Monthly Archives: June 2016

U2ie Live in Paris

I was once a very intense U2 fan. I couldn’t wait to see them perform live. When I did see them live in concert 15 years ago they rejuvenated my interest in attending live music performances.

But soon after I saw them live for the third time at the 25th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame  concert on October 30th, 2009 my interest peaked.

I’ve had a difficult time jump starting my enthusiasm for a great rock quartet.

Hopefully my passion for U2 can be restored with the U2ie Live in Paris CD/DVD package. U2 has always been at the center of activism in the world and that matters a great deal to me.

I am especially taken with the fact that U2 was joined in concert by Patti Smith  and The Eagles of Death Metal to sing, “People Have The Power”.

Planning to buy the Blu-Ray edition….

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The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table – Rick Wakeman

I am excited to hold in my hands an autographed CD edition of Rick Wakeman’s The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I collect autographed CD covers and this is truly a gem for the collection.

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It was sharing of you Rick Wakeman to allow us fans to help support your recording project on Pledge Music.

I can’t wait to have the symphony of sound wash over my senses.

Thank you Rick. I hope I get to hear you play a selection or two of this recording this fall on the Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman tour.

Until then be well and Excalibur Sir.

David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption, LA

Disruption is a positive and necessary phase in the human evolution. Who better than David Lynch to lead the charge in October in LA. I’d love to attend this event as a major fan of David Lynch’s genius.

I see the music of Twin Peaks, which I find hauntingly beautiful, will be performed at this event.

Two Neil Youngs On A Tree Stump

I enjoy when Jimmy Fallon does his Neil Young impression. Last night on The Tonight Show Jimmy and Neil performed on a rotating tree stump in the middle of a dark, swampy forest, with animals looking on with them.

The purpose of the song was to promote Neil Young’s newest album, Earth. I have my copy on pre-order at Pono Music. I will be downloading and listening to the Pono edition 192.0kHz/24bit on Friday June 24th. It is perfectly suited for my Neil Young Limited Edition Pono player 😉

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Jon Anderson’s Joie De Vivre

I’ve always believed in Jon Anderson. Like John Barleycorn he has proven to be the strongest man at last. The energy surrounding Jon’s musical output is glorious in scope, intent and purpose.

He just finished a successful tour with Jean Luc Ponty. Jon Anderson has two next level projects to share with friends and fans.

Project One

Anderson / Stolt, the brand new duo of legendary Yes vocalist & singer/songwriter Jon Anderson and progressive rock veteran Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings, Transatlantic), have announced the release of their collaborative album ‘The Invention Of Knowledge’ for 24th June 2016 via InsideOut Music.

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The idea came to life swiftly off the back of a performance from Roine’s band Transatlantic, and Jon Anderson on the Progressive Nation At Sea Cruise in 2014, and was initially instigated by InsideOut Music label boss Thomas Waber. The duo set about crafting new music in the spirit of early epic works such as ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’, ‘Awaken’ & ‘Olias Of Sunhillow’, but giving it a modern twist.

Written & recorded over the course of 1 and a half years, the tracks have been in a state of constant change as Roine and Jon swapped & refined ideas by sending tracks to each other via the internet. In March 2015, an ensemble was put together by Roine to realise the music live in the studio. Joining him there was Tom Brislin (who played on the Yes Symphonic tour) & Lalle Larsson on keys, Jonas Reingold & Michael Stolt on bass and Felix Lehrmann on drums. The sessions were also bolstered by appearances from Daniel Gildenlöw, Nad Sylvan, Anja Obermayer, Maria Rerych and Kristina Westas who all provided backing vocals.

The full track-listing for the album is as follows:

1. Knowing 17:45
2. Everybody Heals 13:20
3. Invention Of Knowledge 23:10
4. Know 11.20

Project Two

This collaborative project has the Yes community of fans abuzz with anticipated fulfillment.

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LONG-TIME YES FANS, REJOICE! JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN AND RICK WAKEMAN ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT AFTER A HIATUS OF 25 YEARS, THEY ARE TO REFORM THE DEFINITIVE YES LINE-UP AS ANDERSON, RABIN AND WAKEMAN (ARW).

“TO BE ABLE TO SING AND PERFORM WITH RICK AND TREVOR AT THIS TIME IN MY LIFE IS A TREASURE BEYOND WORDS,” EXPLAINS JON ANDERSON. “I’M SO EXCITED TO CREATE NEW MUSIC AND REVISIT SOME OF THE CLASSIC WORK WE CREATED MANY YEARS AGO, IT’S GOING TO BE A MUSICAL ADVENTURE ON SO MANY NEW LEVELS.”
“TREVOR RABIN AND I HAVE WANTED TO PLAY YES MUSIC TOGETHER SINCE THE UNION TOUR,” ADDS RICK WAKEMAN. “AND AS FOR SO MANY OF US, THERE IS NO YES MUSIC WITHOUT JON. THE ‘HOLY TRINITY OF YES’ IS FOR ME, VERY MUCH A DREAM COME TRUE.”

I am ticketed to see ARW in October at the Toyota Oakdale. Can’t wait to experience the definitive Yes.

Never A Dull Moment By David Hepworth

Cheap Thrills (Big Brother and the Holding Com...
Cheap Thrills (Big Brother and the Holding Company album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have debated in my mind which year was best for rock music. I am torn between the years 1967-1971. These were formative musical years as a child of the sixties maturing into the 1970s.

Starting with 1967, the year of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles and the Summer of Love in San Francisco. Then 1968 brought us Van Morrison‘s classic Astral Weeks and Cheap Thrills by Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin.

1969 was pivotal for my life as I graduated high school that year. The Woodstock Music and Arts Fair changed the world. Rock albums from Led Zeppelin and Santana pushed multi-dimensional sound.

Then 1970 ushered in the era of the singer/songwriter with Sweet Baby James by James Taylor. Contrast that soft music genre with the electric jazz fusion of Miles Davis‘s Bitches Brew.

Nantucket SleighrideThe capstone of the music period from 1967-1971 was 1971.  This year rose prominently in the music of our heart. I loved the dichotomy of Alice Cooper’s Love It To Death versus Nantucket Sleighride by Mountain.

 

 

 

 

Thanks to a book by David Hepworth, an ardent music fan and well-regarded critic, I have validation. The book David has written, Never A Dull Moment, 1971 The Year That Rock Exploded substantiates 1971’s contribution to rock history with concrete authority.

If you are a fan of rock history and its sociological impact on the rhythm of our existence you must read this book.

The Claypool Lennon Delirium

I like to know what Sean Lennon is doing with his art.

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Sean Lennon’s latest collaboration is with Primus bassist and lead singer Les Claypool. They’re calling themselves The Claypool Lennon Delirium.

Their new album is a collection of trippy, psychedelic space jams called The Monolith Of Phobos (a reference to a large rock discovered on Phobos, a moon orbiting Mars).

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Track Listing:
1. The Monolith Of Phobos
2. Cricket and the Genie – Movement I, The Delirium
3. Cricket and the Genie – Movement II, Oratorio Di Cricket
4. Mr. Wright
5. Boomerang Baby
6. Breath of a Salesman
7. Captain Lariat
8. Ohmerica
9. Oxycontin Girl
10. Bubbles Burst
11. There’s No Underwear In Space

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Bubbles Burst,” offers a more personal reflection from Lennon about his memories of Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee, Bubbles. Lennon and Jackson were friends and, as a child in the mid-1980s, Lennon would hang out with Bubbles at Jackson’s Neverland ranch.

ALLIGATOR RECORDS 45TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION

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LINER NOTES

On May 25 and June 2, 1971, the rawest, roughest-edged, most joyful blues band in Chicago recorded their first album. With the help of two fledgling producers, Bruce Iglauer and his friend Wesley Race, they cut multiple takes of twenty-five songs in two evenings, recorded live and mixed as they were being recorded. The album, issued in August of that year, was simply named after the band: Hound Dog Taylor And The HouseRockers, the first release from a brand new label called Alligator Records.

Alligator was a leap of faith, an underfinanced one-man operation run out of an efficiency apartment. It was launched with an album by a band virtually unknown outside the local bars where they played. The album captured the band’s glorious racket and the vibrant, rocking spirit of the South and West Side Chicago blues clubs—simple neighborhood taverns in the city’s black community where mostly Southern-born, working class people bonded together and sloughed off the frustrations of their day-to-day hard lives by listening and dancing to the honest, rhythmic, joyful and cathartic music they had grown up with—the blues. Two of the three members of the band—Hound Dog, a fifty-five-year-old former sharecropper and factory worker, and Brewer Phillips, a part-time construction worker, had come to Chicago from Mississippi looking for decent jobs. The third member, drummer Ted Harvey, a loading dock worker, came from the Windy City. They had no reputation, no booking agent or manager, and they were not creating music that sounded much like anything getting played on any form of commercial radio. Yet their unbridled energy, unfettered joy and raw soulfulness of their music somehow communicated to people all over the world, making them blues legends and making their debut recording a classic that continues to be discovered by legions of new fans.

Forty-five years later, Alligator Records, now with a catalog of almost three hundred albums, continues to be bound by the same philosophy that led to that first recording—that direct, unvarnished, straight-from-the-soul blues and blues-rooted music, the music we call “Genuine Houserockin’ Music,” speaks to some primal, necessary place in people’s consciousness. We believe that our music, if delivered by charismatic, soul-stirring artists, and if publicized, promoted and marketed with unwavering energy, will find a worldwide audience, stand the test of time, and keep the label moving forward for years to come.

The first years of Alligator were dedicated to recording artists from Chicago’s deep well of blues talent. Besides Hound Dog Taylor, the label released albums by Big Walter Horton, the then-unknown Son Seals, Fenton Robinson, Koko Taylor and Lonnie Brooks. In an effort to expose the wealth of Windy City artists, in 1978 and 1980 we released the six-LP (now four-CD) Living Chicago Blues set (and followed it with a single-album collection called The New Bluebloods in 1985 to introduce some of the newly-arisen Chicago talent).

Starting in 1978, Alligator began recording blues musicians from across the country. Established blues stars like Albert Collins, James Cotton, Gatemouth Brown, blues-rock guitar heroes like Johnny Winter, Roy Buchanan and Lonnie Mack, and ‘next generation’ artists like Kenny Neal, Tinsley Ellis and Little Charlie & The Nightcats all joined the Alligator family.

As the blues grew further from its Deep South roots, and the African-American audience turned to other forms of music, the large pool of musicians who had grown up in the blues tradition began to dry up. At the same time, a new generation of musicians, inspired by the blues but not part of the historic flow of blues, began to reshape the traditional elements to speak to contemporary audiences. Artists like JJ Grey, Anders Osborne, Jarekus Singleton, Selwyn Birchwood, and the newest Alligator family members, Toronzo Cannon and Moreland & Arbuckle, are defining blues and roots music for future decades.

The previous Alligator Anniversary Collections have been aimed at showing the complete span of the music we’ve recorded. For this collection, we have chosen to shine the spotlight somewhat more on the current artist roster and on those artists who are showing some of the directions Alligator will be heading in the future.

Over the last five years, since the release of Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection, we’ve lost too many members of the extended Alligator family, not only artists on the roster and those who had previously recorded for us, but also those who made memorable guest appearances on our releases. We will always miss Michael “Iron Man” Burks, Otis Clay, Michael Coleman, Popsy Dixon of the Holmes Brothers,  Lacy Gibson, Wendell Holmes, Long John Hunter, Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Magic Slim, Sista Monica Parker, Pinetop Perkins, Ann Rabson, Pete Special of Big Twist & The Mellow Fellows and Johnny Winter. We also pay special homage to The King Of The Blues, B.B. King, who graced us with a guest appearance on Alligator. This collection is dedicated to all of them. 

Bruce Iglauer

 

John Cage Meets Sun Ra – The Complete Concert

If you were going to envision the ultimate avant-garde meeting-of-the-minds jam session, who would you pick? Even the most hopeful fan of strange and innovative music couldn’t have seen this one coming: on one afternoon in 1986, at Coney Island’s dilapidated freak show, space-age avant-jazz genius Sun Ra met avant-garde “serious music” composer John Cage in an unforgettable performance.

You couldn’t imagine two figures more opposite. Cage was known for his unusual approach to composition, using objects such as radios and television sets, as well as pure silence, as instruments, often encouraging his musicians to do other things at their whim on stage. Sun Ra, on the other hand, was a jazz arranger known for his “space-age” approach to jazz, adding free-jazz and surrealist elements into a musical form that Cage often disdained — improvisational music. And yet, for one afternoon, they pooled their talents — Ra playing keyboards, leading his small group and reading his unusual poetry; Cage “performing” vocal readings and passages of vocal sound — plus his trademark silence — designed to baffle and disorient. The combination is breathtaking, both organic and mechanical, free-form and totally composed.

For the very first time, Modern Harmonic presents the full and unexpurgated concert from 1986, stretched out across two LPs. In addition to never-before-heard songs and musical passages, this album at last presents the long-rumored co-performance between the two musical giants, all lovingly packaged in new artwork that captures the stark brilliance of the music. Take yourself back to 1986 and a once-in-a-lifetime performance that you can finally hear as it was intended. Double LP on clear vinyl!!

Also available on compact disc!