New acquaintances

These past few weeks, I’ve been discovering new music. American, British, Dutch, French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese and Swedish bands have passed by my ears, spanning the last 4 decades of music from classical to metal, from electronic to progressive.

A band that has caught my attention is Anathema. They started in the early nineties as a doom metal band, but their sound has since evolved to a kind of melodic, ambient alternative/post/art rock that I really like!

I still have much to discover from them, but this song stands out:

It reminds me of a heavier Radiohead (the good stuff, not like this), but they have their own touch – Do not consider them a Radiohead rip-off!

Hope you liked it! Next time I’ll be here with more stuff that I’ve recently discovered in my quest for new music. That, or maybe a re-edition of one the posts I enjoyed most doing, Astounding Songs, Amazing Covers (pun intended)…

Jazz across the Pacific Ocean – Hiromi Uehara

Hi,

Today I’ll show you someone that, for me, “is from another world”, in terms of jazz players.

Hiromi Uehara (上原ひろみ, born 26 March 1979), known as Hiromi, is a jazz composer and pianist born in Hamamatsu, Japan. She is known for her virtuosic technique, energetic live performances and blend of musical genres such as post-bop, progressive rock, classical and fusion in her compositions.”

The first video it’s related with herself as a person, and as a musician.

The next two for sure you know them very well, at least the majority…

At last, something that I discovered throw youtube searching:

Until next!!

Rock Operas, Episode II – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

After two side posts, here I am again with yet another rock opera. As promised, this time I bring you early Genesis (12 years before their hit Invisible Touch and 6 before Turn it on again) and their magnum-opus, their “big lump story of music”, in Peter Gabriel’s words.

The album tells the surreal story of a half Puerto Rican juvenile delinquent named Rael living in New York City, who is swept underground to face bizarre creatures and nightmarish dangers in order to rescue his brother John.

Their live shows were largely theatrical (check next picture), with Gabriel changing customs (check the last picture – a slipperman) a lot and with a lot of scenario-related props. However, they differed from their contemporaneous bands in that they still focused on presenting very well structured music, rather than only on the show, as Circus’ Ron Ross said:

“Where groups from the Who to ELP [Emerson, Lake and Palmer] impress their fans
visually with walls of amplified thunder-machinery, Genesis’ [sic] set is virtually bare of
electric equipment. Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford’s amps are so well hidden that
their music often appears to emanate from the air itself. No mountains of synthesiser
technology surround Tony Banks. Aside from the panoramic three-part slide screen
and an odd little rock formation at the center of the stage, the most striking “prop” is
Phil Collins’ beautifully complete and well-ordered drum kit. It is almost a sculpture in
itself, but, of course, its function is strictly musical.”

The show would start with Peter Gabriel, dressed like a common pub-rocker, saying these words:

Good evening. We’ve written a big lump of story and music and we’d like to play the whole thing for you tonight. It tells of how a large black cloud descends into Time
Square and straddles out across 42nd Street, turns into a wall and sucks in Manhattan Island. Our hero, named Rael, crawls out of the subways of New York and is sucked
into the wall, to regain consciousness underground. This is the story of Rael.

Then, Tony Banks’ keyboard would sound, just like this:

For me, the best song of the whole 90 minutes is In The Cage, which deals with fear. At this point Rael has awakened trapped in a cave in a state of great fear and sensory agitation.

Probably one of the better know songs from this album is Carpet Crawlers:

Peter Gabriel as a Slipperman

I’m sorry for not explaining better the whole meaning of this, but, in opposition to the first episode the story is not as straightforward, having many dreams and creatures, and hidden meanings… There’s even books written about this, such as the very good  Genesis and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Kevin Holm-Udson, from which I took some of the info here posted.

I really hope you liked this small sample of the great music created by Genesis, as I completely love their 70’s work..

Stay tuned for the next episode, Jesus Christ Superstar!

A treat to many of our viewers: Não percam o próximo episódio, porque nós, também não!

EDIT: If you want to read the whole story, here it is.

A Great Musical Weekend: GAR2012

GAR2012 posterHi there!

Yes, I know what you’re thinking… “Not this guy again, please!” You thought you’d gotten rid of me, did you? Sorry to inform you that after a week I’m back and this time with 10 (ten!!!) artists on my luggage.

This weekend a progressive music festival took place in the beautiful city of Gouveia, on the side of Serra da Estrela (our biggest continental peak), the Gouveia Art Rock 2012. To celebrate the 10 years of the festival, they brought 10 artists, and I couldn’t miss it!

The atmosphere in the place was amazing and very open, I got to talk with the artists, even have a beer with them (and 100 more people :P) in the theater’s bar, and have them sign my festival’s programme 😀 It was really amazing to see live and even shake hands with bands I’ve been following for some years now, as well discovering new bands for my library 🙂 Now, for the music itself (click on the photos to see a music video):

(WARNING: Some of the pieces posted here are really unorthodox and require an open mind and careful listen)

 Click to see the video of Abîme Lazuli

A relatively new, dark and dense French band with very good musicians and a unique instrument: the léode.Great concert. The singer spoke (tried to) Portuguese.

Curved Air

A british band who, back in the 70’s, had a few minor hits and is fronted by the energetic and (back then) beloved Sonja Kristina. Very nice concert, showcasing every musician’s abilities. To note: Paul Sax the violinist, Kit Morgan the guitarist and Robert Norton the keyboardist.

 Click to see the video of Marie Antoinette
 Click to see the video of A Presença das Formigas A Presença das Formigas

The surprise of the festival. A breath of fresh air and simultaneously a very traditional Portuguese band. Loved the show, the voices, the instrumentation, the complex and still folksier sound.

Calomito

An avant-garde, jazzish Italian band. Very tight musicianship, complex arrangements and a drummer who speaks Portuguese with brazilian accent. Really nice concert.

 Click to see Parliamone
 Click to see Jordrok Änglagård (garden of angels)

This band was one of the most influential in the genre to be born on the 90’s. Sadly, they stopped making music in 94 and touring in 03. 9 years later, they reformed and played their 2ndconcert here in Portugal. On the luggage they brought 2 new songs that they’re going to release in the upcoming album.Amazing show, intricate arrangements, and a mix of brutal and quiet sound that make this Swedish band so special.

Univers Zéro

These guys were the founders (along with Henry Cow, and others) of a music movement, the Rock-in-Opposition back in the late 70’s.They are heavily influenced by dark, intense 20th century chamber music. Their music is not for everybody’s ears, but, then again, almost none of these bands are. Breathtaking show, with a lot of improvisation and amazing, very disciplined musicianship.

 Click to see them live at GAR
 Click to see Ile des Fievre Shylock

This is another comeback. These guys haven’t played live in 33 years, since the release of their second album, Ile de Fièvre. However, they still sound fresh and original, with very complex and unorthodox arrangements. Sadly the guitarist was with a terrible cold, but it didn’t transport into the music. Great show and an historical moment. Loved the energy of the drummer!

Patrizio Fariselli

This guy here founded one of the most important, and strange, I must say, Italian bands of the 70’s: Area. He is also an accomplished soundtrack composer and pianist. It was a thrill to see him play, alone with his piano, Area’s tunes, including a ancient greek piece with more than 2200 years!!

 Click to see Efstratios
 Click to see New World Strawbs(Acoustic)

I need not introduce this guys again, as I already did here.Their show was awesome! Dave Cousins guided us through their 40 years history like a story-teller, with many humorous moments in the good british way. Loved them!

Focus

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to go to this 70’s dutch band concert, because of the 4/5 hours trip back home. However, I was able to shake hands with the very interesting Mr. Thijs Van Leer, the leader of the band. They play mostly instrumental rock, sometimes almost rock and roll, sometimes more mellow and melancholic. Worth listening to, really! Oh, I just remembered, you probably heard them in the Nike Commercial Write the Future in the part when Rooney misses a pass.

 Click to listen to Harem Scarem

Here and here are (portuguese) tv snippets about the 2009 and 2010 (where Hackett from Genesis played) editions.

Thank you for reaching this far in such a long post. I hope you’ve enjoyed it 🙂