Posts Tagged ‘steve vai

16
Dec
10

Zappa plays Zappa – Tonight!

Well, tonight is the night your HiFi reviewers have been salivating for over the past few months, Zappa Plays Zappa will visit our fair city of Albany, NY to play at the oddest looking venue on Earth, The Egg. 

The show has been sold out for over a month and I guess would make it the hottest ticket in town, especially since this concert will feature the album Apostrophe in its entirety (no easy feat I’m sure).

I’m personally curious how well Dweezil will cover St. Alphonzo’s Pancake Breakfast and Father O’blivion; so far he has done a rather impressive job of surrounding himself with very capable young musicians in past shows.  Since this tour focuses on celebrating the “would-have-been 70th birthday” of his father I’m also curious to see who Dweezil may have show up for a special cameo’s.  Napoleon Murphy Brock has accompanied him on past tours, but I’m not sure if guys likes of George Duke, Vinny Colaiuta, and Steve Vai will randomly appear on this tour; certainly would be very cool if they do.

Luckily there are no bad seats in The Egg due to it’s unique design, also the acoustics are top rate, so I’m sure that this will be a show to remember.  Check back tomorrow morning for a full review of the show.

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30
Sep
10

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock – 2112 a highlight!

I could not resist and had to post what I consider “groundbreaking news” for us dorks, geeks, and super nerds; the newly released Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock game features the album 2112 in its entirety!  What an epic album to feature on Guitar Hero; the entire 21 minute masterpiece!

Rush worked with game developers assisting with various parts of the game and complex time changes and signatures of the music.  Apparently this will be the ultimate test of how good one is a Guitar Hero.

I thought it was cool and worth reporting; it also peaks my interest of perhaps going out to purchase a 360 just for this game.  If you have already purchased this (it was released yesterday), please let us know if it is worth all of the hype.  Other bands featured on this are Megadeth, Ozzy, Anthrax, Steve Vai (wow!), and Slayer.

I find it odd however that Rush was looked over (yet again) for induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, what gives?  However, LL Cool J and The Beastie Boys make the list?  Clearly the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not to be taken seriously these days; no wonder the Sex Pistols refuse ever to be recognized by that goofy museum.

You can read more on this game by clicking here.

24
Sep
10

Frank Zappa – Tinseltown Rebellion (1981)

Tinseltown Rebellion is a classic Zappa album that was originally released as a 2-lp set and later released by RykoDisc as a single length CD.  The album is the first official release that introduced Steve Vai on guitar.  It should be noted that  Peter Wolf (J Geils Band) is featured on keyboards as well on this album.

The first two song s”Fine Girl”  and “Easy Meat” are the only studio tracks released on the album; the remainder of  the album is comprised of various live performances between 1978 and 1980.  The live tracks are not overdubbed or re-mastered by Zappa as many later albums were such as You Are What You Is (another 2-lp album released in September of the same year).

This album, like many of Zappa’s albums around this decade, provide the listener with an example of the various directions Zappa was capable of taking his music.  The third track The Young Sophisticate is a good song and has a Joe’s Garage type feel and tempo, however the next song Love of My Life exemplifies Zappa’s love affair with the doo-wop genre.  There are other examples of Zappa’s doo-wop style on later compilation albums such as Cheap Thrills (1998) and Son of Cheap Thrills (1999). 

The album quickly shifts gears with I Ain’t Got No Heart, a song that exemplifies Zappa’s innate ability to compose and perform complex arrangements and random time changes.  As mentioned in earlier reviews of Zappa, the people he surrounded himself were simply the best of musicians.  The monologue Panty Rap  and Dance Contest are classic Zappa moments and provides listeners who never had the opportunity to see Zappa live just how interactive and entertaining he was with a crowd; although some may find it offensive I think it’s incredibly entertaining.  Clearly Zappa and his band had a panty fetish while on the road, there is another entertaining song/parity on the album Man From Utopia (1983) entitled “The Jazz Discharge Party Hats”, another Zappa classic.

Now You See It – Now You Don’t showcases Zappa’s guitar talent; although a purely instrumental song it fits nicely in the middle of the album; if you would like to hear more of Zappa’s instrumental work I highly suggest Shut Up and Play Yer’ Guitar (1981) or Zappa: Guitar (1988).

The Blue Light is a random song on the album and actually is reminscent of songs off of Man From Utopia (1983); and that album that would not be produced for another 2-years, so perhaps this song is a precursor. Tinseltown Rebellion is the title track for the album and is entertaining on its own.  The remaining tracks are all good on the album but nothing specifically unique.

The ending track Peaches III is very cool since it is a  live performance of Peaches en Regalia off of Zappa’s early work Hot Rats (1969).  The song is awesome to hear performed live (although live versions can be found throughout the Zappa catalog, my personal favorite live version of Peaches in addition to this is Mothers at The Fillmore East 1971).  The cool thing about this version is the cameo of guitar great Al DiMeola!

All in all Tinseltown Rebellion is a solid Zappa album and one that a newbie or experienced Zappa fan will greatly appreciate as part of their collection.  Give it a few listens and it will quickly grow on you.

Frank Zappa’s Tinseltown Rebellion gets 5 stars!

03
Jun
10

The Immortality of Genius

Frank Zappa was one of the great musical geniuses of our time, excelling in both quality and quantity of his music. Luckily for those of us who never got a chance to see him perform live, his son Dweezil has in recent years taken up the Zappa mantle and is sharing his father’s gift with old Zappa vets and a new generation of fans alike. “Zappa Plays Zappa” (or ZPZ) has been playing shows for a couple of years, delighting fans with spot-on renditions of a wide range of Frank’s compositions. The band is comprised mainly of younger musicians, but has featured guest performers who toured with the elder Zappa, including Napoleon Murphy Brock, Terry Bozio, Ray White, and Steve Vai.
In short, any fan of Zappa should check out their live album, live DVD, and/or see them in concert. Here is a list of their current tour dates. Let us know what you think!

04
Feb
10

John Petrucci – Damage Control: G3 (2005)

Although I’ve never been into Dream Theater as a band, I must admit that John Petrucci (lead guitarist) is quite simply one of the best prog rock musicians I’ve ever seen.  If you have not had a chance to see him in action please check out the video below (yes, it’s 10 minutes long, but worth every second trust me!).  It was taken from a show in Tokyo where Petrucci was 3rd on the bill behind Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. I’m curious if G3 will tour again any time soon, anyone know? Enjoy!




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