A Week in the Life of Listening, Parts 2 & 3

Before my bandmate and frontman Mike Baglivi showed up for a one-on-one guitar session, I listened to my recently purchased Manolo Sanlucar album, Mundo y Formas de la Guitarra Flamenca, Vol. 2. Sanlucar scales the fretboard with such speed and precision. While Paco De Lucia has the fury and fire that made him so famous, Sanlucar played with a certain reserved/professional quality, focusing more on the composition and the progression of the notes. Well Manolo, just know, your clarity is appreciated.

When Mike arrived, he asked if it was me playing.

We then churned through his song "NY Afterparty." Baglivi wants to be the next Bruce Springsteen, the next Electric Light Orchestra, and the next Frank Sinatra all at the same time. He's filled with ambition, and he's got a badass band to shoot him to the top of the universe. Watch out…

After practice, we listened to Selling England by the Pound by Genesis and dissed Tony Banks' cheesy organ tones (someone should have told him to chill out), lauded Steve Hackett's blistering guitar work and gliding tone, and dug into the well-synchronized grooves that Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins build on during "Firth of Fifth."

Following Genesis was Crabs on Banjo, a Wednesday night improvisational/experimental rock band, in which I play lead guitar. At a Crabs on Banjo show, members of the audience scream out fabricated and fantastical song titles, which we, in turn, use to create a song.

Walking down First Avenue, I ran into my good friend and drummer for Mike Baglivi and the Open End, Alex Pine. I invited him over to my place where we hung out and listened to records until practice that evening.

First was Dvorak's "New World" Symphony as conducted by Bruno Walter and played by the Columbia Symphony Orchestra. At first, Alex and I started off a little chatty, but as the score grew larger and larger, we found ourselves overwhelmed, excited, and silent. Alex sat with his eyes closed, smiling.

Baam-bam-bam baaam! Baam-bam-bam baaam! Can you hear it? I still can. Although, Alex and I both agreed that reverting back to the main theme was an unnecessary refrain at the end of the Second Movement. It seemed forced.

Secondly, we listened to Bobby Womack's The Facts of Life. Actually, I didn't even listen to it. I had to get some guitar stuff prepared for band practice later that evening, but Alex chilled on my couch, listening to the LP.

After Side 1 was over, he screamed, "This guy is AMAZING."

tris mccall's picture

wait, what organ parts on *selling england by the pound* don't you like? not "the battle of epping forest", right? that's one of the most staggering organ performances in rock history. how can you praise steve hackett and slag tony banks? are you one of those yankee fans who thinks brett gardner should start ahead of a-rod?

Ariel Bitran's picture

Defintely not criticizing the performance. I'm criticizing his tones. Specifically when he uses the choral setting on "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" and his organ setting right after the first choral use. His drawbar setting sounds like a pre-set on my keyboard called "Purple Organ." I use it when I'm trying to imitate a game show theme. His synth and organ on "The Battle of Epping Forest" is floating, tasteful, and absolutely epic.In terms of Hackett, I REALLY dig the his tone. He makes his guitar fat but pinched up so that it still bites. Also, he glides vertically along the fretboard so beautifully, and he plays his ass off.I'm not that into baseball.

Ben Krieger's picture

there's nothing like a dis on Genesis to get Tris' Irish up!"Epping Forest" influences way too much of my organ playing.

Stephen Mejias's picture

Su su sudio.

Ariel Bitran's picture

Now Stephen, thats just out of line.

Buddha's picture

As my aged brain recalls, either "Trick of the Tail" or "Selling England By the Pound" used to lay claim to having the lowest frequency bass notes available on LP.

Poor Audiophile's picture

Yeah Stephen, wayyyy outta line!Ahh, Genesis! Used to listen to them a lot!Selling England; good stuff!

sleeper's picture

Actually Stephen, that was pretty funny!

Stephen Mejias's picture

I was just admitting my ignorance of all things Genesis. I've heard only great things about the early albums, before they became a terrible pop band.

Poor Audiophile's picture

Well, actually SM, that is NOT Genesis!That was PC solo-ugg! I agree, they were a terrible pop band for years.

Mark's picture

Hi Steve,I too had let Genesis pass me by. Until I was looking for some new (to me) Peter Gabriel material. I mean what's a man to when his favourite artist produces so few studio albums? Delve into the back catalogue of course!Do yourself a favour and get Genesis Archive 1967-75 (Vol 1). This box set has fantastic live recordings of all their early stuff.And these performances have balls. Not the polite, dare I saw wimpy sound of the studio albums.And the bass! This will have the water in your bong sloshing about so much it'll have a head like a Guinness!Give it some time. You'll love it!CheersMark

zombie's picture

aerial, you poor misinformed slob. genesis was a great band...u r 30 years too late. petty criticisms to fill a page