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    Posted: November 09 2014 at 11:52
True to form, Raff will do the show the justice the show deserves in her blog review but here is my off the cuff uncensored review of the show yesterday.

Baltimore's legendary Orion Studios celebrated 20 years this year and to celebrate some really sweet and dedicated people organized a day long festival of music.  4 bands were on the bill.  Two I knew of and had seen live, Discipline and Frog Cafe, and 2 I had never heard of or heard anything from; Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores, and The Knells.  Raff knew Redfearn and the Eyesores from Cuniformfest last year and had told me I would enjoy it.  We immediately reserved tickets when they put up mainly to see Discipline again and also because going to the Orion is always a lot of fun and we see a lot of neat people there.

The show was supposed to start at 2pm so we left home here about 11:30 and made a pit stop by Total Beer and Wine. I snagged a 4 pack of that potent Kentucky Bourbon Ale and a 1 liter bottle LOL of some Games of THrones Triple Ale they had there.  I figured it would be enough.  Hah...

We got to Baltimore quickly and quietly and enjoyed a beautiful drive up the BW Parkway with all the fall colors seemingly in peak conditions.  We stopped for pizza at Ledo's (a Baltimore tradition), checked in the hotel, and then made our way to the Orion which thankfully was only 5 or 10 minutes from the hotel.  WE arrived around 1:30 and there was already a large crowd there, so I immediately popped the top on the first Bourbon Ale! Liquid courage as even after all these years I am still painfully shy especially in large groups. Raff brought some goodies.  A couple of loaves of her home-made bread to add to the food spread people brought.  And what a spread that was. ummm UMMMM!  However some problem must have happened with the first bands soundcheck and we spent a good amount of time waiting.  Chalk up 2 more bourbon ales (oh oohh micky). Finally after a good long wait in line to get in we were finally let in. We were fortunate enough to get seats next to Ian and his lovely daughter. I know Raff had a lot of fun teasing him, who tastes are far more adventerous than ours, about his forthcoming Rosfest adventure. Good luck buddy! Drink 7 or 8 for me. Trust me it makes it more funLOL

Anyhow around a quarter to 3 the first band came on. The Knells Or actually one of the members of the Knells who did a couple of neat classic guitar pieces, and then hit us with some 15 minute electric guitar piece inspired by Hendrix's Are You Experienced. Ahh.  Neat but .. anyhow soon the full band came on and of course my attention was brought fully back to the stage.  Yowsers.  A really good choral chamber rock led by 3 wonderful females.  Angelic and powerful.  I loved it. Not for everyone I suppose perhaps even something that might not translate into a sterile home listening environment but live?  Whoa.  Fire, passion, talent AND beauty.  Dude I loved this.

After the Knells there was a substantial break for teardown, buildup and sound checks. So everyone went outside to hit the food and enjoy a picture perfect fall day from the scenic environs of industrial warehouse grounds haha.  A neat episode happened to me here and is probably example ONE of why I love this events. It is great to meet old friends, it is even better to meet new ones.  I was hanging 10 on  the back of my pickup watching people, listening to conversations and smoking a cigarette and deciding if I needed to hit that last bourbon ale when I overhead the name of a band I simply adore.. The Tea Club...  so naturally I decided to hop down and walk over and join the conversation. Something I never do in normal situations.  Well to my surprise it wasn't simply a fan I met but the newest member OF the band who happened to be there with his lovely and extremely friendly parents.  We had a great talk about the Tea Club, past present and future and I especially love the story of his audition with the group hahahha.  Dan and Patrick truly are Fripp'ing out. Heart I can't wait to hear the new album. Cheers to Joe (a member here but don't remember his screen name). I enjoyed  the conversation and meeting the family.

Next up was Frog Cafe. By this time I was really into the music. The last of he bourbon ales and a bottle of red wine had their effect. My senses were fully engaged LOL  Frog Cafe was a group I had often heard via Raff and she loved and had written a glowing review of the album.  However for the performance they did no have a guitar player but that void was  filled by electric mandolin/violin.  I really like the horn driven sound, with both Trombone and Trumpet dueling for supremacy. 

The third band was the winner of the day for me. Alec K. Redfearn & The Eyesores.  Never heard them or of them. Not surprisingly because it really is not my kind of thing. Then again that is why I so LOVE these kinds of shows. I enjoy seeing and discovering new stuff more than seeing stuff I already know or love.  Live is where bands should, and best do, shine.  Seeing on stage, a french horn, a drummer with a not a cymbal in sight, an accordion player AND the only thing more than beautiful than a beautiful woman. A lead guitar playing beautiful woman was just the kind of thing you can really only experience seeing on stage. Albums capture the music, live performance captures the passion ... the interaction.  Brilliant stuff man. Immediately headed off after the show to get some merch from them. Only to find myself talking the guitar player ( I forgot to ask her her name. But was a new recruit into the band of only a couple of weeks). I did a shirt, a CD, and a smile.  Ahhh..  life is good.

Unfortunately by the  time Discipline took the stage, around 11:30 both Raff and me were wiped out.  I think I did doze off in the middle of Discipline's set. Yes, even in front of the speakers, no more than 10ft away from Mathew.  It didn't help we had just seen the group a couple of weeks earlier and so we (and others I saw) started filitering out midset. I  think we left about 12:30 and suppose they played well past 1am.  In my youth.. in my youth.

So a long review to say we had a wonderful time. It was great to see everyone and spend time with friends and meet some new ones.  There was some really great music and I'd encourage everyone to get off your asses and support these bands.   See them live, that is really where it is at man

Edited by micky - November 09 2014 at 11:54
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nogbad_The_Bad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2014 at 20:18
Nice review Micky

We traveled down from Boston on the Friday and stayed in the Baltimore Inner Harbor with a harbor view room. It was our 27th wedding anniversary this weekend so stayed somewhere nice and had a spot of dinner in the harbor. Picked up Alex, who flew in from Cincinnati, on Saturday morning and got to the venue by 1.15pm.

Met loads of friends at the venue throughout the day so lots of time was spent chatting with people, and being ribbed remorselessly by Raff about my impending trip to ROSfest and my likely conversion to a Glass Hammer loving neo fan. It was wonderful to see everyone.

I knew all of the bands before the show to varying degrees so knew I would pretty much enjoy everything.

The Knells opened the day about an hour late with a short solo guitar set (ok but nothing special) followed by a short set by the full band. Great layering of guitars with three terrific female vocalists. Quite amazing to execute this live. Mesmerizing and very enjoyable.

Frogg Cafe were up next, I only have their last album and they seemed a fairly straight forward jazz fusion band, I was looking forward to them but probably my lowest ingoing expectation. Boy was I wrong, live they bring energy and humor to the material with a real Zappa feel to their sound. I enjoyed the set more and more the longer it went. After the set I immediately picked up the previous 2 album before Bateless.

Alec K Redfearn & The Eyesores were up next, I've been a huge fan since seeing them live in '11 at Cuneifest. This line up was a bit different with a new guitarist vocalist who had a lovely voice. Their set was terrific, trying out new songs (3 or 4) and material from Sister Death. Alec gets all sorts of effects from his accordion and peppered the performance with witty stories. Probably the highlight of the day for me. I already have all their albums so I just bought a wicked psychedelic cat t-shirt.

The final act was Discipline who got on stage at 11.30, unfortunately for me I was exhausted by this time and seriously flagging. I managed to stay for an hour of their performance and thoroughly enjoyed it but I was having trouble focusing so thought it would be a good idea to go back to the hotel. I love their last two albums so it was great to see it live. If anything I found Matthew's performance a little too overwrought for my personal tastes.

Final a big thank you to all the organizers for putting on such a great show and to all the people who brought food, they was loads of free nibbles all day, the crab dip was particularly good.

Got home around 5pm Sunday after a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.  
Ian



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2014 at 05:23
I hope to produce a review of the show (which will be posted on my blog) by the end of the week, though I have an album review in the works that will take precedence. In the meantime, let me just say that it was a thoroughly wonderful day and part of the night, and that my only regret is that it didn't last longerSmile!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2014 at 16:55
Originally posted by Raff Raff wrote:

my only regret is that it didn't last longerSmile!


LOL says the woman who doesn't drive. It was frickin LATE enough as it was.
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2014 at 17:01
Originally posted by Nogbad_The_Bad Nogbad_The_Bad wrote:

Nice review Micky


Alec K Redfearn & The Eyesores were up next, I've been a huge fan since seeing them live in '11 at Cuneifest. This line up was a bit different with a new guitarist vocalist who had a lovely voice. Their set was terrific, trying out new songs (3 or 4) and material from Sister Death. Alec gets all sorts of effects from his accordion and peppered the performance with witty stories. Probably the highlight of the day for me. I already have all their albums so I just bought a wicked psychedelic cat t-shirt.

 


Thanks Ian!  I am the yin to Raff's yang.

 I really enjoyed seeing you again. Smile

Yes... I LOVED that group and have played that album I got, Sister Death, at least 5 or 6 times since we got back. I think I am going to make that my next review.  However I am completely intriqued by this group. I read that you had all their albums. Which album should I next get? Knowing perhaps my tastes a bit. I love art and expression but at the end of the day it is still music, I want to enjoy the music and dig great riffs and melodies.
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progrockdeepcuts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2014 at 17:42
Great review, Michael! It was a nice surprise to see you and Raff there and Ian too! Taking a break from working on my own massive review of this thing as I type! In short, I loved it - loved just about every minute of every band that played. What a show. My more extensive review to come ... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nogbad_The_Bad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2014 at 21:45
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

Originally posted by Nogbad_The_Bad Nogbad_The_Bad wrote:

Nice review Micky


Alec K Redfearn & The Eyesores were up next, I've been a huge fan since seeing them live in '11 at Cuneifest. This line up was a bit different with a new guitarist vocalist who had a lovely voice. Their set was terrific, trying out new songs (3 or 4) and material from Sister Death. Alec gets all sorts of effects from his accordion and peppered the performance with witty stories. Probably the highlight of the day for me. I already have all their albums so I just bought a wicked psychedelic cat t-shirt.

 


Thanks Ian!  I am the yin to Raff's yang.

 I really enjoyed seeing you again. Smile

Yes... I LOVED that group and have played that album I got, Sister Death, at least 5 or 6 times since we got back. I think I am going to make that my next review.  However I am completely intriqued by this group. I read that you had all their albums. Which album should I next get? Knowing perhaps my tastes a bit. I love art and expression but at the end of the day it is still music, I want to enjoy the music and dig great riffs and melodies.


Obviously personal tastes but my most played albums by them after Sister Death are The Quiet Room & The Blind Spot
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2014 at 11:37
cool.  Definitely going to order those!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2014 at 11:41
Originally posted by progrockdeepcuts progrockdeepcuts wrote:

Great review, Michael! It was a nice surprise to see you and Raff there and Ian too! Taking a break from working on my own massive review of this thing as I type! In short, I loved it - loved just about every minute of every band that played. What a show. My more extensive review to come ... 


thanks. Nothing compared to what you all (real writers/reviewers) do but I do enjoy painting the tongue in cheek seedy side of prog festivals. Hot prog chicks and mass consumption that you don't get from more 'respected' reviewers hahahha. Though I expect Raff to one up me about the prog hottie that got her hormones raging hahahhahah. Heart

Definitely drop the link here when you finish that.  I'd love to read the review.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progrockdeepcuts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2014 at 17:34
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

Originally posted by progrockdeepcuts progrockdeepcuts wrote:

Great review, Michael! It was a nice surprise to see you and Raff there and Ian too! Taking a break from working on my own massive review of this thing as I type! In short, I loved it - loved just about every minute of every band that played. What a show. My more extensive review to come ... 


thanks. Nothing compared to what you all (real writers/reviewers) do but I do enjoy painting the tongue in cheek seedy side of prog festivals. Hot prog chicks and mass consumption that you don't get from more 'respected' reviewers hahahha. Though I expect Raff to one up me about the prog hottie that got her hormones raging hahahhahah. Heart

Definitely drop the link here when you finish that.  I'd love to read the review.


Thanks Micky - don't sell your reviews too short! Mine are just excessively wordy; Raff's the review master! I'd be happy to post it here when it's ready to go. I don't own the Art Rock Tendencies Blog, so my editor has to have a look at it before posting. Once it's ready, I'll be sure to share!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2014 at 17:36
I have almost finished the first draft of my review, and hope to have it posted as soon as possible. Unfortunately, tomorrow's back to work for me, so time will once again be scarce.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2014 at 18:09
cool! Clap  I can't wait to read it Ian. It was great to see you and Billy again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progrockdeepcuts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2014 at 17:20
Okay, here it is!

http://brutalprog.com/artrocktendencies/article/orion-studios-20th-anniversary-appreciation-festival
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2014 at 17:35
Fantastic write-up, Ian! Mine will pale in comparison!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2014 at 18:04
brutalprog.  I love it  LOL

Checking it out Ian!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progrockdeepcuts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2014 at 18:12
Originally posted by Raff Raff wrote:

Fantastic write-up, Ian! Mine will pale in comparison!


Now you're just being humble! Smile


Edited by progrockdeepcuts - November 12 2014 at 18:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2014 at 18:14
hah.  I love her Ian but I think Raff is not simply being modest. You smoked any and all with that. LOL

Seriously that was a first class stellar review.  You put many of the things I felt into words in which I simply couldn't.

I did especially like 'This was not mere music, this was black magic!'  Goddamn right.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progrockdeepcuts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2014 at 18:21
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

hah.  I love her Ian but I think Raff is not simply being modest. You smoked any and all with that. LOL

Seriously that was a first class stellar review.  You put many of the things I felt into words in which I simply couldn't.

I did especially like 'This was not mere music, this was black magic!'  Goddamn right.




Thanks, Michael and Raff. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I just get fired up about music, start writing, and I can't stop! When I wrote this review, I started at about 10 am when my roommate left for class. About 3 hours later, he came back and I was still plugging away at it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2014 at 18:26
without inspiration we wouldn't have art.

You were dead on about the point you made about all 4 bands being on point and all providing incredible performance of their highly interesting, yet ALL completely DIFFERENT forms of music. From traditional prog to whatever the hell Redfearn was.  Unfortunately you were right, every festival has bands that don't connect to us individually. Not this one, not me for me, you, Raff or Ian K it seems.  It really was an incredible day of music, friends and CRAB DIP!! hahah

Really.  That was a helluva review.  You can read the passion YOU felt through the review. One thing I look MOST for in a review and reviewer.  Well done sir!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progrockdeepcuts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2014 at 18:33
It all comes back to something my flute teacher told me once. She listened to an episode of my show and commented that I didn't talk very much. I responded that, I felt that people probably wanted me to shut up and play music Smile, to which she said, "If you speak with passion, it doesn't matter what you are talking about, people will want to listen. I had teachers in subjects I didn't like all of the time, but it was their passion that kept me engaged in the subject."

I think that what she said was 100% true - passion is something that people genuinely relate to, whether it's a radio show or review; the worst thing you can do is to speak without passion. It's the same way with music - I'd rather hear music that I hate, played with passion than music that is performed with technical proficiency and no heart. Playing with no passion is BORING and to be BORING is the worst thing that music can be, IMO.
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