NAMM!
3/29/2006 12:00:00 AM

Anaheim, California, home of Disneyland, is an appropriate setting for the International Music Products Association’s annual winter trade show: For gear freaks it feels like a magic kingdom. But it’s no small world after all: NAMM’s main attraction is a huge convention center filled with nearly every bass, amp, effect

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Porcupine Tree
2/15/2006 12:00:00 AM

“Prog rock” may be an unfashionable term to some, but British quartet Porcupine Tree makes it hip for a younger audience with invigorating albums like the recent Deadwing, which embraces metal, ambient, and classic rock, and swirls them into an unusually frothy musical brew. At the heart of the band’s sound lie the keyboards of long-time member Richard Barbieri — a former member of pop innovators Japan — who plays everything from straightforward piano melodies to hovering, spacey atmospheres.

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Solo Flight
6/8/2005 12:00:00 AM

How do you take an over-active musical imagination and focus it on a solo piano performance? Michel Camilo finds out.

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Mastodon's Troy Sanders
6/3/2005 12:00:00 AM

Atlanta’s Mastodon is on a wild musical adventure chasing after the Great White Whale. The expertly crafted, muscular music on the group’s album, Leviathan, is filled with massive riffs, complex rhythmic patterns, aggressive vocals, and Troy Sanders’s distorted, driving bass lines—all based on the classic Herman Melville novel Moby Dick. A self–taught fingerstyle player, Troy grew up jamming along to the music of Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen, and Kiss.

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John Doe Looks For A Good Room
5/18/2005 12:00:00 AM

Every musician claims that he or she “keeps it real,” because that kind of talk sounds good in interviews, as well as somewhat obscures the fact they’re trying to seduce your wallet out of your pocket to buy their album in much the same way BMW attempts to secure your cash to purchase its latest and greatest motor car. Now, it’s not that real musicians have to jettison earning a living, but they should be brave enough to put themselves out there, rather than just talking about it. John Doe—a founding member of seminal L.A. punkers X—is one of those rare artists who speaks volumes without having to speak volumes, as his stage demeanor, rapport with fans, and love of roots music is apparent in his every song, vocal, and guitar part. It’s all just there to behold, and Doe’s latest solo album, Forever Hasn’t Happened Yet [Yep Roc], is a sonic altar to the man’s raw beauty and artistic integrity.

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Queens of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Troy Van Leeuwen Trip the Dark Fantastic
5/18/2005 12:00:00 AM

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Charnett Moffett
5/3/2005 12:00:00 AM

Charnett Moffett started young. His father, revered jazz drummer Charles Moffett Sr., presided over an extraordinary musical family, and Charnett was only seven years old when he started recording and touring with the Moffett Family Band. After a stint at the Juilliard School of Music, Moffett joined trumpeter Wynton Marsalis’s acclaimed quintet in 1983, when he was just 16.

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Robbers on High Street
5/3/2005 12:00:00 AM

Looking in from the outside, I’d describe the Robbers on High Street as an indie band. But talking with them, it’s clear they don’t think of themselves in that way. I suppose this is always this case with stereotypes — what good are they, anyway?

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Vienna Teng
4/5/2005 12:00:00 AM

On the rare occasions an artist will let you hear them practicing, you may notice a kind of unrestrained honesty in their playing. It’s the kind of thing that tends to instantly reveal true musical ability, or lack thereof. Perhaps that’s why it’s so closely guarded.

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Barry Bales Expands The Spectrum With Alison Krauss & Union Station
3/28/2005 12:00:00 AM

Ask Barry Bales a question about himself, and the words “band” and “we” usually come up. For instance—what’s your part, Barry, in recreating Union Station’s polished studio sound onstage? “We really don’t have to worry about it too much. The other people in the band are great players, so that leaves me free to concent

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When it Rains It Grooves
3/28/2005 12:00:00 AM

What makes the notes that emanate from Marcus Miller’s ’77 Jazz so appealing and attractive to the ear? One of the “secrets” is his ever-present sense of groove, born in his early New York club years, where failing to lock it down at all times could result in bodily harm! He comments, “I’ve developed melodies and solo

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Gavin DeGraw Goes Deep
3/1/2005 12:00:00 AM

Gavin DeGraw climbs the charts with thoughtful lyrics, solid piano work, and lots of elbow grease.

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Nate Newton
3/1/2005 12:00:00 AM

“I don’t have crazy chops, I don’t read music, and I don’t shred,” Nate Newton says. “But those skills aren’t necessary for Converge. We’re a hardcore band, and I play strictly for the song, as any adept hardcore player would.” The Boston-based group, which was formed in the early ’90s, blends hardcore, punk, and meta

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Jimmy and Joey's excellent adventure
2/1/2005 12:00:00 AM

It’s the kind of thing any gathering of fans — whether music fans or sports — daydreams about after a few rounds: What if the godfather of the whole game shared the limelight with the young lion who’s taken it to a new level? And what if we had front-row seats? Of course, to get sports heroes of this type together,

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Shape of Things to Come
2/1/2005 12:00:00 AM

Matt Garrison is the ultimate underground bass hero. Even though he doesn’t have a record deal, radio play, manager, or membership in a famous band, he has still managed to become the Next Big Thing among bassists. Thumpers worldwide have restrung 5-strings with high C’s to explore Matt’s close-voiced chords and Lydi

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