Marty Friedman Re-Issue Is A Must Have For All Guitarists

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Thank goodness for Prosthetic Records and for guitarist Marty Friedman.  Thanks to Prosthetic Records, three of Friedman’s classic records have been re-issued for American audiences to enjoy once again.  The best of that new trio of re-issues is his 2006 instrumental prog-metal album, “Loudspeaker.”  “Loudspeaker” is a true musical experience and not just a rock record.  Anyone who is a fan of fellow guitar experts John Petrucci, Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani will appreciate the talent exhibited by Friedman on this record.

Friedman shows that his talent is right up there with Petrucci, Vai, and Satriani on “Loudspeaker.”  And having both Petrucci and Vai as guests on the record allows him even more opportunity to do just that.  The album opens with the pounding four minute plus Megadeth style song ‘Elixir.’  From the speed metal guitar work to the hundred mile an hour drumming, this song oozes classic metal.  As if that isn’t enough, he follows that up with an equally adrenaline pumping piece in ‘Speed Demon.’  One can actually kind of see someone behind the wheel of an all black classic car a la Steve McQueen in Bullit in listening to this song.  If a person listens to it in one’s car, said person may even become a speed demon, too.  It’s a great showing of Friedman’s technical expertise as a guitarist.

Friedman barely lets up after the first two tracks on “Loudspeaker.”  When he moves into ‘Black Orchid’, he kicks into more of a Misfits meets Motorhead style meets prog-rock.  It’s just one more of the many high points that are all across this record.  ‘Sekai Ni Hitotsudake No Hana’ has its own semi-punk style, too.  It will have any self-respecting metalhead’s hair flying while they rock out to it.  Friedman’s technical expertise continues on throughout the remainder of this record without fail.  As impressive as this record is, had it been a brand new record rather than a re-issue, it would have made it on to the list of the year’s best rock records that much easier.  That aside, it is still a record that any and every guitarist at every level should have in his or her own library as it shows exactly why Marty Friedman is one of rock’s greatest guitarists hands down.

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Dream Theater Takes Top Honors In Rolling Stone Poll

Dream Theater has earned a high honor from rollingstone.com.  The band’s 1999 album, “Metropolis Part 2:  Scenes From A Memory” has taken home the top prize for the readers’ poll on readers’ favorite Prog Rock Albums Of All Time.

“Metropolis Part 2:  Scenes From A Memory” was the band’s fifth full length studio release.  It was the long fabled follow-up to the band’s song, ‘Metropolis Part 1:  The Miracle and The Sleeper’, which was on the band’s breakthrough 1992 LP, “Images & Words.” 

This honor follows up the band’s dual 2011 honors from rollingstone.com.  The band earned the #2 spot on the website’s “Top 10 Metal Bands of All Time” poll and #10 spot on its “Best Prog Rock Bands of All Time” poll.  Both the band and rollingstone.com staff reacted to this year’s honor.  “All of us in Dream Theater are so grateful to our fans for their incredible support in voting our album Metropolis PT. 2 Scenes From A Memory as the number 1 album in Rolling Stone’s poll for ‘Your Favorite Prog Rock Albums of All Time,’” said the members of Dream Theater. 

Staff from rollingstone.com responded to the huge number of votes for Dream Theater, saying, “If we had kept in all the Dream Theater albums, Images and Words would be number two, and Awake, Octavarium and Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence would also be listed here. Lumping them all into this top spot was the only way to handle the flood of Dream Theater votes.”  The band’s fans can read even more on its win by clicking this link or pasting it into their browser:  http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/readers-poll-your-favorite-prog-rock-albums-of-all-time-20120725/1-dream-theater-metropolis-pt-2-scenes-from-a-memory-0257304#ixzz21ktIiOga.

Dream Theater just finished up the Summer North American leg of its tour in support of its latest album, “A Dramatic Turn of Events.”  The band will head down to South America next for the last leg of its world tour.  That tour will start Wednesday, August 8th.  A full slate of upcoming dates can be found at http://www.dreamtheater.net/tourdates.  And fans can get even more news from the band online at http://www.dreamtheater.net, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dream-Theater/7677942180, http://twitter.com/DreamTheaterNet, and http://www.myspace.com/dreamtheater.

To keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Dream Theater discusses the ups and downs of life on the road

Good morning, everyone.  I hope that your week is going well so far.  I think I’m actually catching up on all these reviews that I’ve got.  Though my desk at home would make me think otherwise.  But I digress.  Dream Theater recently sat down for an interview about life on the road.  And thanks to my contacts, I’m happy to be able to share that interview with you this morning in its entirety.  So while you’re downing that morning cup of coffee , why not check out this brand new interview? 

1. How do you navigate the challenge of keeping in touch with loved ones while traveling?

John Petrucci (Guitar and Vocals):  While international data plans on cell phones and Wi-Fi access just about everywhere have made this a lot easier than it was 10 years ago, it can still be difficult. It’s especially hard when the time zone I’m in is so off from New York, like Asia or Australia for example. Being flipped around by 180 degrees is confusing for everyone! Sometimes a quick text or FB message just to connect can be just the thing to bridge the gap between phone calls or Skype sessions. Obviously the best thing is when my family joins me on tour!

Jordan Rudess (Keyboards and Continuum): I try every form of communication tool available. Been through Treos, Blackberrys  iPhones, Ipads, Nooks–tablets of all shapes and sizes and computers–all for the purpose of connecting with the loved ones. There is not an app or communication software that has gone untouched by these hands.

Jon Myung (Bass): I pretty much have Skype running on my laptop when stationary and either leave a voicemail or e-mail before my kids go to bed for the night.

Mike Mangini (Drums):  The way that I navigate keeping in touch with loved ones while I am on the road is to carefully time when I use Skype to speak with my wife and kids while putting off other emails and Internet-related things for downtime.

 

2. Do you unpack or live out of your suitcase on the road?

JP: With the exception of setting up my computer and devices each day, I find that it’s best not to spread out too much and to keep things in the suitcase. This way there is less of a chance of leaving something behind.

JR:  Usually it is pretty much right outta the suitcase!!

JM: Definitely live out of my suitcase, it’s like a personal locker.

MM: I have learned not to unpack my suitcase and to never put things in the drawers or closets for fear of forgetting items (again).

 

3. On a day off in a city, what do you do with your time? How do you find out which restaurants to go to?

JP: The first thing I do is find a gym and get a good workout in. I also find that I can usually fit in a healthy practice or writing session. The privacy of a hotel room coupled with the occasional jet lag makes for a very creative headspace! Honestly, sometimes it’s great to just relax and catch up on some TV shows or watch a movie. There are amazing restaurants all around the world and usually we communicate with one another as to which cool spot someone may have stumbled upon in town. Sometimes just a quick e-mail to say that the room service is good works as well!

JR:  I try to do a walk in every town I get to. It’s really important to me that I get out in the light because otherwise I feel trapped and start getting this weird dark feeling! As far as restaurants, I usually ask the concierge at the hotel or just walk until I feel the vibe.

JM: I usually ask around for a good place locally or sometime venture out by foot and see where I land; the rest of the time it’s getting quality sleep.

MM: When I have a day off in a city, I normally stay in the room to eat, sleep and catch up on emails and news. That has changed as I’ve gotten my golf game back. Now I look to play golf when it is possible…Dinner usually entails meeting up with a band or crew members. The iPad comes in handy for finding restaurants, but personal recommendations are the way to go.

 

4.  Have you ever had a rough time going through customs?

JP: It’s sort of hit or miss. Usually things go pretty smoothly with no questions asked. Other times, however, seemingly for no reason, they will pull you aside and go through every bag in detail. It’s a real pain and when you’re traveling with a group of 20 or more people–it becomes a major inconvenience!

JR: It’s always interesting. There is the time the Pirate tried smuggling in some bananas, but I’ll let him tell you about that if he likes.

JM: In general it goes smoothly–no real complaints from me.

MM:  I have been harassed by customs agents three times after i told them that I was a musician each time. One agent told me that his son was a musician and that “all musicians do drugs.”  I did everything to bite my tongue and not ask him if he arrested his son since “all musicians do drugs.” 

 

5. Is there one item that you always bring on tour to remind you of home?

JP: It’s difficult being away from my home, wife and kids. Everything reminds me of them! I do have hundreds of pictures in my photo library on my phone and computer that I constantly scroll through to help bring me closer.

JR: There are many. And they are all gadget-related and start with i……

JM: Just pictures and videos on my iPhone–it helps keep things in perspective.

MM: One item that I bring on tour to remind of home is a written note from my children.

 

6. What is your favorite album or songs to play on the long travel days?

JP: Travel days are great for catching up on new music that I’ve been looking forward to checking out. Just sitting on an airplane for hours with no distractions (apart from those annoying captain addresses) ensures a great listening environment and my undivided attention.

JR: These days it’s Apparat’s album The Devil’s Walk

JM: Lately, I have found myself listening to the Diamond Eyes album by the Deftones.

MM: My favorite music to listen to these days on long touring travel days is Planet X.

Fans can keep up with all things Dream Theater online at http://www.dreamtheater.net and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dream-Theater/7677942180

To keep up with all the latest entertainment news and reviews, go to http://www.facebook.com/PhilsPicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can also keep up with all the latest entertainment news and reviews at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.