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Nice review by Robert Christgau about Robert Fripp's production of The Roches' album.
:: Posted by hattjkn on August 18, 2015


Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Roches [Warner Bros., 1979]
Robert Frippís austere production of this witty, pretty music not only abjures alien instrumentation but also plays up the quirks of the Rochesí less-than-commanding voices and acoustic guitars. Thus it underscores their vulnerability and occasional desperation and counteracts their flirtations with the coy and the fey. The result is not a perfect record, but rather one whose imperfections are lovingly mitigated. Replete with memorable melodies, heartbreaking harmonies, wise words, and lotsa laffs. A

Nurds [Warner Bros., 1980]
Theyíre trying too hard. The title cutís all moue and double-take, you can hear Suzzy upstaging her big sisters, and Maggieís side-closers are so intense and compressed itís impossible to know what they mean, though for sure a more experienced poet wouldnít put so much weight on her metaphors (chocolate versus soybeans somehow getting us to boat people living--and no doubt sufferiní--in Suffern, whew). Nor does Paul Simon henchman Roy Halee channel them the way Robert Fripp might have. Even so these songs have an almost magical esprit; Maggieís "One Season" will be in their act when theyíre fifty. Nobody in pop music equals their intelligence or delight. But I hope they calm down some. B

Keep on Doing [Warner Bros., 1982]
This sounds so good Iím beginning to believe Robert Fripp was put on earth to produce the Roches (each of us has a place in the cosmic plan, after all). Itís not just the honest depth and sweet bite of the voices that make it richer musically than the debut--the songs ring with acoustic guitar ostinatos hookier than any Byrds rip you fancy. The writing has rebounded, too, though because the narrative punch and sense of overarching purpose still lags they no longer seem like protofeminist avatars--just pros who set out to prove themselves with a good album and damn right succeeded. A-

Another World [Warner Bros., 1985]
"Love Radiates Around" has a once-in-a-lifetime melody and was written by a pal of theirs, but its blissful sentiments donít suit this depressing compromise of a "rock" record any better than it would one of their Robert Fripp jobs. Even turning out songs on deadline theyíre sardonic weirdos, and though the material could be stronger, the monkey wrench is the received irrelevancy of the synthbeats and guitar solos furnished by three strangely indistinguishable production teams. "Gimme a slice" is one thing, "with everything on it" another. B+

Icon for Search Function
:: Posted by TimAnderson on August 18, 2015

I have always thought of the icon as representing none other than Ms. Patricia Fripp- the Sistery Person- with torch in hand....

New Crimson!
:: Posted by DevlinC on August 17, 2015

Pat Mastelotto has let slip over on his Facebook page that the 12" available at the UK shows is a new, 3 track EP! Beyond excited now.

How long will the UK show run?
:: Posted by PigletsDad on August 17, 2015

I wonder if anybody knows what time the show is likely to finish? The last train home from Birmingham is at 10pm, and if it is going to be tight I will either stay in a hotel or drive. But if the timing works, it is only a few minutes walk from Symphony Hall to New Street station.

Re: Two Enhancements
:: Posted by jimbugtm on August 17, 2015

I see that my enhancement suggestion about adding the navigation menu to the bottom of the Diary page was already suggested. Great minds think alike.
My other suggestion, about adding searchability to the Live Library, is already implemented, in the Search page. However, Iíd like to refine my suggestion that a Search menu be added to the Live Library itself, since if Iím looking for live material, Iíd think to go to the Library first, and then (maybe) the Search page second.

Re: jimbugtm
:: Posted by davidly on August 17, 2015

There are two ways to accomplish the search you are referring to:

1) "Search" works quite well these days: thatís the icon furthest right with the chambermaid operating a duster. Under SOUND enter King Crimson in the Artist field and Illinois in the State field, click SEARCH SOUND and youíre off to a page with all the relevant concerts in the Library.

In other words, enter the information you know and it will result in what they have. I might be that you only know the year and not the location. I chose State in this case because I couldnít remember the city (Hoffman Estates).

2) Or you could go to the "Tour Dates" page and select King Crimson and navigate by year if you know it. Any concerts with recordings available will have links.

As a matter of fact, functional searches was at one time the only thing I found lacking on the site, so either someone has improved that particular aspect, or I got smarter.

As to the idea that DGM Live should "get with the times" for getting with the times sake, that is begging the question with a capital double Gee. "Begging the question" is a reference to a circular argument, by the way, in this case it refers to the assumption that the site is not with the times, which is in my opinion bovine waste of the narrowly subjective variety. Whose times are we talking about here anyway?

I would assert that the times that were being referred to are for people who are stuck in the late nineties, wherein every new flashy web architecture and design had to be implemented just because it looks better to a certain kind of taste. At some point between then and now, people with a different kind of taste boasted a scaled back and more functional interface, having realized that we have experienced the nifty the bells & whistles (the testimony over the last page or so of this very guestbook indicate as much), and itís not only unnecessary but inefficient.

Aesthetically speaking (and to include therein that which leads to ease of review), there is nothing I find amiss, not even the left-oriented appearance (I rather like the spiral bound nature of it, actually).

Japan tickets
:: Posted by jameswills on August 16, 2015

A personal highlight of 2014 (ah why be so parsimonious - a personal highlight of the 21st century...) was seeing KC in the flesh in Los Angeles. It had been a long time for me (last show 1982 Hammersmith Palais) and the trip to the venue was not a short one (from Melbourne). This added to the sense of adventure and I probably relished the experience more due to that.

I bumped into Sid after the show and mentioned that I had assumed that the 2008 band would probably make it to Japan and I had planned to make that trip; my journey to LA was made on an "Iím not holding THAT mistaken expectation again" basis.

But what do you know - this time there will be Japan dates. And a hastily arranged family holiday to Japan will overlap with them. Astonishing how the stars can align, when you operate the planetarium correctly...

Last year I was very grateful to see the link to the online ticket sales from DGMLive for the US dates. Will a similar link be posted for Japan? Maybe if you make it out there Sid, Iíll be hanging around long enough to buy you a beverage this time!

To anyone who has made a concert-related trip to Japan previously (or who has bought tickets online for Japanese concerts) - I would be enormously grateful for any helpful insights or experience you could share.

James W
As previously newsed last month, Japanese tickets go on sale August 29th and there'll be a link from the site.

Two DGMLive Enhancements I could suggest
:: Posted by jimbugtm on August 16, 2015

1. Please make the Live Library searchable. Itís a huge library, the Crimheadís Candy Store, but I recall trying find a particular show (Popular Creek 1984) paging through the library (the only means of navigation that I know of), and then almost missing it. Searching is possible in the Diaries, so this should be possible, Iíd think.
2. Add the same datewise navigation to the bottom of the Diary pages as is found at the top. Some of those pages are quite long, and a nice usability enhancement would be to have a navigation menu at the bottom as well as the top.

Otherwise, Iíll echo othersí sentiments that if it ainít broke, donít fix it.

:: Posted by emory0 on August 15, 2015

"Ignore the aesthetic if it bothers you. Focus on the music and the content. Iím a huge fan of DGMLive and its organization. This site delivers! No need for a change here."

One thing I will echo is that itís nice to be able to navigate easily and find stuff, without all sorts of clutter-y and confusing visual elements that seem to exist for their own sake without materially enhancing the experience. Iíve seen that countless times on websites that feel compelled to upgrade to the latest-and-greatest web technologies, and Iíll bet any amount of money that the total time spent by visitors goes down, not up, as people canít find stuff or donít even know itís there.

A visual and even functional revamp wouldnít hurt, but hopefully it will still be intuitively straightforward to navigate and get around.

DGM Live! website
:: Posted by bloggulator on August 15, 2015

I am very much an appreciator of the "if its not broke, then it donít need fixing" philosophy. I donít believe that such is a Luddite position - but more of a practical one - and such is an effective way to keep site visitors regular and loyal.

There is little more annoying in the internet world than drumming oneís fingers on the desk - waiting, waiting, waiting, for the front page of a flashy (pun intentional), graphics-spectacular front page to load up. Itís perhaps second on the "web peeve list" to being spammed. Time is life, and life is valuable - and to waste it by giving techies an opportunity to show off their mastery of "less than necessary aspects of web design", will ensure that casual visitors will not return, and regulars will become occasional.

Kudos to the DGMLive web designers for keeping this site straightforward, informative, stable, reliable and appropriate. Sure, itís probably not the "prettiest place" on the web, but what would be the point of that? This site is all about music, and news about a particular community/pool of musicians. And for me, this format has been delivering the goods without a hitch for the last 10 years+... which is why I keep returning.

Thanks to all.

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