Mahal – Six Days On The Road
Ten Years After – I’d Love To Change The World
Timber Timbre – Magic Arrow
Tom Robinson – Atmospherics: Listen To The Radio
Traffic – John Barleycorn (Must Die)
Traveling Wilburys – Last Night
Van Morrison – Madame George
Van Morrison & Taj Mahal – How Can A Poor Boy
Whitley – More Than Life
Willie Nelson & Mavis Staples – Grandma’s Hands
Within Temptation – Our Farewell
XTC – Dear God
Yello – Desire (Club Mix)

 

Marsbar Playlist ~ 5-20-2017

May 20, 2017

bigmars1David Marsden streaming live via the Internet. Join the fun and get some interesting (and always entertaining) information at the forum on Marsden Global.

Be sure to catch David and an eclectic collection of guest DJs streaming 24/7 on NYTheSpirit.com. Experience music unique to David Marsden and his tenure at CFNY-FM–music that defines not only an era, but a lifetime.

Typically, David presents a live show from 8PM until midnight on Saturday and Sunday nights; but, you just never know when he’ll pop in during the week.

Here is the complete list, thanks to post-10PM assistance from TheBarron:

Beloved – Sweet Harmony
Captain Sensible – Wot
Crack The Sky – Safety In Numbers
Cut Copy – Hearts On Fire (Joakim remix)
Damned – Eloise
Darkroom – A Test Of Time
Dear Rouge – Black To Gold
Dee Long – Good Night Universe
Empire Of The Sun – We Are The People (The Shapeshifters Vocal Remix)
Evermore vs. Dirty South – It’s Too Late (Dirty South Remix extended version)
Feargal Sharkey – A Good Heart
Fleece – Under The Light
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Rage Hard (Broad)
FWLR & JELO – Work And Rule
Gentleman Reg – We’re In A Thunderstorm
Goldfrapp/Norman Greenbaum/ZZ Top – Ooh La Grange In The Sky (mash-up)
Gorillaz Feat. D.R.A.M. – Andromeda (Purple Disco Machine Remix)
John Foxx – Like A Miracle
KLF – All Bound For Mu Mu Land (Justified & Ancient)
Lindsey Buckingham – Holiday Road
Lou Reed – Sweet Jane (Live)
M/A/R/R/S – Pump Up The Volume (USA 12” Remix)
Mott The Hoople – All The Young Dudes
New Order – Plastic (extended remix)
Parachute Club – Rise Up (World Pride 2014)
Pet Shop Boys – Love Comes Quickly (Blank And Jones Mix)
Peter Gabriel – Big Time
Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pts. 6 -9)
Prince & The Revolution – Purple Rain
Prodigy feat. Pop Will Eat Itself – Their Law
Project Pitchfork – Timekiller (And One Remix)
Public Service Broadcasting – Roygbiv
Rob Stuart – A Beautiful Thing
Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil (Neptunes remix; radio edit)
Slave to the SQUAREwave – Bump
Teenage Head – Disgusteen
Tim Curry – Working On My Tan
Tubes – What Do You Want From Life?
Ultravox – Vienna (Goodnight 1982 Remix)
War On Drugs – Thinking Of A Place
Yello – Rubberband Man (Rubber Remix)

 

Marsbar Playlist ~ 5-14-2017

May 14, 2017

bigmars1David Marsden streaming live via the Internet. Join the fun and get some interesting (and always entertaining) information at the forum on Marsden Global.

Be sure to catch David and an eclectic collection of guest DJs streaming 24/7 on NYTheSpirit.com. Experience music unique to David Marsden and his tenure at CFNY-FM–music that defines not only an era, but a lifetime.

Typically, David presents a live show from 8PM until midnight on Saturday and Sunday nights; but, you just never know when he’ll pop in during the week.

Here is the complete list, thanks to longtime and much-appreciate post-10PM assistance from JerusalemSlim. I am very grateful for his and TheBarron’s late night (and sometimes more) help.

Alan Parsons Project feat. Orson Welles – A Dream Within A Dream
Alan Parsons Project – The Raven
Allan Rayman – Wolf
Argent – Hold Your Head Up
B.B. King – The Blues Come Over Me
Beautiful South – Everybody’s Talkin’
Beth Hart – Caught Out In The Rain
B-52’s – Planet Claire
Boys’ Entrance – The Devil’s Blues
Carmen Twillie – Circle Of Life
David Bowie – Lazarus
Dee Long – Good Night Universe
Elliott Murphy – Thirty Was A Long Time Ago
Elton John – Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
Fleece – Riverside
FM – Good Vibrations
Frank Zappa – Peaches En Regalia
Frank Zappa – Stink-Foot
Freddie Mercury – Living On My Own (1993 mix)
Jimi Hendrix Experience – Rainy Day, Dream Away
Joe Bonamassa – Bird On A Wire
Johnny Cash – Hurt
Kris Kristofferson – Sunday Morning Coming Down
Krueger Band – Krueger Motel
Lee Roy Parnell feat. Bonnie Bramlett – Breaking Down Slow
Marianne Faithfull – Vagabond Ways
Milky Chance – Firebird
Moody Blues – Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush – Don’t Give Up
Peter Murphy – All Night Long
Peter Schilling – The Different Story (World Of Lust And Crime)
Pink Floyd – Arnold Layne
Propellerheads feat. Shirley Bassey – Goldfinger (Propellerheads Mix)
Raine Maida – Montreal
Rob Stuart – A Beautiful Thing
Roger Waters – Smell The Roses
Roger Waters/Sinead O’Connor/The Band – Mother (live version)
Russell Edward Williams – Mother’s Day
Silencers – Painted Moon (extended)
Simply Red – The Air That I Breathe
Sisters Of Mercy – Dominion (excerpt)
Smiths – How Soon Is Now?
Supertramp – Cannonball
Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime
This Mortal Coil – Song To The Siren
Villians – Wendy’s Melody

 

 

Marsbar Playlist ~ 5-13-2017

May 13, 2017

bigmars1David Marsden streaming live via the Internet. Join the fun and get some interesting (and always entertaining) information at the forum on Marsden Global.

Be sure to catch David and an eclectic collection of guest DJs streaming 24/7 on NYTheSpirit.com. Experience music unique to David Marsden and his tenure at CFNY-FM–music that defines not only an era, but a lifetime.

Typically, David presents a live show from 8PM until midnight on Saturday and Sunday nights; but, you just never know when he’ll pop in during the week.

Here is the complete list, thanks to the Herculean effort of TheBarron who assisted after 10PM and into the wee hours of the morning for an extra-long show!

Aaron Neville/Mavis Staples – Respect Yourself
Alabama 3 – Woke Up This Morning
Alarm – Rain In The Summertime
Alphaville – Forever Young (Special Dance Version)
Amanda Lear – Hollywood Flashback
Arcade Fire – We Exist
Art Of Noise feat. Max Headroom – Paranoimia (The Paranoid mix)
Big Supreme – Don’t Walk (extended remix)
Blancmange – Blind Vision (extended)
Bob Dylan – Lay, Lady, Lay
Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Turn The Page
Brian Eno – Baby’s On Fire
Cabaret Voltaire – Sensoria (12″ Mix)
Concrete Blonde – Crystal Blue Persuasion
Damned – Eloise
David Bowie & Pat Metheny Group – This Is Not America
David Johansen – James Alley Blues
Dee Long – Good Night Universe
Dylans – Planet Love
Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Lucky Man (2012 Remastered Version)
FWLR & JELO – Work And Rule
Garland Jeffreys – 96 Tears
Gorillaz feat. D.R.A.M. – Andromeda (Purple Disco Machine remix)
Gotye – State Of The Art
Groundhogs – Split (Pt. 2)
Ian Hunter – Ships (Live, 29.01.2002, Sentrum Scene, Oslo)
Iggy Pop – Bang Bang
Interview – St. Jean Wires
Japan – Transmission
Jordan John – George & Sylvester (The Funky Nation)
Leon Russell – A Song For You
Lukas Graham – 7 Years
Mick Jagger – Memo From Turner
Moev – Open Mind
Pet Shop Boys – Love Comes Quickly (Blank & Jones Mix)
Peter Murphy – A Strange Kind Of Love (Version 1)
Pink Floyd – Louder Than Words
Primal Scream – Loaded (Terry Farley remix)
Project Pitchfork – Timekiller (And One remix)
Propellerheads feat. Shirley Bassey – History Repeating
Richard O’Brien/Rocky Horror Picture Show – The Time Warp
Rick Wakeman – Space Oddity
Rob Stuart – A Beautiful Thing
Slave to the SQUAREwave – Get Out Of My House
Steppenwolf – Snowblind Friend
Stranglers – You’ll Always Reap What You Sow
Temptations – Papa Was A Rolling Stone (DJ Jazzy Jeff And Pete Kuzma Soleful Remix)
Thomas Dolby – One Of Our Submarines
Thompson Twins – Shoot Out (Don’t Mess With Doctor Dream)
Tim Curry/Rocky Horror Picture Show – Sweet Transvestite
Underworld – Nylon Strung
Unheilig – An Deiner Seite
War On Drugs – Thinking Of A Place
Yello – 30’000 Days
Zucchero/John Lee Hooker – Ali D’Oro