Monday, October 24, 2011

Treasure Island Music Festival Review -

This fifth year of the Treasure Island Music Festival sported some of the most eclectic and forward-thinking music in the festival's history. And while there were some great acts whose sound just didn't fill the massive setting, there were plenty of highlights. Check them out over at Jambase:

YACHT proved to be the best band I've never heard of, and this version of "Psychic Ciy" shows why:

The Head and the Heart was a refreshing change up from all the synth-heavy bands, getting the crowd riled up with some good old folksy rave-ups:

Beach House also delivered with some glorious sunset bliss-out music:

And Dizzee Rascal was surprisingly awesome, showing off some real MC skills with some deep electronica to get the crowd bumpin' hard:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Your Similar Album Covers of the Week - Special Toast Edition

Hey kids, remember After Dark? You know, that awesome screen saver program that we used on our old Macintoshes back during the dawn of the 90's? Of course you do. They were the ones who brought us the most iconic of all screen savers, The Flying Toasters:

This little piece of randomness tickled the public's fancy in just the right ways, helping After Dark software to skyrocket in popularity throughout the 90s. But few know that the idea to put wings on toasters did not originate with screen savers. Case in point, Jefferson Airplane's 1973 live album, Thirty Seconds Over Winterland (which proved to be their final album):

The similarities here were so blatant (down to the 1950's style toaster) that in 1994, Bay Area band Jefferson Airplane sued Bay Area company Berkeley Systems (the company that released After Dark) for stealing their iconic imagery, originally illustrated by Bruce Steinberg. The judge eventually dismissed the case due to the fact that the album art was not copyrighted by the time that Flying Toasters was released by Berkeley Systems in 1989.

In case you were wondering, After Dark screen savers are not currently available for use with your new MacBook. Berkeley Systems is long gone as a company, and it is unclear who holds the rights to Flying Toasters at this point. I'm sure I'm not the first to say that a re-release is sorely overdue....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Return To Forever & Zappa Plays Zappa Review -

Fusion Geeks unite! What is probably the greatest assemblage of pure musicianship on a tour in many, many years just passed through the West Coast, and I was there. That's right, a set of Frank Zappa music followed by a set of Return To Forever, the greatest Jazz Fusion band of their generation. The icing on the cake was that RTF was joined by Jean-Luc Ponty for this tour, the most rockingest jazz violin player to ever pick up the instrument.

Though everyone amazed, it was Stanley Clarke that stole the show with his mastery of the acoustic and electric basses. The man can really do whatever he wants -- he possesses complete precision and control of his musical universe. Here's my coverage of this momentous concert event over at Jambase:

Frank Gamble from RTF sat in with Dweezil Zappa and Co. for some guitar pyrotechnics on Zappa's "Willie the Pimp," and it was good:

Return To Forever then proceeded to take the stage and rip us all a new one with their instruments, which was also good. Here they blaze their way through "SeƱor Mouse:"