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Interview:
Adrian Belew at the Magic Bag, 3 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

» See more SOUND CHECK

Adrian Belew doesn’t have the greatest resume in music. But pretty close to it.

The Kentucky-born guitarist/singer/bandleader/etc. has worked with King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, David Bowie, nine inch nails, Porcupine Tree and many more, and since 1981 has also maintained a solo career with more than 15 albums. His latest project, FLUX, is an ongoing mobile app series for which Belew continually creates new music -- and has earned him a pair of Webby Awards.

And though he’s on the road with his own Power Trio, you can rest assured that Belew’s facility with technology will make it seem like there’s more than three musicians up on the stage...

• Belew, 67, is using his FLUX approach to inform his current concerts, which results in organic, shifting shows that are seldom ever the same. “It’s meant to surprise you,” Belew explains by phone from New Jersey. “It’s a show that’s kind of fast-paced and very exciting. Songs get interrupted by other things, and then another song will appear as something else. Sometimes you get the whole song, sometimes you don’t. A lot of things happen. And the material itself is drawn from all my work with King Crimson and, of course, the solo records, a little bit of David Bowie thrown in there, too, because of his recent passing.”

• Belew worked with Bowie during 1978-79, playing on the 1978 Isolar II tour and on the “Lodger” album. Belew was also the music director for Bowie’s Sound+Vision Tour in 1980 and has been part of all-star tribute shows that have played in various cities around the world. “It truly was a different universe, a different stratosphere to be with someone who is that accomplished and that famous, super-famous, but at the same time we were close friends and we shared lots of jokes and happy things and went to museums and dinners, just the stuff normal people do,” Belew recalls. “The thing I always liked about David before I knew him was he would take so many artistic chances. He would change form from one record to another. That gave people like me hope that people out there would accept something that’s not in the mainstream. He was a shining light for all of us who don’t write normal things and just take a different path.”

• Belew has released three volumes of his FLUX compositions so far, and he anticipates more will be coming in the future. “I want to put out all the music I’ve made in the last six years to create the idea of the FLUX, music that is never the same,” he explains. “There’s literally hundreds and hundreds of things in the FLUX app. I’m going to release all those pieces of music and songs on a series of CD; I think there will be a Vol. 4, 5 and maybe even 6. And I have loads of things I haven’t recorded yet, so this will be ongoing. It’s really driving me more than creating conventional records.”



If You Go:

• Adrian Belew Power Trio and Saul Zonana

• Wednesday, May 17. Doors open at 8 p.m.

• The Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.

• Tickets are $25.

• Call 248-544-1991 or visit themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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