Posts Tagged ‘newbury comics

26
Apr
10

Dream Theater – Systematic Chaos (2007)

If you have been following this blog over the past few months you may have noticed a slight evolution in the interest of a band called Dream Theater.  In March I posted a video of lead guitarist John Petrucci performing at The G3 guitar tour in Tokyo (performing his solo work – Damage Control); then I came upon a video of the band in the studio recording the blistering composition The Dark Eternal Night and posted that in April.   Yes, I have to admit that I really like what this band is doing.

The Dark Eternal Night  is off a 2007 album called Systematic Chaos, which as it turns out was a change in direction for the band; it resulted in a much harder album than prior releases.  So, I decided one day while in Boston to pick up a used copy for $7 at my favorite music store  in the whole wide world..the one and only Newbury Comics. 

As with all albums one song  normally tends to create an unfair expectation and at times,  disappointing result of what the rest of the album actually sounds like, often leading to regret, bitterness, and overall resentment for spending the money.  Not this album, although it will take the listener a few times (in my case at least 10-12 listens to and from work to the entire album for it to really grow on my ear) I now play it quite regularly.  It is a solid album with a few somber moments (appropriately placed); it is simply just a fun addition to my music collection.

Clearly Dream Theater is influenced heavily by  bands like Rush, Queensryche, and even a bit of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer; this can be reflected in the bands complex and unorthodox time changes, blistering and catchy tempos, and compositions that make one shake their head in disbelief.  Dream Theaters songs focus around the normally geeky stuff like science, fantasy, and the human condition.  There are three songs on the album that veer off from those subjects and focus on themes like “meaningless war “(Prophets of War) and the other two on “redemption” (Forsaken) and “forgiveness” (Repentance).

The album is not a  bubblegum metal album, nor is the band. Like Rush, the members of Dream Theater are what they term “musicians musicians”. Although the members of Rush are not classically trained (at least that I know of) the members of Dream Theater all attended Berklee College of Music; meeting there initially and forming a band called Majesty, that then evolved into Dream Theater.

I have not taken the plunge and purchased any other of their albums released earlier or later than Systematic Chaos, but I’m up for the challenge.  If you are a DT fan and think there is one album in particular (or several) that would compliment this introductory album, please comment and let us know.

The band has recently announced a world tour with Iron Maiden..should be awesome!  Please let us know if you go.

Dream Theater’s Systematic Chaos gets 4.0 out of 5 stars.

21
Apr
10

The “Art” of the Music Business

Over the past few years my wife and I have been collecting art by artists like Phil Frost, Shepard Fairey and Dave Kinsey.  Granted all three are not up and coming artists and are quite established in the contemporary art world , their art has spurred a generation of others to create and express their creativity in a myriad of mediums.

Although the “rock art poster” is not a new concept, the gradual evolution has produced some very impressive and clever designs that most of the general public never get to see, or further, consider collecting as reputuble art worthy of hanging on our walls at home (other than our college dorms or first apartment with college buddies). The  indie music art world actually is worth considering and now is the time to take advantage of limited edition signed artwork for a steal. 

The toughest part of collecting limited edition prints is first: “where to look” and second:  “timing”.  It is quite common these days for an artists website to crash due overwhelming response to a monthly release.  These releases are often at random times, in the afternoon between 12:00 -5:00 during work hours when most of us do not have the luxury to keep hitting the “refresh page” button on our computer.  Those of us who have attempted to purchase prints by Shepard Fairey or KAWS know how frustrating this process is and how disappointing when the next refreshed page reflects SOLD OUT in bold letters.  It’s often the recipe for the budding collector to feel cheated and quickly become bitter about collecting all together.

Luckily, there is a great resource where you can snag incredible prints at very low prices of your favorite bands or perhaps designs that you like but have never heard of the band. The website is through a record store chain in Boston called Newbury Comics. 

Newbury Comics is a store like no other and is a mecca for indie music lovers, toy collectors, not to mention comic books and graphic novels fresh off the press.  It’s a culmination of music store, comic book store, Spencers Gifts (although not as cheezy or commercially repulsive), and clearly something unto itself that has no classification that I can figure out.  Part of their website is devoted to  limited edition posters; the selection is simply mind blowing.  You can browse either by  your favorite band or have fun as I do and check out the various prints by alphabetical order.  Some prints are sold out or out of stock, however, a large amount are still available for purchase.

I also like that Newbury Comics provide direct links to the artists websites, so if you want to learn more about the artist and what more they may have to offer it’s just a click away.  This is how I learned about an artist named Dan McCarthy who’s artwork my wife and I avidly collect; although we collect his nature inspired prints he has done prints for Iron and Wine, Calexico, and Sonic Youth.

Another fun artist is Dan Stiles, he is one of my favorites and has a very unique style about him; his prints sell out quite quickly but there are still some you can grab.

Many of the prints that are offered in the Newbury Comics sites are very limited in production, some prints are limited to 25, 50 or 100, and the prices range from $40 – $125.  Signed limited edition art is fun to collect and often appreciates in value rather quickly, so if you are a budding collector, have limited funds, need real artwork, and have walls that need love, consider checking into this and tell us what you think.

You can check out the Newbury Comics print collection by clicking here, enjoy!




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