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Getting into Dweezil and Ghost
:: Posted by albemuth on October 05, 2015
I’m looking forward to seeing KC in Toronto. I have also taken time out to see Zappa Plays Zappa and Ghost. What terrific fun I have had (and will have)! What can I say about Dweezil, who is keeping his father’s great tradition and music alive? His "One Size Fits All" tour re-asserted the importance of Frank’s life work. How wonderful that such great beauty can arise out of the detritus of American culture. Go see it!
Meanwhile, the Swedish crazies Ghost have created a wonderful and tasty rock-metal-pop-prog-rock treat. It would not be wrong to claim that they exemplify "the man with an aim." Check out their Deezer session and I think you will see what I mean. They have a vision!
:: Posted by Erik_Skysawed on October 04, 2015
Fall 2015… So the Mighty Beast comes close... very close to where I grew up… and off I went to the 25/09/2015 concert in Utrecht (700 km train ride), combining family visit with the next aural experience. Naturally this was going to be my first encounter with the latest incarnation of KC.
(I declined to open the Live at the Orpheum CD when I bought it earlier this year, when I learnt that KC was setting up a tour through Europe.. (well England/Scotland + Paris + Utrecht). That would keep my ears fresh and have the option of hearing a new KC without any expectations.)
Never been before in the Vredenburg concert hall in Utrecht before..Looking / scanning the crowd led me the conclude that my 16-year son was a genuine contender for the Youngest-Attendee-Award at this concert of KC.
Question: the portfolio of this King Crimson sounds (looks!) really diverse… so how many King Crimsons are there then , really ?
Answer in multiple-choice form:
A) well there is KC Mark Ia, Ib, Ic, Mark IIa, IIb, Mark IIIa, IIIb, IIIc, uh… Mark IV, Mark V, Mark VIa, VIb, Mark VII…
B) well there are quintets, quartets, trios, sextets, septets, double duos, double trios, crimson ProjeKcts…
C) well I count 4 different KCs, but there could have been 6
D) King Crimson is a way of doing things, so what do you mean “How many King Crimsons”?
It is all a matter how to look at this musical combo. Looking at who made up the band, who were the fellow troopers of RHVL, cannot explain how a wallpaper shredder kind of band KC has been and still is. If it is only about head counting one would miss the similarities between the different incarnations. One should have used different names for the bands then.So answer A is not a sufficient way to describe a band with a track record extending more than 4 decades. On the other hand looking at the size of the band, would also not apply as a complete description. These gentlemen can make quite a bang, regardless of how many are one stage. Answer D then? This suggests a general underlying mechanism (see the seven principles in the KC 2015 Tourbox booklet), propelled by the Fripp Meister, and having been put into effect by this elite club of KC members now since 1969, who by the way originate from the British Isles or the US of A (so the natural question then comes, whether a musician from a more remote culture can be of Crimson stature).
No In my opinion the correct answer is C (but maybe with D as underlying mechanism). There are two –related – Crimsons based on song craft: a British one and an American one.
A) The British one is based on songwriting with British (Celtic?) roots. British songwriting has been hard to avoid for everyone as since the Beatles we have been inundated with Britpop in large amounts. Omnipresent in the 1970s, it came back into the forefront in the latest Crimson ProjeKct.
B) The American songwriting naturally can be associated with the Belew driven KCs, from the 1980s, to the 1990s and even into the 2000s.
There are two more Crimsons:
C) The third KC is what I call Impro Crimson: only master musicians have the nerve and braveness to leap into the unknown by following their senses in freestyle mode. This version of the Mighty Crim is more present in the live recordings, less on the studio recorded discs. Early KC showed this in the live recordings, the Islands group had more a jazz approach, the Larks Tongues – Muir band had much of it in either jazz-rock flavours (hearing/watching the Bremen gig prompted me to say: Weather Report! (the Zawinul-Shorter-Vitous-Gravatt-Um Ramao one that is ) or modern classical one (where the heck does the Providence improve otherwise really comes from?). In the1980s/1990s KCs the improvisation seemingly coming from nowhere suddenly seem to erupt to full effect, in a Thrakattack kind of way. The ProjeKcts approach was much about improvisation, and this echoed into the KC 2000 version. It is also here where RHVL injecting soundscapes into the mix had best effects (for me).
D) KC # 4 is the metal band. Heavy rock with an edge. See “Red” and “The Power to believe”. See also Larks’ II, IV, Level 5.
It is in my opinion that KC functions at it best when the different versions are in direct competition. As if we are initially dealing with one kind of Crimson and a different one breaks through. Even better when several Crimsons are around and make up a record. It is actually this what makes their first platter such a ground-breaking paradigm shift kind of creation (yup the P-word comes in here; many followers have jumped on this – for good and for bad). Creating a new musical language is a major achievement only happening under special occasions..
Unfortunately this did only happen with the two other kind of Crimsons, but only for a (too) short moment in time, and it was not continued.. by KC nor by others:
E) Minimal Crimson: This is what happens when American songcraft is mixed with Impro Crimson and repetition as dictated by Philip Glass/Steve Reich or any Gamelan orchestra. Interlocking guitars, drumming all over the place and Tony Levin defining the bottom line. This is what makes Discipline special. Unfortunately it was not continued, and also not picked up by others as far as I can see.
F) Drum and Bass Crimson: Having Pat and Trey breaking the sonic barriers made the ProjeKcts and KC 2000 so special. A new kind of language as it sounds to my ears. Also this did not continue, regretfully. I am not sure whether the complains on the electronic drum sounds mattered, or whether Metal Crimson took over somewhere in 2001. Fact is Drum and Bass Crimson seemed to have disappeared by 2001-2002. Unfortunately I would say, as this version could have crushed to unchartered territories.
So with that in mind what came over me and my son in Utrecht?
Still different from my KC 2000 Berlin concert, which really was an overwhelming experience (really a lot of new sounds and material, and only a few oldies but goodies in new redressed forms + Heroes) or the Paris/DenHaag 2003 concerts (yes ! Level 5!) , in Utrecht the heavy bias on the 70s KC was clear.
Opening with Larks’ Tongues #1 (the soundscape before could only be absorbed with noise of people moving back and forth/talking). From where I was sitting the sounds by the front row drummers were overwhelming and loud, whereas the contributions from the back row were initially difficult to distinguish .. quite muddy and opaque.. But a great introduction to the three drummer format: Pat Mastelloto; Bill Rieflin and Gavin Harrison playing (mostly) acoustic drums perfectly in sync with each other. A more transparent Pictures of a City, with excelling Jakko Jakszyk and Mel Collins. Some new sounds came by, before being treated with renditions of The ConstrucKtion of Light and Level 5. Again and again the solos by Mel Collins were brilliant. Back to the 1970s with Epitaph, E-Z Money (beautiful solo by Robert Fripp), followed by some interlocking drum parts, before the strong set was getting to a high level by Talking Drum/Lark’s #2 and Starless. Yes Starless did have the best guitar solo of the night (for me).. and the (sparse) lighting effects were used to much effect in getting a true “red” experience… Encores were then 21st Century Schizoid Man and Court of the Crimson King. Well done!
It was mostly the British songcraft and metal Crimson I heard this evening, however Mel Collins did his best to inject some moments of Impro Crimson, and so did the drummers. The interlocking three drummer approach made for some surprise moments. It is here where I sense some new Crimson may be looming in the background. How would that sound with electronic drums? Would Drum and Bass Crimson show up? How would it sound when repetition together with some soundscaping would set inDid Jakko Jaksyk considered to sing the text lines for Construcktion of Light? ? Did Tony Levin reach the ultimate bottom line? Why did I have difficulties of distinguishing the different sounds and connect them to the individual musicians? What else I always wanted to know about the Mighty Beast, but was too distracted to formulate a question about?
So... and where again did I leave the Orpheum CD... ?
Utrecht Sept. 24 and an improbable wish list
:: Posted by gentlegenerator on October 03, 2015
On our 200 km way to the concert my friend and i killed time by speculating: what can we expect? Which songs will they play? Ok, Larks’ tongues 1 would be great but with this line-up... Genius but very improbable: The letters. Totally unique and totally out of any probability: Sailor’s tale. We didn’t even dare to hope. Just a supplication: Starless.
As you might know the concert started with Larks’ tongues part 1. Some great tracks later (esp. Level five and a intoxicating version of Easy money) the line reached our ears: "With quill and silver knife.." My friend and i looked at each other stammering "This can’t be true". The letters reached their recipients. Next song: my brain refused to accept till the inimitable and unique guitar of the Sailor battered down clay and stones in his marvellous tale. My brain began to buzz and whirr in spirals: any normal probability abolished? Are quantum mechanics just a dream? Schrödinger, Bohr and Heisenberg teller of fairy tales? Wave function just the weather on planet Mercury? When the classical keyboard chord from the intro of Starless filled the air i hit the dusty floor at the feet of the band, melt down by spiral rays from the centre of the universe (our brains), lifted up on every step of the staircase this grand, sublime and exalted song smartly paced.
As you might suggest: the best concert in my life which gave to me The Power To Believe: that dreams can come true
Concurring with CrumbledFingers
:: Posted by JBeerLTIA on October 03, 2015
I have to agree with CrumbledFingers about Trey’s playing in the Thrak era. I honestly have no idea what he’s doing. I’ve listened to Vrooom, Thrak, Live on Broadway, and the Wiltern numerous, numerous times. The most recent play backs of all of these I have done all I can to pick out Trey’s notes. After listening to Levin since I was literally a baby, I know his playing style so well I can even mimic it, so it helps trying to see what’s what, but there are 6 of these beasts. There are a few things I can pick out, but it’s not even a whole line that I’m discerning. Maybe Mr. Mundy could give us an insight on one of these songs? If you have the time and the fedora is dusted?
:: Posted by JBeerLTIA on October 03, 2015
Sometimes Sid laughs as he tells us no to all our deepest desires :)
:: Posted by jbricker on October 02, 2015
Only three of them -
1. Is there a release date for USA II, capturing the North American tour of 2014?
2. Will the Japan shows of 2015 be video’ed for potential DVD / Blu-ray release - following the pattern from prior Crim visits in 1984 and 2003?
3. Any target date for DGM show downloads of 2014 or 2015 shows?
San Jose CA
In reverse order:
The release date for USA II will be announced when it's ready.
Trey's volume in the double trio
:: Posted by CrumbledFingers on October 02, 2015
I was just now thinking about how Trey seemed to be consistently drowned out by the rest of the band in most of the live footage of the double trio, especially when they played pre-THRAK material. I honestly still have no idea what he is contributing to Frame by Frame, Red, Larks, Indiscipline, Neurotica, or Thela. It’s tempting to think that he just couldn’t compete with Tony’s low end, but listening to ProjeKcts One and Four that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. I suspect it had more to do with competing with Robert and Adrian. All the same, I’d like to hear a mix that is more Trey-centric than it has been, to highlight the little things he added to the more "classic" pieces. Are there any live downloads that showcase Trey’s contributions in this era?
:: Posted by johnfgibson on October 02, 2015
One night in April 2014, out of nowhere, I dreamed I was at a King Crimson concert. I posted this on Facebook and a friend replied, "You know they’re reformed and touring again? They’ll be in Boston in September!" I hadn’t known! I couldn’t believe it! I immediately bought tickets, and five months later my dream came true.
The Boston concert blew my socks off. Since then I’ve been been reliving my dream and actual experience through the reports in this forum on the concerts in the U.S. and Europe. I eventually broke down and bought a tickets, concert and airline, for the November 21st concert in Toronto.
Then last night I dreamed I was at the Toronto concert and they played a seven-headed, three-drummer, full-throttle, modernized version of "We’ll Let You Know". It was astounding --if only I could have recorded the dream!
There have been reports of the band rehearsing material from Starless and Bible Black. My earlier predictions had been for "The Great Deceiver" or "Lament". But who knows, maybe this dream will come true, too. We’ll let you know.
More Cyclops Boy...
:: Posted by willesley on October 02, 2015
I too share DanielBamford’s sentiments regarding the Cyclopean artwork chosen for the tour. It leaves me with an uneasy, unsettled feeling, which I guess was the artist’s intention (and by extension that of the band). I felt so uncomfortable about it that I left both the T-shirt and picture disc on the merch stall. Perhaps not the intended response.
I wonder how I would have reacted had I been introduced to "Schizoid Man" in the same circumstances, instead of knowing him as a familiar old friend?
Don’t hold your breath for a reply from P. J. Crook, Daniel. I believe it to be the work of Francesca Sundsten, Bill Reiflin’s wife. I looked at some of her works on the internet and found almost all of them preferable to Cyclops - but beauty is in the eye as it were.
I much preferred the elements/periodic table artwork which I found to be original and inspired. Speaking to David Singleton before to one of the Salford gigs I was informed that this artwork was done by his son at very short notice proior to the American tour in 2014 and still features on the 2015 tour box. I also understand that this work was provided gratis. Surely some recompense is called for.
One benefit of the Cyclops was that I had sufficient funds to purchase a copy of the Vicar Chronicles and the orchestrated The Wine of Silence, as "plugged" by David in his pre-gig talk. I’m very happy with my decision. You can chalk up at least one success David.
:: Posted by AndrewJohn on October 01, 2015
..much salivating over KC continues...fantastic!....
...much has been said over more female participation. The side issues alongside KC are always fun and today I was pleased and surprised that a young and attractive bank cashier showed an interest in the Cboy’s badge, one in the set of 6 available on the tour. (Apparently the Salford crowd(Manchester) really went for these!)...’oh it’s just an old rock band that’s come back again with an new image’ was my unscripted and immediate response... I blushed and felt like a teenager again....amazing how thinking on your feet can be so pertinent but so fine!
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