Blackfield — NYC - Blackfield Live in New York City
(Kscope 504, 2007/2009, CD+DVD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2010-07-01
This is probably the way all concerts should be released: as a double disk with an audio-only version as well as a DVD concert video. One or the other will likely pop up on a torrent site or YouTube anyway, and this way you kill two birds with one stone. Having gotten that part of this concert out of the way successfully, let’s next turn to the actual show. Recorded and filmed at the Bowery Ballroom, New York City, on March 16th, 2007, this set captures Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen and their band playing their brand of Porcupine Tree-lite songs to an appreciative and vocally supportive crowd (standing shows get the best crowd energy, of course). The set list is drawn evenly from both Blackfield albums, and the song order balances out rockers like the opener “Once” with mellower tracks like “Thank You,” and the performances are — as expected — flawless. The entire set climaxes nicely on the moody “Cloudy Now,” with the punters delivering the lyrical self-indictment with gusto. The lead vocal alternates between Wilson and Geffen, which in my opinion does Geffen no favors, except perhaps for his smoldering take on “Glow.” In a live setting Wilson is a more talented and versatile performer; Geffen probably gets more of the girls, though I could have done without him pulling his shirt off towards the end. Their Israeli backing musicians are highly professional and mind their manners, allowing the two front men to remain the visual and sonic focus throughout the set, and overall the sound (including a 5.1 surround option, naturally) and visuals are excellent. There’s little to criticize about this release, and even the three Blackfield videos are included as an extra enticement, making this is a worthy addition to any fan’s collection.
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Steven Freeman and Alan Freeman - The Crack in the Cosmic Egg – Brothers Alan and Steve Freeman have been long time fans of Krautrock etc. as well as record shop owners specializing in this and similar music, and publishers of Audion magazine. This labor of love... (2008) » Read more
SKiN GRAFT Records’ Mark Fischer states that “The Chicago vs New York compilation is an album in its own right… and not just some sort of a label sampler. Most of the songs on the compilation are exclusive to it." Thymme Jones of Cheer-Accident says of "War Is a Warrior," " It’s definitely not going to be on the next Cheerax album.”
We'll have a review of Chicago vs New York in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes out for that.