Hi there,

time for a few more listening recommendations from me. This time, there are some really weird records on the list...

But letīs start with one of my favorite current albums:

Paul Gilbert- Burning Organ
If you are familiar with the music of Racer X, youīll be quite confused once you hear one of PGīs solo albums. Sure, both feature some great guitar-playing, but while Racer X-albums are rather heavy metal, Paul on his solo albums always has some awesome pop-tunes.
I hear a strong influence of bands like the Beatles and Cheap Trick. And what I like the most about his albums ( despite the guitar playing ) are the hook-lines... there are bunches of awesome hooklines to be found, and youīll most likely find yourself humming them for days. Thatīs what happened to me at least. This most recent album and his first effort "King Of CLubs" are my favorite PG-records

On to the weird stuff...

Meshuggah- Destroy Erase Improve
Thorsten turned me on to this stuff. First of all: if you do not like really heavy, aggressive music or anything beyond 4/4, this is not really something youīll enjoy.
I need to be in a certain mood to listen to Meshuggah, but once I am, itīs actually a lot of fun to listen to them. Itīs really heavy metal-stuff, very agressive, and after I listened to one full album of this, I need to listen to something rather simple, song-based such as... well, the PG-album i.e.
One thing about this album in particular: Forget about counting !
I played this to many musicians who visited me, and the most common comment was ( after the 1st song ! ) "Man, itīs been a while since I listened to something and didnīt know where the "1" was..."
Thatīs right. This album is full of odd time signatures and polyrhythms, and itīs almost impossible to count that stuff.
As I said, itīs not for everyone and definitely nothing I can listen to for more than one album at a time, but when I do, it makes me smile.

Planet X- MoonBabies
This is their most recent release. I had always liked Planet X ( it started out as a solo-project of former Dream Theater-keyboarder Derek Sherinian ), their first album ( feat. my former GIT-instructor Brett Garsed ) really was cool.
Then the line up changed, and Tony MacAlpine took over as the guitarist. Now, Tony to me is one of the most versatile and technically able guitarists altogether, and itīs fun to listen to him in this setting.
The music is pretty heavy and again, full of odd time signatures. But also, it grooves like hell and features some cool melodies and solo passages. Very tight stuff.
This should send the "musicians police" back to the woodshed.
I also recommend "Live From Oz", a live-album ( Dīuh ! ), which shows that those guys can still pull it off live without having it sound like boring, braindead stuff... lots of energy here. And Tony does not only play great but also has a very neat guitar-sound

Frank Gambale- The Great Explorers
This one is like 10 years old already, but I found myself listening to it quite a bit again. I never was a hardcore-fan of Gambale, although I always thought he had a great band and heīs a player with a really good technique.
For this album, he hired Joe Satrianiīs Band ( Stu Hamm, Jonathan Mover... ) and plays some stuff which navigates more towards rock than his usual fusion-style stuff. The title track i.e. really rocks and has some of Franks best playing. I think itīd be a good introduction to his playing...

Gary Hoey- Animal Instinct
I really like Gary Hoey. He always has some great melodies, a neat tone, cool grooves ( check out the "Money"-album, where he experiments with loops etc. )
This one was probably his most successful album, featuring his cool cover-version of "Hocus Pocus" ( originally by Jan Akkermanīs Focus ), but also featuring some cool, grooving tunes and a beautiful ballad...
Itīs October already, only like 3 months till christmas, and since I am such a christmas-freak, Iīll sure start listening to his three "Ho Ho Hoey" albums once Thanksgiving is over. On these three albums he took all the popular christmas-songs ( "Joy To The World", "Auld Lang Syne", "The First Noel"... ) and arranged them for guitar, playing each one in a different style, ranging from Latin to Rock, from Jazz to Metal, from pop to reggae... kind of like the "Merry Axe-Mas" records, but these songs are all played by the same dude !

Richie Kotzen- What Is
Richie Kotzen always amazed me... first of all, he is a great guitarist ( he started out as a Varney-player and displayed some serious chops ), a great singer ( lots of soul ) and a very talented song writer.
This is one of his more recent albums, and here he plays lots of great songs, ranging from RīnīB to soul to Rolling Stones-inspired stuff.
His vocals are great, so are the lyrics and hooklines. Not much shredding here, but you wonīt miss it, since itīs just a great album full of songs...

OK, thatīs it for now...