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Posts posted by ZilchWoolham

  1. I am stunned. That "Leaves of Tears" purple monstrosity has got to be the most tasteless design I've ever seen on an official Fender-branded guitar. It looks like a Warmoth bitsa assembled for an AOR band in 2005. Apparently  good judgement is an entirely optional quality for a master builder! 

    • Like 1

  2. The Caribbean steel drum is an altogether older and distinct instrument, but all these other flying saucer shaped things are clones of a relatively modern instrument called the Hang. I see some pop up in various for sale groups on Facebook, classifieds pages etc. from time to time, and they're all indeed very expensive and seem to be sold and bought exclusively by New Age people.

  3. 10 hours ago, Bilbo said:

    Objective criticism of music. Is that even possible? Depending on the publication, I think it is important for critics to engage as well as inform. I think a stinking review can be really funny if we'll written. I grew up as a Prog fan in the Punk era. Nobody liked anything I listened to 😃 Writing is always about the writer. 

    Oh no, that's not what I meant. Objective criticism is impossible. What I mean is they should engage with the material in good faith, as honestly as possible, and try to offer actual insight or analysis, instead of focusing all their energy on witticisms, gonzo ego stroking, or as is the case with the aforementioned Christgau, the preparation of word salads. 

    And people like Lester Bangs really, literally did write about themselves. I read an interview by him (not with him) that he would periodically break up to insert vignettes recounting his shagging a prostitute in some South East Asian country. What the f*´k? 

  4. This reads like it came right out of my own mind, only I had the unfortunate experience of discovering Robert Christgau quite a few years ago. And indeed, he was a big shot. I believe he, along with a few other select individuals, is to blame for the sorry state of popular music criticism today. The whole idea of pop criticism was fairly new back when he got his break, so there is no denying he helped shape the entire genre. Any critic attacking your favourite bands is bound to be annoying, but Christgau's positive reviews are as horrid as his negative ones. They just don't mean anything. It's just not parsable text. 

    I will say, as musically ignorant and fashion-oriented as pop and rock criticism still is today, it was far worse in the 70's. Interviews as well as reviews were openly antagonistic and so harsh on their subjects you'd think they were writing not about musicians, but about corrupt politicians, or pet stranglers, or worse. Obviously, actual musical knowledge was never considered a requirement for writing about music. 

    I'm an avid reader of Sight & Sound, and sometimes I think of just how different things would be if music journos were expected to be half as knowledgeable and passionate about their chosen subject as your typical film critic is about cinema. Of course there are exceptions, but the standard is ludicrously low. And a large part of the reason for that being the case is because the people who read Christgau, Lester Bangs, Julie Burchill etc. kept that dreadful tradition alive in their own writing. 

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  5. 6 hours ago, Nail Soup said:

    I think he was also considered as a hired hand on NMTB??? In the end Steve Jones recorded the bass, I think simplifying the parts a bit from what Matlock had.

    Around the time of the Filthy Lucre tour Lydon said that much of the animosity between Matlock and Lydon was stoked by McClaren anyway. Now is that something we could imagine Malcolm doing?

    Of course, having an inferior but more outrageous bass player suited McClaren just fine. One can wonder though, if, with Matlock remaining, they could have evolved out of that first phase like several of their contemporaries instead of imploding. 

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  6. Good lord. I know they've been pretty shameless in their copying recently, but they're certainly not the only company iterating on (or cloning) old, famous designs, and while I'm not interested in their products, I can luckily simply avoid them. This is an entirely different matter, though. It's John Hall style bullying and then some. Filing for a trademark of another persons name is just about the lowest "competitive" behaviour you can think of.   

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  7. I bought an Ibanez Roadster from Sean. We ran into some bank issues that severely delayed the purchase, but he was patient and communicative as we both worked to sort it out. When the bass did arrive, it did so safely and as described. I'd certainly recommend him to anyone as a seller. 

  8. The role of art and culture in Nazi ideology was immense. They were brutal in their attacks on what they called "degenerate art", which would typically mean anything modernistic or avant-garde, but could extend to virtually anything that wasn't Wagner or similarly heroic or nationalistic. Ironically though, the Italian futurists were essentially all fascists. It's hard to imagine they shared much as far as tastes in art are concerned, though of course they did share the same love of strength and violence, and the same contempt for the weak.  

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  9. I think Baz is a very solid guitar player and can certainly belt a tune, but he's got that sort of wide-stanced, brutish kind of image to him that I suppose might serve the more aggro material fine, but ultimately I find a bit one-dimensional. Hugh could certainly be rough, but there's another side to him as well.

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  10. It should be noted that lyrics of unrequited love, heartbreak and indeed self-pity date back to Hank Williams at the very least, and are probably as old as popular music itself. They can, of course, be done more or less successfully. Personally there's only so much whine I can take without some humour, eloquence or at the very list poignancy and sincerity to back it up. However, I have a rather strong hunch that the majority of those who so often and so loudly feel the need to criticise young sensitive poets are simply rather angry middle-aged (or above) men of less than average emotional intelligence who find it both confounding and upsetting that some people not only find ways to express feelings other than aggression/horniness/triumphant superiority, but are actually rewarded for it as well - in money, and female attention, for whatever that's worth.  

    And, in all sincerity, "big boys use Black & Deckers" is, this side of the century, as embarrassing a sentiment as anything found in your average power metal song. 

  11. A vintage JJ tone is really rather simple. Precision bass, rounds, played with a pick into an overdriven amp. It's possible there was a torn speaker cone involved somewhere, but I wouldn't recommend trying to replicate that. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it probably won't be easily achieved with most modern amps. 

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  12. 7 minutes ago, 4000 said:


    Have to say that thinking about it I’m not really sure where the “fantasy” thing comes from re Yes. Jon has openly admitted he uses words for their sound in context rather than their meaning, and in Yes themselves I can’t think of many songs that relate to fantasy. New Age hippyness, ok. 😉. I mean, The Gates of Delirium is supposedly based on Tolstoy!

    Ah yes, I'm sure you're right. I'm not that well-versed in matters Yes, to be honest, but the point still stands in regards to people's perception of them and whatever bands might have more of an actual fantasy slant. I suppose in all fairness Rick Wakeman didn't really help ward off that image what with the cape and the Arthur stuff. 

  13. I'm with you on a lot of these points, 4000. Not really sure how a Stranglers thread became a discussion about the various forms of prog, but I have to jump in as well! 

    I definitely don't hear much of folk in Yes either, but then British folk does happen to be the genre (or tradition, rather) of music I enjoy the most as a whole, so my perception, and definition of folk might be a bit different, more narrow, from others (as an example, my favourite band is Jethro Tull, and while many have applied the label "folk rock" to much of their output, I'd say it's folk-inspired at most - and even then certainly more Celtic than English, and much more apparent in music than in lyrics). I also think medieval bent, as in the case of Gentle Giant, really is something of a compliment rather than something to look past! I do appreciate a good groove but I tend to stay far, far away from one-note funk.

    I've also had trouble connecting with modern prog bands. Too much of it sounds the same to me; it's often to metal-oriented, and almost always strangely dour, dreary and humourless. I can enjoy a bit of darkness, and certainly some heaviness now and then, but I think prog is best when it's energetic, adventurous and exuberant. I don't have much of a taste for fantasy themes myself, but I do prefer it to brooding self-importance.

    As an almost-aside, Robert Fripp is very near the top of my list of most pretentious musicians, along with his chum Eno and the No Wave crowd. 

    How do we all feel about Captain Beefheart? In my experience he seems to be one of the biggest unifiers in music. Probably the artist who most attracts punk and prog fans alike. I'm not a regular listener but I do happen to like him, myself, and the attitude is brilliant. 

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  14. Early Stranglers, to me, are just plain old rock, but it's very clear they rode the punk wave, and intentionally so. In fact, in their earlier incarnations a few years before their breakthrough they were decidedly more mellow. Strange Little Girl, for example, began as an early demo from this period. B&W would be easy to classify as post-punk, but so would an awful lot of albums from 1978 that don't necessarily sound like one another. Raven and Gospel are damn near art rock. Then, onward through the 80's they were more of a pop band than anything else, really. 

    For whatever it's worth, Dagenham Dave's other favourite bands were Genesis and The Tubes! 

    • Like 1

  15. 9 minutes ago, Bassassin said:

    Back then I didn't think that deeply about the lyrics but I was still conscious that they were often pretty grim - and from the perspective of 2019 the likes of School Mam, London Lady, Ugly, Bring On The Nubiles, Princess Of The Streets etc are often downright horrific! I think the really dodgy stuff is confined to the first two albums though.

    You hit the nail on the head. Taken alone, some of those lyrics are tolerable, but together they do paint a bit of a rough picture. It's hard to claim the sexism charges of the time were unwarranted, although I do think purging their records from the Rough Trade shelves might have been a bit much... 

    And indeed, there was definitely a tonal shift, lyrically, from B&W onwards. For a rather stark contrast to the early provocation there's JJ's European Female from the Feline album.

    • Like 1

  16. 8 hours ago, Bassassin said:

    I sort of think, @Barking Spiders, it would be good if we could raise our discourse above the playground rivalries of 1977. I play bass because of JJ Burnel - I probably would never have picked up the instrument if I hadn't heard Peaches. I play guitar, and was motivated to compose music because of Stuart Adamson, whose band The Skids (as you probably know) got their big break when JJ invited them to support The Stranglers at the Battersea show mentioned upthread. I'm (broadly speaking) a prog rocker but the punk era is a huge part of my DNA. It shouldn't upset anyone to understand where music comes from.

    I tend to feel a bit uneasy whenever punks talk about prog, and prog rockers talk about punk, seeing how among my favourite bands there's one group which invariably is described as prog rock (Jethro Tull), and one which invariably is described as punk (Buzzcocks) ( with good enough reason, although to my ears, neither are the best examples of their respective genres). Not the most usual combination of bands, I'm sure, but there are a lot of music lovers who dabble in seemingly contrasting genres. 

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