Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Short Notices

in texas we all ate so much meat
that some of us came back vegetarians

the entrepreneur of the year meeting was fun
i was surprised at how mercenary i was
it was our job as entrepreneurs to network with the judges
i was very forthright and was probably the first of all of us
to get the CAL message to them
i figured get them early while their ears are still fresh
next comes the announcements for the finalists
i'll be surprised if i make the cut
frankly we don't make a ton of money
we do well
but we're not like a global corporation

our condolences to the king center crew
one of their techs passed
they're a tight group
he'll be missed

both nicky and dom decided to pioneer the black sleeveless look
for the zep 2 niagara safari show (zooz)
this was not a good look for the series

alex and i finished our dinners in the rain in orlando
while the rest of the girly men went scurrying for their girly umbrellas

clifton david has an original cd out
it was produced by eddie kramer
eddie kramer produced hendrix
and all the greats
it was one of clifton's life long goals to get an album produced
by eddie kramer
and he did it
and the album is strong
you can find clifton on facebook
and from there link up with his homepage
it's going to be tough for him to get his music out there
i keep emphasizing that it's all about performing live
and that's a long hard road
playing for gas money
to empty houses
so so slowly
building an audience
there's no easy way
nothing happens overnight
it never did
but he's a star
and he works hard at it
go for it clifton
i hope this post networks some people your way
it's all good for the series

there's a picture i took of the crowd in houston
but it wasn't our crowd
it was a picture of the venue that was in our dressing room
we had 16,000 people there for zep 2
but that picture was a picture of a picture
and i'm fraud for posting it

will hare is quite good at karaoke

it's not uncommon to walk into a room backstage
and see six guys in their underwear

we played the help movie before the help show in lakeland
it was cool
the help album is a strong record
our performance of the album is the best in the world
it's proof that we don't need any silly wigs or cheesy costumes
to connect with audience
the show was so good
that i considered putting it into roy thompson hall this winter
instead jesse optioned the rubber soul / revolver double bill
but i'm not allowed to talk about that

we're doing saturday night fever in oakville next week
i've taken the album
and trimmed the fat
the first set is going to be the best cuts from the record
the bee gees were amazing arrangers
their chord changes are complex
their harmonies are intense
there's a reason they sold so many albums
i realize that some of our core audience considers this
the jumping of the shark
but i'm okay with that
the second set is period friendly heavy tunes
with some serious musicianship flashing
expect a lot of stevie wonder in the second set
peter miller sings stevie sublime

the air is still cool in parry sound tonight
there's almost always a lake within sight
it's late
the band are all blobbing out in front of their tvs and computers
maybe some law and order on bravo
i'm up with a headful of hope
there have been some tough days lately
lawyers and things like that
i'm told this is the price of success
but i'm not sold on that
i don't like anything that gets in the way of the music
but now the smiles returning to the faces
and we just finished a joyous performance of the rumours album

i'm putting on the side four of the river to drift off to tonight

june 30, 2011
parry sound

Friday, 24 June 2011

Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra

peter gabriel
the music is his master
he's always been interesting
and deft

the show was like a show from the future
beautiful visuals and gorgeous music
no drums
no guitar
i went thinking i would be bored
but i was riveted

the new blood orchestra
was fantastic
it was exciting hearing them throw passion out from the stage
i think i accidentally had a crush on the conductor
he was in command
the arrangements were smart and engrossing

the visuals were the best i've seen at a concert
it made some of those big 'spectacular' shows look silly by comparison
this was a forward thinking use of the screen and sound
a triumph across the board

and peter
it was nice to see him be sixty odd years old
not defying gravity
being who he is
a master musician
his voice full of emotion and clarity
he took his songs
and reworked them
not content to let them simmer
he threw them into the fire
alongside some exotic steaks of cover songs
prime cuts across the grill

a lot of work went into the show
a lot
it's no small feat to move an orchestra across a country
they hybrid with some local players
i was happy to see CAL alumni anna atikinson on stage

i realized that i only knew about a third of the songs
but it didn't matter
the vibration of the evening was sweet and sultry
something mattered
i was happy to be there and share it with a crowd full of music lovers

june 24, 2011
backstage in lakeland
beer and cake

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Big Man

i love those ocean's 11 movies
there was a code with those guys
you shook sinatra's hand
and you were in

i shook the big man's hand
backstage at madison square garden
the night they were performing 'the river'
i walked right up to him
and i said :
hey man - we cover a lot of you stuff back in toronto - my horn player - braxton hicks- he had to rethink his entire horn to get the sound that you do - we call it the honey horn!
clarence looked at me - smiled nodded and said 'alright'
then he held out his hand and we shook
i shook the big man's hand

i'm trying to think of another performer that's given me as many goose bumps
as clarence has
jungleland alone - i spent an entire season listening to nothing but that song
but live
the shivers
the massive introduction of brass
carving aside the guitars and taking a rightful place within the acme of the song

we've been discussing what the greatest american album is
hotel california
toys in the attic
born to run
i don't know
hotel sold the most

but for me
the greatest that rock n' roll has ever been
the absolute pure rush of spirit
has never been greater
than when the e street band pulled into the hammersmith odeon in london in 1975
that's the moment for me
i know that's a big leap to make for a lot of the hard core pink zep walrus
but there's a vibe to that show that says it was okay to drop out of college
and go on the road

his book is fantastic
tripped out and funny
and heavy
there's a tense story about him having surgery just before superbowl show
it almost wasn't going to happen
but it happened and the big man made the time
that's character
being there for your brothers

i feel sad for his family
and his band
it's tough to bounce back from losses like this
i imagine everything will have a shrine like quality to it now
like it does with danny

thanks for the goosebumps clarence
that was some serious sound coming out of your horn

june 18, 2011

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Supertramp at the Molson Amphitheatre

tight band
really tight
CAL tight

great vocals and execution all around
tempos were spot on
brass was in pocket

rick davies went deep into his discography
and dusted off some money purse candy

they had a strong musician to cover rodger's parts
he did a good job of doubling on both guitar and keys
and sang the parts so well
that it made you miss rodger
i know that's the last thing that supertramp want to hear
but it's true
i don't know what caused the rift
if anyone does please share
the clock is ticking
who's got time for troubled water when you're in your sixties?
they need to sit down
have a cup of tea
and get it out
then huff and puff
and realize that the world is ready for them
to become greater than their individual parts
and reform
and tour the crime of the century album
(and then hire me to oversee things)

the lighting for the show tonight
was easily the absolute worst lighting i have ever seen
the band was in the dark the entire night
lone spotlight reserved for rick
there was too much flash and random movement
colours that didn't match
and darkness
lots of darkness
if you're a light man
having light in the show would be a given, no?
what do you expect from a 'tech' that lights the show with headphones on?
worst lights ever
heads need to roll

but the crowd loved it
and loved it some more
a full house
with loud happy cheering
we were in the box
the mix was one of the best live mixes i have ever heard
everything was sitting as pretty as the girl next to me
there were perfect moments flowering up during the show

rick davies did no talking
it was as if he knew there was a missing ingredient
he's a master musician
he knows innate talent
he misses rodger
they miss each other
i'm right about this

craig martin
midnight june 12, 2011
salt and vinegar chips and iced tea

Monday, 6 June 2011

A Beautiful Email

i was saving this for the book
but it couldn't wait
it's one of those little life droplets that sparkle up the entire well
it's one the reasons we do what we do
it's confirming for us to know that while visiting
we leave a nice little path behind us

many thanks to brian for his permission to share this
it's an honour, sir
Hi Craig,

My brother, Bill, introduced me to CAL years ago when you guys first started playing in Windsor. We were instantly hooked.

Every time a show came around, he made sure that we both went, brought our friends and made sure that there was always somebody new who had not seen a show so they could share in our little secret of great classic rock.

Bill was diagnosed with brain cancer in may of 2009.

Last year you brought the Zeppelin show to Windsor. Bill was in the hospital at the time, but was determined to go.  I snuck him out, we saw the concert and I got him back before the nurses even realized he left.

As his illness progressed, we often talked about all of the great concertts we had seen together.
Supertramp, Doobie Brothers, Triumph, Roger Waters, and every CAL show that ever came though town.

Bill died Jan 1, 2011.

I was at the Zepplelin show last Friday, I brought friends and 3 CAL virgins, just like we always did.
I had one extra ticket - the seat looked empty to everyone else except me.

I just want you to realize that what you and your musicians do have a lasting effect on people. So if you ever have a day that makes you wonder why the hell you bother with all the B.S. of trying to make this a go, just remember there are people out there, like me and my brother, who have memories to cherish because of your gift to us.