Just added some new music for the band page of The MiddleMen, the guys I play with here in New York. There are 6 tracks for streaming for anyone who might be interested. Not completely representative of my personal musical style, but I like the guitar tones I got for these recordings.
Check it out here
Going to see ‘jolting Joe’ Bonamassa at the Beacon tomorrow night. Pumped about this show. It’s amazing that I have every single one of this man’s albums and this is the first time I’ll be seeing him live. Really looking forward to a night of good blues. Joe’s always hot. Hope he’s totally on, tomorrow night.
Just listened to Dream Theater’s new single “On The Backs of Angels” from their upcoming September album “A Dramatic Turn of Events”, their first without Mike Portnoy.
Mike Mangini does an adequate job with Dream Theater’s complex rhythms and time signatures but his sound is lower in the mix than Portnoy’s used to be, and the drums have less presence. Don’t know if this intentional or otherwise. It has the side effect of allowing the other instruments to come through better, especially the bass.
The song seemed fairly derived to me. I heard echoes of Scenes From a Memory and Six Degrees here, and the riffs sounded almost recycled. The most lyrical and soaring moments come in the slow sections, where Petrucci shines. Overall the sound is instantly recognizable as Dream Theater, which may have been what the band was going for, and there is hardly a lack with Mangini’s replacement of Portnoy, but the sound is beginning to get tired. it’s really time for DT to get to the woodshed and summon their muse. Other songs on the album may be better (this is the single, after all), so I won’t carve judgment in stone, and of course I’ll see DT when they come to town, but after listening to this track twice, I was left feeling vaguely unsatisfied and wondering why.
Roger Water’s THE WALL at Madison Square Garden last night (Wednesday) was jaw-droppingly awesome. Probably the best stage presentation by a rock band that I have ever seen. Music was impressively tight and articulate around the arena and the lighting and stage effects and props were magnificent.
The show began with the band behind an already half built wall of white “bricks”, the center area still unbuilt to provide a view of the band. As the songs unfolded, the wall was built up brick by brick, until, by the intermission, it was a towering wall at least 30 feet high. Occasional openings provided opportunities for Waters to emerge for special songs like “Mother” and wall proved a superb backdrop for the projections (taken from the movie) that displayed on it. Mind boggling theatrics, including massive pyrotechnics, giant animated puppets, realistic war sound effects and larger than life images on an enormous wide screen (the wall). The finale, where the wall comes crashing down was so realistic that I looked to see if the bricks had actually fallen into the audience.
I was hoping that David Gilmour would put in an appearance, but unfortunately, it was not to be. The iconic moment during Comfortably Numb when Gilmour appeared atop the wall to play the solo during the original production 30 years ago was recreated faithfully by Water’s guitar player, and the effect was incredible, lacking only the man himself. Roger’s band sounded good, but the guitar solos, while faithful to the original tracks, lacked Gilmour’s fluid lyrical feel. Still, all-in-all, this was definitely not just another brick in the wall.
I saw Roger Waters when he toured Dark Side of the Moon some years ago, and while that was good, this was spectacular. Roger’s voice is sounding great. None of that quavery off key stuff he put out at the Floyd reunion in London for Live 8 in 2005. His bass playing is spot on, and he looks confident and assertive, unlike at Live 8. I think hearing his “baby” produced in detail like this has brought out the best in Roger Waters the musician, and in that field he is no inconsiderable talent.
Unfinished Wall, before concert begin
I’m posting a few pictures of the show, but I have lots more that need to be indexed, and I’ll be posting them in due course, along with a couple of videos, including “comfortably Numb”.
Projection on wall
Building the wall
Mother will they drop the bomb?
"Mother" the gian puppet
The wall was too high, as you can see
Bring the boys back home.
Run like hell (the Pig, with tusks)
Tear down the wall
So I read today that Peter Mensch, Jimmy Page’s manager is stirring the Zep pot again. Enough with this humor/rumor business. Why can’t these guys just make up their minds and say out loud what we all know they really want to do?
I have no problems personally with Page, Jones and Jason Bonham going out with a singer of their choice. The guys are awesome enough to be a must-see under any circumstances. Whether they go as Zep is another question, but, to my mind, I’d rather see them as Zep than not see them at all.
I don’t get Robert Plant. I mean, his gig with Alison Krauss is cool, but where’s the balls in that? So okay, finish the tour and then do the Zep thing. Surely he couldn’t have been treated so badly in the old Zep that he can’t stand to work with these guys again? He’s worked with Page many times in the past. I have a sneaky feeling that he can’t really do those tunes anymore (I mean, the way he did them years ago).
As a final yell in this Zep rant, here’s my sincere request to the remaining members of the band…
Please please, guys, don’t take Steven Tyler out with you as a singer. That would be a disaster of epic proportions. Maybe David Coverdale, or Myles Kennedy, or Ann Wilson, as some forums are suggesting. Steven Tyler with Zeppelin would be like Mick Jagger fronting the Beatles. An abomination!
In any case, its going to be scramble to get tickets for this. Mark my words. These will be some of the hottest scores for 2009.