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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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King Canada
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jul 13, 2015
With both nights in Quebec now sold out, a third date has been added to King Crimson's run of dates in Toronto.

The full dates for the Canadian tour are:

Fri 13th Nov Quebec Palais Montcalm
Sat 14th Nov Quebec Palais Montcalm
Mon 16th Nov Montreal Theatre St. Denis
Tue 17th Nov  Montreal Theatre St. Denis
Thu 19th Nov Toronto Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Fri 20th Nov Toronto Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Sat 21st Nov Toronto Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Tue 24th Nov Calgary Jack Singer Concert Hall
Thu 26th Nov Vancouver Vogue Theatre
Fri 27th Nov Vancouver Vogue Theatre
Sun 29th Nov Victoria Royal Theatre

King Controversial
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jul 13, 2015
On this date 12 years ago King Crimson played the Montreux jazz festival. It didn't go well for the band.

Adrian Belew reckoned it was his worse gig in nine years and Robert Fripp summed it up as "An evening of clams, clunkers, recoveries..." With Pat Mastelotto diving into the audience at the end to remonstrate with a persistent photograph, this may well be one of the most controversial gigs the Crims ever played! Find out for yourself by downloading the concert here.

To Text Or Not To Text...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jul 13, 2015
My thanks to jhessell who sent in this article about how one actor handled a member of the audience texting during a performance.

Jakko Talks King & Kinks
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Jul 12, 2015
A few weeks ago Jakko Jakszyk was a guest on Steve Davis's Interesting Alternative show on Phoenix FM radio. You can hear Jakko talking to Steve and co-host Kavus Torabi (of Gong, Guapo etc) and playing a selection of tracks from his musical past and present. Jakko also tells the story of how he came to be a member of The Kinks for ten days. Meanwhile tomorrow evening, Theo Travis will be joining Steve and Kavus to talk about his new album, Transgression. Tune in live at 10.00 p.m.

The Albums Not For Streaming
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Jul 12, 2015
Here's a piece on ten albums that do not appear on the new Apple music streaming service. 

On This Date 31 Years Ago...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Jul 11, 2015
The Discipline-era King Crimson played its final gig together at Le Spectrum in Montreal.

The concert, and the preceding night, appeared on the 2CD Absent Lovers, released in 1998.

Here's Robert Fripp's take on that period in the group's history.

"Absent Lovers" (recorded on the group's last two nights in Montreal, 1984) validates the group as a live unit, right up to the end. That particular end was a finish, a conclusion and a completion. No discussion followed the end of the tour, to address either working together or not working together.

We recorded the last shows on multi-track. Sensing that the end of the band might be nigh, this allowed for a possible live-album to commemorate the outfit (as with "USA"). Bill mixed the tapes for a Canadian radio broadcast, which became a bootleg (as with any radio broadcast) called "Absent Lovers". Any mix of any music is a presentation of a world-view: a sonic society of the imagination, how we see that world & our place in it. When I was given a copy of Bill's mix, it confirmed my sense of Bill's Crimson world-view, and gave deep offence. My own Crimson world-view of the same event can be found on the DGM "Absent Lovers" (with acknowledgement to David Singleton, my Ton Prob partner). Bill's is on the bootleg.

The 3 years' commitment discharged, world views divergent, we went different ways. For my part, I went to Claymont Court to allow the future to present itself, without any demand on what that future might be & require of me.

King Crimson In Paris
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Jul 9, 2015
Although both nights in Utrecht have sold out there are still tickets available for King Crimson’s three-night residency in Paris.

You can grab tickets by clicking on the dates below.

20th Sept

21st Sept

22nd Sept

On This Date 41 Years Ago...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jul 8, 2015
On this date 41 years ago King Crimson entered Olympic Studios in London and began work on the final Crimson album of the 1970s,  Red.

There's some fab footage of Olympic Studios to be found in the Pathe News archive. You'll have to plough through some vintage footage of UK life as seen through the quirky lens of the Pathe producers first though. If you want to cut straight to the chase, you'll find it at 4.47.  There's also an ace article about the background on the studio here and an overview of the facility here.

On This Date 46 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jul 7, 2015
On this date in 1969, King Crimson entered Wessex Studios with Moody Blues producer, Tony Clarke at the controls.

The sessions were eventually abandoned on July 16th after the band decided they would end the relationship with Clarke and produce themselves.

Streaming To Self-Destruction
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jul 7, 2015
Anil Prasad of Innerviews offers his perspective on the prospects for musicians in the streaming age. Read it here. 

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