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Be Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
:: Posted by Bwilmot on October 14, 2016

I am surprised at all this Cross talk. I loved the 70’s band as much as the next guy, but he got the boot for a reason. When the violin worked it was beautiful and when it didn’t work, it really didn’t work. There really is no more room musically. Jakko is used very sparingly. I’d like to hear more of his guitar but when Fripp and Collins are shredding every solo the way they do you can’t say give somebody else a turn. When I first heard of this band I thought why three drummers? Why not two and have Ian MacDonald so you have a horn section? Then I heard them. The guitar/sax blend is as good as having a horn section and three drummers is an absolute blast. Collins is so amazing as a soloist covering violin parts on Lark’s 1 and Belew guitar on Level 5. He amazes me more every time a new download comes out. This band is perfectly balanced as it is.
Here is a pipe dream song suggestion, Indiscipline. It is every bit as much King Crimson as it is Adrian Belew. The music is right out of the speaker ripping phrase in Lark’s Tongues 1. I would love to hear the three drummers tossing around the opening solos and adding Mel would be sooooo intense. As for vocals, go to YouTube and search Stick Men Indiscipline. Tony has a lot of fun with it. I know this would further alienate Adrian, but it would be amazing. Never happen. Just fun to think about.
Finally, as far as not mixing fine art and pop goes, Esperanza Spalding did beat out Justin Beiber for the best new artist grammy. Just saw Dweezil Zappa (highly recommended) with an incredible band that I would guess were all performing arts majors and the crowd was quite raucous. There was lots of videoing on phones without being a problem. The performance was flawless. Not advocating for video, just saying it depends on the band and audience. Crimson comports themselves like a classical act and should be able to have their audience behave accordingly. I have just been listening to some Road To Red and am amazed to hear this great band actually being heckled by the audience. No wonder Fripp gets disgusted every7 few years. Sorry for rambling. Ciao. Brad Wilmot

:: Posted by rogadaire on October 14, 2016

I hope David is well. It is a long time since we heard from him and, unlike with RF, there has been no other news of current on-goings.

That is all.

Convo kContinuation
:: Posted by davidly on October 14, 2016

caseyjbye: "Is Crimson the exception to the rule, producing material [on their most recent albums] as strong if not better than some earlier material [of 50, 40, or even 30 years]?"

I’d reply: That I am aware of, yes. Though, there are probably at least a couple others, as well, of whom I am not aware.

A Little Conversation Starter
:: Posted by caseyjbye on October 13, 2016

Crimson in recent years has dipped further back into its catalog for some of those new-no-matter-when-they-were-written pieces. But I’m still so very, very pleased to hear things like "Level 5" and "ConstruKction" topping people’s "best of the night" tracks.

So my question: What songs by other bands with a career of 50, 40, or even 30 years that were recorded originally in the last 15-20 years or so are solid live standouts in their act? Essentially: what bests the old faves?

Is Crimson the exception to the rule, producing material as strong if not better than some earlier material on their most recent albums? Are certain bands able to better pull off more recent tracks live in general? Are some better able to pull off new tracks live compared to their respective recorded versions)?

Here are a few of my fave live tracks from bands with longevity who are still able to crank out a show stopper (based on my experience hearing these tunes live):

  • Moody Blues: "Nothing Changes" released 1999
  • Roger Waters: "Leaving Beirut" 2004 (definitely better than the studio version)
  • Peter Gabriel: "My Head Sounds Like That" 2002
  • David Crosby (CPR): "Time is the Final Currency" 1998

:: Posted by toycritic on October 13, 2016

I’ve followed the posts about David Cross with interest. While I find the current lineup(s) compelling enough without the addition of a violin, I would love to see a song he’s associated with enter the set -- "Exiles." He is one of the song’s credited cowriters and he evidently feels a strong connection to it, having named one of his solo albums after it. The mood of the song is somehow very David Cross, gentle, pastoral, and wistful. Adding it to the set would be a great way to honor his contributions to King Crimson. And I’ll bet Jakko would bring something special to the vocal, breathing new life into the song.

:: Posted by Wookie on October 13, 2016

So nice to have so many free downloads of this tour available, a good oportunity to hear Jeremy as centre drummer and how the band is sounding during the tour (and soon we’ll have another double - or triple! - album of live material.

Regarding David Cross, the thought of having him in this version of KC crossed my mind too, I think he could make things even more interesting. But I wouldn’t trade him for one of the drummers, I like that idea and I like how the band sounds with the 3 of them. And I must say that I really like the drum pieces: drum solos can be boring, good drum solos are awesome, and things like Hell Hounds and Devil Dogs are spectacular, and very impressive.
So, congratulations to the band for their incredible performances and for such a long tour that we’re being able to (partly) listen to from wherever we are. Really looking forward to the shows in Barcelona!

Fine Arts
:: Posted by albemuth on October 12, 2016

Davidly must be correct about Universal going after the video postings; I had not thought about it much before.  In any case, pop acts like Kanye West do not discourage fan activity at their concerts.  And, Holy Toledo, what a show!

Recently, I experienced an astonishing contrast at an Esperanza Spalding concert.  Not one single person in the audience (that I could see) made the slightest move toward photography or recording.  It was as though this was an unthinkable thought!  And yet, there were no signs, no announcements, and no statement in the program, nothing that said anything at all about photography or phones!

I’ll say it again: There were no signs, no announcements, and no statement in the program, nothing that said anything at all about photography or phones!

It seems to me that the reason is very simple: this is a FINE ARTS crowd, very different from the Kanye West show.  But it is also different from a King Crimson show.  King Crimson, for all its uniqueness, has basically inhabited a pop market during its lifetime.  It is virtually impossible to change this now. Or maybe I should say KC is in a kind of purgatory, in between pop and fine arts? Whatever the case, I suppose the only thing you can do is train the pop barbarians with near-desperate entreaties like "watch Tony pick up his camera.”

This difference is even reflected in the musicians.  The members of Esperanza’s band all have degrees in music performance or are graduates of art schools.  (This has happened in KC but it’s relatively rare.)  A year or so ago, I spoke to the Sybarite5, a string quintet of conservatory-trained musicians, after one of their shows.  Chatting about music generally, I mentioned Spalding and their eyes went wide and they said "oh she’s fantastic."  When I mentioned King Crimson, they said "who’s that?"  When I responded that "it’s a kind of prog rock” they wrinkled their noses.  (Were they thinking of Dream Theater?)  Maybe the fine arts people seem closed minded, but I think the pop people are also.  And KC, for all its criticism of the pop market, has not exactly shunned it!

Incidentally, how good was Esperanza and her art-school band?  Unbelievably good!  It’s something you have to see in person; none of the recordings or videos can capture this level of accomplishment, much like KC itself.

RE: how to sequence them? (so far)
:: Posted by vargan on October 12, 2016

Larks Pt I
Level 5
Easy Money
Suitable Grounds
Red Nightmare
Larks Pt II
In the Court
Devil Dogs
Schizoid Man

:: Posted by emory0 on October 12, 2016

"How effectively this music can be on stage is, admittedly, a big question. The answer is probably not too well. Still, King Crimson’s first album is successful; hopefully, there is more to come."

Actually, I find this a pretty reasonable comment, and in my mind it shows that the review-er was actually LISTENING to ItCotCK, something that seems quaint and old-fashioned these days.

"What? Are you crazy, Emory0? How dare you agree!"

Consider: The almost symphonic scope of the recorded album couldn’t, reasonably, be reproduced or even approached on stage by a bunch of 20-something newbie rock "stars". Hell, even more experienced rock players wouldn’t be able to pull it off. The Reviewer at Rolling Stone was right to question whether this album was basically just a wondrous studio creation as opposed to something that could actually be performed LIVE.

That King Crimson WAS actually able to play this music live, and pretty f’in well is the shocker. Indeed, I remember some Guestbook commentators who were present at the Hyde Park performance in 69 describe their surprise at hearing this band they’d never previously heard of deliver scorching and technical rock. A bunch of kids came out of nowhere and kicked ass and took names. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it, and I say kudos to the reviewer who happened to get it wrong.

Re; David Cross
:: Posted by Valhalla on October 12, 2016

Interesting comments regarding adding Cross, I like it! Didn’t he play some mellotron back in the day also? Slot him in to cover & replace the 3rd drummers role. I would go a step further & not play any Belew era material at all! Only 69 to 74 & of course new material! But what would I know?????

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