Monday, July 03, 2017
Terrific concerts.Terrific bands. Let's look back.
I was hippie enough to swallow the pseudo-myths of King Crimson with the late Greg Lake singing. I liked Court of the Crimson King a lot, 21st Century Schizoid Man less but then took a strong liking to Ladies of the Road off the Island album. Love or hate the music (and you should love it) the lyrics by Pete Sinfield were always strong.
After a break, King Crimson, then with the essential personage leading, Robert Fripp, returned with the excellent Larks Tongue in Aspic, parts 1 through 3 (eventually). But the second golden age for me was King Crimson with Fripp, Burford, Levin and Belew. They continued the art rock instrumentals, the strongest of which I think is Discipline, but added softer, lyric leading songs like Elephant Talk, Matte Kudasai, Heartbeat, Two Hands, Three of a Perfect Pair. Recently, that is, since 1995, I kinda lost interest in the band. No new haunting melodies and pretty much the same harsh, sometimes dissonant guitar instrumentals. But the new band, the one I saw in person last month is a rebirth. They have a Lake clone (voicewise) in Jakko Jakszyk (stage name) and three drummers. Before you dismiss that as excess, think again, the visuals of three drummers sometimes perfectly in sync, then syncopated, then echoing in turns is mesmerizing. They did all the good tunes (except Belew's work and Ladies of the Road). Enough about them. Go see' em!
I was, at the first, not in any way a fan of Pink Floyd. I barely knew they existed; and I still dismiss the stuff with poor, dead Syd Barrett as hippie rubbish. There is a place in my heart, however, for the now pretty much un-listenable Ummagumma, because that is the bridge from mediocrity to excellence. Let me be more precise. The golden age for Pink Floyd starts with Meddle and ends with the Wall, during the eight years 1971 to 1979. There were some duds during this period, like the album I call 'Glad You're No Longer Here' and the Animals snoozathon. But after the Wall, the good stuff is pretty hard to find.
Waters made a huge mistake by suing to be Pink Floyd. It was he against 3 and although he has the best voice, or at least the longest lasting good voice and wrote a lot of the good song lyrics, it was more true to say there was no Pink Floyd after he left than to say he was it.
But he is the keeper of the flame now. Go on Youtube and see the versions of Comfortably Numb there without Waters. They sound like shit. I hate Waters' politics. He says he's not an anti-Semite (I don't believe him) but that he just hates the apartheid he fantasizes exists there. He's perfectly fine, however, with the Nazi concept of Judenrein being practiced in the Gaza and on the West Bank; but for me that is a solid poker tell that someone is not liberal in any sense of the word. But I have to give him his due--the guy can create and play music, mainly the tunes that properly made Pink Floyd famous. There was a 10 minute period of lefty propaganda during the latter half of the concert, but it passed soon enough. Otherwise, it was like hearing Pink Floyd in its prime, which, I imagine, was pretty good indeed.