Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Little Madness...

"A Little Madness", also known as the "Julie Slick" show...ha ha, just kidding, but it's so cool to find a You Tube where you can really see and hear her clearly. Shot at the lovely Crystal Lake Casino in Lake Tahoe last Friday night.

Man, someone should send that clip to NFL Films or Comcast Sports or Fox Sports or the NBA or Major League Baseball or even the Olympics -- if that's not a song that should be blasted at sporting events I don't know what is.

Now this one is from Tuesday, 2/26/08 at the Belly Up. For me it's worth it to have a listen just to hear one of the audience members scream "Yo, Eric! You kick ass!" but the truth is, in talking with Eric, he had gear problems all night and no working monitors so this was his least favorite performance on the tour but still so starts out with the King Crimson classic Neurotica, written by Adrian, and goes into the full version of Bow and Drum, which is one of my all-time favorite songs.

Okay, it's early in the morning but I wanted to put these up - be back in a few hours to add actual words to this post...

And sadly, R.I.P. Buddy Miles.

ETA: See, it's only 8:00 a.m. and I'm back already. Look at this awesome review of Side Four Live posted over at Progressive Ears:

"King Crimson fans! Guitar freaks! Or just anyone with an interest in incredible musicianship and fascinating sounds. If you've missed out on the greatest disc of 2007 (which was easy since it was only released in Nov and has been website-only so far), don't hesitate any more. Chances are most folks browsing this site already know the name, and if not, the resume (KC, Zappa, Bowie, Talking Heads, NIN, Tori Amos, Flecktones and half a million others) should speak for itself. The guy's one of the most innovative guitarists alive. In addition to being a wildly intelligent songwriter, he can make a guitar sound like anything from an organ to a telephone to an elephant.

If you know who he is already, this CD more than recommends itself. Adrian had already been on a creative streak with his series of three solo albums/EPs over the last couple years, but Side Four still blows them all out of the water. Just be careful it doesn't set your speakers on fire too.

Credit where credit's due: the injection of high-octane power chiefly comes from Julie and Eric Slick, who make up his current trio. Not only are they two of the most phenomenal players you'll ever hear for their ages (21 and 20), but Adrian is so fired up by their energy that he's churning out some of the most sizzling hot six-stringing of his career. (Yes, and that includes King Crimson.) Speaking of which, the KC material here is also as smoking hot as you've ever heard it. "Dinosaur" pounds as hard as the Thrak-era group ever did with half the people, and "Thela" is powered by drumming so machine-gun crazy you'd swear Eric was an octopus. Playing material this complex is like navigating a musical minefield, but these three pull it off with the precision of a Swiss watch and make it seem next to effortless. And though I say 'complex,' for the most part it's infectiously catchy as well. It's stuff you could play around the kids or the parents. (Although "Madness" might scare the cat a little. You've been warned.)

But as great as the songs are, just hearing the group play is what really makes the whole thing worthwhile. The interaction is worthy of a world-class jazz group. You can pick out any one of the trio to focus on for the entire running time and never be bored for a second. It's easy to focus on Adrian's guitar first, whether it's high-speed shredding or animal squeals and skronks, but it's your loss if you don't take the time to pick out just how J&E underpin everything too. There are crazy little licks and fills all over the place, and yet it never stops grooving like a rave party on crank. (Except for "Beat Box Guitar," which becomes a psychedelic head-trip that Pink Floyd would have been proud of.)

Click over to to find this one. Even if your wallet doesn't thank you, your ears will. And whatever you do, DO NOT miss them live. It's transcendental."