Entries tagged with: Pink Floyd
by Klaus Kinski
On Tuesday September 29, Roger Waters The Wall, a new cinematic experience of the amazing spectacle that was Wall Live tour from 2010-2013, hits theaters worldwide. New Yorkers can catch it at Empire 25 with IMAX (234 West 42nd), Kips Bay 15 with IMAX (570 2nd Ave), Union Square Stadium 14 (850 Broadway), and College Point Multiplex (Queens, 2855 Ulmer Street, Flushing). I caught a sneak peak of it recently and porters are still cleaning up bits of my blown mind.
When word began to circulate that Roger Waters was working on this with a heretofore unknown-to-me collaborator named Sean Evans and that it would employ a shorter narrative work interspersed within it about Roger traveling from England to Italy by car to visit the memorials representing his grandfather and father, who died in WWI and WWII respectively, I immediately had my doubts about execution. My first concern was how anyone could possibly represent the scale of the Wall Live performance as a single channel cinema experience? My second concern was whether or not the narrative element of the piece would destroy the momentum and come off as a bit clumsy and maladroit.
I need to learn to trust the pros with their craft and to not be such a Doubting Thomas. Roger Waters: The Wall was an absolutely staggering spectacle that captured the essence of the towering live experience through superbly rendered high-definition video and prodigally mastered surround-sound audio that made me feel as though I was a fly on 'the wall' at one of the performances. I caught the screening at the Dolby screening room in midtown where I counted nearly thirty speakers installed throughout the room, including all along the walls, the ceiling, and back of house. [Readers' own viewing experiences may or may not be as ideal as Klaus' - Ed.] To call this an immersive experience is putting it lightly; I woke up this morning as though I had actually seen The Wall live and in concert.
What wasn't immediately obvious to me is that the entire live concert element of the film was culled from several performances throughout the 2010-2013 Wall tour. It is only by noticing subtle inconsistencies, such as the changing races and dance moves of the children singing in "Another Brick in the Wall Part II," or the fact that some shots reveal an open air pavilion while others reveal an indoor arena, that the viewer becomes aware that this piece is a celebration of a world tour and not a document of a single event.
The part of the film I was most worried about were the bits where Roger leaves his estate in the English countryside in his Bentley to make the long drive to Monte Cassino, Italy, to visit the memorial to the fallen in WWII that includes the name of his father. These scenes appear as vignettes inserted every few songs into the film. En route to the monument, he and his children visit the grave of his grandfather who died in WWI, he stops at a French pub and, in between tequila shots, illustrates to the non-English speaking barkeep, the war strategy that ultimately cost his father his life. Particularly moving is the scene where the viewer is shown excerpts from the letter Roger's mother received informing her of the death of her husband; it not only brings Roger to tears, but it also had your man Klaus a little choked up as well.
By marrying these narrative bits in with the concert footage, this Wall Live concert experience elevates itself from a formerly mostly-autobiographical piece about a burned out rockstar named Pink going through some serious personal inventorying and turns it into a full-stop autobiography-slash-anti-war-commentary. The narrative content explicitly illustrates what war has stolen from him, stolen from his father, and has stolen and continues to steal from millions of people worldwide.
For fans of Pink Floyd and Roger Waters, this is the most unmissable experience out there since the 2010-2013 Wall live tour. To everyone else... well, you should see it too; it is a document of how far we have come with both live concert technology and cinema screening technology and is sure to blow anyone's mind. It might also be the final word on what The Wall really represents to Roger Waters. Trailer below.
For folks in NYC: the official premiere happens Monday, September 28 at the Ziegfeld. It's invite-only, but they are giving away tickets through Roger's website.
words and photos by Klaus Kinski
Roger Waters @ Newport Folk Festival 7/24/2015
The 2015 Newport Folk Festival was definitely one for the history books. For example, this year's festival marked the 50th anniversary of when some man named Bob Dylan (in)famously decided to go electric. This move totally flipped the wigs of many of his deadbeat hippie/beat fans and created a deep chasm among his many devotees. As a matter of fact, on Saturday July 25, exactly 50 years to the day that Bob went electric at the Festival, the very Fender Stratocaster that Dylan used back 1965 to go electric made an appearance at the festival. The guitar, which Dylan left on an airplane like a doofus back in 1965, ended up in the hands of the plane's pilot until 2012. In 2013 the pilot's daughter put it up for auction where it fetched almost a million US dollars and ended up in the hands of Indianapolis Colts football team owner Jim Irsay.
Cool story bro. However, for me, the festival was all about the highly anticipated and very surprising headlining set by former Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters. The Newport Folk Festival is notorious for selling out before the line-up is even announced. So when the Fest announced that Waters would be headlining opening day of the festival (Friday July 24), a lot of people in possession of Friday tickets were extremely stoked, while millions of Roger Waters/Pink Floyd fans without tickets were extremely bummed out. I was one of the bummed out legion until fate intervened on my behalf and I miraculously found myself in attendance.
When Roger announced on facebook on May 21, 2015 that he would be participating in the 2015 Newport Folk Festival and promised "an intimate appearance specifically crafted for Newport Folk," the ambiguity of his declaration had Floyd-heads reeling at the possibilities. Would he be doing a full scale performance of "Dark Side" or "The Wall"? Or even stripped-down versions? Would he be performing his seminal 1992 album Amused to Death in full? After all, Friday July 24 also happened to be the day "Amused to Death" would see a large-scale, multi-format re-release.
What the Festival audience ended up getting from Waters was better than any of the above, in my opinion. For rather than use his headlining slot as an opportunity to remind us of his immense back catalog, both as a solo artist and as Pink Floyd's primary creative force, Waters took the opportunity to deliver a diverse setlist that not only gave a hearty nod to his work with Pink Floyd and as a solo artist, but he used the opportunity to pay homage to the festival's history, the legacy of folk music, and to hit us with the ultimate double-whammy; performing a brand new, never-before-heard song while playing piano in front of a crowd, according to Waters, "for the first time ever."
Waters was preceded by a scorching eight-song set by My Morning Jacket. As the dust settled from their 8th song, MMJ remained on stage as Roger Waters sauntered out with Amy Helm (daughter of the late Levon Helm), G.E. Smith as well as Lucius and Sara Watkins. These folks, combined with My Morning Jacket, banded together and served as Roger's explosive and unbelievable back-up band.
Roger kicked things off by performing that new, powerful, and no doubt provocative, song called "Crystal Clear Brooks," which has its origins as a poem penned by Waters that he brought to light back in 2014. He followed that with the Pink Floyd classic "Mother" which segued into one of my personal favorites from Amused to Death, "The Bravery of Being Out of Range." At this point in the set, he switched gears and performed a really great cover of John Prine's "Hello in There" which is a sad reflection on aging and the fact that life is basically one long casting off. Sort of a cross between "Death of a Salesman" and Hanson Towne's "Around The Corner." Ugh, get me a pistol. Anyhow, from there they moved into Floyd territory and unleashed another song about loss and longing; the classic "Wish You Were Here."
At this point, the rain was REALLY coming down and besides being soaked to the bone and shivering like an orphaned dog, I was also officially coming to terms with how well-crafted and totally unpredictable this set was. He followed "Wish You Were Here" with Buddy Miller's "Wide River to Cross," a song completely foreign to me but played beautifully by the assembled musicians and expressed superbly through Waters' vocals. The next three songs were completely Waters territory; the band tore into the title track from "Amused to Death" with staggering results and then headed into "Dark Side" territory with flawless renditions of "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse." They company closed out the set appropriately and paid tribute to The Newport Folk Festival in general and Bob Dylan in particular with a version of Planet Waves' "Forever Young."
At some point towards the tail end of this magnificent set, the rain tapered off, the clouds began to part, and the sun finally began to reappear again. Roger Waters had assembled an amazing crew of musicians and pulled off a truly amazing, unpredictable, and fulfilling performance that lacked ego and pretension.
Unfortunately, Roger doesn't have many live dates coming up in the near future. However, he will be performing at Dar, Constitution Hall, in Washington DC on Friday October 16, 2015. Billed as "Music Heals" the concert will feature Roger Waters, the musicians of MusiCorps, and will feature special guests Bill Corgan, Sheryl Crow and Tom Morello. More info:
Music Heals: an exceptional one night only concert where some of the world's biggest recording artists will join forces to raise money for MusiCorps - a charity supporting injured service men and women and their families. The MusiCorps Band is made up of injured service members who have learned, and in some cases relearned, how to play instruments through the charity. MusiCorps is a non-profit charitable organization which helps wounded veterans play music and recover their lives. Praised by the Wall Street Journal as "revolutionary," the conservatory-level program enables the wounded to learn, relearn, and perform music as a core part of their rehabilitation.Tickets for this show are on sale now.
In honor of the re-release of Roger Waters' 1992 solo album Amused to Death, we are giving away a limited edition 2xLP picture disc to one lucky person. Details on how to win are below.
Pics, videos, and setlist below.
As rumored, Roger Waters used My Morning Jacket as his backing band at a Newport Folk Fest on Friday night (7/24). We'll talk more about that in more detail later, but as you can see in the setlist above and below, My Roger Jacket played Pink Floyd songs, Waters solo songs, and some covers too. MMJ played their own set too. Amy Helm (Levon's daughter), G.E. Smith, Lucius and Sara Watkins also joined for some songs. MMJ, Roger, and G.E. Smith previously teamed up for a Levon Helm related benefit in 2012.
Though it was gorgeous all day, the clouds really started rolling in during MMJ, and the skies opened up during Roger's set. The sun was back out by the end of his set though.
A few Instagrams below...
UPDATE: IT HAPPENED
Rumors are starting to spread that Pink Floyd's Roger Waters is going to be backed by My Morning Jacket at Newport Folk Fest tonight!
My Morning Jacket and its members are Newport Folk Fest regulars, but they weren't on the schedule this year, despite being in the area to play Lewiston two days ago, and Xponential Music Festival in Camden on Saturday. Waters, who has promised a "very special" set, was a huge and surprising addition to the sold out Newport Folk Fest back in May. Jim James and crew on stage with Roger would definitely be very special (especially for My Morning Jacket!).
Stay tuned, and tune in to TuneIn.com to stream select sets from the fest live today, Saturday and Sunday. Actually Roger's set isn't listed on the streaming schedule, but Calexico, The Tallest Man on Earth, Heartless Bastards, Langhorne Slim, Courtney Barnett, Laura Marling and many more are on there. The full list of included artists and the embedded player are below.
On Sunday, My Morning Jacket play a show in Maryland with Jason Isbell who plays Newport on Saturday after playing a big free show in Prospect Park tonight (7/24).
Pink Floyd's other singer, David Gilmour, just announced a bunch of huge shows of his own, two nights at MSG included.
Stream Newport Folk Fest radio below....
As mentioned, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour is releasing a new solo album, Rattle That Lock, which will be out September 18. Since our last post, he's shared the title track of the album and you can stream that below.
Gilmour will be playing arena shows in Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago and New York City in 2016 and he's added second shows for all four cities. The new NYC date is April 12 at Madison Square Garden which is the day after his first MSG show (4/11, which is sold out).
Tickets for all four newly-added North American shows go on sale Monday, July 27 at 10 AM local time, and there's a presale happening for the 4/12 MSG starting Saturday (7/25) at 2 PM.
By the way, every ticket purchased online in North America will include a Rattle That Lock CD. Updated dates are listed, along with the "Rattle That Lock" stream, below.
by Klaus Kinski
Continuing on with my relentless coverage of things pertaining to Pink Floyd, my main man-hero Roger Waters, that band's bassist and primary songwriter, has also been a pretty busy fellow. First off, he is re-releasing his powerful and utterly prescient 1992 concept album Amused to Death on July 24 in multiple formats and in multiple packaging and platform iterations. It's sort of nuts (see list of options at the end of the post). This re-release features remastered audio completed by longtime Roger Waters / Pink Floyd collaborator and co-producer, James Guthrie. There's also tons of new concept artwork with the album as well.
Musically and thematically, this is easily my favorite Pink Floyd related solo album, with Waters' rock opera The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking clocking in at a very close second. Allow me to let the record label sum up the album for me:
An unblinking look at an entertainment-obsessed society, Amused to Death addresses issues that have only grown in complexity and urgency over the past two decades. With Amused to Death, Roger Waters sounded the alarm about a society increasingly - and unthinkingly - in thrall to its television screens. Twenty-three years later, Amused to Death speaks to our present moment in ways that could scarcely have been anticipated two decades ago. In 2015, television is just one option in an endless array of distractions available to us anytime, anywhere, courtesy of our laptops, tablets and smartphones. With eyes glued to our screens, the dilemmas and injustices of the real world can easily recede from view.He's turning the mirror on us, people. Again. Watch a few videos where Waters and others talk about Amused to Death and its reissue, below.
Roger also has a new cinematic version of Pink Floyd's The Wall: Live live that will hit select theaters on Tuesday September 29. This cinematic experience features high definition concert footage culled from his expansive Wall tour that happened between 2010 and 2013 (and which was witnesed by about 4 million people) as well as new dramatic narrative footage. This is going to be an experience for the ages. New Yorkers can experience the movie at Kips Bay Cinemas or Union Square Stadium 14. I will probably be at the Union Square screening if anyone wants to tailgate with me before hand. Watch a trailer for it below.
And lastly, but certainly not leastly, Roger will be performing at the very sold out Newport Folk Festival on Friday July 24. Roger has described his slot as "an intimate appearance specifically crafted for Newport Folk." Are you going? Will you tell me all about it?
by Klaus Kinski
In this day and age, one of the most polarizing classic rock groups of all time has to be Pink Floyd. There are fans who think that only the Syd Barrett era matters. Then there are those who find the Syd Barrett era to be vapid and immature; just a bunch of drugged-out teenagers dicking around with their instruments trying to squeeze as much gold out of the psychedelic scene as possible while it lasted. "No," these Syd era detractors haughtily lament, "The massive era that began with the departure of Syd in 1968 and lasted through the 'Final Cut' in 1983, you know, when Roger Waters was at the helm and when the music became more thematic and thoughtful... THIS is the era of Pink Floyd that matters."
But then there is a third camp consisting people like me, who feel like the pretentious folks in the former two camps can go ahead and grab hold of each one of my butt-cheeks and kiss my ass because ALL PHASES OF PINK FLOYD RULE as do all of their various solo projects including Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports! I am a super-fan. And whenever Pink Floyd-related news hits the streets, it is my pleasure to relay this information to you whether you like it or not.
It was announced this afternoon that Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour will be releasing his first solo album and embarking on a short solo tour for the first time since his 2006 On An Island record and tour. His new album, titled Rattle That Lock, will be released worldwide on Friday September 18, 2015. That's the cover art above. The first single, the album's title track, is set to debut on radio in the UK and around the world on Friday (7/17) and available to buy from digital platforms on the same day. You can get a preview via an album trailer on Gilmour's site. You'll also be able to pre-order then album on Friday and it wouldn't be a Pink Floyd related release if the album wasn't going to be packaged in about 9,000 different iterations all with different bonus features and super-fan whatnots. More info on that below.
It was also announced today that David will be embarking on a four-date North American Tour! The tour will roll into New York City's Madison Square Garden on April 11, 2016. Tickets for normal people go on sale Friday (7/17) at 10 AM, the same day his single "Rattle The Lock" will be released. (COINCIDENCE??) The tour will also make stops at LA's Hollywood Bowl on March 24, 2016, Toronto's Air Canada Centre on March 31, 2016, and Chicago's United Center on April 8, 2016.
All dates are listed below.
Jeremy Enigk in Seattle on NYE (via @seattlezack)
Sunny Day Real Estate frontman Jeremy Enigk hadn't played a solo show in a very long time but that changed when he rang in New Year's Eve in Seattle at El Corazon with Jen Wood. (Emo veterans seriously had a great NYE this year.) Anyone make it out to that show? If you didn't, or just want to relive it, you can check out a few videos from it below. One is Jeremy playing "In Circles" from SDRE's groundbreaking 1994 debut, Diary, plus there's three songs from his 2006 sophomore solo album, World Waits, and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Mother."
Jeremy also recently made an appearance live with Mark Nichols (who did arrangements on Enigk's first solo album, Return of the Frog Queen) to join him on a cover of The Police's "King of Pain." Watch that video below too.
No other Jeremy Enigk dates are announced at the moment, but hopefully he makes it over to the east coast at some point too. It was also recently revealed that he'll be appearing on his SDRE bandmate Nate Mendel's new solo album.
Larkin Grimm & Tony Visconti @ Knitting Factory, 2010 (more by Lori Baily)
Vinyl sales have been on the uprise for a while now, and 2014 was the biggest year for wax in nearly two decades. In the UK, new vinyl sales broke the one million mark, thanks in no small part to the new Pink Floyd album and David Bowie best-of. Reports Billboard:
The milestone was achieved at the weekend with the year-end figure expected to rise to around 1.2 million unit sales -- a level of vinyl consumption not seen since 1996, when 1.1 million LPs were purchased and Fugees' The Score was the year's best-selling vinyl album. Last year, 780,674 vinyl albums were sold in the U.K. with Arctic Monkeys' AM the biggest-selling vinyl release.Speaking of Bowie, frequent collaborator Tony Visconti, who also had a lot do with many of the songs that appear on Nothing Has Changed, is playing NYC at City Winery on January 3. The event is called "The TV Show" and features a host of special guests, including Suzanne Vega, Richard Barone (The Bongos) Kiah Victoria, Larkin Grimm (who we've seen him playing with before) and more to be announced. Tickets are on sale.
AM is also this year's best-selling vinyl album, followed by Jack White's Lazaretto, although the current incumbent of the No. 1 spot on the weekly Official Vinyl Chart is David Bowie with his new best of collection, fittingly titled Nothing Has Changed. It replaces last week's No. 1, Pink Floyd's The Endless River, which sold over 6,000 vinyl copies in its first week of release -- the highest of any LP since 1997 and therefore the fastest-selling vinyl album this century.
Roger Waters (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
As any respectable Pink Floyd fan already knew, that new album coming out does not involve Roger Waters in any way. For those less on their Pink Floyd game, Roger posted the following message (which conveniently also includes some information on his recent trip to Bruxelles):
A note from RogerEndless River is out 11/10
Some people have been asking Laurie, my wife, about a new album I have coming out in November. Errhh? I don't have an album coming out, they are probably confused. David Gilmour and Nick Mason have an album coming out. It's called Endless River. David and Nick constitute the group Pink Floyd. I on the other hand, am not part of Pink Floyd. I left Pink Floyd in 1985, that's 29 years ago. I had nothing to do with either of the Pink Floyd studio albums, Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell, nor the Pink Floyd tours of 1987 and 1994, and I have nothing to do with Endless River. Phew! This is not rocket science people, get a grip.
On another subject, my recent trip to Bruxelles was very moving. To listen to the testimony of some of those present in Gaza during the euphemistically named Operation Protective Edge, July and August 2014 was deeply disturbing. I am still non plussed by the acquiescence of the governments of the USA, UK and EU to the policies of the current Israeli administration. Should we encourage our leaders to sue for a peaceful solution or not? Here is a link to the findings of The Russell Tribunal on Palestine emergency session 2014:
Please study these findings and any rebuttals and then make up your own minds. Whatever you decide, let us all agree that, "To stand by silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all."
The new-old, Nick Mason/David Gilmour (with some Rick Wright, RIP) Pink Floyd album has been officially announced, and that announcement looks like this:
"The Endless River" To Be Released On November 10, 2014Track listing below...
Details about The Endless River, the new Pink Floyd album from David Gilmour, Rick Wright and Nick Mason, were revealed [Monday] as the album artwork appeared on buildings in ten International cities, including New York and Los Angeles. The album will be released on Columbia Records on Monday, November 10, 2014 and is produced by David Gilmour, Phil Manzanera, Youth and Andy Jackson.
David Gilmour said:
"The Endless River has as its starting point the music that came from the 1993 Division Bell sessions. We listened to over 20 hours of the three of us playing together and selected the music we wanted to work on for the new album. Over the last year we've added new parts, re-recorded others and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st century Pink Floyd album. With Rick gone, and with him the chance of ever doing it again, it feels right that these revisited and reworked tracks should be made available as part of our repertoire."
Nick Mason said:
"The Endless River is a tribute to Rick. I think this record is a good way of recognizing a lot of what he does and how his playing was at the heart of the Pink Floyd sound. Listening back to the sessions, it really brought home to me what a special player he was."
The Endless River is mainly a four-sided instrumental album with one song, "Louder Than Words", with new lyrics by Polly Samson.The concept for the powerful imagery of a man rowing on a "river" of clouds was created by Ahmed Emad Eldin, an 18-year-old Egyptian digital artist. Ahmed's image was then re-created by Stylorouge, award-winning UK design agency. Pink Floyd's album artwork, mostly created by Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis, is as legendary as the band's music. With Storm's passing in 2013, the task of finding an image that carried on Storm's legacy passed to Aubrey 'Po' Powell, Storm's original partner in Hipgnosis. Po said: "When we saw Ahmed's image it had an instant Floydian resonance. It's enigmatic and open to interpretation, and is the cover that works so well for The Endless River."
The Endless River's track listing runs across four sides, to invoke the album listening experience.
by Ian Chainey
David Gilmour and Pink Floyd backing singers working on new LP
Over the weekend, a tweet from David Gilmour's wife Polly Samson lit up the Pink Floyd end of the internet like a laser show: "Btw Pink Floyd album out in October is called "The Endless River". Based on 1994 sessions is Rick Wright's swansong and very beautiful." Rick Wright passed away in 2008, leaving Nick Mason and David Gilmour as the sole remaining members.
After the tweet, the internet went into overdrive to sniff out the details. Luckily, Pink Floyd back-up singer Durga McBroom-Hudson posted a studio pic on her Facebook captioned: "YES. THERE IS A NEW PINK FLOYD ALBUM COMING OUT. AND I'M ON IT. And there was much rejoicing." You can see the pic of Gilmour and the singers above. Then, further down, she provided The Endless River's possible concept:
The recording did start during The Division Bell sessions (and yes, it was the side project originally titled "The Big Spliff" that Nick Mason spoke about). Which is why there are Richard Wright tracks on it. But David and Nick have gone in and done a lot more since then. It was originally to be a completely instrumental recording, but I came in last December and sang on a few tracks. David then expanded on my backing vocals and has done a lead on at least one of them. That's the song you see being worked on in the photo.1994's The Division Bell was the last released Pink Floyd studio album, though that depends on what lineup you believe constitutes 'Pink Floyd,' which is a debate for a different playground.
While we wait for more info, check out Pink Floyd in their prime via the classic Live at Pompeii below.
In The Guardian's latest Google Street View series, they've posted pictures of classic album covers taken in public places pasted onto the Google Street View snapshot of the location. The post includes PJ Harvey's Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti, Pink Floyd's Animals, Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique (which is right here in NYC and not being renamed "Beastie Boys Square" anytime soon), Bob Dylan's The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (also NYC), The Streets' Original Pirate Material, Rush's Moving Pictures, The Beatles' Abbey Road, and more.
That's the Dylan one above. Check out a couple more below & the rest at The Guardian.
The easiest way to quickly describe this is to let Funny or Die do the talking!
Happy April Fool's Day,Happy April Fool's Day!
As you've probably heard, The Flaming Lips recently released Flaming Side of the Moon: an immersive companion piece to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Listeners are encouraged to enjoy the albums simultaneously while watching The Wizard of Oz, as both sync up perfectly with the film:
Funny Or Die is excited to announce that we produced the album, as well as these accompanying videos starring Fred Armisen, Jon Daly, and many others that contextualize the creative process!
There's also this video of the studio session that spans the entire 43-minute album:
We're also excited to introduce Flaming Lips Cereal and Wayne Coyne's New York Magazine cover story:
by Klaus Kinski
When it comes to hating on the concept of tribute bands making bank playing other peoples' tunes, your man Klaus will always be the first in line to drop the stinkiest, juiciest clanger on the sheer artlessness of that entire racket... with one very big, laser-infused, rear-projection having exception; Brit Floyd. To cover a band's back-catalog with passable precision is one thing. And hey, sometimes a night out with your bros can be drastically enhanced by getting hammered while a band trips its way through a set of covers of classic rock and roll tunes. But for a cover band to deliver its audience the big budget, large scale experience that's so close to the real thing that you have to remind yourself periodically that it's only a cover band? Man, that is a feat. And for me to not only greenlight but to whole-heartedly endorse a cover band? Jack, this is as close to hell freezing over as you're gonna get.
Brit Floyd is an arena filling Pink Floyd cover band who has honed the craft of mimicking Pink Floyd on every possible level so well that, as far as most Pink Floyd fans are concerned, Brit Floyd is just about full-on carrying the torch for Pink Floyd as they get older, deader, and absent from the musical world. Musically, they have it all; a phenomenal band who can technically produce to the minutest detail the music of Pink Floyd even down to the incredible female back-up singers and a sax player who is audibly indistinguishable from Dick Parry or Scott Page. They have a production crew that brings projections, lasers, and fancy lights, all of which are nearly as good as, though smaller in scale, to what Pink Floyd brought on the road with them for tours supporting Momentary Lapse of Reason or The Division Bell. I saw them in Liverpool a few years back. I was there for work and my hotel was directly across the street from the Echo Arena. I had nothing better to do and had heard they were 'pretty good,' so I figured, eh, why the hell not? It was one of the most incredible concert experiences of my life, and I had to keep reminding myself "It's only a cover band. It's only a cover band."
The Brit Floyd are coming back to the States for a massive 2014 tour called Discovery World Tour 2014:
Named after Pink Floyd's recent box set of the same name, and featuring music from the Syd Barrett led '60s psychedelic pop of 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn', through to the nineties 'The Division Bell', and everything in between, the brand new DISCOVERY show will capture in note-for-note detail, all your favourite moments as well as a few lesser known gems, from one of the most outstanding and enduring back catalogues in the history of recorded music. Includes stunning new video animation, theatrics and inflatables.The tour includes four local dates, one of which is at the Beacon Theater on April 2. They'll also be at the Oakdale in Connecticut on March 29, The State Theater in New Brunswick, New Jersey on April 1, and at the Mid Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie on April 5. Tickets for all those shows are on sale now. All tour dates are listed, along with a few Brit Floyd videos, below.
by Bill Pearis
There are too many super-specific Tumblrs to keep track off -- many doing clever riffs of other people's art -- but Dangerous Minds tipped up to the LEGO Albums that renders classic LP art in building block form. They aren't done with real LEGOs, it's pixelated art where those pixels are then turned into LEGO pegs, but it's still kinda cool. Especially on a cold and wet Friday like today.
Some of the choices are questionable -- why would you choose to do Best of The Smiths over The Queen is Dead or Meat is Murder -- but I did laugh when I saw they'd done Death Grips' NO LOVE DEEP WEB. Check out a few below and peruse the entire collection at LEGO Albums.
by Klaus Kinski
Tom Stoppard (center) with Darkside voice cast
In case you didn't know, Pink Floyd's epic album The Dark Side of the Moon turned 40 years old on March 1, 2013. Since its release, it has been hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time and a feat of masterful engineering and production thanks to the great Alan Parsons. As a matter of fact, Dark Side remained in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988 and cashes in with an estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide. Your man Klaus is a life-long devotee of Pink Floyd and will gladly and blindly buy into any Pink Floyd-related project with great zeal (even Nick Mason's unfortunate release Fictitious Sports... holy moly. Ouch.). And as Pink Floyd and Co. are masters of the remix/remaster/repackage/rerelease scam, I was prepared for the inevitable onslaught of Dark Side rereleases.
But what I simply did not expect in this anniversary-time was the development and release of a play by an Oscar winning playwright set to the album The Dark Side of the Moon and the themes within it. But guess what: That's exactly what happened! Darkside (not to be confused with the group who is headlining Terminal 5), a radio play written by Academy Award-winning playwright Tom Stoppard for BBC Radio 2, incorporating the music from Pink Floyd's iconic The Dark Side of the Moon, was released worldwide as a deluxe CD package this week (11/25):
Darkside incorporates music and lyrics from The Dark Side of the Moon which serves as the underscore to an abstract and compelling interpretation of the album's series of grand themes, which are both thought-provoking and laced with Stoppard's characteristic wit and humour. The play follows Emily, a philosophy student, through a series of thought experiments, which are vividly brought to life by a cast of characters portrayed by Bill Nighy, Rufus Sewell, Iwan Rheon and others.Now, I can hear you all cracking your knuckles and sidling up to your keyboards to lay into me for suggesting this album has any potential, but hear me out! I will defend Pink Floyd to my (probably shallow and unmarked) grave. Believe you me; this album has been re-spawned in the form of so many frustratingly expensive editions over the years that it borders on complete insanity and obvious greed. Because what it boils down to is putting a fancy silk hat on an already perfect thing. All the fancy packaging in the world won't enhance the one fact that really matters; that this is one of the best, most pristine records of all time. The only edition I need is the one that came out in 1973; a gatefold album on vinyl that came with two posters and two stickers. That's it. Perfection.
What this Tom Stoppard/BBC2 release brings to the table is a brilliant writer's interpretation of an extremely heavy album. Since its release people have discussed how inspiring and how open to interpretation this album is. And now, to celebrate the anniversary, we are given the opportunity to hear interpretation at work. I think it's a pretty cool idea, and so does Pink Floyd. David Gilmour was quoted as saying that "I found the script of Tom's play fascinating; I can't think of a better way to celebrate The Dark Side of The Moon's 40 year anniversary." And Nick Mason approached it the way a fan probably would when he said, "I love it. If anyone is going to mess with the crown jewel of albums, Tom is a very good choice."
The radio play, which aired on BBC 2 in August, is out now on deluxe package CD with a 54-page booklet including the original script and Roger Waters' lyrics. Get it at Amazon. Or maybe Rough Trade? Or win one from us! Contest details (and a promo video) are below!
Tickets to the Dropkick Murphys and Lucero shows at The Paramount and Starland Ballroom go on sale today at 10 AM and noon, respectively. You can also still get tickets to Lucero's Terminal 5 show tonight (11/8) with Titus Andronicus and The Menzingers.
There's a bunch of other shows happening at the new Rough Trade NYC venue, including Jagwar Ma, DIIV, Shabazz Palaces, Arthur Beatrice and more. Tickets to all of those shows go on sale today at noon.
Fielded are playing Glasslands on December 14. Tickets to that show are on sale now.
R. Stevie Moore and Gary Wilson are playing Glasslands on January 25. Tickets to that show are on sale now.
Pink Floyd LaserSpectacular is happening at The Capitol Theatre on December 7. Tickets to that show go on sale today at noon.
Children of Bodom and Tyr are playing Irving Plaza on March 28 and 29. Tickets, including a 2-day pass option, are on sale now.
Browse our 'Tickets On Sale' tag for more recently announced NYC shows.
by Bill Pearis
Storm Thorgerson, whose album cover artwork includes Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, has died aged 69, the band's management has confirmed.As one-third of groundbreaking graphic design company Hipgnosis, Storm Thorgerson helped create some of the most iconic album covers of the '70s and early-'80s (hell, ever), including T-Rex's Electric Warrior, Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Peter Gabriel's third album (the melty one), not to mention most of the art for Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. When that company disolved in 1987, Thorgerson formed Storm Studios and continued working with Pink Floyd, as well as doing covers for Catherine Wheel, Muse, Ween, Audioslave and many more. Rest in peace, Storm.
A childhood friend of the founding members of the band, he became their designer-in-chief, fashioning a string of eye-catching creations.
Most-famously he designed the prism spreading a spectrum of colour across The Dark Side Of The Moon.
His credits also include albums by Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel and Muse.
His family released a statement saying he died peacefully on Thursday surrounded by family and friends.
"He had been ill for some time with cancer though he had made a remarkable recovery from his stroke in 2003," it said.
"He is survived by his mother Vanji, his son Bill, his wife Barbie Antonis and her two children Adam and Georgia."
Pink Floyd guitarist and vocalist Dave Gilmour released a statement in which he said the artworks Thorgerson created for the band had been "an inseparable part of our work". - [BBC]
Most of his work with Hipgnosis can be seen here and a couple video interviews with Storm are below.
Massive Attack at Terminal 5 in 2010 (more by Chris La Putt)
Trip hop pioneers Massive Attack have assembled a BBC 6 Mix, where they compiled music that influenced their 1991 debut album, Blue Lines, like Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Gang of Four, Isaac Hayes and more alongside some of their new favorite artists like Burial, Flying Lotus, The Bug vs The Rootsman, Kanye West & Booka Shade, and more (via Daily Swarm). You can download or stream the mix and check out the tracklist below.
This letter, signed by a ton of artists and pictured above, is set to appear in an ad in Billboard:
We are big fans of Pandora. That's why we helped give the company a discount on rates for the past decade.Pink Floyd, Down, Primus, Dead Kennedys (with our without Jello?), Nas, Alabama, Sheryl Crow and many more big major label names signed this (or someone signed it on their behalf). Check out the full list below, and head to fairpayforartists.com for more information on their point of view..
Pandora is now enjoying phenomenal success as a Wall Street company. Skyrocketing growth in revenues and users. We celebrate that. At the same time, the music community is just now beginning to gain its footing in the new digital world.
Pandora's principal asset is the music.
Why is the company asking Congress once again to step in and gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon? That's not fair, and that's not how partners work together.
Congress has many pressing issues to consider, but this is not one of them. Let's work this out as partners and continue to bring fans the great musical experience they rightly expect.
The issue is that Pandora is supporting the Internet Radio Fairness Act which they say will "help end the long-standing discrimination against internet radio". Artists are mad because that possibly means less money for them, but Pandora and other Internet radio providers argue they can't stay in business the way things are now.
by Bill Pearis
George Michael at the London Olympics Closing Ceremony
While Kate Bush didn't perform in the London Olympics Closing Ceremonies segment that "Running Up That Hill" was used in (that was cut from the U.S. telecast), NBC did cut a few actual live performances from it, including The Who closing out the whole thing with "Baba O'Riley," "See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You" and "My Generation." (Yet they left in Kaiser Chiefs doing "Pinball Wizard"!). The Who was not deemed as important as letting the world see the first episode of some new sitcom. NBC also cut Ray Davies doing Kinks classic "Waterloo Sunset" and Muse who wrote "Survival," the official song for the London Olympics.
What we did get: a Spice Girls reuinon where Posh, Sporty and the rest of them mostly rode around the track in separate Bentleys; Beady Eye doing "Wonderwall" (Noel must've loved that); Annie Lennox doing "Little Bird"; Eric Idle singing Life of Brian's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"; Russell Brand singing "Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and "I Am the Walrus"; current popstars One Direction and Jessie J, the latter of whom also sang "We Will Rock You" with Queen; Fatboy Slim in a giant inflatable octopus; Pet Shop Boys doing "West End Girls," Madness hoarsely performing "Our House"; and Ed Sheeran with Pink Floyd's Nick Mason and Genesis' Mike Rutherford for "Wish You Were Here."
The highlight, at least with the crowd I watched it with, was George Michael in his first live performance after a life-threatening bout with pneumonia last year. He still had the moves on "Freedom 90," though it seemed a missed opportunity by the ceremonies producers not to have the iconic video's co-stars Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell come out for it, as they were paraded around in a segment set to Bowie's "Fashion" early in the program. NBC cut (maybe not so unkind) the performance of Michael's new single "White Light" which you can watch the video for below that does feature Moss.
After the Closing Ceremonies, Blur performed in Hyde Park with New Order, The Specials and Bombay Bicycle Club and we'll have pictures from that show soon.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Roger Waters brought his The Wall tour to Philly's Citizens Bank Park on Saturday (7/14), after hitting NYC twice earlier this month. Like the other shows, the band played in front of the giant titualar wall, and the show was broken up into two sets, each being a different platter of the double album. The setlist of course, was The Wall in its entirety. The Philly Inquirer write:
Given that The Wall eventually draws a pointed analogy between rock excess and Fascist spectacle, the sprawling, thoroughly immodest production was awash in unintended irony. "In the Flesh" staged a rock concert as Nazi rally, climaxing with Waters machine-gunning the crowd, who heartily cheered their own mock execution. During "Bring the Boys Back Home," the stage behind Waters flooded with images of poverty and famine, climaxing with a photo of what looked like a starving African child; the image was disturbing but also deracinated, torn from its specific time and place to make a statement so broad it verged on generic. Onscreen quotes referenced Kafka and George Orwell, but there was something disconcerting, even grotesque, about the obeisance Waters' own spectacle demanded. With its enveloping surround sound, The Wall made surrender seductive, not the natural endpoint for an evening that began with a speech from Spartacus.More pictures, videos, and setlist from the Philly are below...
photos by Greg Cristman
Roger Waters projected his message stadium-wide, literally, when he brought his new production of "The Wall" to Yankee Stadium on Friday, starting a two-night stand. A white-brick wall, which is both an ideal video screen in concert and the central metaphor of the rock opera he wrote for the 1979 album by Pink Floyd (with additional music by the band's guitarist, David Gilmour), spanned the stadium and towered 40 feet high.Roger Waters brought his unbelievable, high-budget, musical-theater performance of The Wall to NYC this past weekend for shows on Friday (7/6) and Saturday (7/7) at Yankee Stadium. Complete with the long video screen wall (and stage) spanning the outfield, costume changes, the pig flying around the stadium, giant puppets of Wall characters like the teacher and mother, pyrotechnics, video of David Gilmour singing parts (and Robbie Wyckoff handling some of the Gilmour parts live), G.E. Smith of the Saturday Night Live band on guitar, and much more, the Wall Live is an over the top spectacle that leaves even the most die-hard capitalists (the ones in the $250 seats), but maybe not all Pink Floyd purists, satisfied.
The message Mr. Waters hammered home -- with images including animated regiments of goose-stepping hammers on the march -- was distrust of power and authority in many forms: parents, schools, celebrities, corporations, countries, ideologies. Throughout intermission (as elegiac music played), and at points during the concert, the names and faces of people killed by wars, terrorism and government actions were shown on the wall. Quotations from George Orwell, Franz Kafka and Dwight D. Eisenhower also appeared on it. At one point, animated bombers dropped corporate logos and religious symbols; "Run Like Hell" included a WikiLeaks video from an American helicopter firing on Iraqi journalists. Early in the concert, Mr. Waters decried "all the victims of state terror all over the world," and preached that giving governments, police and soldiers too much power was "a very steep and slippery slope to tyranny. [NY Times]
The shows were part of an ongoing tour, which also hits Philly this week.
More pictures, a video, and setlist (aka the Wall, in order, with an intermission between the two records) from night one, below.
Onsale to General PublicAmEx presale is first and it starts Sunday.
Start: Sat, 02/11/12 10:00 AM EST
American Express Presale
Start: Sun, 02/05/12 10:00 AM EST
End: Fri, 02/10/12 10:00 PM EST
Start: Tue, 02/07/12 09:00 AM EST
End: Fri, 02/10/12 10:00 PM EST
Live Nation Presale
Start: Thu, 02/09/12 11:00 AM EST
End: Fri, 02/10/12 10:00 PM EST