Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: One man’s Meat Puppets is another man’s Poison

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  • Danielle,

    'Toxic' is by far the best Britney song, I reckon. I love that one.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    A certain member of the family remains a fan of Paul Holmes while fully realising the powerfully negative affect on anyone else forced to endure the same sound waves.

    I usually have a steel will amongst all this, but I do have to draw the line somewhere.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4351 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Scott Chris,

    Well I do I guess. I’m sick of people misrepresenting the history of popular music by describing it in absolutist terms.

    Like when you dismissed the entire early Flying Nun canon as people who could barely play their instruments? ;-)

    So when people criticize music for being ‘progressive’, I’m inclined to leap to its defence because when you challenge someone to say exactly what it is about, say, Hotel California that they really don’t like, all they can say is “eww prog rock” which has as much analytical merit as saying “eww flared trousers”. It’s essentially a conditioned response.

    But 'Hotel California' is inseparable from its cultural context, surely? It's not prog rock though: it's part of a California country-rock lineage that began with the Byrds I guess. Anyway, don't own it, but never mind hearing it.

    Can I ask whether punk rock changed your life? It did mine. I wonder if that's the difference in the way we hear music.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danielle,

    John Lennon was often really pretentious or just plain addled ('hey George Martin, I want you to make my voice sound LIKE AN ORANGE'), but luckily he didn't really have the chops to get all musically proggy. He was a rock and roll essentialist by the 70s, anyway.

    Hell yes. Plastic Ono Band is probably the most famously frill-free record released by a major recording artist.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s not prog rock though

    But there's a double-neck guitar! If someone in the band wears a cape I think there's a case to be made. ;)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Can we talk about Nick Cave? Can we? I am aware that many find him brilliant. I just find his music dirgey. In the extreme. And yet, I love Tom Waits.

    Ah, me. That voice.


    And while we're at it, I don't get Richard Thompson, and I never was a fan of the Flying Nun thing, and when I was in my 20's everyone was nutty for Darcy Clay. Not to mention Straitjacket Fits. I am a philistine.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Can we talk about Nick Cave? Can we? I am aware that many find him brilliant. I just find his music dirgey. In the extreme. And yet, I love Tom Waits.

    I don’t quite get Tom Waits, although I accept that he is a great musical renegade.

    But Nick Cave … hearing the Bad Seeds play ‘The Ship Song’ in all its billowing glory at the Brixton Academy is one of my most treasured musical memories.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    dirges can be brilliant :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16739 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I don’t quite get Tom waits, although I accept that he is a great musical renegade.

    Ah, see I don’t love him because of that. I love his voice. It twangs my heart strings in a really lovely way. I used to aspire to have that gravelly well worn voice. It says so much about him.
    And you will be reassured to know that The Ship Song is possibly the only one of Cave’s works that I like.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Tom Waits might make more sense to some in a cinematic context.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16739 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    I pondered recently the “things a woman ain’t supposed to see” were.

    I concluded Mob hits, and nefarious underworld goings on with Arab Sheikhs and rich playboys dumping bodies off yachts sailing in the Med.

    I love live music if my eardrums can remain intact so acoustic music is great. I can’t see the point of amplifying a live gig in a church crypt. The trumpet was designed to be loud for a distance – surely it doesn’t need its own mike for the hearing-impaired sound guy to mix. (My theory is that anyone exposed to so much noise must have industrial deafness, which is why they make the music so loud)

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 225 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    All I got from this was a vague sense of amusement. Apart from that, I found it pointless and irritating, perhaps because there's not even a pretense of the economy and emotional directness of rock 'n' roll.

    What I get from it is the sensation of a whole bunch of really great musicians having heaps of fun, in a way that infuses the whole song. I just find it infectious. I don't even think they're trying to show off any more - they've just been playing together like that for long enough that that's what comes naturally. You're right that there's no pretense of economy or directness - that's quite clearly not what they're aiming for, and I don't think you can fault them for that.

    I would find being made to listen to this music for an extended period very challenging indeed.

    So what you're saying is it's bang on topic for the thread, right? But it's a fair cop. I don't often listen to Yes these days for that very reason - a couple of times a decade is more than enough. But I really enjoyed revisiting it for this thread.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This thread is making me think. I know little or nothing of classical musical music -- I'm sure if I put in the time I'd discover what I liked.

    But apart from that I don't dislike any of the topline genres per se. Love Sun Ra and Coltrane. The Saints and Street Chant. Sonia Pottinger and Damian Marley. Public Enemy and @Peace. Johnny Cash and Lucinda Williams. Donna Summer and Daft Punk. Madonna and Lilly Allen. Aretha Franklin and Amy Winehouse.

    There's truth and beauty in all of those.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Well I do I guess. I’m sick of people misrepresenting the history of popular music by describing it in absolutist terms.

    Like when you dismissed the entire early Flying Nun canon as people who could barely play their instruments? ;-)

    "Worst" and "Most" are pretty absolute too.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There's truth and beauty in all of those.

    Exactly. There has to be something worthwhile in every genre, or it wouldn't exist.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Russell Brown,

    How can anyone not love Aretha Franklin. I consider her one of my original peeps. Oh, yeah, when I say my peeps, I mean it. Her, and Bette Midler, and Elton John. My peeps.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And the cherry on top of the cake is Al Green.

    Jackie; check out the song 'Aretha' by Rumer. I think you will love it.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2316 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I know little or nothing of classical musical music

    I think that's because you invented it just then.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Danielle,

    It's not as though all prog is being dismissed out of hand as worthless, for no reason.

    No, quite. And even the stuff that doesn't work for me can - Atlantic in the US did several jukebox friendly edits of Yes tracks, taking things like Close to the Edge and And You And I down from their extended album versions to around 2.59 by excising the bloat. They became killer pop tunes.

    Blue Note did a similar thing with a bunch of Jazz tracks (there is a killer compilation of these) except in their case the originals were mostly happily unbloated.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Shout outs

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16739 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Scott Chris,

    Sorry, most of the anti-prog sentiment basically boils down to jealousy imo.

    Of what? Not knowing when to stop? Why say in 20 minutes what can be said perfectly in 3 or 4?

    And I say this as a person who owns and loves the boxed set of Coltrane Live at The Village Vanguard.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I know little or nothing of classical musical music

    Not to mention that you're talking about dozens if not hundreds of genres right there, differing from each other as much as Robert Johnson and Yes and Britney Spears, if not more so. I'll admit that the quantity of recorded popular (for want of a better word) music probably now exceeds the quantity of written-down classical (f.w.o.a.b.w) music, but classical (Western art?) music still has 10x the timespan behind it.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Oh Geoff, that is beautiful. Thank you! Next pay day, I am getting that album. Her voice is just gorgeous.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Why say in 20 minutes what can be said perfectly in 3 or 4?

    The flipside is that some things just take 20 minutes (or more) to say.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Jo Davidson,

    Anything by Paul McCartney

    New Zealand • Since Mar 2012 • 4 posts Report Reply

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