Wednesday, October 27, 2004

LPs and such...

I am considering a turntable, because the older I get, the more music I want that never made it to CD or even cassette. I hate vinyl, and have no sentimental attachment to the irritating pops and scratches that make some people so nostalgic for some bygone era. I would much rather the record companies get off their collective asses and digitize their back catalogs. Their COMPLETE back catalogs. The sad truth is, the bulk of that work is probably already destroyed or beyond repair, given that I have bought CDs that sound as though they are converted from the original wax disc. This needs to be done. Living in a world where the only music readily available is the fucking Beatles and a small percentage of those that came after is a scenario that depresses me beyond belief.



[Listening to: Field Work (Tokyo Mix) - Thomas Dolby and Ryuichi Sakamoto]

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Thomas Dolby

Ten years or so ago, I bought his greatest hits on a whim. It sat on a shelf for a while. One night, I put it on and just let it play while I was reading. About midway through Budapest By Blimp, it had my full attention. Have you ever liked a song and wished it would not end? I was in love with this song, and it happened to last a wonderfully atmospheric eight minutes and 39 seconds. The connection was made.



A decade later I have all of his studio albums and most of the rarities. The rarest stuff never made it off vinyl, so tracking them down has not been fun, but well worth it all the same. Every album offers something a little different, and a nice portrait of where he was at the time. This is the very rare instance of someone moving forward with each release, but injecting each with adventure and personality. All the more regretful that he only has four true studio releases, and has put out no original music for ten. His departure from music took place the year I discovered him, strangely enough.



A few years ago, he released a live album recorded on his fortieth birthday. It is a quiet performance of a few of his favorite releases recorded in front of a group of friends with minimal accompaniment. From his voice you can tell he hasn't done this for a while, but I love the disc, and that just adds to its charm. That was 2002, so maybe he'll put something out soon. Probably not, but in the meantime, I'll continue my search through his back catalog, and hope that all of those will hit CD in my lifetime...



[Listening to: Valley of the Mind's Eye- Thomas Dolby - The Gate to the Mind's Eye]

Monday, October 18, 2004

America... FUCK YEAH!

Team America was entertaining, but there was a woman in the theater who brought her toddler for some reason. And they stayed for the movie's entire length. I can only surmise from the evidence that this woman was a moron, but who's to say? The previews shown were also kid friendly things like Lemony Snickett and Sponge Bob. I guess I understand. I mean, it had puppets in it. It MUST have been for kids... granted, the humor was pretty juvenile, but I'd hate to know my little girl heard the word "cock" in a movie I willingly sat through with her. there's a time and a place for that, and it's called first grade.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Starless

Yesterday I sat with my guitar working on the solo to this one. It is pretty simple at first, a climb up the E string, then a cacophony of chords, then urgent stabs leading into insanity. Probably my favorite example of Fripp's playing by far. Also great atmospheric mellotron intro and outro.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Miserable

Allergy day. What fun, what fun. Trying to stay awake until four so I can go home and just pass out. I appreciate being able to breathe more than most people I think, given that it can be a rare occurrence some days. I probably should have stayed home from work, but if I did that the pollen would win. This song kicks oh so much ass. At least there's that.



[Listening to: Fly On A Windshield - Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway]

Monday, October 4, 2004

In the court of the crimson king...

This song means a lot to me. I was at Rod's the first time I heard it, on his King Crimson compilation cassette, which I managed to liberate, and still have. I know now that the unearthly sound that the song derives so much of its power from is in fact provided by the Mellotron, but at the time I was completely blown away by it. Blown away to the extent that I chased that sound from around 1992 until last year when I was able to acquire the VST version. So this song gave me my love of the Mellotron and introduced me to the power of this band. This is everything that band was in 1969 in a nutshell.



[Listening to: A Girl Like You - Edwyn Collins - Empire Records Soundtrack]

Damn Kids!

To those who can't see the merits in games such as Galaga or Metroid... to those who can't sit down and play these games and just enjoy them for what they are... well, I feel sorry for you.



[Listening to: Crack Hitler - Faith No More - Angel Dust]

King Crimson

Making a compilation for a friend this weekend has forced me to approach this stuff yet again. Crimson is such an eclectic band. How to produce an introduction to their work that is representative?



Limiting myself to those works that feature horns is step one. That gives me a 5 year span, 1968-73, roughly. This is doable.



Step two is to feature the drumming of Michael Giles, so this narrows the scope further, to the first album, some live bits, and the recent schizoid band project. This makes things loads easier.



Finally, outside of these, what other songs mean the most to me and feature woodwinds? There is only one. Starless, from Red, with Bill Bruford on percussion.



In the end, nine tracks were chosen:



In the Court of the Crimson King

Catfood

21st Century Schizoid Man

Formentera Lady

Epitaph

I Talk to the Wind

Starless

Mars

The King Crimson Barbershop



Commentary on each will follow as time permits.