A good morning's reading. I wasn't even looking but these, coincidentally, from Michael Chanan's "From Handel To Hendrix":
(p.278) "Thus criticism becomes institutionalised in critics' circles, critics' radio programmes, their appearances on television as authorities, their inclusion in juries for awards. Under these conditions too often a kind of spiritual Gresham's Law operates: bad faith drives out good faith. This happens not because the critics have subjective reactions but because, as Adorno himself would write, "they undialectically stick to them & use their office to put a stop to the critical process that is the duty of their office'".
p.279 "the niggardly spirit cultivated by institutional criticism".
p.279 (quoting Benjamin Britten): "No friendliness - no word of encouragement - no perception".
p.288 "even the most expert listeners may be consumed by resentment; and the history of musical resentment would explain a good deal about the dubious history of music criticism".
p.309 "The peculiar susceptibility of music critics to resentment listening".
It surprises me, even now after 31 years, that English music reviewers & critics willingly continue to reveal themselves, in public, through shriven & unkind prose. I doubt that malamati are at work here. Otherwise, better perhaps to keep our resentment & hostilities within the privacy of our own fetid imagining, until we accept responsibility for these impulses as our own? Then, as adults, to address this responsibility for dumping our negativities into social space?
Chanan read, now into "A History Of Philosophy In The 20th. Century" by Christian Delacampagne (John Hopkins, 1999; French original 1995).
An excerpt from my reply to 2 waiting e-mails from the Sidney Smith:
Eric Tamm is not the only person to underestimate the contributions of Crim members. If you go back to KC cover notes since 1991, plus ongoing interviews, you may notice my refusal over many years to accept the simplistic allocation of omnipotence & omniscience (matched by a refusal to accept the blame!). Why would I continue to deny this if it were true? Anyone who listens to the music, & could possibly relegate Ian & John to sidebar status, has their hearing located too far from sunlight for anyone to trust their view of the weather. No wonder ex-Crims might feel insulted or undermined.
My concern in keeping Crimson's history active & ongoing, particularly when EG put control of the catalogue in Virgin's hands, has resulted in publication of archive materials since 1991 with extensive commentaries. Inevitably this puts Fripp at the centre for simplistic analysis (work out the anagram for yourself). Beginning in 1992 (Wire) KC has been increasingly rehabilitated (with some commentators anyway) so that now an author, yourself, is able to consider the broad view; especially with your access to players & historical musical materials over the full period.
Crimson isn't a book for me to write, nor Eric Tamm, nor other characters (in several languages). For some reason, your venture has caught fire. Perhaps the players recognise in you a commitment, connection & impartiality. Some of the team wouldn't trust my impartiality, quite apart from personal issues, and wouldn't be likely to speak to me as freely as to a friendly Geordie who loves their work.
Inaccuracy & assumption in the work of professional writers discussing Crimson? Really? Patronising? Well, there's a notion.
Eric Tamm's chapter on Guitar Craft is authentic: Eric is presenting his own experience. Eric's book is his, not mine: I read the draft to comment on factual accuracy, not matters of opinion. If it were down to pure opinion, I would have suggested he not write the book. Which I did, twice. Perhaps your questions on that book are better addressed to Eric directly?
I'll read your draft, if you wish, but it's your work. It could be a valuable & significant contribution to more than KC history, if you keep going with questions like, "where did the title of the track Red come from?" That's a good question. Where did it come from? Better, where did the music come from? Why was the drummer, after recording it, unable to recognise if it had any merit? Where did KC come from? GG&F? The individuals, all of whom bar one were already present in GG&F? "Who did what?" is another good question. Let me know when you discover the answers to that one!
Programming, programming. New combinations of sounds now wait in the Lunar Module for tomorrow's rehearsals. Now, off to the River Festival to cheer loudly for Bobby Weir & Ratdog.
Yes! An afternoon of live music. Bobby Weir & Ratdog, on the river, warm weather, good audience, a treat. Bobby was disappointed I "hadn't brought my axe": it was very generous of him to have invited me to sit in. Today I was there to cheer loudly, and smile, and sway. All of which I did.
You can tell the quality of the artist by the quality of their audience: the audience did Bobby proud. Chuck, the tour manager, told me that he recognised many of the faces from earlier shows: the audience follows the band. They were almost a performance in their own right.
Shannon Kaufman (spelling?) followed: a stunning, energetic blues player & singer from North Dakota. She's 14 and will be a star.
A Guestbook posting today from Julien Perriard & Kevin Shaw (firstname.lastname@example.org) Switzerland:
<We always thought that King Crimson were some kind of supernatural musical statement and the musicians some kind of aliens, but The ConstruKction Of Light gave us the proof that Mr. Crimson is just a human being. Fortunately, he's just in his thirties, and has still time to enter the new millennium (by the FRONT door).
There is no mistake except the failure to learn from a mistake.
See you in Paris on the 25th of June. Hoping to hear something from you that is really REALLY new.>
My advice to to Julien & Kevin is to stay away, and save themselves the expenditure of overpriced tickets. Alternatively, sell the ones you already have. If you hope to hear something new, or hope to hear something old, the advice is the same: stay away. If you are interested in being part of the next stage in the unfolding Crimson process, in goodwill with open ears, fine. Hope springs eternal, but use your intelligence: if you don't like TCOL, you probably won't like this incarnation.
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