Blackfield — NYC - Blackfield Live in New York City
(Kscope 504, 2007/2009, CD+DVD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2010-07-01
This is probably the way all concerts should be released: as a double disk with an audio-only version as well as a DVD concert video. One or the other will likely pop up on a torrent site or YouTube anyway, and this way you kill two birds with one stone. Having gotten that part of this concert out of the way successfully, let’s next turn to the actual show. Recorded and filmed at the Bowery Ballroom, New York City, on March 16th, 2007, this set captures Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen and their band playing their brand of Porcupine Tree-lite songs to an appreciative and vocally supportive crowd (standing shows get the best crowd energy, of course). The set list is drawn evenly from both Blackfield albums, and the song order balances out rockers like the opener “Once” with mellower tracks like “Thank You,” and the performances are — as expected — flawless. The entire set climaxes nicely on the moody “Cloudy Now,” with the punters delivering the lyrical self-indictment with gusto. The lead vocal alternates between Wilson and Geffen, which in my opinion does Geffen no favors, except perhaps for his smoldering take on “Glow.” In a live setting Wilson is a more talented and versatile performer; Geffen probably gets more of the girls, though I could have done without him pulling his shirt off towards the end. Their Israeli backing musicians are highly professional and mind their manners, allowing the two front men to remain the visual and sonic focus throughout the set, and overall the sound (including a 5.1 surround option, naturally) and visuals are excellent. There’s little to criticize about this release, and even the three Blackfield videos are included as an extra enticement, making this is a worthy addition to any fan’s collection.
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more