Through sonic mud, darkly May 18, 2010
Written by DeVito
Iíve always wondered why Earthbound was ever released . . . maybe Fripp was in a mood to commit rock íní roll suicide? I agree that Mel Collinsí contributions are the highlight of this concert, but they only manage to elevate it above the level of "unlistenable" (that is, above Earthbound). For my money better versions of Schizoid Man, Sailorís Tale, and especially Groon than those on Earthbound, but overall thereís more sonic murk than music here. Try to focus on Collins and whatís audible of Fripp, grit your teeth against the distorted thudding and booming on the bottom end, and go along for the ride.
Shock Treatment May 17, 2010
Written by dubhthaigh
Among the more interesting parts of this recording are the shock treatments delivered with increasing intensity as firt Burrell, and then Fripp attempt an accomodation with the PA system. The last one leaves one hanging for a moment. Did Fripp survive?
Are you sure this concert wasnít conducted at Yale?
Iíd laugh harder but I had just finished asking Ben Crowe to wire the bespoke guitar orderd to deliver increasingly intensified shocks every time I hit the wrong note or barred the wrong chord. And I didnít attend Yale. Catholic school instead. Anyway, I am among those who have found this iteration of Crim to be my least favourite, mostly because of the material. Whenever I hear how incredibly they play, even in a recording as lo-fi as this one, and that inspite of the heroic efforts of the DGM pixie dusters, I want to eat my words. Collins plays like Coltrane circa í62: sheets of sound, bordering somewhere between chaos and ecstasis, Burrell and Wallace locked in like they were Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones, and Fripp as avant and out there as heís ever been because thatís exactly where he needs to be, this recording hangs somewhere in that clearing where everything is revealed and yet held back simultaneously. Had they a sense that the end was near? Theyíre in the Motor City and the wheels are off the wagon. When people speak of how terrifying Crimís music can be, this is what they are thinking of. And this take on 21st Century Schizoid Man is among my favourites.
Not so bad for a version of Crim I have had trouble appreciating. In fact, the more I listen to it, I do think itís good.
Great Mel's On Fire May 12, 2010
Written by Andrewn
Blimey says Edward Boring, not another concert from that version of King Crimson, but no, this line up represents a time that cannot be recreated so each surviving concert is indeed precious. Through the wonders of DGM Live we can hear the development from May 1971 when the lads were performing a kind of "King Crimsonís Greatest Hits" slowly easing out the older material and introducing the Islands songs. The US tour of 1972 represents the last hurrah of this particular line up with Mel, Boz and Ian venturing forth with a "what the hell" attitude and the guitarist seemingly wishing he was elsewhere at times.
Pictures bursts forth from the speakers but during the slow section Mel really takes over leading the band into a bluesy jazz improv before returning to the final verse. Formentera Lady is ushered in with beautiful flute playing and staying close to the recorded version, once the verses are out of the way Mel switches to Sax and instead of the usual funky shuffle we get a blistering sax solo with Ian battering away at the drums, eventually the improv loses itís way with all players seemingly lost until Ianís cymbals bring on Sailorís Tale. The solo of this number always seems to reveal Robertís mood on any particular night, sometimes sustained and reflective, others are more slashing. Tonight starts with a long bluesy vibrato that soon gives way to the splintered chords of the recorded version.Cirkus is as per normal but with Mel honking at every opportunity.
Ladies Of TheRoad is not one of my favourite numbers but is despatched with itís usual aplomb, at 19 minutes Groon is one of the longest and again Mel is seemingly happy to solo at length. Before the audience can recover Schizoid Man flattens them with again Mel well to the fore.
If you donít like this line up this wonít change your mind but if your a fan - sit back and prepare to be amazed at the irrepressible Mel Collins
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