Tuesday, February 12, 2013

#633: What it is

Getting a little frustrated here. Mainly because I'm pretty bored with just about everything, both musically & bookishly. It's been awhile since anything has really JOLTED me -- possibly since my buddy Crabby sent me a copy of Cromagnon's disturbing CAVE ROCK.
I'd welcome a break from the same-old same-old, from those widely-accepted classic hits we all grew up on. I'd love a POSITIVE jolt of new music. But, if you're gonna make recommendations, PLEASE, nothing as jolting as CAVE ROCK, OK...?
I have a stack of barely-touched CD's in the house that I've been hauling to work every nite 4 weeks, but it just seemed like 2 much work 2 put them on -- & once I did, they mostly failed 2 keep me motivated. (DID make some woeful new discoveries 4 another post about Really Bad Prog, however -- that 1 will B Coming Soon....)
Fell back on the almost-always-reliable Motivational Stuff -- & then failed 2 put that on the CD player, either. Not sure what's wrong with me -- might B that it's Winter & only just barely showing signs of Spring coming, that I was sick 4 a week, that the Old Reliables might finally B running out of charm & oomph 4 me.
Which doesn't mean I don't still think they'd work wonders 4 you, if you've never heard them.
Here's the thing -- I can post lists of great music I think you should check out, but I can't force you 2 go find them -- all I can do is post the info & hope 4 feedback.
I also can't -- at least so far -- seem 2 tell you specifically why I think this stuff is great or overlooked, why it might help hold your world together in the way it's helped me for so many years. I can sorta dance around it, but.... A list isn't the same thing as hearing something. & you can't really DESCRIBE music, only its effects -- you can only play it & listen. Anything more would be The Thing Itself.
Which doesn't mean I'm not gonna TRY....
& none of this Xplains my theory that the world might be a better, happier place if more people listened 2 Caravan or Gryphon or Happy the Man or Group 87 or Nick Drake. I don't know if those folks would work 4 everybody. I just know they work 4 me.
But getting at the essence of WHY they work ... well, it's been awhile since I've even TRIED that.
I can tell you that, 4 me, something is "great" or "brilliant," but that doesn't even describe the territory. I can tell you that my world would be a lesser place without...
...Caravan's gorgeous vocals, unique bubbly keyboard textures, big-band-style swing & dramatic instrumental sweep, great pop songwriting, & silly obsession with fat women.
...Happy the Man's beautiful interweaving washes of keyboard, sax, flute & guitar, & their disconnected high-tech lyrical outlook.
...Illusion's gorgeous, timeless rural-England placidity.
...The Moody Blues' perfect pop songwriting, gorgeous vocal blend, & the siren wail of the mellotron.
...Nick Drake's smoky voice, beautiful folk melodies, & his melancholy.
...Gryphon's wind-up-toy-horn sound.
...Sandy Denny's haunted voice.
...Yes's cosmic vision, & their freshness & enthusiasm in their younger days.
...ELP's confidence & bombast.
...Renaissance's gorgeous classically-influenced keyboard melodies, their poetic lyrics, & even their stuck-up prissiness at times.
...King Crimson's stunning, overwhelming presence & mood -- & their icy intelligence.
...The Beatles' insane enthusiasm up through about 1966.
...Bob Dylan's screechy, whiny voice, & his at-times hilarious lyrics. If he hadn't become a folk singer, he coulda been a stand-up comic.
...Fleetwood Mac's gorgeous, lighter-than-air group vocals in their later years ("Brown Eyes," "You Make Loving Fun"), their brave off-the-wall experiments ("Murrow Turning Over in His Grave," TUSK), & their pop hooks that grab hold & won't let go -- even if you don't wanna B sucked-in ("Dreams," "Don't Stop").
...Group 87's beautiful, life-affirming musical themes & their mix of sax, keybs & guitar.
...Gentle Giant's intricacy & cleverness, their Gregorian-chant group vocals ... & not forgetting some excellent forceful songs, no matter how tricky & obscure they get.
...Camel's gorgeous guitar & keyboard textures.
...The Beach Boys' gorgeous group vocals of course -- & Brian Wilson's firm grasp of fantasy -- whether it's an affluent Southern California suburbia (classic early-'60s hits) or a cosmic American Wild West (SMiLE).
...Genesis's gorgeous middle-period British fantasies (TRICK OF THE TAIL to -- roughly -- THREE SIDES LIVE).
...Wigwam's whimsy, & subdued power (NUCLEAR NIGHTCLUB).
...Phil Spector's perfect teen melodramas ("I Wonder," "The Best Part of Breakin' Up," "Baby I Love You," "Be My Baby," "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," "River Deep, Mountain High," "There's No Other Like My Baby," "Christmas -- Baby Please Come Home," etc).
...Jefferson Airplane/Starship's science-fiction vocal chorales (FREEDOM AT POINT ZERO, "All Nite Long," "Save Your Love," "Crown of Creation," "Good Shepherd," "Mexico," etc).
...Elton John's insane enthusiasm, & the tons of potential hits he threw away ("Love Lies Bleeding," "Gray Seal," "Ballad of Danny Bailey," "(Gotta Get a) Meal Ticket," "Teacher I Need You," "Elderberry Wine," "Have Mercy on the Criminal," "Grimsby," "Ego," etc).
...& many more I can't even remember right now....

...I plan 2 keep bashing away at this, trying 2 get closer 2 why this is an obsession that I HAVE 2 keep writing about -- but in the meantime, it would B nice 2 hear from some of you out there about whether any of the music I've recommended has worked 4 you -- or even if it hasn't....
'Til next time....


R S Crabb said...

Hey Tad,
Didn't mean to give ya nightmares on Cave Rock, I figured I can play it and not give much a second thought although it still remains one of the most nerve racking albums of my lifetime. And strange too.

As you have noticed I haven't posted much this year, the Buddy Holly things and winter dance party were repostings but for the most part I really haven't been much in a posting mood. The X GF made a comment that riled me to the point that you'll never see any more of her stuff on my site. Why should she even cared if I should start dating Samantha Fish, even though Sam Fish is 30 years younger, has a following and has a Boyfriend. And taking exception to London Andrews site, I thought it was interesting enough to post. Plus Sized women are beautiful, until you get some that have a insecurity and jealousy that they have to make a comment that ends all ties. So be it.

This year I managed to find some new stuff that might be worth a listen and of course I have a backlog of CDs that will keep me rocking all night at work. But I have been visiting the Doors' albums as well as Bad Religion in a attempt to familarize myself on how good they are and that perhaps we really don't need to worry about new bands. Mumford and Sons and Lumineers I just can't get into. As a blogger you/I both know we do our best to promote what we like and if we can get one person to listen to what we like than maybe we did our job.

Sorry bout the novel of this reply, I just had to get a few things off my mind. Ta! for now.

And keep blogging!

TAD said...

Always a pleasure, Crabby -- & I'll stop blogging when they pry the World's Smallest Laptop outta my cold dead typed-to-the-bone fingers -- which hopefully won't B anytime soon. I actually feel pretty good -- just wish the sun would come out a little more often....