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Putting the play in playing music.
November 13, 2013 12:19 AM   Subscribe

Adrian Belew has played with Frank Zappa, David Bowie, The Talking Heads and The Tom Tom Club - as well as having released many albums inependently.

He seems to be having fun.

Adrian Belew and the Bears August 11th 1987 (Full Show) .
Talking Heads - Crosseyed and Painless.
Three of a perfect pair.

He's perhaps best known for his work with King Crimson.

Thela Hun Ginjeet.

Elephant Talk.
posted by vapidave (38 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite

 
You must've been reading my mind. I was going to post his version of Me and My Arrow over in the Nilsson thread.
posted by mykescipark at 12:37 AM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Adrian Belew - Life In A Nutshell
posted by stbalbach at 12:42 AM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Pretty Pink Rose" by Belew with Bowie

"Ampersand" by Belew, Les Claypool and drummer Danny Carry of Tool (Best power trio of the 21st century or best power trio ever?)

Beat Box Guitar by Belew (solo) from that same period

"Fear is Never Boring" and "Trust" by The Bears (obviously featuring Mr. Belew)

"Twang Bar King" by Belew (solo)

"Big Electric Cat" by Belew (solo)

"The Ideal Woman" by Belew and random interviewed people
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:58 AM on November 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


he really blows it up with the talking heads live in rome in 1980 - this could possibly be one of the best concerts i've seen on film (what it lacks in comparison to the art school whimsy of stop making sense, it completely makes up for in unbelievably amazing energy)
posted by messiahwannabe at 1:18 AM on November 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


The Crimson ProjeKct has been killing it on the road recently.

really a terrific show - nobody is phoning it in. check out Julie Slick on bass.
posted by j_curiouser at 1:29 AM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


great stuff...
posted by markchavez at 1:44 AM on November 13, 2013


History and Future of Guitar Noise (Parts 1 and 3 are performances)

I sew Belew (finally!) a few years back, with his power trio, which is him and a brother/sister rhythm section (I think they were products of the Paul Green School of Rock) who were amazing.
posted by thelonius at 1:45 AM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it was Julie Slick and her brother, I think, in the Belew band.
posted by thelonius at 1:46 AM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Belew has also played with William Shatner and Henry Rollins at the same time.

There's a fantastic Rollins spoken-word piece about how that track came together (Rollins is a massive Belew/King Crimson fan), which is up on Youtube but with all the bits about Belew excised. Bloody Youtube.
posted by Hogshead at 1:59 AM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Neil and Jack and Me King Crimson live, 1982
posted by outlaw of averages at 2:07 AM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


That Fridays "Elephant Talk" was my real introduction. My brother and I had the album and liked it very much. I had assumed, though, that this Belew guy was just there to sing, and that all the cool guitar on the record was Fripp...so then comes that solo, wow.
posted by thelonius at 2:10 AM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thela Hun Ginjeet.

Elephant Talk


Great songs, but I think Matte Kudasai is a better demonstration of how well this guy can sing.
posted by three blind mice at 2:57 AM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Matte Kudasai is a great demonstration of Belew's vocals. However, I still think City of Tiny Lights (which was my introduction to him) is one of his best vocal outings. Plus bonus double guitar solo with Zappa. Plus+plus nearly-naked Terry Bozzio
posted by digitalprimate at 3:52 AM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


My desert island foursome is me, a still, Sarah Vowell, and Adrian Belew.
posted by vapidave at 4:37 AM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love Adrian Belew. My favorite album of his is Mister Music Head.
Oh, Daddy.
1967

My favorite song off the album, Hot Zoo, doesn't seem to be available on YouTube...
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 5:01 AM on November 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I became aware of Belew in one of his most active recording years, in 1981. Crimson's Discipline, Garland Jeffrey's Escape Artist, Byrne's Catherine Wheel and Tom Tom Club's Genius of Love. His distinctive sound made me check out everything he was on.

IMO, Belew made Laurie Anderson's Mr. Heartbreak as evidenced by Sharkey's Day.

And Guy_Inamonkeysuit beat me to one of the most funnest pop tunes ever, Oh Daddy.
posted by beelzbubba at 5:11 AM on November 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Love City of Tiny Lights. Played it in a band for a couple of years, very dramatic composition with a lot of relief. We segued into Dancing Fool just like on Sheik Yerbouti, too. People of a certain age (like me) went nuts.

I may be totally wrong, but I'm a ...

Oh, and plus 10 for the Discipline era Crimson. Just great.
posted by Wolof at 5:16 AM on November 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thanks for this, big pickup for my morning. The intersection between Discipline-era King Crimson, mid-career Talking Heads, and Eno was a big part of my favorite music in college.
posted by aught at 5:59 AM on November 13, 2013


The other day I introduced my kids to Adrian by playing some Zappa and Bowie and Laurie Anderson. Needless to say they were like Meh... But I was in heaven
posted by alfanut at 6:14 AM on November 13, 2013


I became a Belew camp follower inadvertently -- saw him in Talking Heads before I knew who he was, then saw King Crimson a few times. After that it was only natural that I would see the Bears every time they played in Atlanta. All hail Bob!
posted by Infinity_8 at 6:25 AM on November 13, 2013


The Slicks are my friend's kids and I've been going to hear them play music since they were kids in Paul Green's School of Rock. The first time I heard them play they were, with a bunch of other kids, doing an entire show of Zappa. It pretty much blew my mind how good some of those kids were. Think about if a friend of yours asked you to come hear her young kids play in a music recital and then showing up to hear them like that.

I haven't heard them play with Adrian Belew, just as part of Project Object a Zappa-associated band.

They're pretty awesome.
posted by sciencegeek at 6:36 AM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I miss Bill Bruford
posted by incandissonance at 6:41 AM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


He played a lot on Nine Inch Nails' Ghosts album, and is also heavily featured on Hesitation Marks.

(For whatever value of "heavily featured" exists if you're on an album by Trent, anyway...)
posted by hippybear at 6:45 AM on November 13, 2013


King Crimson (double trio) play Dinosaur on Conan O'Brien (1995)

Notice the choreograpy and cameral direction; I always wondered how much of this the band and studio crew worked out ahead of time.

Unfortunately, the first pirate cut off the clip at 4:00 just before the end of the song, and all the other pirates have just pirated that same clip. You may have to go to .russia to see the end of the performance. It's only about a 20 second difference but quite annoying.

Adrian Belew in Japanese television commercials: posted by Herodios at 7:26 AM on November 13, 2013


Take it away, Bob:
I asked as nice as I could
If my job would
Somehow be finished
By Friday . . .
posted by Herodios at 7:43 AM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Notice the choreograpy and cameral direction

That's unicameral direction, of course; no House of Lords here!

posted by Herodios at 7:46 AM on November 13, 2013


King Crimson (double trio) play Dinosaur on Conan O'Brien (1995)

Aww. And all those shots of Fripp sitting in the dark trying to look mysterious. He's so adorable!
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 8:04 AM on November 13, 2013


Well, there's really not much for me to add here... you folks have got this pretty well covered! I guess I will just say that Adrian Belew is a big part of why Sheik Yerbouti is my favorite Zappa album (if you forced me to pick one) and that the King Crimson double trio album Thrak and his solo album Op Zop Too Wah are on my desert island list. He's always seemed like a bit of a best kept secret and it's always a pleasure to bump into fellow fans.
posted by usonian at 9:02 AM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love Belew and his work with Crimson, and when he and Eno played with the Talking Heads it was about their high point; but for some reason one of the first songs that always comes to mind when I think of him is a really weird one, Laughing Man.
posted by Red Loop at 9:49 AM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Belew made my life hell when I was forced to listen to his noise-crap endlessly at a restaurant where I worked in 1983. I will always hate Adrian Belew.
posted by telstar at 9:53 AM on November 13, 2013


Thanks for the heads up.
posted by TheRedArmy at 1:10 PM on November 13, 2013


he really blows it up with the talking heads live in rome in 1980 - this could possibly be one of the best concerts i've seen on film (what it lacks in comparison to the art school whimsy of stop making sense, it completely makes up for in unbelievably amazing energy)

I was completely blindsided by Belew's wild slide at the live debut of the Remain in Light set at Heatwave in 1980. 'Stop Making Sense' just seemed pale and drab to me by comparison.

For the curious, there's some bits of gossip about Belew's falling out with the Tom-Tom Club mentioned in his Wikipedia article...
posted by ovvl at 1:39 PM on November 13, 2013


I have been awestruck by Mr. Belew from the first moment I heard him on Discipline. He has worked with everyone. I see someone mentioned his connection to Laurie Anderson, but he also appears on Paul Simon's awesome album Graceland, as well as working with Sara Hickman, Cyndi Lauper, Mike Oldfield and a bunch of other guys.

I hadn't noticed it at first, but ever since my ex pointed out that he sometimes sounds just like Roy Orbison, I can't get that out of my head. Especially on tunes like "Life in a Nutshell." or "Matte Kudasai."

I got to see him years ago - I think with the Bears. I'd spent probably the previous two years listening to Lone Rhino and Twang Bar King on nearly constant rotation.

I was not disappointed.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 2:43 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sweet to see this here. I was a cameraman on that 1987 concert. I have a copy of this I meant to upload sometime. No need now. It's all there.
posted by DaddyNewt at 7:21 PM on November 13, 2013


Inner Revolution is the great '90s Beatles record they couldn't make. It's perfect.
posted by mintcake! at 8:38 PM on November 13, 2013


I mean, really.
posted by mintcake! at 8:40 PM on November 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, so many great memories the past couple days on the blue, with the Nilsson/The Point thread and now Adrian Belew!

j_curiouser, I did not know about the Crimson Projekt, thank you for pointing that out.
posted by emcat8 at 11:01 PM on November 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah Adrian Belew!

Like someone else said upthread, seeing a Crimson on Fridays was a big moment for me. I saw King Crimson in 1982 at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. We were leaning on the stage for most of the show and it was phenomenal.

At the time my friends and I were crazy nuts fanboys of the whole Fripp/Eno/Bowie/Heads/Belew world. A friend of mine got Belew's guitar pick when he threw it in the crowd. Friend later lost the pick and wrote to Belew c/o Island Records. Some time later he got a handwritten note from Belew with another pick. I thought that was nice of him to do that.

I'll leave you with this.
posted by marxchivist at 5:29 PM on November 15, 2013


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