Archive for the ‘Miscellany’ Category

Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #25

Just about anyone from my generation who became a teenager in the 1970s is going to be extremely familiar with today’s Sunday Big Note artist. Indeed, the debut solo effort by this group – Tales of Mystery and Imagination, released in 1976 – is considered to be a classic album. Of course, I’m speaking of The Alan Parsons Project.
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AltRock Extravaganza – 2011

From the very first instant I received a CD release from the independent AltRock label from Milan, Italy, I have been increasingly impressed by the exceptional quality of their releases (see Yugen & Rock In Opposition posted on Saturday, October 30th, 2010). Indeed, the AltRock label appears to be increasingly the “go to label” for prog music lovers. The following four new releases which arrived in my mailbox only add to this label’s increasing appeal. Now, “Let’s hear it for a great Italian label…”
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Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #23

Although Manassas only released two albums in their brief history as a band – the double album, Manassas, released on April 12th, 1972, and Down The Road on April 23rd, 1973 – the impact of these two albums is really quite undeniable. There are many who consider Manassas’ debut album somewhat of a masterpiece, and even though I wouldn’t go quite that far with that assumption, myself, Manassas were a very unique ensemble to say the least. As Stephen Stills comments in the above interview, he and his assembled musicians were able to accomplish a lot musically under the banner of Manassas.
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Zappa & The Mothers – Does Geography and Media Influence Musical Tastes

Having grown up on the Bible Belt of Western Canada where the only sources of musical entertainment for the longest time were the local Country & Western and adult easy listening radio stations, it’s hard to imagine such a place nurturing such a Zappa and Mothers freak as myself. That’s right, two stations on the AM dial. The rock music format did not even reach Northern Alberta until the mid-60s, and then, it was top 40 radio, and the usual repetitious one that so many are accustomed to with that particular format. FM radio wouldn’t even appear until the mid-70s. So, local record stores followed these top 40 stations as a guide on what to order, and likewise promoters on which touring acts to bring through town.
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Frank Zappa: A Study In Gesture

Paul Carr just posted slides from his talk on Frank Zappa & Gesture.

Here is a powerpoint presentation which looks at an approach to using an artist as a musicological case study. After explaining some potential generic approaches, it looks at Frank Zappa as a case study.

Grab Bag

Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #21

Back on Friday, March 28th, 2008 I published the post, Live Albums — Dead or Alive? in which I listed many of my favourite live albums: Zappa In New York (1978); Super Session (1968) with Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Stephen Stills; and Warren Zevon’s Stand In The Fire (1980/2007) just to name a few. Among them, though, was also an absolute favourite live album of mine which has long stood the test of time. That artist and album being John Mayall’s 1969 live release The Turning Point.
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You’ve Got Mail!

I’ve been rather busy outside of this website as of late, and wouldn’t you know it: that’s when people start sending in all sorts of interesting stuff hoping I’ll relay that stuff here. Without further ado…

  • Regyptian Strut guitar solo tablature as notated by Mark Hawling who says: “I just get sick of seeing them doing nothing on my HDD when there must be some nutter out there interested in something like this.”
  • “Waltz For FZ”, as featured on Utopianisti. Says Markus Pajakkala: “I’m a composer/multi-instrumentalist/producer from Finland.”
  • From Ab Stammehaus: “Warren Cucurullo’s new band Chicanery with new album coming up: listen to edited preview songs on the website.” (They’re also on MySpace)
  • Lee Mezcallo raves about the Genkin Philharmonic and hastens to add: “they’re quite good“…

Raging Slab @ De Melkweg, Amsterdam, 1993

Everyone has a secret musical pleasure. One of mine has been the music of Raging Slab. Anyone who knows me, knows I have a definite soft spot for southern rock. Perhaps what I like about Raging Slab is the unique manner in which they combine such seeming contrasting musical influences (punk, progressive, roots, metal, southern rock, country) to create their own sound.
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Todd Rundgren’s Utopia Reunion Shows – January 29/30, 2011


If laughter is considered the best medicine by most – for musicians then, in contrast, music will always be their best medicine. At very least that was in the mind of Todd Rundgren and the band Utopia as they assembled on the stage of the Highline Ballroom in New York City for a two night benefit on January 29th and 30th on behalf of fellow band member Moogy Klingman (the proceeds of the reunion going toward Klingman’s treatment for cancer).
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