Great Guitar Solos – Pink Floyd Plays Echoes

Sorry for missing this on Monday. I’ve been working a lot, and my brother is in town, so I’ve been distracted. Astronomy Picture of the Week should be up in around half an hour.

Echoes… what is there to say about Echoes? For me, it’s one of the greatest songs of all time. Yeah, sure, it’s 23 minutes and 36 seconds long… but that’s 23 minutes and 36 seconds you will be glad to have spent just… listening.

As for the guitar solos… well… there are no words. Moving, powerful, emotional…

The first solo, an understated intro piece, starts at 1:10 and ends at 2:57. Then there’s a riff that repeats itself, though it is very solo-like, that starts at 3:45 and ends at 4:12. The riff repeats again at 4:56 and ends at 5:24. Immediately, the second proper solo starts. At 5:53, a second, more distorted guitar comes, and we have two guitars soloing at the same time, which ends at 7:01. Thus begins a very funky section, in which the third solo, a really cool distorted solo, starts at 7:24 and starts to fade out into a section of ambient, atmospheric, rather creepy noise at around 10:50, and disappears fully at around 11:25.

I know the ambient section is weird, but try to stick it out. If you don’t want to, it ends around 15 minutes in. The fourth solo starts at 18:14 and ends at 19:11. The repeating lead riff, though much more simplified, starts at 19:56 and ends at 20:15. The fifth and final solo starts at 12:26 and ends with the fade out.

[Read more…]

Great Guitar Solos – Screaming Females Play Bell Live at Audiotree

I’d like to introduce y’all to one of my current favorite guitarists. Her name is Marissa Paternoster, and she’s the lead vocalist and lead guitarist for the three-piece band Screaming Females.

This song is called “Bell”, and the video is from Audiotree. I did want to show you the official music video, but it doesn’t actually show the guitar solo, so I picked this instead.

Her playing throughout is phenomenal, but the guitar solo starts at 1:08 and ends at 2:00. Also, her voice is mesmerizing.

[Read more…]

Astronomy Picture of the Week – Dawn’s Early Light

As usual until September, this is from Cassini’s Grand Finale

The light of a new day on Saturn illuminates the planet’s wavy cloud patterns and the smooth arcs of the vast rings.

The light has traveled around 80 minutes since it left the sun’s surface by the time it reaches Saturn. The illumination it provides is feeble; Earth gets 100 times the intensity since it’s roughly ten times closer to the sun. Yet compared to the deep blackness of space, everything at Saturn still shines bright in the sunlight, be it direct or reflected.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 10 degrees above the ring plane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Feb. 25, 2017 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 939 nanometers.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 762,000 miles (1.23 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 45 miles (73 kilometers) per pixel.

[Read more…]

Great Guitar Solos – St. Vincent Plays Surgeon Live at La Cigale

Going left again, this time with St. Vincent, stage name of Annie Clark (and also the name of her band).

I love love love Annie Clark. Her guitar playing is extremely unconventional, which speaks to me as someone who adores unconventional playing. She has a very unique finger-picking style, and her use of strange effects on her guitars always makes me happy.

This song is called “Surgeon”, and it’s being performed live at La Cigale, Paris, France, on February 18, 2014. The video is an audience video (so, a “bootleg”) of the full song.

Before you catch the solo, listen to that pretty amazing riffing she does while singing… that isn’t easy. In fact, it’s hard. The solo itself, an unconventional, effects-laden masterpiece (in  my humble opinion), starts at 3:13 with that awesome riff, and ends at 4:37 with the end of the song.

Before moving on, please note that, during the solo especially, the lights flash quite a lot, so if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, please either avoid this all together, or start the video and just listen without watching.

[Read more…]

Astronomy Picture of the Week – Small Wonders (Cassini’s Grand Finale)

(This is 30 minutes late because I was a couple days late with GGS.)

Still on the Grand Finale, and as I said when this started, I’ll be staying here until it’s over, because yes, I’m mourning the end of Cassini’s mission. It’s an image of three of Saturn’s smaller ring moons.

I hope you enjoy this one. As always, click on the image for the .tif download…

[Read more…]

Great Guitar Solos – Emily Remler Plays “How Insensitive”

Sorry this is late. I wasn’t feeling well early this week and have had to work on top of that. Not fun…

Time to turn left again, this time with some true, straight up Jazz.

Oh yes.

I’m going here.

Because a good guitar solo is a good guitar solo, regardless of the genre.

For those who don’t know, Emily Remler is an amazing Jazz guitarist who, sadly, died on May 4, 1990, at the age of 32. She died of a heart attack.

This is one of her many pieces, called How Insensitive. It’s an instrumental, so the whole thing is the guitar solo. It’s also live, so there’s video to watch. She was pretty amazing…

[Read more…]

Astronomy Picture of the Week – Northern Summer on Titan

Another one from Cassini’s Grand Finale. And yeah, I’m a day late.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft sees bright methane clouds drifting in the summer skies of Saturn’s moon Titan, along with dark hydrocarbon lakes and seas clustered around the north pole.

Compared to earlier in Cassini’s mission, most of the surface in the moon’s northern high latitudes is now illuminated by the sun. (See here for a view of the northern hemisphere from 2007.) Summer solstice in the Saturn system occurred on May 24, 2017.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on June 9, 2017, using a spectral filter that preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. Cassini obtained the view at a distance of about 315,000 miles (507,000 kilometers) from Titan.

As usual, click on the image for the .tif download…

[Read more…]

Great Guitar Solos – Porcupine Tree Plays The Sound of Muzak Live

I’ve highlighted Steven Wilson before, as well as Porcupine Tree. At this point, it’s safe to say Porcupine Tree is done, despite many fans desperately wanting a reunion.

Admittedly, I feel quite different about modern music today then I did when I first heard this song. When I first heard it, I was definitely the worst kind of music snob, and so this became a sort of anthem to me. Now, I accept that there’s no accounting for taste, and that love of music is subjective. I’m not so sure that music is “going down” so much as it, by nature, cyclical. The genres and styles may change and/or evolve, but the way music is produced, performed, and made popular doesn’t ever really change… it just goes in circles…

That said, I do still enjoy this song immensely, especially for the guitar solo, which is another brilliant one played by Steven Wilson himself… it starts at 2:44 and ends at 3:38.

[Read more…]

Astronomy Picture of the Week – Puzzled Iapetus

Yet another one from Cassini’s Grand Finale. Yup, it’s still going

Iapetus is a world of contrast, with light and dark regions fitting together like cosmic puzzle pieces.

Cassini Regio on Iapetus (914 miles or 1,471 kilometers across) is covered in a layer of dark, dusty material creating a stark contrast to the much brighter region that surrounds it. This leads to the moon’s distinctive, two-toned appearance. To learn more about the cause of the contrast between regions, see Encountering Iapetus.

This view looks toward Saturn-facing hemisphere of Iapetus. North on Iapetus is up and rotated 20 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on March 11, 2017.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.6 million kilometers) from Iapetus. Image scale is 9 miles (15 kilometers) per pixel.

[Read more…]