Love This Giant Tour – Beacon Theatre NYC – 9/26/12

 

We saw the David Byrne and St. Vincent (Annie Clark) Love This Giant Tour Wednesday evening 9/26/12 at the beautifully restored Beacon Theatre in New York City.

Photography By Pablo Frisk

The concert far exceeded our expectations. David Byrne and St. Vincent were accompanied by an eight piece brass band with a drummer and an electronics player.  The concert is visually enhanced by shaded lighting in turn accented by the choreography of Annie-B Parson (Big Dance Theater). She re-imagined the band as a dance troupe; thus, along the horns, Byrne and Clark became just two more members of the night’s dance company

Photograph by Catalina Kulczar, Copyright 2012

The dance troupe kicked the festivities off with Love This Giant‘s initial track “Who“. We were quickly engaged by that infectious beat tightly coupled with the sensory lyrics.

The two-hour concert (which includes two encores) offers David Byrne & St. Vincent band songs, the much clamored for David Byrne/Talking Heads songs, and the hauntingly brilliant St. Vincent songs. The counter balance of this song mix captivates the listener as does the ever-moving musicians. The fluid motion of 12 people on stage is never boring or repetitive. Ever since David Byrne worked with Twyla Tharp on Catherine’s Wheel his live concerts incorporate dance and choreography. We fell in love with this idiom when we saw the first leg of  the Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno Tour in 2008. It became our avowed aim to see David Byrne live again and this is what motivated us to attend the Love This Giant Tour. 

There were several moments during the concert that exhibited great fun juxtaposed with just the right techno experimentation  One such highlight was the Star Wars like dueling light saber technique that David and Annie performed sharing the waves of the theremin on “Northern Lights”.

Photograph by Catalina Kulczar, Copyright 2012

David Byrne has a great stage presence and I love his flippant, intellectual nature. He had us laughing when he spoke about how he catalogs his music recordings, fiction and non-fiction.

It was difficult to isolate which of the Love This Giant recording live performances was my favorite. I’ve narrowed it down to “I Am An Ape”, “Lazarus”, and “Outside of Space and Time”.

The night would have not been complete without the Talking Heads, “Burning Down The House”.

We left this concert more amazed than ever by David Byrne. We gained a new appreciation for the music and guitarmanship of St. Vincent. We won’t think of brass band music as we did before, one-dimensional, it now has a new, vibrant multi-dimension in our psyche. Thank you David Byrne, Annie Clark and the band, what a phenomenal evening of multimedia techno romp.

 

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Neil Young Says Pono is Hawaiian for “Righteous”

I have loved Neil Young‘s book, Waging Heavy Peace where he writes extensively about what was then called “Puretone” his solution to save audio,  “Puretone”, has now become Pono, pronounced “Pohknow”, which is Hawaiian for “Righteous”. Neil Young has a home in Hawaii where much of Waging Heavy Peace was authored. Last night on David Letterman he showed a prototype of the Pono cloud music device. Imagine holding and hearing studio quality sound finally. I must have one!!!

When I finish Neil Young’s audio book I will offer a more extensive write-up on Neil Young’s “Righteous” solution. I was psyched to learn that Neil Young was working with the Sony Bob Dylan master tapes of Highway 61 Revisited and Freewheelin (with Bob Dylan’s full blessing) to make them Pono based. This is how Pono will succeed as the music artists want 100% high-resolution audio representation of their music heard not the 5% sound we get scrunched and distributed to us by MP3.

The most comprehensive article I have read yet about Pono from an industry analysis point of view was published yesterday by Rolling Stone Magazine. I urge you to read and process Patrick Flanary’s column entitled “Neil Young Expands Pono Digital-to-Analog Music Service”. Mr. Flanary wrote a thorough study of how much Neil Young and his Pono team are positively influencing RHCP‘s Flea/Anthony Kiedis, producer Rick Rubin, along with the Big Three record labels, Warner Music, Sony and Universal Music Group.

Neil Young is getting a lot of traction with Pono, deservedly so. I don’t agree with the perception that it is an Apple iTunes “Killer” as naive members of the press are reporting. That’s being written to get you to read content. After all Neil Young met and corresponded with Steve Jobs to discuss Pono and the audio music dilemma. I see a future partnership in the offering with Pono and Apple very much along the lines of cooperation Pono is achieving with the major labels. Can you say industry standard, I knew that you could 😉

It is pure speculation on my part coupled with intelligent guessing that Pono and Apple come together at some future music technology juncture. If I look at the throw down Apple needs to leap-frog or better HTC, HP and Beats by Dr. Dre, Pono could be that secret sauce for Apple. I found the one technology advancement that was missing from the iPhone 5, iTunes announcement was an improved music audio experience to match or better HTC/HP/Beats. Pono needs a device manufacturer, Apple distributes via iTunes the music of the industry. As Pono becomes the definitive, next level standard for music data files Apple must follow suit with a Pono story as will HTC for that matter. We could see iPono in the next generation iPhone/iPod, say it ain’t so Ed, hehehe (sorry Neil and Apple) couldn’t resist…

Now that’s what I call waging heavy peace alright ; Neil this note and more’s for you!

Brian Eno – Lux

I was informed today about the forthcoming Brian Eno solo album, Lux, which drops in North America on November 12, 2012. Information is scant now but this is what his record label shared in the latest Brian Eno mailing. I love his genius ability and the stimulation he generates as a visionary artist. I hope to write more about Lux as information comes to light.

Brian Eno

LUX is Brian Eno’s first solo album on Warp Records and his first solo album since 2005’s Another Day On Earth. Eno sees it as a continuation of his ‘Music for Thinking’ project that includes Discreet Music (1975) and Neroli (1993).

LUX is one of Eno’s most ambitious works to date; it is a 75-minute composition in twelve sections that evolved from a work now housed in the Great Gallery of the Palace of Venaria in Turin, Italy. The album is Eno’s third for Warp, following two collaborative albums Small Craft on a Milk Sea (with Jon Hopkins and Leo Abrahams) and Drums Between The Bells (with Rick Holland).

Neil Young Joins Twitter, Premiere’s “Walk Like A Giant”, Truly Rust Never Sleeps

Neil Young launched his Official Twitter Account yesterday. It’s great to see Neil Young on Twitter and to know he will be interacting with us soon through the social networking medium. It is smart for him to set up a Twitter presence as this coincides with the release of his memoir, Waging Heavy Peace. I received my audio CD edition narrated by Keith Carradine yesterday too :). I am enchanted to no end with what Neil Young shares through the passages of the book. More to say about this in a future blog post…

Very cool to know Neil Young will be holding a Q&A session with us soon. I have my question ready for him now 😉

My anticipation is building for the Neil Young & Crazy Horse recording Psychedelic Pill.

Yesterday was also the Web première for “Walk Like A Giant”. It’s the first official video from Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Psyche!

The Rascals “Once Upon A Dream” Reunion Show

My wife and I were listening to Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Rock and Roll Party on SiriusXM Satellite Radio this past Saturday night. We were blown away by the live announcement Gene Cornish made during the broadcast. The Rascals, all four original members, Eddie Brigati, Felix Cavaliere, Gene Cornish, and Dino Danelli would be reuniting for three special concerts December 13, 14, and 15 at The Capitol Theatre in Portchester, New York. Let me tell you cousins this is fantastic concert news!

Tickets go on sale Friday I hope I can score two tickets to this event. We’d love to see The Rascals Live 🙂

Miami Steve Van Zandt announced a Kickstarter crowd-funding project for The Rascals yesterday. “Once Upon A Dream” is a combination concert/theatrical event produced and directed by Steven Van Zandt and lighting/projection wizard Marc Brickman.

I applaud what Miami Steve has done here and how it allows us Rascals fans a chance to take part and support the production. I just have to figure out what option I am going to pledge 😉

In addition to the concert experience, the history of The Rascals, and the history of the ‘60’s through their music, will be dramatized by a combination of narration, filmed scenes of actors acting out key moments in the band’s history, news footage, and archival footage of the band.

There will elements of the staging and light design never seen before just as Marc Brickman has done in his earlier groundbreaking work with Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Blue Man Group, the Olympics, and Roger Waters’ recent ‘The Wall’ tour..

When I began record collecting in 1966 my focus was to own every Rascals vinyl LP as they became available. They have been the foundation of my music collection these past 46 years.

Gene Cornish autographed their first album The Young Rascals for me a couple of years ago at a Beatles Convention in Stamford, Ct. I’d love to get the rest of the group to sign this LP 😉

Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet

I was recently asked what is my favorite Rolling Stones album and why I feel that way. My answer to that question is the Rolling Stone’s 1968 recording Beggars BanquetYou can smell the street and the factories in their music.

I was raised below the poverty line. I grew up in a city housing project in a rough urban setting. My parents were factory workers. My first job was in a factory. I identified with the life that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote about in the songs on Beggars Banquet.

Beggars Banquet was the last studio recording with the original lineup of the Rolling Stones. It makes me sad when I think of the waning days of Brian Jones and what was be falling him. Internal destruction and alienation by your peers is disheartening.

The year 1968 was full of revolution and change. We saw the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the My Lai massacre and the 1968 choice of Richard Nixon for President(shudders). Beggars Banquet reached our shores on December 6, 1968. I purchased it the first day it was available at my local downtown record store.

I was a devoted reader of Rolling Stone Magazine in those days when it was a newspaper periodical. I read it cover to cover. I recall the Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet album review by Jon Landau. It readied me to seek out the album in the stores. I was enraptured when I first played it on my hi-fi set in my bedroom. I played Beggars Banquet to death in 68-69. I brought it to high school and played it in my art class many days while I painted and drew.

File:BeggarsBanquetLP.jpg

What I love best about Beggars Banquet is the raw acoustic blues, Brain Jones slide guitar expertise on “No Expectations”, Mick Jagger’s slurring, sultry vocals and the piano playing by Nicky Hopkins (the 6th Stone). Nicky Hopkins strident piano is the silver thread that sews the tracks together. He accents my favorite individual track on Beggars Banquet, “Stray Cat Blues” with his classic incendiary fire that draws you in until the very last note.

The Rolling Stones filmed The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus as an effort to promote Beggars Banquet. Too bad it got shelved until 1996 because it’s a marvel to witness.

There was a controversy, well when weren’t the bad boys of rock and roll controversial for that matter, with the album cover. The Rolling Stones wanted a cover that depicted lavatory graffiti on the wall and a dirty toilet. London Records refused their request at the time. Sixteen years later  in 1984, the original cover art was released with the initial CD remastering of Beggars Banquet.

Professional Music Blogger Highlights, Future Directions

WordPress
WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

 

I want to thank everyone who has stopped by to read, like, comment upon or follow my music journalism blog. I sincerely hope the music topics I am writing about are capturing your interests.

I have been a professional music blogger for five and 3/4 years now. It took me five years as a blogger to reach my first 100,000 blog views (hits).

I am fascinated by how fast the Web aggregates information. I have achieved in a little less than nine months in 2012 100,000+ hits. This amazes me as the time frame collapses from 5+ years to 9 months to arrive at another 100,000 hits. This is due primarily to daily blogging. There are 1,238 people who have chosen to follow my music blog in a years time. I like WordPress because they give integrated social sharing options (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, etc.). The WordPress blogging community is very inter-connected which has increased my ability to share with other bloggers all around the world.

Professional Music Blogger Publishing Highlights

I have become the #1 music blog poster on the SONY PopMarket Blog.

http://backstage.popmarket.com/

I have published a national magazine article with Churn Magazine about Bill Ortiz.

https://musicofourheart.me/2011/04/29/bill-ortiz-soulful-communicator/

I have written a music review about Bill Ortiz’s latest recording, Highest Wish.

https://musicofourheart.me/2012/08/21/music-review-highest-wish-by-bill-ortiz/

I have been invited in to WordAds as a monetization option on my blog by WordPress. I have earned $50 in just four months with targeted top, side and bottom banner ads. The money I am earning pays for my Bluehost Web hosting monthly subscription and domain fees. Basically I use the Internet for free as far as my other Web hosting costs are concerned. (Yes, WordPress.com continues to be free as a basic service.)

My WordPress Statistics

At the end of calendar year 2010, I was averaging 28 hits a day on my blog.

By the end of 2011 I averaged 160 hits a day, which is a 500% increase. (My first year of posting daily.)

As of 9/23/12, I now average 322 hits a month. This is a 1300% growth over 2010. A 200% growth over 2011.

Publishing goals for 2013 and beyond, God willing 🙂

I seek to continue to blog daily, I have blogged 631 days in a row thus far. I’d like to take my streak to 1,000 days then let go for a day 😉

I have an existing concert blog, The Concert Slut that has been suffering in attention this year. I need to make a decision how to fold that blog into my existing music blog or build a revised concert blog. I need to catalog all the concerts I have attended to date.

I plan to start another WordPress blog. I want this to be a custom blog that will exhibit my Web design/development skills. I want to learn more about responsive Web design, HTML5 and CSS3. The hosted blog is called TheMusicEdje. I use the StudioPress Genesis Framework.

My goal is to combine my passion and interests of technology and music. Digital music software has evolved to an advanced level of accessibility with the cloud and smartphones. I have written extensively this past year about digital music thought process leaders Spotify, theechonest and Neil Young’s Pono high-resolution audio patents. I’d like to put more energy towards the future of music and the digital audio direction. I also wish to write more about the advancements in digital publishing that Adobe, Apple (iPad, iBooks) and others are accomplishing. This dovetails with my career plans as an instructional technologist.

I’d like to write a music article for a major music magazine such as Relix, Downbeat, Uncut Magazine or maybe even Rolling Stone Magazine someday. I have several music magazine articles in various stages of development I am hoping to see published.

I have started developing a book about live music. This is an outgrowth of a conversation backstage after a recent Santana concert with Bill Ortiz and his wife, Anna Karney I’d love to get that written and published. I am thinking of the self-publishing option. I was galvanized with the idea of authoring a music book when I attended the EMP Pop Conference sponsored by the Experience Music Project at NYU this past March. (See my blog post about the EMP Pop Conference here)

The benefits of professional music blogging are multitude. It allows me to take my music hobby, a long time passion and share it with others on the World Wide Web.

Let the Music Set You Free 😉

Traffic – My Favorite British Rock Group

Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains. It serves as a framework grain and is used to support sand as a land mass.

Traffic is analogous to sandstone when it comes to the foundation of rock music. Progressive rock music’s roots can be directly traced to the group. We  owe a world of gratitude to Traffic’s founding members, Steve Winwood, Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi, and Chris Wood for the music they gave us.

Traffic is my favorite English rock group. The music they created appealed to my senses on so many levels. They first permeated my consciousness as folk rockers with their pivotal first two albums. Traffic showed evolution with the next phase building on folk music by adding healthy amounts of jazz improvisation with their comeback smash, John Barleycorn Must Die.

Traffic Studio Recordings

Traffic entered the English rock music scene at the same time as Cream, Jethro Tull and The Yardbirds (just to name a few) in 1967. I discovered Traffic in late 1968 when they released their second recording, Traffic. (See my earlier blog post, Traffic’s Second Studio Recording – Traffic for more details).

I soon purchased their first recording, Mr. Fantasy. I wrote about the variations of that recording in a past blog post (See Traffic’s First Recording – Mr. Fantasy). “Dear Mr. Fantasy” appeared on the first recording and it is a signature song by Traffic.

My favorite gem on Traffic’s Last Exit (May 1969) was the track “Medicated Goo”. Nonsensical as the lyrics were the music busts a move to this day.

Traffic Live

I was very fortunate to see Traffic live twice in concert. We had great seats each time, seventh row, center. I wrote about that experience at The Capitol Theatre in Portchester, NY which has just reopened as a magnificent new art deco experience. (See past blog post, Capitol Theatre in Portchester NY Plans Triumphant Return in 2012, Part 1)

An excellent live recording(Audio and Video) by Traffic is contained on The Last Great Traffic Jam recorded from the 1994 Traffic reunion concert tour.

The Traffic Icon

I have always found the Traffic icon to be compelling. I was never quite sure what it meant or how it was typified. I just know I loved its concentric woodsy nature. I have a leather edition of this symbol which I wore as a hippie necklace in the day 😉

Mr. Fantasy – The Lyrics of Jim Capaldi

Just this past week I received a surface mailing postmarked from Malta. It was a literature piece advertising the Genesis Publications Ltd., Mr. Fantasy The Lyrics of Jim Capaldi. This specialty book is a true collectors item. The price is very rich for my blood $345 British Pounds, $560 in US Dollars. Mr. Fantasy is in full bound leather, with silkscreen artwork and gold blocking. It is hand-made to order, numbered and signed by Steve Winwood, Aninha Capaldi and Robert Plant. Places it on my Christmas list just in case 🙂

Mr Fantasy: The Lyrics of Mr Fantasy

Donald Fagen – Sunken Condos

I bristle at the notion that Donald Fagen will soon be releasing his fourth solo album, Sunken Condos, on October 16, 2012. Donald Fagen is one cool cat in my book. I own his first three solo classics, The Nightfly, Kamikiriad, and Morph The Cat. Combined they are considered The NightFly Trilogy. They are superb recordings with engaging musical scales, tasty lyrics, and top flight engineering production.

Sunken Condos builds on that Fagen sound excellence we’ve come to love and respect. It then expands his music vision to the next level of sophistication with new tapestries and stories that entertain our sensibilities.

 

The nine tracks on Sunken Condos were co-produced by Michael Leonhart and Donald. All but one track, an Ashkenazi recasting of Isaac Hayes‘ “Out of the Ghetto,” are Donald Fagen originals. This thrills me to no end as I am constantly enchanted by his creative genius. Some familiar names from the Steely Dan family of players are on hand for Sunken Condos such as Jon Herington, the Steely Dan horns, Freddie Washington plus we’ll be treated to some new faces. The word is that, from now on, everything Donald Fagen does has got to be funky. Ain’t it cool 😉

Sunken Condos Track Listing

1. Slinky Thing
2. I’m Not the Same Without You
3. Memorabilia
4. Weather in My Head
5. The New Breed
6. Out of the Ghetto (Isaac Hayes cover)
7. Miss Marlene
8. Good Stuff
9. Planet D’Rhonda

The vinyl release is a special collectors edition 2 LP set pressed in 180 gram high performance clear vinyl. I especially like the artwork on the inside sleeves.

The first track from Sunken Condos has been released, “I’m Not The Same Without You”. It’s available on iTunes.

Donald Fagen, 'I'm Not The Same Without You'

Here is the video 😉

It won’t be longer before we have the full recording to savor and spin 😉