Buckethead – Coat of Charms

Buckethead – Coat of Charms

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Artist / BandBuckethead
AlbumCoat of Charms
Year2013
Track List01 Hall Of Aluminum
02 Coat Of Charms
03 Jettison Part 1
04 Jettison Part 2
05 Jettison Part 3
06 Jettison Part 4
07 Jettison Part 5
08 Jettison Part 6

Intro

If you want to dive into Buckethead’s catalogue, where do you start?

I had my first conscious encounter with buckethead’s guitar playing at a concert back in 1996 when he was touring with Bill Laswell. I was at that concert to experience a Bill Laswell concert. What I experienced was a display of unexpected pure genius guitar playing by this young, then 27 year old man with a bucket on his head. I remember that the wall of heavy guitar riffs being pumped into the concert place just took me by surprise. I was was perplexed, stunned and above all intrigued by the sheer easiness buckethead shredded his guitar to suddenly change the mood into melodic and beautiful sounds. From that day on I was sold and started diving into his music with eagerness.

In those days Buckethead had officially released 3 solo albums. While I am writing this, his solo catalogue (including the Pike Series) clocks at 323. So yes, the questions bears. Where does one start today with diving into Buckethead’s catalogue?

Coat Of Charms (Pike 40) is in my opinion a good album to get an introduction into what this artist has created so far and has enough elements as a hook into wanting more and dive deeper into his catalogue.

Melodies of beauty

This album takes you on a 30 minute journey through sounds, melodies and riffs that are beautifully constructed. “Hall of Aluminum” immediately throws you into a melodic playing field where the rhythm section offers some playful conceptional grips that seem to take control of the song. It is, however, the guitar melody that actually takes the reigns and controls perfectly the pitch.

When the first song finishes you don’t get the time to want for more of the same. “Coat of Charms” starts out with sincere, soft melodic sounds that makes you close your eyes. The groove supporting the melody gives the whole experience one of calmness and serenity. The music allows you to let yourself be taken away into a dream. Your mind floats on the sounds produced with feelings. The guitar parts are perfectly in balance with the atmosphere produced.

When the “Jettison Suite” starts we are nearly 14 minutes in the album. From the first notes it is clear that a shift in the music is happening. The notes played feel darker and once Part 1 is fully underway a heavy riff takes control and adds some punch to the experience while the melody still weaves a calm feeling throughout the whole composition.

Each part of the suite continues to build on the melodic beauty of the part before constructing a web of sounds that wants you to hear more with each minute passing. The vibes felt from the punches thrown at you when the heavy riffs kick in and when the melodic parts take over once again is a very satisfying musical experience.

Conclusion

Coat Of Charms can be played as background music and at the same time there is enough in the music to put a pair of decent headphones on and actually sit down and listen to each and every riff and melody, to each note and chord.

It is one of those rare instrumental albums that takes you on a voyage of serenity and has a peaceful vibe to it. The melodies and riffs are beautifully constructed in a way that the songs do not let go of you. They stick. When the album finishes it lets you crave more of its beauty and with that you will be tempted to push the repeat button to listen to album all over again and again.

Coat Of Charms is an excellent addition to any music collection and a great entry point into Buckethead’s vast catalogue.


©2022 Peinsejoager

Purcell – An ode to music…

A summer evening in August. The setting is Næstved, Denmark.

Walking towards Sanct Pederskirke (St. Peders Church) the wind blows steep and the temperature does not feel warm. It feels more like an autumn evening than summer. The  beautiful church is a perfect setting for what I was about to experience.

The Næstved Early Music Festival scheduled this year a performance of work from Henry Purcell (1669-1695). It is an ode to his music performed by the chamber choir Cantoque, the Höök Barock ensemble and Camerata Øresund.

Næstved Early Music Festival is an amazing initiative that puts the little Danish town Næstved on the world map with reference to music from before 1800. It infuses new life into a cultural heritage of early music and combines that with putting focus on the historical setting of the town. The actual festival is every 2 years in August and spans over several days. 2017 is not a festival year, but that doesn’t stop them to organise some concerts throughout the year.

Welcome to all the pleasures is a a true ode to music. The setting is the festival of St. Cecilia on November 22, 1683. It seems fitting as the weather outside indicated it was November after all, although we are in the middle of summer. The church (Sanct Pederskirke) was a perfect choice to let the music hear its voice. The acoustics were excellent and the musicians played at their top. When the choir kicked in, the sound was overwhelming and you knew you were in for something special. Purcell’s music contains the French frivolity while capturing that Italian passion of the time. Ad a twist of English harmony to the mix and you have a piece of music that stands the test of time and is today still very much alive.

The Overture opened part II of the first set with excerpts of Dido. Emotions are high in this part that start in happiness but ultimately ends in utter sadness. A story of love between Dido and Aeneas. A story of music taking you on a ride of emotions.

The second set of the evening took us to The Fairy Queen that contained 2 highlights. Hush, no more brought emotions to the church with an excellent bass voice, an orchestra playing at its best and the choir hitting the right emotions to fill the church with heavenly sound. The second highlight came moments later when Cordon and Mopsa was performed by 2 singers visibly having fun with the piece. A bass and male voice singing in high octave with a comical sauce during the performance made the piece stand out and captured the audience in full blow. What a performance. It was magical!

The musicians and choir took us through a variation of emotions and did it with ease. We went from celebrations to happiness, they took us through a moment of sadness to then take us back into a happy mood. It was a great experience.

The Næstved Early Music Festival deserves to be commended to take the initiative to bring this music back alive for an audience in these beautiful settings like Sanct Pederskirke in Næstved. Next year, August 13 to 19 – 2018, is the real festival year, and it is something to look forward to. Mark your calendars for a visit to Næstved and enjoy some truly wonderful music. You will not regret it.

Coming out of the church I had a smile on my face. I experienced something special and touching.

Experiences

There is a moment, where the needle hits the first groove, a crackle travels its way into the speakers just before the first note is played and the sound of wonderful music explores the room embracing the furniture and people present to give an experience of pleasure and joy. The mind wonders and thinks about the philosophical question how to best experience music. This question presents an array of possible answers each more convincing then the other for any individual being. The topic allows for great conversation, discussion, passion and more over it allows to elevate the experience to another level.

Sometimes we reflect on the experiences we have with music…

Is it that concert you went to that sticks in your mind and where the performance was so elevating that the music evolved into something different then you ever had experienced?

Is it that first time you heard a specific song, where your mind is blown away of the sound, rhythm and the pure genius of some lyrics?

Is it the record everybody talks about, but never really hit you and you wonder what is all the fuzz about? And then, after listening to it for who knows how many times you are blown away, not just by the music but by the experience you have at that moment and it connects…

I had some of those experiences myself. One of them was during a concert with Ryan Adams (Falconer Salen – Copenhagen – 2015). The song Peaceful Valley just hit me hard. The performance was so captivating and intense that the song got elevated from just one of the songs in the catalogue to the song I turn back to that reminds me of what experiencing music can do to you. It was pure magic.

I’d like to think that listening to music is not just about listening to a song, an album or an artist… It is about taking the time to experience the emotions that come with the sound music delivers and allows you to connect to moments in your life that you cherish forever…