Saturday, October 8, 2011
I found King Crimson through the book 'Zoom Boom' by Raoul Hoffmann, the same source that led me to Frank Zappa. The chapter about innovative 'avantgarde' rock music described King Crimson's album 'Lark's Tongues In Aspic' in length, and since I was very much interested in what you now call 'prog rock' I was instantly convinced. I was in for a surprise, since this music was quite different to what I had expected. In fact, the first piece 'Lark's Tongues In Aspic, Part 1' starts in near silence, and if you're not patient you might have the impression something's wrong with the record. The piece is a swooping 13 minutes long, and there seems to be no apparent structure, although it does have that long silent 'build-up' and there are different parts, even some you could call 'heavy'. Later on the album there is a 'Part 2' with no coherent connection to the first part. Nevertheless, it consistently keeps up your interest and leaves you wondering about the concept of it as a whole. I still don't really understand it, but love to listen to it every so often - since more than 30 years. And yes, the whole album is great, but that first peice has stuck with me ever since.
Friday, October 7, 2011
A pulp novelist travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, a black-market opportunist.
A true classic, meticulously executed post-war drama with extraordinary expressionist cinematography and a plot which echoes on many levels.
When mentioning The Residents, Snakefinger (real name: Philip Charles Lithma)always comes to mind. He's the guy who plays the manical guitar solo on their cover version of 'Satisfaction', and he was their off-and-on guitarist for nearly 2 decades. The Residents also contributed to his solo albums, which contain amzingly original and quirky music. 'The Picture Makers vs. Children of the Sea' is on his album 'Greener Pastures' and is a wonderful 9-minute sci-fi mini-opera. When I bought the album in 1980, this song immediately fascinated me and I couldn't get it out of my head. More than 30 years later it still doesn't sound dated.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Found this by accident and ordered it straight away.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
The Residents is another band that has been accompanying me since the mid/late 70s and the one I've seen most often live in concert. When Punk rock became popular, I must admit I hated most of what I heard; to me it was mainly rehashed rockabilly with Bryan Ferry wannabee vocalists. The whole attitude concerning 'old' rock music, the 'boring old farts', seemed contrived and insincere, because rock wasn't really that old and what these bands were playing wasn't really that new either. Therefore, when I first encountered The Residents' cover of 'Satisfaction', it was so much more the real thing: a malevolent crazy destruction of a classic rock song that sounded like nothing else I had ever heard before. It had mean ugly vocals and probably the most otherworldy guitar solo of all times, an ingenious new kind of music! All of their albums (and those of guitarist Snakefinger) in the 70s underscored this first impression and I've been collecting thier work ever since, they're still as prolific as ever. It's diificult to describe their music, at the time I would have said they were reinventing music with toy instruments, but with continuous listening you'd recognize much more finesse. Luckily I was an early fan and was able to see them with Snakefinger live several times, before he died in 1987 (on the day of his death his single, "There's No Justice in Life", was released). There will be many more songs on this list from both The Residents and Snakefinger to come. oh, and I still have that 7" single in yellow vinyl.