Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

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CaseyChristopher
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Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby CaseyChristopher » Sat Jul 26, 2014 03:31

Hello fellow forum decorum.

I must admit I am rather late ....
to the most empathic musical muse gathering
fate would have it that though I had crossed and yet again lost
the wondrous sounds of our heart's arrest I did not get into Cardiacs proper,
and eyes for which I shed a tear,
or two, until this very year.

Like a few others across the Land Ocean World
I had been into a band called "Napalm Death"
out in the fringes of experimental music in the late
80s and early 90s as a young and newly teened ager.

Napalm had shared a stage, as many of you know, with Cardiacs at the Salisbury Arts Theater in 1990 and they mention between the songs "This next one goes out to Cardiacs".
At the time I had envisioned the "Cardiacs" as another extreme metal band with the drippy letters or at least some hard core punk. Since there was no real "internet", the kind we have today, I was reduced to watching Headbangers Ball or perusing metal magazines to hasten any new flavored discoveries.

Now, I'll give you that at the time I was looking for another metal/grindcore band like Napalm Death. Though Cardiacs would have been right up my alley with a proper listen.

Later that year, or maybe two, I would happenstance across Cardiacs on MTV late one night.
Day is gone was the video. It captured me but I did not keep my eyes on it. I was just milling around as it played in the background. I liked what I heard but did not check the name of the band.

And that is all for two plus decades.

In the meanwhile I move to Los Angeles and become a 3D animation/ CGI guy in 1995 and have been in L.A ever since doing just that, Skateboarding, and making my own music.

My first band was one that serendipitously was very similar to Cardiacs. I had guitars, keyboards, drum machine, both punk, metal, pop vocals across many songs. It was the best way I could indulge creativity. It came about from an experience I had on LSD when I was 14. Fell off a house and ended up stuck in a permatrip for 7 years. The music of that time came from that psychological damage.

Over time I come back to earth and my senses return through natural healing by 2001. My musical trappings, often encouraged by some but most often told was too strange to ever build a career off of, had started to take a new direction. One more applicable to being catchy and riff based instead of layered and multi instrumental.

This year I stumble across old Napalm Death recordings. I hear them again credit the "Cardiacs" so I go to the internet and decide its time to solve this old riddle and see what Shane and Barney are so caught up in Cardiacs even though I haven't seen them peeking out in my usual travels be it in life or by way of computer screen.

I end up on you tube and find the Garage Rehearsals. As Cold as Can be by an English Sea.

As a musician I am immediately captured by the anti 4/4 time signatures and change ups. I am mystified by the timing of the vocals over the music which followed no usual suspect in either placement or tone harmonics. Yet fit like a key in the proper key. Somehow.

By the time Tim starts singing "Turning round again.... all the tiiii iiii iiiiime" I have tears in my eyes. I had entered his Toy World and It had validated my own strange quircky music I had abandoned for safer waters long ago.

Like many of you I slowly started to absorb the Cardiac's catalogue...catologueing it into my own memory story. I have listened to most of it over the last four months. I rediscover "Day is Gone" and shake my head that I indeed had heard Cardiacs before and even further so with "Is this the Life." Realizing that these were probably too safe for my own experimental nature at the time. Yet had I heard "Hello Mr Minnow" or "The Breakfast Line: I would have been an instant fan.

---MUSICIAN GUSH SECTION --- detour below if it makes you want to vomit rainbows---

I haven't heard all of Guns as I am slowly giving myself new material over time. I started with Special Garage Concerts one and two. Moved on to Sing to God. Went off to Whole World WIndow. A few selections from Heaven Born, a few from Seaside. Trying not to exhuast it all at once. As a musician myself I am often brough to tears that Tim had found so many little avenues to connect things I had trouble mashing together in my experimental phase.

He seems to glide through them and make them work when I would turn away and hear it as a problem. He seems to let the problem be the melody and solve it with a vocal overtone or to let a bar of music extend past its expected changeup. SO many little tricks that I had accidently come across by myself but never placed as a choice in an arsenal of ideas. Everything I have tried to write since discovering this band now has Tim's Trademark in it a little. Even when I try to avoid it. I find myself changing things up and making them more random like my earlier material only

--------------------END GUSH SECTION----------------------

I too. Think this is the greatest band in the world.

Now. So many questions. Many of which I've answered by searching around here for a week or so perusing and searching.

1. Is there a definitive source on Tim since the 2008 tragedy? A facebook search shows an abandoned fan page.

2. Latest up to date word on Garage Rehearsals being released? I know about the gathering/concert showing more of the footage than the two clips on YouTube.

3. Toy world and Obvious Identity Tape releases on CD? I have heard a downloaded version of Dead Mouse and one on youtube and the one on you tube (Under toy world (part 3) is a little faster and better quality. Looking for versions not so run through even though... there is something charming about the lo-fi approach to Tims early material where the tapes do lend some magic.

4. What has Jim been doing since 2008?

5. DItzy Scene availability?


Apologies for the extended and quite sociopathic intro. Yet long tangents are the stuff of musical genius around these parts... aren't they?

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Postby Made Of Worms » Sat Jul 26, 2014 04:39

Lovely intro. Jim may or may not have been dealing with fridges.

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Postby dogsetc. » Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:34

Yeah lovely, nice one Casey. I'm sure the answers will be coming along soon.

Image

5. Really not sure, you get them on eBay i think. I'd say they're quite rare now, 1000's not many. I think they should press this as a 12", A-side and 2 on the back. 45rpm, it would be a classic. People would love it.

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Re: Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby drterror666 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 15:19

3. Never. Going. To. Happen!

Oh, and welcome to the madness!!! A word of advice...

...go here and scroll down (or possibly up) a little. There is FLAC goodness down there that I am never taking down!
Hello little doggy,
My, you are a nice dog,
What did you just say then?
You could do some tricks! Oh, good, then will you show me?
My word that's a good one!
Would you like a cigarette?
No you can't, they're bad for you!

Image

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Re: Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby ryan » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:10

hello!

CaseyChristopher wrote:Now. So many questions. Many of which I've answered by searching around here for a week or so perusing and searching.

1. Is there a definitive source on Tim since the 2008 tragedy? A facebook search shows an abandoned fan page.


Heart attack at a My Bloody Valentine gig. I believe shortly followed by a stroke...?

CaseyChristopher wrote:2. Latest up to date word on Garage Rehearsals being released? I know about the gathering/concert showing more of the footage than the two clips on YouTube.


No word. Apparently unfinished. Them being shown, and recent activities in reissuing stuff, might suggest a willingness to complete and release them/

CaseyChristopher wrote:3. Toy world and Obvious Identity Tape releases on CD? I have heard a downloaded version of Dead Mouse and one on youtube and the one on you tube (Under toy world (part 3) is a little faster and better quality. Looking for versions not so run through even though... there is something charming about the lo-fi approach to Tims early material where the tapes do lend some magic.


Nope.
I believe the Garage Concerts are seen as the definitive versions of these tunes, by those who make decide stuff?

CaseyChristopher wrote:4. What has Jim been doing since 2008?


Certainly nothing musical.

CaseyChristopher wrote:5. DItzy Scene availability?


Nope.
Might get swept up in the campaign of making stuff available again?

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Re: Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby CaseyChristopher » Tue Jul 29, 2014 18:18

Gratitude is my attitude at altitude :D for the warm welcome everyone.

Thanks for the Flac files Dr Terror. They are really decent versions of the cassette albums. They have promptly plumpt up the free space on my phone for ear consumption at regular intervals.

I, like many of you, have listened to the interview with Tim on the radio where he shows a couple moments off LSD. An endless sequence of sighs and restrained anticipation for the uncompleted work.

Not because we are insatiable, though we are insatiable, but rather the horror of unfulfilled potential, which is my biggest fear in life.

Didn't know they only made 1000 copies of Ditzy scene. It reveals that Tim's music is far too underexposed... or it reveals that some forms of communication are harder to understand and even more so in the realm of pop music that's been laden with psychedelia. Inviting and estranged.

As Tim would put it "Ever so hard".

I do hope that the Garage Rehearsals get a proper Blu Ray release. I downloaded the clip on you tube and made an mp3 because I love that version the best of the four I've heard.

Does Tim have his own Facebook page?

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Re: Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby Sterbus » Tue Jul 29, 2014 21:05

CaseyChristopher wrote:Does Tim have his own Facebook page?


Yes, https://www.facebook.com/tim.smith.587268?fref=ts
But he's not really behind it, there are some very close friends to him that read him the messages and that post for Tim when he wants to communicate something (even if this rarely happens)
anything anyplace anywhere for no reason at all
All my music here... http://sterbus.bandcamp.com/

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Re: Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby Snardbafulator » Thu Aug 07, 2014 03:28

Woah, this is what I get for not peeking at this forum for a couple of weeks ...

Great great introduction, Casey, and welcome to the party! As (yet another) amateur composer myself, I found myself also astounded while discovering Cardiacs at the way Tim's musical obsessions seemed to uncannily mirror some of my own, especially in the area of meter and polyrhythm. Like, is this the most British Balkan rock band you ever heard or what?

Or the most Balkan British rock band? In any case, the memory of their rhythmic quirkiness as part of the heritage of British rock music was busy being exterminated through the august offices of NME and Melody Maker by the time Cardiacs were coming up. Admitting you were an old progrock fan into Gong, Gentle Giant or even Hatfield and the North was tantamount to confessing sympathy for Maggie Thatcher. No wonder NME embargoed Cardiac's mention.

And not just the prog Usual Suspects. Tim was an avid teenage fan of what would become RIO (Rock In Opposition) and avant prog (Slapp Happy, Egg, National Health, Henry Cow), despite denying the prog label, calling Cardiacs "psychedelic music" (anything but pronk!) and attempting to dismiss (or shunt) all journalists who wanted any insight into the complexities of Cardiacs music by oft repeating, in his most legendary quote, "It's all just tunes, innit?"

"Just tunes." Heh.

Metal at the time was fusing and cross-fertilizing with punk (with grievous bodily harm occasionally meted out to one fan base by the other and vice-versa) and it took until thrash (and its ditzy cousin, hair metal) became the mainstream metal sound that a decent claque of headbangers began respecting the same fundamental musical values that allowed progrock to emerge in the early 70s to begin with. This led to a huge explosion in rock innovation starting in the 90s, well beyond "alternative rock," with metal, surprisingly enough, leading the charge. By the end of the millennium, an otherwise fairly ordinary metal band like Tool could win a Grammy for a bestselling album with Fibonacci time signatures on it. The prog revival was on.

This was the context for Cardiacs's last, and I would argue, highly fruitful period. And then tragedy struck, only milliseconds (in cultural time) from the British music press reassessing their vile early-90s dictums. Today, teenagers form math rock bands and learn how to tap in garages. The full-blown internet has allowed virtually every type of music, all eras, to become available with decent sound to literally everyone. Sure, stuff on the major labels still for the most part totally sucks, but less and less people depend on the majors because with broadcast radio just about dead they have no promotional apparatus to reach beyond their highly targeted niche markets. People take their cues from Facebook, fave music blogs and forums, or just spend afternoons surfing YouTube to scratch that New and Interesting Music itch.

So just as the great British music press decides it's safe to declare Tim a genius and Cardiacs "the secret Beatles," the great British public (and great publics all around the world) have decided it's safe to declare the great British music press totally and irrevocably irrelevant.

Awesomesauce.

Bob
Deconstructing conventional wisdom since the birth of punk

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Re: Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby CaseyChristopher » Tue Aug 19, 2014 16:50

Thanks for the warm welcome Snard. :D

There is a strange quality indeed to how people come across Cardiacs.

Its almost part of the architecture of appreciation. As if this was never ever going to be as easy to imbibe as the Beatles but, like many of my favorite things, are an acquired taste and reward in much greater amount far beyond anything instantly palatable.

Though I find many songs by Tim that are instantly palatable depending on the musical taste.

Like Signs and Core are quite infections from the start for general music audience, icky qualms, let alone my plastic doll, and dead mouse for punk rockers, and even A little Man and a House is something my kid requests because he loves to sing along to "Thats the way we allll go".

What I find surprising are songs that have so many unexpected turns at first :eeeek: become the most satisfying. I almost am sad when they are more familiar and yet knowing how the pieces have been tailored to fit are things that musicians themselves can only understand because of the labor, or maybe lack thereof in Tim's genius, afforded the music.

At which point I realize. This maybe something for the intricate and complex only, as it is indulged in intelligence and passion that is not an easily endured life in general. It would only resonate to those who can hold the long tangent and synthesize the tall arcs. In that context I feel bad for NME and Melody Maker for cutting themselves short in the first place.

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Re: Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby Snardbafulator » Thu Sep 11, 2014 20:52

Hey Casey, sorry for not seeing this message sooner.

There's always an underlying context to the changing fashions in music and taking a broad view, say from the postwar period to the present, probably the two biggest factors in allowing innovation and weirdness to be welcomed and not scorned are economics and demographics: How many potential fans and how much money do they have to try radical new music?

In 1969, Rolling Stone was probably America's most significant rock magazine. Lester Bangs wrote a glowing, awestruck review calling Trout Mask Replica the most important record of that year (and '69 was a huge year for what would be later termed "classic rock"). Now Trout Mask, by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, is an album that truly makes the absolute weirdest music by Cardiacs sound like The Beatles (produced by Phil Spector!). It's an acknowledged classic, but many people to this day consider it totally unlistenable, in the same category as Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. My love for TMR is one of the very few things that progressive and avant prog fans like me have in common with early punks like John Lydon.

Now TMR was never destined for the charts. But it wasn't actively despised by the cultural tastemakers of its time, either. It was allowed to coexist with Donovan, bubblegum and crude early heavy metal; the idea was what a great world we lived in that produced such variety.

Now look at how old most of the baby boomers were in '69 and look at the roaring economy.

Twenty years later when Cardiacs were beginning to achieve notice that world was on its ear. The economy was in deep recession, Thatcher and Reagan had demolished cornerstone principles of working-class security, the boomers who had survived The Me Decade and disco were raising families now, snarking at the Sexual Revolution and becoming socially conservative. The gen x'ers who put punk and new wave on the map had different priorities.

It had all become a zero-sum game now, with everybody trying desperately to protect their own little slivers of a shrinking pie. So when Cardiacs came out with their first well-produced album which reeked of early prog, the press reaction was who has time for this shite anymore? The British press reception of A Little Man ... is immortalized in the AllMusic review (cribbed verbatim), which is stunningly vicious considering how many different styles AllMusic covers.

Now I agree with you, Casey, that there are Cardiacs tunes which instantly grab you (Signs and Core for me, too) and then there are others that take longer -- sometimes much longer -- to assimilate, even including the enormously anthemic Dirty Boy which remains a love-hate thing for many Cardiacs fans. Even the most gaga fishie would never argue that they'd be capable of pop-charting over half their discography like The Beatles. But Tim did write populist (if not quite pop) music, sing-along choruses, which should be much more popular than they are.

What has changed the context forever is the internet, which is undermining and will eventually destroy the efforts of a handful of multinational corporations through their labels to serve as gatekeepers for the music we all listen to. User-provided content is here to stay.

There will be an awful lot of worthless ephemera in the cloud that will never go away.

But neither will Cardiacs :mrgreen:

Bob
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Re: Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby CaseyChristopher » Sat Sep 13, 2014 04:19

Well I appreciate the strange for the sake of destroying that left brained expectation and allows me to really pay attention as opposed to anticipate almost ungratefully.

I can't get over Gloomy News, Dinner Time, Breakfast Line, Gina Lollabridgida, Ice I Spot and a Dot on the dog. There are time signature mixes here from 2/4 to 3/4 for one bridge to 7/8.

And honestly I am betting the musical math isn't as interesting to Tim as is his natural intuition for feeling the moment when it needs to surprise or is required to betray expectation.

Yet, it always has some musical rhythmical integrity to it and isn't felt as gimmicky or for the sake of being fancy like the many math core bands who are a simply practice in memory and wont give you an iota of rythmical glide for satiation's sake a midst all the technical master'y '(batory).

I had never heard Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica but I can say the third song is just amazing. "Alugga roo". Right up my wonder where this will go rabbit skull.

Yet even Tim's seemingly simple songs have the trademark of his black smithery. Stoneage Dinosaurs, Everything is Easy, All Spectacular. There are timings and even hidden ways in which the rhyme is stopped midsentence for the lead into the next bar. Double entendres apply but sometimes because of similar sounding words and not because its the eye but the "i".

I probably feel sad like most that this music isn't somehow more well known, but then there is something here that almost begs to be that which must be quested for and found. Something you ride a big ship to get to the outside where all of noise is in creation's celebration.

I'm not a religious or spiritual person at all but there are moments listening to Cardiacs and Tim Smith's works that I thought of the descriptions of Heaven where you hear the most beautiful music and this is as close to that I can imagine.

Being a crazy strange music starved fanatic has finally paid off in full.

Thanks again for the Trout Mask Replica lead. This is really a ton of fun.

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Re: Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby Bubby » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:36

Don't know how i missed this, but welcome. You write very well.
And honestly I am betting the musical math isn't as interesting to Tim as is his natural intuition for feeling the moment when it needs to surprise or is required to betray expectation.

Yet, it always has some musical rhythmical integrity to it and isn't felt as gimmicky or for the sake of being fancy like the many math core bands who are a simply practice in memory and wont give you an iota of rythmical glide for satiation's sake a midst all the technical master'y '(batory).

This perfectly sums up not only Tims music, but also why i'm very rarely satisfied with much of what is considered math rock/tech metal/pronk etc. Lots of technical skill, but no connection to the heart.

Napalm Death did To Go Off And Things a while back. You probably already know this.

So what other musics do you like then?

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Re: Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby Snardbafulator » Sat Sep 13, 2014 13:34

Bubby wrote:This perfectly sums up not only Tims music, but also why i'm very rarely satisfied with much of what is considered math rock/tech metal/pronk etc. Lots of technical skill, but no connection to the heart.

As you no doubt already know, Bubby, I couldn't possibly disagree with this more. I think it's a solecism which has been drummed into our heads by bad music journalism ever since a few punk rock ideologues trumpeted it, but it collapses upon the most cursory examination.

After all, what's the most empty, soulless, unmoving music you can think of? Is it technical? Hell no, it's tween-targeted radio pop. It might be pushing all the sentimental buttons, it might be singing about love, but instead of connecting, it makes us feel gross and manipulated.

Ni is a grungy French mathcore band that totally connects with me. Allan Holdsworth has literally moved me to tears. While I respect your right to a differing opinion, you also need to respect mine and take me at my word that what I feel is a genuine heart-to-heart musical connection and not some wonk's glee that can be summed up in a litany of tech specs.

If I was granted one wish for all the musicians of the world, it would be that they all had ten times more technique than they currently do. Not all of them would need or want to use it, of course, but it would make it easier for every one of them to access their creativity.

The less time you need to spend practicing scales, the more time you have to be creative.

Bob
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Re: Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby Bubby » Sat Sep 13, 2014 14:19

This perfectly sums up not only Tims music, but also why i'm very rarely satisfied with much of what is considered math rock/tech metal/pronk etc. Lots of technical skill, but no connection to the heart.

I said much of not all of.

There's a lot of music that has been posted on here and as i've said before it leaves me cold. Without innovation, an interesting structure or *gasp* a tune, i've no interest in empty tech flashiness or sweep picking bollocks, of course there are exceptions, but i think you know exactly what i mean when i say all tech no heart. I'm not denigrating skill, i'm denigrating (or at least admitting little interest in) skill with no ideas behind it.
Bob wrote:If I was granted one wish for all the musicians of the world, it would be that they all had ten times more technique than they currently do. Not all of them would need or want to use it, of course, but it would make it easier for every one of them to access their creativity

Dear god! Imagine Bono writing Concertos :eeeek:

There's a lot of punk (not to mention industrial and noise) i like that isn't remotely technically advanced or "clever", yet has more feeling and musicality than a hundred ELP's.

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Re: Tragically Late to the Whole World Window.

Postby Snardbafulator » Sun Sep 14, 2014 01:27

Bubby wrote:
This perfectly sums up not only Tims music, but also why i'm very rarely satisfied with much of what is considered math rock/tech metal/pronk etc. Lots of technical skill, but no connection to the heart.

I said much of not all of.

Sure. You're not stating this as an absolute, but only as a general rule of thumb. My argument is that prior to the prog revival (which, interestingly, coincided closely enough with the rise of Napster and file sharing, but that's a different discussion), this was taken, at least by professional rock critics and DJs, as a generally valid rule of thumb. After all, punk had proven it. The prog dinosaurs were dead. The Sex Pistols revolutionized rock music with their bass player not knowing how to play. This is what Cardiacs encountered and explains the incredible viciousness and righteous ignorance their music was met with in the mainstream press.

Worst of all, Cardiacs tried to sneak prog through the back door of punk. So they were worse than infidel neo-proggers like Marillion, they were apostates. Ska in 11/8? Any band that did songs like Tarred and Feathered and RES couldn't just be patronizingly mocked and sneered at like Marillion, they had to actively despised, attacked, ultimately written out of history with a press embargo. Because no otherwise Pixies-like stomping British rock band deserved to be taken at all seriously with music that wonky. It demonstrated to all and sundry that they had nothing important to express, no ideas worth taking seriously, beyond obnoxious cleverness.

Now woah woah woah you're thinking. Cardiacs are incredibly emotional and connect right to the heart! And also profound and poetic. They are the exception! you veritably shriek.

Aye, there's the rub. How much wonk is too much wonk? That's impossible to say, purely a matter of individual taste. That's why trying to turn it into a rule of thumb, into a general idea that "too much technique" (however much that is) somehow strips the heart out of music is so dangerous. It becomes just another brick in that hideous, tottering edifice of lazy journalism.
There's a lot of music that has been posted on here and as i've said before it leaves me cold.

Absolutely! The fact that we as Cardiacs fans all have somewhat different tastes is something that should be celebrated. We all try to turn each other on to our faves and share them, and obviously we're not all going to agree with each other all the time. The fact that we do seem to like so much music in common despite our differences is veritably magic. Viva The Nest!
Without innovation, an interesting structure or *gasp* a tune, i've no interest in empty tech flashiness or sweep picking bollocks, of course there are exceptions, but i think you know exactly what i mean when i say all tech no heart.

Well unfortunately I do know exactly what you mean and I disagree with it profoundly. Tech vs. heart is, and has always been, a false dichotomy. At root, the two have nothing to do with each other. Some of the most soulless, empty, fundamentally unexpressive music imaginable is strenuously marketed (to highly targeted groups) as being made by "sincere" singers and musicians who the targeted groups are made to feel they can identify with because they are just like them. Conversely, there's music that hits on all cylinders technically which also hits on all cylinders emotionally. And any and all degrees of variation between these extremes.
I'm not denigrating skill, i'm denigrating (or at least admitting little interest in) skill with no ideas behind it.

I think it's more that you object to those particular ideas. Frank Zappa called making music decorating fragments of time by rearranging air molecules. Music is fundamentally design, and all design has ideas behind it. I mean, take Yngwie. If shred kiddies want to worship the speed of his sweep picking and spend whole afternoons in their garages, basements and bedrooms with tablature trying to emulate him, that's no skin off anyone's nose, really. Sure, some of them will jump from this to calling him a "great guitarist," but that's no threat to anything, certainly not to more mature fans of the guitar who just write it off to youthful enthusiasm. What's dangerous, though, is for critical opinion to create a category of guitarists based on the stereotype of Yngwie and then lump every highly skillful guitarist into that wanker category.

If "wanker" was a legitimate criticism, John Coltrane would have been dismissed out of hand.

Not all design has to yield to a particular emotional agenda to be appreciated, either. For instance, there's an awful lot of deliberately "heartless" metal out there, and music which expresses emotions coarser or more disconcerting than those which poetically emanate from the center of our chests. That Orthrelm Tech linked, for instance, is totally "emotionless." It's pure design. I dig it because I'm viscerally moved by the odditude of abstract patterns. Could everybody appreciate this stuff the way I do? Of course not. On the other hand, you don't object to the Esra and Aziza that I love because of their wonkitude -- you object to the most directly emotional component of their art -- their particular choices of vocal expression.

All I'm saying, really, is that the criticism of "empty wanking" is very easily overblown.
Dear god! Imagine Bono writing Concertos :eeeek:

It's not that Bono should be writing concertos (or Tyondai Braxton should be writing symphonies), it's that the maintenance of technique is a real issue to working musicians and can be a millstone around their necks. Unless one reads musician's mags, we general music fans tend to be strangers to this, because we're much more interested in all that glamorous and human interest stuff about our idols. But musicians have to dedicate hours of their lives each day holed up practicing and this can be a real drag -- and it can lead to confusing the results of practicing with creative ideas. My little fantasy would be to remove this burden from musicians so they wouldn't feel the need to prove themselves as much (to their peers, mostly) through technical mastery, and would thus be able to spend more time being creative.
There's a lot of punk (not to mention industrial and noise) i like that isn't remotely technically advanced or "clever", yet has more feeling and musicality than a hundred ELP's.

Sure. And on my end of things, Captain Beefheart was a technically ignorant autodidact who nonetheless revolutionized music by inspiring a whole raft of post punk innovation. I'd just be careful of making this point by using the term "musicality," which out of the mouths of music critics tends to have conservative connotations. For instance, Trout Mask Replica has virtually no "musicality;" ELP has plenty. Feeling and expression are fine terms to make this point.

But feeling and expression are also qualities colored by our always different subjective experiences as listeners. Like all languages, we bring to music as much as we take from it.

Bob
Deconstructing conventional wisdom since the birth of punk