Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Roger Waters - 2011 Wall Tour

Roger Waters 2010 close-up Roger Waters 2010 The Wall tour

Roger Waters will be performing The Wall in Europe during the first half of 2011, and all confirmed dates are shown below.

The band includes Snowy White and Dave Kilminster, and an all-male backing vocal. Promised is state of the art staging, with the focus being a 240 foot wide by 35 foot high wall, which is constructed (and demolished) during the concert, and new, crystal clear projections and redesigned inflatables and puppets. These incredible shows form what is expected to be Roger's last tour. Also, we get emailed a lot with requests for backstage passes. We cannot get these for you, so please don't ask!

This page is your ideal starting point for information, pictures, reviews and more for each of the shows Roger performs in 2011. Simply click on the show(s) that you want to know more about... as time goes on, each show page will build to hopefully provide a really comprehensive resource!

All information provided is in good faith, and researched to the best of our abilities. However, we can take no responsibility for any errors in the information, and would urge you to check any vital information with the venue itself - and to this end, we provide, wherever possible, links to official sites for the venues, ticket agents, etc.. Any additional info or corrections gratefully received.

BRAIN DAMAGE NEEDS YOU! We want to cover the concerts the best we can, to share the experience with everyone, especially those who won't be able to attend the shows. We welcome your comments about the show(s) you have attended, ANY pictures (official, professional, newspaper and unofficial), tickets scans, posters, reviews, newspaper reports, set lists and anything else you can help with. We look forward to hearing from you!

We will do our best to acknowledge and use whatever you send in, but please note that it might not be possible to include everything. We may have to edit or exclude reports, or reduce the size of some pictures where appropriate. Please also note that reports will include mention of songs performed and other details of the shows. As with any contribution from others, opinions and comments made by individuals in their reviews are not necessarily the same as those held by Brain Damage.

If you are going to a later show, and don't want to have any surprises spoilt, don't read the reports from the earlier shows!

"Comfortably Numb - A History of The Wall" 1978-1981

Comfortably Numb cover

It is rare that a Pink Floyd book appears that instantly gains a position amongst the most essential titles, recommended as a cornerstone of the (somewhat bulging) Floydian book shelves.

Historian Vernon Fitch's two previous titles - PF Press Reports and Encyclopedia - are amongst those titles. Certainly, we refer to these all the time for information and fact checking.

The good news is that Vernon, along with his co-author Richard Mahon, has done it again. 'Comfortably Numb - A History of “The Wall”, 1978-1981', published on July 25th, is a beautifully illustrated yet richly detailed hardback tome that concerns itself solely with that album.

Research for the book has been ongoing for the last ten years, and part of this has involved approaching all those involved in the album and live show - from the band themselves, to designers, to sound engineers. Apart from rich detail, many of these people have also contributed their own, previously unseen pictures, and these are included within the pages. In total there are over 400 pictures in the book.

Frustrated with the views and demands of various mainstream publishers, Vernon decided to set up his own company, PFA Publishing Inc., and this book is the first from PFA. Normally, avoiding established publishing houses spells trouble and takes the publication into the realms of blurry, badly printed and poorly presented - but not in this case. Glossy pages throughout, colours are rich, strong, and there are no colour separation issues.

With contributions from Marc Brickman, Brian Christian, Bob Ezrin, Stan Farber, Mark Fisher, David Gilmour, James Guthrie, Rick Hart, Andy Jackson, Jon Joyce, Michael McCarty, Nick Mason, Patrice Quef, Gerald Scarfe, Rick Stratton, Phil Taylor, Toni Tennille, Trevor Veitch, Roger Waters, and numerous others, the book should be the definitive look at the album. We took a long hard look at it to see how it turned out.

Kicking off with a whistle-stop (but peppered with key detail) history of the band, the pressures on the band are clearly shown with all signs pointing at the genesis of The Wall.

Indeed, the authors point out that even at the time of DSOTM, Waters started jotting ideas down in a notebook that read "Wall of dreams", "nobody can hurt me behind my Wall", and "optimism... pessimism... fear... building The Wall... co-operation breeds progress, competition breeds decay". For many, such early references to The Wall will come as a huge surprise, and is typical of the detail uncovered in this book.

The pre-Wall history of the band culminates with Roger working on the original demo, which the authors give a track-by-track breakdown of. Fascinating stuff and dramatically different to the finished product.

With Roger's Wall demo selected as the next band piece (in preference to the Pros & Cons demo he also presented them) work started on the recording sessions. These are described in loving detail, giving a real "fly on the wall" look at how the sessions were recorded at London's Britannia Row, the Super Bear and Miraval studios in France, and New York's 30th Street and Columbia Recording Studios. Coupled with incredible pictures of the studios, the equipment, and the band and crew at work and play, it really is like being there.

There are also many interesting passages which detail who does what on the recording, and some great anecdotes relating to some of the more unusual sound effects... many of which seem to rope in Phil Taylor!

On a more serious note, the stresses and strains during the recording sessions are drawn in sharp relief, going into much greater detail - on the musical conflicts - than has been seen before.

Once the coverage of the recording sessions is concluded, the book moves to the visual elements of the project. Gerald Scarfe talks of how the concepts developed, and early sketches are shown of the Punch & Judy idea and various other early characterizations (as seen in more depth in Scarfe's own book, Drawing Blood, an absorbing retrospective on his career - reviewed on BD).

A track-by-track look at the album follows, with full detail of who did what, with what instruments, and what each song means in the context of the story. Some fascinating insights and revelations here, coupled with promotional artwork and record covers from different countries.

Almost half the book is devoted to the live performance of what was to prove an astonishing, and ground-breaking piece of rock theatre.

Possibly the more interesting part of this is the period from initial concepts to the finished article. With the combination of unusual staging (not least the wall-building and safe demolition requirement), complex projections, spanning the width of the arena, inflatables and more, work began well over a year before the first dates were played.

There are some fascinating unused designs by Mark Fisher displayed, showing ideas which never came to fruition, and the progression in the design of the fully functioning wall and bricks clearly illustrates the problems and considerations in implementing an idea which on paper, is relatively straightforward!

The authors also cover the production rehearsals in detail, before launching into the description of the show itself, song by song. Until the concerts finally get their official release on DVD (hinted at various points - most recently in 2004 - as possibly coming out) this will be the only way for many fans to get a good impression of how the shows unfolded.

To complete the narrative on the live concerts, a show-by-show description is given, with photos, ticket stubs and other memorabilia sitting alongside transcripts of on-stage introductions and chat. If nothing else (and for some it will be heading into too much detail!), these will enable easy identification of those bootlegs you've got lurking in your collection!

Matters conclude with a look at the official audio and video recordings made, how different performances were picked for the "Is There Anybody Out There" release in March 2000, and a look at the possible future for The Wall.

To tidy everything off, the appendices include a worldwide official and bootleg release discography, and a full rundown of the band's equipment used on the album and on the road.

"Comfortably Numb" contains a staggering level of detail - absolutely staggering... with no stone (or should I say, brick?) unturned; the book has every detail you could potentially wish for, and plenty more besides.

With a donation from sales of each book going to Amnesty International, and the incredible content within, this book is truly an essential item for any Floyd fan. Let's hope that Vernon and Richard carry on with their research and bring us detailed looks at other albums in the band's back catalogue.

The book is limited to 5,000 copies, each hand numbered and signed by the authors, and costs $39.95 plus shipping. More information on the book, with example pages, can be found at where you can also place your orders for this incredible book. It is not available in bookshops or elsewhere online.

17 Mysterious Pictures of Masks

Every girl has wanted the chance to wear a mask to a ball at some point, and he instant beauty and mystery a mask adds to any situation is completely irresistible. Look through these 17 mysterious pictures of masks, and you’ll see what I mean.


Masks by Brian Snelson


Masquerade by John Morgan

Shandi-lee XXIV

Shandi-lee XXIV by Shandi-lee Cox


Incognito by Aussiegall

Venice Italy

Venice Italy by gnuckx


Isabelle by Frank Kovalchek


Masquerade by Corinne Day


Masquerade by Keben-k

We Play Endlessly

We Play Endlessly by Helga Weber


Mascherato by Juliana Coutinho

Me With a Mask

Me With a Mask by Lauren Powell-Smothers


Masquerade by Corinne Day

Jackie Martinez

Jackie Martinez by Mark Sebastian


Masquerade by Sean Kirkpatrick

Behind My Mask

Behind My Mask by MahPadilha

Masquerade Ball

Masquerade Ball by Mark Sebastian


Naomi by April Johnson


Related posts:

  1. 12 Interesting Question Mark Pictures

  2. 15 Awesome Bouldering Pictures

  3. 13 Notable Antenna Ball Pictures

Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour Begins Tonight 3/30/2011

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011 Meet and Greet Contest After a five month "break", Rush is set to return to the stage tonight in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at the Bank Atlantic Center for the beginning of the 2011 Leg of their Time Machine Tour. At this time, there aren't any expected changes to the set list for the 2011 leg, however we will be confirming this tonight as the concert is underway. Anyone in attendance at tonight's show that would like to feed the set list to this site, please contact me.

In related news, the Rush Backstage Club is holding a weekly 'Meet and Greet' contest:

Win A Meet and Greet With Rush!

Check it out: every week RUSH BACKSTAGE will draw two winners to win a pair of Meet and Greet passes to meet RUSH during the Time Machine 2011 tour. The winners will meet members of the band, before the show. These lucky people will have the opportunity to say hello and have their picture taken with the guys!

In order to qualify to win the prize, entrants MUST already have in their possession tickets to a Rush Time Machine concert during the Time Machine 2011 tour. Rush Backstage will not be providing concert tickets to the winners. Good luck!
Click HERE to enter. Thanks to ED from RushIsABand for passing along that news.

Want to keep track of Rush as they progress through their concert dates? Eric from Power Windows has created a special Google iCalendar for the 2011 leg of the tour. Click HERE for more information.

For all those in attendance tonigth and over the next few dates, have a great time - and send us your concert pictures! - March 30th, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

‘Psycho-Acoustic’ Beatles Recordings Cost BlueBeat $950,000, the company that tried to sell “remastered” Beatles tracks online before they became officially available, has agreed to pay nearly $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by three music labels. The move comes more than a year after a federal judge issued a restraining order and then an injunction against the company, and does not yet include any attorney’s fees or other damages involved in the lawsuit.

The case dates back to 2009, before the (now infamous) Beatles remasters were actually authorized to be sold online. When BlueBeat and its parent company Media Rights Technologies (MRT) first posted the songs for only a quarter per track, it was widely believed there were some shenanigans going on, sparking the lawsuit from EMI, Capitol Records, and Virgin Records America.

Soon after the lawsuit was filed, BlueBeat and MRT came forward with what can only be described as a bizarre legal defense: MRT claimed it was not violating any copyrights, because it actually controlled the copyrights for the music it sells. “I authored the sound recordings that are being used by psycho-acoustic simulation,” MRT boss Hank Risan wrote in an e-mail to the RIAA. “Psychoacoustic simulations are my synthetic creation of that series of sounds which best expresses the way I believe a particular melody should be heard as a live performance.”

In fact, MRT attempted to register for copyright protection on the “psycho-acoustic simulations,” despite the fact that they were copied from the original Beatles recordings. Judge John Walter was not amused by the legal runaround — calling Risan’s defense “technobabble and doublespeak” — and eventually slapped BlueBeat with a restraining order. The order was followed up later with an injunction that resulted in the tracks being removed from BlueBeat’s website.

Now, BlueBeat and MRT have agreed to shell out $950,000 to the music labels in order to settle the case. As part of the settlement, the companies must immediately cease reproducing, distributing, publicly performing, or linking to any copyrighted works — not just the Beatles’ songs — controlled by any of the record labels involved in the case. BlueBeat has also agreed not to appeal the judgment, though the door remains open for further damages or contempt sanctions that happened after the last injunction, not to mention any additional fees that the record companies can think of.

With this settlement, BlueBeat is narrowly avoiding the summary judgment that was expected to land on Tuesday of this week. Meanwhile, BlueBeat’s website seems to be up to some of its old tricks by offering songs by other, non-Beatles artists. “You are listening to fully-licensed simulated performances,” reads the page, followed by a 2011 BlueBeat copyright notice.


Monday, March 21, 2011

An Awkward History of Our Space Transmissions

Click here to read An Awkward History of Our Space Transmissions

Ever since humanity has been able to launch projectiles into space to take nosey pictures that make us all feel insignificant, a major priority has been to somehow communicate with any alien life forms that might come across this space detritus and wonder who shot a space probe right into their upper atmosphere. Using physics, mathematics, art, and even Earth's greatest weapon (Carl Sagan), our species has painstakingly crafted the first tentative social overtures towards the magnificent extraterrestrials we hope are listening. More »

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Crop Tops: Strange Agricultural Landscapes Seen From Space

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  • Kansas

  • Bolivia

  • Sudan

  • Brazil

  • Libya

  • Netherlands

  • Kazakhstan

  • Bangkok

  • Sacramento River

  • Minnesota

  • Nile

  • Germany

Agriculture is one of the oldest and most pervasive human impacts on the planet. Estimates of the land surface affected worldwide range up to 50 percent. But while driving through the seemingly endless monotony of wheat fields in Kansas may give you some insight into the magnitude of the change to the landscape, it doesn't compare to the view from above.

When seen from space, those same boring wheat fields are transformed into a strange and even beautiful pattern. Some of the most arresting agricultural landscapes occur in the Midwestern United States in areas that rely on center-pivot irrigation (shown at right). The area pictured above near Garden City, Kansas, is being farmed to the point of resembling abstract art or a Magic Eye illusion. Groundwater from the Ogallala Aquifer is used to grow corn, wheat and sorghum in the region.

The image above, taken by the USGS' Landsat 7 satellite on Sept. 25, 2000, is a false-color composite made using data from near infrared, red and green wavelengths and sharpened with a panchromatic sensor. The red areas actually represent the greenest vegetation. Bare soil or dead vegetation ranges from white to green or brown.

The image below is a simulated true-color shot from the same county in Kansas taken June 24, 2001 by NASA's Terra satellite. Bright greens are healthy, leafy crops such as corn; sorghum would be less mature at this time of year and probably a bit paler; wheat is ready for harvest and appears a bright gold; brown fields have been recently harvested. The circles are perfectly round and measure a mile or a half mile in diameter.

In this gallery, we've collected some of the most interesting views of crops from space, including rice paddies in Thailand, cotton fields in Kazakhstan and alfalfa growing in the middle of the Libyan desert.

Images: 1) USGS/NASA. 2) USGS. 3) NASA.

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