Bernie Worrell — Stranger: Bernie Worrell on Earth
(MVDV4618, 2007, DVD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-10-01
Keyboardist Bernie Worrell is no stranger to making friends while making music. Since his initial ground breaking work as keyboardist and synthesizer innovator for Parliament / Funkadelic, the artist has been the envy and mysterious collaborator of many a high profile rock musician from the Talking Heads to Bill Laswell, Jack Bruce to Mos Def. Worrell’s career has been driven by a need to be present and establish keen interplay for songwriters and high profile musicians but remains a player with thoughtful chops. Worrell’s slippery Moog synth playing on “Flashlight” was a revelation for George Clinton later paving the way to his participation in the Talking Head’s Stop Making Sense project that turned pop music on its ear. Glowing candid accounts of his playing from David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, and Chris Frantz indicate the respect and esteem from peers all musicians cherish. Showing Worrell’s cross genre influence, Mos Def and dub music icon Bill Laswell peg the hip-hop sound to Worrell’s invention. Cool live footage of Worrell jamming on “Killer Mosquito” with Gov’t Mule’s Warren Hayes as well as Living Colour’s Wil Calhoun demonstrate the musician in action doing his unique thing with his friends just eating it up. Worrell himself provides a little history of his endeavors but is careful not to reveal his full hand. Overall this is an exceptional but all too brief examination of the man, his music and admirers.
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more