Monday, 19 July 2010

Pretentious! Overblown! Self-indulgent!

Truth in advertising. I love prog rock. Which is frequently, as in the title, pretentious, overblown and self-indulgent. And most of the time that is fine with me. ELP, Yes, King Crimson, Van der Graaf Generator (cue fans of at least two of those bands saying they were never prog). Great! Can't get enough!
So at the weekend I went along to the doubledotbash in Reading. Lots of people I had never heard of, ranging from a guitar and drum noise duo (it's more fun for you than anyone else, guys) to the wonderful The Hand (acoustic, thus labelled "folk", but they are not really). Francois and the Atlas Mountains - solo Frenchman doing electronics, guitar and trumpet (!). First couple of songs not so sure, but he definitely grew on me.
Then there was Max Tundra. Pretentious! Overblown! Self-indulgent! And crap. Max, dear boy, sampling Keith Emerson does not give you his talent. You went on for too long, you were far too pleased with yourself and your undoubted instrumental and vocal abilities. I got the impression there was some good stuff fighting desperately to get out, but it was drowned in the smoothie maker of everything else going on.If you throw everything in, it doesn't sound more clever, it just gets to be monotonous, a bit like when you played with plasticine as a kid and what you ended up with was always that brown stuff when you mixed all the colours together.
Maybe what you need is a damn good editor / producer.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Linda Perhacs - Parallelograms

I read about Linda Perhacs in the Rough Guide book "The Best Music You've Never Heard" (which turned out to be true for only about a third of the artists in the book, but then I do have, umm, an interesting taste in music). The mention there was intriguing, so I sought her out and heard a few tracks online. If you are looking for comparisons, the closest you would get would be Joni Mitchell or perhaps Tori Amos, but those are misleading. Linda is a true original. Her music is soothing and thought-provoking, relaxing and challenging, sometimes by turns and sometimes at the same time. I defy anyone not to have the melody for Chimacum Rain stuck in their heads after just one listen. And Parallelograms is like a mathematical hug (I know what I mean - you'll just have to listen to find out).
Ah, what the heck, just buy it. If you don't love it, I guarantee you will find someone that does. And that person will be (no false modesty here) very special.

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