Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rush on CNN this morning.

CNN personality John "Don't call me "JD"" Roberts got to jam with Rush, doing a passable version of Limelight.  Way to go JD! Here's the video:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Twenty years on Pt. 2....Who shares our birthday?

Still Life (W/Book) (Spec) (Dig)Here's a list of bands that started the same year as Tapping The Ether.  I'm only including the bands who I've played on the show:

Anathema : We played stuff from "Pentecost III" quite a bit

At the Gates: Although we received both of their albums, only "Slaughter Of The Soul" got extensive airplay.

Dark Tranquility (then Septic Broiler) : To this day, "Projector" is the only DT CD in the library--it's a keeper though.

Fear Factory I only really played "Obsolete" and their cover of "Cars", because I'm a Gary Numan fan.

In Flames: Didn't recieve anything prior to "The Jester Race", didn't really get into them until "Whoracle" (which was stolen from the library--a pox on whoever did that)

Infectious Grooves: Played "Send My Your Money" and "Violent And Funky" a lot.  Otherwise they were just the discount store version of Suicidal Tendencies.

My Dying Bride:  Although they started sending us stuff from the very beginning, "Angel And The Dark River" was the album that clicked with me ("Cries Of Mankind" was a perfect bathroom break song)

Opeth:  Despite knowing about Opeth from the beginning, it wasn't until "Blackwater Park" that I finally had something to play on the air.  Thankfully they've been sending us stuff ever since.

Type O Negative: What can I say?  When they sucked, they really sucked, but when they rocked, they were amazing! Peter Steele, R.I.P.

Bruce Dickinson has a new gig....

Bruce Dickinson, singer of Iron Maiden, has a new gig: marketing director of Astraeus, the Gatwick-based charter airline where he's been a pilot for years.

For the full story, click here

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dani Filth is top ‘Suffolk icon’

DEATH metal star Dani Filth is running away with the race to be named Suffolk’s top icon, it emerged today.

Dani Filth is top ‘Suffolk icon’ - News - Evening Star

Congratulations to Dani on the achievement--I can't imagine how it must feel to be considered more famous than a swimming pool. Still, credit where credit is due.

Cradle Of Filth have a new album on the horizon, so every little bit of publicity helps:)

Roger Waters kicks of "The Wall" 30th anniversary tour in Toronto

TORONTO – Roger Waters tore down the house Wednesday night in Toronto as he kicked off the 30th anniversary world tour for Pink Floyd's "The Wall."

He walked out to thunderous applause beginning with the first track of the seminal concept album, "In the Flesh," and the adulation never stopped. Synchronized pyrotechnics, Orwellian imagery and marching hammers culminated with a plane flying into the wall and bursting into flames. And that was just the opener.

The rest of the story can be found here.
I have mixed feelings about Roger Waters.  On the one hand I think that his occasional updating of The Wall results in great shows.  On the other, I think it's a little hypocritical for Waters to have bitterly criticized the reformation of Pink Floyd as being artistically bankrupt and not offering anything new, while almost all of his post-Floyd successes have come from rehashing old Floyd material--most notably The Wall.

Still, if this really is the last--and I mean "THE last, no shit, I really mean it this time, this is it, really the last time", not all the other last-- opportunity for folks to catch The Wall in all it's bloated, self-worshipping, pseudo-Orwellian glory, then it should make for a worthwhile spectacle.

Edit: My apologies to Kevin Maguire for inadvertently using his copyrighted photo without permission.  When I searched Flikr I specified "creative commons" in the search but somehow his photo slipped through and I posted it with a linkback.  No excuse for my not double-checking the license--the fault is mine and mine alone.  I would have apologized to Mr. Maguire directly, but since I deleted the picture as soon as I became aware of the issue, it also deleted the link to the original source.  Once again I'm sorry for the error.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

WTF!?! Mike Portnoy out of Dream Theater!

The following statement was released by Mike Portnoy on Sept 8:

"I am about to write something I never imagined I'd ever write.

"After 25 years, I have decided to leave DREAM THEATER... the band I founded, led and truly loved for a quarter of a century.

"To many people this will come as a complete shock, and will also likely be misunderstood by some, but please believe me that it is not a hasty is something I have struggled with for the last year or so....

"After having had such amazing experiences playing with HAIL!, TRANSATLANTIC and AVENGED SEVENFOLD this past year, I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in DREAM THEATER.

"Please don't misinterpret me, I love the DREAM THEATER guys dearly and have a long history, friendship and bond that runs incredibly deep with them... it's just that I think we are in serious need of a little break.

"DREAM THEATER was always my baby...and I nurtured that baby every single day and waking moment of my life since 1985... 24/7, 365... never taking time off from DREAM THEATER's never-ending responsibilites (even when the band was 'off' between cycles)... working overtime and way beyond the call of duty that most sane people ever would do for a band.

"But I've come to the conclusion that the DREAM THEATER machine was starting to burn me out...and I really needed a break from the band in order to save my relationship with the other members and keep my DREAM THEATER spirit hungry and inspired.

"We have been on an endless write/record/tour cycle for almost 20 years now (of which I have overseen EVERY aspect without a break) and while a few months apart from each other here and there over the years has been much needed and helpful, I honestly hoped the band could simply agree with me to taking a bit of a 'hiatus' to recharge our batteries and 'save me from ourselves'...

"Sadly, in discussing this with the guys, they determined they do not share my feelings and have decided to continue without me rather than take a breather... I even offered to do some occasional work throughout 2011 against my initial wishes, but it was not to be...

"While it truly hurts for me to even think of a DREAM THEATER without Mike Portnoy (hell, my father named the band!!), I do not want to stand in their I have decided to sacrifice myself and simply leave the band so as to not hold them back against their wishes.

"Strangely enough, I just read an interview that I recently did that asked me about the future of DREAM THEATER and I talked about 'always following your heart and being true to yourself'... Sadly, I must say that at this particular moment, my heart is not with DREAM THEATER...and I would simply be 'going through the motions,' and would honestly NOT be true to myself if I stayed for the sake of obligation without taking the break I felt I needed.

"I wish the guys the best and hope the music and legacy we created together is enjoyed by fans for decades to come... I am proud of every album we made, every song we wrote and every show we played....

"I'm sorry to all the disappointed DREAM THEATER fans around the world... I really tried to salvage the situation and make it work... I honestly just wanted a break (not a split)... but happiness cannot be forced, it needs to come from within.

"You DREAM THEATER fans are the greatest fans in the world and as you all know, I have always busted my ass for you guys and I hope that you will stay with me on my future musical journey, wherever it may lead me.... (and as you all know my work ethic, there will surely be no shortage of future Mike Portnoy projects!)"

Monday, September 13, 2010

Twenty years on...looking back.

No Prayer for the DyingI thought you might like to see some of the albums that were released the same year that Tapping The Ether started. The most significant is definately Iron Maiden's "No Prayer For The Dying" as it was the first metal CD the station recieved after the show started. It doesn't include every album released, but is a sample of bands who have been mainstays of the show since the beginning. Here's the list:

Annihilator - Never, Neverland
Anthrax - Persistence of Time
Believer - Sanity Obscure
Black Sabbath - Tyr
Blind Guardian - Tales from the Twilight World
Bruce Dickinson - Tattooed Millionaire
Celtic Frost - Vanity/Nemesis
Death - Spiritual Healing
Death Angel - Act III
Dio - Lock up the Wolves
Extreme - Pornograffitti
Exodus - Impact is Imminent
Forbidden - Twisted into Form
Iced Earth - Iced Earth
Iron Maiden - No Prayer for the Dying
Judas Priest - Painkiller
Kreator - Coma of Souls
Yngwie J. Malmsteen - Eclipse
Megadeth - Rust In Peace
Queensr├┐che - Empire
Ratt - Detonator
Reverend - World Won't Miss You
Saxon - Solid Ball of Rock
Scorpions - Crazy World
Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss
Stryper - Against the Law
Trouble - Trouble
U.D.O. -Faceless World

Entries in bold are releases that were featured quite heavily at the time of release.

Rush + Steampunk = Sublime Awesomeness.

So I've finally running across pictures from Rush's current "Time Machine" tour (due to run 'til mid-October), and they are amazing. What's really impressive is how they've managed to incorporate the steampunk vibe into the entire visual presentation, from the video, to Neil Peart's drumset and Alex Lifeson's speaker cabinets.

As a guy who likes Hammer movies and Blade Runner in equal measure, there's something about Steampunk (and it's lesser known offspring, Dieselpunk) that has always appealled to me aesthecially. Combining as it does the warmth and beauty of the "traditional" (wood, brass, leather, clockwork gears) with cool, futuristic geekiness, I can really see how it fits in with Rush, a band with both a long history and a vibrant present. Moving Pictures (performed in it's entirely this tour) is the perfect embodiment of this--an album that is legitimately considered "classic", but yet sounds as fresh as if it was recording a couple of years ago. How many albums can truly make that claim.

Sabian Cymbals has an excellent article about the creation of the stunning cymbals used by Neil on this tour. Even non-drummers will find this fascinating, and the pictures are wonderful.

Tandem Digital not only did some of the video for the tour (clips on their site) but also created a CG prototype for Neil's drum set and riser. This article not only provides a fascinating insight into the process, but there's also a beautiful picture of the real thing!

Also, check out this video showing Alex Lifeson talking about his rig for the Time Machine tour: Check out the beautiful speaker cabs!

Music: Heavy metal stars rock festive tunes

Okay, so it's still a few months 'til Xmas, but it's not too early to start planning :)

After Helix's Xmas release last year and Twisted Sister's effort from two years ago, not to mention all those TSO albums, it's not surprising that there would be a new release this year. I'll be picking it up mainly for the Dio performance

CANOE -- JAM! Music: Heavy metal stars rock festive tunes