OK, let's try this again. (I started writing this last night and got 99.8% finished before accidentally deleting it. Whee!)
So TMBG, yeah... Mostly I like music that's hard. That takes more than one listening for you to figure out everything that's going on in it. I was a HUGE Zappahead all through college. Bestest BEST group of humans he ever put together was the early 70's Roxy group (George Duke, the Underwoods, the Fowlers, etc. Depending on what mood you catch me in, it's either that or the Synclavier stuff. Civilization Phaze III is arguably the best album in existence, ever. Meets the Mothers of Prevention had a couple of winners on it, too. Actually any Synclavier album is a good bet. Except for Francesco Zappa which, while I got his point, was still teh suxx0r. (Sorry if you like it...) *shrug* 'Sides that, Indian classical is awesome. I'm all over L. Shankar. No, no relation to Ravi. He plays this 10-string, double-necked electric violin that makes for a really unique sound. The only player I've ever heard who was remotely
like it was Jean-Luc Ponty. Shankar and John McLaughlin got together in the early 70's to form this jazz-Indian fusion band called Shakti. Astonishing stuff. I've never heard anything like it before or since. One thing that could be construed as sort of on the same wavelength is this group of east-European gypsies led by a clarinetist: Ivo Papsov and His Bulgarian Wedding Band. Which sounds like a David Letterman joke but actually it's basically what happened when electric instruments crossed back over the Atlantic and got entangled in the local cultural scene. So I guess you'd say jazz-world fusion is a big deal in my life.
Oh, and another project McLaughlin had before Shakti was called the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Billy Cobham on drums, Jan Hammer (of Miami Vice
fame) on keyboards, Jerry Goodman on violin, Rick Laird on bass. Phenomenal group. Anything with McLaughlin in it is pretty much a sure bet.
And then there's King Crimson, Fripp's Crafties, Yes, Rush, anything with Bill Bruford in it, anything with Tony Levin in it (the BLUE (Bruford-Levin Upper Extremities) project was fantastic), California Guitar Trio, Dream Theater, TSO, Echolyn, The Dixie Dregs (NOT the Dixie Chicks thank you very much), old Genesis (as in back when Peter Gabriel was singing lead), Gabriel's solo stuff, Gentle Giant, Bubblemath (fun fact: I used to play drums for Bubblemath in '97-98 back before they got a real drummer and cut their first full-length album), Dean Magraw, Ruth MacKenzie, a project Magraw was in in the mid-nineties called Eight-Head with Jim Anton on bass and Marc Anderson on drums/percussion...
Who else... Jaco, duh. Pat Metheny, duh. Wes Montgomery. Michael Manring. Geddy Lee. John Myung. Les Claypool. Stuart Hamm. Victor Wooten is just an alien. I can't even call that guy an influence he's so far over my head. Tony Levin. Pete Novembre. Daniel Fusco. Mike Gordon. L.A. Guitar Quartet. Julian Bream. Segovia. Leo Kottke. Johnny "Guitar" Watson. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. Terry Spence. Fernando Ortega.
Aaand...Doyle Dykes, Dennis Agaganian, Kevin Gales, Riley Armstrong, Relient K (love love love), MXPX to a certain extent, Scott Anderson (aka Twitch), P.O.D., Newsboys, Tommy Walker and the C.A. Worship Band, East West, Danny Donnelly, Jeremy Camp, Lincoln Brewster (!), anything Hillsongs puts out, Jars of Clay, Margaret Becker's pretty good, any Passion album, Sonic Flood's first
album, Ten Shekel Shirt, The Sonflowerz (altho I'd like 'em a lot better if they'd fire their daddy and get a real producer), Third Day for sure, did I mention Hillsongs?
*yawn* That's all I can think of at the moment. I wish I hadn't nuked my first post, it was lots more coherent. Maybe I'll write more later. 'Night.