Archive for April, 2013

PAINTING WITH GUITAR HAS ADRIAN BELEW GIVING NEW MEANING TO THE PHRASE ONE MAN SHOW!

April 19, 2013
Adrian Belew brings his art and music together in one place, The World Cafe Live.  Photo by Lynn Vala

Adrian Belew brings his art and music together in one place, The World Cafe Live. Photo by Lynn Vala

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Again, the Friday Flashback reaches deep into our available archives to bring you a groundbreaking review.  There is a sordid history behind this one which will explain some of the mindset when this was composed.  You see, yours truly was involved in a global controversy because when I first started this column thousands of years ago, I used artist websites as a source of information.  I had been scouring both the website journals/blogs of Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, Trey Gunn and Bill Bruford (pertinent to this story and King Crimson).  On Belew’s site I gleaned some information.  On Fripp’s site, I gleaned some contradicting information.  Not knowing which was the truth, I presented what I believed was the truth.  Belew became immediately incensed and called me out on the former PREX blog.  I dismissed it as an artist not wanting to be portrayed as “the bad guy”.

Turns out, Belew was correct.

I was offered the truth by Belew’s power trio bassist Julie Slick’s mom Robin.  A respected author in her own right.  I declined.  I had been caught in the crossfire enough and I will forever go down in history as the patsy who took the fall and reported the end of King Crimson.  NOT my proudest moment, and a tremendous personal loss to me.  But as it turns out, Fripp would go on shortly thereafter to retire from public music performance as Bruford had done shortly after the release of his autobiography.

One more tragic note:  There were literally thousands of photographs taken for this show.  Unfortunately, due to the crash of an IBM machine (yeah, fuck you Bill Gates) those photos were lost forever.  They were great shots as well.  One is utilized in the header to this blog and I will not repeat it here.

Also, this was originally presented as four parts (a photo blog) on PREX and a two part blog on the rest of the syndication.  It is going to be condensed into one humongous blog here because, well, I can!  This was the show where I apologized to Belew afterward and I made up for my transgression by reviewing his previously released e disc, as well as the live DVD of the power trio show and Julie Slick’s debut CD.  For the whole story, read on…

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A CHUNK OF HISTORY LANDS ITSELF RIGHT HERE IN THE LAP OF BOULEBLOG! SAM LLANAS BECOMES AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE LES PAUL MUSEUM EXHIBIT IN WAUKESHA WISCONSIN…

April 17, 2013
One sweet version of the guitar developed by The Wizard Of Waukesha, Les Paul.

One sweet version of the guitar developed by The Wizard Of Waukesha, Les Paul.

This blog has been in the crosshairs so many times for having an unfair focus on any one particular subject at one time.  First it was too focused on Todd Rundgren, then it was too focused on Adrian Belew, then it was too focused on A Day For Grace, and now we return the focus to Sam Llanas.  In defense of the blog, it cannot be helped if these artists are constantly on my radar, and if this really bothers anyone that much, again, simply do not read this column!!!

If that is not a convincing enough argument for the position this blog takes as to what will and what will not be covered here, please scroll down to the “categories” section of this page.  One of the “categories” selected will be “Opinion/Editorial”.  For those who don’t know, this means I am free, as dictated by the codicils of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution that guarantees me the right to free speech.  Many law enforcement agencies repeatedly attempt to quell the rights within the Constitution under the “Patriot Act”.

I defer to the founding fathers, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, et al.

This blog was born of a music review column.  We do all kinds of reviews, music, theater, television, and yes, societal events.

A founding father of modern music is a name you have to familiar with if you claim to know music anytime after the 50’s.  Les Paul.  If you have seen any musical act in just about any genre, from jazz to heavy metal, you have seen a Les Paul.  Jazz great Al DiMeola, plays a Les Paul guitar by Gibson.  Progressive rock icon Robert Fripp not only plays a Les Paul guitar by Gibson, but has developed a new standard tuning developed off of a drop C tuned to 7ths, and has begun to oversee manufacturing of his own line of “Crimson Guitars” loosely based off of the Gibson Les Paul.  Ace Freely of Kiss plays a Les Paul guitar by Gibson almost exclusively.  This list could go in indeterminately.

Modern music was able to grow and thrive, and the possibility for the multi-instrumentalist was made possible by Les Paul as he developed the (what we now know to be computer based) multi-track recording system, which allows musicians to record a track at a time and to layer instruments separately so that one man can play everything himself and play all the parts.  Paul used to do so with his wife, Mary Ford, who was herself a capable guitarist and vocalist.

Now, an old friend of BouleBlog has gotten his hands on some of Paul’s very own guitars for a very special video to his song “The Way Home” from the brilliant 2011 release 4a.m. (The Way Home).  The video for the song was filmed in association with the opening of the Wizard Of Waukesha museum opening in Wisconsin on none other than what would have been Paul’s 98th birthday, June 9th.

From a recent industry magazine, ProSound News:

http://www.prosoundnetwork.com/Default.aspx?tabid=69&EntryId=645

To experience the video, check it out here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKDdXkNnS5I

Also, in case you missed Llanas’ recent appearance to promote not only the Museum and the Video, but also the current campaign to “Send Sammy To Broadway”.  “Send Sammy To Broadway” is a fund raising campaign which has actually (thanks to sports figures such as Matt Lepsis) met one of its primary goals and is speeding towards its next financial goal, all in the name of bringing a second run of the critically acclaimed play, A Day For Grace not only to cities where it was so well received, but new venues to assist in awareness of societal causes as anti-suicide, anti-bullying and sobriety awareness.  Llanas provides poignant musical interludes during …Grace with playwright Doug Vincent.  Check out Llanas’ Milwaukee appearance here:

http://realmilwaukeenow.com/2013/04/11/sam-llanas-joins-real-milwaukee-to-discuss-a-day-for-grace/

In conclusion, we will continue to cover Sam Llanas, Gary Tanin, Doug Vincent and A Day For Grace as often as is necessary.  In light of recent events in Boston, human behavioral understanding is required perhaps even more so now than ever.  If A Day For Grace and the efforts of Llanas can make a difference in one life, then each and every letter in the continuing coverage of this blog will have been worth it!

CELEBRATING THE TEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF ALAN PARSONS LIVE ON TX2 CDS. GETTING OUR FILL OF SOMETHING WE THOUGHT MAY NEVER HAPPEN: ALAN PARSON LIVE!!!

April 15, 2013
Calling all Alan Parsons fans!  Find this disc, buy this disc!

Calling all Alan Parsons fans! Find this disc, buy this disc!

When I first heard The Alan Parsons Project, I was tuning into a classical music radio station to get my fill of relaxing music.  Little did I know, the station had changed formats and they were debuting the entire I Robot (at the time) LP.  Commercial breaks only from the end of side one to the beginning of side two.

When I first heard those sequenced synth sounds coming through my speakers, not only was I curious as to where my classical music had gone, but also I was very intrigued by what was coming through my speakers!  Ever since that day, I was hooked.  Then I started to hear more and more Alan Parsons songs on this station and others.  Then there were more tracks not only from the I Robot album, but new ones!

Now mind you, this was back in an era when there was no public internet and radio was still free.  So getting information on an artist was reduced to magazines, Creem, Rolling Stone, Circus, etc.  All these magazines stated unequivocally that The Alan Parsons Project was a studio project only.  Never to tour live.  Comprised of the best studio musicians and mates Parsons and long-time musical collaborator Eric Woolfson could muster.  Many of whom were already members of some of Europe’s greatest prog rock, pop and other genre groups.  David Paton of Pilot and Camel, Stuart Tosh of 10cc and also of Pilot, Ian Bairnson of (of all bands) The Bay City Rollers as well as being a sideman for Kate Bush, vocalists such as Lenny Zakatek and Allan Clarke, Dave Townsend and the list goes on and on.  Managing these people, their schedules and comprising a tour when the namesake of the band is one of the most sought after studio whiz-bangs in the industry and his cohort has little to no interest in going on the road (and has a rewarding career as a manager, songwriter and accidental vocalist) proved logistically impossible.  Until many years later…

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REMEMBERING TERRORIST ACTS? BURNING QURANS? FORGET ALL THAT AND HOP ON THE ALAN PARSONS HIT PARADE!

April 12, 2013
Alan Parsons Live Project.  Parsons (center) brings a crack squad of musicians to Lehigh University.  Photo by Lynn Vala

Alan Parsons Live Project. Parsons (center) brings a crack squad of musicians to Lehigh University. Photo by Lynn Vala


AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Another entry in our fabulous Friday Flashback series that revisits the posts that originally appeared on the syndication site  that became BouleBlog.  This time, we are setting up for the next new review which is the 2003 TX2 Records release of Alan Parsons Live!  Before we go there, why not take a few minutes and enjoy words and pictures about the September 11, 2010 appearance of the Alan Parsons Live Project at Lehigh University’s Zoellner Arts Center in the Baker Hall.  It was a magical night that took place in my back yard at the time.  I hope you enjoy this journey through revisionism…

Bethlehem PA – The man, the myth, the legend, Alan Parsons playing his ONLY east coast appearance (to date) fifteen minutes from my back door.  A dream come true, right?

As Sarah Palin might say, you betcha!  But I had no idea just how much of a dream come true it would be.

I am not going into Parson’s history, save to say you have heard his work.  You may not have heard his voice, or his playing unless you have purchased his recent rerelease remastered series of most of his catalog.  You HAVE heard his work BEHIND the recording console.  Need further proof?

Read on and be amazed…

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ED RANDAZZO SHOWS, TELLS AND DELIVERS WITH HIS CD SHOW AND TELL

April 10, 2013
Local NE PA artist Ed Randazzo's latest release Show And Tell.  Out now!  Photo courtesy Ed Randazzo

Local NE PA artist Ed Randazzo’s latest release Show And Tell. Out now! Photo courtesy Ed Randazzo

Facebook is actually good for some things!  This may come as a surprise to many, but I had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of Ed Randazzo through Facebook.  While the initial conversation was not about music, we became conversational through the site and I got introduced to a whole new world of music happening (literally) in my back yard.  Randazzo invited me to one of his shows, opening for Spencer Bohren at the Tripp house in West Scranton’s Tripp’s park section.

This show was put on by a group I can’t stop going on about, PocoNotes, as they have one of the most noble operation statements I have heard of in many years of dealing with the monster that is the music business. That mission statement being, to promote blues and roots music on the local level.  I have been a proponent of local level music promotion since I was involved in playing music at the local level back in the mid to late 80’s with Rudi And The Living Dolls.  Since being fortunate enough to establish this column, first through the independent music store syndication, I was immediately barred from promoting local acts because the indie music stores weren’t able to profit from independently self-distributed products.

Products from acts like another former Rudi And The Living Dolls member, drummer Joe Tocket’s new band Instant Karma and the subject of this review, Ed Randazzo and his album Show And Tell.

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A DAY FOR GRACE CONTINUES TO DO GOOD WORK FOR THOSE IN NEED. SEND SAMMY TO BROADWAY KICKS OFF TODAY!!!

April 5, 2013
A Day For Grace playwright and actor Doug Vincent.  Vincent tackles topics of societal taboo usually not considered fodder for a play.  Photo by Matthew Staver

A Day For Grace playwright and actor Doug Vincent. Vincent and musical contributor Sam Llanas are gearing up for a second run of A Day For Grace, read on about how you can bring this remarkably moving play to a city near you! Photo by Matthew Staver

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  We are eschewing our Friday Flashback schedule as we are pleased to be one of the few outlets that have the resources to bring you this advance notice of a campaign that launched this morning in Milwaukee, on NBC affiliate TMJ4’s The Morning Blend show.  The campaign is called “Send Sammy To Broadway” and it is slightly misleading because the campaign is not only sending singer/songwriter extraordinaire Sam Llanas to Broadway, but also playwright/actor/comedian Doug Vincent to Broadway to put his play, A Day For Grace in front of more eyes.  Why it belongs in front of more eyes follows…

Many people feel alone.  Some feel ostracized in a room crowded with people.  Often times, people suffering with depression feel nothing.  They may be loved, cared for, even needed by family members and friends.  But once that chemical imbalance claims the pleasure centers of the brain, no amount of love, caring and company can overcome it.

Unfortunately, and often times, there is an ugly force that DOES overcome this chemical imbalance:  The desire to contemplate or commit suicide.

While it is not often discussed, depression, addiction, and suicide touch many, many lives.  I hate to nick from Reefer Madness, but it could touch yours, or yours, OR YOURS!!!  It might surprise you to know that these issues have touched most of the principle players involved with A Day For Grace.  These issues have touched the author of what you are reading.  Directly.  I have dealt with addicted parents.  I have dealt with my own depression.  I have contemplated suicide myself.  Maybe now it will be more apparent as to WHY this project takes up frequent residence on BouleBlog.

THIS PROJECT SPEAKS TO ME.

The original review was one of the most trying events I have ever covered.  Half of me was trying to deal with the emotions that were being so expertly laid down on the stage, half of me was trying to communicate those emotions in a review.  Divide those halves into half was trying to make sure these emotions weren’t too much for my best thing to ever happen to me (whose Grandmother committed suicide by hanging) and then further divide the review half into trying not to bawl my eyes out at Sam Llanas’ acutely ironic, fourteen year old songs bringing that extra punch to the play.

Would Doug Vincent’s words be as emotive without Llanas’ music?  Fortunately, we don’t have to consider this.  The duo are bringing back this amazing, touching, revealing play to the stages again, but the ‘Send Sammy To Broadway’ campaign has loftier goals.

While the campaign title suggests that the goal is to land Llanas and A Day For Grace on Broadway, the ultimate goal is to find stages in as many major cities that will have it.  Granted, this is not a play for every town.  Smaller, rural communities may have a problem with some of the subject matter.  Less cosmopolitan areas may also have issue with some of the language.

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