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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 Crimson Record Club This Weekend
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Mar 26, 2014
The King Crimson Record Club is featuring Larks' Tongues In Aspic this month.



If you're a Twitter user the date for your diary is Friday 28th March at 7.30pm GMT. You'll need to use the #KCRC hashtag to join in the chat.

Facebook users get their turn on Saturday 29th March at 7.30pm GMT (Facebook of Saturday, anyone?). You'll need to be a member of the Facebook King Crimson Record Club group.

If you've not come across it before, the King Crimson Record Club takes place on Twitter and Facebook and the idea is that Crimheads around the world sit down at a pre-arranged time to play their copy of the album and comment upon it in real time with other Crimheads.

Last month In The Court Of The Crimson King was played and discussed (you can see the Storyfied conversation over on the blog).
 

Tooled Up
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Mar 26, 2014
My thanks to Chris Pedrone who altered us to the fact that Tool's Danny Carey is performing B'Boom on their current tour. 


On This Date 1985
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Mar 25, 2014
The very first Guitar Craft course took place on this date in 1985 at Claymont Court, West Virginia.



On This Date 1970
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Mar 25, 2014
As unlikely as it sounds on this date 44 years ago King Crimson were on Top Of The Pops performing Cat Food.



You'll note the above item from the Vision archive contains an extremely rare colour photograph of the flaming eyes designed by Barry Godber that were affixed to Michael Giles' bass drums. You can see more of the photographs from the TV session here



The appearance of Tippett on a show like Top Of The Pops was reckoned by The Guardian to be one of the key events in their history of jazz series which you can read here.

Slow Music Next Month
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Mar 25, 2014
Slow Music take to the stage next month. Tickets for the two nights at the Triple Door can be found here. The Doug Fir show tickets can be obtained here. Don't forget you can download all six shows the team did back in 2006.



I'll Drink To That
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Mar 25, 2014
My thanks to Jeff Oaster who spotted this item on the menu recently...



Jeff writes “I was doing a little business travelling, and when we were taken out to dinner one night, I found the following on the beer list at the Columbia Ale House in Columbia, Maryland. And it was pretty darn good too!”


Silence Is Golden(ish)
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Mar 25, 2014
My thanks to The Dork Report for sending this link to a story about how one band have turned a seeming disadvantage on Spotify to their advantage.  


Mister Stormy's Monday Selection
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Mar 24, 2014
Want to hear an early take of the revved-up guitar solo from Sailor's Tale taken from the multi-track tapes from the Islands sessions?  Well now you can! 


On This Date 1999
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Mar 24, 2014
Blimey - is it really 15 years since ProjeKct 3 played their world tour of Texas? There are three of the five shows they did that week available for download on the site. If you've not encountered thegigs then you owe it to yourself to check them out:

March 21st - Electric Lounge, Austin
March 23rd  - Cactus Cafe, Austin
March 24th - Poor David's, Dallas



On This Date...1969
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Mar 24, 2014
King Crimson entered their basement rehearsal space on the Fulham Palace Road and began work on a new tune - The Court Of The Crimson King. 


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