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June 13, 2014 3:46 AM   Subscribe

Have you ever wondered what a prog metal cover of Gershwin would sound like? Liquid Tension Experiment - Rhapsody in Blue
posted by Rhomboid (36 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
No, I never wondered. I never even considered such a thing.
Now that I've heard their cover? WOW! Fantastic!
Thank you for sharing this, Rhomboid.
posted by Pudhoho at 4:01 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


And now I wonder how it would sound like without Petrucci, the BRIAN BLESSED of the "prog" metal world.
posted by pseudocode at 4:05 AM on June 13


I worked in a record store when LTE's debut album was released. Our rule about in-store music was that you could only play albums we had available for purchase. Whenever I played LTE, we would sell out quickly and I'd have to turn it off. We once sold five copies before the end of track 5. For us, that was unheard of. People loved it.

That said, my coworkers hated it so much that one of them proposed a truce: during mutual shifts I wouldn't play Dream Theater or LTE, and she wouldn't play the Smiths or Morrissey. You know that saying, a good deal leaves both parties unhappy? We were both very, very happy with our arrangement.

For more "Rhapsody in Blue," check out Rhapsody in Gershwin, released just last month by the tremendously talented jazz pianist Ted Rosenthal. And mostly unrelated but as long as I'm on the subject, his earlier album One Night in Vermont features duets on standards by two of the smartest jazz musicians in recent memory, Rosenthal and the late valve trombonist and bandleader Bob Brookmeyer.

If you like LTE, you might try tracking down guitarist John Petrucci's album Suspended Animation. It's closer to Joe Satriani than to LTE strictly, but melodic and clever and very good.
posted by cribcage at 4:11 AM on June 13 [5 favorites]


In other Tony Levin related news, another King Crimson tour will happen.
posted by thelonius at 4:34 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


Awesome, thank you for posting.

For more LTE, check out Paradigm Shift and Universal Mind.

For more interesting takes on Rhapsody in Blue, there's DCI ... 1975 Madison Scouts or again in 2010.
posted by Brian Puccio at 4:41 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


What a magnificent moustache.
posted by brokkr at 4:47 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


I never really wondered, but I'm sure it could be very good. The piece actually has a lot of prog-friendly aspects. can't listen at work because my output ports are borken. need to fix that...one of these days...
posted by lodurr at 4:57 AM on June 13


No, I never wondered. I never even considered such a thing.
Now that I've heard their cover? WOW! Fantastic!


This is the sign of a good post.

Coincidentally, I watched (the first half of) Fantasia 2000 last night, and it was the first time I can recall that I've ever listened attentively to all of Rhapsody in Blue. I guess I sort of had it mentally classified as something I wouldn't really be interested in. As it turned out, I found it interesting, and this as well.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:58 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Leonard Bernstein: Why Don’t You Run Upstairs and Write a Nice Gershwin Tune?
posted by Wolfdog at 5:00 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


I listened for about 22 seconds. No metal, prog or otherwise.
posted by Bruce H. at 5:24 AM on June 13


I listened for about 22 seconds. No metal, prog or otherwise.
They light up at about 1:07.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 5:31 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


That's like listening to Freebird for a few seconds and complaining you've been lied to about multiple guitar solos.

Anyway, I don't care a whole lot about Dream Theater, but I'm quite fond of the two first LTE albums.
posted by ersatz at 5:33 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


A little more dissonant/discordian notes and parts of that could be a decent Frank Zappa song.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:35 AM on June 13


Have you ever wondered what a prog metal cover of Gershwin would sound like?

This sounds almost precisely like an excited stepdad opening the front door and hustling me over to the $4000 stereo system in his living room.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:47 AM on June 13 [11 favorites]


What is that stringed thing he's playing?
posted by buriednexttoyou at 5:47 AM on June 13


A Chapman Stick.
posted by lordrunningclam at 5:49 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


So that's my day made, then. Thank you, Rhomboid!
posted by Stacey at 6:33 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Uploaded by Kevin Gilbert from beyond the grave.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:07 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


I am a big fan of King Crimson's earlier output, and some other (what I consider to be) top tier 70s prog rock, but I've always been a bit of a Dream Theater (and by extension LTE) hater. It always just seemed so damned cheesy to me. This is really cool, however... thanks for the post!
posted by brand-gnu at 7:17 AM on June 13


Damn, this is fantastic! I was a little skeptical in the beginning, but then, as Multicellular Exothermic says, it goes off at 1m07s into something sublime. Very awesome.
posted by ashirys at 7:36 AM on June 13


And now I wonder how it would sound like without Petrucci, the BRIAN BLESSED of the "prog" metal world.

So this is the second time today that the name BRIAN BLESSED has been dropped in a post to refer to someone else. While I'm aware of the actor, can someone please tell me what it means when someone/something is the "BRIAN BLESSED of (blank)," and why is his name always done in all caps? Is it just that he's a huge presence in whatever he's in?

Also, while we're kinda on the topic of Dream Theater: You might also like keyboardist Kevin Moore's band Chroma Key, which he formed after leaving DT. It's about as un-Dream Theater as you can get - he said in an interview that Dream Theater was all about music that was hard to play but easy to write, and he wanted to do music that was easy to play but hard to write. I'm particularly fond of the song Lunar, which uses samples from Apollo 11 communications, and can totally lull me to sleep every time.
posted by jbickers at 8:10 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Despite having rhapsody in blue indelibly associated with the hurry stress and of changing planes in O'hare airport, this is really cool.
posted by Dr. Twist at 8:29 AM on June 13


I freaking adore LTE. My buddy turned me on to them when I mentioned I like Gordian Knot
posted by hellphish at 9:44 AM on June 13


Although my interest in prog metal has waned, this is solid gold. Tony's intro is wonderful.

Regarding Kevin Moore. My fave Chroma Key disc is Graveyard Mountain Home but as always, YMMV. When Moore left Dream Theater something was lost. His penchant for space rock seemed to give some balance to the frenzy. Also noteworthy is his OSI project with Jim Matheos, which often delivers that perfect blend of spacey ether with some metal crunch.
posted by Ber at 9:49 AM on June 13


I didn't know I needed this today. This is fantastic, thanks!
posted by supermassive at 9:52 AM on June 13


I believe the idea is that BRIAN BLESSED is known for shouting his lines and being generally overbearing and hammy.
posted by tau_ceti at 11:17 AM on June 13


This is fucking awesome.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:24 AM on June 13


You might also like keyboardist Kevin Moore's band Chroma Key , which he formed after leaving DT.

Even the Waves is one of my all-time favorite songs.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:29 PM on June 13


This is fucking ridiculous in every sense of the word.
posted by swift at 12:48 PM on June 13


Worthy of ridicule? In what way?
posted by hellphish at 2:40 PM on June 13


You know, I grew up in garage bands doing covers of Rush, Yes, Dream Theater and so forth and so on, so I have a predisposition to view almost all prog as basically high-grade wank. GOOD wank, but, well.

This was absolutely gorgeous. Maybe it's because I'm easily manipulated by music like Rhapsody in Blue, and conditioned to love the dynamic ebb and flow. It just makes me have All The Feels. And this, even more than orchestral versions I've heard, gave me ALL THE FEELS.

Just...they did everything with it I would have hoped, and none of what I'd dreaded. In particular, the last couple of minutes, where they move through the gentleness and long sustained passages and then crescendo and just blow out the doors. That was almost physically gratifying to me.

So what I'm saying is, give this a chance. It really is wank of the highest order, in the best sense of the word. Yes, it's ridiculous, but ridiculous in a sublime way. There is a glory to this kind of nerdery, and this video demonstrates all of it.

Also, for the record, I will suffer no ill to be spoken of Tony Levin, who is a mensch and a fundamentally awesome guy, quite apart from his formidable bass chops. You may pay tribute to his mustache, but you will by God be unironic when you do so or I will hunt you down and harm you.
posted by scrump at 2:56 PM on June 13


Worthy of ridicule? In what way?

"ridiculous" can function as a term of praise in this kind of context, and there are also those unfortunates who vehemently dislike this genre of music. So "fucking ridiculous in every sense", per swift, covers a lot of ground indeed.
posted by thelonius at 2:58 PM on June 13


I will suffer no ill to be spoken of Tony Levin,

Levin is pretty much what you'd get if God custom built a bass player to lessen our burdens here on Earth. Ask anyone. He has plenty of chops, but there are many players with tons more. Youtube is full of videos with bass heroics that Levin probably couldn't play. What he has is beyond mere technique.
posted by thelonius at 3:03 PM on June 13


I think my favorite part of this is Portnoy wearing the tour shirt.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 3:21 PM on June 13


I prefer the traditional, kawaii version.
posted by markkraft at 6:09 PM on June 13


The new King Crimson lineup (including Tony) are going on the road soon.
posted by j_curiouser at 7:20 PM on June 13


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