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PJ's Jockeys Jigsaw
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Feb 15, 2012

My thanks to CantspelldiKc for the following snippet of information. "If you would like an affordable PJ Crook item you can go to the Injured Jockeys Fund website for a cool mini wooden jigsaw puzzle for only 5 pounds. Pretty sure thats less than 100 dollars."

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Giles, Giles & Lunch
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jun 23, 2014
My thanks to Pat Mastelotto who spotted this sign in Auckland where The Crimson ProjeKCt are playing...

It Was On This Date In 1982
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jun 18, 2014
Beat, the ninth studio album by King Crimson was released on June 18th 1982. For the first time in Crimson's history, the same line-up had made two consecutive albums, and although they went on to release a third in 1984, recording Beat all but broke the band apart.

Looking back on this extreme example of difficult second album syndrome, Belew is unequivocal in his judgement. "Beat was the most awful record-making experience of my life and one I would never choose to repeat."

Things had come to a head during the recording of Requiem when Belew returned to the studio alone and overdubbed some further guitar parts.  Then Fripp followed suit, the two guitarists seemingly vying for position. "I seem to recall that Adrian was less than thrilled about this" said Tony Levin. Far away from home and under pressure to come up with lyrics and melodies, Belew pointedly told Fripp to leave the studio. Leaving for Wimborne and visibly upset, Fripp played no further part in the recording, leaving Belew and producer Rhett Davies to mix the rest of the tracks alone.  

When remastering the album in 2001, Fripp offered this take on the album “At the time (1982) Bill & Adrian thought that Beat was better than Discipline. For me, this is an indication of how far the band had already drifted from its original vision. I believe Ade changed his mind; I'm not sure what Bill's view would be now. The group broke up at the end of Beat, as it did during the Nashville rehearsals (1997). I had nothing to do with the mixing of Beat, nor did I feel able to promote it. Somehow we absorbed the fact, and then kept going.”

Speaking of the relative brevity of the album Bill Bruford explained "In our creative processes the junk got scrapped and the only bits that we could all agree on as being remotely effective went forward. As soon as that quota was fulfilled — being 35 or 40 minutes for an album — then you were gone.  Done.  Finished.  Nobody wanted to stay another minute."

Drawing upon the writing of Kerouac, Ginsberg and the iconography of the Beat generation in general, upon it’s release Beat was the object of much suspicion and outright hostility from the UK music press, with Record Mirror being fairly typical. “Here we are in 1982 and the hippest of the hip (among Talking Heads circles anyway) King Crimson have made an album about the movement. And it’s a miserable effort. The essence of the Beat Movement was that it should be spontaneous, free and exciting. King Crimson seem to think that they should be churning out carefully constructed guitar phrases with Adrian Belew screaming with a calculated passion over the top...Perhaps the most meaningful number is the instrumental Sartori In Tangier, simply because it doesn’t feature the silly overworked vocals... Beat is a wasted effort that would be better off not just in another era but another planet.”

The Melody Maker reckoned “For sweet and sour contrast Sartori In Tangier takes a lot of beating, and is a far better instrumental than Requiem which resurrects the fiddly, pretentious discordance that for me was always the worst watercolour in Crimson’s palate.”

American reviewers were far more interested with this album. Rolling Stone’s Chip Stern awarded the album 3 and 1/2 stars, observing that "Crimson creates a new kind of electronic string music that achieves an orchestral density without resorting to ersatz art-rock bombast...King Crimson may never rope in a pop audience like the Police and Asia have, but they stand a good chance of attracting a following of disaffected listeners who want more from rock than a party"

Stereo Review cconcluded that "Beat retains much of the flavour of its immediate predecessor, Discipline but it seems less frenzied. Belew, Fripp and Co. have taken the distinctive sound developed for the more experimental Discipline and applied it successfully here to more conventional subjects. The excellent results suggest that the King Crimson may be set for a long reign.”

The album with a brand new stereo and surround sound mix by Steven Wilson is due for release in October this year. In the meantime, what’s your verdict? Is Beat ripe for rediscovery or something best left alone?

The Madness Of King Crimson
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jun 18, 2014
Here's an archive interview with Bill Bruford disinterred on the occasion of what the writer describes as the "almost Crimson" playing Australia and New Zealand next week.  

Meet The New Boss The Same As The Old Boss
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jun 18, 2014
Remember when companies like Youtube and Google were seen as hip and somehow down with the kids? Well, meet The Man in his new threads here and here.

King Crimson 2014 Tour Dates
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jun 17, 2014
Just in case you've been sleeping under a rock for the last few weeks, King Crimson have announced a series of live dates in the USA later this year. Tickets are on sale for all venues although the first three dates in New York have sold out.

Tue 9 Sep      Albany,    NY The Egg
Wed 10 Sep  Albany, NY The Egg
Fri 12 Sep Philadelphia, PA Verizon Hall
Sat 13 Sep Philadelphia, PA Verizon Hall
Mon 15 Sep Boston, MA Colonial Theatre
Tue 16 Sep Boston, MA Colonial Theatre
Thu 18 Sep New York, NY Best Buy
Fri 19 Sep New York, NY Best Buy
Sat 20 Sep New York, NY Best Buy
Sun 21 Sep New York, NY Best Buy
Tue 23 Sep Madison, WI Barrymore Theatre
Thu 25 Sep Chicago, IL The Vic Theatre
Fri 26 Sep Chicago, IL The Vic Theatre
Tue 30 Sep Los Angeles, CA Orpheum Theatre
Wed 01 Oct Los Angeles, CA Orpheum Theatre
Fri 03 Oct San Francisco, CA The Warfield
Sat 04 Oct San Francisco, CA The Warfield
Mon 06 Oct Seattle, WA Moore Theater

Happy Birthday Peter Giles
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jun 17, 2014
Bassist with Giles, Giles & Fripp, King Crimson, McDonald & Giles and 21st Century Schizoid Man celebrates his birthday today.

Peter was behind the invaluable archive release The Brondesbury Tapes, which perhaps more adequately explains the transitional process from GG&F to King Crimson more fully than The Cheerful Insanity Of Giles, Giles & Fripp.

The Road To Red At Home 37 & 38
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jun 17, 2014
Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more The Road To Red At Home pics, last week we received a couple of fresh ones which will be going up on the site in the next few days.

These two however were found lurking in an old shoe box left over from last Christmas. First up is a splendid array from Diderot DeBritto in Brazil...

and perhaps channeling the back cover of Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma, Andy Puntis lays his set out for all to see....

The Road To Red is still available and can be purchased here.

Well Bugger My Russet
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jun 16, 2014
This round of King Crimson rehearsals came to an end at the weekend. Here's a round-up of some of the snaps nabbed by the team, including this one taken by Trev Wilkins from Tony Levin's website, which might just be my favourite picture of any KC incarnation...

The next round of full-band King Crimson rehearsals takes place next month. In the meantime here's a selection from Friday 13th...

From Saturday 14th...

Rendezvous With ToPaRaMa
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jun 16, 2014
Pat Mastelotto and his colleague in Crimson ProjeKCt, Tobias Ralph have an album out. Entitled ToPaRaMa you can find out more details here

Dear Mr Eliot
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Jun 15, 2014
Jakko Jakszyk's musical fantasy Dear Mr Eliot: When Groucho Met Tom is now available on BBC iPlayer for the next six days. For listeners outside of the UK it's possible to download the show as a podcast.  Yesterday's edition of The Guardian ran a very favourable preview of the piece and you can read an interview with Jakko in The Independent for more details about the background to it. You can also hear Lenny Henry, who stars as Groucho, talking about the piece in Radio 4's Loose Ends show. Jakko was scheduled to be interviewed as well for the show on Friday but in the end decided to keep on Crimsonising with the rest of the KC team. 

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