Sunday, October 30, 2011

Artist Spotlight on George Harrison

The quiet Beatle. The dark horse. Innovative guitarist and prolific songwriter.

Beginning on Halloween and continuing through the week, the Daily Vault's Artist Spotlight will shine on the solo work of Beatles guitarist George Harrison, adding reviews of five albums not currently covered in the Vault's 6,900-plus review archive. Staff Writer David Bowling will deliver reviews of Living In The Material World (1973), Extra Texture (1975), Thirty-Three & 1/3 (1976), Somewhere In England (1981) and Cloud Nine (1987).  Put on your shades and prepare to remember "All Those Years Ago."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Return of attack of indies

How many times do we have to tell you? How many times?? Yes, the explosion of d-i-y music has put the means of production in the hands of a slew of wannabes who should probably stick with their day jobs. But it has also enabled a number of truly, phenomenally, mind-blowingly talented indie acts to deliver music to you that deserves both your attention and that of a million more like you. All you have to do is LISTEN.

For example, in just-for-the-heck-of-it reverse alpha order:

Last Charge of the Light Horse is the vehicle for the amazing songwriting (and singing and guitar playing) of Jean-Paul Vest.  Last Charge's two full-lengths, 2005's Getaway Car and 2008's Fractures, are musical gut-punches, song cycles that explore the emotional trapdoors and cul-de-sacs of suburban America with a fearless, unrelenting honesty. This is powerful poetry set to music, friends. And the aptly-named Curve EP, reviewed this week on the DV, is another exceptional notch in Mr. Vest's songwriting belt.

Chris Cubeta might be the most prodigiously talented singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist-arranger-producer-Yankee fan in the universe. When he's not busy producing a raft of other NYC-area artists at his Galuminum Foil Studios, he and partners in crime Danny Lanzetta, Jeff Berner and John Passineau make stunningly beautiful Springsteenesque Americana as Chris Cubeta and the Liars Club. Their 2006 disc Faithful and this year's self-titled follow-up are both brilliant pieces of work.

Big Big Train are simply the most talented progressive rock band working today, bar none. Their 2009 album The Underfall Yard and 2010 EP Far Skies Deep Time match up against anything Genesis, Pink Floyd or Yes produced in their prime. BBT are currently working on a double CD due out in 2012, English Electric, which promises to be truly epic. If you're a prog fan and are missing out on these guys, you are missing out indeed.

Arms Of Kismet make "lush, layered, ultra-literate and idiosyncratic postmodern pop," and they do it like no one else. Like Last Charge, AOK is the vehicle for one man's musical vision, and singer-songwriter-guitarist-producer Mark Doyon's capacity for invention feels limitless. Debut disc Eponymous (2004) and follow-up Cutting Room Rug (2005) form the foundation, while 2010's simply brilliant Play For Affection climbs the pinnacle of insightful, tuneful, thoroughly unconventional music to set your every neuron firing.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

To tweet or not to tweet (we're voting yes)

Just a quick shout-out to let you know that the DV is all a-Twitter once again. (And if you think that pun was bad, you obviously haven't been hanging around here very long...). 

Anyhoo... if you care to, you can follow us at twitter.com/#!/TheDailyVault.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coming soon on The Daily Vault: Wilco, Clapton, The Subways and more

Wilco is back and today we've got a look at new album The Whole Love courtesy of new contributing writer Richard Fulco.  Coming soon, look for reviews of Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton, The Subways, Phil Spector, Color Radio, Switchfoot, Spottiswoode & His Enemies, Last Charge Of The Light Horse and more, plus a concert review of Opeth and Katatonia.  Who said things slow down when fall comes??

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bryan Stow meets Queensryche

You’ve probably heard the Bryan Stow story.  If you haven’t, it goes like this.  Stow is a paramedic, father of two, and lifelong Giants fan who went to the opening night game at Dodger Stadium back in April to cheer for the Giants.  In the parking lot after the game, he was jumped by a couple of punks, knocked unconscious and kicked in the head while he was down on the pavement.  He sustained a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury.  He was in a coma for a couple of months, and remains hospitalized in serious condition, but he has gradually been becoming more responsive over the past several weeks.

Stow is also a music fan whose favorite band is Queensryche.  And while I’ve never personally been a fan of their music, as of today these guys have my complete respect.  Before their recent San Francisco show, the entire group came over to the hospital, gowned up, and hung out with Bryan in his hospital room for 45 minutes, talking with him, answering his questions, and promising to dedicate a song to him at their show that night.

Music heals… and Queensryche rocks.