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Bygone errors
:: Posted by nungboy on April 16, 2014

Perhaps just as valuable as DannyXís opinion on Yes is my opinion on vegetables: I would rather have fresh lima beans than frozen peas. But when it comes to music, I prefer to let the artist choose his or her path. Mr. Fripp has some excellent views on this subject.

Paying tribute
:: Posted by DannyX on April 15, 2014

I would find it more enjoyable to watch The Musical Box faithfully recreate a bygone era than to see the current Yes painfully butcher their legacy.

Lansdowne Grand Design
:: Posted by buserian on April 15, 2014

I saw this episode at the time. They referenced the studio and control room, both inside the new basement flat. Otherwise not much of musical interest - just a little name dropping.

It is a fine example of the difficulty of getting [some] contractors to correctly do the work they were contracted for...

Cheers, Graham

Cover bands?
:: Posted by emory0 on April 15, 2014

Carlos wrote...

"Or is it "legit" only when the composers/original players play the music?"

Come to think of it, yeah...I admit I share the prejudice against cover bands but I really canít pinpoint why.

PART of the answer, I think, is that we believe that "real" rock songs are communicating something about the experience or point of view of the singer/songwriter. And those songs are supposed to "keep it real".

But after a singer/songwriter has written the song and then played it 10,000 times live in concert, any emotion they seem to conjure up when performing that song has to be in part acting. So in a sense they are indeed covering themselves.

When a írespectedí performer covers a song, we expect them to (at least while playing it) somehow make it their own and communicate the írealí feelings the performer connects with and then expresses. So thatís perhaps OK.

But with a "cover band" even the pretense of connecting with the covered song in a special way is gone, so now the song is pure íactingí, no longer real.

But all of this was probably bullshit anyway, as no one can really "feel" the song they wrote years previously again and again and again.

Lansdowne Studios - errata
:: Posted by hopmanjr on April 15, 2014

Oops, that link again:

Grand Designs - Lansdowne House

Close to Edge
:: Posted by jhessel on April 15, 2014

An interesting article about Close to the Edge

Lansdowne Studios
:: Posted by hopmanjr on April 15, 2014

As Lansdowne House/Studios was mentioned in the RF Diar, some might be interested to know it was featured on the UKís Channel 4 TV programme Grand Designs a little while ago.  The basement was converted into a flash dwelling.  It fought back.

Anyone know if the studios were located in the basement?

Grand Designs, S7, Ep16

Fender Stratocaster?
:: Posted by arrcee on April 15, 2014

Is the Raging Heartless Venal Curmudgeon playing a prank on us, or was there really a red Fender Stratocaster in his basement? I may be greatly mistaken, but I do not believe I have ever seen Bobby Fripp play one publicly. Might this be incorporated into the latest KC lineup?

Rock On, tweed rocker, Rock On!

tribute/cover bands
:: Posted by schroder on April 15, 2014

I fail to understand the resistance to so called cover bands. After all, when listening to an orchestra (or other such groups) playing a piece we donít consider that to be a cover band. Or is it "legit" only when the composers/original players play the music? Conversely, we donít consider new stagings of a play a "cover" of the original play. If that were the case, then weíd have been watching cover versions of Shakespeareís plays for the last 400 years. Since the emergence of "rock/pop" as a musical genre thereís been a shift on emphasis. Players are supposed to play their own compositions and only the original players qualify to play them. That, to me, seems a distinction without a difference. If we were to take such a position to the extreme, only the "original" version of a given song would qualify. Everything else would be a "cover." And that is, I think, a consequence of the mechanical reproduction of music. Before then, music only existed when people played it, not when we turn on a turntable, cd-player, mp3 player, etc.



:: Posted by markvankempen on April 15, 2014

Iíve been reading Robert Frippís diary with great interest over the years, views on the psychological side of music making, philosophical reflections, reports on forthcoming releases (though they not always materialize) and his robust wit. The pictures - I ignore them. Maybe one day Toyah will wrestle the smart phone from his hand and throw it in the bin and that will be the end of it.

Robertís diary reminds me of a story about Franz Liszt, who in later life became fervently religious, but remained seduced by the flesh. On one or more occasions during sunday church he walked before the altar, kneeled down and proceeded to confess out loud, which didnít fail to attract the attention of the entire congregration.

In his diary from sunday 23rd of may 1999, Robert posed the question: "Crimson enthousiasts- what draws you to King Crimson? What is the energy within the music which powers/draws/interests/drives you? I intended to respond, but I found it surprisingly difficult to formulate a clear and simple answer. Years of pondering didnít get me any further. Instead, I can only offer a fragmented, alarming study of a delusional state of mind.

The repertoire

Usually well manufactured and to the point, very diverse in styles and moods. A strong classical music language influence (except during the 80ís), combined with all kinds of past and present popular music traits. Classical music dressed up as pop? Not exactly - more merging/contrasting. For example, consider the many styles and moods on the lp In The Lake Of Poseidon:

1 Peace - A Beginning                  gregorian chant/folk music                   serene, mysterious

2 Pictures Of A City                      early 20th century big band jazz/rock   aggressive,intense

3 Cadence And Cascade             coctail lounge jazz             passive,gentle (ambiguous too)

4 In The Wake Of Poseidon         late 19th century classical music         tragic,melodramatic

5 Cat Food                                   pop a la the Beatles                                         laconic, jolly

6 The Devilís triangle                   early 20th century classical,improv      serious,nightmarish

7 Peace - An End                        gregorian chant/folk music                             serene, clear

What I find most remarkable are the moments when the previous piece is followed by the next. Suddenly the mood of the previous piece comes across as illusory, while the next gains in clarity of character. There is a breathtaking example on the Live in Providence 1974 recording, when Easy Money is morphing into the improvisation Providence. From rousing hard rock into refined mid-20th century classical music. When the mood changes, the perception of the world changes with it.

The improvisations

The right side of King Crimsonís brain, the improvisations have something else to offer: immediacy (making it up as you go along) and a tolerance of music and sounds that are impulsive, illogical, not clever, messy and inconclusive. It can turn out to be unlistenable, but also miraculous - or in between. The improvisations have the biggest impact on my imagination - sometimes even "visual".

The attentive silence

When listening to In the Court Of The Crimson King, I hear a huge sphere behind the music, which seems to lend the music more width, emotional depth and a serious air. Itís not the lavish reverb of the recording - itís probably not even an audible thing, but something I hear via my imagination. I hear the same sphere on many other KC recordings, most notably on the USA lp, Live in Providence 1974, the Discipline lp and Live in Mexico City 1996.

The power

King Crimson can be inordinately powerful, especially when playing pieces with room for improvisation. Other rock bands can be very powerful too, but KCís power seems to lurch on itís own accord and builds and builds...There seems to be no limit, which is a bit frightening/exiting.

The musicians

All are wonderful. They make it happen, but are not what is happening.

King Crimson

A creature with many faces, enhancing, colouring, intervening, hiding behind, mocking and setting alight the efforts of the musicians. Think twice before you touch the hem of his electric garment.

Thanks for the food for thought, Robert.

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