Prog Head Thread

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Prog Head Thread

Postby Snardbafulator » Fri Jan 07, 2011 20:12

SaltyJon> You got started into prog a bit earlier on than I did; I didn't really find it until I was 16 or 17, and none of my friends from high school enjoy it much at all.

Bear in mind it's a whole different generation. In the mid 70s, everybody who I knew, including all the highschool cool kids, loved mainstream radio music that was (and is) considered prog, like Jethro Tull's Aqualung and Thick as a Brick, and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon (which I cannot stand, but that's a subject for another post). Free form "progressive rock" radio allowed DJs to have personal discretion in what they played and the time to feature entire album sides. It was a different era; the record companies were rolling in dough, experimentalism was encouraged. If you're interested in my historical take on this, there's an elaborate discussion I'm having with prowler in the "The Reason We're Cardiacs Fans!" thread you could take a look at ...

SaltyJon> I was a pretty big fan of Primus at the time (still enjoy them),

Oh I'm definitely still a Primus fan. Claypool's sense of humor covers a multitude of sins, including his rather innocent grasp of what should be every bass player's grab bag of music theory. The "fusion" bass feature in the song "Frizzle Fry" and the solo in "Tommy The Cat" are just embarrassing. But still, they have done some great songs, "Mr. Knowitall" and "Mrs. Baileen" among them.

SaltyJon> and on one of Les Claypool's Frog Brigade's live discs, there was a cover of this weird song "Thela Hun Ginjeet"...it intrigued me, wasn't much like anything I'd ever heard before. So I did a little bit of searching, found this "unknown" group King Crimson and the album Discipline, and promptly fell in love for a while.

That's so interesting to me, seeing it from the other side. You know, of course, that the live bit they tape-cassette segue out of at the beginning of "To Defy the Laws of Tradition" is a Rush tune, right? Claypool's a huge Rush fan and he also covered Peter Gabriel's "Intruder." Of course you've prolly discovered that long-time King Crimson fans have a different perspective, and that while we like and appreciate the 80s band, it's the earlier stuff, for my money the John Wetton era, that really made King Crimson immortal. Lark's Tongues in Aspic is an enduring masterpiece -- and there aren't many of those in the TRO-Total / Atlantic stable of mid-70s hugely successful prog bands.

SaltyJon> At first I stuck with the big names, Genesis, ELP, Yes, etc. but then I realized I wasn't a big fan of Genesis or ELP.

Heh, speaking of which. Genesis and ELP are two bands who choked on their own success. ELP probably inspired more punk bands just by what a sheer monstrosity they had become by '74, the year their horrible triple live album came out. The sound quality and musicianship wasn't any better than a pirate live LP I had bought a year earlier so that was it for me, Guida's Fugue or not. Not to dismiss Keith Emerson, maddening though he can be, too lightly. He was and continues to be an enormous influence; his quartal writing on Tarkus continues to stick in my head. But he's a shameless thief so in love with the idea of pop success that he thought he could take pieces specifically known for their subtle timing structures like Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and Leos Janacek's "Symphonetta" and turn them into chugging symmetrical-time rockouts like, you know, nobody would notice or something. His best classical adaptation remains Bartok's "Allegro Barbaro" into "The Barbarian." And okay, with the perspective of decades of hindsight, I just revisited ELP's jamout on "Fanfare For the Common Man" and it wasn't quite as terrible as I remembered.

Genesis is another story. Phil Collins had such a different frontman demeanor than Peter Gabriel that I suppose they had no choice but to change their entire direction if they were to remain together. I, needless to say, have zero use for them from And Then There Were Three onward. But I always thought that PG Genesis would be one of the prog bands from the Golden Age that would stand the most revisiting. Lately, though, listening to their classic stuff I've been mostly impressed (sadly) by how diatonic and sing-songy so much of it is. I'll always have a place for "The Battle of Epping Forest" (ever try to play that tune in a crowed bar with a good jukebox? People get completely bolloxed up by the drum track) and that wonderful midsection of "Firth of Fifth" (and some truly standout cuts on Nursery Cryme and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway), but yeah, overall they've definitely waned on me, too, in my case over decades.

SaltyJon> I still like Yes and King Crimson,

Yes, even back in the day, I only had partial use for. Close To The Edge is another enduring masterpiece and Fragile isn't far behind, but everything else I can sort of take or leave. The band you didn't mention is Gentle Giant -- and if you haven't checked them out, you really ought to. Start with The Power and the Glory and work your way back and forward from there.

SaltyJon> but most of my favorites are the lesser known/lesser adored groups. I'm a big Canterbury fan as well (Caravan, National Health, HatN, etc),

I wouldn't equate "lesser known" with "lesser adored" necessarily. All these groups had (and have) hardcore cult followings no matter how popular (or not) they wound up. I happened to catch a recent concert of Caravan's on YouTube, doing Mike Ratledge's "Backwards" (originally part of Soft Machine's "Slightly All The Time") with an orchestra (like on the studio record), and I was very pleasantly surprised. It's like they're doing the Fairport Convention thing, old guys reuniting to play congenial concerts in front of small, adoring crowds, of what has become classic material.

Bear in mind there would not be RIO as we know it without Canterbury, since so much of the impetus behind the startup of RIO came from arsehole attitudes and behaviors Virgin Records started exhibiting towards their progressive stable from the mid-70s onward. The story of Hatfield's massive debt after recording their first at Manor Studios was evidently only the beginning. I won't start on a big Dave Stewart rant; there's some of that in the "Canterbury Tales" thread already.

SaltyJon> but it's the RIO/avant/Zeuhl/Krautrock which really has my love as far as prog goes. Some groups completely turn me off, of course, but my rate of success with those groups is pretty high.

I'm not one of these people who believes that music is this ineffible expression that gets leached of its essence the more you talk about it (and as a prog fan, I'm sure you must've run into this because prog fans tend to love talking about the nuts and bolts of music and most people are content with "I like it cuz it's good / it's good cuz I like it" formulations. I have a bootstrapped, primarily self-taught knowledge of music theory and analysis and can pretty much describe in concrete terminology why it is I like or don't like something. So I'm a little betwildered why you'd even include Krautrock with RIO/Zeuhl (which belong together for I think obvious reasons). Faust was a unique, deeply influential cabaret / experimental art rock band that defied categorization and Birth Control was a kickin' classical and jazz-influenced progrock outfit for one or two albums in the mid-70s, but otherwise they were a poor man's Deep Purple. Kraftwerk is cyborg music, a precursor to techno maybe but definitely not progressive as rigorously defined. The synth-dominated Krautrock led by Tangerine Dream, Edgar Froese and others is more a species of ambient music and the jamming Krautrockers exemplified by Guru Guru, Highdelberg and Can didn't have much going for them in the way of musical/structural development. All in my everso-humble opinion, of course. But still ...

So I guess my question would be (retreating out of arrogant assertion), what is it about RIO and Zeuhl (I consider "avant-prog" an unnecessary term more clearly rendered by things like "experimental progrock," "art rock" or even just describing the music) that makes you like it? Is it the unusual amount of dissonance? The tar-black moods of certain pieces by Univers Zero and Art Zoyd? The assymmetrical rhythm patterns? The sheer exoticism of music sung in languages other than English? The amount of musical information conveyed, what Zappa called "statistical density"?

I'm not asking these things because I'm morbidly curious about the minutiae of your personal musical taste, but to get you started thinking about these things, the better to know your own mind.

SaltyJon> I enjoy all of the jazz/classical you mentioned there as well. I just listened to some Dolphy last night,

Eric Dolphy had to take a stand in the early 60s jazz war between the emergence of free jazz, spearheaded by Ornette Coleman (the approach he called harmolodics) and the modern classical-influenced, technique-oriented progressive jazz which he exemplified (and which Miles Davis still thought was too out-there to rank with the best of the jazz mainstream -- i.e. him). So he said something in an interview which has always struck me. He thinks of every note he plays -- no matter how oblique or dissonant -- as relating to the chord progression of a given tune. This, for me, amounts to a musical credo and influenced me so deeply that I carefully hand-painted "Allan Holdsworth is the Eric Dolphy of Fuzz Guitar" on the back of my car when I was your age, because I think Holdsworth's approach to soloing is about the same. It amounts to a reverence for the harmonic structure of a given tune that, while allowing for large amounts of dissonance up to and including bitonality, acts as a natural break against the potential chaos of soloing "out." Holdsworth's studio records I'm almost complete on owning. I worship his self-taught approach to harmony.

SaltyJon> and I've been a big fan of Rite of Spring since the first time I saw Fantasia. Didn't know what it was until much later, of course.

Hehe, the Stokowski arrangement, which is universally recognized by RoS lovers as having butchered the piece. But that's okay! -- ELP butchered the living hell out of Mussorgsky and still wound up turning the masses on to Pictures at an Exhibition. But it would take perhaps nuclear firepower to destroy what is probably the single most influential piece of 20th-century classical music. Here's a very slight little number I concocted under its influence, the Martian Fight Song.

If you'd really like to focus on the structure of the piece and not be overwhelmed by the sheer texture of even the best, most clearly-rendered orchestral version, you might wish to check out one of the reductions for pianos out there. There's the original composer's reduction for two pianos to rehearse the ballet; my favorite recording (and I think my favorite recording of the RoS, period) is from the mid-60s on Angel, by Michael Tilson Thomas and Ralph Grierson. There's also the Amsterdam Piano Quartet's proprietary arrangement (no one else authorized to record it by the legal stipulation of Stravinsky himself) for four pianos, one piano taking the percussion parts.

SaltyJon> As with you, I'm a bit broke as far as new music goes - I've been taking some heavy courseloads in school, so I don't work while there. Music purchases are based off the odd birthday cash or Christmas presents/money right now.

*sigh* ... No comment.

Well ... except save for this -- and please don't consider me out-of-line because I'm being entirely sincere. This is the prime of your life. Next time you blink, you'll be thirty-five. (I didn't believe this either until it happened to me.) I know how easy it is to get sucked into these fora, and I couldn't help notice your comment to that effect about your time spent on ProgArchives. Stay focused on your coursework. If that means spending much less time on these places, then do that. Okay, pseudo-parental lecture finished. Please take that in the spirit in which it is meant.

SaltyJon> As for your song there, I enjoyed it.

I gotcha. It's good cuz you liked it, and you liked it cuz it's good :o

SaltyJon> It's definitely more than I would have been able to manage, as I've never done much in the way of writing music.

Dude, it took me two years to write that piece. And it wasn't an assignment to please a teacher for a letter grade. Maybe it's good, maybe it's bad (maybe it's a little of both), but I'll tell you at the very least it is as or more complex than anything you're listening to now, including Henry Cow and Univers Zero. And that's not blowin' my own horn, that's stating an objective fact. C'mon, bro, you're a fellow proghead. Am I on the right track, wrong track, do the sounds suck, does the meter scheme work, do the melodies get stuck in your head ... sorta feedback-y observations.

SaltyJon> I play music (not very well at that), bass and the occasional trombone,

Once again, you 'n' me both. I played bass in highschool with a close friend keyboard player and sousaphone in marching band. And I wasn't anywhere near as proficient as I wanted to be.

SaltyJon> but I've barely had any experience writing and little more in a group.

It's my belief that you can't really be taught composition. Composition's gotta teach you. You can sit there in a class, go through the motions and punch out exercise pieces in any style they want, because they'll lay it all out for you. It's like doing algebra. But if you have the composition bug, if you really want to learn how to write music as a burning desire, your school could burn down tomorrow and you'll still find your way to the library, Grove's Music Dictionary and every musician you can talk to. "Experience" will seem irrelevant because you'll live with thoughts of it constantly.

SaltyJon> I did take a course last year on digital music, and we had to make some music, but my final project ended up sounding something like a mix of Neu! and Kraftwerk - not exactly what I wanted to do, but it was easy enough that I could finish it on time.

Demonstrating my thesis that Krautrock sucks :mrgreen: But seriously, you know exactly what I mean ... there are certain styles that are paint-by-numbers. Create a percussion loop, choose among a fairly small number of four-chord progressions (and if you're amused by music theory humor, check out what started the "The Reason We're Cardiacs Fans!" thread) and noodle over it for awhile on one scale until you find a melody. If you're really ambitious you could try four different chords for a chorus, maybe even in a related key, and then a little bridge or what The Beatles called a middle 8 to link the two sections together. Next thing you know, you have a little pop tune you can impress the girls in class with, and it only took you an evening to write and sequence the whole thing.

I mean, what teacher in a digital music class wouldn't give that an A?

Trying to be original, or trying to genuinely express something, are of course a different set of issues.

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Re: Prog Head Thread

Postby SaltyJon » Sat Jan 08, 2011 07:46

I'll start with your second paragraph:
Apart from the solo in Tommy the Cat, I absolutely love what he does with the song (and Tom Waits' contributions). They're the first group I would have called myself a "fanboy" of - I own all the albums, everything from the studio stuff down to Miscellaneous Debris.

Yeah, I know they start off "To Defy the Laws of Tradition" with some of YYZ - I knew Rush before I knew Primus, but I didn't become much of a fan until a while later. As for 80s KC vs. older (or later, for that matter) material, I have to say that Discipline is still one of my favorites. I enjoy the live stuff from the Wetton era more though, and I've grown to really enjoy Lizard and Island...and Red and LTiA. I'm also a bit of an outsider with King Crimson, because I've always enjoyed In the Wake of Poseidon more than I enjoy In the Court of the Crimson King, and so many people think that's sacrilegious.

As far as ELP goes, I do still enjoy their debut and I get bits of Tarkus stuck in my head even now after not listening to any of it in a couple years. With Genesis...I enjoy Nursery Cryme and Trespass more than the rest. I haven't bothered to check out much beyond Selling England... and Foxtrot, even though I've heard some good things about The Lamb.

I definitely have a very soft spot where Yes is concerned. I've known Roundabout for as long as I can remember (it's one of the few good songs played on DVE). Fragile, The Yes Album and Relayer are my favorites, and of what I've listened to so far Going for the One is my least favorite.

Gentle Giant...I have and enjoy the first 8 albums. I easily prefer the first three albums to the rest, but there aren't any I dislike out of those 8. I listen to Acquiring the Taste and Three Friends a lot more than the rest.

I wasn't exactly equating lesser known and lesser adored...but there is some crossover. I haven't seen that recent Caravan concert, I'll have to check it out.

Speaking of the RIO/Canterbury connection, I've always thought that Henry Cow's first two albums have some definite connections with some of the jazzier Canterbury stuff (not to mention the crossover of musicians).

The main reason I lumped Krautrock in with RIO/Zeuhl - it's one of the genres I enjoy most, along with those two. Frankly, beyond Kraftwerk's first few albums (first as Organisation and then the albums Kraftwerk I and II), I hear a different band, one which I don't like as much as the one playing on the first few albums. Those three were more abstract, more about experimenting with the technologies available at the time. Much of their later material sounds like robot pop to me. Tangerine Dream is a group I'd not quite lump in with Krautrock - their first few albums may be, but after those they became (in my opinion) a great electronic group. Sure, their good era only lasted a while (for me their best ended with Rubycon and Phaedra), but while they were good they made some great, atmospheric stuff. Krautrock is like RIO/Avant - a blanket term for a whole lot of bands which don't often sound similar. As for the jamming style - Can is one of my favorite groups, and have been ever since I first heard Tago Mago. I've realized that I'm a sucker for a great rhythm section, and Liebezeit/Czukay are one of the best I've ever heard. Same goes for Kraan's (Hattler's bass style is pretty incredible).

As for why I like RIO and Zeuhl, I'm really drawn to groups for various reasons. Let's go with Zeuhl first. The first time I listened to Magma, I was frankly confused and possibly a bit scared. I didn't quite know what exactly was coming out of my speakers, but something kept pulling me back into it over time, and eventually I started actually enjoying what I was hearing. Maybe it was the bass and drums, maybe it was the influences from classical and jazz, maybe it was the crazy vocals...most likely it was a mixture of all three. The Japanese Zeuhl groups took me a lot longer to get into...I heard samples of Ruins and Koenjihyakkei (both of which I've grown to love over time) and originally it just completely turned me off. It was almost too loud, too crazy for me at the time, like Magma on speed. But that dislike was not meant to last. Like with Magma, I eventually came around to enjoy what I heard, with Koenjihyakkei much earlier than with Ruins. I saw another thread here talking about Angherr Shisspa (started by you, I'm pretty sure). It was a sample track from that which really started to grab my attention, Rattims Friezz. Again, I think it was a mixture of all the various elements going on in the music which got my attention. Like Vander, Yoshida has an uncanny ability to find and play with some incredible musicians, especially bassists. I've only warmed up to Ruins within the past year or so - now I've been exploring all the other various projects Yoshida's been involved with, and experiencing varying rates of success - some, I love (especially Korekyojinn) but some I don't like much at all (Musica Transonic is the main culprit here).

Alright, onto RIO...to say what I like about that style...I'd really have to break it down into the different types of bands which came out of the whole movement. After all, I don't enjoy Samla Mammas Manna for the same reasons as I enjoy Univers Zero or Present or Art Zoyd. There are a few points which I'd say deal well with all of them, though many of the points could be used to describe a lot of progressive rock - the strange time signatures, music in other languages (PFM, Banco, etc provide another point of this). But in a nutshell, I like it because it's music that sounds "different" in one way or another, even different from the "less different", more widely known groups which fit under the title "Progressive rock". Essentially, my mind got tired of hearing the same 50 songs over and over and over again on the radio/TV, and I latched on to prog because it was so unusual compared to what I'd heard.

I'm going to skip a lengthy response to what you said about Dolphy/Coleman/Holdsworth, because while I find it interesting for sure I don't know any of them too well yet, and the extent of my Holdsworth collection is his guitar playing on Gong's Gazeuse!.

On to Rite of Spring...I've read about the controversy surrounding the use of it in Fantasia (what with Stravinsky not wanting it used at all, if I remember right). That version of the piece isn't one I ever listen to anymore, but it is the one which sparked my interest. Now, my current favorite adaptation is one conducted by Antal Dorati. I still need to hear the Bernstein rendition, as I've read several places that it's one of the definitive editions of the music. I will try to check out the piano renditions of the piece, but I do tend to prefer the orchestral versions most of the time.

With the advice about college - I know that it's more important than listening to music or spending time on forums. I do focus on the school work, more now than I did in my first couple years of college. I've been taking physics and astrophysics classes nearly every semester, so I'm fairly well acquainted with the difficulties of coursework. My first two years were a real wake up call for me, though. I breezed through high school with almost no trouble at all, barely studying for anything outside of classes and still ending up with something like a 3.85 cumulative GPA. I figured college would be just as easy, but I was fairly mistaken. The first year wasn't bad...I started at a local branch campus, and the courses there aren't quite as strenuous as courses at the main campus. I had to work a bit harder, but still no big problems. Then, I moved to the main campus. Instantly I noticed a difference in the level of difficulty in the classes. That first year at the main campus was pretty tough, because I had to get used to putting a lot more time into my classes, but after that I've been doing reasonably well (not amazing, but I think that's because I chose a particularly difficult field to be interested in). Where was I going here? Oh yeah, basically I was trying to say that I do put the time/effort into school, and internet comes third (used to be second, but I've realized I need more interaction with real people).

With your piece, I can't say the melodies get stuck in my head. The meter progression does seem to flow well, especially with things as all over the place as they might seem. I read some of the thread you started about it, and one thing which popped into my head seems to have popped into others' as well - I was reminded of some of Frank Zappa's Synclavier work, mostly because of the sounds of it. Take that as a compliment from me - though I wish it could be played on "real" instruments (though in my opinion a computer/sound card is just as real as, say, a guitar or bass, rather than imaginary), it sounds fine as is.

As for the composition bug...it hasn't really hit me. Maybe it will sometime down the line, but as of right now I'm more excited in actually playing. I've tried writing some original material, and it usually never turns out how I'd want it to. I've been planning to try some new ideas out in some of my free time (haha) this semester, but whether or not that ends up happening or not will depend on how much work I have from my classes. Originality is something that generally lacked in what I've tried to write so far, and while I don't mind showing influences I don't want to be defined by them. For now, I'm perfectly content with listening to music written by people who actually do have what it takes.

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Re: Prog Head Thread

Postby Giddy » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:07

SaltyJon wrote:I'm also a bit of an outsider with King Crimson, because I've always enjoyed In the Wake of Poseidon more than I enjoy In the Court of the Crimson King, and so many people think that's sacrilegious.

Neither are as good as 'Red', in my humble opinion. The title track and 'Starless' are just brilliant.

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Re: Prog Head Thread

Postby snowman » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:15

Giddy wrote:
SaltyJon wrote:I'm also a bit of an outsider with King Crimson, because I've always enjoyed In the Wake of Poseidon more than I enjoy In the Court of the Crimson King, and so many people think that's sacrilegious.

Neither are as good as 'Red', in my humble opinion. The title track and 'Starless' are just brilliant.


You're both right! In the Court... has plenty of lumpen, predictable music on it as far as I'm concerned (perhaps I'd think differently if I'd been young in 1969, having had less musical exposure), and the only great track on it is Schizoid Man.

But Fracture on Starless and Bible Black is better than Starless on Red though...

And Larks' Tongues in Aspic (both parts) pisses all over all of the above 8)

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Re: Prog Head Thread

Postby Snardbafulator » Sat Jan 08, 2011 15:22

Jon, a really top-notch, well-written, well-thought-out response and I thank you for the time and effort. I think I'll take a page from your book and write continuously rather than quote you point-by-point, using Topic Review to keep my paragraphs congruent with yours.

First, Primus have a great group sound and funky feel that IMHO blow so much of that early 90s West Coast stuff out of the water. Mr. Bungle is the only other band of that ilk that comes close -- and they're a whole other kettle of deliciously pungent fish, with sound-similar moments to everyone from Cardiacs to Slayer to Henry Cow. I doubt highly you don't already know their music. And if you do like them -- might I also respectfully suggest some Screaming Headless Torsos? If you're a sucker for a good rhythm section, Fima Ephron, Jojo Mayer and Daniel Sasownik are peerless.

I understand why Crimson heads would consider it sacreligious to prefer Poseidon to Court but I tend to agree as well. Pete Giles, for one, is a punchier, funkier bass player than Greg Lake, and he sounds Vulcan MindMelded to his brother Michael. Robert Fripp likes to create modules -- self-contained ideas that he develops across albums. "Pictures of a City" is a rewrite of "21st Century Schizoid Man" as "In the Wake of Poseidon" is a rewrite of "In The Court of the Crimson King" -- which is why the album gets hosed as a copy of the first. But the James Bond guitar on steroids in the middle of "Pictures" is one of early Crimson's greatest moments, IMHO.

I realized I shorted Foxtrot in our discussion of Genesis, and that's only because, as every fan's declared masterpiece, I've heard it so dang much. I do find I like bits of "Supper's Ready" much less than I used to, same with "Watcher of the Skies," but I'd continue to stand by "Get 'Em Out By Friday," a story-song that ranks with "Fountain of Salmacis." And I only recently twigged to "Can-Utility and the Coastliners" as being an allusive retelling of the legend of King Canute -- the sovereign who commanded the tides not to rise. That still remains my all-time favorite Genesis song. As for Lamb, well, it doesn't really succeed as a concept (hard to credit Peter Gabriel quoting William Wordsworth while in the persona of a half-Puerto Rican street kid), but there are some absolutely sublime songs on it, starting with "The Lamia," and Steve Hackett's very best lead work.

I have a big soft spot for the egregiously overplayed "Roundabout," too, especially the organ solo. But my favorite from that record is "South Side of the Sky" (not "Heart of the Sunrise," which is everybody else's). I'm really suprised you didn't mention Close to the Edge as an all-timer. As for Going For The One, I know it very little so there could be some awful crap on it, but I recently revisited the second side and was pleasantly surprised, same thing with bits of Drama (all I know of Tormato is that whale song, but I think Wakeman was a more fitting keyboard player for them than Moraz). If you like Patrick Moraz, though, far-and-away the best thing he did is Refugee, with the old Nice rhythm section. All other solo attempts have been downhill from there, egregiously self-repetitive, despite a couple moments with Bruford on the piano-drum duets.

I love the six-piece Giant, too, because I love Phil Shulman's voice. But I have an enormous soft spot for mostly-electric Giant, mainly because their jigsaw-puzzle polyphony/hocketing concept is such a gut punch (think of that jagged riff right before the pipe organ in "Way of Life").

"Lesser known" vs "lesser adored": It depends on your fan universe. Certainly all progrock is "lesser adored" (save for Pink *retch* Floyd) if your universe is rock fans generally. And sure, progrock fans can be -- heh heh -- awfully picky, as witness Marillion fans rejecting Cardiacs (with their classic lineup, too!) on a molecular level during their tour together. But I, for one, would never second-guess the level of fan adoration at a RIO or Zeuhl festival or a Magma concert, thought you prolly have different experiences talking to more typical Rush/Dream Theater-type regulars over on ProgArchives who I wouldn't be surprised at all would turn their noses at, e.g. Koenjihyakkei.

As important as free improvisation was to Henry Cow (for political as much as aesthetic reasons I'd assert), it's their composed pieces that make them an all-time favorite for me. "Amygdala," "Half Asleep, Half Awake," "Living in the Heart of the Beast," "The Fall of Industry" are transcendent gems of chamber-rock. Only I wouldn't link them to the jazzier side of Canterbury -- that's Phil Miller with a lead sheet and 5-note guitar chords over it (Nothing really aesthetically links Calyx, Aigrette, Lounging There Trying or Underdub to fully composed, tightly rehearsed Henry Cow chamber rock).

I will defer to your much more extensive knowledge of Krautrock and accept your analogy between that appelation and RIO as catch-alls for a number of widely disparate musical entitites. I only became aware of Kraftwerk when WNEW-FM, the signal "progressive rock" commercial radio station when I was growing up (and on which I heard the entirety of "Mumps" on their Things From England program) started pushing Autobahn, which you'll doubtless agree is cyborg music. I've heard similar views about Tangerine Dream being a great electronic group, but part of my cultivated progressive aesthetic allows little room for "atmospheric stuff." More on that later. I love a great rhythm section, too, but for me it has to go places. Unless you're a genius like John Coltrane, it's very difficult to sustain interest in a jam that stays on a single chord or pedal for more than maybe three or four minutes (let alone an album side) as opposed to exploring some kind of movement/progression. And this is a criticism I hurl at my man Frank Zappa, too.

Magmalotry: For me, it comes down to Christian Vander's passion. When he was a younger man, he was pretty damn scary for sure -- easy to mistake for some kind of crypto-neo-fascist (which Magma was accused of being, since their performances could be so storm trooper-like). But now that he's old and ugly, with hairy forearms and pockmarked facial skin, all his life-energy just gets poured into his music and flows back out the speakers. Magma can move me close to tears. Of all the recent proggy stuff I've been exposed to since I began posting here, going back to Magma has been the most consistently moving. Forget time signatures or harmonic language -- it's the facial expressions, the dripping sweat, the obvious love and reverence the band feels for itself and each other.

Japanese Zeuhl I pretty much agree with you about, except to say that I was turned on to Ruins years ago (the album Burning Stone) and I guess it was the Sesame Street Cookie Monster aspect of the vocals that just made me laugh and gape so much i had to submit to the rest of it. I think that aside from Magma (and just about all progressive rock; Tatsuya works in some kind of book/record store like-shrine of progressive rock; there are YouTube videos of him rehearsing to tapes there), I think Tatsuya's enormously influenced by Captain Beefheart, both musically and the Dada concept -- much of which is doubtless lost on English speakers. Plus, nobody changed meter like that (that I had heard up until then). I'm finding with Koenji that I like the live stuff significantly more than studio, mainly because they leave out much of the wall-of-noise production and stick to written notes. Also, his current pianist with sax do some damn liquid fusion you really should just call jazz.

I'll use the RIO graf to talk about my own well-formed aesthetic principles. I'm not so much interested in exotica or even diversity; I'm not bored with the basic rock sound. I don't require odd meter or rhythmic density, but I do prefer rhythmic engagement as opposed to rhythm on autopilot. I don't have any set of requirements that will guarantee I'll like or not like something in particular (I'm suprised all the time), and it's easier to say what it is I don't like among various subgenres of progrock than to say what I do like, because I don't know exactly what will get me until it does. Heh, writing this graf is proving more difficult than I had anticipated ... we'll leave it here, then.

Le Sacre: I've heard that both Seji Osawa and Pierre Boulez do exceedingly precise, crisp, fluent orchestral renditions of the piece. I suggested piano versions because the music is very texturally dense with coloristic polytonal superimpositions which can be stripped away without damage to reveal more of the piece's structure. It's been the dream of progrockers forever to do a rock adaptation, and I always hear The Rite in my mind's ear as played by rock instruments. A rock arrangement would have to start, I think, with one of the piano reductions ...

College stuff: Hey, that's your business and thank you for taking what I said in the right spirit. You're obviously a highly intelligent young man and I'm sure you'll succeed in whatever you plan to do.

My tune: Thanks for the feedback; as a composer I really crave that. You know, I'm not asking anybody to, lords know, buy my album or even download it, just critique it. Although you can stand in line for a free (autographed!) CD if you get in on the album swap on Giddy's thread :8: I'm glad you're okay with the sounds; you must have a decent card in your computer. The desktop we use here has a brand-new processor and tons of RAM, but I can't tell you how shitty the sound card is; and my stuff sounds positively wretched on it. The sound card in this laptop is much higher fidelity.

Finally, I'll end this insanely long post by simply asking you where you are on bass guitar, which I used to play as well. You taking lessons? Playing with anybody?

It's a pleasure having this discussion, Jon. Take care,

Bob
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Re: Prog Head Thread

Postby Snardbafulator » Sat Jan 08, 2011 18:47

snowman wrote:In the Court... has plenty of lumpen,


"Lumpen" ... woah. Awesome adjective; never thought of or seen anyone use it for music.

snowman wrote:predictable music on it as far as I'm concerned (perhaps I'd think differently if I'd been young in 1969, having had less musical exposure), and the only great track on it is Schizoid Man.


Yeah, but what explains the vocal section of "Moonchild?" Or the flute solo at the end of "I Talk to the Wind?" Believe me, I'm playing devil's advocate -- but these are still open questions ...

snowman wrote:But Fracture on Starless and Bible Black is better than Starless on Red though...


Love the octatonic-scale "Fracture" riff, but aren't they apples and oranges? The instrumental section of "Starless" (13/4 and then doubletime 13/8) has more in common with the midsections of "Schizoid Man" and "Pictures of a City," and the main section of "Red" -- it's an altered blues. "Fracture" is primarily whole-tone, with octatonic symmetrical minor thirds for the melody. Nahh, you're right. They're both essentially buildup pieces, and "Fracture's" climaxes are more extended.

snowman wrote:And Larks' Tongues in Aspic (both parts) pisses all over all of the above 8)


Hard to argue with that one ...

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Re: Prog Head Thread

Postby snowman » Sat Jan 08, 2011 19:32

Well, I like the vocal on Moonchild - it's not a bad track - just not head-opening. Er, the flute solo on I Talk to the Wind is, er, pretty, I guess :oops:

Starless is great, don't get me wrong - I especially like Robert Fripp's lazy, obstinate, tonality-ignoring, (dotted-) rhythmically-simple-yet-bar-crossing solo (takes an age to warm up, but does so very gracefully). With Fracture, the whole whole-tone thang going on (as throughout a lot of Fripp's stuff) just Rules: when it comes to dark rock stylings, one tritone is heavier than 50 Metallicas playing a I IV V. See also a lot of Glenn Branca's microtonal punk...

But also, the production (I'm relatively new to even thinking about bothering about production) is great on Fracture - the dynamic range is huge, and there's that bit near the end when one version of the main 'theme' slams in and it just phuquing Works :rock:

...another album oft-overlooked by KC: Lizard. The first three quarters of the first side and the last three quarters of the second side of Lizard are just Class...

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Re: Prog Head Thread

Postby SaltyJon » Sun Jan 09, 2011 07:35

I'm not going to respond to every paragraph of your last reply Bob, as I'm tired and most of it seems to be settled anyway. There are a couple points I'd like to touch on though.

First off is the Yes paragraph. The only real reason I have for not listing Close to the Edge as one of my favorites is...I like the other albums all much more than I like it. I still think it's a pretty great album, and it did lead me to discover Herman Hesse, but musically I prefer the more song-oriented approach of The Yes Album and Fragile. As for Relayer...I don't know why I prefer it exactly...maybe I was just ready for a change from Wakeman on keyboards. Another I forgot to mention is Tales from Topographic Oceans - I enjoy it at least as much as CttE, perhaps more.

For the comparison of Henry Cow's first two albums (though I'd say Legend to a larger extent than Unrest) to some Canterbury material - I wasn't speaking on a compositional level, but more in the melodies and sound put out - especially National Health I'd say is fairly close to them in that way. Compositionally, I know how much more complex Henry Cow got - I bought the live boxsets over summer after saving up some cash for it, and the liner notes talk about how complex some of the pieces got - I don't recall which pieces they were talking about, but it said that on some, each band member played at a different tempo, different time, and different key signatures.

A short bit on Magma - as you said, a big part of the enjoyment of their music comes from the passion they put into it. When I saw them in DC, I was lucky enough to get to talk with Vander shortly before and after the concert - as you said, he really puts basically everything into the music now. As a side note, he told us before the concert that he has another trilogy started - words only so far, no music.

In your reply on Japanese Zeuhl, specifically some of Yoshida's influence being lost on English speakers; it's equally as lost on Japanese speakers, as he's created his own language much in the same way as Vander did for Magma (nowhere near as many umlauts/other accents on letters, though :lol: ). I'm more a fan of their studio work, though I bought one of their DVDs a while back and it's got some amazing stuff on it. The first half hour or so is improvs by various members of the group, and they're joined on the DVD by Hoppy Kamiyama on keyboards and vocals. I'm not sure how familiar you are with his work, but he's a pretty great keyboardist (at least to my ears) and his vocal style is something like a mix between Vander's and Yoshida's. Plus, during one of the improv pieces he plays a rubber duck. As far as Ruins goes, I'd say I like the studio stuff and the live stuff about equally. I always get a bit of a chuckle when I let people know that their material is almost completely composed. Most people who I introduce the band to don't believe me for a while.

Now onto Le Sacre. Funny that you should mention hearing it played by rock instruments. I don't hear all of it that way, but there have been sections of the piece which I find myself hearing in an electric guitar tone similar to Fripp's on Lark's Tongues Pt. II. I'd love to hear a rock version of the piece, and I've always had a dream of getting proficient enough on double bass to be able to play in a performance of the piece. As it is, I can barely play the double bass - only very limited ability finger style, and next to none with a bow. Ah well, I've got time in the future to get better.

As for the album swap - I'll have to pass this time. Maybe at some point in the future I'll take part in one, but right now I'm not exactly well set for it.

Finally, bass ability/history. I started playing bass fairly late, only in 10th grade in high school. Before that, I'd played trombone since 4th, so I wasn't exactly new to the music scene. I was just new to a fretboard and the idea of playing an instrument without filling it full of air. I took lessons from the time I started playing until the end of high school, but I was unfortunate as far as teachers go - my first teacher moved away only a couple months after I started taking lessons from him, without much warning. After that, I stopped with lessons for a few months, until I found my second, last and more informative teacher. This one was settled down for good - he was in his late 60s or even his 70s, but he'd had quite a history of playing. For a while, he actually led his own big band in NYC, mostly playing on double bass. As I started learning from him, exclusively on electric bass at first, he became more of an influence on me than I usually realize. Eventually, he asked me if I'd like to start learning to play upright bass - naturally, since I was given the opportunity, I was pretty ecstatic. That was about halfway through my senior year. Originally, I was even considering taking my bass playing to the next level, and he and I started working almost exclusively on the upright, as I was looking into schools for performance. That lasted until partway through the summer after I graduated, but unfortunately his health started deteriorating fairly rapidly. He got bad enough that he wasn't able to teach me anymore, and unfortunately he passed away. That was a pretty big blow for me, but as they say every cloud has its silver lining - in an attempt to clear out some of their house, his wife wanted to sell some of his upright basses - she contacted us first, as he had often told her I was one of his favorite students he'd had in quite a while. We worked out a price which worked for both ends, and I now own the bass I always played on while taking lessons. Unfortunately, my playing dropped off quite a lot over the past several years - I didn't end up going to school for music performance, and initially I didn't have any basses at school with me (electric or upright). Ever since he passed away, I've been mostly self taught, and my abilities on upright bass have suffered pretty badly - it's one instrument I'd say you absolutely NEED someone to teach you on. Without that, I've noticed that I develop some bad habits and don't ever play it as much as I could/should. For the past year and a half of school or so, I have kept one electric bass with me, but I don't get to play it nearly as often as I'd like to. I can't take my upright unfortunately, as it doesn't fit in any of our vehicles. Even if I could, I probably wouldn't - I don't even want to think of what could happen to it in a dorm. I play it while home on break (like now, though I go back to school tomorrow), but as I said I'm not very proficient.

Playing experience - I have played in various contexts over the years. The longest was with a couple friends from high school. It was good fun at first, but then the guitarist started to really dominate the band, choosing what we played and all...my friend on drums and I didn't mind at first, because we still got to play. But after a while, we kind of just stopped playing together, then we all went off to separate schools and that was the end of that. Also while still in high school, I got to play bass in the ONE year of jazz band which happened while I was in school. I had been pushing for one since I got into high school, but there wasn't ever enough interest until my senior year. Even then, we didn't have overwhelming interest, just enough to keep us afloat. The band director sat in on drums for some of the tunes (he's got his Master's in percussion performance), and that was a ton of fun. I really enjoy playing in a jazz situation, and I hope to get to in the future at one point or another. I've had one paying gig with bass - one year of my high school's musical. They were doing Grease, and it was my first year after graduation. The band director contacted me and asked if I'd like to play in the pit, and told me that since I was graduated there would be a paycheck involved. That was a very different experience from just jamming with friends. I enjoyed it more, and wish I had more opportunities to do similar things, but alas, I don't have the opportunities now. In college, I haven't had much play time with others. The most to speak of is a jam session last year with two guitarists. It was mostly fairly standard blues jamming, but I did manage to get some funk in there as well (I love funk by the way, both listening to it and playing it). This semester, a friend on my floor is bringing up an electronic drumkit, so we're planning to play when we've both got time. I like playing music, no matter how complex/simple it is, so I'm sure I'll enjoy it no matter what we end up playing.

The bass I play most is a fretless, modelled after Jaco's "Bass of Doom". Squier VM Fretless, to be a bit more precise. I've compared it to the closest Fender model fretless, and I prefer mine in just about every way - sonically, the action, etc. I also own a Peavey P-bass model and an off-brand 6-string (from back when I was obsessed with Primus), and of course the upright I mentioned earlier. I really hope I get to give them all some more use in the future.

Alright, that post ended up a bit longer than I expected, but hopefully it's good reading material. As you said, it's a pleasure talking about all of this.

Jon

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Re: Prog Head Thread

Postby Snardbafulator » Sun Jan 09, 2011 08:33

snowman> Well, I like the vocal on Moonchild - it's not a bad track - just not head-opening.

The long free improv that follows blew everybody's mind in '69, though. Nobody did that then -- especially not on what was looking like a sort of fey, Victoriana-steeped psychedelic folk album. Even "Schizoid Man"'s previous stylistic exception didn't quite prepare the ground for that. And thank goodness for it (and the kudos the album recieved), or it would have cost Henry Cow even more years in the woodshed before they could get a record contract ... Whether you ultimately like to listen to the whole album or not (and I don't), you can't deny how seminally important it was.

"Moonchild" the song positively reeks of the emerging British trad folk movement. The melody is simple to the point of transcendence -- like "Victory Egg" -- and it uses a shivery major third / minor second scale. There's something very Aleister Crowley about the whole atmosphere, too ...

Oh shit. In my wiki excursion to get the correct spelling of his name, turns out that Crowley wrote a novel called Moonchild. Heh. Awesome Aubrey Beardsleyesque first edition cover art.

snowman> Er, the flute solo on I Talk to the Wind is, er, pretty, I guess :oops:

::!: That's the kind of reaction I like to fob off on people. I guess I can't really separate my ultimate view of the album from the fact that I bought it as 14-year-old ELP freak. Which goes to straight to your earlier point. I loved that flute solo as only an inexperienced enthusiast can. And lost my love of it (along with most of ELP) as the proggier stuff they drove me to opened up my ears ...

snowman> Starless is great, don't get me wrong - I especially like Robert Fripp's lazy, obstinate, tonality-ignoring, (dotted-) rhythmically-simple-yet-bar-crossing solo (takes an age to warm up, but does so very gracefully).

Yes! Excellent description! Especially when Wetton lands on the V and the guitar is just abraiding against it -- it's like musical B&D -- and Fripp starts in with the note bends while Bruford and Wetton thrash around like slow-moving herbivorous dinosaurs rooting around for their next mouthfulls ...

snowman> With Fracture, the whole whole-tone thang going on (as throughout a lot of Fripp's stuff) just Rules: when it comes to dark rock stylings, one tritone is heavier than 50 Metallicas playing a I IV V.

Amen, brutha. It's a big part of what threw me onto Cardiacs, too. Like in the "English Shed" rehearsal at the beginning and you're looking at Jim's left hand in the characteristic position going I-bV-I-bV like a pogo. It's like for a sec they're paying a religious homage to the interval (Pope sez Musica Diabla!) more than it's something really demanded by the structure of what is still a truly barn-burningly proggified song, especially before they all get onto that ska groove a little later.

snowman> See also a lot of Glenn Branca's microtonal punk...

I've yet to twig to Branca (although I've heard of him forever), but as a general observation I'm wondering how well microtonal intervals might come across with a lot of fuzz/noise/distortion which usually follows in most forms of punk. Allan Holdsworth meticulously separated his chordal tones from his lead tones and annoys a lot of rock guitar virtuosity fans by playing so much of the meat of his tunes with very clean sounds, because the chords are so dense and unusually voiced and the movements within so harmonically ambiguous. His lead tones sting like a bastard, though.

snowman> But also, the production (I'm relatively new to even thinking about bothering about production) is great on Fracture - the dynamic range is huge, and there's that bit near the end when one version of the main 'theme' slams in and it just phuquing Works :rock:

The dynamic range is monstrous -- and a pain in the ass on vinyls. I was the most obsessed record collector in the universe, Discwashing before playing even a single track, screaming at my friends to hold the disc by the edges and slide it carefully into the sleeve and don't friggin' pinch it while ya do, you'll get finger oil on the first track. All to avoid try to avoid the developing the inevitable crackles on stuff like the ppp opening minutes of "Fracture" and "Larks' Tongues Part 1" ...

And oh yeah ... after the quiet, improvised false ending and the HEAVY METAL SLOG kicks in :supz: just Fripperized fuzzchords and Wetton's blues-rock runs ... then it settles down to the main theme over Wetton and Bruford slamming another of their kickass subdivided riffs, 2+2+1+2+1 / 2+1+2+1 / 2+2+2+1+2+1 / 2+1+2+1 / which equals, lemme see ... 14/8 + 16/8 = 30/8 superimposed under three bars of 3+3+2+2/8 (3 x 10/8 = 30/8) which is the theme. Hehe, nice. Never counted that out before :)

snowman> ...another album oft-overlooked by KC: Lizard. The first three quarters of the first side and the last three quarters of the second side of Lizard are just Class...[/quote]

I dunno ... I bought Lizard way late in the game and it never got me. I've read there was massive dissention in the band between the jazz guys and Fripp, and I think it shows. Seemed to be a bunch of sillified blues arrangements with those awful Sinfield lyrics. Maybe I need to check it out again ...

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Re: Prog Head Thread

Postby snowman » Sun Jan 09, 2011 13:19

G'mornin'.

With Branca there's no artificial distortion - just chunks and chunks of volume/mass instrumentation. For a lot of his 'guitar'/mallet guitar (horizontal stringed things you hit with a 'mallet') works he had to have the instruments built especially (I presume they were fretted; they played, as far as I understand, as many partials as could be represented on the ascent as though they were all fundamentals). 'Punk' is such an inconveniently vague term: I certainly wouldn't automatically attribute fuzz to it. The start of Branca's fifth symphony, all of his third, and in a slightly more orthodox rhythmic stylee, his The Acension are worth checking out for all the shimmering, shifting, uncomfortable/beautiful nameless chords. I guess his background is performance art and punk rock, and he often uses a drummer in the way orchestral composers would use a conductor. Speaking of orchestral music, his The World Upside Down is lovely, while his ninth symphony sucked the intestines clean out of my ass and I haven't yet been able to bring myself to listen to it a second time.

And I love Allan Holdsworth - even when he isn't playing a real guitar :D

For me most of Lizard is great: the first three songs are manic and obscure takes on trad rock patterns, but jubilantly *alive* and perverted and exciting. The instrumental stuff towards the end is pure adventurous 70s Fripp: if any of the last sections of ...Poseidon float your boat, this album will too...

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Re: Prog Head Thread

Postby Snardbafulator » Sun Jan 09, 2011 15:27

snowman> With Fracture, the whole whole-tone thang going on (as throughout a lot of Fripp's stuff) just Rules: when it comes to dark rock stylings, one tritone is heavier than 50 Metallicas playing a I IV V.

Just quickly, I forgot to namecheck Jimmy Page for the outchorus of "Immigrant Song," which brutally featured a tritone root movement and struck me as a 13-year-old as the most evil thing I had ever heard in my life (Plant's "wooo-ooo-ooo"'s probably helped). Why it took until well into the late 80s before heavy rock began going there I really haven't a clue. A shout-out to Voivod's Nothingface for picking up that baton earlier than the rest ..

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Re: Prog Head Thread

Postby Snardbafulator » Mon Jan 10, 2011 07:19

snowman> G'mornin'.

Good evening, sir.

snowman> With Branca there's no artificial distortion - just chunks and chunks of volume/mass instrumentation. For a lot of his 'guitar'/mallet guitar (horizontal stringed things you hit with a 'mallet') works he had to have the instruments built especially

Hmm ... sort of like a hammer dulcimer concept, I guess? BTW, I'm not going to cheat here and wiki Branca before I finish writing, thus defeating the purpose of this thread :o I'll certainly search for his stuff on YouTube, but not until later either, to avoid a limited impression.

snowman> (I presume they were fretted; they played, as far as I understand, as many partials as could be represented on the ascent as though they were all fundamentals).

Hmm ... so "microtonal" in the sense that partials, as interger ratios of the fundamental frequency, don't fit in a 12-note equal-tempered scale? Or is it microtonal with custom fretboards that allow more than 12 notes per octave? I have heard tell of a luthier who built a classical guitar with a replaceable fretboard so it could be fitted with fretboards to allow playing in just- and/or mean-tone temperaments. Which is great for e.g. early music which stays within a narrow key range.

Never really dug into either microtonal music per se or alternate temperaments. I hear the chords can be both gorgeously ringing and quite otherworldly, but if you've bothered to check out the shitty sounds of my Sound Blaster music, you'll know I'm not really a timbre-oriented kinda guy. Which isn't to say that I shouldn't. At the very least, this thread will introduce me to Branca.

snowman> 'Punk' is such an inconveniently vague term: I certainly wouldn't automatically attribute fuzz to it.

Well you've probably realized by now that you're typing with The Last Unreconstructed Progrocker. Even though I lived in reasonable proximity to Lower Manhattan in the 80s, I have yet, really, to twig to the artistic side of the punk movement and have always considered Punk (reified) as The Enemy -- musically, culturally, socially, everything but politically. Sort of like Frank Zappa at his most insufferably pompous during his 80s-long war with NME. The time is ripe for revisionism, though, so please try to bear with the awful stereotypes I may bring to a discussion of it while my earballs are in the process, at the late date, of being slowly pried open ...

snowman> The start of Branca's fifth symphony, all of his third, and in a slightly more orthodox rhythmic stylee, his The Acension are worth checking out for all the shimmering, shifting, uncomfortable/beautiful nameless chords. I guess his background is performance art and punk rock, and he often uses a drummer in the way orchestral composers would use a conductor. Speaking of orchestral music, his The World Upside Down is lovely, while his ninth symphony sucked the intestines clean out of my ass and I haven't yet been able to bring myself to listen to it a second time.

Hmm. Well, cheaper than a good colonic, anyway. Okay, cool. I shall keep these recs in mind.

snowman> And I love Allan Holdsworth - even when he isn't playing a real guitar :D

Allan Holdsworth is without question my all-time favorite guitarist (and guitar interface player) and one of my favorite musicians and composers. Beyond this (there's more?), I love the whole package: that you can't truly classify his music (too jazz for rock, too rock for jazz, only a facet of his output belonging properly-speaking to American jazz-rock fusion), that he's gone his own revenue-limiting way his entire career without being a precious artiste about it, that he's a remarkably humble and down-to-earth guy (no Yngwie-like viral clips of him assaulting flight attendants) despite getting hero-worshipping props from greats across every genre of guitar playing, that despite such an immaculate reputation, he'll never ever be featured in Rock Band or Guitar Hero.

I wish I could link some of his stuff that I love, but it isn't on YouTube (yet another thing I love about him -- he has zero need for celebrity). The only CD under his name I haven't heard yet is Flat Tire, so the Synthaxe tune I'll mention here is from Hard Hat Area, "Downside Up," on which he uses a breath controller. (As a child, he wanted to be a sax player, not a guitarist.) He "blows" some of the most tender, heart-rendingly lyrical lines across an abstruse chord progression you'll ever hear. Aww, shit, I'm getting tears in my eyes just thinking about it. On the stereo it goes.

snowman For me most of Lizard is great: the first three songs are manic and obscure takes on trad rock patterns, but jubilantly *alive* and perverted and exciting. The instrumental stuff towards the end is pure adventurous 70s Fripp: if any of the last sections of ...Poseidon float your boat, this album will too...

My damn vinyls are in storage :x But I'll certainly keep a lookout for opportunities to revisit. And after this Holdsworth, it's Branca-hunting time ...

Cheers,

Bob
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