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McDonald & Shakespeare
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Feb 14, 2012

My thanks to Brian Thomson for sending me the news that Ian McDonald will be providing the music at an all-star benefit reading of Hamlet in New York this month.  


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On This Date...1979
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., May 8, 2014
Thirty-five years ago on this date, Robert Fripp released his first solo album, Exposure.



As part of his preparation for the album Fripp recorded a series of ideas and riffs with John Wetton and Phil Collins in December 1977

On the 16th December Fripp and Wetton joined up with Mahavishnu Orchestra drummer Michael Walden for an extended work-out of ideas and pieces for Exposure which you can download here.



The next part of the exposure jigsaw falls into place when Fripp teamed up with Tony Levin and Jerry Marotta on January 18th, 1978 which you can also download.

At the time of its release Nick Kent's NME summed Exposure up like this:
The overall success of the aesthetic content here makes one equally anxious for more Fripp collaborations because, time and time again, this music showcases a man in full command of his talent, an inspired musician with an advanced sense of his own position in the scheme of things.

Ultimately the album proves that Fripp can effectively straddle the abyss that seems to forever separate the super-musician bluffing out over-agitated fusions and the barely competent dilletante full of ideas that his or her lack of formal training invariably render futile.

An example to us all, in fact, it's the likes of Fripp and Tom Verlaine who are going to make truly new music because they've appreciated their art's traditions, but are also capable of perceiving and developing their own visions. Meanwhile Exposure isn't just a title, it's what the record demands. Your ears have been told.

Exposure was listed by The Wire magazine as one of its 100 Records That Set The World On Fire feature in September 1998 and had this to say about it. 
Most of Fripp’s recorded output showcases his talent as a guitarist, but only Exposure offers any serious insight into the man himself. Returning to music after a four year break studying with Gurdjieff disciple JG Bennett, Fripp’s psyche had veered from frustrated hostility to enigmatic good humour, and his his first solo album captures every aspect of a many-sided personality.  Angelic electric guitar drone in the form of Frippertronics serves to frame a sparse, moving reworking of Peter Gabriel’s “Here Comes The Flood”. Tape recordings of Fripp’s argumentative New York neighbours jostle for space with cryptic spoken comments from Brian Eno. Terre Roche and Daryl Hall sing gorgeous, gentle ballads over mildly unreliable rhythms, but the highlights of Exposure see guest vocalist Peter Hammill chewing glass, barking with grisly charisma over cracking rock riffs. There’s no stylistic consistency, and no need: Fripp is resplendent in divergence. It’s the Sergeant Pepper of avant punk.
The album was reissued in a 2-CD set in 2006 (you can read my take on it over on the blog) which brought together performances by Daryl Hall which had previously been removed from the album because of objections by Hall's management and record album at the time.

You can read a fairly extensive overview Exposure here.

Do you have any thoughts on this album? Drop a line over on the guestbook.


Playing For Change
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., May 7, 2014
There's an interview with Bill Rieflin ahead of the Orchestra Of Crafty Guitarists appearance at the First Congregational Church, Bellingham, in Washington State later this month. You can get tickets here. 


Bette's Bugle Call
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., May 7, 2014
Bette Midler recently posted her concerns regarding the long-term effect streaming services were having on songwriters' income on Twitter. 


Mister Stormy's Monday Selection
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., May 5, 2014
If you fancy right royal blast of some burning guitar from 1981 then Mister Stormy has a treat for you today.


Book Of Now How Does It Go Again?
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., May 3, 2014


Belew: Page By Page
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., May 3, 2014
There's an extensive interview covering over 30 pages with Adrian Belew in the latest edition of Guitar Connoisseur magazine. The interview starts at page 94


OCG In USA
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., May 1, 2014
Later this month American audiences will have an opportunity to hear the music of the Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists



You can get tickets here:
May 23: Bellingham, WA
May 24: Portland, OR -
May 25: Seattle, WA -


Lack Of Respect
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., May 1, 2014
Streaming services are good for somebody's income but not necessarily the artists as this piece highlights.  


On This Date In... 1981
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Apr 30, 2014
Discipline played their debut gig in the tiny venue of Moles club in Bath 33 years ago.


Baby Crimson
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Apr 29, 2014
According to musician Nadav Lazar he "recorded this EP for my little niece Kama for her 1st birthday, so she'd have something good to listen to instead of that crappy children's music." Check out Lazar's take of five Crimso classics here


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