Friday, April 16, 2010

Grateful Dead: Crimson, White, Indigo

Crimson, White, Indigo
Crimson, White & Indigo: July 7 1989 JFK Stadium, Philadelphia (3CD/1DVD)
But I'd rather be with you - be with you. It is difficult to distance oneself from the emotions that some songs can invoke, especially songs of peace and protest that were hallmarks of much of classic folk and rock music. Grateful Dead is among the few bands that were able to carry the ideology of the 60s into the 90s, with songs like Standing on the Moon, Truckin, Brother Esau, Mexicalli Blues, Friend of the Devil and even songs like Touch of Grey and Fire on the Mountain.
Workingman's Dead
With the death of Jerry Garcia in a California rehab in 1995, an era of rock music came to an end. For a lot of people Jerry Garcia could not die. Thanks to Rhino Records' release of the Philly JFK Stadium concert of 1989, deadheads can rest assured, Jerry Garcia did not die, he cannot die. I strayed away from fringe music as I grew up and discarded a lot of the stuff I heard in my teens, but two bands that stayed on my shelf were Dead and Led Zep, largely due to their brilliance as musicians, songwriters, lyricists, band-mind improvisers and individual musicians.
Skeletons From The Closet: The Best Of The Grateful Dead
Dead was a pioneer in making recorded music freely available and shareable, long before the advent of computer networks and file sharing, with the forests of mikes that can be seen in their concerts set up by fans with taper's tickets. They even allowed soundboard connections to fans wishing to record their concerts, and encouraged free sharing of the recordings among fans. As a result, Dead has possibly the maximum amount of live recorded material of high quality among all rock bands making releases of historic live concerts a possibility. Their concerts at remain a treasure trove of classic listening.

After the Cream reunion and the Truckin up to buffalo, this is surely the most exciting live concert to hit the stores in this decade. Looking forward to experiencing this phenomenal release.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jimi Hendrix: Valleys of Neptune

Jimi Hendrix Valleys of Neptune is a mystic experience for the initiated. First of all, this is not a bootleg or a compilation of already available material. It is all new unheard takes on vintage tracks. Some of the tracks have been added to later but much of it is the original experience. One does get a bit of Noel Redding and a bit of Billy Cox, and you can distinctly make out how they held Hendrix differently with their lines and their rhythm. Most of the tracks are structured more like a studio jam session than as cuts for an album release and therein lies the magic. Hendrix is absolutely relaxed and absorbed, and the band backs him up with perfect balance.

If you are a Hendrix head, you will have already got your hands on this album. There is a lot of Hendrix lore in the tracks, and one has to listen to the opening bars of a song to realize that it is an earlier version of a song in the making. The time of this recording is also significant as it captures the evolution of the experience and how they shaped the unique sound that they came to be known for in the course of time.Valleys Of Neptune
If you are not a student (or stalker) of our man, you will wonder what is special about this album. For one, you have never heard sunshine of your love played the way it is played on this release. Clocking at under 7 minutes, t is electrifying and keeps you on your toes to see where it goes. Hear My Train a Comin is another fabulous rendition. Mr. Bad Luck (Look over yonder) is smooth and rocking at the same time. Valleys of Neptune is a beautiful track too. The Stone Free version here is going to interest the fan, the musician and the first time listener.

Overall, a brilliant release. It will be waking you up for a while to come.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Madonna Sticky and Sweet Tour

The Sticky and Sweet concert tour video is out on DVD, BluRay and CD. Madonna has consistently tested the boundaries of creativity and sensationalism, using her music, her lyric, and her performance to question the basis of our morality and our judgment.

From her Like a Virgin and True Blue days through Vogue, Like a Prayer, Sex, Erotica, Confessions, and of course, the Ray of Light days, she has continuously upped the ante in terms of what one expects from her, not an easy task, and one that not many have succeeded at.
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