Archive for December, 2007

Be the Revolutionary

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 21, 2007 by ethertrace

It is a rare and valuable thing when you discover something that changed the course of music history.

I grew up in the grunge and nu-metal atmosphere of the California Bay Area. That meant that if you wanted to be counter-culture without really being outside mainstream culture (i.e. if you wanted to be ornery without being punk), then you listened to what we called “alternative” music. As such, it was different, but nothing especially revolutionary. Therefore, this entry should be taken with a grain of salt, as I’m not claiming any sort of expertise on the subject, but I’m going to give you a little introduction to a man called Davey Graham.

Ever wanted to know who originated the DADGBD tuning? That was this guy. See, he was pretty into Middle Eastern music in addition to the inspiration he already drew from British folk and American Jazz, and wanted to figure out some way to blend it all together. Changing the tuning, altering the instrument itself, was his way of doing it. At the time, rising at the same time as the Beatles and a predecessor of the revolution that Jimi Hendrix would bring, when everybody who was great at guitar was largely reproducing the traditional arrangements in different ways, his creation was revolutionary. That in itself, would have been enough to land him a notable spot in guitar history.

What was truly impressive, however, was not merely the innovation that he brought to tunings, but the way he fundamentally altered the way people thought about what you could accomplish with a guitar. Famous for his improvisation as well as his reinterpretation of traditional and contemporary songs, he often played two or more distinct musical parts at a time. An envious skill to say the least. Any fingerstyle acoustic guitarist, which I have become in no small part because of him, will easily recognize his skill and contributions in the form of his song “Angi,” which everyone has covered to death, not least of which was Bert Jansch, as well as various other arrangements. Hell, even Jimmy Paige talks about Graham as a substantial inspiration, so Davey’s influence is not limited to the British folk rock scene.

However, despite his substantial and undeniable ability to play jazz and folk with the best of them, he truly shone in the areas which were completely new ground. As mentioned earlier, I have never seen anyone seamlessly connect such supposedly disparate areas of music as Irish traditional folk and Middle Eastern, but that can easily be seen in his arrangement of “She Moved Through the Fair” . I’ll let that speak for itself.

In a song that I’ve discovered recently called “The Fakir,” Graham starts off with a very sitar-influenced melody, which begins with backing by hand drums and hand cymbals, easily placeable to even the casual listen as being traditionally Middle Eastern music. That soon transfers into a more jazzy backing beat, while Graham maintains the sitar-like treble riff. Then he gets absolutely insane and maintains the sitar riff while playing a full jazz bass solo. I never thought I’d hear the day, you know?

I could go on about all the different songs which showcase his unique skill, but suffice it to say that his playing itself changed the way people thought about the guitar and music. It is truly a rare ability to be able to draw out the common themes that connect all of us through our music, and Davey bears it with .

If you want to find out more, you can check out this piece written by John Renbourn, another fantastic contemporary English acoustic guitarist, part of the band Pentangle alongside Bert Jansch. Otherwise, it’s difficult to find much information on him, but I highly recommend seeking out his music, if for no other reason than to hear something that changed so much about music.

Advertisements

Tool – Vicarious DVD Single

Posted in music video review with tags , , , on December 21, 2007 by sae

pretty cool.  picked it when it came out tuesday morning and i have been letting my mind wrap around it for a few days now.  i immediately loved the artwork.  i really enjoy how when it’s all pulled out, either side you look at is just one continuous image.  i really like the inside image too, of X-Spector or whatever they’re calling him.  reminds me of the piece Adam did for the re-release of Peach’s Giving Birth to a Stone, it’s so much better.  also immediately loved the stereoscopic images, spent a good chunk of tuesday checking them out (really wish they had some stills of the Net of Being/Alex Gray stuff though).

finally got a chance to watch the video later that night.  pretty rad to see Adam Jones translate his style into full CGI.  at the moment i still like his non-CGI style better, but i imagine with time his CGI directing will get even better.  really amazing to see the Alex Gray stuff in there, mind blowing really, to see all of that animated in 3D and traveled through.

documentary on the video was cool too.  i’ve seen a lot of people bitching about it, saying that it was more about Adam than it was about the video.  i get the feeling they didn’t watch past the first 10 minutes.  it starts by giving a background on Adam and how  he got where he is now, art production wise.  they talk to Chet Zar and a few other people who Adam has worked with about how they established their relationship.  this all leads up to the making of Vicarious really well and gives you a chance to see a bunch of awesome pictures of older works Adam did.  they show the Opiate cover statue as well as sketches and stuff for the Undertow Ribcage.  there’s also a great photo of Maynard being painted up by Alex Gray back when Maynard used to do crazy cool shit like that.  i feel the documentary does drag a bit with people being somewhat repetitive from time to time, but it’s not that bad. the remix music Lustmord put together for the documentary was pretty bad ass, it sneaks up on you really well.

————————————————–

on a different but related note.  getting this single prompted me to sit down with a friend of mine and show her all of the Tool videos cause she hadn’t seen any of them before.  with this i was pretty happy sitting there with my Vicarious, Schism, and Parabol/a singles and my copy of Salival.  and with all of this it hit me, i am really down with the idea of bands selling their videos as singles.  the way Tool does it it’s worth the $10 for the one video.  why?  because the videos are all super high quality and the packaging and artwork is all amazing. with that said though, in no way do i want to be  buying a video single for a video that’s just the band performing the video live – that is a fucking cop out and a waste of time – that is not fucking art.  but when they make the video worth your time, and worth your money, then i feel it could work as a great system.  only problem is you gotta be able to make great videos.

tool – holiday in cambodia

Posted in live audio with tags , , , on December 21, 2007 by sae

full audio
good quality
not a video
but who the fuck cares

new mindless self indulgence album?

Posted in news with tags , , , , on December 19, 2007 by sae

word is MSI has a new album coming out in april (the 29th maybe) called IF
looks like animal might be on it, wooohooo!!
seems his fiance, the girl from Morningwood may be doing guest vocals
Jhonen Vasquez appears to be doing the cover art
and rumors of an animal video?  tho i don’t really care if MSI makes videos that much…maybe this will change that

Strata/Team Sleep – San Francisco Show Review

Posted in live show review with tags , , , , on December 18, 2007 by sae

Team Sleep./.Strata./.Monster in the Machine./.Sonny
Slim’s, San Francisco
December 16, 2007
first of all – fuck yeah strata!!!!

alright, so though i thought the show was going to open with Strata, in opened with Monster in the Machine. i’ll just be honest, not my thing. they were alright, someone said it reminded them of early ’90s rock…i can see that. not my thing though, but not really bad at it. i will say though, the guitarist had really amazing control over doing weird things with volume swells and what not on his guitar, i dug that.

the strata came on. fuck yes!!
i think this was the set list, but i accidently deleted it off my phone, pretty damn sure this was it, with maybe the chronology fucked up just a tad

the new national anthem
piece by piece
hot/cold (darling don’t)
night falls (?)
coma therapy
cocaine
stay young
in a sweet dream
poughkeepsie, NY

so with that, dope set list. i’d love for them to bring never there and i will breathe fire into the rotation, but maybe when they can play a longer set. so with this being my third time seeing strata, i will say, GODDAMN AMAZING again and again. these guys put so much energy into their set and are so talented at what they do. they seem so happy to be on stage too which i really appreciate in response to just having to having to deal with watching maynard on stage and reading a lot about the tool las vegas show. unlike that ass, the guys in strata you can tell want to be up there and are having fun interacting with the crowd.

a few notes on songs here and there. love that they are opening with The New National Anthem, fucking love that song; have ever since i got the demo version way back. also love that he change the lyric what they’re really fighting for to what the fuck they’re dying for.

love darling don’t live, especially the beginning. it’s so cool to watch ryan play that intro riff and then set it to playback backwards.

introed cocaine with here’s a song about drugs and teenage sex last time it was a song about date rape
great song, especially live. wish i could hear it in a room full of people who wanna dance

stay young – goddamn, amazing live drumming on this track. just really blows my mind, both when i saw them at Music in the Park in the summer and at this show.

throughout the whole show i kept thinking this, goddamn Eric can hit some fucking notes. also, i kind of felt this when i saw them over the summer, but i felt it much stronger this time, that while Strata was playing, the crowd is automatically more tolerant of all sexual preferences and even encouraging of it (kind of like MSI shows but in a bit more of serious manner)…i dunno, maybe that’s just me. definitely a cool and good thing though.

i wanna say this too…any of those of you out there who weren’t super excited with their new album and missed the aggressiveness of the older tracks, which i will say at first i was somewhat in that crowd, GO SEE THEM LIVE! you’ll be amazed and yeah, just, the energy. go go go go go. even if you don’t feel that way, go SEE STRATA LIVE!!!!

one thing i love about their live show is Adrian’s drumming. it’s super intense throughout and very passionate. beyond just that, even when it’s a mellower song, the way he hits his drums, even if he’s not going crazy, you can feel them resonate through you. he has a way of making the drumming so powerful no matter the overall aggressiveness of the song.

as i already say, Eric can hit crazy notes and it’s amazing to watch live, not to mention he makes you feel so welcome when you are part of the crowd. it’s like he’s invited you into his home and he’s the best host possible.

Hrag does an amazing job on bass.  i got screwed out of being able to see much of anything he did at this show though cause i was jammed all the way to the other side of the crowd, but that did allow me to watch Ryan kill it on guitar. last time i saw Strata i thought watching Ryan play guitar was like watching someone fuck their guitar in a really passionat way, but now i’ve decided it’s really like watching someone make love to their guitar and it’s beautiful. one of my favorite tricks of his is how he’ll pick really crazy for a moment while muting the strings (i believe) and then go right into something slower, and go back and forth, if that makes any sense.

so yeah, basically Strata is fucking amazing. go watch this music video of their’s that the singer directed.

after an amazing Strata set Sonny came on and that’s all i’m going to say about that.

after Sonny’s set and too long of a wait between sets Team Sleep finally emerged from Slim’s below ground dressing rooms. though i am a Deftones fan, i never ended up getting the chance to ever listen to any Team Sleep, not because i didn’t want to, but just cause it never worked out that way. so i was pretty stoked on the idea, though i was fucking tired of standing up and being squished against the railing. Team Sleep came out and fucking rocked it. Chino set up all these weird video clips to run in loops during songs and kept switching them between songs. for those who haven’t listened to Team Sleep, they do a pretty good blend of a lot of weird ambient stuff that’s still fairly aggressive from some of the guitar and from their drummer who is goddamn fucking insane.

that dude was a animal. his name is Zach Hill (and apparently he only uses one bass drum and one bass drum pedal which is ridiculous). but yeah, animal, the dude never stopped going absolutely fucking nuts on those drums, just beating the shit out of them, even on the mellow songs. somehow he was always beating the shit out them. he did an amazing drum solo too. check him out.

chino did some amazing vocal screeches and weird shit like that. the rest of the band was dope too, alternating between instruments and what not.

found a team sleep interview today with chino, check it out

—————————————————-

so, i enjoyed checking out Team Sleep, and i still fully believe every fucking body should check out Strata, especially live. and oh yeah, picked up a copy of Eric Victorino’s (Strata’s singer) book Coma Therapy. it’s poetry, but a lot of tells stories. i’ll update you on that more later when i get through more it. you can order it from him if you want off his myspace. i highly encourage it, support underground art!!!

sacrament producer’s edition

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 16, 2007 by sae

lamb of god master tracks, it’s on!
i’m starting to think that all bands should release their cds with a bonus cd with the mastertracks….that would definitlely make me want to buy more cds

anyone else pick this up?

maynard/tool stuff

Posted in news with tags , , , , on December 16, 2007 by sae

here’s a link to an interview with maynard regarding puscifer stuff and what not, fairly interesting

also, apparently at the last date of the 10,000 days tour (a few nights ago) maynard announced that would be the end of the touring cycle for 10,000 days…hopefully that means they start working on something new soon, but i dunno, tool released one album while i was in highschool and then another one didn’t come out till i was in college so i’m expecting that for another one to come out i need to be in graduate school, for which ill gladly accept donations to get there faster from any wealthy tool fans =P.

ummmm…and here’s a very short clip of the intro of them doing holiday in cambodia in SF. it sucks cause it’s way too short, you don’t even get really any of jello, but the full clip that’s out there isn’t even worth listening to
PS – to all you holier than thou tool fan muther fuckers – i most at tool shows and im not a fucking meathead or knucklehead so fuck ya’ll!  you don’t like the pit, get the fuck out and move to the side, welcome to rock music