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Livewire: Caspian @ The Red & The Black (2010.01.08)

caspianPhoto: David Carter

Caspian is a fierce instrumental rock band from Boston. Their three electric guitarists generate a wide range of textures, from sparse orchestral passages to volcanic blasts of distortion. The entire band has a cohesiveness that only occurs in nature after relentless rehearsal and touring. In this set, recorded at Washington D.C.’s The Red & The Black Bar on January 8th 2010, we get five tracks of strong material from their recently released Tertia, and three from 2005′s You Are The Conductor. Caspian’s kinetic presence made that crowded little space very happy. After this mini-tour of the east coast, a more extensive US tour is planned, with a date shaping up for a show at The Black Cat this March.

The Red & The Black Bar
January 8, 2010
Washington DC, USA

Philip Jamieson – guitar
Erin Burke-Moran – guitar
Jonny Ashburn – guitar
Chris Friedrich – bass
Joe Vickers – drums

Streaming player:

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MP3 links:

1. The Raven (7:20)
2. Malacoda (7:50)
3. Of Foam and Wave (7:42)
4. Quovis (1:10)
5. Further Up (4:22)
6. Further In (3:56)
7. Ghosts of the Garden City (9:30)
8. Sycamore (10:41)
9. Happy Birthday (0:50)

Total time: 53:21

ZIP links:

Entire set in mp3 format
Entire set in FLAC format


AKG 414 mid/side pair -> Zoom h4n 48/24 -> Nuendo (stereo encoding, limiting) -> MP3

Recorded by:

David Carter(carteriffic@gmail.com)

Top U.S. Orchestras 2009: Boston’s natural and effortless modernism (2009.03.28)

charles-dutoitContinuing our Top US Orchestras 2009 series, I headed up to Boston last weekend to catch a program that bridged the gap between more traditional narrative and phrasing with elements of 20th century modernism.  Guest conducted by Swiss talent Charles Dutoit, the program of Stravinsky, Ravel and Prokofiev made perfect sense considering his proclivity towards French and Russian 20th century music.

The Boston Symphony more than proved its chops as one of America’s top orchestras, displaying an ability to play challenging modern works in a natural and effortless fashion (something the Baltimore Symphony seems to struggle with off and on).  Too often, symphonies or orchestras feel too shoe-horned into modern works, far out of their comfort zone and never quite locking discordant, arrhytmic or irregular voices into the cohesive whole.  The BSO nimbly navigated the syncopated and dissonant aspects of the program, emulating the beauty, grace and dexterity of the finest class of danseur.

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