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  #41  
Old 04-19-2010, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

Pretentious is usually reserved by critics to explain music they don't like.

Any sign of the musicians acting the least bit important while playing music the critics don't like it labeled as pretentious.

For most of Led Zeppelin's active career, they were panned by critics left and right as pretentious, to the point the band hired their own PR man just to deal with the negativity.
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  #42  
Old 04-19-2010, 04:15 AM
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Pretentious is usually reserved by critics to explain music they don't like.

Any sign of the musicians acting the least bit important while playing music the critics don't like it labeled as pretentious.

For most of Led Zeppelin's active career, they were panned by critics left and right as pretentious, to the point the band hired their own PR man just to deal with the negativity.
Best definition yet, lol. And I suppose to their expert ears, British rock and roll is totally pretentious because it was heavily inspired from the blues, hmmm. Seems to me that most music evolves from another form, and yes, bands like LZ and the Stones heavily copied alot of blues isms, from vocal passages to guitar riffs. But is that pretentious and any different from Punk, Metal, Shred, Death Metal, and everything that came from rock? And how about modern Techno Pop and dance music that evolved from Disco which evolved from Funk which evolved from Jazz Funk, and originated with Jazz?
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  #43  
Old 04-19-2010, 04:19 AM
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Best definition yet, lol. And I suppose to their expert ears, British rock and roll is totally pretentious because it was heavily inspired from the blues, hmmm. Seems to me that most music evolves from another form, and yes, bands like LZ and the Stones heavily copied alot of blues isms, from vocal passages to guitar riffs. But is that pretentious and any different from Punk, Metal, Shred, Death Metal, and everything that came from rock? And how about modern Techno Pop and dance music that evolved from Disco which evolved from Funk which evolved from Jazz Funk, and originated with Jazz?
Yes, it does all come from somewhere.

I really had no idea Zep was so hated until I read Danny Goldberg's book. He was hired by Zep to do their PR before he went off and became a record company mogul. By the time I became aware of Zep in school, they were already considered legends.
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  #44  
Old 04-19-2010, 05:04 AM
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

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Best definition yet, lol. And I suppose to their expert ears, British rock and roll is totally pretentious because it was heavily inspired from the blues, hmmm. Seems to me that most music evolves from another form, and yes, bands like LZ and the Stones heavily copied alot of blues isms, from vocal passages to guitar riffs. But is that pretentious and any different from Punk, Metal, Shred, Death Metal, and everything that came from rock? And how about modern Techno Pop and dance music that evolved from Disco which evolved from Funk which evolved from Jazz Funk, and originated with Jazz?
You mean to say that American Jazz music is the father of all contemporary music? What a profound statement! I like profound. I couldn't agree more.
Didn't jazz spawn from the "Blues"?
So all contemporary music comes from Blues? Or did Blues and Jazz develop simultaneously?
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  #45  
Old 04-19-2010, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

When music is manage in a different and originally way, shape, it will be stigmatized and categorized as pretentious. Is it Rammstein, pretentious? for what they write, play and do.
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  #46  
Old 04-19-2010, 05:11 AM
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You mean to say that American Jazz music is the father of all contemporary music? What a profound statement! I like profound. I couldn't agree more.
Didn't jazz spawn from the "Blues"?
So all contemporary music comes from Blues? Or did Blues and Jazz develop simultaneously?
And don't forget jazz came from ragtime and dixieland, and if you trace it all back far enough, it goes to a person banging on a hollow log with a stick.

The only question is what gave him(her) the inspiration to pick up the stick and hit log in the first place.
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  #47  
Old 04-19-2010, 05:12 AM
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

Blues came from the slaves who were kidnapped from Africa, and I would say that Blues and Jazz developed concurrently. The earliest known blues songs were in and around the turn of the century, and jazz, about the same time. Jazz was spauned in Nawlins, no? Blues first surfaced in the cotton fields of the Missippi Delta as field hollers, call and response type stuff.
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  #48  
Old 04-19-2010, 05:18 AM
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Blues came from the slaves who were kidnapped from Africa, and I would say that Blues and Jazz developed concurrently. The earliest known blues songs were in and around the turn of the century, and jazz, about the same time. Jazz was spauned in Nawlins, no? Blues first surfaced in the cotton fields of the Missippi Delta as field hollers, call and response type stuff.
So music is an enigma, a paradox, a riddle?
No wonder why we argue about it so much!
It can't be fully understood of defined.
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  #49  
Old 04-19-2010, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

Pretense = pretending to be something that you're not (IMO). It can be applied across the board......

Pollyanna - the box set of Henry Cow? that's news - I have quite a few of their albums on vinyl.... was Desperate Straights (Slapp Happy and Henry Cow) included in the box set?
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  #50  
Old 04-19-2010, 06:16 AM
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

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So music is an enigma, a paradox, a riddle?
No wonder why we argue about it so much!
It can't be fully understood of defined.
Really, the journey of music has mirrored the journey of man, just by virtue of the sheer amount of music that has been part of the language
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  #51  
Old 04-19-2010, 06:21 AM
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Blues came from the slaves who were kidnapped from Africa, and I would say that Blues and Jazz developed concurrently. The earliest known blues songs were in and around the turn of the century, and jazz, about the same time. Jazz was spauned in Nawlins, no? Blues first surfaced in the cotton fields of the Missippi Delta as field hollers, call and response type stuff.
Yes, jazz came from the Creole population in N'Awlins in a ward or burrough known as Storyville, in the late 1800s. Creoles were not the ex-slaves like the African Americans in Mississippi that started the Blues. Creoles were middle class citizens of New Orleans who arrived there via Haiti courtesy of the French, before Louisiana belonged to the United States and were never slaves at all. Many of the Creole musicians were trained in Paris with classical instruments, which is why jazz is so associated with wind instruments and the acoustic Bass (Cello). So some could argue I suppose that jazz is pretentious - a corrupted offshoot of classical music. I personally like it much better than classical, though.

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  #52  
Old 04-19-2010, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

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Good one. We tend to think of it in that way, don't we? There is a notion of sincerity tied into the question.

Polly, I bet you wouldn't be surprised to find that your question could be construed as gendered. Pretense-female, objectivity - male.
Sincerity is an ideal but not too many of us play entirely "unmasked". Drumming is ok at expressing base emotions like anger but not so good at expressing, say, tenderness. The best we can manage there would be to support a band's lead voice in expressing tenderness.

Interesting observation re: male/female. It could just as easily be said, Relationship focus = feminine, object focus = masculine. Many a marriage has crashed on the rocks of that schism :) although it's a broad brush stroke.


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Zappa actually belongs to the objectivist camp. It is an interesting question to ask; but he saw his avant-garde works as the real deal and songs even as great as Yellow Snow were just stuff he had to do. That may be an extreme but certainly Valley Girl would fall in that commercializing mold.

There was a point with prog where I came about the same realization, it is the pretension that makes it fun. It was the earlier silly Crimson that I always liked more than the later stuff with Wetton. When they start to take themselves too seriously it gets lost.(That was that generation though. They were a very serious bunch.)
Agree. There is a fairly straightforward hedonistic pleasure I get from a lot of prog - all those wonderful sounds, textures and forms. It's nearly always at an arm's length, of course. A lot of critics seem to be offended when a band doesn't try to "talk" to people. Dumb extroverts - they just don't understand :)

Re: KC ... to be fair, yep, LTIA --> Red didn't have the lush gorgeousness of, say, the buildups in Epitaph and ITCOTKC, there were some special moments like that wonderful spooky noodling with all the cool percussives in the middle of Easy Money, the wonderful spikiness of LTIA (esp Pt 1) and the grandiosity of Starless. Even my mum liked the first section of Starless ... or should I say "movement"? hehehe

Masses and masses of glorious pretension!


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Pretense = pretending to be something that you're not (IMO). It can be applied across the board......

Pollyanna - the box set of Henry Cow? that's news - I have quite a few of their albums on vinyl.... was Desperate Straights (Slapp Happy and Henry Cow) included in the box set?
Hercules, I stuffed up with my order. I meant to buy the whole lot but the ReR site wasn't very clear and I ended up just getting the first of three boxes. The second volume - the one with live footage and the one I really wanted - is now on order.

I still haven't worked out what music is included in what volume. I read somewhere that the third box includes all the studio albums but I've looked at other lists and it doesn't mention them. Confused!


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Yes, I actually did'nt say what I really meant, like always!

I meant jazz listeners who don't actually play it. I don't know why but if you play it, you seem to be humbled by it, but sitting around in jazz clubs sipping wine at 20years old or so....well a lot of those people sem like posers to me. Kind of like teenagers who try and act all chilled because hendrix did it, you know?..but then again, I'm just lumping people in with each other.
I know the ones ... they barely pay attention to the music and talk through the gigs, yet they aren't simply going through mating rituals or having a social dinner and treating the music as background. They are there to be seen and to pontificate.

On the plus side, they buy drinks (always helps the band's cause), they aren't violent and they don't scream PLAY SOME RAWK AND RAWWWWL!!! I reckon there are plenty of worse things a person can be than a wanker, and there are plenty worse things for a band than to have poseurs at their gigs - like having diddly squat people there!
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  #53  
Old 04-19-2010, 12:09 PM
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

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I know the ones ... they barely pay attention to the music and talk through the gigs, yet they aren't simply going through mating rituals or having a social dinner and treating the music as background. They are there to be seen and to pontificate.

On the plus side, they buy drinks (always helps the band's cause), they aren't violent and they don't scream PLAY SOME RAWK AND RAWWWWL!!! I reckon there are plenty of worse things a person can be than a wanker, and there are plenty worse things for a band than to have poseurs at their gigs - like having diddly squat people there!
Thats a pretty good observation Polly, we're all being haters for no reason! I suppose i would'nt mind having some people like that in an audience who thought everything you played was great.......but i'd say as the years go by and I get better ( i hope) I would probably only want guys at a jazz gig who appreciated what was being played. But for some reason in any other kind of music i would'nt mind it really!
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  #54  
Old 04-19-2010, 03:30 PM
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Thats a pretty good observation Polly, we're all being haters for no reason! I suppose i would'nt mind having some people like that in an audience who thought everything you played was great.......but i'd say as the years go by and I get better ( i hope) I would probably only want guys at a jazz gig who appreciated what was being played. But for some reason in any other kind of music i would'nt mind it really!
I wouldn't bet on them saying you sounded great. When a pretend-connoisseur isn't listening to the music he doesn't dare say the band is great, just in case they're not. Safer to say, "Oh, I suppose they're ok ... but nothing compared with [name artist who's better than almost everyone]".

Still, as I say, they're harmless, buy drinks and they make the room look more full :)

Hey - I just thought of a pretentious musician! There was this guy in my local area around 1980 who fancied himself as a kind of Svengali character and would gather all these amateur players with nothing better to do to play in his band. He thought he was the ant's pants, but he was such an atrocious guitarist that I actually saw guys in the audience laughing when he played a solo.

Everyone in the band was a far more accomplished than he was but he called the shots and ruled with an iron fist. There was a very solid bassist and a female singer who'd been getting lessons at the Con. Jones, the band leader, fancied himself as a ladies man and kept on trying to crack on to her. A guitarist I'd played with in a previous band had taken up percussion lessons and was playing in this guy's band to get some experience.

Finally my friend got sick of Jones's idiocy and poached the singer and bassist, and I left the band I was in to join them in starting up a new group. We even played a song that our singer wrote about him ... :"Jones walks the streets, with that look in his eye" (to a sinister melody). It was hilarious but sadly I never got a recording of it :(
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:51 PM
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Dragonforce?

I think they'd be pretty good if every song wasn't exactly the same with machine gun double kick and cheesy lyrics.

All subjective though.
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  #56  
Old 04-19-2010, 04:35 PM
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Agree. There is a fairly straightforward hedonistic pleasure I get from a lot of prog - all those wonderful sounds, textures and forms. It's nearly always at an arm's length, of course. A lot of critics seem to be offended when a band doesn't try to "talk" to people. Dumb extroverts - they just don't understand :)

Re: KC ... to be fair, yep, LTIA --> Red didn't have the lush gorgeousness of, say, the buildups in Epitaph and ITCOTKC, there were some special moments like that wonderful spooky noodling with all the cool percussives in the middle of Easy Money, the wonderful spikiness of LTIA (esp Pt 1) and the grandiosity of Starless. Even my mum liked the first section of Starless ... or should I say "movement"? hehehe

Masses and masses of glorious pretension!


!
You picked out the most pretension parts of even the latter Crimson, :)
and yes coming to mind that Easy Money percussion interlude is fun. That band had something with Jamie Muir that they were unfortunately never able to fully realize. I think it came to pass in the 80s Crimson though that was more percussive and rhythmic.

Emerson's Tarkus was actually the subject of a concert in Japan where is was re-orchestrated for full orchestra.

The esteemed Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Keith Emerson's progressive rock composition "TARKUS" newly arranged to an orchestral piece by composer/arranger, Takashi Yoshimitsu.

Here is Keith's comment on this inaugural performance.

"This is a great honour for me to have my music played and presented with such esteemed players!!! Arranger Takashi Yoshimatsu and orchestra play my work in a land I have grown to love since I first visited Japan in 1972 with my band.

I wrote the ‘Tarkus Suite” 1971 in England. Artist WIliam Neal originally provided the imagery after I came up with a fictitious name for the music I was writing. It was a unique time frame of musical composition and experimentation for me as the changing times and the time changes for England became out of time. I left England as we all had to deal with political issues in subtle ways and it all played its part in the way of things until it grew to define a historic mark as to what is now known as progressive rock music that now falls into contemporary classical.” -- Keith Emerson

Emerson recognizes that what transpired in English popular music during the late 1960s and 70s was a little more influential than some critics would have thought. In the hands of a great arranger, some of that stuff could be quite good, and the height of pretension.

also interesting
Takashi Yoshimatsu was born in Tokyo in 1953, and studied at Keio University (Department of Technology). He taught himself composition, joining a jazz and rock group, although he has studied under Teizo Matsumura for a short while. He became disenchanted with atonal music, and began to compose in a free neo-romantic style with strong influences from jazz, rock and Japanese classical music, underscoring his reputation with his 1985 guitar concerto.He argues for a "new liricism" and objects to unmusical "modern music". Yoshimatsu's supporters enjoy his easy, tuneful style and sense of the capacities of different instruments, although critics complain that his work is simply a post-modern jumble with little coherent theme.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GueQJgYgcqk
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  #57  
Old 04-20-2010, 11:58 AM
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You picked out the most pretension parts of even the latter Crimson, :)
hehehe ... maybe I have a nose for it?


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and yes coming to mind that Easy Money percussion interlude is fun. That band had something with Jamie Muir that they were unfortunately never able to fully realize. I think it came to pass in the 80s Crimson though that was more percussive and rhythmic.
True. Still, we have some great Jamie/Bill moments - Easy Money (the live version on USA didn't have the studio version's quirky charm), the start of Exiles, the middle section of LTIA Pt 1. As a naive young thing I was amazed at the range of strange sounds; it never occurred to me that they had a berserka improvising percussionist. It seemd like magic to me :)

I felt SABB was nowhere near as good. If not for Starless I'd say the same about Red, although it seems most critics and pundits think that was a highlight for them, I guess 'cos it was more RAWK N RAWWWWWL *sigh*

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Emerson's Tarkus was actually the subject of a concert in Japan where is was re-orchestrated for full orchestra.

The esteemed Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Keith Emerson's progressive rock composition "TARKUS" newly arranged to an orchestral piece by composer/arranger, Takashi Yoshimitsu....

his easy, tuneful style and sense of the capacities of different instruments, although critics complain that his work is simply a post-modern jumble with little coherent theme.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GueQJgYgcqk
Interesting info re: Keith. A nicely pretentious commentary from him too :) I mean, wot da hell does he fink he is?? An artist or sumpin? Stuff that for a joke ... DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP! OI! OI! OI!

Post modern jumble? Idjuts. It was a flexible ooze of lovely timbres. Perfect chill music. What's the problem? ... the key phrase in your post is "critics complain". Yes, they do. They listen to so much music that they have chronic indigestion, so they find any musical morsel that's richer than a dry cracker "overblown".

Their attitudes remind me of Mr Creosote at 5 minutes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2Bs1ZZ-7b8 ... BTW, love the Noel Coward takeoff at the start :)
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:23 AM
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Interesting how much King Crimson (and ELP) comes up in this discussion of pretence....

I thought KC really had something on ITCOTCK (21st century.... and Epitaph in particular) they recaptured that bit of magic in Lark's Tongues (agree about Jamie Muir) - Fripp seems to have this ability to create very colourful music.

Does anyone else lament that Mr Giles gave away drumming? I loved his intricate playing on ITCOTCK.....
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:30 AM
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Hercules yes, KC were (and are) the most self-consciously arty of prog bands. Bob Fripp's interviews are compulsory listening for fans of self-appointed visionaries :)

Mike Giles didn't quit drumming, he's just locked in a time warp and playing in the 21st Century Schizoid Band with his brother on bass. Check them out on YouTube. He plays the snare a lot and when the recording sound isn't good his playing clatters too much for my ear. When the sound is good, as per those studio albums ... brilliant.

Loved his playing on thos first two KC albums. His playing on Cat Food (a wonderfully pretentious track :) has some of my fave drumming sounds and dynamics ever.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:26 PM
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We should start a Michael Giles fan club. From my understanding, he just does not like the road. That is why he quit Crimson and that is why we rarely see him perform live.

Cat Food was a good one. As silly as though songs were, there was some nice playing on many of those tracks. Who was the keyboardist on that one?

People say Fripp is quite a reclusive nut these days; but even those who are not a fan of avant-garde rock can find his extreme sense of detached obscurity quite refreshing in a world of overblown celebrity.

I think that the Brits had a greater sense of the dramatic role in popular music due to the long theatrical history and that Shakespeare dude. You didn't have that as much in the states except maybe for Morrison who had a BA in film through the theater department of UCLA.. Then you see it in the Alice and the LA scene of the late 1970s and 1980s. I don't know though. I don't really take the theatrics of Alice, Kiss or performance artists like Madonna that seriously. It's less pretense and more shock value.

It's also the case that in Britain the music itself was more dramatic and American rock really did not have anything in comparison to Webber, Townsend or Waters. We had Grease, and Hair. many people argue rock music destroyed American musical theater. I think a big part of that has to do with rocks demagoguery. The free-ness of a band like Henry Cow really worked against that authoritarianism stance, which of course has a gender if not also a racial undercurrent. it is no mystery that The Ramones reacted specifically against r and b of the mid 1970s, not against prog rock, and wanted to create white music, you know stuff with no rhythm, no blue notes and only three chords.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:08 PM
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Great post, Ken. You'd be thinking of Keith Tippett. He also played on all of the Lizard album (Cat Food was clearly a preview for that album). Bolero is my fave track on that album and Keith's playing is a big reason for that. It's poodling along as a quasi classical piece and then Keith slips in this subtle, offbeat jazz chord that changes the entire mood leading to the song morphing into ... um, prog bolero trad :)

I wasn't mad on Andy McCulloch's playing at times on that album but he had some moments, notably that gorgeous cymbal crash at the end of Bolero, and he was great in Cirkus at times and played some very nifty bits in Indoor Games.

Oh yeah, Frippy is an odd guy. In a way he reminds me of Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory. I have a soft spot for socially inept but insanely brainy men :)

I think you hit the nail on the head re: Brit & US scenes, something I was groping for on the other thread. That's why I'm so keen on European music - it's less earthy and more pretentious!

Yeah, there was a RnR orthodoxy, now that you mention it. IMO a lot of that was created by risk averse record companies looking for formulas and critics who were stifling in their conservative "rebellion". If you're a rebel because being a rebel is compulsory are you really a rebel?

Had a big smile on my face reading the last sentence of that post - ha!
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:00 PM
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It was also the Mellotron. That's why I love The Moody Blues. You get out the Mellotron and it's Strawberry Field's Forever . . . there's no sense of realism left.

The other bold instrument that was such a fixture to early prog, and also soul jazz, was the flute. The flute is not a masculine instrument. Plato warned long ago about the seductive dangers of flute music and its ability to make reality disappear.

I was reading on Wikipedia that Tippet had an early jazz band with Elton Dean. The Centipede orchestra was his creation.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:17 AM
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It was also the Mellotron. That's why I love The Moody Blues.
Ahh the Mellotron - a grand analog instrument - love what the Moody Blues used to do with it.
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

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 . . .

The Moodies were actually the template for many of the early prog bands, like Genesis and King Crimson. Genesis didn't use the mellotron as much; but Crimson really modeled themselves after what the Moodies were doing.

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. In some sense, it was sound tracking.

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.
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Old 04-24-2010, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

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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.

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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 :)


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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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Old 04-24-2010, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

Good taste seems to mean restricted taste in this instance. All music that's well-constructed deserves to be enjoyed.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Pretentious music??

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post



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 :)

Sorry about that.:)

For me, the enjoyment is in the sardonic aspect. I was going to say that it speaks to the first question, if it is consciously pretentious does that take away from its enjoyment as opposed to being pretentious through naivete?

The Moody Blues were pretentious not only in their overly orchestrated rock and roll; but also that they did believe they were creating 'great art.' Remember the House of Four Doors: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, The Moody Blues, "Legend of a Mind." Yes similarly came to believe with CTTE and TFTO that they were creating "great music." Whereas Emerson has always been upfront with the fact that he didn't see his music as akin to the great classical masters or the great jazz artists. I've always said that the music does have a place in the popular classical realm, and have spoken to Keith about this. As an aside, you had those recordings of David Palmer, which in my book didn't work because even if you are playing rock and roll with a full orchestra, the drumming needs to be over the top. :) all those guys Bonham, Paice, Moon, Palmer, Bruford, Giles, Hiseman etc. were full of classical gestures and classical overtures in their playing. I think that is another thing that separates Europe from the States.

It would be fun to ask Fripp of Bruford what they thought about the question . . .
Ladies of the Road is an interesting example because it is one part "Why Don't We Do It in the Road" and one part "Norwegian Wood," which was about a one night stand. They had to know what they were doing there. The sax in Crimson often beckons back to Coltrane. I really think they were conscious of this, and many of these guys probably had more musical chops than they led onto. It was a big thing to be a naive romantic back then, I kind of raw talent. So musicians often did not want to admit they had been taking lessons at the conservatory..
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