Altered States (Live 1988)
In 1988 – and for me it was through until about 1994 – Joe Satriani was the man. His Lazarus days. A king shredder that invested some melody and mood into the trick-bag. Rock instrumentals for fairweather-bogans, guitar music that wasn’t just for guitar-nerds…okay, it mostly was, but its reach extended beyond the guitar shop goons and mouth-breathing gear-geeks.
And the key to it all was 1987’s Surfing With The Alien (coincidentally reissued today as a double-CD with the solos removed for aspiring shredders to wail over…no, really!) even if, these days, I’m more fond of the previous record, Not of This Earth, despite its clean-af sound-setting.
To listen to Satriani, for me, now, is the equivalent of a Bad Diary public reading. It’s not even naval gazing. It’s more like stroking the collected mat of hair plucked from the plug-hole…and then naming it…and making a bed of leaves for it in an old shoebox.
It’s a weird thing to be listening to Satriani, particularly the Satch of the late-1980s. Nothing quite so world-beating about it now eh.
But, Altered States has been released as a standalone item; a concert from 1988 that was broadcast on radio in the states at some point and has been available in bits and pieces across the years, most notably some of the tracks are on the second disc of the Time Machine set.
Jonathan Mover (drums) and Stu Hamm (bass) were motherfucker-players. But now its hideous splash-cymbal cringe and jizzy fat fingered bass-rubs. Ew.
And Satch? Well it’s nearly a mystery to me that he resonated so hard.
That said, there are moments here. The big long widdly-wo version of Echo is kinda-something. Always loved the shelf of bass to that. And Midnight is a standout here too.
But it’s all a bit like watching an episode of Beverly Hills 90210. Why would you fucking do it?
Now, Rubina my lovely little clump of bath-hair. Let’s get you back to your new bed…
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