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MSDN Subscription People Finally Deliver

In a follow up to this, it took a while, but they finally updated my subscription end date to reflect the period of time that I didn’t have access.  Well, most of it, I think it was technically a few weeks short but fairly close anyway.

posted @ Tuesday, August 02, 2016 4:17 AM | Feedback (0)
David Bowie

Don’t just check out Ziggy Stardust and all the hits.  Checkout especially the Low/Heroes/Lodger/Scary Monsters period (with some tasty Robert Fripp included).

posted @ Monday, January 11, 2016 9:53 AM | Feedback (0)
King Crimson is in motion

From here: “So, King Crimson is in motion. This is a very different reformation to what has gone before: seven players, four English and three American, with three drummers.” That’s a nice greeting to the morning.

posted @ Wednesday, September 25, 2013 9:33 AM | Feedback (0)
Marillion – The Great Escape – Live – Marillion Weekend 3/23/2013

Update: what the hell, the user pulled the video.  I have no idea why (I mean, I know Marillion is going to release a DVD in the fall of their Brave performances, but I find it hard to imagine they complained).  That sucks.  Oh, well, it was pretty cool, to say the least.  The Porcupine Tree show at Radio City Music Hall was special in many ways, but still, in many other ways, couldn’t hold a candle to this. I was there.  The sound quality isn’t very good (the sound from the floor was phenomenal), and the...

posted @ Monday, July 22, 2013 9:01 PM | Feedback (0)
Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused to Sing (Live)

My favorite song from one of my favorite musical releases in years. Please, come to me. Please, stay with me. Please Please Sing Stay Sing to me, raven I miss her so much. Enjoy.

posted @ Saturday, June 15, 2013 2:57 PM | Feedback (0)
Fripp in Italy

In a previous post, I talked about my enjoyment of a performance of Fripp and the Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists. As he does, he has posted his daily thoughts about the week, both leading up to and after the performance, which can be found here: Sunday, April 14th Monday, April 15th Tuesday, April 16th Wednesday, April 17th Thursday, April 18th Performance day, Friday, April 19th Saturday, April 20th Sunday, April 21st The setting, the circumstances, and the company made it an event that I will long remember.

posted @ Saturday, May 25, 2013 7:09 AM | Feedback (0)
Robert Fripp and The Orchestra Of Crafty Guitarists VI – Caorle, Italy, April 19th, 2013

For largely personal reasons, I have been in Italy for a few weeks, and when I was planning the trip, by luck, I happened to come across this.  I’ve heard various versions/recordings/concerts/whatever of various incarnations of the crafties since they first started recording, and I’ve always thought it would be interesting to attend one of the classes/workshops/whatever someday. Anyway, I noticed they had a performance at the end of this incarnation and inquired as to whether it would be public or not.  It wasn’t, but I was grateful when I was added to the guest list (along...

posted @ Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:48 PM | Feedback (0)
Marillion Montreal Weekend 2013 – Brave

“Brave” was a seminal release in Marillion’s career.  It came maybe a couple of years after they dropped off the planet for me (94 maybe), so I never knew it existed until 5 years ago, or whenever I rediscovered the group thanks to Porcupine Tree (Stephen Wilson helped produce one of their albums (I think), “Marbles”, which is my favorite of theirs).  So, there’s a bit of an emotional distance there for me. But, I’m willing to bet that for many people in the crowd, this was one of their all-time favorites, and there were grown men, giddy like...

posted @ Thursday, March 28, 2013 1:57 AM | Feedback (0)
Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused to Sing (and other songs)

Steven Wilson’s latest release is arguably bittersweet for any Porcupine Tree fan, for while he has emphatically rejected making any sort of grand pronouncement about the permanent demise of the band, it is clear that it is on the back burner for him for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, for anyone that is a fan of what is contentiously labeled “progressive rock,”, I urge you to give this a listen.  Having only listened to it a few times, I am not sure, but it might arguably be, on many levels, the greatest work that he has ever produced. A...

posted @ Friday, March 01, 2013 11:05 PM | Feedback (0)
Marillion, Park West, Chicago, IL – 6/23/12

A different concert in a couple of different ways. But first, the set list: The Invisible Man Open My Eyes Slainte Mhath Out of This World Afraid of Sunlight Cannibal Surf Babe The Great Escape Estonia Lucky Man Between You and Me Neverland Encore 1: This Strange Engine Encore 2: Kayleigh ...

posted @ Sunday, June 24, 2012 7:10 PM | Feedback (0)
Marillion, Park West, Chicago, IL – 6/22/12

If there were two things that were confirmed at this concert, they are: Though I was encouraged by the presence of my still noticeably older brethren, I am perilously close to becoming too old to rock Sometimes, you can go home again First, the set list: The Invisible Man Beautiful You’re Gone Easter King Fantastic Place A Voice from the Past Ocean Cloud ...

posted @ Saturday, June 23, 2012 2:00 AM | Feedback (0)
Marillion – Invisible Man (Live)

This song pretty much sums up what Marillion is and what they do.  With any band that has been around for this long, saying any particular song is their best is open to interpretation, but this is their best. Hogarth keeps the theatrics to a minimum.  Actually, not really, it’s still a bit much, but better than other attempts.  Just sing the freakin’ song, dude. Enjoy. The world's gone mad And I have lost touch I shouldn't admit it But I have....

posted @ Wednesday, April 11, 2012 10:48 PM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree – Arriving Somewhere But Not Here (Live)

Perhaps not their best song, but close. The video is from a concert at Park West in Chicago, the last concert they played there before I knew who they were (if that makes sense).  And so of course, in almost every show I’ve been to (6 or 7 or something), they don’t play it. The only time I’ve heard them play this song live was as the encore at their ‘special’ concert at Radio City Music Hall.  All my designs, simplified And all of my plans, compromised And all...

posted @ Wednesday, February 15, 2012 10:09 PM | Feedback (0)
Bettye Lavette - Talking Old Soldiers

An absolutely amazing song.  It’s hard to add much to this. A cover of an Elton John song (which I now have to lookup), it’s dark and bitter.  I like it. It's funny I remember, oh, five or six years ago I'd say I'd stand right here at this bar with my friends who passed away And drink three times the wine I can drink today Yup, I know how it feels to grow old I know what they're sayin' son There goes...

posted @ Tuesday, January 31, 2012 10:55 PM | Feedback (0)
Jeff Beck – Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers

As partial penance for a previous post (say that five times fast), here’s a seminal guitar instrumental. I saw Jeff Beck once, appearing in a bill with SRV about 6 months before the helicopter crash.  A great concert, even greater in retrospect given what happened. He’s one of the few guitarists that I know of that uses tone to signify change in emotion as effectively as he does (David Gilmour is probably the only other guitarist that uses this technique regularly.  That I know of, of course.). There are many other YouTube videos of him performing this...

posted @ Monday, January 30, 2012 8:25 PM | Feedback (1)
Guilty Musical Pleasure : Colbie Caillat – Fallin’ for You

I like Colbie Caillat’s music.  There I’ve said it. I realize that I’m not her target demographic.  I also realize this is somewhat disturbing, if not downright creepy.  But dammit, I can’t help it. There is a particular cognitive dissonance when the shuffle play on my Zune pairs this with, say, King Crimson, but what can you do. I've been spending all my..time Just thinking about ya I don't know what to do I think I'm fallin' for you I've been waiting all my.. life...

posted @ Saturday, January 21, 2012 10:47 PM | Feedback (0)
Wilco – One Wing (Live)

Wilco is a Chicago band, so I suppose I should like them more than most for that fact. I don’t, but they continue to provide amazing songs, so what the hell.  Enjoy. We may as well be made of stone We can’t be flown One wing will never fly Neither yours nor mine, I fear We can only wave goodbye  

posted @ Friday, December 02, 2011 9:30 PM | Feedback (0)
Talk Talk – The Rainbow and After The Flood, not remotely live

Trying to describe what the later works of Talk Talk are like is difficult to do.  They are…different. As a quotation from Wikipedia states, (they are) “the kind of record which encourages marketing men to commit suicide.”  Depending on how you feel about marketing, this might be seen as a positive or a negative. Listening to one or two songs, you are likely to find that you like most or all of it, or feel something quite the opposite.  Not because all of the songs sound the same, but because there’s a common sensibility to them, whatever that...

posted @ Tuesday, November 22, 2011 11:14 PM | Feedback (0)
John Mellencamp – What If I Came Knocking (Live)

At least I think it is live.  The sound is so tight that it wouldn’t surprise me if there was some over-dubbing involved, but it doesn’t appear to be so.  Fantastic guitar work in this one. So let's just say it worked outLike a storybook dreamAnd we lived happily ever afterFa la la laBut what if I came cryingAfter just a few weeksAnd I said misread my heartThis is not really meant to be? Yeah Enjoy.  

posted @ Tuesday, November 15, 2011 8:22 PM | Feedback (0)
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Big White Gate (Live)

Sometimes you come across a band and wonder to yourself “where the hell have they been, how did I miss this?” and this, for me is one of them. They are on tour for their current album (which I actually don’t like as much as their 2007 release, which is why I’m posting this one), and I actually looked into driving 10+ hours to see them, but it doesn’t work out. Anyway, damn can she sing. Saint peter won't you open up the big white gate Cause i heard about forgiveness and i hope...

posted @ Sunday, August 28, 2011 7:28 PM | Feedback (0)
Misheard Lyrics – Pearl Jam – Yellow Ledbetter

After spending a week’s vacation in Canada with my family (Kingston, where I was born, Montreal and Quebec City….I’d never been to Quebec City, and especially enjoyed it), I was driving my sister and her husband to the airport when this song came on the radio and we all began ‘singing’ it, which of course meant muttering random and incoherent sentences, because no one can really tell what the hell Eddie Vedder is actually singing. Anyway, she forwarded to me this video which explains it perfectly.  As one commenter said, “whats so hard to understand that he doesnt want...

posted @ Wednesday, August 24, 2011 11:29 AM | Feedback (0)
Poi Dog Pondering – Simple Song

A while ago, I posted about a song that I had heard once on the radio, never since, and couldn’t find through Google anywhere.  A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try and find it again, and was able to.  Sort of. The main lyric that I ‘remembered’ was: “I haven’t said grace at dinner/Since the day my father died” which drew nothing useful on Google (well, except for a bunch of personal stories on various peoples’ blogs, which may or may not be useful depending on your life circumstances).  It turns out that I had...

posted @ Saturday, July 09, 2011 6:12 PM | Feedback (4)
The Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight (Live)

side note: there are other, better, versions of them playing the song (this version is slightly shortened and the lead singer fails to hit the Note O’ Desperation ™ in the last verse), but almost all of them seem to include ads that run before the video.  Is this just random, or is it something YouTube is doing across the board?  There’s nothing like finding a video you want to watch and then having to wait 15 seconds determining whether or not you want to buy a Ford F150. The particular lyrics involve the death of a bar room...

posted @ Monday, June 20, 2011 9:29 PM | Feedback (0)
Roger Waters – Amused To Death (Live)

Update: For copyright reasons, this is no longer available on YouTube.  I don’t know what the original source was, so cannot point to that. I encourage you, if you are interested, to find other ways of hearing this song, especially if it involves paying the artist who created it.  Thanks. I’ve posted about the album before but there’s a good concert video of the title track available.  It has the obligatory Pink Floyd-ish trio of swaying female background singers, and well played guitar riffs, but although the music itself is well done, it is somewhat besides the point. ...

posted @ Friday, June 03, 2011 8:02 PM | Feedback (0)
Lucinda Williams – Seeing Black

A song spawned in reaction to the suicide of Vic Chesnutt, harsh and straight-forward. The ending guitar solo is provided by…Elvis Costello.  Yes, that Elvis Costello, and no, I didn’t know he could play guitar like that either.  Technique wise, he’s no Steve Vai (obviously), but he rips it out in the style of Neil Young (in fact, if I hadn’t read it was Elvis Costello, I would have bet at least $124 it was Neil Young). Did you feel your act was a final truth The dramatic ending of a misspent youth ...

posted @ Thursday, May 26, 2011 7:51 PM | Feedback (0)
Concrete Blonde – Side of the Road

A song that they never played live (at least at any of their concerts I attended), a great song about sadness and loss.  Or something like that.  Can’t personally relate, of course. i can remember us laughing in bed hung over happy and holding our heads we didn't care about what people said it's hard recognizing a dream that's gone dead feeling my liquor feeling alone ...

posted @ Monday, May 16, 2011 7:48 PM | Feedback (0)
Peter Wolf – Nothing but the wheel

A great “driving because my heart is broken” song.  Not that I know anything about that personally, of course. I’ve been trying to drive you off my mind And maybe that way baby, I can leave it all behind And the only thing I know for sure Is you don’t want me anymore And I’m holding on to nothing but the wheel Great backing vocal by Mick Jagger. Enjoy.

posted @ Sunday, May 01, 2011 12:36 AM | Feedback (0)
Go Pens: BOOM-LAY BOOM-LAY BOOM!

As with every team in the NHL, right before the home team Penguins come out at the beginning of the game at CONSOL Energy Center, they play the obligatory video to get the crowd riled up.  “Yeah Home Team!  Boo Road Team!”  Crowd goes wild. The Pens use a song by Shinedown called Diamond Eyes, which is incredibly catchy and includes lyrics like: Boom-Lay Boom-Lay BOOM! [x4] I'm on the front line Don't worry I'll be fine the story is just beginning ...

posted @ Friday, April 22, 2011 11:17 PM | Feedback (0)
Final Creative 32 GB Most Popular List

I recently bought a Zune HD 64 GB player.  I had hoped the Creative Zen 64 GB player, physically identical to my 32 GB unit, would have been the one, but alas…. I never would have considered the Zune, except for two reasons: Because of my Windows 7 Samsung Focus, I got to play with Zune Marketplace and sign up for the monthly pass thing. Someone at a recent Chicago Alt.NET meeting had a Zune HD, gave it a good reference and let me look at it.  The physical design of it...

posted @ Monday, February 28, 2011 9:41 PM | Feedback (0)
Fun Link: Studio Multitracks

Via John Gruber, Studio Multitracks is a site that deconstructs classic (and some not so classic) songs into their individual tracks. The hook that got both Gruber and myself to visit is the deconstruction of The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter.  If you don’t like the song, you probably won’t be as impressed, but then again, if you don’t like the song, there’s something wrong with you. Check it out.

posted @ Friday, February 04, 2011 6:39 PM | Feedback (0)
Robert Fripp ends career '”in the conventional role of a professional player”

From his blog, after a performance at “WFC 1” (which is across from the WTC site, and which I visited in my last visit to NYC): “Speaking in the dressing room afterwards to John Schaefer & the Power Person responsible for the programming here: this evening’s performance is the last for me in the conventional role of a professional player….conventional venues & conventional approaches to the conventional wisdom of the conventionally-professional musical life are at an end. Not retirement, as with Billy B., but continuing to play & practice with the work of the Guitar Circle & writing in...

posted @ Monday, December 20, 2010 6:09 PM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree – Live at Radio City Music Hall – 09/24/2010

A couple of days before the show, I ‘discovered’ Porcupine Tree’s twitter page, and so was prepared for a 3 hour show that featured one ‘half’ of a performance of The Incident, and one ‘half’ of them performing older material from the 1993-1999 period. It didn’t turn out quite that way.  With two 10-minute breaks, they didn’t quite perform for 3 hours, they didn’t play The Incident in its entirety, and they didn’t just play other material from 1993-1999.  But, regardless, it was a pretty fantastic show (with only a minor quibble).  Here’s a mini-review, including the set list. ...

posted @ Monday, September 27, 2010 7:10 PM | Feedback (0)
If They Can Make It There (Porcupine Tree at Radio City Music Hall, 9/24/2010)

Back in February (I think), Porcupine Tree announced that they were going to have two special concerts, one in NYC, and one in London. It was never really explained why they were special concerts.  I’m unclear at the moment if they are at all, as Porcupine Tree is touring ‘normally’ for The Incident. In any event, I decided to turn the concert event into an excuse to take a full week vacation to NYC, which starts this weekend. Before he retired, my father lived in a building that had one (or more) guest rooms that allowed myself...

posted @ Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:38 PM | Feedback (0)
Creative Zen X-Fi 2 64 GB Review

I wanted to like it. I have used various music players over the years, but mainly the Creative Zen.  I don’t use iPods because I have too many things that are in .wma format (yeah, yeah, I know) and I hate iTunes.  I’ve used Sansa products before, but after returning the 3rd one with a white screen of death, I decided they didn’t quite have the most robust quality control. My current player (which I’ve had for a few years now) is a 32 GB MX and it is close to full.  You can put things on an...

posted @ Saturday, August 28, 2010 5:02 PM | Feedback (0)
Public Image Limited–Ease (not even remotely live)

Normally, I wouldn’t post a ‘video’ where there isn’t a video, really, just a shot of the cover.  The oddness of the lyrics of the song, combined with the brilliance of the guitar solo and the fact that there was never a live version of this that could do it justice, makes this an exception. Recorded arguably before Steve Vai was Steve Vai, this song was on a release by PIL that was, well, odd, in many ways.  If you got a cassette (“Daddy, what’s a cassette?”…”Shut up”), the title of the release was “Cassette.”  If it was an...

posted @ Friday, August 20, 2010 10:02 PM | Feedback (0)
Can you help find me find the song that matches this lyric, #1

Google search is an awe inspiring thing (well, sort of).  I’ve mentioned before that I sometimes wonder how developers wrote code before Google existed.  I simply cannot seem to memorize syntax well.  Bouncing between css, html, c#, t-sql, vbscript, perl, foxpro, and other things these last couple of years, without some combination of Google and intellisense, I would be lost. Ironically, I also have, at times, near photographic memory.  Now, I think just about everyone has near photographic memory when it comes to significant events in their lives.  For instance, I remember where I was when the Challenger exploded,...

posted @ Friday, August 20, 2010 8:52 PM | Feedback (0)
Stereophonics – Dakota (Live)

Another pleasant ditty, this is from a concert that was the basis for a live album, so the sound quality is pretty decent. Wake up call, coffee and juice Remembering you What happened to you I wonder if we'll meet again Talk about life since then Talk about why did it end You made me feel like the one You made me feel like...

posted @ Thursday, August 05, 2010 4:47 PM | Feedback (0)
Jefferson Starship – Save Your Love (live)

Let’s get the ‘apologies’ out of the way: Yes, I am posting a song from Jefferson Starship. It was the eighties.  That’s how people dressed and wore their hair. Calling the lyrics cheesy does them too much justice.  “Go on out and gain the world/ But don’t lose yourself while your trying / Your truth is changing everyday / But your heart will let you know when you’re lying”.  Right, let me grab a pencil and write that down. The guitarist, Craig Chaquico, does...

posted @ Wednesday, July 21, 2010 7:40 PM | Feedback (2)
Concrete Blonde, 6/12/2010, Vic Theater, Chicago, IL

I’ve never been what I would call the ‘target market’ for Concrete Blonde.  I don’t care about vampire songs, the recurrent anti-religious and “be true to yourself” lyrical themes have never done much for me, and I’m pretty sure I’m not a young single woman looking for a role model (let me check….nope), or whatever other demographic trends towards them. But they’ve always been one of my favorite bands and for a number of reasons.  The guitarist John Mankey has always been solid, there’s the “don’t mind the details” nostalgic reasons why their songs have resonated for...

posted @ Sunday, June 13, 2010 12:38 AM | Feedback (0)
The Kings of Convenience – Winning a Battle, Losing the War

I used to be able to play fingerstyle guitar pretty well.  Well, at least I’m telling myself that. Another gem, with the usual uplifting lyrics I like: Even though I'll never need her, even though she's only giving me pain, I'll be on my knees to feed her, spend a day to make her smile again  

posted @ Monday, May 31, 2010 5:19 PM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree, 05/01/2010, Bogart’s, Cincinnati, OH

Bogart’s is one of those clubs that has a large open-space in front of the stage that extends two-thirds of the way back in the building to where the mixing desk is, behind which is another smaller space, and the all important bar.  There’s also a second-level above the bar and mixing desk. The sound quality in the place was highly dependent on where you were standing.  The music was notably muddy, especially if you were towards the back. Anyway, I was probably in the first third of the open space when I overheard some guys behind me...

posted @ Monday, May 03, 2010 7:50 PM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree, 04/30/2010, Riviera Theater, Chicago IL

It was a strategic risk to get tickets to PT during the playoffs when the Pens were playing, and sure enough, Game One conflicted with tonight’s concert.  I was prepared to skip it, since I’m going to the concert in Cincinnati tomorrow. Luckily, the Pens were up by two going into the third period, and I decided that it would be better to go to the concert, as opposed to watching the third at home if they blew it.  Luckily, I had a good friend who texted me during the entire third period to know the Pens won. Anyway, here’s the set...

posted @ Friday, April 30, 2010 11:31 PM | Feedback (0)
Jane Siberry – Love is Everything (Live)

Jane Siberry follows in a long line of Canadian singer-songwriters, and here is a beautiful live rendition of one of her best songs. The title of the song is ‘Love is Everything’ which means, of course, that it is about love ending.  Huh, go figure.

posted @ Wednesday, April 21, 2010 10:36 PM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree – The Sound of Musak (Live)

One of their best songs, with some of SW’s most cynical (yet accurate) lyrics. The music of rebellion Makes you wanna rage But it's made by millionaires Who are nearly twice your age

posted @ Sunday, April 11, 2010 11:14 PM | Feedback (0)
Loquat – Swingset Chain (live)

A really beautiful song I’ve mentioned before about the loss of friendship and other stuff (like alcoholism if you listen to the entire lyric…LOL).  It’s also misnamed. You’re a dandelion seed That files through the air And lands randomly Then disappears Check it out.

posted @ Thursday, March 25, 2010 5:56 PM | Feedback (0)
Melissa McClelland – Brake (live)

A snippet of this song was played on Hockey Night in Canada, related to the death of Maple Leafs’ GM Brian Burke’s son. Obviously, I don’t know Mr. Burke at all, but condolences and prayers to him and his family.  I’ve never understood how people recover from the death of a child.  It’s something I wish on no one. Anyway, here’s a beautiful rendition of a beautiful (albeit depressing) song.  Resolution kind of sucks, but there you go.

posted @ Saturday, February 06, 2010 10:17 PM | Feedback (0)
No Man – All Sweet Things

Continuing on the music video theme…. Tim Bowness is kind of like a modern day Morrissey.  His lyrics and delivery are very…precious, for lack of a better word.  It’s easy to dislike if you aren’t into that sort of thing, but I like certain of his songs more than others, and this is one of them.  That’s Steven Wilson (of Porcupine Tree fame) in the background playing guitar. Enjoy.

posted @ Thursday, November 19, 2009 11:14 PM | Feedback (0)
Dawn Landes – Straight Lines

This one goes out to all of those who have seen the Chrysler Town and Country 2010 commercial with a bunch of women in bikinis who thought to themselves “How many damn commercials can feature Feist?” and yet didn’t mind a commercial with a bunch of women in bikinis. It turns out it isn’t Feist, but Dawn Landes.  No, I don’t know who that is either. The full video, as far as I can tell, is incredibly stupid, with a bunch of dumb hippy shit (as if there was another type), but has the advantage of having Ms....

posted @ Thursday, November 19, 2009 10:58 PM | Feedback (1)
Guilty Musical Pleasures: Lita Ford – Kiss Me Deadly

I went to a party last Saturday night I didn’t get laid I got in a fight Uh, huh, it ain’t no big thing I’m thinking that if Lita didn’t get laid, Lita didn’t want to get laid. Anyway, the powers that be decided to try and make her a star with a series of videos like this one.  Another one had her do a duet with Ozzy Osbourne.  It didn’t really work, but you can’t fault them for trying. A couple of questions arise.  Why...

posted @ Wednesday, November 04, 2009 9:59 PM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree, 09/22/2009, Chicago IL

Overcoming a less clear sound mix, Porcupine Tree put on another solid show at Vics Theatre, mixing up the second part of their set from the previous night, as I had hoped. It could have been where I was standing for their set, but the sound mix for Kings X was muddy, to say the least.  For a number of songs, Frontman dude would play some opening bass riffs, and you couldn’t tell what the hell it was really (which sort of made the 8 string bass number a miss), with only the lowest notes discernable.  Frontman dude did a variation...

posted @ Wednesday, September 23, 2009 12:03 AM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree, 09/21/2009, Cleveland OH

Thwarting late arriving equipment (making it unfortunate they didn’t play Arriving Somewhere But Not Here), Porcupine Tree pulled off an impressive show at the House of Blues in Cleveland OH. Right before the opening act came on, the tour manager for Porcupine Tree came out and announced that the equipment from LA was arriving late, but would make it there and the show would go on.  There would just be a longer break after the opening act. Said act being King’s X, who has been around since the late 80’s, whose only song you probably heard of was...

posted @ Tuesday, September 22, 2009 12:24 AM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree – The Incident (First Listen Thoughts)

So since I have no life, I paid the extra bucks to be able to download the newest Porcupine Tree release a little earlier than others.  Having sat through the first listen, here’s a couple of thoughts. Disclaimer: there have been times in the past when my first listen thoughts ended up being radically different from what I thought later on.  I didn’t like Marillion’s Clutching At Straws at first, then came to think of it as the best release of the Fish era.  In a totally different area, I thought Jane Siberry’s Since I Was A Boy was,...

posted @ Monday, September 14, 2009 8:03 PM | Feedback (0)
Marillion – Easter (Live)

This was previously posted on YouTube then pulled and has now appeared again.  No idea why it was pulled in the first place. This was the best song on the album after Fish left, and I liked it when I first heard it, but forgot about it. Years and years later, I rediscovered it.  Steve Rothery rarely solos extensively (for whatever reason), but this is just about his best.

posted @ Tuesday, September 01, 2009 1:18 AM | Feedback (0)
Aimee Mann – 31 Today

The song has been out for a while, but only found it recently.  The video is…quirky.  But what do you expect from a video produced by Bobcat Goldthwait….what the hell, he produces videos? Anyway, besides just liking the song, it uses a ‘trick’ that I used to use a long, long, long, long, long time ago when I wrote songs…a ‘perky’ upbeat song that has basically depressing lyrics.  Obviously, I didn’t invent the trick, but for whatever twisted reason, it appeals to me. I thought my life would be different somehow I thought my life would be better by...

posted @ Friday, August 28, 2009 7:38 PM | Feedback (0)
Blackfield - Once (Live)

One of SW's numerous bands, good stuff.

posted @ Sunday, July 12, 2009 11:27 PM | Feedback (0)
Marillion – Somewhere Else (live)

A great perfomance of the song. Somewhere Else (Live)

posted @ Sunday, July 12, 2009 11:17 PM | Feedback (0)
OCMA: Loquat – Swingset Chain

Another in my random series’ of musical posts, OCMA stands for ‘Obsessive Compulsive Music Awards’ wherein I identify songs that, once first heard, I tend to listen to a lot in a short period of time.  And I mean a lot.  Like double-digits a day.  Or, an hour, if I’m really locked into it. Since much/most of what I listen to still tends to be what is called ‘Progressive Rock’ (whatever that means), many OCMAs would go there, but I want to start off with a song (or two, depending on when I get to it) that doesn’t fit...

posted @ Monday, December 08, 2008 10:10 PM | Feedback (0)
Marillion’s Happiness is the Road, a review

Update: forgot to mention, if you live in the US and/or UK, you will be able to get the release in stores, otherwise head to http://www.marillion.com/home.htm to purchase.   I won’t go through every single song, since there are 20(21 if you count the hidden track) of them, but I will do a fairly full review. 1st digression: I find it massively annoying when someone uses simply pop psychology to analyze a popular work.  One thing I have learned through life is that the intentions and motivations of almost all human psychology is complicated, and so almost...

posted @ Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:50 PM | Feedback (9)
Great Songs : King Crimson - Starless from Red

Yet another one of my obscure ‘series.’ It occurred to me that as I grew up and learned to appreciate certain songs, types of music, whatever, that it was based on…. random luck?  Articles that I happened to read in guitar related magazines that I happened to read because for a while I was a halfway decent guitarist and read those sorts of magazines? I don’t know for sure, and it doesn’t really matter.  So, here goes. This song is the greatest rock song ever written.  I can imagine that anyone reading this will disagree, and that’s fine.  You’re wrong. At the same time,...

posted @ Wednesday, October 22, 2008 10:19 PM | Feedback (2)
Happiness is the Road Deluxe Edition

Or whatever it is called. Arrived in the mail, and there’s my name correctly spelled and everything in the extended book for CD2. When I ordered it, I didn’t quite get the overall point of it.  What the band did was use the extra funds it cost to pre-order the sucker to fund the actual production of the work.  That explains my “what the fuck” reaction to the charge that appeared on my credit card when I did the pre-order.  I have no objections. Scanning through the lyrics, there is a lot of ‘kumbaya, life is the...

posted @ Wednesday, October 22, 2008 9:45 PM | Feedback (0)
Obscure Musical Gems: Pink Floyd – The Final Cut

Another of my (unnumbered) series, I talk about works of music (usually albums (“daddy, what’s an album?”), sometimes songs) that I think are obscure (based on my opinion, of course) but also really, really good, and thus a gem. There’s another gem that actually sparked this thought (coming soon), but I might as well start with something that might be used as a definitional example, and that’s Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut. When one thinks of Pink Floyd, one thinks of the Wall or Dark Side of the Moon, not this one.  Yet, despite the general weirdness of...

posted @ Monday, October 06, 2008 8:27 PM | Feedback (1)
Guilty Musical Pleasures: Lou Gramm – Midnight Blue

This is part of yet another new series (not going to number them) where I mention rock/pop songs/albums/bands that I enjoy, even though I know I probably shouldn’t. This entry is for Lou Gramm’s “Midnight Blue” song.  I think all that needs to be done to indicate why this song should not be liked is to relate the following lyrics: I remember what my father said He said "Son, life is simple" It's either cherry red or... Midnight Blue... or I won't apologize for ...

posted @ Monday, October 06, 2008 6:35 PM | Feedback (2)
Marillion releases 'Happiness is the Road' for free

Sort of.  Kind of. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7606029.stm I was one of those who pre-ordered the release, and though I wasn't really aware of it at the time, the 'extra' money charged helped the group to pre-pay for all of the studio time, etc. to record the music without worries.  At least that's what I gather from the info in the link and through various emails from the band. Anyway, looks like they want to 'flood' all of the file-sharing sites with versions of the music that somehow let the band 'market' various purchasing opportunities to people who download those...

posted @ Friday, September 12, 2008 11:29 PM | Feedback (0)
King Crimson, 08/02/2008, Nashville, TN Show Recap

Click here for a recap of the 08/03/2008 show. Per usual, I won't give anything like a formal concert review.  I think I can name about 70% of the songs they played off the top of my head, I'll have to listen again to some of their releases to get the rest (anything in the Thrak/Vroom, ConstruKtion of Light period is pretty vague to me). The Belcourt holds something like 300 people (actual seats, no standing area, one level).  I got there an hour before the show and there were probably already 100 people there.  Talked with a few of...

posted @ Sunday, August 03, 2008 12:36 AM | Feedback (28)
In Nashville

I'm trying to get a bunch of stuff done, so I'm actually not going to visit around town.  Did a walk from the hotel to the theater to see how long it would take and just look around the area.  The Belcourt is where they are playing.  An email was sent out explaining that they are banning all cell phones, cameras, and other audio-visual equipment.  Fripp has always been a bit weird, and he has his reasons (he won't sign autographs, he thinks the cameras get in the way of the music, doesn't like touring....interesting cat).  It will be interesting...

posted @ Friday, August 01, 2008 10:53 PM | Feedback (0)
Off to Nashville

So, leaving tomorrow for the 'unofficial' King Crimson concerts in Nashville.  I hope to have a follow up post to the good comments that the Market Anarchist supplied at some point. I don't know if I will have full concert reviews or even recaps.  Depends on the situation. Two things have occurred to me: 1) Are they going to vary the playlists?  I'm going to see them 5 times in 7 days, so I certainly hope so. 2) Especially if they don't vary the playlists, what if I don't like them?  I'm not a big fan of Thrak, so 5...

posted @ Thursday, July 31, 2008 9:45 PM | Feedback (0)
King Crimson 2008 Groupie Tour

King Crimson begins their mini-tour, celebrating 40 years of Crimson-hood, and bearing new member Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree next week here in Chicago at the Park West for three shows. Except they actually begin this weekend with two 'warmup' shows at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, TN, since when you think Nashville, you obviously think of the Grand Ole Opry and King Crimson (I think the real reason is that Adrian Belew lives nearby). I will be going to Nashville to catch the two shows, and will be attending all three shows next week in Chicago (can't...

posted @ Tuesday, July 29, 2008 9:59 PM | Feedback (1)
Easy and Obvious Ways to Increase Customer Service

I was at a Borders store buying the new Coldplay CD that came out today.  Digression: it sounds like Coldplay.  Nothing majestic like 'Fix You' but it's okay. Anyway, while I was in the store, a song played over the store intercom.  It sounded pretty good, but I wasn't paying a lot of attention to it. Once I decided to buy the Coldplay CD (which I was going to do anyway), I asked a very helpful employee if they could tell me the name and artist of the song they had been playing over the intercom. They couldn't.  Later...

posted @ Wednesday, June 18, 2008 11:51 PM | Feedback (0)
King Crimson Returns

Awesome. As noted here, not only are they returning 'to active service' (and yes, the phrase is pretty stupid, but Fripp is....an odd man), but opening said return with 3 dates at the Park West in Chicago.  My girlfriend doesn't quite understand why I would want to see them all 3 dates. They've added Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree (my 2nd favorite band...just occurred to me they run their site on Cold Fusion...are they nuts?) as another drummer in the group.  It isn't clear to me if this means he is done with PT completely or not.  It...

posted @ Thursday, March 20, 2008 6:53 PM | Feedback (0)
Porcupine Tree, Nils Recurring, a mini 'review'

Nils Recurring is a 4 song mini-cd, made up of music that didn't make the cut for the Fear of A Blank Planet release, but which the band feels was strong enough to release on its own.  After a few listens, these are my admittedly limited comments about the tracks. 'Nils Recurring' is an instrumental that features Robert Fripp as lead guitarist.  Though Fripp is the leader of my favorite band, King Crimson, and he is playing with my second favorite band, Porcupine Tree, this cut doesn't really do much for me.  I mean, it isn't bad, but it...

posted @ Sunday, October 21, 2007 9:07 PM | Feedback (0)
Marillion Videos

Though I was mostly disappointed by their Somewhere Else release (I wasn't surprised by this as they are incredibly hit and miss, and the previous double CD release Marbles is one of my favorites), the title track is the best of the lot, and you can view a live performance video of it here.  It's a song about the dissolution of Hogarth's marriage (Steve Hogarth is the lead singer for those not familiar with the band): Everyone I love/Lives somewhere else/And I have time/ To look at myself And I've seen enough A promotional video for...

posted @ Friday, October 12, 2007 7:11 PM | Feedback (0)
Chess 'Review'

This isn't really a review, as such, just a comment about something I noticed. Chess was a musical made in the 80s, you can read about the details here. So, it was first an album, with lyrics written by one of the guys who worked on Jesus Christ Superstar and the music written by the two male members of ABBA.  It became a musical later in London.  Then, as they tend to do, they butchered the crap out of it and moved it to Broadway. I've listened to it for years (the original...hated the reworked version).  It's good, nothing that...

posted @ Sunday, September 09, 2007 8:31 PM | Feedback (0)