Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ultrasonic Rock Opera

Ultrasonic Rock Opera, or URO, could be good (Boston Herarld):
Giving the rock masses what they can’t get elsewhere, the 23-piece URO lineup - including 16 vocalists - has managed to work out a stunning arrangement of the Queen classic [Bohemian Rhapsody] as well as a number of other brilliantly complex tunes, including The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and the whole second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” Dubbed “A Night at the Rock Opera,” the show begins a run of 10 weekend performances tonight at the Wilbur Theatre.

“We don’t do anything that the band at the corner bar can do,” said URO singer/guitarist/producer Sal Clemente. “We do songs people can’t hear live anywhere else. But it’s still just a giant rock band. If it’s not rock ’n’ roll I don’t want to do it.”
Hell yeah, man!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965,

New Dylan documentary. Let's take a look (Yahoo):
Using outtakes from his 1967 Newport documentary "Festival" (about 70% of the material has not been seen before), [Murray] Lerner constructs a narrative devoid of narration, talking-head anecdotes, analyses or interpretations. The only adornment is onscreen titles announcing the respective year of each section. Eschewing slice-and-dice manipulation and with deceptive simplicity, Lerner and his team of editors orchestrate the material with poetic precision.
Sounds good. And it sounds like the documentary also catches the beginning of the Advancement of Bob Dylan:
Building up to the 1965 festival, when Dylan and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (sans Butterfield) introduced electric rock 'n' roll to the purist gathering, "The Other Side of the Mirror" illustrates the finer points of the culture clash. His hair now long, his face filled out, his work shirt traded in for a black leather jacket, Dylan faces a largely unchanged crowd.
It still amazes me that some people don't believe that Advancement is real.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Donovan: Hurdy Gurdy University

From the Big News Network:
Legendary singer Donovan has declared his plans of opening a university in Scotland that will have meditation as a part of the curriculum. The Scottish singer announced that the Donovan University would provide traditional education programmes but the students would also undergo training for the practice of transcendental meditation, which practitioners believe reduces stress and boosts creativity and learning.

The 'Mellow' singer said he would like to be a part of some teaching at the university, particularly teaching related to music, but his role would mainly be within a steering group for the project, reports the Daily Snack.
This will never happen.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Eric Clapton Shreds

He has never sounded better. And you will be amazed at the sax.

(Apologies if you've seen this a million times)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Brian Eno, Scott Walker, and Other Biblical Plagues

This is interesting (Pitchfork):

Last September, British arts organization Artangel commissioned [Scott] Walker, [Rufus] Wainwright, [Brian] Eno, Robert Wyatt, Stephin Merritt, Imogen Heap, Laurie Anderson, and more to each write a song based on an assigned Biblical plague (there are ten) that takes place in the book of Exodus. Check yr history.

A festival was then held in Margate, England, transforming the town into a modern recreation of the Israelites' escape from Egypt. (WTF?) During the event, the "Plague Songs" were performed by local musicians. The entire thing was filmed, and will be broadcast and screened in the UK next year (the former on Channel 4) under the title Exodus.

The Frogs, the Boils, the Darkness, and the Locust were sadly not asked to participate.

Now, 4BC-- er, excuse us-- 4AD will release the original, star-studded recordings (formerly only available on CD at the Margate Exodus), presented in order of the plagues. These exclusive cuts make up Plague Songs, due November 7 in the U.S. and October 2 in the UK.

I wouldn't like to get the plague, but I might like to listen to this record. Anything with Scott Walker involved is okay in my book.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

Not much going on this morning, so let's hear a bit about the new Plant/Krauss collaboration (USA Today):
Raising Sand, recorded in Nashville and California with producer T Bone Burnett, taps into shared musical turf. They harmonize on two songs by Byrds co-founder Gene Clark and another pair from the Everly Brothers catalog, but the originals barely hint at the places Plant and Krauss take them. Other songs come from Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, Doc Watson and Naomi Neville.
I'm all for it, then.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lou Reed: One-Hit Wonder No More

Lou Reed's back on the charts with a little help from the Killers (

At the age of 65, Lou Reed probably doesn't worry much about when or where he will have his next pop hit single. After all, the legendary Velvet Underground vocalist (for which he is in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame) and iconoclastic solo artist has only been to the pop top 40 in the US one time, 34 years ago, for the timeless "Walk On the Wild Side." He has fared somewhat better in the UK reaching the top 10 twice, with "Walk on the Wild Side" and for a remake of "Satellite of Love" just 3 years back. This scattered chart performance only makes his reappearance today that much more surprising.

To help kick off the publicity for their new, eclectic B-sides and rarities collection, Sawdust, the Killers have released the single "Tranquilize" featuring guest vocals from Lou Reed. It roared into the top 20 of the UK pop singles chart this week, and it is well worth your attention. The Killers head into territory that would be very comfortable for Reed and his long-term well as some new fans. If you like the track, be sure and check into Lou Reed's extensive catalog...and don't forget to look for Sawdust in stores November 13, 2007.

I love that last bit about "if you like the track." Especially because some poor soul will look into the catalog and see an album called "Metal Machine Music" and say, "That sounds pretty good. I'll go with that."

There's a link to listen to "Tranquilize" on the About site as well. I'm going to do that right now, in fact. (I'm back: the song is awesome.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bob Dylan's Cadillac Commerical

Bob Dylan shows once again why he is one of the most Advanced musicians of all time (USA Today):
On 2001's Summer Days, Bob Dylan sang, "I'm drivin' in the flats in a Cadillac car," a lyric that comes to life today in the debut of a multiplatform ad campaign for Cadillac. In a 30-second TV spot, the music legend, sporting a cowboy hat and shades, steers a black 2008 Escalade across California's Antelope Valley before stepping out to survey the desert landscape.

He utters one line: "What's life without taking a detour?" The ad also plugs XM satellite radio, a standard feature in the luxury SUV and home to Dylan's weekly Theme Time Radio Hour, which this Wednesday finds the bard spotlighting songs about the iconic auto.

In a long-form online vignette (viewable now at and starting Wednesday at and, Dylan cracks, "You know what's even better than a great road tune? Not having some DJ talking all over it. Unless, of course, that DJ's me." Print and online ads begin in November.

As most of you know, there is no such thing as selling out if you have a record contract, and Bob Dylan (and Lou Reed, of course) have known this for a long time. Dylan gets a bonus because he's plugging his XM radio show (Advanced Artists embrace technology).

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sufjan Stevens Is Dead (To Me)

If you want to know what Overtness sounds like, check out this quote from Sufjan Stevens (from stereogum):
"Rock and roll is dead,” he says, voluble again. “Rock and roll is a museum piece. It has no viability anymore. There are great rock bands today—I love the White Stripes, I love the Raconteurs. But it’s a museum piece. You’re watching the History Channel when you go to these clubs. They’re just reenacting an old sentiment. They’re channeling the ghosts of that era—the Who, punk rock, the Sex Pistols, whatever. It’s been done. The rebellion’s over."
This is just so stupid, I don't know where to begin. I should start by pointing out that even his name is Overt (even if it's his given name). Also, this quote is from an interview where he talks about a 38-piece orchestral suite. In other words, rock is dead, but orchestral suites rule! Some other thoughts: The banjo is real weird. And what happened to those 50 states records? Asthmatic Kitty is a dumb name for a record label. Quiet Riot made better music.

I will give him some credit for trying to embrace Christmas, but I think he was just being Overt about that, too.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ray Davies Free Download: "Vietnam Cowboy"

Apparently, Ray Davies is a Prince fan:
On Sunday, October 21, British music legend and lead singer of The Kinks, Ray Davies, will release his eagerly anticipated new solo LP ‘Working Man's Café’, free with every copy of The Sunday Times. Written by Ray, who headlines the BBC Electric Proms on October 28, it looks set to be the definitive album of his 40-year career.

In addition to this, Times Online has the stellar album track 'Vietnam Cowboys' available as a free download from October 14.

Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee and mixed at North London’s Konk Studios earlier this year, ‘Working Mans Café’ combines a collection of songs that are wistful, humorous and poignant.

It's Advanced to give you album away for free, I think. Anyway, you can get the download at the Times site. (You have to sign up for the site, but that's not so bad for a free Ray Davies song.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

David Bowie at Target

This is fairly awesome (from CMJ):
David Bowie's personal style has always been as much a part of his persona as his music, which is why it comes as no surprise that a line of clothing inspired by The Thin White Duke will soon debut at the bastion of American style, Target.... A CD, Strangers When We Meet (Virgin/EMI), will be sold for $4.99 alongside the collection and will feature well known tracks from the Bowie catalogue as well as previously unreleased material. The line will be available at most Target stores from October 14 through December 24 and prices run from $14.99-$59.99.
I hope so much that this was his idea.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lou Reed Interview

There is a serious (and sort of old) interview with Lou Reed about Metal Machine Music in Pitchfork. Here's some:
If Metal Machine is anything, it's energy and physicality, and you should be able to physically feel it, and it takes a lot of energy to perform it. So when Ulrick Krieger, who's the guy who transcribed it for Zeitkratzer-- he's an independent musician, he plays with a lot of different bands-- he called and said, "I want to do this, I've always loved the piece and I want to transcribe it." I said it can't be transcribed. It defies transcription. And he said, "Well, you know, I've always loved this thing, I know I can do this, and I know we can play this. Let me transcribe a little bit of it and we'll record five or ten minutes of it and you listen to it and decide whether it's OK or not."


But if you go in, and you scope it, and put your attention here, there, wherever you think the fun is, then it has shape. And that's what he did. He took off from the same starting point I did, but [from there] it depends on how you focus it, because you could parlay it in a lot of different ways. It was obvious that he could really hear it, that he could notate this for real. He was really paying attention to the harmonics. I just didn't even realize that guys into the electronics had gotten that far. I really didn't know. Within the past couple of years, I've been meeting a lot of younger musicians, and they collect a lot of analog pedals, a lot of electro-harmonic stuff. And I'm like, "Why are you doing this? How come you don't have the new versions?" And they say, "Well, the sound is really great on these old analog pedals." But they don't play guitars, they don't play keyboards, they play machines. And they all know. So they say "Oh, on Metal Machine, there's this, this, and this.'' It's pretty astonishing to me.
I don't think I've read an interview with him where he talks so seriously about his music (as opposed to saying things like "that's a dumb question"). It reminds me that at the heart of the Advanced Theory is an appreciation of true genius. Also, Lou Reed really is as great as I think he is.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Selling Out: The Moby Quotient

As official policy, the Advanced Theory Blog believes that there is no such thing as selling out if you've made a record deal (the idea being that making money for a record company is no better than making money for Victoria's Secret). But this is good.

I'm back to posting again. Sorry about the delay, but I've been too busy to do anything but be busy.