I have discovered a new specialty coffee franchise I want to share Classic Rock Coffee Company. Their motto is “Our Coffee Rocks”. I decided to build the time into my morning commute to check them out.
Classic Rock Coffee Co.in East Haven, Connecticut is situated on the town line at 23 Main Street. The coffee franchise is housed inside the historic building once known as The Old Mill. It was once the location of the first Iron Works in Connecticut and third in the Nation.
My curiosity and love of classic rock drew me to their door on a wet Wednesday morning. I was enchanted with what I saw, sensed, and tasted. I ordered a single origin Ethiopia coffee V60 Pourover 12 oz specialty drink. I was informed by my barista it would take 3-5 minutes to roast and prepare. I was fine with that option. I also purchased the War Pig Breakfast Sandwich.
While my coffee and sandwich were prepared I perused the establishment, highly interested in the framed vinyl albums and guitars that adorned various walls.
I spoke with Dennis Engelhard one of the two brothers (Howard) that own this franchise location. He shared the fact that Classic Rock Coffee Company only streams classic rock music, which is my stated preference. They do take requests and they can stream a custom playlist should they desire to do so. My request would be Pink Floyd Division Bell and The Endless River ;)
I definitely plan to return for a sit and sip 16 oz coffee served in a ceramic mug ;)
Check out Classic Rock Coffee Company next time you are in the Branford/East Haven shoreline community. They Rock!
Yesterday I wrote about the Super Duper Alice Cooper rockumentary. Today’s post is a companion reference about Alice Cooper’s manager, Shep Gordon and yes they are both in each of these documentary films. ;)
I was reading about Mike Myers (Austin Powers, SNL fame) curious to know what was going on with him when I learned about his latest project, a documentary called, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. I Googled to find out more about, Mike Meyers, the film and its subject Shep Gordon. It turns out Mike Myers and Shep Gordon are long time friends and this documentary is a labor of mutual respect.
In his directorial début, Mike Myers documents the astounding career of Hollywood insider, the loveable Shep Gordon, who fell into music management by chance after moving to LA straight out of college, and befriending Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix. Shep managed rock stars such as Pink Floyd, Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass and Alice Cooper, and later went on to manage chefs such as Emeril Lagasse, ushering in the era of celebrity chefs on television. Stuffed with fantastic archive footage the film traces Shep’s transformation from the 1970’s hedonist to today’s practicing Buddhist yearning for a family of his own.
Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon will be available in cinemas on July 18th. Cool!
I was very saddened to learn that genius music graphic designer Storm Thorgerson had passed away. He joins that well deserved Great Gig In The Sky.
We first met in our early teens. We would gather at Sheep’s Green, a spot by the river in Cambridge and Storm would always be there holding forth, making the most noise, bursting with ideas and enthusiasm. Nothing has ever really changed.
He has been a constant force in my life, both at work and in private, a shoulder to cry on and a great friend.
The artworks that he created for Pink Floyd from 1968 to the present day have been an inseparable part of our work.
Wow has it been 40 years already since the release of Pink Floyd’sDark Side of the Moon? I remember well March 17, 1973 when that recording debuted (US release date according to Capitol Records). The FM radio station I listened to out of New York City, WNEW-FM 102.7 leaned on it strongly. I bought my vinyl LP copy on the Saturday afternoon it was released here in the States. On the following day, Sunday the 18th of March 1973 I was fortunate to witness Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon 1973 Tour. They performed at The Palace in Waterbury, Ct. I wrote about that experience in the blog post hyper-linked below.
Pink Floyd and EMI Music will mark the 40th Anniversary of the original UK release of The Dark Side of The Moon on 24 March 2013, as fans around the globe unite to turn a specially designed moon dark. Centred around a global playback of the album on PinkFloyd.com, each memory, thought and photo tweeted as fans rediscover the album will count towards the creation of a dark side of the moon.
Starting at 00:01am GMT on 24 March 2013, for the entire day fans all over the world will be able to share thoughts and comments via twitter using #DarkSide40 and witness the impact as the volume of messages combine to turn the moon dark.
When it comes to branding and logo there may not be a more discernible icon than the Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon “Prism”. (Well perhaps the Rolling Stones Lips might top it…) It was designed by Storm Thorgerson when he was with Hipignosis. I have been a major fan of Storm Thorgerson for decades.
Keep watching the Pink Floyd Web page, http://darkside40.pinkfloyd.com/ for the variants of the Dark Side of the Moon prism. Each day another square in the diagram gets filled in and I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon ;)
One of the most historic concerts I have seen over the decades was the original Pink Floyd performing Dark Side of the Moon on tour. The date for that concert was March 18th, 1973. The venue was the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Dark Side of the Moon was released on March 17, 1973. The album gathered momentum quickly but was not yet being played in its entirety on progressive FM radio stations. The song “Money” was an immediate hit and the crowd that night cheered loudly when it was performed.
We were fortunate to catch Pink Floyd before the updraft of chart success took them to the next level of fame in rock and roll. They were soon playing arenas and stadiums versus lesser sized concert halls like the Palace Theater where we saw them play (2,500+ seats) It was a mere two weeks later on April 1st, 1973 that Dark Side of the Moon reached No. 1 on It then remained in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988. It is estimated that 50 million copies have been sold. It is Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide.
I have several specific memories of that night. The first memory is that the event was over sold. We had real numbered seat balcony tickets but Koplik & Finkel who booked this event sold way too many tickets. We ended up sitting on the carpeted stairs in the balcony. It was a definite fire code violation situation. We did end up with a great line of sight to see the band.
My second memory was that they played my favorite Pink Floyd song, “Echoes” from Meddle. I love how that song builds to a crescendo force. They used a light display behind them that gave the impression of a darkened sun as it rose in the sky as they played. I always found “Echoes” powerful in its presentation. I became enraptured with the opus when I first saw Pink Floyd on the silver screen in Live at Pompeii.
My third memory was when they performed “Great Gig In the Sky“, the female singers stood in the opera boxes on the sides of the theater and spotlights reflected on their flowing white dresses. That section of the performance reverberates strongly in me even now, 39+ years later.
I am thankful that I had the insight to buy tickets to this concert at the Nimbus Water Bed Shop in New Haven, they were a ticket outlet in those days. It was a historic event that my wife and I were able to witness live. :)
My first intention when I started this prog rock series was to stay the prescribed course by writing about progressive rock “sentimental favorites” such as Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Yes, Asia, Emerson, Lake and Palmer etc. I soon surmised there are lots of articles already written about these bands. My prog rock goal shifted to music journalist(educator) to learn and share more about what has transpired in prog rock circles.
Today’s blog post is about a band from Sweden named Opeth and the prog rock or heavy metal (depending upon your frame of reference) sub-genre known as progressive metal. Progressive metal is defined as a blend of heavy, guitar-oriented metal music enriched with compositional innovation and complex arrangements, usually expressed through diverse instrumentation and often (but not always) with odd-time signatures. Common, but not essential to define the movement, are the frequent use of keyboards, high-pitched vocals, concept lyrical themes and tracks of longer duration. Similar to progressive rock, progressive metal draws influences from other genres, such as jazz/fusion, ethnic, classical and symphonic music. Progressive rock pioneers such as King Crimson, Deep Purple and Rush are acclaimed as progenitors of progressive metal. (My thanks to the Prog Archives WebsiteProgessive Metal Team)
Staying linear with King Crimson, Steven Wilson and Opeth the intersection continues with Opeth’s 10th studio recording, Heritage which was mixed by Steven Wilson(who has played on as well as produced various Opeth recordings). I heard Heritage for the first time this morning . I was literally swept away by its warm tonality and lush heavy rock interludes.
A further point of intersection is initiated when Mikael Åkerfeldt collaborated with Steven Wilson to create Storm Corrosion. Storm Corrosion’s sound can best be described as ambient, epic, enchanting, and orchestral.
It was just announced that Opeth have been nominated in various categories at the inaugural Progressive Music Awards 2012 brought you by Prog Magazine.
Opeth are nominated in the following categories open to public voting.
I find The Wall to be the creative apex of Pink Floyd’s collective musical genius. It also happens to be the split in the nuclei for Pink Floyd. The Wall is very much Roger Water’s baby, as it is his story.
The stress and strain on the band members during The Wall’s recording sessions are well documented. I won’t take the time here to get into the dynamics that took place. When The Wall collapses into rubble and the dust clears we witness a very different Pink Floyd standing in our midst.
I have always felt it was unfortunate that Richard Wright was forced to resign from the group by Roger Waters. I love his signature keyboard sound. He created a rich fullness with his textures of layered sound. In my estimation he took the Hammond B3 organ to amazing new heights. Of all the members of Pink Floyd I witnessed at The Dark Side of the Moon concert in 1973, Richard Wright organ playing etched himself the firmest in the my memories.
Much has been written and analyzed about The Wall. Certainly The Wall has taken on a life of it’s own over time. I am constantly intrigued by the dimensional variations The Wall has given us over the decades since it went on stream in 1979.
First as a limited series of live concerts in 1980 that created a major stir because a cardboard wall was constructed in front of the band, walling them in and then, being torn down at the end.
Next The Wall was turned into a film directed by Alan Parker and was released in 1982. The Wall broke new barriers with multimedia, as recorded film footage with actors was interspersed with wild animations from Gerald Scarfe (which we first saw on the double album cover art and as part of the live show). I a liken Scarfe’s graphic art to Ralph Steadman’s manic art.