Monday, November 4, 2013

CavemanKing Live at the Birman Pub, Jerusalem 19/07/2013

yes this is what its like to be in a heavy metal band in jerusalem

dig the waitresses going back and forth, innocent bystanders walking by, and the occassional need for an audience member in a dress to flee in order to take a call on her cellphone


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Boss DS1 Ultra Mod by Liquid

"Keeley" type mod of a DS-1 done right here in Israel by "Liquid Elektronika"

He also makes his own pedals ...

Monday, August 19, 2013

finally some actual BTS Guitar on the BTS Guitar blog



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jerry Garcia

Happy Birthday, Jerry Garcia!

In the past few years, the GD newsletter (taken from the heads themselves?) has been calling the time between August 1st and August 9th, the "days between". This is because Jerry was born on August 1st, 1942 and sadly passed away on August 9th, 1995.

Every year around this time, I drag out the Dead's studio albums (and official live albums like live/dead and europe 72) and listen to them all in order. There's a huge number of gems to be found for sure, but this year I'm adding a new twist and I'll be listening to the entire Dick's Picks series (1-36) in order. Dick's Picks were a series of mail order releases of live shows, sometimes complete, sometimes piece meal, put together by the late Dick Latvala, the Dead's first archivist. They jump around between the years 1968 and 1991 but mainly feature 70s shows (my favorite period anyway). Here Jerry and the boys

s   t   r   e  t  c  h

out on the great tunes, chase the rabbit down the rabbit hole with Alice, discover new dimensions in drums/space and in general beef up the dead's legacy as the greatest American band of all time [whew, now Led Zeppelin won't be offended].

Highlights highlights highlights ...

official studio and live

Dark Star - Live/Dead --- we could argue for days on end about which dark star is THE BEST (and the dark star on dick's picks 7 is damn fine) but this one is, for me at least, the prototypical dark star which first propelled me deep into deadhead land and improvisational music, and even jazz as a result. a must listen.

Friend of the Devil - American Beauty --- a fine, fine example of western faux Americana as constructed by Mr. Jerry Garcia and lyricist Mr. Robert Hunter. excellent sparse orchestration and acoustic guitar work.
Eyes of the World - Wake of the Flood --- there are many many fine live versions of this tune (the best being EITHER the Grateful Dead movie version OR the One From the Vault '75 version with the awesome bass solo) but the studio version has a clarity and innocence and freshness which makes it worth looking into.

St. Stephen - Aoxomoxoa - whimsical, imaginative, musically powerful (with a lot of help from Phil Lesh) and intricate --- not a lot of Americana here but more progressive rock sounding "early" dead. Garcia on SG or Les Paul here... not sure...

Uncle John's Band - Workingman's Dead - and they can SING too. The first mini-hit for the GD.

Dick's Picks
Help on the Way -> Slipknot! -> Franklin's Tower from Dick's Picks 17: This is waaaay waaay late in the Dead's career by Dick's Picks standards yet the boys, with new keyboardist Vince Welnick AND Bruce Hornsby on board - rip up the joint with this awesome triple feature from the Blues for Allah album

Terrapin Station - Dick's Picks 3 - "He put the Grateful Dead in the dress" is what Garcia reportedly said about Keith Olson's production of the "Terrapin Station" album, but here you have a version played shortly after the album's release in a way which the Dead thought it should sound. The studio version is a bit over the top (and a lot of mickey hart 16th notes) but live it was expansive, and ploddingly majestic.

Playing in the band - Dick's Picks 7 - there really aren't any bad versions of playing from say 1972 - 1985. I never tire of the middle jam section of this song (as seen in the grateful dead movie). bliss.

Dark Star -> Mind left body jam -> Morning Dew - Dick's picks 19 - hardly fair to include this as 1 song as its about 38 minutes of cosmic apocalyptic journey to the heart of the soul via a fender stratocaster with an alligator sticker on it (formerly the property of Graham Nash), a fender twin reverb amp, and 9 and a half fingers.

China cat -> I know you rider - Dick's Picks 11 - again there are about a million fantastic versions of these songs and this is one of them. Europe '72's version has its good points too...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Allman Brothers - Whipping Post, 9/23/70 HQ

great music
but its also rare to see such a high quality video of ABB from 1970

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sunday, June 9, 2013

DOWN IV Part 1: The Purple - Full EP - HQ

latest EP from down

Their first 3 LPs are excellent as well. I've been listening to all of them a lot this year ...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

metal record reviews as haiku

Black Sabbath - 13    (** 1/2)

ozzy sounds great wilk too
too bad rubin wasn't there
for their old albums

Alice in Chains - the devil put dinosaurs here (**)

monotone cover
art not working was the
least of their problems

Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork (***)

nearly dying gets
Josh to do what he does best
only much slower

in other news looking forward to new tool, opeth and mastodon later this year (hopefully)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Grateful Dead at Woodstock

Arguably the worst Grateful Dead show ever --- (they were also scheduled to play Altamont) plagued by rain, wind and equipment problems, the Dead played a lackluster set interrupted in the middle by a rainstorm.

The set list contains a number of songs which also appear on "Live/Dead" (released later that year in Nov 1969 and recorded earlier that year mostly in Feb and Mar 1969. St Stephen, Lovelight and Dark Star are all massive side long cuts of Live/Dead. "High Time" was being rolled out and would show up on Feb 1970's album "Workingman's Dead". "Mama Tried", the merle haggard cover, would first be released on "Grateful Dead" a 1971 live double album.

dig the funny stand up / sit down argument after mama tried

"It's nice to know you can blow the most important gig of your whole career, and it really doesn't matter."

- Jerry Garcia

Sunday, May 5, 2013

RIP Jeff Hanneman 1964-2013

The great Jeff Hanneman of Slayer has passed away from liver failure at the age of 49. As well as being the primary songwriter of Slayer (along with Kerry King) he was also a huge Raiders fan (wearing a wide variety of jerseys on stage as opposed to King's usual Fred Biletnikoff jersey) and a fantastic and creative lead guitarist.

Here's a selection of my favorite Jeff songs from Slayer:

Spirit in Black (my favorite Slayer song of all time)

Seasons in the Abyss

South of Heaven

Divine Intervention


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

John Abercrombie - Jazz Guitar Improvisation 1

the resemblence to lemmy is eerie though isn't it ...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

1968 in music

In celebration of the new season of Mad Men which takes place in 1968, here's a selection of great albums released in that year. 1968 was a watershed year for the world: the Tet Offensive, Prague Spring, riots on the left bank in Paris, Nixon's election and a realignment in American politics, the assasinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F Kennedy in the space of 2 months, riots in DC, Detroit and other American cities... and Apollo 8 circling the moon on Christmas Eve. In rock music, two innovations from 1967 were deeply influential: Sgt Pepper's and the idea that the studio was an instrument, and the Summer of Love where the California and especially SF scene influenced the rest of the country and got heavy media coverage (including the cover of TIME magazine)
Spirit - Spirit In 1966, before being discovered by Chas Chandler, Jimi Hendrix had a band called Blue Flames in NY. Because two of the players had the same first name, Randy, Jimi referred to them by their home states: Randy California and Randy Texas. Randy California, too young to join Hendrix in England, went back out West and formed the band SPIRIT with his stepfather, drummer Ed Cassidy. Spirit has a decent run of 4 albums from '68-'70 but missed the opportunity to be truly massive by skipping the Woodstock Festival in order to play the Atlanta Pop Festival. Spirit and Zeppelin toured in 1969, leading some to speculate that Stairway to Heaven was ripped off from Spirit's song "Taurus" (4th song on this album - starts around the 11 min mark).     Blood Sweat and Tears - Child is Father to the Man BST and Al Cooper took the Beatles orchestral and horn arrangements from Sgt Peppers and ran with it, bringing jazz and rock together in their debut album. My father has this on vinyl and its one of his favorite albums of the decade.       Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland The last studio album Jimi Hendrix would complete during his lifetime, and the pinnacle of his use of the studio as instrument. Pioneering use of phaser, wah wah, fuzz, echo and of course a massive and progressive sequence on side C rainy day - 1983 - tides - still raining ... Other standout tracks: Voodoo Chile (slight return), All along the Watchtower, Crosstown Traffic, (Have you ever been to) Electric Ladyland, and Let the Good Times Roll    

The Beatles - The Beatles (the white album)

A bit scattered perhaps, compared to Sgt Peppers or Magical Mystery tour, and massively diverse, but still an impressive collection of songwriting from the biggest band of the 60s. At the time, the Beatles as a group were beginning to lose their collective unity (starting with the loss of their manager Brian Epstein) and some songs here are without Ringo Starr on drums (for example Back in the USSR) as he briefly considered leaving the group or simply found the sessions boring. Eric Clapton sits in on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Revolution 1 is the tamer version of the hit single "Revolution" without the iconic fuzz guitar. Revolution 9 is an experimental sound collage which sometimes succeeds to be eerie and creepy. The double album has some other great songs such as: ob bla di, julia, birthday, back in the ussr, happiness is a warm gun, helter skelter, and blackbird.

The Doors - Waiting for the Sun

Features the Doors' banned-from-radio anti-war statement "Unknown Soldier" and '68s vision of a future dominated by baby boom youth "5 to 1" (they got the guns but we got the numbers)

The Rolling Stones - Beggar's Banquet The last album with Brian Jones. The Rolling Stones go towards the gutter and the garage. Street Fighting Man sums up the era and year.

The Grateful Dead - Anthem of the Sun

As Jerry Garcia famously said of this record, "we mixed it for the hallucinations". Unable to come up with sufficient studio takes of the 5 songs on this album, the Dead came up with the interesting, and labor-intensive (pre-pro-tools and pre-automation) concept of splicing in live takes, sometimes several live shows at once, into and in between the studio takes. The effect is not crystal clear audio but instead a aural trip. The songs expand, slow down, speed up, cross over and dissolve into other live versions, and multiple takes of multiple drummers make it hard to groove. The Dead are as weird as they would ever get here, and although not commercially successful, it would pave the way for Live/Dead, their far more successful, accesible, and defining album which would be recorded and released in 1969.

In a Gadda Da Vida - Iron Butterfly

Arguably, the first heavy metal album (or was it Steppenwolf's self titled 1968 album, or was it the first Zeppelin album from early '69 or was it Deep Purple In Rock ... ???) and certainly a stoner prototype including an 18 minute hypnotic and jammed out title track.

Music From Big Pink - The Band At a time when the rest of music was getting orchestrated, modernized, heavy, jazzed up and complicated, Bob Dylan crashed his motorcycle, broke a bunch of bones and was forced to hole up at his manager's house for a number of months to convelesce. His backing band for the 1966 tour, the Hawks, relocated to the area, rented a house called Big Pink and spent 1967 working with Dylan on a number of demos later released as "The Basement Tapes". Dylan and the Band took a step back towards folk and country and the Band's debut album was heavily influential on the turn music would take the next year (1969) influencing Crosby, Stills and Nash, and the Dead's two 1970 albums. Eric Clapton admitted he wanted to drop out of Cream and join the Band, and their "hit" from this album, "The Weight" would show up in the movie Easy Rider.

Miles Davis - Miles in the Sky

Recorded a year before the twin fusion masterpieces "In a silent way" and "Bitches Brew", Miles in the Sky is the first Miles Davis album featuring an electric guitar (on two tracks) and also features electric piano (Fender Rhodes). Although neither as memorable, nor as influential as the later albums mentioned, Miles in the Sky is the starting off point for Miles' experiments in fusion jazz which would continue until his temporary retirement from music and public life in 1975.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Thelonious Monk plays Duke Ellington [Full Album]

I'm a fan of Thelonius Monk, he wrote some rather unusual sounding songs in the 50s and 60s which have now become jazz standards ("Well you needn't", "Straight, no chaser", etc). His music sounds really angular, funky and unexpected by comparison to some of his contemporaries like Ahmad Jamal or McCoy Tyner for example. His sense of time is unique as well and is a big part of his composition and playing style.

On this early album, he covers Duke Ellington songs. Duke at that point was the elder statesman of jazz [along with Louis Armstrong] and one of the most respected composers and bandleaders. Because this isn't exactly the Monk songbook, its a little more reserved and "respectful" than the rest of his catalog. Excellent "Night in Tunisia (track 8)"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Herbie Hancock - Sextant [FULL ALBUM] [HQ]

very very out there Herbie Hancock album from 1972 with electronic and old school fusion writing ...

3 songs, of lengths 9, 10 and 19 minutes. 2nd song is in a crazy time signature (19/4) ?

The story of how the whole HEADHUNTERS band and hit album came about was that Herbie went to a party and they asked him to put on his latest LP, which was this one, and it totally killed the party.

After that he decided to make more accessible and profitable music.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Weather Report 1972 *Live in Tokyo*

This isn't the Jaco Pastorious Weather Report. This is the extremely abstract, improvising, noodling, atmospheric, weather report of the EARLY seventies with Miroslav Vitous on bass.

This is an extremely, er..., CHALLENGING album to listen to, because you need to really concentrate to hear the interplay when it happens, and the songs are not songs as such but more like frameworks for jamming. But give it a listen, there are some moments of magic. And keep in mind that this is the full concert, with no overdubs, edits or tinkering after the fact.

for diehards only.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sons Of Meteora - Don't Pretend

New video from "Sons of Meterora" from Spain. The bassist, Diego Olschansky, and I played together in "Solstice Coil" roughly around 2005-2006.

Thursday, January 17, 2013