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Old 04-24-2010, 02:49 AM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
Yeah, no one could ever replace it, not Moog, not Yamaha not Korg. :)

That's because it was actual, 'real' recordings. :P There nothing like real live recording . . .
Yes, they were fine-sounding things although apparently awful to tour with because they were fragile and kept breaking down.

Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
One of the differences I think between early Crimson and Bruford Crimson is the change that happened from well-rounded musicianship to virtuosity in prog. The Moodies, like the Beatels, exemplified a consort of musicians who could dabble on various instruments if need be. The concentration was not on virtuosity but on timbre and sound scape painting:string, flute, mellotron, or sitar.
Great observation, Ken - "the change that happened from well-rounded musicianship to virtuosity". Not just in prog but also in jazz, fusion and metal, even funk. All for the worse IMO.

While the lauded virtuoso had been around for a long time, great musicianship was till largely a tool to provide scope and depth to performances. In time virtuosity started being focused on in its own right - the scope and depth mattered less than the ability to play many notes with challenging syncopation, modes, intervals etc. The attitude became more sport-like with ability being as valued, sometimes more so, as artistry. Unless it's mind-blowing like MO, I'll go for artistry, ideas, atmosphere and emotions over ability every time.

That's the area where I ran into trouble in the infamous Feel vs Technique thread in my early days at the forum. If I'd articulated my ideas then as well as you just did, then my comments may not have been misinterpreted as anti-technique. The whole idea of anti-technique is perverse (which has its own appeal and character in a way, (eg. early punk) but technique's elevation from being a tool to being sought after in its own right didn't give me joy.

To be fair, Bruford era Crimson was far from being all about technique. In fact, I'd argue that the technique on display in Lizard was higher than than in the mid-70s band. The music in LTIA had an exotic, edgy, introverted character that resonated strongly with me. It's as though all those tritones and crazy sounds expressed a dark side of my soul that wasn't allowed overt expression (unless I fancied spending time behind bars :)

Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
Crimson took up that mantle adding Sax, English horn, chamber orchestra, jazz improvisation, sometimes with a N'Orleans flair. You had the same pseudo romantic poetic imagery, sea imagery, love and armageddon.

Then Mahavishnu Orchestra came about, and things changed. For me, the earlier albums worked better because it was silly pretense masking as great art that was sometimes a lot of fun. I think they were quite a aware at how sardonic it often was. I think the latter stuff was conceived as art. It tried to be avant-garde but came of as silly pretense and seemed overly simplistic in comparison to what others were doing at the time. I think if Jamie Muir had not left the band things would have been very different. And look what happened to John Wetton.
Ken, you are calmly and methodically dissecting my heart! MY Crims! No way, Josť :)

I don't think KC were sardonic in the early days. They were simpler times, when bands could sing "All You Need Is Love" with a straight face, and the Crims were even more naive still :) The were aiming to be arty right from the start ... elaborate arrangements set to Pete Sinfield's poetry.

Look at the idiotic, crude schoolyardish nyah nyah lyrics in Ladies of the Road in the 70s. Are you going to tell me that these guys were worldly enough to be sardonic about their vaguely analogous "purple pipers" and "yellow jesters" in 1969? They were simply that naive and pretentious, and I thought it was fabulous. Still do :)

Their later pretensions in the mid 70s were consistent with that naivete. But ultimately, none of this silliness would have worked except that the group consistently provided some of the most varied, imaginative and wonderful timbres and textures around. The 80s incarnation continued in that tradition.

If the music was more modest, less pretentious, then I doubt I'd have been interested. Good taste is wonderful but without inspiration (or a healthy infusion of conscious artiness :) tastefulness can be like a straitjacket that results in one-dimensional, predictable songs where you know what it will sound like at the end after hearing the first few bars. That might suit Rolling Stone reviewers but it doesn't suit me :)
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