Tuesday, 31 July 2012
There is also a bonus DVD feature on the synths behind the music including a massive custom built beast of a synth. Again of definite interest to fellow musicians.
The idea behind the Galactic Collective album was to take instrumental pieces Erik had recorded for his solo work, Lana Lane and the Rocket Scientists and reinterpret them for this album. Tunes like ‘Neurosaur’ and ‘Fanfare For Absent Friends’ are keyboard heaven, perfect for fans of Tangerine Dream and Rick Wakeman, whereas ‘Trantor Station’ could easily sit on an Ayreon album.
Well thought out and packaged with the fan in mind.
Monday, 30 July 2012
Poetry of the Mojave Desert *(Or Nothin` Makes Sense If You Need To Be Logical!)
This is not an introduction. You can move it to the middle or to the ending, I don`t care. Nor is it a description of what I`m about to write; that`s forbidden, Captain Beefheart wouldn`t approve of that. It is black and white, though. You can fill in the peripherals with every tonal from the rainbow color wheel; he`ll dig it! Yea, Lester`s right, Beefheart is more important to the History of Rock than even the Rock Gods themselves, The Beatles.
The problem is, not enough time has gone by yet, where Music Historians (or, if you will, Rock Historians), can meditate on Beefheart`s total opus, and give it the proper consideration, tender loving care, it so passionately deserves. If this means standing on your head while reading The Captain`s lyrics, and rotating an hour and eighteen minutes of concentrated Trout Mask Replica commotion, then that`s what you have to do. Will the double parred-down Rock Opera (Trout Mask Replica) ever go commercial and sell millions of copies?
I have faith that it will, but maybe not in my lifetime or yours. I broke it down, and dissected merely six songs, as if they were laboratory frogs in a high school biology class. I took the six songs seriously, as if they were paintings hanging in the Louvre, meant for billions of curious eyes, and for generations to come, not yet born, to pass by, ogle, then collect for a lifetime of memories and/or sacrosanct meditation, of the highest order known to man. Moreover, I never assumed I was getting it right on just one listen!
True Art has subtle shades of gray that reshape whatever interpretation we might apply to it. Art is chameleon-like, and changes hues every time we glance over at it (or hear the chimerical notes). A Carrot Is As Close is as pensive and surreal as Claude Debussey`s Sunken Cathedral, maybe more so. Run Paint Run has a massive amount of musical notes (& words) splattered on canvass with a stick, just like old Jackson Pollack use to do, just pouring paint out of a can!
Three Early Masterpieces
Abba Zaba, on Beefheart`s premiere album, Safe As Milk (released on the Buddah label in September of 1967), is the second song on side two, if you were playing it on a vinyl record back then (very few people were joining you, I might add). Apparently, the tune (written entirely by Don Van Vliet) is, on the surface, about a candy bar of the same name which a young Beefheart ate frequently when growing up in the Mohave desert.
The Michael Des Barres Band - Carnaby Street
Born a European nobleman, Michael Des Barres got bit by the rock and roll bug at an early age. While some sarcastically claim that he is most famous for, at one time, being married to Pamela Des Barres, the most famous groupie in music history, that is just not fair. Michael was the front man for a very successful European band in the 1960’s and was later signed by Jimmy Page for Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records in 1975 with the band Detective. He toured with The Power Station and played Live Aid with them. He was in the super group, Chequered Past, with Clem Burke and Nigel Harrison of Blondie and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols. He also penned the song “Obsession” which became a number one hit around the world for the new wave band Animotion.
Check him out at his Gonzo Artist Page
Earlier this year Eric, who has been suffering back pain for over 3 years, was forced to cancel his Summer European Tour. It has been a debilitating situation and as a performer whose schedule has been unrelenting, Eric is excited to finally have a solution that will enable him to get back out on the road.
And check him out at Gonzo:
Cat-loving celebrities are showing their support for Cats Protection’s prestigious National Cat Awards 2012 taking place at The Savoy in London on the 16th of August. The awards are designed to celebrate the real-life stories of companionship, bravery and survival in the cat world.
This year’s event will be hosted by Channel 4 presenter Rick Edwards and the celebrity judges are comedian Ed Byrne, former Yes keyboardist and star of Grumpy Old Men Rick Wakeman, model Lucy Pinder and ex-BBC newsreader Jan Leeming.
With all the judges self-confessed “cat people”, they have been handed the difficult task of choosing the winning cats from a shortlist of three nominees in the following categories – Best Friends, Hero Cat, Most Incredible Story and Outstanding Rescue Cat.
Rick Wakeman sums up his arduous decision in the Best Friends category by saying, “No two cats are remotely the same so it’ll be tough deciding which has been the best cat friend from so many deserving entries.”
Rick’s category includes Morgan who helped his owner cope with depression, Alfie, a loyal companion to a teenager suffering from a condition called Behcets Syndrome and Jessi-Cat who whose unconditional love for a seven-year-old boy helps him overcome an anxiety disorder.
Friday, 27 July 2012
Looking back on prog rock’s peak of popularity, it’s hard to imagine the Brit-centric genre ever enjoying a resurgence. Who in today’s lean times wants to hear a 30-minute musical suite with fantastical lyrics? Who wants bombastic hairdos on stage and intricate symphonic indulgence on record? Well, the answer is lots of people — particularly those in the 45 to 55 age bracket who came of age firmly in the mid-‘70s, well past the hazy innocence of the hippie years and well before the angry non-conformity of the punk age.
London legends Yes may not be as instantly recognizable to American audiences as prog rock titans like Kansas, Rush and The Moody Blues. But any music nerd will tell you that Yes’ cumulative accomplishments are startlingly impressive. Originating as a cover-band in the late ‘60s, Yes exponentially expanded its artistic and creative reach in the ‘70s, gaining fame for experimental compositions, eye-popping live shows and surrealistic cover art.
Check out the Yes artist page at Gonzo
Check it out at Gonzo
Elton John, Dan Wooding and Rick Wakeman
My most recent interview was with Sior Coleman at BBC Radio WM (West Midlands), a station in Birmingham, England, where I was raised. Then on Thursday, July 26th I will be on Janet Parshall’s show on the Moody Radio Network to talk about the book. You can hear it, or get details of the time I will be on, by going to: http://www.moodyradio.org/inthemarketwithjanetparshall.
This authorized biography of my dear friend Rick Wakeman, who is arguably the world’s greatest rock keyboardist, is lavishly illustrated with dozens of photos from Wakeman’s extraordinary career which includes the time his career took off when he joined the folk group, Strawbs, in 1969, and played on three of their albums, and later rose to greater heights during his times with the British super group, Yes.
To purchase a copy of “Caped Crusader” just go to: http://www.amazon.com/CAPED-CRUSADER-Rick-Wakeman-1970s/dp/1908728302/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335474883&sr=1-1
Read the rest of Dan's newsletter:
Wednesday, 25 July 2012
Galahad: Battle Scars
The first notes of the title track do your listening room trembling by maximum bass - beware the post hours on the case! The epic melody and heavy themes in the lyrics ("we will live so much longer", "you will reap what you sow") smell like Jim Steinman (the song "Seize The Day" does not happen to think of his "Seize The Night '), supplemented with Biblical references and striking harmonies. When finally the heavy guitars and the singer burst then 18 times in succession "battle scars" chant as if it were a religious mantra, you know it for sure: this is a metal plate! In that genre has undersigned only the biggest names (AC / DC, Iron Maiden, Metallica and other usual suspects), but Galahad should definitely not do. 'Battle Scars' is at times extremely heavy plate, sometimes with very long numbers (unique to the genre). May not be your cup of tea, but technically excellent music played extremely well maintained and finished. A pleasant (but loud) surprise.
The opening track will wake up the neighbors with its sonic bass. The epic melody and heavy subject matter are Reminiscent of Jim Steinman, Whereas the Biblical shoutouts and heavy guitars confirm what you have leg thinking: this is a metal record! Galahad may not be as well known as the genre's heavyweights AC / DC, Iron Maiden or Metallica, but They have delivered a very fine record with 'Battle Scars'.
Julian De Backer (3 to 4)
Check out his Gonzo Artist Page