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Tony Talks Stick Men & Bowie
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Mar 6, 2013

There's a brand new interview with Tony Levin which you can read here. 

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On This Date 41 Years Ago...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Oct 6, 2015
King Crimson released Red, their final studio album of the 1970s on October 6th, 1974.

Now regarded as one the most important albums of that decade, Red frequently turns up in numerous best of lists by artists and magazines.

Here's what the New Musical Express had to say about the album upon its release that week 41 years ago today. 

THE PREVIOUS two albums by this final King Crimson lineup have never been as hysterically self-conscious in their obvious adventurousness as the first four studio records that came out under the band's name.

In fact, listening to certain parts of each of those early albums can frequently provoke nothing as crassly simple as severe brain damage but a rather more civilised basic aural pain.

In general, it's a pretty tidy set of neuroses, instability and insecurity — both musical and personal — that cuts a jagged edged swathe across the eight sides. The psychic melodramas do, though, have the saving grace of being carried out with an appropriate sense of artistic folly.

Indeed when juxtaposed against the histrionics of those records Larks Tongues In Aspic, Starless And Bible Black and, now, Red would seem to have been recorded in a state of almost Calvinistic general togetherness — or, if you prefer, what used to be known at school as "maturity" — and even if Larks Tongues does marginally fail to cut it due to a rather too noticeable excess of zeal then Starless, which is minus both Jamie Muir and His Percussive Pistacchio Nuts and the perfectionist production of the former — though not credited on the sleeve as such the whole of side two was cut live — comes up with a more consistent and relaxed amount of highs than any of its predecessors.

There's one other little plus that Starless has going for it...uh...it...well, it nearly swings.

And so to Red. No two ways about it, and putting aside for the moment any little thoughts we may have about its being The Final Work this outfit — now reduced to the basic three-piece of Robert Fripp, John Wetton on bass and vocals, and Bill Bruford on drums (sorry, percussives) — were really starting to whizz those thought patterns around amongst themselves.

Side One is actually rather a funky, even heavy, piece with 'Fallen Angel' and 'One More Red Nightmare' restating the weighty note progression emphasised almost to the point of a calculated ennui on 'Red', the first track.

'Fallen Angel' moves things on with some of your old mellifluous free-flowing melody ending up as a variant on a basic pop track with a surreal middle eight that has some most impressive reed honking from Mel Collins. Robert Palmer-James' lyrics are virtually indistinguishable, which on past evidence is most certainly in the record's favour, whilst Wetton's voice, doable or triple tracked on the chorus fines has the chore of both sounding like Greg Lake and being able to highlight the inadequacies of any similar ELP technological ballad.

'One More Red Nightmare' puts the rather curious counterbalancing of the first two tracks into a comprehensible perspective as it grips together the main themes of each title with some hot ice howling lead percussion from Bruford that does just now and then veer dangerously towards intellectual doodling.

'Providence', which opens the second side, features "guest" violinist David Cross on a schizoid quasi Prokofiev piece of impressionism which, when joined by the bass and Bruford, displays at first the sense of spacing and notation which was particularly evident on Larks Tongues but which ultimately dissolves as it's hurled into a rather early model King Crimson piece of mellotron madness.

The truly enigmatic side of Crimson gets really well held up to the light on the twelve-minute final track, Starless, with the baroque intensity — and extremity — of Fripp's Mancini-like mellotron strings that carry a hint of the mood of side two of Lizard until the scorching guitar, bass and jangling percussion work up and along several note and chord structures with each instrument underlining the other until a pattern is shaped like a continuous loop of sound restating the album's themes.

It's really quite curious and should, I suppose, be put down to some psychic state evolving from the demise of the band but Red is truly the first Crimson album that I can find myself listening to over and over again.

Would it be that same psychic state that makes me believe it's the best album ever made under the name of King Crimson?

Vote For King Crimson
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Oct 5, 2015
King Crimson have been nominated in the Band of the Year category in the forthcoming Classic Rock magazine awards. Click here to cast your vote. 

KC's Mojo Working In Aylesbury
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Oct 1, 2015
The latest edition of Mojo contains a generous review of King Crimson playing Aylesbury.

Crimson In Utrecht
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Sep 29, 2015
Here’s Tony Levin’s final gallery of photographs from King Crimson’s UK & European tour.  Also worth taking a peek at is Dave Stafford's thoughts on Crimson's first night in Utrecht.

Mister Stormy's Monday Selection
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Sep 28, 2015
Mister Stormy has uploaded three tracks from the Live At The Warfield video that is part of the forthcoming THRAK BOX. Check it out here.

Meanwhile, you can order the 16-disc THRAK BOX from Inner Knot (USA) and Burning Shed (UK & Europe)

Stick Men On The Road
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Sep 27, 2015
With the King Crimson tour just finished, Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto team up with Markus Reuter and take to the road in Europe as Stick Men.

Sept. 29 - Verona (IT) - Il Giardino
Sept. 30 - Verona (IT) - Il Giardino
Oct. 1 - Sofia (BG) - HDK Hall 11 (Lumiere Cinema)
Oct. 3 - Sala (SE) - Rockland
Oct. 5 - Oslo (NO) - Buckley's
Oct. 6 - Malmo (SE) - Moriska Pavijongen
Oct. 7 - Göteborg (SE) - Nefertiti
Oct. 9 - Bergen (NO) - Sardinen USF
Oct. 10 - Opole (PL) - Dom Expo
Oct. 11 - Wroclaw (PL) - Zaklete Rewiry
Oct. 12 - Prague (CZ) - Lucerna Bar
Oct. 13 - Reichenbach (DE) - Bergkeller
Oct. 15 - Bonn (DE) - Harmonie
Oct. 16 - Zoetermeer (NL) - Boerderij
Oct. 17 - Münster (DE) - Hot Jazz Club
Oct. 18 - Hertogenbosh (NL) - W2
Oct. 20 - Verviers (BE) - Spirit of 66
Oct. 21 - Karlsruhe (DE) - Substage
Oct. 22 - Reutlingen (DE) - FranzK

Don't forget, the Stick Men most recent release features their collaboration with ex-Crimson violinist, David Cross, Live In Tokyo is available: First show can be found here and the second show is right here

Discipline Covered
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Sep 27, 2015
My thanks to Dwayne for this link to this performance of Discipline by the Cal Poly Percussion Ensemble. 

:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Sep 25, 2015
Fresh from his recent bout of talks on the King Crimson UK tour, David Singleton takes us through the process of putting together the successor to THRAKATTAK for the forthcoming THRAK BOX set. Check it out here or over at the DGMLive YouTube channel

All About That Stream
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Sep 25, 2015
Somebody somewhere is making money from streaming music but it doesn't seem to be the writers and artists whose work makes the whole thing tick over. Kevin Kadish, who co-wrote All About That Bass revealed that he's made just $5,600 from 178 million streams. Read more here.

Elsewhere, comes news that an important test case that has potential ramifications for artists whose work is put onto streaming services by their record labels. Read more here. A music industry insider comments "If this does set some form of precedent it's potentially very, very important. Making available rights have long been the artists' best hope for preventing all sorts of online abuses by streamers & record companies but, to date, have gone largely unchallenged. Potentially significant for any artist who doesn't have control of their catalogue & would rather not be on streaming services."

Belew's FLUX Update
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Sep 25, 2015
Adrian Belew's FLUX app has been updated, as Ade himself explained via his Facebook page:
our first FLUXette pack is now available! this is one of the most important aspects of FLUX and one that sets it apart from all other recording formats: I keep adding to it! FLUX is never done!

within a few hours those of you who have the FLUXbybelew app will receive a notification that new FLUX is available. you can download this first "FLUXette" by going into the 'store' tab in the app and then selecting the FLUXette expansion pack. you will then be prompted to buy via an in-app purchase.

the new songs, snippets, music pieces, visuals, and information will become a part of your random FLUX stream assuring even further that your FLUX experience will never be the same twice.

I can't wait to try it!

here is what the official release from NOIISE has to say:

More music, more art, more Adrian Belew!
This update includes the full FLUX store functionality, and the first expansion pack called 'FLUXette' is now available. It features over 25 minutes of brand-new Adrian Belew music and audio snippets, and a set of new 360° interactive visuals. Complete your collection, select the 'store' icon from the menu to check it out. Stay tuned for additional packs to be released in the near future.

We have listened to your feedback, and implemented some extra features:
- a REFRESH button is now available in the track info section, so if the tune finishes you can update the info to read about the currently-playing track without having to exit the screen.

- iPhone 6 and 6+ native compatibility [it now looks better on these devices].
- there were some reports of AirPlay compatibility issues, these should now be fixed.

- Apple Watch compatibility. FLUX on your wrist! Control your FLUX experience and read the track info, all from your Apple Watch. Is Adrian Belew the first musician to have a watch app? Maybe so!

- Audiobus compatibility. Yes that's right, you can now put FLUX by belew™ in the input slot or Audiobus, and then process the output with any of the amazing effects apps that are available. Of course, we suggest you start with Adrian's own FLUX:FX audio manipulation app!

Please keep the great reviews coming, and don't forget to share your FLUX by belew™ experiences on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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