Malmsteen is a rock god·s rock god. Legend has it
he picked up the guitar the day Jimi Hendrix died. The Swede
burst onto the ·80s metal scene with his insanely
fast, classical-inspired metal shredding and quickly drew
a base of admirers, as well as detractors. Twenty years
later, Malmsteen is still touring the world, tearing up
the fretboard of his signature-brand Fender Stratocaster.
With his frilly white shirts, leather pants and dangling
spires of dark black hair, Malmsteen represents an era of
rock decadence long since passed. Or has it?
to Malmsteen, the excitement surrounding metal these days
is palpable all across the world, but it is most noticeable
in America. ·The kids who are coming out are much
younger,· he claims. ·They weren·t
even born when I started making my first records. Music
is timeless.· And as for his music: ·It·s
not ·80s metal,· he insists. ·If you
do honest music, you will stay on.·
Malmsteen, who will perform at Northern Lights tomorrow
(Friday) night, says he keeps his concerts fresh and never
plays the same set twice. ·I don·t play anything
the same as I did the night before. It is always new. It·s
a risk. You take a risk every night.·
Still, Malmsteen has not been able to escape the ·80s
totally; the title of his latest album, Unleash the Fury,
is a good-natured nod to an incident of rock & roll
excess that has been recently resurrected on the Internet.
·It·s so funny,· he explains, ·
·cause what happened was, me and the band were flying
in January 1988. I was drinking and stuff. We were basically
being bastards.· He says he had passed out when a
woman threw a cold glass of water on him. ·I get
really fucking angry, you know. It wasn·t just me;
it was all of ·em, and so I start screaming and whatever.
. . . Somebody in my band recorded it. It didn·t
surface until about 15 years later, and I thought it was
Malmsteen brings it all: the rock, the attitude, the pomp
and circumstance and the musicianship, and he does it all
effortlessly. He even spares space in his liner notes to
thank the little people: Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Da Vinci.
Malmsteen·s morning routine is that of a metal god.
·I get up, have some breakfast, play some tennis,
drive around the beach in my Ferrari and then go to the
studio.· Malmsteen describes himself as a purist:
He loves his Rolex, his Ferraris and his Stratocasters.
As he tells it, his interests keep him from sampling the
new breed of metal bands that are storming across America.
·I·m sure there is some good stuff out there,·
he concedes, ·but I don·t have the time or
energy to check it out. I stopped listening to rock &
roll and got more influenced by classical music. But I don·t
really listen to that anymore. . . . It·s sort of
embedded in me. I·m not really a person who goes
and listens to music.·
However, Malmsteen reports that he learned to play by listening
to his favorite records, and he has advice for up-and-coming
guitar heroes. He insists music theory is essential. ·As
un-rock & roll as it may sound, if you don·t
know theory, you are kind of left with one leg to stand
Malmsteen may soon have to make time to listen to an up-and-coming
musician. He reports that his 8-year-old son has all the
tools necessary to one day assume his musical legacy. Malmsteen
says he won·t force his son in any direction, but
the musical spark may well be there. ·He is so intelligent,
it is scary,· says Malmsteen. ·He has done
a lot of things I did when I was a kid. He reads really
well, he draws and he looks exactly like me, too.·
Yngwie Malmsteen will perform at Northern Lights (1208 Route
146, Clifton Park) on Friday (May 12) at 7:30 PM. Tickets
are $20. For more information or to purchase tickets, call
Northern Lights at 371-0012.
58th Annual Albany Tulip Festival
back! The tulips, that is; this year, it looks like they
might stick around long enough to represent at the annual
festival bearing their name.
it·s time again for the annual bash known as Pinksterfest·aka
the Albany Tulip Festival·where suburban families
and subterranean miscreants come together for an all-weekend
celebration of art, music, fried dough, and 30-packs of
Budweiser cans. Oh, and our city·s Dutch heritage.
Let·s not forget about that.
with this year·s music schedule, it·s easy
to overlook the details: Saturday·s main-stage headliners
are none other than Brooklyn·s favorite geek-poppers
They Might Be Giants (pictured). It should be a thrill to
watch 10,000-plus partygoers bouncing up and down in unison
as they play ·Birdhouse in Your Soul,· and
with any luck, they·ll also play their recent ode
to Albany, ·The Egg.· Also on Saturday, catch
the alt-pop sounds of the Churchills, Zox, and OK Go. Sunday
(May 14), it·s a more mom-oriented main stage, with
music from Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and former Temptations
lead singer Richard Street, among others. Local and regional
acts will perform on a second (amphitheatre) stage from
Friday through Sunday.
58th Annual Albany Tulip Festival kicks off at noon Friday
(May 12) with the ceremonial street scrubbing, beginning
at State and Lodge streets. It·s your first chance
to catch the 2006 Tulip Queen finalists in action; the winner
will be crowned at noon on Saturday. Throughout the weekend,
you·ll find activities for the whole family, including
rides, games and crafts; for a full schedule, visit www.albanyevents.org
or call 434-2032.
Malmsteen is rock·s classically inspired shredder,
then German composer Carl Orff·s epic for chorus
and orchestra, Carmina Burana, is classical music·s
rock anthem. And don·t kid yourself, you·ve
heard it: It·s as delirious in its own way as ·Bohemian
Rhapsody,· and has been featured in numerous movies,
including The Doors, Natural Born Killers, Excalibur, the
remake of Cheaper by the Dozen and, of course, South Park:
Bigger, Longer and Uncut.
night, Albany Pro Musica, with the Capital District Youth
Chorale, soloists and orchestra, will be performing Carmina
Burana at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. We fully expect
them to rock the hall harder than, well, many recent rock
acts have. APM also will be performing Sibelius·
rousing patriotic hymn, Finlandia; Boito·s ·Prologue
in the Heavens· from Mefistofele; and the premiere
of Carson Cooman·s Just Now.
main event will be Carmina Burana, however, so a little
history is in order. In 1937, Orff took some original verses
from the Carmina Burana, a 13th-century collection of music
and verse written by monks, set it to his own pagan-sounding
music and orchestrated it for the an effectively heart-pounding
symphonic and choral attack. The Nazis weren·t so
crazy about it at first, but it eventually gained great
popularity and an official imprimatur; like the Volkswagen,
Carmina Burana survived its dubious original popularity
to become loved the world over.
Pro Musica will perform Saturday (May 13) at 8 PM at the
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (2nd and State streets, Troy).
Tickets are $25, $23 seniors, $10 students. For more info,
call the box office at 273-0038.