Posts Tagged ‘rock’

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Beatles: Rock Band guitars announced. Replica Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet guitars will be made available as standalone music peripheral controllers!

May 12, 2009

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Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet to be made available as standalone controllers

Harmonix, MTV Games and Electronic Arts have announced that replica Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet guitars will be made available as standalone music peripheral controllers for The Beatles: Rock Band.

The Beatles: Rock Band will allow fans to pick up a guitar, bass, mic or drums and experience The Beatles’ extraordinary catalogue of music through gameplay that takes players on a journey through the legacy and evolution of the band’s legendary career. It will be available simultaneously worldwide in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other territories on September 9th 2009.

The Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet guitars are hailed as two of the signature, most celebrated instruments played by John Lennon and George Harrison throughout their careers, respectively.They will be made available at a retail price of £89.99 in the UK.

These wireless instrument controllers join the previously announced Höfner bass controller, a large-scale replica of the bass famously used by Sir Paul McCartney, and the Ringo Starr inspired and Ludwig-branded Rock Band 2 drums, with a classic pearl finish and vintage replica Beatles kick drum head. All controllers will be available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Playstation 3, Wii and will be compatible with all Rock Band titles.

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U2, Kid Rock, Plant & Krauss and Rihanna Added as Grammy Performers

January 30, 2009
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Think the Grammy lineup somehow needed even more firepower? U2, Kid Rock, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss and Rihanna have just been added to the already incredible list of performers at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, airing Sunday, February 8th. Let’s look at the roster now: Radiohead, Coldplay, Paul McCartney with Dave Grohl, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Jay-Z, T.I., Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Jonas Brothers, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Kenny Chesney, plus those four huge acts announced this morning.

That’s like a dream Coachella lineup. While we credit the Grammys with doing everything humanly possible to convince people to watch this year’s broadcast, we have to wonder how they are going to have time to hand out awards. How long will this monster show run?

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss are up for five awards, including the prestigious Album of the Year. Now Ne-Yo is the lone Album of the Year candidate not performing at the show. U2 aren’t up for any awards, but they’re U2 and have a new album coming out and Bono has some special pass that lets him play anywhere, anytime he wants, so playing the Grammys on the biggest night in music makes perfect sense.

Rihanna is up for three awards, including Best Dance Recording for “Disturbia.” We’re predicting it right now: Bet on Rihanna being a part of that super-medley featuring Kanye, Jay-Z and T.I. doing “Swagga Like Us,” T.I. and Timberlake performing a song (probably “If I”) together and then assume T.I. and Rihanna will duet on “Live Your Life.” Likewise, while Kid Rock is nominated for Best Rock Album and Best Male Vocal Pop Performance for “All Summer Long,” we’d be shocked if Mr. Rock N Roll Jesus doesn’t share the stage with Lil Wayne at some point, like they did at the Country Music Awards.

With the addition of U2, this year’s telecast will feature arguably the three biggest bands on the planet right now (U2, Radiohead, Coldplay) along with the three biggest rappers (Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne) and a Beatle (McCartney.) Well done, Grammys. The Grammys also revealed the initial slate of special guest presenters: Jack Black, Duffy, actor Simon Baker, Charlie Haden, Josh Groban and Gwyneth Paltrow, who we’re really hoping introduces her husband’s band.

Take a look at our Artists Pages

Source: rollingstone.com

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Prog Rock Britannia! – BBC Documentary

January 6, 2009

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One of the most influential times in British music has recently been the the topic for a season of broadcasts from the BBC.

This series ran over the festive period and is repeated on BBC Four today and tomorrow.

It charts the growth and rise of the ‘Progressive’ musician starting with The Nice and Soft Machine moving onto King Crimson, ELP and of course The Pink Floyd.

Progressive rock (often shortened to progressive, prog, or prog rock) is a form of rock music that evolved in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a “mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility.” The term “art rock” is often used interchangeably with “progressive rock”, and while there are crossovers between the two genres they are not identical. Prog Rock was the first steps of pop musicans and rock and roll musicans begining to get bored playing 12 bar blues. This was the sound of musicians who wanted a little more from their music than repitition

Progressive rock bands pushed “rock’s technical and compositional boundaries” by going beyond the standard rock or popular verse-chorus-based song structures. Additionally, the arrangements often incorporated elements drawn from classical, jazz, and world music. Instrumentals were common, while songs with lyrics were sometimes conceptual, abstract, or based in fantasy. Progressive rock bands sometimes used “concept albums that made unified statements, usually telling an epic story or tackling a grand overarching theme.”

Progressive rock songs either avoid common popular music song structures of verse-chorus-bridge, or blur the formal distinctions by extending sections or inserting musical interludes, often with exaggerated dynamics to heighten contrast between sections. Classical forms are often inserted or substituted, sometimes yielding entire suites, building on the traditional medleys of earlier rock bands. Progressive rock songs also often have extended instrumental passages, marrying the classical solo tradition with the improvisational traditions of jazz and psychedelic rock. All of these tend to add length to progressive rock songs, which may last longer than twenty minutes….Sounds Great Doesn’t it!

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Another super cool aspect of Prog is the avid use of technology to aid their timbral exploration. Progressive rock bands were often early adopters of new electronic musical instruments and technologies. Emerson Lake and Palmer pioneered use of the Moog synthesizer, and the mellotron was a signature sound of early progressive bands such as the Moody Blues, King Crimson, and Genesis. Pink Floyd utilized an EMS Synthi A synthesizer equipped with a sequencer on their track “On the Run” from their 1973 album “Dark Side of the Moon“. In the late 1970s, Robert Fripp, of King Crimson, and Brian Eno developed an analog tape loops effect (Frippertronics). In the 1980s, Frank Zappa used the Synclavier for composing and recording, and King Crimson utilized MIDI-enabled guitars, a Chapman Stick, and electronic percussion.

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10 string chapman stick

The whole genre obviously imploded and was finally killed off by a combination of Rick Wakeman performing  ‘On Ice’ style shows and the new wave of punk (which was created by ex prog fans).

Prog the early days

Allmusic cites Bob Dylan‘s poetry, The Mothers of Invention‘s Freak Out! and the BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as showing the “earliest rumblings of progressive and art rock”while progressiverock.com cites the latter as its “starting point”, although earlier albums such as Rubber Soul and Revolver had begun incorporating Eastern music and instruments not common in rock music. This would later be followed by progressive-rock acts such as Yes and King Crimson. However, Piero Scaruffi claims that “technically speaking … progressive-rock began in 1967 with Cream and The Nice”, which he describes as “groups that reacted to the simple, melodic, three-minute pop of the early Beatles”, and notes that if “a more stringent definition, one that considers ambition and pretentiousness” is used, this “would push the birth date [back] to the Pretty Things‘ S.F. Sorrow (1968) and the Who‘s Tommy (1969).”

Freak Out!, released in 1966, had been a mixture of progressive rock, punk and avant-garde layered sounds. In the same year, the band “1-2-3″, later renamed Clouds, began experimenting with song structures, improvisation, and multi-layered arrangements. In March of that year, The Byrds released “Eight Miles High”, a pioneering psychedelic rock single with lead guitar heavily influenced by the jazz soloing style of John Coltrane. Later that year, The Who released “A Quick One While He’s Away”, the first example of the rock opera form, and considered by some to have been the first prog epic.

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There is so much to cover in this topic it impossible to cram it all here. Mike Oldfield’s  ‘Tubular Bells‘ was a breakthough track demonstarting the poswer of the studio. Mike played every instrument himself onthe recording and the song became a staple stone for sound technology enthusiasts everywhere.

Tubular Bells stayed in the British charts for over five years, reaching the number 1 spot after more than a year and taking there for one week the place of his second album, Hergest Ridge, thereby becoming one of only three artists in the UK to knock himself off the first spot. It sold more than two million copies in the UK alone and according to some reports 15 to 17 million copies worldwide. The album went gold in the USA and Mike Oldfield received a Grammy Award for the best Instrumental Composition in 1975.


In 1967, Jeff Beck released the single “Beck’s Bolero”, inspired by Maurice Ravel‘s Bolero, and, later that year, Procol Harum released the Bach-influenced single “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. Also in 1967, the Moody Blues released Days of Future Passed, combining classical-inspired orchestral music with traditional rock instrumentation and song structures. Pink Floyd’s first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, contained the nearly ten-minute improvisational psychedelic instrumental “Interstellar Overdrive”. In 1968, Big Brother and the Holding Company incorporated Bach’s prelude from The Well-Tempered Clavier into their cover of George Gershwin‘s “Summertime”.

2009 promises alot following yet another British invasion of Prog bands. A scene taking influences also from post punk and experimental music has emerged spearheaded by bands such as a.P.A.t.T., Kling Klang, The Laze and Stig.

Here is footage of some of the more over looked genius’ not featured in the BBC documentary.These are the American and European counterparts. These artists have all strived to make advancements in their art, whilst maintaining a ridiculous air.

Prog Rock Britannia Tonight.

  1. 06 Jan 2009
    23:15
  2. 07 Jan 2009
    03:15