|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...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jul 19, 2016
44 years ago on this date Bill Bruford formally left Yes to take up residency in King Crimson.
Before the internet, social media,
message boards and dedicated band websites, they way you found out what
what your favourite band might be up to was to buy one of several
weekly music papers that appeared on the newstands.
Here's how many of us back then found out about the
new incarnation of King Crimson 44 years ago this week.
Talking Hedvig's Trio
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Jul 15, 2016
My thanks to Chris De Vito for this link to an interview with Norwegian guitarist, Hedvig Mollestad. With the Hedvig Mollestad Trio she makes a remarkable sound and their latest album, Black Stabat Mater is hailed by some critics as their best yet.
From the interview comes this passage...
You can listen to the track here.
Radical Action To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind Pre-Order
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Jul 14, 2016
Radical Action To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind is the title of a new multi-disc set from King Crimson scheduled for release on 2nd September.
Taken from the 2015 tours of the UK, Canada & Japan, Radical Action represents the most comprehensive release for this incarnation of King Crimson, and will be available as a 3cd/1blu-ray set, and in a 3cd/2dvd/1blu-ray limited edition.
Radical Action features every song and piece performed by Pat Mastelotto, Bill Rieflin, Gavin Harrison, Mel Collins, Tony Levin, Jakko Jakszyk and Robert Fripp and as Fripp commented last month while supervising mixing, “This is King Crimson… re-imagined”.
The details for the 3cd/2dvd/1blu-ray limited edition are as follows.
CDs presented as individually themed “virtual studio albums” with no audible audience & mixed for audio presentation
One Blu-Ray featuring a complete set-list drawn from Japanese concert performances – almost 3 hours of music - in high-resolution stereo & 5.1 surround audio complete with “picture off” mode allowing the music to be heard independently in pristine, lossless audio. (24/48khz as per original recordings)
Two DVDs featuring the full concert performances in stereo & 5.1 surround sound.
Expanded, perfect bound, booklet: 36 pages with additional tour photos.
Six disc set presented in two triple digi-packs with booklet housed in an outer slipcase.
Audio/Video performances include:
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part One
Pictures of a City
Radical Action (to Unseat The Hold of Monkey Mind)
Radical Action II
The Hell Hounds of Krim
The ConstruKction of Light
Scarcity of Miracles
Banshee Legs Bell Hassle
The Light of Day
The Talking Drum
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part Two
Devil Dogs of Tessellation Row
In the Court of the Crimson King
21st Century Schizoid Man
Suitable Grounds for the Blues
One More Red Nightmare
pre-order links for the 3cd/2dvd/1blu-ray limited edition are as follows
Inner Knot (USA) and Burning Shed (UK & Europe)
Pre-order for the 3cd/1blu-ray set are as follows
Inner Knot (USA) and Burning Shed (UK & Europe)
All copies come with a postcard featuring Francesca Sundsten’s striking cover artwork
It has been stated many times that King Crimson is not so much a band as it is “a way of doing things”. Less frequently stated but equally true, is the fact that the band inevitably seeks different ways of doing things. The current incarnation of the band, 2014 – the present day, has already released two taster sets in the form of 2015’s Live at the Orpheum mini-album and the vinyl picture disc EP that accompanied the 2015 tours of Canada and Japan, while the full raw concert performance from a single night in Toronto in 2015 was presented as a 2CD set earlier this year to great acclaim.
Now, with the release of Radical Action comes the most fully realised audio and visual statement from this band to date, running to three themed CDs and a Blu-Ray disc offering the filmed content along with an audio only option in lossless high resolution stereo and surround sound.
The set includes at least one performance of every song/piece of music played by King Crimson in 2015, some pieces originally composed in 1969 the year of the band’s inception, others composed/initially performed at a variety of points since, some new to the tour, all arranged for this specific line-up. Indeed it is characteristic of this King Crimson – in direct contrast to all other post 1970s line-ups - to feature a broad range of material from the 1969 - 1974 era, performed in such a manner as to maintain much of what made the music so arresting when first issued, while arranged for fresh interpretation by the seven piece line-up of today. As Fripp put it (when asked what the title of the album meant to him): “What I like about this band is, that what it is actually doing is not what it appears to be doing...”. The idea of King Crimson re-imagined, that the music as presented is new,irrespective of when originally composed, is the key element in this band’s makeup.
The set will be released to coincide with King Crimson’s most extensive European tour since 1974, with performances slated to include, for the first time ever, material from all seven of King Crimson’s 1969 – 1974 iconic studio albums and with limited availability via mail order and concert venues.
Audio: Three themed CDs of material recorded in 2015, each forming a separate discrete
performance with audio selected from a variety of shows and fully mixed from multi-track tapes by Chris Porter, Robert Fripp and David Singleton. As no audience is audible between tracks, this allows for a “virtual studio album” effect. (The current King Crimson line-up was deliberately conceived as a performing band rather than as a band concerned with making full studio recordings).
Video: Among the problems most associated with filming live performance, perhaps the key problems are those of the film-makers’ cameras intruding on the audience’s capacity to enjoy the show without interruption and the intrusion of the cameras on the band’s performance. In effect, both performance and audience response must be misrepresented to approximate a live show for later consumption. In order to record the performances more accurately, a series of Japanese concerts was captured via a number of discreet cameras in a “video vérité” style – with neither band nor audience disturbed by filming – by Trevor Wilkins who also edited and assembled the footage.
Audio/Video: Two DVD discs featuring the complete concert performances. Blu-Ray features the concert film in high-resolution [24/48] stereo and 5.1 surround sound with additional ‘video off’ mode allowing for high-resolution audio only playback in stereo and surround sound.
In essence the music can be experienced in a number of different ways – as continuous uninterrupted audio on CD, as a viewable concert performance in stereo or 5.1 surround on the DVDs and Blu-Ray, or in high-resolution, lossless audio stereo or 5.1 surround without pictures on the Blu-Ray.
80s Crim:Eyewitnesses Wanted
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jul 11, 2016
Did you see King Crimson in concert during the 1980s? If you would like to share your memories of the shows you attended for possible inclusion in the forthcoming 1980s boxed set, On And Off The Road, we’d like to hear from you.
Was it your first time seeing Crimson? Did it involve a road trip to see them? Did Tony take your pic? Did Ade change your life? Did Bruford blow your mind? Did Robert sign your album collection at the stage door? Whatever your experience, we’d like to read about it.
If you have any photos or other memorabilia from the era that you’d like to tell us about or share then drop a line to email@example.com sometime within the next couple of weeks.
On This Date...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jul 11, 2016
The '80s quartet incarnation of King Crimson played their final show together on this date 32 years ago in Montreal's Le Spectrum. The show, regarded as one of the finest they did by some observers, was released as Absent Lovers in 1998.
On This date 47 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jul 5, 2016
On this date 47 years ago, King Crimson wowed the 650,000 strong crowd in London's Hyde Park. Supporting The Rolling Stones, the gig played in pivotal role in establishing Crimso at an early point in their career.
When Crimson took to the stage they restricted themselves to a truncated set consisting of 21st Century Schizoid Man, In The Court Of The Crimson King, Get Thy Bearings, Epitaph, Mantra, Travel Weary Capricorn and Mars.
Dik Fraser recalls that during the opening number a large framed
photograph of Brian Jones fell, almost catching Greg Lake. The bass
player shrugged off the mishap, but several people backstage thought it
was some kind of augury or supernatural manifestation.
It was a good day for Crimson, however. The newest member of the road
crew, Richard Vickers (better known as Vick), recalled in his memoir
of that period: "The high point of that gig was the whole audience
rising to their feet as one and cheering Ian McDonald solo during
‘Schizoid’ — I remember the hairs on the back of my spine rising in
unison as the roar from this huge crowd went up."
In the crowd
stood Jamie Muir. Having only recently moved down from Edinburgh, the
future Crimson percussionist was then playing with free improvisers
such as John Stevens and Derek Bailey. He was impressed by the force
Crimson created. "What was incredible was that they just exploded on
to the scene fully matured. Most bands come along and then develop but
Crimson just came on and exploded with this very adult, intelligent,
cutting-edge music. It was just this whole package that went wallop!"
Trevor Lever, attending his first concert, found Crimson perplexing.
"At one point I thought an orchestra was playing but through my
binoculars saw only four blokes on the stage. ’Where’s the orchestra?’ I
asked a mate. ’Dunno,’ was the informed reply. ’Who is this
playing?’ I said to no-one in particular. ’King something,’ I was
told. I made a mental note to check this band out at a later stage."
It was the start of a love affair with Crimson which Lever — who has
seen shows by every incarnation of the band — continues to this day.
Crimson finished as usual with “Mars” (complete with an air raid siren
being cranked up from underneath the stage by Enthoven and Fraser).
Enthoven, celebrating his 25th birthday that day, regards this as the
defining moment of the launch of King Crimson. McDonald agrees that it
was the point at which Crimson arrived, but adds: "It would sound
blasé to say that this was just another gig for us, though in a sense
it was; we were having a great time discovering and enjoying our
music, but we were also experienced enough individually not to be too
greatly affected by any particular venue."
Sinfield was less than impressed with the set that
day, feeling that the band was below par. Lake disagrees: "It was the
first open-air gig that Crimson played and to that extent it wasn’t
as sonically controlled as the ones indoors. Pete didn’t have his
lights to play with but it was an extraordinary show." In his diary,
Fripp noted: "Standing ovation. Mammoth success, of importance which
will take time to appreciate. We’ll look back to see this day in years
to come and fully realise its significance."For
years it was assumed that there was no footage of Crimson other than a
brief glimpse of an off-stage Fripp peering at Mick Jagger through
the potted plants on the Stones In The Park DVD. Minutes later, Fripp and other KC members were unceremoniously thrown out of the back stage area.
Lake observes: "I
think that even if that Hyde Park thing hadn’t have happened, I don’t
think it would have affected the popularity of King Crimson. The
band had spread like wildfire."
Certainly the next night when
Crimson played their regular slot at The Marquee, the club was packed.
Sinfield regards that gig as infinitely superior to Hyde Park. "The
Marquee the next night. NOW that was a humdinger! Oh yes indeedy!"
McDonald in his diary notes that the band certainly picked up a few
new admirers. "Went to the Marquee. Did gig. Came back with nine
Crimson continued to surf a wave of critical
approval. Richard Gott in The Guardian’s review of Hyde Park
asserted: "Most of the music, with the exception of a sensational
group called King Crimson, was indifferent." And B.P. Fallon in that
week’s Melody Maker raved: "King Crimson are going to be giants. Perhaps
I’m wrong. Perhaps. Give it a year and we’ll know. No dammit. Six
months will do. Really..."
A more considered verdict was
delivered by Richard Gilbert in The Listener. "King Crimson played
again at the Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park and their confidence in
careering from the gritty to the lyrical won them a massive and
deserved ovation... if their records can match their live performances
they will survive all the bandwagon leaping."
The audience recording of the concert was officially released on CD as KCCC12 in 2002 and is also available as a download from this site.
Frame By Frame
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jul 4, 2016
We don't usually link to cover versions of King Crimson's material but Petra Haden's a cappella rendition isn't exactly run of the mill. Check it out here.
Well Fancy That...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Jun 30, 2016
Theft and deceit in the music industry? Surely not! It seems the person with the responsibility for overseeing Russia's music industry collecting society has been arrested following allegations of fraud. Read the details here.
RFSQ Video Goes Live
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jun 29, 2016
A 15 minute excerpt from the Robert Fripp String Quintet's 1992 appearance in Japan is now available for your listening and viewing pleasure on the DGMLive Youtube channel. Featuring Trey Gunn and the California Guitar Trio, the video provides a ringside seat as the team serve up the Fripp / Gunn improv, Firescape, The Moving Force and Bert Lams' beautiful piece, Asturias. Watch it here.
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