Author Archives: Time Lord

Great moments in parenting: “I’ve discovered that my teenage daughter is a genuine metalhead!” @philosopher70

Read this great post by The Heavy Metal Philosopher about “Generations of Metalheads: Passing On My Bass.”

It’s a wonderful true story about a father and a daughter and a shared love of great music!

Here’s just a taste:

I learned to play bass while I was a young man in the Army, and then when I came back to the States, with my very first paycheck (working at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor, in Waukesha, Wisconsin), I went down to the pawn shop and picked her out — a beautiful blue bass guitar that I ended up giving a name to later on, Betsy.  I played countless hours over the next five years, jamming with a number of other musicians, practicing and improvising on my own, playing along with tapes and records.  I experimented with various amps and effects.  Out of necessity, I learned how to use a bass along Lemmy-lines, like a rhythm guitar, but instead of just overdriving it, I ran it through distortion and a bit of chorus into a 200 watt power preamp, down into a 15-inch speaker, with my old 12-inch practice amp taped into the circuit as well.

So, when my daughter asked, “Dad, can I take the bass home?” I had to think — and feel my way through a surprisingly tough decision.  I deliberated over it a long time, both by myself and with my wife.  And at the end, I made the right decision — but it was tough.

Top Female Bass Players (a list with Kim Gordon, Tina Weymouth, Kim Deal & more) @JenLucPiquant

Check out this great list (complete with YouTube videos):

7 Female Bass Players
Who Helped Shape Modern Music:
Kim Gordon, Tina Weymouth, Kim Deal & More

H/T Jennifer Ouellette @JenLucPiquant

Please note:

No list of classic female bass players will ever be complete—there’s always one more name to add, one more bass riff to savor, one more argument to be had over who is over- and underrated.

Metal Mondays: “Test Your Metal” by Unleash the Archers @UnleashArchers @BrittneyPotPie

This is one of my favorite tracks from Time Stands Still — the brilliant new 2015 album by Unleash the Archers.

It’s a killer dose of old-school metal awesomeness. Enjoy!

Lazarus (1st Demo) by Steven Wilson performed at No Man’s Land (December 2003)

Steven Wilson remarks that this is “my original demo of the song. This was actually the first of two demos I made of Lazarus, and it features a very different middle 8, subsequently rewritten for the second demo and final album recording.

“Lazarus was one of several songs that were based on a film script that I was working on at the time with my friend Mike Bennion, and the David mentioned in the song is a central character in that script.

“Lazarus (first demo) performed by SW at No Man’s Land, December 2003.”

Rush R40 in Vancouver: Set List G — with “Losing It” and “Natural Science”!!!

Ben Mink plays

Ben Mink plays “Losing It” with Rush at Rogers Arena on July 17, 2015

Great show last night in Vancouver by the hardest working men in showbiz — Rush.

My favorite songs from the first half of the show were “Animate,” “Distant Early Warning,” “Losing It,” and “Subdivisions.”

The second half of the show was Rush Heaven with all their greatest epics from their greatest era of prog creativity. They played all my favorites!

“Xanadu” with the double-neck guitars and orchestral percussion is arguably Rush in their most iconic live configuration.

After “Distant Early Warning,” Geddy announced that the next song they were going to do was one that they had only done three times previously on the tour. But, since violinist Ben Mink lives in Vancouver, they were going to do it tonight! Bam! — number four…

It was incredible!

So, it turns out that I was wrong with all my previous Set List speculations. It turns out that Rush threw Vancouver a curve ball and ended up doing a special Set List just for our city! We got to hear “Set List G” …

The set included “One Little Victory” (never a favorite cut of mine on album because of all the repetition, but I was thrilled by how well it worked live; it was very powerful and I ended up loving it), “Distant Early Warning” (I was hoping for “Between the Wheels” because I really love Alex’s guitar solo in that, but I was blown away by how good this song is live; the massive synth chords are so exciting and the audience went bananas and I was reminded of why it is one of their greatest), “Losing It” (a special once-in-a-lifetime treat), “YYZ” (which rocked so hard and had such a dazzling laser light show it was like an alien invasion had landed at the arena), and “Natural Science” (one of my absolute favorites and a genuine thrill to hear live).

I remember hearing an illicit version of “Natural Science” of Rush live in St. Louis from the Permanent Waves tour. It has some of Peart’s greatest lyrics and the whole concept is immensely appealing to a science geek like me and hearing this version had always had me dreaming of hearing it live because it is just so darn good. Last night my dream came true and I experienced it live. Amazing.

The Rush fan who made me the cassette tape of that concert told the story that it had been fished out of Alex’s trash can at the curb of his house. It was a white label vinyl pressing of a concert being considered for the next Rush live album. But it never happened and therefore the next Rush live album instead was Exit… Stage Left from the Moving Pictures tour. I guess Rush went with that decision in order to establish the pattern of a live Rush album after every four studio albums. Apparently this concert is now widely available thanks to the magic of the Internet, but back in the day it was a real discovery when a fellow Rush fan shared it with me as a secret cassette tape experience reserved for select initiates only. It was a rare and special experience that I will always treasure, especially due to the presence of “Natural Science.”

Just like last night’s concert!

SET LIST G

Performed on July 17th

The Anarchist
Headlong Flight (with Drumbastica mini drum solo)
Far Cry
The Main Monkey Business
One Little Victory
Animate
Roll The Bones
Distant Early Warning
Losing It
Subdivisions
-Intermission-
Tom Sawyer
YYZ
The Spirit of Radio
Natural Science
Jacob’s Ladder
Cygnus X-1 Book Two: Hemispheres – Prelude
Cygnus X-1: Book One: The Voyage – Prologue
Drum Solo
Cygnus X-1: Book One: The Voyage – Part 3
Closer To The Heart
Xanadu
2112: I. Overture
2112: II. Temples of Syrinx
2112: IV. Presentation
2112: VII. The Grand Finale
-Encore-
Lakeside Park
Anthem
What You’re Doing
Working Man
Garden Road (riff)

Rush R40 in Vancouver: Set List Speculations

If I had to guess, maybe Rush will play Set List C tonight in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

It would be cool to hear “Losing It,” but that’s probably not in the cards. So, if it happens, “Natural Science” would be amazing.

Then again, I’d really love to hear both “How It Is” and “Between the Wheels,” not to mention “The Camera Eye.”

Let’s “C” how it goes…

The new digital teleology: The album promotes the tour, and not vice versa — @Wilco Star Wars

The WSJ on What Wilco’s Surprise Album Drop Says About the Music Business:

In a sign of how insignificant new albums have become in today’s music industry, rock band Wilco Thursday evening surprised fans by releasing their latest studio album without fanfare, even offering it for free on its website. …

The popularity of the surprise album release—and Wilco’s decision to offer theirs for free—shows how much less album releases matter to many major artists relative to touring and other revenue streams.

For decades, the album release was the industry’s marquee event. Record labels deployed massive resources to build up anticipation among fans. On September 17, 1991, throngs of fans lined up outside Tower Records stores in Los Angeles and New York at midnight, waiting to buy copies of Guns N’ Roses’ “Use Your Illusion” albums.

At the time, high-level artists toured the world to promote albums; making money from touring was a secondary consideration.

But the digital revolution hurt the album as a source of revenue for artists and the industry. File-sharing begat piracy. The advent of the single-track download, popularized by Apple Inc.’s iTunes store in 2003, effectively undermined albums: Casual music fans no longer needed to buy an entire album for $15.99 to get a song or two. Record sales plunged.

Today, live performances, not albums, are the industry’s lifeblood. The top 100 North American tours generated some $1.4 billion in gross ticketing revenue in the first half of 2015, up about $400 million from the same period last year, according to the trade publication Pollstar. Ticket prices have skyrocketed: the average ticket price has hit an all-time high of $76.20, up nearly 13% from the middle of 2014.

Steve Hackett’s Premonitions includes 67 previously-unreleased tracks

Steve Hackett’s 14-disc set Premonitions (out on Oct 16, 2015) covers 1975-1983 and features Steven Wilson remixes.

The set includes 10 CDs and four DVDs, and 67 previously-unreleased tracks among the total of 135 songs.

And just in case you haven’t heard it yet, you should also know that Steve’s newest album Wolflight is one of the best releases of 2015.

Steven Wilson is the Master

An interesting snippet from a March 2015 interview with Steven Wilson that started off with his affirmation that everyone should be recording (and listening) at the 96-kilohertz/24-bit standard and then segued into this key point:

I think it’s worth saying again that all of this high-resolution stuff is pointless if the mastering sucks. Bad mastering is more of a problem than things being released at CD resolution, or even MP3s. What’s nice about this move to 96/24 is the amount of things that are coming out in flat transfers — no compression, and no mastering engineers fucking up the sound. That is a very, very good development in the history of music.

I’ve spoken with many an artist who’s said, “I turned in my final approved master, and what I got back on the back end is not what I heard in studio at all.” You’ve taken control of the mastering stage yourself and you don’t have to give anyone instructions about what to do anymore, right?

The simple answer is I don’t have any of my work mastered. It goes straight from my mixes — flat transfers onto the disc. And that applies to the mixes I do for the Yes reissues, the XTC reissues, the Jethro Tull reissues, and of course my own work too. And it’s amazing how many of the musicians I speak to, when I say to them, “I don’t want this mastered” — they’re initially shocked. But then they understand. Why would you need this mastered? You’ve approved the masters and you think the mixes sound great, so why would you not just release them as they are?

Now, I’m not saying that’s right for everyone, because some people need or want that extra pair of ears to check what they’ve done. But I’m at the stage now where I’m 100 percent confident that what I produce out of my studio is exactly the way I want people to hear it. I actually bypass mastering completely now.

To borrow a song title from Hand. Cannot. Erase., some people think it is “Routine” to go to mastering, and that’s just the way they have to do it.

I think people have been brainwashed a lot over the years that mastering engineers do something magical, almost like a black hat, and I think, actually, mastering is not necessary.

A lot of albums are coming out with flat transfers, and the audiophiles seem to love the flat transfers. There’s no compression of the dynamics, there’s no sort of nastiness on the top end and bass. I think it’s beginning to become a little bit of a trend, which I think is a positive trend.

Steven Wilson – For the Love of Vinyl

Cool announcement at Burning Shed about the Steven Wilson vinyl anthology Transience:

Exclusive – 100 copies of the album will be signed by Steven Wilson. The signed copies will be sent randomly across all of the preorders.

Featuring songs recorded between 2003-2015, Transience is a personally curated introduction to the more accessible side of Steven Wilson’s monumental solo output.

A limited edition vinyl only issue scheduled to coincide with the second leg of the Hand. Cannot. Erase. tour, Transience contains a new recording of the Porcupine Tree classic Lazarus, which Steven has been performing on tour recently with his stellar live band. The new version is based on a live recording, subsequently overdubbed and edited in SW’s private studio in July 2015.

Transience contains 13 tracks and totals over 1 hour of music. Pressed as a 3 sided LP in a lavish gatefold sleeve with black and white portraits of SW by Joe Del Tufo and Susana Moyaho, the fourth vinyl side features an etching of the original handwritten lyric sketches for Happy Returns.

This is a strictly limited one off pressing. There will be no digital download card. Double heavyweight vinyl in gatefold cover with anti-static inner bags.

An essential introduction to an essential artist.

Pre-order for September 4th (UK) and October 2nd (ROW) releases.

Side 1:

1) Transience – single version (3.10)
2) Harmony Korine (5.07)
3) Postcard (4.27)
4) Significant Other (4.31)
5) Insurgentes (3.54)

Side 2:

1) The Pin Drop (5.01)
2) Happy Returns – edit (5.11)
3) Deform to Form a Star – edit (5.53)
4) Thank You (4.39)

Side 3:

1) Index (4.47)
2) Hand Cannot Erase (4.13)
3) Lazarus – 2015 recording (3.57)
4) Drive Home (7.33)

Side 4:

Etching

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