Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

And Our #1 Favorite Musicians Are… May 7, 2010

TNT’s #1 Musician of All Time
1. Jerry Garcia – It’s extremely difficult to put into words why this man is my favorite musician of all time.  I consider him my muse, my musical mentor.  I have listened to the Grateful Dead since I was a kid, but it wasn’t until I was 15 years old that I actually heard his lyrics and felt his music.  It felt like a I had a musical stroke, confused about how my mind thought for so many years of this as my mom’s music and almost paralyzed with my own thoughts and theories.  Since that epic day, I’ve become obsessed with the man, his music and his life.  I remember the day he passed away, only being 9 years old and not understanding the loss of such a great man, mourning and misery consumed the world.  Luckily, his spirit lives on through his music, his art, and his followers.  We miss you Jerry.

Alex’s #1 Musician of All Time
1. Jimi Hendrix – From his lyrics to his haunting guitar solo’s, often emulated but never duplicated, Jimi made the guitar do something that nobody in history has done before, or since.  He made the fretboard sing in ways that even Les Paul didn’t know were possible, and he invented the electric guitar.  He may have only played one instrument, but he played it so well, it seemed as if he came from the womb with it, emerging into the world with a Stratocaster under his arm, strung upside-down and destined for stardom.

Mark’s #1 Musician of All Time
1. BT – Where do I begin?  This man isn’t so much a musician as he is a sonic sculpture, molding mathematics, musical notations and multiple audio technologies and theories at his finger tips together, to bring to life hundreds of Mona Lisa equivalent audio pieces, each with their own distinct places among the stars of the audio planes.  He is the Leonardo Da Vinci of the music world, really, a tireless multitasker dabbling in all forms of music and technical wizardry to better himself, his music, and maybe even you.
RECOMMENDED: IMA, ESCM, Movement in Still Life, Emotional Technology, This Binary Universe

Angela’s #1 Musician of All Time
1. Amanda Palmer (of her own solo project and the Dresden Dolls) – Amanda Palmer is, in my opinion, an amazing artist.  She’s passionate, witty, down to earth and despite all her fame hasn’t changed the way she interacts with her fans since the first time I saw the Dresden Dolls before they were anything.  Her style of writing, both music and lyrics, is unique and refreshing.  Not to mention every time I see her live, either solo or with the Dolls, the show is ALWAYS amazing.  I am never disappointed at the mixture of performance art and rock and roll.

Klone’s #1 Musician of All Time
1. Blue Man Group (1987 – ) – I will begin by fully admitting that a group is not a single musician, and by choosing Blue Man Group as my #1 musician of all time, I have cheated.  I fully admit that I have bent the rules on this, but I feel completely justified in doing so.  The amazing thing about Blue Man Group is that they are a group with a single identity.  The organization, as it is a group far larger than the three members who perform each individual show, was formed by Phil Stanton, Chris Wink and Matt Goldman, based in Manhattan at the time of its inception.  The group is now an ensemble of musicians who rotate into the three-man performance positions on a show-by-show basis, but the performing trio always appears the same: Blue painted faces and hands, no ears or hair, and no voice.  The other unique characteristic is their focused use of percussion in their music and performances, most notably tuned instruments made out of PVC piping.  Since none of the performing trio are ever introduced by name, or speak at all during the show, the Blue Man Group is effectively a conceptual identity, casting the individual identities of the ensemble aside and allowing the audience to focus solely on the music and the experience of seeing them perform live.  The group’s unique brand of instrumentation not only mesmerizes audiences in their use for Blue Man original pieces, but enhance any songs the group ever covers, but giving a completely new audio perspective to the selected pieces.  My favorite example is their cover of The Who’s classic “Baba O’Reilly”, which can be heard and seen on their 2008 DVD release “How to be a Megastar Live!”, which was accompanied by a CD featuring the tracks performed in the show.  Blue Man Group is an evolution of both “the musician” and “the rock band” into a new level of being.  Welcome to the next level.


Rolling Blown: The Demise of Rolling Stone as a Definitive Music Journal February 17, 2010

By Alexander Castiglione, aka Stigz

Anybody that has a subscription to Rolling Stone probably knows where I’m going with this.  For those of you that don’t get the music journal in the mail; bear with me.

Over the past few months, I’ve noticed something going on with Rolling Stone.  Specifically, who was on the cover.  The particulars are as follows: I have seen, in recent memory, a half-dozen covers which made me stop in my steps.  Especially since this is the same magazine that used to have legends like Jimi and Robert Plant on the cover, and even more obscure up and coming acts which we all know and love.  However, Lil Wayne, like this past week’s cover, is not a person I would say is contributing to rock.
Or music.
Or the planet, for that matter.

In fact, he makes the top five for people we should euthanize, slightly behind Carson Daly and Ryan Stop-Fuckin’-Smiling Seacrest.  Of late, we have also seen beauties like Megan Fox, absolutely delicious.  Or Shakira – who should permanently jack Kit Kat’s catch phrase, “Break me off a piece,” and have it forever floating over her head holographicaly.  Somebody should call Steve Jobs about this.  And it makes a whole lot more sense than the I-Pad.  But I digress.

Even John Mayer, who regardless of your take on him/his music/his fans, is a legit musician.  Mayer uses his Strat to slay a dragon with some serious riffs, and still breaks it down jazz style to have panties dropping from here to Japan.  Say what you will about him, or this new “Sex Object” PR approach his people are spinning, but this dude can wail.  In short, he earned a cover.

Then we have, which to be honest I thought it was the cover of an AARP catalog, the November 29th 2009 issue of Rolling Stone with Bono, Mick Jagger, and Bruce Springsteen on the cover.  Yes, I know it was regarding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Yes, I know it was a big deal.  And yes, now I know that two of the three are well acquainted with the good products from the great people at Pfizer.  But is this what Rolling Stone is about?

This magazine, of which I am a devout reader, has had some of the best pieces in not only music journalism, but journalism in general.  They all were about rock in some capacity.  Movies, music, cars whatever, they all related to the “Rock & Roll lifestyle.”  About this elusive and enchanting counterculture filled with good times, loud tunes, tattoos and smoking hot women, which has rocked this country for the last half century.  Yes, sex symbols make sense.  Yes, geriatric rockers make sense (however un-photogenic).  But Lil’ Wayne?  Come on!

Lil Wayne (whose name in itself makes me want to climb a clock tower) is in my book right under Kanye West.  The title of the book?  Douchebags Who Have Contributed Nothing to Music.

Being an aficionado of all music, whether it’s classic rock, metal, post-hardcore or electronic dance music, I can be safe in saying that Lil Wayne and Kanye (and anybody functioning under their paradigm of sampling and using sound effects to no avail and calling it “original”) are the bane of the music industry, and do not deserve the cover of Rolling Stone.  Vibe, yes.  Jet, Ok.  But Rolling Stone – never.

Rock, which is what Rolling Stone should be about, is about sticking it to the man (yea, I stole the Jack Black line from School Of Rock), about finding your voice and screaming it out to the world, about displaying yourself and breaking it down by lyrically tearing apart this random series of tragedies, accidents, joys, hates, failures, and triumphs we call life.  Not about bling, not about retarded Bentley tattoos, and not about who wins the most Grammy’s, but about who actually earns them.  And even Grammy’s lost their appeal, as they have slowly but surely become the music industries equivalent of a high school popularity poll.

The naysayers of this article will say, “Well, it’s pop culture, and that’s kind of what Rolling Stone reports on. Trends in music and stuff…”  Well fuck that.  And fuck pop culture.  Since when did Rock & Roll, or any music for that matter, become about “what’s popular.”

Music is about what moves you.  Music is about what inspires you.  Music is what soothes your savage beast – or uncages it.  Music is what connects us with everyone, everywhere, for all time.  Music is about vibing with the tonal creations of another human being.  Music, good music, is not pop culture.
Pop culture is the enemy.

PS Rolling Stone, please, please, I beg you, stop harboring the adversaries of musicality.