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P2 At Albany Again
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Feb 20, 2012

My thanks to J Eric Smith for sending in this marvelous review of P2 playing Albany. You can hear the gig that Eric is writing about here.



Eric writes "I was a music critic (for better or worse) in Albany, New York for many years. My wife and I recently relocated to Des Moines, Iowa, and as part of launching a web presence in my new home community, I have been reviewing old archives of my work for items that might lend themselves to new purposes. I found a ProjeKCt Two live review (copied below) while digging through old floppy discs and files, and thought I would share it here, since I have not seen many other formal newsprint reviews from that era posted here. It was a lovely show, one that I still cite as one of my all-time favorite live performances.

****************************

ProjeKct Two
Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany, New York, May 8, 1998
Copyright 1998, J. Eric Smith (Originally appeared in Metroland, The Alternative Newsweekly of Northeastern New York)

"OK, now we’ve played everything we don’t know,so we can play something that we actually do know," announced electronic drummer Adrian Belew at the end of ProjeKct Two’s second all-instrumental, all-improvised set. Belew, 10-string Warr guitarist Trey Gunn and electric six-string guitarist Robert Fripp then encored with King Crimson’s "Vrooom," an angular number originally created by Fripp, Belew, Gunn and their Crimson bandmates Tony Levin, Bill Bruford and Pat Mastelotto.
 
As nice as it was to hear "Vrooom," the true value of the encore was to place the evening’s improvisational extravaganza in context by providing a single sample of how ProjeKct Two sounded when tackling a fully developed and structured instrumental piece. Frankly speaking, the encore paled in comparison to the 90 minutes of music preceding it, as its rehearsed complexities and nuances were nowhere near as impressive as the knotty, towering sound collages that ProjeKct Two created on the fly as the rapt audience watched and listened.
 
Fripp, Belew and Gunn were watching and listening to each other as well, and much of the thrill of this concert came from witnessing the interactions between these deeply talented musicians who have played together long enough to anticipate each other’s thoughts, sometimes before they eve realize that they’ve had them. Belew or Fripp typically opened each number with a drum or guitar pattern that the other musicians would would investigate, mount and ride, sometimes to loud and uplifting summits, sometimes to quiet, scary grottoes, sometimes back to the point at which they started. It was actually harrowing to experience in many cases, as the trio careened just on this side of control as they rode, the looks on their faces indicating that it was just as thrilling (and frightening) for them as it was their audience.
 
As important as technical prowess was to the concert’s success, mention must also be made of ProjeKct Two’s technological proficiancy. Belew was playing the latest generation of Roland virtual drums, allowing him to create a seemingly infinite number of sonic assaults as he clattered and rattled along with a look-Ma-I’ve-got drums grin on his face. (Understandable, given that he’s normally a guitarist.) Gunn matched Belew’s rhythmic and textural intensity as he tapped, stroked and and beat the touchboard of his Warr guitar.
 
Fripp spun out any number of his trademark spine-tingling sustained guitar lines but also used the treatment technology he has developed over the years via his Soundscape and Frippertronic performance experiments to create a wealth of tones and intonations. At times, the bands’ sounds were so far skewed from what your eyes were reporting to your brain that it was almost psychologically easier to look at the floor and imagine that Fripp was playing cluster chords on some beaten-up jazz-hall piano while Gunn blew on a baritone sax and Belew kept time by tapping on whisky bottles and ashtrays. Crazy, man, crazy.
 
All told, ProjeKct Two’s concert was a magnificent one, and I must confess to feeling great relief in being able to report that. Why? Because Robert Fripp’s written and recorded works have done more to shape both how I listen to and how I think about music than have any other artist’s over the last two decades, although I never actually stood in the same space with Fripp until last Friday. So imagine the potential for debilitating disappointment at this show, and then imagine the transcendent relief and joy when it didn’t come to pass. It literally moved me to tears. And how often can a wordless concert do that?"
 


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Portrait Of The Guitarist
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Feb 16, 2014
Robert Fripp's aversion to having his photographed in mid-performance is well known. But when he was approached to have a formal portrait taken by photographer Scarlet Page in order to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust he readily agreed. Robert's portrait will form part of an exhibition of other guitarists at the Royal Albert Hall.  Running in selected dates in March and April, you can find out more about the exhibition here. 


Tippett In Bristol
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Feb 13, 2014
part-time KC pianist who contributed to Poseidon, Lizard and Islands, is playing a concert later this month in Bristol with his Octet. You can find out more details about the gig here.  


Charig's Free Music
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Feb 12, 2014
Cornet player Mark Charig, who Crimheads will know from his guest spots on Lizard, Islands and Red, has a new release. Free Music On A Summer Evening is a live album recorded in 2007.



You can find out more details about the album here and read my take on it over on the blog.  

In The Court Of The Trade Mark King
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Feb 12, 2014
My thanks to konaman for pointing to this link about bands and legal disputes. Always good to know that there's a legal opinion that King Crimson was formed "by virtuoso guitarist and Godfather of prog, Robert Fripp" (objection M'lud!) but that Fripp "has always run King Crimson, not as a democracy, but as a brutal prog dictatorship." 


Vintage Fripp
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Feb 12, 2014
Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp talk about some of their favourite artists this coming Sunday on My Vintage. You can see the promo trailer here.  



Just Michael Giles
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Feb 12, 2014
This just in from Michael Giles no less! "Due to the current hot debate about tuning on the DGM Live Forum, I write to let you know of my Blogstone which contains essays on various subjects – including THE Bflat TENOR KNEE PUMP with toe hold, and the tuning problems associated with it’s formidible sibling -  THE Fsharp BARITONE KNEE PUMP with  internal plunger, double flange-droppings filter bags and Seven Sevtaves of 14 notes.
 
Readers and writers of DGM Forum might be interested in these rare instruments and their unusual tunings" Michael's unique musical musings can be found here.
 


King Crimson Record Club On Twitter
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Feb 11, 2014

On Thursday 13th Feb at 7.30p.m. GMT Crimheads on Twitter are getting together to listen to King Crimson's debut album In The Court Of The Crimson King in its entirety, live-tweeting reaction as it plays.

This is the first King Crimson Record Club event for Twitter - the virtual equivalent of getting together with a bunch of mates and chinwagging in real time as the album plays.

If you'd like to take part all you need is a Twitter account and follow the hashtag #KCRC or by following @thesidsmith.

The King Crimson Record Club press PLAY at 7.30p.m. GMT prompt.



Crim On The Box
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Feb 11, 2014
King Crimson were mentioned several times on BBC4 last night during Danny Baker's Rockin' Decades. As well as the cover of Court being prominently featured in the background montage of album covers, Viv Albertine of The Slits cited her love of the first KC album to much nodding from the other guests.  LTIA and Red were also mentioned in recaps of particular years of the 70s, although pedantic train-spotters spluttered with apoplexy when Red's release year was cited as 1975.

At the end of the hour-long programme each guest was asked to pick an album that represented something special.  Viv Albertine chose a KoKoMo album (which of course contains Mel Collins) and host, Danny Baker picked up his treasured copy of Still by Peter Sinfield.


The show is available in the UK via the BBC iPlayer for the next seven days.





Mister Stormy's Monday Selection
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Feb 10, 2014
If you've wanted to hear Robert play some rock 'n' roll, well now you can in this fab selection courtesy of Mister Stormy. 


The Beatles, The Boss & KC
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Feb 10, 2014
This just in from noted Hellboy, Tom Redmond.

"Yesterday Joanne and I went to an all-day event at Monmouth University focused on the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in the US.  There were a variety of panel discussions and some live performances – overall a very good day supported by exceptional research and professionalism.
 
The final panel was made up of several musicians including the original (1972) drummer in Bruce Springsteen’s East Street Band.  A question to the panel regarding how much the Beatles influenced the original Springsteen line up. The drummer, Vin Lopez, responded, “We only listened to King Crimson”.  Joanne jumped out of her seat and threw an enthusiastic elbow into my side.  I must say that Vin’s comment and the flying elbow took my breath away."

 

 


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