Archive for the ‘ Other People’s Music ’ Category

Richie Kotzen Live @ BB King’s

Just thought I’d post some photos I took of Richie Kotzen’s last show in NYC.

What an amazing time. Richie is one of the most talented rock vocalists I know of. His vocal chops are only exceed by his work on the guitar. He has the technical mastery and speed on par with any ‘shredder’ but the taste and soul of an old-school bluesman. It’s an unbelievable combination of talent that gave way to one of the most impressive live performances I’ve ever seen.

If you want to see Richie for yourself, he’s coming back to NYC to play the Highline Ballroom on May 25th and promote his new album Peace Sign.  Barring an act of god, you can bet that the four of us will be among the melted faces in attendance.

Samantha Farrell – “Shoulda Known Better”

Here’s a video of the lovely and talented Samantha Farrell performing ”Shoulda Known Better,” the second track from her sophomore album, Luminous.  The soulful performance was shot on the streets of Brookline, Massachusetts by Character Nine’s own Christopher DeSanty.  In spite of the cars, busses, and leaf blowers conspiring to drown her out, Sam’s voice–as always–floats effortlessly above.

Enjoy!

King’s X – Picture

The song “Picture” describes the first and only occasion that dUg Pinnick and his parents were at the same place at the same time.

We all got together for the first time last September.
I said “Somebody take a photograph I’ve got a camera.”
Now I got me a favorite picture.

It’s a soulful and touching example of exceptional songwriting, easily one of my favorite King’s X songs.  If more musicians held themselves–or at least aspired to–this standard of content and emotional honesty, rock music would be in a much better place than it is. I hope you can set aside some time to throw on some headphones and take this song in.

Picture – King’s X

“Picture” by King’s X
From the album, Ear Candy (1996)
She was a white skinned black beauty,
the daughter of an Indian
Her Grandparents raised her in northern Illinois.
I call her mother.
He was the son of a hellfire holiness preacher woman.
They say nobody was wilder,
but maybe his brother.
I call him father
She was young, calling love.
He was young, stealing love.
We all got together for the first time last September.
I said “Somebody take a photograph I’ve got a camera.”
Now I got me a favorite picture.

the wind-up | You Are A Beautiful Thing

Our friends, the wind-up, have been gracing NYC stages for the last year, steadily building momentum towards the release of their debut album, You Are a Beautiful Thing (2010).

The album is a treat. Energetic, original, fun, and liberally adorned with magnetic hooks thoughtfully layered by engineer/producer (and bassist) Matt Bernstein. The deep and impressive recording is a testament to the blood, sweat, and tears poured into it. No one could ever guess that the bulk of the work came out of a home studio featuring a closet for an isolation booth. By splurging on a Manley Labs mic pre, and a kickass mastering session at The Lodge, the wind-up delivered an exceptional record for a fraction of what it would have cost a less resourceful, less talented band. Kudos.

Although the band has encouraged fans to rip, burn, and share their album with others, I’d rather point you in the direction of their page on Bandcamp where you grab it for free or kick them a few bucks to support a promising young band when they need it the most.

They’re good friends and lot of fun to gig with so you’ll definitely hear more about them here on CharacterNine.com. For more information and direct updates, you should check out their website. Let us know what you think in the comments, and we’ll be sure to pass it along.

Coldplay Are Wankers

This is Steve Wilson, the vocalist, lead guitarist, and mastermind behind Porcupine Tree, one of our band’s favorites.  An account of the photo above said that a fan threw the piece of paper on stage and Wilson held it up to the crowd — an endorsement of sorts.

When I think of these two bands, Porcupine Tree and Coldplay, I think of Ayn Rand’s characters Howard Roark and Peter Keating from The Fountainhead.  Roark is a brilliant, forward-thinking architect who is unsuccessful due to his immutable creative integrity.  His close circle of friends and clients consists of characters who admire and respect his genius.  In spite of being a lesser architect, Peter Keating, (Roark’s classmate and contemporary) is extremely successful in his field because he operates by pandering to the demands of others, and appealing to a safe and traditional artistic sensibility.

Like Howard Roark, Porcupine Tree earned a small but passionate fanbase of listeners throughout their pursuit of personal artistic ideals.  Their music is beautiful, complex, rich, and versatile, but not everyone’s cup of tea.  Coldplay, their UK contemporaries, in step with with Peter Keating, have pursued a more accessible sound and become a household name.  Critically, however, they are a punchline. Even their most recent and most mature effort, Viva La Vida (an album I thoroughly enjoyed) received mixed reviews, and was under scrutiny for plagiarism.

Also, the word “wankers” is hilarious.