Thursday, August 26, 2010

Welcome to 'The Machine'

Joe Pascarell was just 12-years-old when he first heard Pink Floyd in 1973 — and the moment changed his life (and our lives) forever.

“Up until that point, all I thought there was was Beatles music, and here comes all these sounds I’d never heard before,” said Pascarell, a self-trained guitarist. “It just sounded like another world to me. I couldn’t make the guitar sound like it sounded on those records.”

After hours spent wearing out his old records, he eventually did, and it’s certainly paid off. As the guitarist and lead singer of the New York-based Pink Floyd cover band The Machine, Pascarell has been playing the music of the seminal British blues rockers, known for concept albums like “The Wall,” for over 20 years.

The Machine brings its act — complete with a light show, of course — to Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg tomorrow for a performance that’s known and respected among Floyd fans for its spot-on interpretation of the band’s 16-year catalogue (see "Comfortably Numb" performed below).

“We’re going to play a lot of different Pink Floyd music, not just the popular songs, but the earlier, obscure songs,” said Pascarell. “Pink Floyd in the early days was a highly improvisational band. We try to expand on music in a way that’s respectful.”

After 20 years, Pascarell has played the music of Pink Floyd’s almost as much as the band itself has, but the thrill has never lost him.

“I’ve played most of these songs at last 2,000 times, and I feel like it’s your job to perform each song every night as if it’s the only time you’re going to perform it,” said Pascarell. “I still get excited to play the guitar solo at the end of ‘Comfortably Numb.’ ”

The Machine at Brooklyn Bowl [61 Wythe Ave. between N. 11th and N. 12th streets in Williamsburg, (718) 963-3369], Aug. 27 at 9 pm. Tickets $15. For info, visit


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