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Re: Noise We Enjoys

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:45 pm
by Brentai
He has slipped the surly bonds of this gay earth.

Re: Noise We Enjoys

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:03 pm
by hngkong
Talking with Beat, about how The Spirit of Apollo by N.A.S.A. is basically a perfect album the entire way through is making me think about what other albums are near perfect and I think two come to mind for me: Haunted by Poe and Frances the Mute by The Mars Volta. If I catch any of the songs from those albums, I just NEED to listen to the whole thing.

It was hard to pick an example song from Haunted, so many of the songs are completely different styles from the rest.

So now I know what I'm doing for the evening.

Re: Noise We Enjoys

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:58 pm
by Mongrel
I've talked about protest music before. Well, here's LL Cool J with a monster freestyle.

Re: Noise We Enjoys

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:29 pm
by Mongrel
Takin hits off the murky well of classic swamp rock

Re: Noise We Enjoys

Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:00 pm
by Mongrel
This one's stuck in my head somewhat (almost certain I've posted it before), but I thought I'd post it here because I wanted to talk a little bit about the blues in general as they have a bit of an orthagonal relationship to stuff happening even today.

The Blues is something that has touched me pretty deeply.

At first, I'd peripherally come at as many modern white kids did, through rock. Getting curious and seeking out the original versions of songs sung by the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Ram Jam, Three Dog Night and dozens upon dozens of others you never even knew were covers. But as a comics nerd, it was Robert Crumb, a massive blues fan and a collector of rare, original records, who did the most to introduce me to the real, original blues, and its various regional forms (Piedmont blues, Delta blues, etc.), with his books about them, and even a CD full of tracks. So, thanks, Mr. Crumb.

It's fascinating to see how much a century of music is owed to a handful of understated but brilliant talents, where the blues has contributed a staggeringly enormous amount of modern musical language. I remember one quote (which, for the life of me I can't find the source, though I'm pretty sure it was either by or about Chuck Berry) that went "the first time I ever listened to a rock and roll song, it felt like breaking out of jail.", well, there really was a jail, and the Blues is the songs from it.

It's amazing to see how much bluesmen made given how little they had to work with. A single instrument, usually a cheap guitar, made to sound like two or even three people playing. Some without even instruments. The cliche about washboards and jugs was real - household items made to sing and play like a church choir, using whatever was at hand. They worked from memory, on slim training, with barely the resources to even keep a songbook sometimes.

It's sobering to feel the weight of history these songs (usually unintentionally) carry. To think of what it grew out of (slave songs, spirituals, prison work gang songs), what great weight society had laid on the poor, sometimes desperate musicians, who often died destitute (some did prosper modestly, but even among those, many still died relatively young), whose only venues were street corners, tin-walled Juke Joints, and other poor folks' concert halls. . What an important and valuable record of the impoverished lives of the oppressed these songs left, that we can see the continuity of the hardships laid upon them traced from years untold before all the way up to today, and the rough lives many bluesmen led - "The Gangsta Rap of the Segregated South" was a comment that I always remember. That as with so many forms of art, beautiful things are made from the spirits of crushed people, and the Blues bears witness to this as few other art forms do.

It's inspiring to see how much of themselves the singers and players gave to their music. Nothing is held back. Every erg of emotion, every bit of energy that could be mustered was poured into the music. For the most desperate, their next meal depended on it.

Yet it's heartbreaking to hear the pain in some of the deepest blues, to know there is nothing you or anyone else will ever be able to do to alleviate the suffering these artists went through. In the song above, Tommy Johnson is singing about his inescapable addiction to cheap methanol cooking fuel, which he knows is quite literally killing him (it almost certainly did), at a time when this would have been seen entirely as a moral failing, condemned by blacks and whites alike.

It's a blessing that we have these recordings, scattered and often barely made, with at most a handful of takes, sometimes only one, at a time when recording was still in relative infancy, costly, imprecise, and highly perishable. How near and narrow a thing it is that we have these songs at all, for them to survive, sometimes in only one or two copies of a record of only one or two songs of a given artist, for artists to be conflated with each other, sometimes only known by a name with not so much as a sentence to describe them - other than their recording - to today where they can be multiplied and shared nearly infinitely to touch millions, even billions of lives, at least indirectly.

It's a heavy legacy, and the men who carried it are gone. It's on us to make sure they're never forgotten, that they're preserved, hopefully for as long as human society exists on this blue goofball of insanity.

Re: Noise We Enjoys

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:02 pm
by Mongrel
Covid Metal is becoming a thing. This video is a hoot.