Scenes from the Apocalypse: NEARfest 2012
By Dave on Tuesday, June 26th 2012 12:10 am
Just back from the final NEARfest. Here are some galleries of my photos from the event. Shot with Nikon D50 mostly with with a 50mm 1.8 lens but some with a fast 35mm lens. I was in the front row this year so got some keepers. Photography wasn't permitted during UK.
Click the thumbnails below for galleries.
Van der Graaf Generator||
Helmet of Gnats|
Gösta Berlings Saga||
Il Tempio delle Clessidre||
Mike Keneally Band|
NEARfest Friends and Various Photos|
This was one of my top 2 NEARfests (the other being 2003). The Sweds were terrific (Änglagård & Gösta Berlings Saga) as were the Americans (Keneally & Helmet of Gnats). And everyone (including me) was talking about the lead off Aranis show all weekend. And if that weren't enough UK with Wetton.
Made some new friends this year, the Matts from Discipline (and Jen) were fun to hang around with, got to chat with Ray, Tom and Chris from Echolyn quite a bit (new album is Amazing of course), and even got to know Mattias Olsson from Änglagård (their new album is also amazing). And of course it was nice to run into friends from years past.
Biggest regret from the festival was that I didn't get to play with Mike Keneally and Mattias Olsson at the after party jam. I was signed up to play Back in NYC and got called up, but when I talked to the host he said I needed to have my own guitar. Since my guitars were almost 400 miles away that wasn't really practical.
Goodbye NEARfest, you are going to be missed!
Review of NitM from Fire of Unknown Origin
By Dave on Tuesday, May 24th 2011 9:33 pm
The review excerpt below is from a relatively new webzine/review site by Raffaella Berry. While the site is new, Raffaella isn't new to the prog scene having written reviews at other outfits for years. Last month she wrote a really thoughtful piece on the really-sad-horrible-no-good cancellation of NEARfest.
Anyway here are some of her thoughts on my little cd.
With superb production values and sterling sound quality, Notes in the Margin is indeed an excellent release, worthy of the attention of even the more demanding prog listeners. It is a pity that – like most studio-only projects – it will probably flow under the radar of many fans in favour of more extensively publicized albums. A labour of love in every sense of the term, classy and literate yet full of endearing warmth, this is a must for everyone who loves melodic, guitar-oriented progressive rock. It would be a boon if, one day, Dave managed to put a band together and perform his music on stage, in spite of all the well-documented difficulties that plague those artists looking for live outlets for their work.
click here for the full review
Which segues nicely to our next subject. Now that the shoulder is functional enough to play I've been jamming with a local bass player and drummer and collaborating online with a keyboard player who also lives in the area. Is it the start of a new band? I'm not sure yet. But it has been really great for putting me in a creative mindset. In about a month I have more than a half dozen different pieces in progress as well as collaborating on a couple of pieces by the keyboard player.
Also I'm working up some guitar tracks for Gino Foti's next solo project.
Finally a quick medical update. I had another followup appointment about a month ago. I'm apparently healing remarkably well, but have to be patient. The soreness, stiffness, and general weakness is expected to persist for another 4-6 months. But the doctor says by the one year anniversary of the fall I should be back to normal.
Viral Christmas video that is going around
By Dave on Thursday, December 23rd 2010 12:32 pm
The Swedish band Somewhere put together this little 12 Days parody with a prog bent. If you are a prog fan and haven't seen it yet take a time to give it a watch. It's Brilliant!
Some Music for the Season
By Dave on Sunday, December 12th 2010 9:59 pm
These are a couple of tracks my wife and I recorded way back in 2002. At the time I didn't actually have an acoustic guitar so I did the accompaniment on electric guitar which sounds a little odd with the flute. The CD was a little rough around the edges but some of the songs we recorded came out ok. We did second Christmas album in 2005 that was a lot stronger. Neither is available commercially - just a thing we did for my folks.
The first one, Skating, is from The Charlie Brown Christmas, whose sound track (by Vince Guaraldi)is IMO the best holiday album ever. The second track is my arrangement of Greensleeves/What Child is This.
So far as the shoulder goes, it has been 6 weeks since the fall. I see the doc again for another round of x-rays this week. Hopefully I'll get some good news and I can get a bit more aggressive with the Physical Therapy. Progress is as expected but slow so far. The nasty bruise has cleared. I still can't move my left arm very much, and attempts to do so usually end with various amounts of pain. In fact it is barking pretty good right now from typing so I'll wrap this up. Haven't attempted to play a guitar yet.
New Toys & Broken Bones
By Dave on Saturday, November 6th 2010 10:01 pm
So the good news is I have finally pieced together a nice rig. For recording I use a rack based setup, but I didn't really have a proper guitar amp suitable for live performance or just for jamming.
Over time I was able to acquire a Pearce G1 and G2r amps. I had custom cabs built for them by Miyako Designs in California. The cab dimensions are modeled after the original Pearce cabs. But these are loaded with neodymium speakers and are constructed out of solid pine so they weigh in a full 15lbs less than the originals. And they are open/closed back convertible.
The custom padded slip covers were made by Studio Slips.
Essentially I'm configuring the two amps as a 4 channel 200 Watt stereo amp using a TC Electronics G system to handle the effects and channel switching.
The bad news.... I can't play with my new toys for awhile. Monday, I fell down the stairs of that deck in the amp photos and broke my shoulder in
two places (not to mention sprained my ankle and smashed my head into a post). My left arm is immobilized for awhile (I can now testify that typing w/ one handed sucks) and after that I'm looking at a long rehab process. Doc says I can expect considerable pain for 6 months.
The good news about the bad news is they don't think I need surgery and when all is said and done I should recover almost a full range of motion from the shoulder. 90% or better.
The bruise on my bicep is pretty gruesome.
Shot photo in mirror so it is reversed, it is the left shoulder that I fractured.
By Dave on Thursday, January 7th 2010 11:56 pm
"Problems are the price you pay for progress" - Branch Rickey
I tracked the bass and guitar parts on Know Again last week but have spent the evenings this week re-tracking (and re-tracking and re-tracking) a few sections with different variations -- switching guitars, pickup selection, amp settings and performance nuances to try to get things sounding just right. Sometimes when I start being fussy like this it is hard to tell if I'm doing more harm than good but in this case I'm fairly certain it is paying off.
Hope to have that off to Ian for the electric violin work by the start of next week. At that point there will be 4 musicians (including me) working on 4 different pieces on 2 different continents. Which makes my mono-tasking brain sort of hurt a little.
Bass is done on Skating on Europa so I'll start tracking guitars on that as soon as Know Again is complete.
Still not sure about a title for the record or an artwork concept but I've got a couple of ideas kicking around in my head.
Also been taking some time to see some old friends perform with their bands. High School band mate Brian Litchfield is now performing with a terrific trio, The George Brown Band. And a guy I used to work with about 10 years ago is playing in town with his band on Saturday so I'm looking forward to checking that out as well.