Entries tagged with: guitar

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by Wyatt Marshall

Dylan's guitar

Bob Dylan's sunburst Fender Stratocaster that he played at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 just sold at auction for a cool $965,000, the peak of a string of high profile music-related auctions held last week. The guitar was the axe Dylan used the first time he went electric in a live setting, an occasion that may or may not have elicited boos from the crowd in attendance (a 24-year old Dylan said they "certainly booed"). It was also the first time Dylan performed with a backing band. The auction marked the highest price ever paid for a guitar, electric or otherwise. Sorry, Eric Clapton, Blackie only sold for $959,500.

Bruce Springsteen didn't fare too badly at auction either. His handwritten lyrics for "Born to Run", which apparently are quite different from the lyrics to the finished song, sold for $197,000 just the day before the Dylan Stratocaster sale. Also for sale that day were some Mick Jagger love letters and a letter from John Lennon. Last time Mick's love scribbles went up for auction, they sold for over $300,000. Those letters were addressed to Marsha Hunt, Jagger's former muse/lover who is said to be the inspiration for "Brown Sugar".

As the New York Daily News put it, "Tramps like us, baby we were born to bid." SMDH.

Bruce Springsteen recently announced yet another new album.

David Brent

"David Brent is launching a series of guitar tutorials on YouTube, starting May 20th." Watch the preview below...

Continue reading "Ricky Gervais, I mean David Brent, will teach you guiter"

by Andrew Sacher

Thurston Moore at MHOW in May (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Thurston Moore

New York Guitar Festival have added some new shows to their initial lineup for this January, which included shows at the Merkin Concert Hall. They've since added a 30th anniversary celebration of Brian Eno's Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks at the World Financial Center Winter Garden on January 6. The show will be a a rendition of Eno's album by the Brooklyn ambient ensemble itsnotyouitsme and guitarist Larry Campbell with special guests Noveller and Jeff Parker (of Tortoise).

They've also added the Alternative Guitar Summit, which will take place at LES venue Rockwood Music Hall from January 13-15. January 13 will feature performances by Pillow Wand (aka Nels Cline and Thurston Moore, Ben Monder and Pete Rende playing the music of Jimmy Webb, Joel Harrison and Anupan Shobhakar, and Mark Stewart and Gyan Riley (1/13 tickets). January 14 includes Liberty Ellman and Vijay Iyer, Dave Tronzo and Jay Granelli, and Knox Chandler (1/14 tickets), and January 15 will bring a number of musicians together to honor Jim Hall, including Nels Cline, Chris Potter, Scott Colley, Trevor Dunn, and others (1/15 tickets). You can also purchase a 3 night pass to all of those shows.

On January 29, NY Guitar Fest will hold a day-long guitar marathon at the 92nd Street Y celebrating Italian guitar music with a number of different performers. Tickets are on sale now.

Speaking of guitarists and lists, Rolling Stone recently issued their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, as voted on by other guitarists. Thurston Moore, who plays NY Guitar Fest (and is touring in February), made the list. Nels Cline, who Thurston is performing with, made it too. Though aside from a few others (J Mascis, Jonny Greenwood, Jack White) the list is pretty much what you'd expect it to be.

by Andrew Frisicano

William Parker Quartet
William Parker Quartet

guitarsNew York Guitar Festival, with shows between January 8th and February 4th, has already been mentioned here in a few different contexts. The "Silent Film/Live Guitars" portion is certainly a big highlight, with one-off performances by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Steve Kimock, David Bromberg and Marc Ribot, Alex de Grassi and James Blackshaw, and the fest closers Chicha Libre and Gyan Riley. Tickets are still available for all but the Vernon/Kimock show.

There's more on the schedule too. World Financial Center Winter Garden hosts a free opening show on Friday, January 8th with Hindustani slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya. There are also theme nights, with Barbes holding Django [Reinhardt] A Go Go (1/24) and 92nd Street Y hosting a Bach Guitar Marathon (1/31).

And LPR has two shows for the fest as well - a night headlined by James Blackshaw (with Max Ochs, Ben Hall, and Nick Jonah Davis too) on January 26th (tickets) and a previously mentioned show with the stellar pairing of Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog and Skeleton$ (possibly in Big Band form). A video of the Skeletons Big band from their December show at the Stone is below. Tickets for Marc Ribot/Skeletons show are on sale.

Jazz FEst(Le) Poisson Rouge is also one of the main spots for the NYC Winter Jazz Festival this Friday and Saturday, when it hosts Jenny Scheinman & Jason Moran, Vijay Iyer Trio, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society and others. Other Village venues are well-stocked with talent too (and getting better - Saturday's Sullivan Hall lineup just added William Parker Quartet). Tickets to day one and two (or a two-day pass to both) are still on sale.

Iyer is also at the Stone this weekend, on Sunday (1/10), as is Tyshawn Sorey, who plays there Friday (1/8) (and plays the Winter Jazz Fest on Saturday).

pianosWhile on the topic of Iyer, a few other excellent, top-of-their-game, consistently original pianists have shows in the same week (could be called the 'inadvertent piano fest'). McCoy Tyner Trio with special guest Gary Bartz are at Highline Ballroom on Friday, January 8th on a latin-tinged bill with Francisco Mela's Cuban Safari, Jon Batiste Band and Alfredo Rodriguez. Tickets are still on sale.

Ethan Iverson of the Bad Plus has a show at LPR, where he'll open with a solo "cocktail" piano set, with The Respect Sextet on Tuesday, January 12th. Tickets are on sale.

Pianist Brad Mehldau, whose new Jon Brion-produced album is due February 23rd, plays two solo sets at Highline Ballroom on January 14th, as a benefit for JazzReach. Tickets are on sale.

The full schedule for the NY Guitar Fest and videos are below...

Continue reading "NY Guitar Fest, Winter Jazz Fest & a bunch of great piano shows kick off Friday - updated schedules, venues & dates"

photos by Tim Griffin

Both the Chatham piece and Liquid Liquid were just perfect. (And a nice contrast btw LL's 'less-is-more' and Chatham's 'more-is-more' respective approaches.) What a perfect musical night! Anonymous | August 8, 2009 11:34 PM

Rhys Chatham and 200 Guitars

Rhys Chatham's A Crimson Grail for 200 Electric Guitars debuted to perfect weather and a packed Damrosch Park on Saturday, August 8th. The NYT estimated a crowd of around 10,000 people. Rhys's piece began a little after 7:30pm and ran about an hour -- it was actually the first act of the night, not counting the Asphalt Orchestra, which played in Lincoln Center's main plaza.

Nothing they played was intrinsically complex; Mr. Chatham's piece dealt in massed sonorities and mingling overtones rather than manual calisthenics. An E major triad rose from nothingness, rumbling and sighing; around eight minutes in, Ryan Sawyer, a drummer onstage with Mr. Chatham, tapped out a steady beat on high-hat cymbals while glistening high notes pealed over a thumping bass line. The music dissolved into feathery whispers, then built to a jet-engine density before bursting at the 35-minute mark, giving way to a gentle coda.

In the work's second part Mr. Chatham shifted iridescent waves of tremolo from corner to corner and side to side within the ensemble. During the final section treble strings maintained a tingly sitarlike drone over a mellow countermelody and Mr. Sawyer's tick-tock pulse, inducing a bucolic Krautrock-style hypnosis. The roaring finale transformed a simple ascending diatonic scale into a vehicle for visceral catharsis, eliciting an approving roar from the audience. [NY Times]

Liquid Liquid closed out the show.
"If you know Grandmaster Melle Mel's White Lines (Don't Don't Do It), you know Liquid Liquid. The hip-hop track's bass line was lifted straight out of the track Cavern, by the Eighties NYC-based post-punk band." [Will you miss me]
More pictures, and some videos from the event, below...

Continue reading "Rhys Chatham's 'Crimson Grail (Outdoor Version)' w/ 200 Guitars & Liquid Liquid @ Lincoln Center - pics & videos"

photos by Tim Griffin

Kaki King in Stuy Town
Kaki King

Hey everyone!

I set up this page as a forum for everyone to witness and provide (helpful) commentary on this art project I had in mind.

What I want to do is to meet twelve amazing artists, give them each a blank guitar, and let them go wild creating anything their heart desires. The theme of each piece would be the title of one of my songs, and my only artistic contribution would be to paint my fingers and 'play' the fretboard (wherever it ends up) as I would during the song so as to create a visual representation of where my hands travel.

Everyone tells me that my playing is best witnessed visually--so this is one interpretation of that statement. At the end of this project we're going to display all of the guitars in a gallery and throw a party with performances and perhaps the finalization of the last guitar.

Right now I'm extending an open call for artists to submit their websites/jpegs/etc. and ideas about how they could redesign/paint/burn/disembody/what have you a guitar. Those who have experience working with mixed media and found objects will probably do best with this. I will be honest--artists in the NYC area will be considered slightly more favorably due to the expense of shipping costs (and the fact that I like meeting people face to face), but I felt that it was unfair to limit the submissions to just my hometown.

If this is a project for you or anyone you know then please email kakiguitarart@gmail.com. Send any relevant links or materials, your basic bio, and if possible a song title that you'd be interested in. I will answer every single email personally and provide you with all of the relevant details that aren't already here.

For those non-visual artists, feel free to comment about the project, favorite song titles, and any other feedback you feel is relevant. I'll be updating this site and my own as the project progresses. And please, no haters. This is just supposed to be good creative fun.

Thanks for reading! Can't wait to see what y'all got!

love, kaki

That Facebook-based project will come to life on August 7th at the new venue Littlefield in Brooklyn. Last night (7/15), like Jay Reatard before her, Kaki King played a free NYC show in Stuy Town. More pictures from that show, and all tour dates below...

Continue reading "Kaki King played Stuy Town (pics), making guitar art (show)"

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"Those interested in being considered for one of the guitar slots for A Crimson Grail should go to Lincoln Center's website to complete an application form: www.lincolncenter.org/wordlessmusic. Returning musicians from 2008 who complete the application process will be guaranteed participation-they will be able to indicate that they participated last summer on the form. The deadline for 2009 applications is June 15; all guitarists will be notified by July 1."

by Black Bubblegum

DOWNLOAD: John Wiese & C. Spencer Yeh - "Swedish Couch" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Paul Flaherty, C. Spencer Yeh & Greg Kelley - "Track One" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Paul Flaherty, C. Spencer Yeh & Greg Kelley - "Track Two" (MP3)

Tony Conrad & Keiji Haino
keiji

Experimentalists collide when Keiji Haino and Tony Conrad team up for a show at The Studio At Webster Hall on April 25th (tonight), one of only three US shows for the duo. Tickets for the NYC show are still available. Full tour dates are below.

Although the duo has not recorded anything, Keiji Haino recently dropped a new record under the moniker The Haino/Masataka Fujikake Duo, on the Japanese label Full Design Records on February 11. A collection of live material from a batch of 2005 shows in Yokohama, the record is currently available to us yankees here.

Opening The Studio show will be another violinist of the avant-garde persuasion, C Spencer Yeh, who recently dropped two collaborative LPs: Cincinatti with noise technician John Wiese (available on CSY's label, DroneDisco) and New York Nuts and Boston Beans with Paul Flaherty and Greg Kelley (available here). April 25th will be the only solo show for CSY over the next few weeks, but he does have dates as part of a duo (with Michael Johnsen) and a trio (with Rafael Toral & Trevor Tremaine). One of those trio dates will take place in NYC in the next few weeks, as part of the No Fun Fest featuring headliner Sonic Youth.

Hopefully SY's Lee Ranaldo gets his long lost Fender Mustang back by then.

Sonic Youth Guitar

The guitar (pictured above) was stolen from Lee in July 1999. Then, last week, someone unknowingly bought it on eBay, and before even receiving it (he still hasn't received it as of this post), the buyer coincidentally was "just looking at Sonic Youth´s guitars", and recognized the guitar that he had just bought as Lee's stolen guitar.

He posted his story in a thread (that is currently 35 pages long) on Offsetguitars.com. Lee was then contacted, offered the guitar back (at the eBay auction cost) and accepted. In another coincidence, the buyer lives in the Netherlands and Sonic Youth is in Europe this week. Unfortunately the guitar didn't arrive from seller to buyer in time for the buyer to hand it to Lee in person, but...

"So my brother, a friend and me went to Dusseldorf yesterday to see Sonic Youth. We spent the whole afternoon in museums to see the Sonic Youth exhibition, which was really great. I can recommend it to anyone with the possibility of going there. It made me want to start reading William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg immediately.

The concert was supposed to start at 20:30 and we arrived at that time, we figured it probably wouldn´t start until 22:00 or so as that´s what we´re used to. Surprisingly, they started exactly on time so I missed a chance to get onto the balcony for special guests. So we watched the gig among the ´common´ people , which wasn't so bad, though it´s sometimes hard to stand the smell of those puny creatures. Tongue The concert was amazing, as usual with these guys, they played a normal set but when it was over it felt like they had only played for 15 minutes. The highlight for me was Kim´s singing, her voice sounds better than ever. The new songs (I think they played 4) sounded good too, but I can´t comment on the specific songs as I don´t know the titles.

After the gig was over I pushed my way up to the front row and called the guitar tech, Eric Baecht, he came up to us, gave me a mastery bridge (from one of Lee´s guitars, he even included the allen wrench keys!) on which Lee had written a thank you note, along with a couple of picks with Sonic Youth prints on them. Can´t wait to try it on my Jazzmaster! Eric then told me to wait for him to finish clearing the stage and took us to the backstage where I met Lee. We had a little chat about the guitar, Mark Ibold also showed up briefly. I met Eric again who told us we can get on the guest list for any SY gig in the future (!!!). I also spotted Thurston but he left quite early , Kim was there the whole time, didn´t see Steve.

So my friends and me hung out at the bar for a while feeling quite awkward and trying to think of something to talk to Lee about without sounding cliché but it seemed impossible so we left soon after. It was a bit of shame because they´re really kind and approachable people, but I just didn´t know what to talk about.

After all we had a great day and I´m looking forward to going to their gigs in the future. For free! HA! Plus I won´t have to worry about the show being sold out or anything." [Sauerkraut the guitar finder]

Awesome story. (thx Raymond)

Speaking of Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore will perform as part of a trio with saxophonist Daniel Carter and Ryan Sawyer (Tall Firs, Stars Like Fleas) at Union Pool on May 2nd, with Trevor Dunn's Madlove, and Pink Noise. Madlove recently announced the release of their new album, White With Foam on Ipecac Records.

Sonic Youth's new album, The Eternal, drops on June 9th. Check out "Sacred Trickster" here.

Trevor Dunn will play bass with the Melvins when they play all of Houdini at Webster Hall.

Tour dates, and some videos from Sonic Youth's exhibition in Germany, below...

Continue reading "Lee Ranaldo's stolen guitar recovered, Tony Conrad playing w/ Keiji Haino, a Thurston show & stuff"

Coldplay

"I felt like a dagger went right through my heart. It hurt so much," Satriani says. "The second I heard it, I knew it was [my own] If I Could Fly."

As it turned out, Satriani wasn't the only one who noticed the similarity between If I Could Fly and Viva La Vida.

"Almost immediately, from the minute their song came out, my e-mail box flooded with people going, 'Have you heard this song by Coldplay? They ripped you off man.' I mean, I couldn't tell you how many e-mails I received.

"Everybody noticed the similarities between the songs. It's pretty obvious. It's as simple as that - when you listen to a song and you say, 'Wow, that's a real rip-off.'"

What makes the situation especially painful for Satriani is that If I Could Fly isn't just any song. It's a composition he'd been laboring over for well over 10 years before he recorded it.

"I started writing it on the Flying In A Blue Dream tour back in 1990. But because of the way I write, sometimes songs take a while, as this one did. In 2003 I started demoing it in earnest. I played it on the acoustic guitar on a demo so I could sing the melody, then I demoed it on electric to get the sound. And the performance turned out to be so spontaneous, so right and so emotional, that it wound up being a keeper."

..."That was the intent all along," he says. "It was a love letter to my wife, Rubina - a simple, direct expression of feeling.

"That's what really hurts about this whole thing. That I spent so long writing the song, thinking about it, loving it, nursing it, and then finally recording it and standing on stages the world over playing it - and then somebody comes along and plays the exact same song and calls it their own."

"Coldplay didn't want to talk about it. They just wanted this whole thing to go away." Joe Satriani... [the interview continues @ Music Radar]

So now Joe is suing. Watch a video comparison of the songs in question HERE. Watch a video comparing Satriani's guitar solos to Kirk Hammett's below...

Continue reading "Joe Satriani on Coldplay: 'felt like a dagger.through my heart'"

Rhys Chatham

They needed 100 guitarists total for the performance in PA. They need 200 for the one coming up in NYC....

Continue reading "(<200) guitarists needed for a Rhys Chatham performance"