Posts Tagged ‘guitars’

Badass Music and Rush Tonight on Echoes

May 1, 2014

New Music from Bear McCreary & The Montreal Guitar Trio

Knights_of_BadassdomTonight on Echoes, new music from a film nobody saw, but you’ll definitely recognize the composer. It’s Bear McCreary who scored Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead as well as many films. We’ll hear his soundtrack to The Nights of Badassdom.  This movie was released on January 13 but looks like it went straight to video, or the internet, or wherever films go that only gross $86K.  However, it stars Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Steve Zahn (Treme, That Thing You Do!) and Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) and the trailer looks pretty funny.   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00CYP9GKE/echoes

We’ll also hear MG3, which is much cooler than saying the Montreal Guitar Trio.  Their new CD is Der Prinz and they take Rush‘s epic “Tom Sawyer” and turn it into an acoustic guitar epic.  You’ll hear it tonight on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

LRC19-250pxPick Up  TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

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21st Century Progressive Rock Opus from Mark McGuire

March 3, 2014

Mark McGuire Creates 21st Century Progressive Rock Opus for Echoes CD of the Month

Mark-McGuire-Along-The-WayOld fans of progressive rock and space music might be forgiven if listening to Mark McGuire’s Along the Way takes them back to about 1975, calling up music like Ash Ra Tempel’s Inventions for Electric Guitar, Popol Vuh’s Seligpreisung or Can’s Soon Over Babaluma. McGuire’s heavily layered guitars with delay-driven riffs, burning solos and expansive themes would have fit perfectly in those heady times.

McGuire was in a band called Emeralds, an electronic retro-space music trio who sound like stowaways in Tangerine Dream’s Berlin studio circa 1975. But Along the Way is something different and more personal.  McGuire has hinted at this in a series of little-heard solo recordings like Get Lost and A Young Person’s Guide, but Along the Way is the culmination of these  explorations: it’s a beautifully crafted album that shifts in mood and motion.

The intricate opening suite begins as a new age meditation of acoustic guitar, meandering synthesizer, chimes, and some Asian stringed instrument sounding like a koto or pipa. Those instruments are joined by a delayed electric guitar and before you know it, you’re washed into “Wonderland of Living Things.”  It’s a Mike Oldfield-like confluence of insistent groove, cycling melodies and increasingly insistent delayed guitar riffs.

References abound on the album, like the Popol Vuh-inspired guitar picking on “Arrival Begins the Next Departure” with a trio of guitar lines that spiral up into the ether like vapor trail minarets.  Many of McGuire’s songs are built on looping delay patterns similar to those Manuel Göttsching created on  Inventions for Electric Guitar in 1975. His intricate riffs shift subtly through a song in a minimalist sleight of hand.

PlayingIn the best progressive rock tradition, McGuire has grouped his compositions into a series of suites with titles like “To All Present in the Hall of Learning” and “The Age of Revealing.”  There’s an 11-page densely-packed existential treatise that goes along with the record, and each track of this primarily instrumental album has philosophical concepts to go along with them.  The guitarist has said:

“This story is an odyssey through the vast, unknown regions of the mind…the endless unfolding of psychological landscapes, leading to perpetual discoveries and expansions, in a genuinely emergent and infinite world of worlds.”

You may not be thinking of that during the intricate, pastoral weave of “In Search of the Miraculous” or the brain-searing crescendo of “The Instinct,” which forms like the isokinetic structure of a Hoberman sphere, slowly expanding until it explodes in a five minute electric guitar meltdown.

Playing all the instruments himself, including several kinds of guitars, mandolin, synthesizers, percussion, piano and more, McGuire’s opus recalls Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells in its ambitions.  McGuire brings that concept into the 21st century and like that album some 40 years ago, Along the Way left me breathless.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))
Mark-McGuire-Along-The-WayJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Mark McGuire’s Along the Way is our March CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.
OR
Pick Up 
TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Guitar Splendor in Echoes Top 25

February 26, 2014

Erik Wøllo and Mark McGuire bring guitars back to Echoes Top 25

TimelinesCDcoverErik Wøllo’s February CD of the MonthTimelines,  leads Echoes Top 25It’s a brilliant recording of layered guitar dreamscapes.  Following close behind is our soon-to-be March CD of the Month, Mark McGuire’s Progressive Rock epic, Along the Way.  You’ll be hearing more about this album soon.  No fewer than seven vocal albums populate the top ten slots including Priscilla Ahn’s This is Where We Are; Warpaint‘s self-titled album; Linnea Olsson’s cello songs, Ah!; the return of Aurah with  Summon the Sky; Gem Club’s hazy In Roses and Simon Emmerson’s Fresh Handmade Sound reinvention of The Beatles on A Hard Day’s Night Treatment.  That last one, sadly, is not actually out yet.  The rebroadcast of Pure Bathing Culture’s live set boosted their return to the top 25.  See the complete list below.

ECHOES FEBRUARY TOP 25

  1. Erik WolloTimelines (Projekt Records) iTUnes
  2. Priscilla AhnThis is Where We Are (SQE Music) iTUnes
  3. Linnea OlssonAh! (Universal UK) iTUnes
  4. Mark McGuireAlong the Way (Dead Oceans) iTUnes
  5. Fresh Handmade Collective – Fresh Handmade Sound: A Hard Day’s Night Treatment (Lush)
  6. KrusseldorfFractal World (Krusseldorf) iTUnes
  7. AurahSummon the Sky (Very Music) iTUnes
  8. WarpaintWarpaint (Rough Trade Us) iTUnes
  9. Gem ClubIn Roses (Hardly Art) iTUnes
  10. Pure Bathing CultureMoon Tide (Partisan Records) iTUnes
  11. Lost in the TreesPast Life (ANTI Records) iTUnes
  12. Blow Up HollywoodBlue Sky Blond (Blow Up Hollywood) iTUnes
  13. All India RadioFall Remixes (All India Radio) iTUnes
  14. LarkenlyreMusic of the Extraordinary Voyages (Cynelic Gast Music) iTUnes
  15. Kristin HoffmannThe Human Compass (Starr Records) iTUnes
  16. Olivier LibauxUncovered Queens of the Stone Age (Music For Music Lovers) iTUnes
  17. DarksidePsychic (Matador Records) iTunes
  18. Tonight SkyTonight Sky (Tonight Sky) iTunes
  19. Juliette CommagereHuman (Aeronaut Records) iTunes
  20. Muriel AndersonNightlight Daylight (Muriel Anderson)
  21. David Helpling & Jon JenkinsFound (Spotted Peccary) iTunes
  22. BluetechSpacehop Chronicles Vol. 1 (Native State Records) iTunes
  23. James HoodCeremony (Edible Sounds) iTunes
  24. Banco de GaiaMaya (Disco Gecko Recordings) iTunes
  25. Divine MatrixHydrosphere (AD Music) iTunes

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

TimelinesCDcoverJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Erik Wøllo’s Timelines is our February CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

LRC19-250pxTRANSMISSIONS: THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

 

Last Thoughts & Merit Awards for NEARfest 2010

June 24, 2010

Another NEARfest is over, and a festival I avoided for its first 6 years because it seemed too retro and nostalgic has become an annual event for me in the last six years.  NEARfest 2010 was one of the best, a great mix of old and new, nostalgic reunions  and edgy directions.  A tip of the hat to Ray LobodaJim Robinson, Kevin Feeley,  and founders Chad Hutchinson and Robert LaDuca for another perfectly organized festival.  For these guys it really is about the music and the fans.

My NEARfest Awards

Best guitarist of the festival: Steve Hackett.

He should be mentioned in the same breath as Jeff Beck.  Honorable mention: Dave Bainbridge of Iona who had the most expansive timbral pallette at the Festival.

Most atypical guitarist of the festival: Bruce Soord of The Pineapple Thief.

He did more with a couple of chords and a lot of overdrive than a lot of guitarists did with a million nano-notes.

Most exotic axe: The uilleann pipes of Martin Nolan.  Instruments actually don’t get very exotic at NEARfest.  We need more musicians slamming on metal pipes like Present.

Most Versatile Musician: A lot of musicians did double duty on keyboards and guitar, but I thought the bassist with The Enid had the toughest job, doubling up on timpani, field drum and xylophone, providing the percussive bombast of this symphonic rock group.

Best Singers: Joanne Hoag of Iona and Bruce Soord of The Pineapple Thief.

Artist who would be best served by getting another singer: Steve Hackett. Hackett has pleasant pipes, but his limited range and expression really holds his songs back.  There isn’t one piece of his that I couldn’t hear improved by someone else singing it.

Most Bizarre Appearance: Nick Beggs, bassist for Steve Hackett. From 16 rows back, he looked liked a very masculine woman with his black leather skirt and vest, mid-calf boots, blond pigtails and Madonna arms.  He strutted and bounced across the stage, often with his back to the audience and shaking his ass.  As my friend Gino said, “That was the most unsexy butt shaking I’ve ever seen in my life.”  Imagine my surprise the next morning when I saw Beggs at a table at the Comfort Suites with his former bandmates from Iona.  My vision was blocked by an umbrella, so the first thing I noticed was the Madonna arms.  As I peered beneath the umbrella I saw long bleached blonde hair….. surrounding three days beard growth.  Turns out the leather skirt was a leather kilt. He can play the bass though.

SCATTERED NEARFEST THOUGHTS

With the exception of Magma in 2007, the Sunday headliner is never my favorite act and sometimes my least favorite.

The seats at Zoellner are just too small.  While my gut stayed well within bounds, my shoulders were a good 3-4 inches into the adjoining seats.

Even though they seemed to be using a smaller PA system, I thought  NEARfest 2010 had the best sound I’ve heard there in 6 years.  Loud, clean and well-balanced.

The lights at NEARfest are rarely innovative, but this year they were especially utilitarian.

I really need to start going to the After Show Party.  They always sound like such fun, but I’m always so tired by days end as it is.  How do people do it and still get up for the 11AM morning act?

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))


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